Aug 31, 2011

Posted by in Blasters, Beggars & Credits | 8 Comments

Blasters, Beggars & Credits: The Item Modification System And Role-Players

Some players do it for glory. Some do it for infamy. Some like to accumulate the most points, or explore the far reaches of the worlds they inhabit. This, however, is not a column for those people. This is a column for those people who, quietly or not, enjoy making money so that their digital avatar can sleep on large piles of cash.

While I am not one to base server choice solely off where I can think I can make the most money, there is (perhaps) an angle on the recent mod announcements that people are not necessarily connecting.

Now, this regards two relatively important announcements about crafting from PAX. These may be more or less known to most people, but official confirmation is always welcome. The first point, from James Ohlen:

“The thing about moddable gear is you can mod it with mods that are at the highest level. So you can, for example, take 10th level Jedi Knight robes that look like what Obi Wan was wearing on Tatooine.”

That’s really important, for role-players. There will be quite a few people who want to retain the iconic Jedi look – the plain brown cloak and simple undergarments look – and the modification pieces will allow them to do that. Think jewelcrafting in WoW – same concept, really, except that the stats are completely dictated by the implanted items. One of the sources (hopefully the primary source), until raiding, are the crafters, and indeed, even after as the crafters who raid will gain access to make those. This leads into the second quote, also from Ohlen:

“Crafters can build Operation-level gear with operations mats.”

This is my hat. There are many like it but this one is mine (for 25 levels).

To wit, you can mod your level 10 standard Jedi robes with the best possible operation mods made by a crafter who has access to both raiding and the materials from raiding. This is a cash bonanza, if you are that crafter. Given the admittedly easy entry into the raid game, and the natural desire in this game for alternative characters, alt farming raids to gather mats to craft the best mods and materials will surely be present.

And here’s the thing: raiders are going to want the raid gear. They’re going to want to look like the amazing raiders they are – if you’re wearing a piece of armor that no one else can get because they can’t raid it, then you’re going to look amazing and unique.

"...no, really, I can't live without this mask. So, 200,000 credits for that mod? I guess - I mean, my life depends on it."

Role-players are going to be different from raiders. They’re going to enjoy a more relaxed pace, but also a more relaxed look. They aren’t always going to value a unique piece of raid armor, they’re going to value looking like how they think a character should look. By all reports there are a ton of armor looks in the game – if they are mostly modable, to the same extent that raid gear is (or to have equivalent stats), role-players will absolutely go for that. Even better are the role-players looking to break into raiding who want to mod their level 10 Jedi robes with the operations mods – they don’t have access to the drops if they are just starting out, which means (and I’m speculating, here) they will be forced to buy them – either non-bound versions, if they exist, from drops, or the crafted versions.

When talking about my ideas for writing this, one of my friends said, “Yeah, but aren’t the populations of role-players significantly lower than others?” This is true in other games, but it will not necessarily be true in Star Wars (and certainly not true on RP servers). SW:TOR will attract a significant amount of people who are playing for story and their own story-driven reasons, and less by the ‘Server First’ mentality of MMO players. Which isn’t to say there aren’t going to be those alpha folks too, because there will be plenty – and perhaps more if the raid game is compelling enough.

Also, the models of crafted pieces will play a part as well – if you can craft a really great looking piece at a mid-level, there might be intense amounts of profit in it. No longer would you be bound to crafting 1 or 2 pieces as the absolute best – your restraint will be based on aesthetic (or lack thereof) appeal.

"Yes, I got my robes on Hoth. What of it? They're warm, but airy."

All in all, I predict that role-players might shell out more money for the mods to retain their role-playing gear and retain its viability in the end-game. That focus change from the pieces of gear to the items in it is a nice touch for crafters (feel free to debate the merits of a raiding end-game where the fight won’t always be over the gear pieces themselves). It definitely puts crafting in a higher priority, and it absolutely increases appeal for role-players to use the systems.

Beggar’s Tip: Role-players aren’t the only ones who go for stylized looks. PvPers enjoy humorous-looking garb, so any actual pieces you can make that look silly (bikinis, “Emperor’s new clothes”-style items, pirate hats, etc) will sell well to that crowd – and the would include the PvP mods. Keep an eye out for those items, those sell well and can have high profit margins, especially if your competition is low.

  1. I think it is gonna be crazy to see sand person outfits on classes like Jedi and Sith, or any class for that matter.

  2. Your post added to what I have been reading/lurking from the most recent conferences gives me hope that the crafting in the game will be as fun as much as it is challenging.

  3. I just hope non raiders will be able to have gear viability at endgame via the mod system. If you can buy them on an auction house then fine, you’ll probably have to farm a lot of credits to buy those uber mods, but at least there is a path. The key is whether or not top tier\raid level mods will be BoE or BoP (or if it is just schematics that drop).

    Oh and of course how many mod slots is in the gear and is it possible to upgrade slots? If that Level 10 gear only has 3 slots, yet that epic raid gear has 5 slots and you can’t add more slots, well it doesn’t matter what mods you put in that level 10 gear it will be inferior to raid gear at endagme, even if you can get the best mods money can buy. Hopefully, they will allow mod slots to be added to lower level items, via crafting or some other mechanism.

    It is just a shame that Bioware feels it is necessary to reward the raider playstyle over all other playstyles at endgame. Already the Heroic Eternity vault will be 2 tiers above standard endgame gear and the gap will only get worse from there.

    • Lockehart says:

      If you don’t raid, what do you need raid-quality gear for? Pvp should offer gear suited to pvp, raiding to raiding, and solo/group content in most games tends to be easier overall than raid content.

      As long as you’re getting gear commensurate with the difficulty of the content you’re doing to get it, what does it even matter?

      • So why are only raiders allowed to have progression at endgame then?

        This whole arguement from the raiding community is ridiculous…

        Tier gear makes EVERY OTHER ASPECT OF GAMEPLAY easier AND at those who have different playstyles (outside of PvP) expense.

        You don’t think that extra dps\health helps you in World PvP? WHo would you rather take in a heroic flashpoint, the guy decked out in Tier gear who can faceroll the content or….that other guy?

        There are ways to gate endgame raids\heroic flashpoints\solo heroics. Shared lockout timers being one of them, longer lockouts for heroic flashpoint and solo heroic quest, all so raiders can get thier gear 1st. Thier gear certainly will have its own stylized look to it.

        I mean this whole arguement from raiders is a baseless one. I just think it all boils down to the ego of raiders and I think it is THE major turnoff to playing MMO’s…and it is totally unecessary..

  4. Bwahahaha!!!! As a future Dedicated Crafter, I find this most encouraging!

  5. ScytheNoire says:

    I just wish they’d have slots just for the looks. Don’t change the gear (ahem, WoW), but have costume slots. Oh well, maybe in time. Will be another “But WoW has it” topic for BioWare to have to deal with.

  6. I wonder if the crafted mods are going to be bop or boe. If it’s bop the end game mods won’t make crafters any money. If it’s boe someone could potentially grab a level 10 robe and have access to top tier raiding gear without stepping one foot in any of the previous content. I’m not sure either of those are great options.

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  1. BETA Weekends Incoming! « Inquisitor's Roadhouse - [...] a Jedi had a nice post on how the item modification system will allow RPers and other stylish players …

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