Tag crafting

Is That An Elite Harvester Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Tugg Back in Bestine

Tugg Back, being confused in Bestine. Look, a dancing Stormtrooper!

Earlier today on Twitter, some people seemed to react when I mentioned that I planned to do some AFK-mining with my trader in Star Wars Galaxies. I can understand that, doing things AFK are almost the same as botting in other titles. I thought I’d return to the culture of AFK that is present in SWG in a later post, but inspired by Stargrace’s writings on Vanguard, I thought I’d take a look at crafting in Star Wars Galaxies.

Crafting in Vanguard is awesome. Crafting in Star Wars Galaxies is a science, at least for newbies like me. Poking around in it can be pretty fun, but if you’re going to try to make any credits out of it you’re in for a ride. Something I noticed when I decided to take my poor trader out of early retirement a few weeks ago. He went from simply pulling up worthless materials for easy credits to trying to wrap his poor Ithorian head about the finer details of weapon crafting…

Bear with me, because this might get a bit long.

Tugg Back, my budding crafter, was luckily already level 90. I grinded him to cap through the usual means – going for a structure trader, picking up a grind kit of materials and making statues until my eyes bled. It was horrible, took about three hours of insanity, and I don’t ever want to do it again. Sadly, a trader beneath level 90 is more or less worthless to the current community, seeing how old it is, so it was pretty much needed.

Re-speccing him to a munitions trader, putting my expertise points into weapon smithing (our guild city already has an awesome armor shop), I took a look at what I could put together. From the list of weapons I picked the Advanced Laser Rifle. It sounded basic enough, and “advanced” sounded better than the normal laser rifle. For it, I would need a frame, a receiver, a grip, a barrel, a core and an optional scope, stock and elemental chamber. Reasonable enough.

Then I started to take a look at what materials I would need, and that’s kind of where I am right now. In a state of miserable shock, trying to figure out if this project is worth the effort or not. For the frame, receiver and grip I will need some rather easy stuff – link-steel aluminium, non-ferrous metal and polymer. But the full list of stuff I will need to gather is a bit longer…

Rhodium Steel
Duralloy Steel
Duranium Steel
Ryll Amorphous Gemstone
Polysteel Copper
Carbonite Steel
Crystalline Gemstone
Inert Petro Chemical
Reactive Gas
Chromium Aluminium
Green Diamond Crystalline Gemstone
Corellian Deciduous Wood
Varium Carbonite Ore
Phrik Aluminium
Tolium Reactive Gas

This will get me an Advanced Laser Rifle with an acid elemental chamber. Sweet! Just go out and mine the stuff, right? Run up to a Reactive Gas-node and get the good old mining pick out? Oh, no. I’m just getting started.

Tugg Back and harvester

Tugg Back placing an elite harvester... in a swamp!

You see, there is Rhodium Steel and there is Rhodium Steel. Materials in Star Wars Galaxies have stats. A freaking ton of stats. All of them don’t come into play when you’re going to craft something, for most of my stuff I just need to keep my eye on Overall Quality (OQ) and Shock Resistance (SR). But I still need to find the darn materials, and they need to have spawned somewhere in the galaxy in the first place. Different spawn, different stats. Luckily, some brave souls keep updating the list on the wonderful website SWGcraft, so lazy traders like me don’t need to scour every planet to find what they need.

All of the stuff on that list isn’t available at any given time. They might spawn, they might despawn, they might pop up when I least expect it and disappear before I have time to get my harvesters there. And then, of course, there are planets like Mustafar where you can’t even place harvesters so you have to rely on sampling – pulling up small quantities of materials from the ground. Which is where my trader is right now, AFK-mining away to get his hands on some sweet high-statted copper. Yum yum yum. I had plans to AFK-mine that really nice gemstone that had spawned the other day, but of course that was already gone…

Are we done yet? No, we’re not. Here comes the whole “you need money to make money”-thing. Because when you finally have the materials needed, you need to put it together. And to get the best result, you need to pray to the Gods of Chance – you will need to “experiment”. And to make sure that the Gods are smiling in your favor, you need to stack up on crafting gear. Which I surely don’t have right now, and can’t afford anyway. During Empire Day, they hand out a nice bandoleer with a lot of bonus Luck, but that’s about it for me right now.

