Dec 31, 2011

Posted by in Blasters, Beggars & Credits | 10 Comments

Blasters, Beggars & Credits: Buff Slicing

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.

This article was supposed to be about how overpowered Slicing was, and also how good it was for the economy and crafters in general. It was also supposed to be posted last week.

Unfortunately, BioWare decided to read my mind during Beta and nerf it now. Now, after release, when the window for reducing it in a way that didn’t harm the economy has ended, they did nerf it. However, the nerf is not as bad as you would think. What the nerf does is remove the incentive to send companions on missions and return almost twice the cost in profit, which is a change I think they should have made one month ago.

However, the gathering aspect remains intact as a solid source of income while leveling. It’s not as much, but you can still gather lockboxes with great returns in addition to quests. The major part of this nerf really hurts the PvP community, which now relies solely on the credits from winning or losing a match to make any money. They can no longer rely on sending their companions to do Slicing missions to make them rich.

Cost 1250 credits to send, only got back 1091 back.

And I’m fine with that. Except that now, Slicing, instead of having a good amount of people doing it, is being abandoned faster than Google+. All the people who picked up the profession to make quick bucks are now going back to actual gathering professions. There will actually be fewer slicers than if the change had been made in the General Beta Test, which is going to have an adverse effect on the in-game economy.

Slicing did make some people inordinately rich. It also deprived those same people of either a mission or gathering skill to go along with their crafting skill. It forced them to take all those credits and pump at least some of them into the GTN. This caused there to be more demand and a higher volume of transactions, leading to a more balanced economic net gain.

So, while the original intent of my previous article was to assure fellow crafters that the sky wasn’t falling just because some people got rich quick, the intent now is to tell you all that we should be asking BioWare to buff Slicing. Not necessarily to the same level, but to where it’s profitable enough to entice people to take it again.

If this was my only character, I'd be picking up Archaeology.

The economy is, from talking to guildies, generally somewhat stagnant, and there are a few factors at play in that. First off, the vast majority of the servers are not 50 yet. In fact, while I haven’t asked, I might be the only AAJ staffer at 50 now (Bill, go play!). So, while the hardcore have begun raiding and acquiring PvP gear, the meaty middle of the pack is just getting to the 30s and 40s.

My experience, thus far, is that high-end materials are not selling too well. Some are – Mandalorian Iron is selling for 5-8k a unit, but it’s also ridiculously hard to get, and Ciridium, the prototype-equivalent, is just flat out not selling. And the reason is simple: people with lots of cash dropped Slicing and picked up what they were missing, powerleveled what they were missing, and are now self-sufficient crafters.

This also means that, while some rare and perhaps exciting items will sell, by and large many of them won’t, because people are crafting them, or have equivalents. The mod system also keeps people from acquiring new items as quickly, because they realize they can upgrade their items – you can get some great mods on Ilum just from doing dailies.

Poor T7 - it looks like his crit won't be utilized much.

So what do we sell?

I suggest trying to market yourself to that meaty pack in the middle. The high-end people are too hardcore to be bothered with all that – they know that better gear is around the corner, and the artifact helm I can make is going to be replaced. I will need to hang onto that for some time while that large group catches up.

Instead, run missions and craft gear and sell raw materials to that smaller group in the middle. My level 20 artificer/treasure hunter is selling Tatooine Flamegems like they are going out of style. The prototype mats for mid-levels still have a good amount of traction to them. I’m getting to a point where I can start pumping out hilts and enhancements on that level too, and I plan on doing that.

Also, don’t forget about your old commendations. Buy mods and sell those! Try to plug the holes on the GTN where there aren’t any items for the level ranges, and I can safely say that those will sell. I will be using my upcoming hefty vacation time to level my Cybertech to the 30s and get to selling modifications.

What are you selling? What success (or failure) have you had with materials? Comment below!

