Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Tell Jabba I've Got the Money: Scavenging for Credits
If this blog is going to prove worthwhile in any capacity, I've got to jump right into the "goods".
I've had a lot of early credit making success in SWTOR with my Smuggler-oriented crew skill triangle of Underworld Trading, Scavenging, and Cybertech. Here's the deal: I'll pass along some of my patented tips if (IF) you promise to follow, comment, or at least check back here every once in a while.
Let's get to it.
Everybody is leveling like mad right now, and that includes crew skills. The average player (read: the majority of players) identifies the quickest path to leveling their crew skills. Whichever schematic takes the fewest resources is what s/he'll use to level. In the case of cybertech crafting, this means armorings and mods. These items get vendored because better Mods and Armorings are readily available via commendation vendors and because you can't possibly sell through 15 green Skill Armoring 7's on the GTN. No matter to most players, they'll happily take a 200 credit loss for a skill up.
But for the stingy Smuggler out there, this is unacceptable.
Now, I'm always skeptical of any instructions that include some number of "easy steps," but hear me out, because I've got three easy steps for you to follow:
1. Measure Demand: What do players want? MMOs are famous for gear progression nuts (myself included), and SWTOR is no exception. Character progression yields more empty gear slots, including ship upgrade slots, new droid companion gear slots, and more. As a crafter, your bread and butter will be supplying all of those Jedi with the items they crave.
Here is an early example of a great Cybertech crafting opportunity. Earpiece-slot items do not drop until after Coruscant, when players are nearly level 20 or higher. However, Cybertechs can craft earpieces for all four classes that only require the wearer to be level 15. This early boost in stats, filling an otherwise empty slot, is appealing.
Still, because earpieces take two more Laminoids (~50 credits) and two Conductive Fluxes (20 credits) compared to the Armorings at that level, most Cybertechs skip them. See what you can do on your server's GTN by posting one of each type at ~1000 credits profit each.
2. Identify Gaps in Supply: Of course, you won't make a killing on level 15 earpieces on every server. Somebody may have beaten you to the punch. But whether it's a crafting a different item or posting at different times of the day, there are always gaps to be exploited.
One of the very best ways to find gaps in supply is by obtaining unique schematics. Most crafters won't invest in low-level schematics on their journeys to the crew skill cap, so that profit can be yours for the taking. You will at least enjoy reduced competition and perhaps greater margins.
3. Swipe Cheap Mats: Every credit saved is a credit earned. Don't just send your companions out on missions willy-nilly. Take some notes on their returns and try to come up with an average cost for every kind of raw material. Then, you will not only know which trade missions are most rewarding, but how much you would be willing to spend for mats on the GTN.
One habit many crew skill levelers have is dumping leftover mats on the GTN after they have finished a crafting tier. Don't be afraid to invest in a large stock of cheap mats, you'll make it up in the long run. (Quick protip: It took me a week to realize your companions will craft using items in your "Cargo Hold" bank. Free up some inventory and dump your mats in there!)
Advertising on trade or general chat can also net you some cheap mats, so don't be shy and give that a whirl.
Now, I haven't yet assembled the army of alts I would like to have, so I don't have specific advice for many of the crafting professions yet. That will change with time, as I plan to address all of the crew skills with regularity.
Be sure to check back often as I delve deeper into the universe of credit making in Star Wars: The Old Republic!