Wednesday, 14 December 2011

SWTOR Crafting is Addictive

Follow the arrows! As posted on Link
I'd like to start by saying that I am not normally a crafter. Sure, in other MMOs I've dabbled in it, and even had some crafting and gathering skills maxed out. Generally though, the process is quite boring. I don't enjoy it, and I usually only do it to gain some benefit at the end of it all, whether it is a new weapon, armor, crafting-specific perk, etc. To put it simply, crafting is normally a means to an end for me, and not an end in itself.

In Star Wars: The Old Republic, crafting is quite simply a joy. It is incredibly gratifying, and I plan to level crafting of some kind on all of my characters. That's how you know I'm serious. Rather than just rant about it  or give a detailed description of the system (which has been done much better elsewhere), I'd like to explain the specific points that, in my opinion, make it superior to other MMOs:

  • Convenience. It can be done while you run a Flashpoint, while you wait for your leveling buddy to finish the next step of their class quest, or while you run to turn in some quests. You don't have to stop questing, go to a designated area, and sit around fiddling with recipes on a vendor.
  • Ease of use. The interface for crafting skills clearly tells you what each component is (is it a Power Crystal? a Gemstone?), and the gathering skill missions tell you clearly what type of component you can expect to receive from sending your companion on it.
  • Relevant. The gear is, for the most part, better than gear of equal level from quests. You're normally not crafting useless items. If you do craft a useless item, you can reverse engineer it to possibly learn a better version of that recipe. Everyone can reverse engineer items that they can craft.
  • Engaging. Since your companions actually do the crafting, they get to take some of the glory. Each of the gathering missions gives you a story blurb about what kind of mission your companion will be sent on (I take a certain amount of satisfaction from telling Vette to go dredge out a Sarlacc's stomach). You'll find yourself watching that timer tick down, because you desperately want to know what kind of goodies your companion found. I found myself saying "Just one more Archaeology mission" far too often.
My only complaint thus far is that there isn't a very good tutorial to crafting. There is the standard quest which asks you to talk to your crafting trainer after learning a crafting skill, but it doesn't really teach you anything about the system. For MMO veterans, it isn't especially difficult to figure out. Even so, this game has a very wide appeal, and so I believe a more in-depth crafting tutorial might be in order for newer players to the genre.

If you play SWTOR, you owe it to yourself to try the crafting. It doesn't feel like a chore, trust me. You can start crafting once you make it to the Imperial/Republic Fleet, after leaving your origin world.

As always, feel free to leave your comments on your experiences with crafting.

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