Beggar’s Tip: Space missions are a good source of income and experience, but you do need to upgrade your ship components. The very, very best ship components take some hard to get materials: Rank 5 Underworld Trading Metals, including Promethium. If you have UT, send your highest affection companion member on Bountiful or Rich missions and hope to get lucky. Rather than spending 30 or 40k on a component, you can offer to trade him the Promethium required and a small fee (maybe 7k) for the other materials and crafting portion. You can sell off the excess material as well, and possibly come out on top of the transaction.

  1. I have kept slicing and make almost twice as much as the person who does not have slicing. You just have to know which missions to continually pick to make the most money. I forget which site had it, but there was a thread that had a a large colation of missions and their returns and compiled data to show which missions pay the best.

  2. Fed, Please find that site and post it, ive kept it too and would kill to see these list.

    • That wasn’t the site, but the spreadsheet came up with the same conclusions. At level 41, you are able to deploy 4 companions at a time. So, on average, I am making around 2k per 25 min. And that is not including the copious amounts of slicing boxes that I get, plus selling off augments and extra schematics from crits, plus the normal roundup of credits from questing. It is still highly profitable fto keep slicing. You just have to work harder and smarter for it.

  3. John Eakins says:

    One thing to remember is that it is a very common practice in MMOs to “over-nerf”. Coming down on something with the nerf-bat a little hard then later buffing it back up later, its viewed as easier and less harmful over all than nerfing it little by little to find the sweet spot.

    So I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest to see Slicing get a buff in the coming weeks.

  4. if anything i needs to be nerfed again, does anyone realise what they are saying your asking for a proffession where you put in 500 and get 1k back, its stupid. And way too many aren’t even thinking long term, has anyone considered what slicing will do at endgame? once you have maxed your real proffs and have everything you need or available all you will be doing is stockpiling credits now all of a sudden a lvl 35 crystal costs 50k.

    Slicing needs more nerfs if its still providing double the money any other proffession gives, the key to a good game economy is good money sinks and a difficulty in gaining credits. Slicing if not kept in check will be the end of the economy on TOR.

  5. Dirtyshadow says:

    Iv played a lot of mmos and I have never had so much trouble as I have had with this game trying to understand the economy.

    The main problem I am finding is the sheer scale of the credits per level. The credits per level grows exponantially, the price of training to Speeder 1 is a big hurdle at 25… but that same amount of money at L50 is paid for one rank up of a combat skill. The rewards from quests also increase.

    Without a clear and present grasp of what “credits” are equal too in time vs effort, they have either have “no value” or are “priceless” until a player determines the value. Thats what is stalling the economy… the fixed ingame value of credits “does not equal” the value players place on them.

    In Bioware mind the value of Mission Mats was equal to the value of Slicing Boxes, they expected people to sell/trade/buy Mission Mats (like UW metals) instead everyone is hoarding or selling them for far less than expected on the Exchange… this resulted in the issue.

    Virtual Economies are perfect until the Players get their hands on them!

    • Economies will never be stable until the majority of players are in a stable position (AKA level 50). At this point, it is all a crap shoot as to knowing what is worth what, mostly because no one knows how rare some items are. You might see a new item on the Galactic Market, one day, for 100K credits, and then 2 days later, the GM might be flooded with the very same item. The worth of an item is extremely hard to judge.

      • Absolutely. I’ve been consistently keeping the AH fed with materials – before the slicing nerf, they all sold. Now, I get lucky if I sell a quarter of them in 24 hours.

  6. I’m doing slicing on my Trooper, and at level 23 he has around 60k as a working budget, which is far better than the Jedi I’d levelled to the same level (before he became mysteriously stuck and unplayable, the Bioware customer support has been poor thus far). Slicing is definitely a working way of making money. One of the most lucrative aspects, I have found, are the mission discoveries you can gather from slicing. These, pre around 150 skill required, sell for around 2k each. The higher the mission discovery items, the more money you can earn from them…

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