Tugg relaxing at home

I'm just going to sit here and stare for a bit...

So this is pretty much where I stand right now, confused and scared and excited at the same time. It might sound like I’m complaining. I’m really not. I’m looking forward to getting this project off the ground, slowly building up a nice stock of materials (I haven’t even mentioned things like weapon augmentations…) and trying to put up a small weapons shop in some corner of our guild city. It won’t be the fanciest shop in the world, but I’m going to sell some really nice weapons to my customers. That’s the plan, at least.

Wish me luck. I’m still trying to bend my head around all the concepts at play here. It’s an amazing system, with a nice depth. It’s light years ahead of other titles, and together with Vanguard it has one of the most interesting crafting systems of all time. The only games that come close is Ryzom and in a way EVE Online. And I never managed to get much crafting done in those two…

Or perhaps I’m just making it more complicated in my head than it actually is in reality. Hopefully that’s the case.

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Welcome to the apocalypse

When I left World of Warcraft, my main character was decked out in raiding epics. In Aion, despite not being very high level, I’m wearing a whole bunch of neat magical artifacts and weapons. In Ryzom, at least when I’m out hunting, I wear a full set of heavy armor and carry a two handed axe (that looks like someone turned a butterfly into a lollipop and sharpened the edges). In EVE Online, I love to fly my Myrmidon or the shiny Brutix, which allows me to deal hails of deadly blaster fire on my enemies.

In Fallen Earth, I carry a wooden board as weapon, wear a pair of ugly nu metal shorts I scavenged from some survivalist outside of South Burb and a pair of moccasins. They are not magic at all, just a normal pair of brown moccasins. I also wear a head wrap and a terribly ugly jacket that I never seem to be able to replace. I tend to eat cooked tainted eggs and drink stale beer.

Welcome to the apocalypse, indeed.

I’m not going to go on record and say that Fallen Earth is the most awesome MMO ever made, but it should be noted that it is a breath of fresh air in a sometimes rather stale genre. Where gear can often be the bells and whistles of a MMO, in Fallen Earth I feel that I actually need new and better gear to survive in the harsh environment that is post-apocalyptic Grand Canyon. I better learn to craft myself new improvised weapons from pieces of scrap metal, since the mutants and wild animals that inhabit the wilderness all seem very dedicated to have me and my fellow human beings for dinner. I need to know how to turn the tainted meat I scavenge from dead coyotes into a (non-poisonous) meal, since there’s no supermarket or burger joint left in the world.

Fallen Earth confuses me a bit, I’m not sure what to make of it just yet – is it a sandbox or is it quest based? There are missions everywhere and doing them nets me quite a bit of cash and crafting manuals, but at the same time I do feel inclined to just leave the beaten path and go exploring and finding my own place in the Grand Canyon. I hear tales of hidden places filled with nice resource nodes, far away from the tattered remains of civilization.

It’s that exploring that really grabs me with Fallen Earth. I love the confusion, I love how vast the world feels. I want to experience it, I want to see what is over the next hill – even though it’s probably more desolate wasteland. I don’t mind though, not every MMO needs to offer the same magical environments. The biggest problem Fallen Earth faces is its client, which is cumbersome, demanding and prone to bugs. Icarus Studios seem to be working hard at it, patching almost daily, but they have lot of work cut out for them. Here’s hoping they make quick improvements, since another niche MMO that can stand on its own two feet for a long time is always a welcome addition to the genre!

I guess I will write up a review for it, probably in Swedish, sooner or later. Since I bought Fallen Earth myself and didn’t get a review copy, I am letting this one simmer and I will try to stay away from any nasty deadlines. I have only the finishing touches left on my Aion review, by the way – it should be up on our site either later tonight or on Monday. It’s disclaimer bonanza! I guess I can run it through Google Translate and post a link here, if people are interested. Either way, I am not done blogging about it, same goes for Fallen Earth.

In other news, my sister gave me another t-shirt from Whipping Floyd‘s Push the Button collection today, as a late birthday present. I love their stuff, if I had to choose one brand to sponsor me, it would be them. You hear that, Floyd-people? Want a game journalist to wear your stuff at various press events and conventions around the world? I’m your man. It doesn’t count as bribes when you don’t cover the same industry as the bribes come from, right? Right?

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