Jan 17, 2012

Posted by in Blue Milk & Cereal | 11 Comments

Blue Milk & Cereal: Are All Crew Skills Created Equal?

No day would be complete without the breakfast of Jedi: Blue Milk & Cereal.  Every morning, the team at Ask A Jedi will get Force-induced thoughts coursing through your head with delicious issues from around the galaxy! Join in the discussion below to make your voice heard!

The Crew Skills system is intended to bring “a variety of  benefits and rewards”  to players of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Without a doubt, that’s exactly what they do. But then we need to ask the inevitable question: are all of those benefits and rewards equally spread across all of the Crew Skills, or are some more beneficial than others? Does a player truly have the freedom to choose the Crew Skills combination he or she wants, or are some so good that they feel almost mandatory if a player wishes to have end-game success or an easier time leveling?

It seems as though this is something BioWare is currently wrestling with, as we see some major changes coming to Biochem and Cybertech in the upcoming content patch Rise of the Rakghouls. These particular Crew Skills had attributes that were beginning to be deemed mandatory for a successful Operation run, and BioWare wanted to nip that perception in the bud right away. There are also some great, detailed suggestions on the forums on how to make skills like Armstech and Synthweaving more appealing to people.

Being a 400 Synthweaver myself, I personally do not feel the same level of benefit and reward as a 400 Biochem player that had the chance to level with a constant buff to their stats and has access to self-made Medpacs. Yes, Synthweavers make armor that should provide similar statistical benefits, right? My opinion is the gear players can produce during leveling is extremely limited and are often bested by orange gear with upgraded mods accessible to everyone.

It’s hard enough to balance combat, but then when you through the relative benefit of a crafting skill in, it becomes even more challenging. What do you think? What did you pick? Are you satisfied with your Crew Skills choices? Do you feel like all the crafting skills are equally rewarding? Let us know below!

Do you feel all Crew Skills are balanced fairly?

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  1. Synthweaving and Armormech are both equally worthless, falling to the very bottom of the list. Armstech comes next, only slightly better than the previous two thanks solely to the Barrel mods.

    Artifice is the first skill that’s actually good thanks to its abundant mods and off hand creations.

    Cybertech and Biochem are at the top and matched fairly even in usefulness with each other, though certain classes/spec benefit more from one than the other. Cybertech has a distinct benefit in PvP thanks to the AoE CC effects + damage of explosives, while Biochem has a distinct PvE benefit of long durations and /or reusable goods.

    Are crafting professions equal? Not by any stretch of the imagination.

    • ScytheNoire says:

      I agree completely. It’s a joke with the current system. There are only two useful professions, and that is sad. If there were really cool items that only those professions could make, then maybe. But they put all the cool looking gear into the social vendors.

      But no game has came out with a good crafting system at launch. It’s always taken a lot of work to get things right.

  2. I think it is fairly obvious that if you plan on participating in operations at end game you should be taking biochem. As far as leveling, werent the stims available to purchase as you leveled for a small amount…so I see no real advantage their. However, in operations, the perisit through death stims are invaluable and a must have.

    It also “appears” that crafting loses its value once players start doing operations and in this game even HM flashpoints. I think most of the player base is expecting crafting to provide high quality and desired products through all facets of the game…and it does not appear the system is set up that way. I suspect we will be getting “the huge crafting patch” in the next 6 months that really turns crafting upside down. Appears to be underdeveloped and untested.

  3. Armormech does have the ability to craft Orange armors, which is nice. Although, that may not be enough to make it attractive to take for a lot of people.

  4. I cannot comment on the end-game situation, but in terms of levelling Armstech is definitely the loser for usefulness, even on a trooper that fairly quickly get a bunch of companions to keep up to date. You make barrels and thats about it, and they aren’t that much better than what you can get from commendations anyway. Or you make weapons which is a rather more costly affair and it still seems like it takes a long time between actually producing an upgrade. There isn’t enough variation: each character is going to need exactly one barrel or one weapon and that is all you’ll ever use it for.

    The others have their uses, though moreso for some classes than others. A trooper is going to get a lot of milage out of Armormech and it frees up a lot of commendations for those harder to find slots when you make your own gear along the way.

    For the levelling experience, I don’t find Biochem the must-have that some think. It’s handy, sure, but so is having good offhands and up-to-date crystals. The vendor stims are a bit pricy, so I only use them for tough sequences, and medpacks from drops I usually end up selling by the stack, since I find way more than I can manage to use in a level bracket.

  5. Lady Republic says:

    I don’t think that the professions are quite fully balanced, but I’m also not certain it’s ever possible to truly balance them. I think the main thing that could help both synthweaving and armormech is to give each one some sort of consumable that they can craft- for instance, take armor mods from cyber (leave them with mods), and reposition to synth and/or armor. The main issue that seems to gimp synth and armor currently is that they can’t make any consumable, which limits their utility once you max out.

  6. Unless the crafting professions all get BoP bonuses (like how WoW eventually normalized all profession bonuses in WotLK), there will inevitably be a “best” and “worst” choice. Reusable BoP stims/medpacs/adrenals and grenades at max level are ridiculously good, even after the nerfs, and unless there are some Operations-level BoP gear recipes for each of the equipment crafting skills, they’ll always fall behind.

    I think the biggest problem is that the concept of infinitely-reusable consumables is a really hard thing to balance against. You’re not just balancing against a concrete stat boost, but also the cost savings and the benefit of being able to use the item on cooldown every single time without fear of running out.

  7. @Lady Republic

    I think giving Armoring mods to Synth/Armor would be a good step to take. I don’t see why they bothered giving it to Cyber in the first place, honestly. It’s not like they don’t have enough other crafting categories to keep them busy. Either breaking Armoring mods between the two so that they made their respective stat types, or even just allowing both of them to have full access to all of the recipes would make them much more appealing.

    Another thing they could do to make any/all professions more appealing would be to add in vanity items. Pets, RP gear sets, things along those lines. It would have no impact on end game of course, but as it is there’s almost no benefit at all to Synth/Armor and only slightly more for Arms. They need stat boosts for viability or they need vanity items to bring in the credits.

  8. Leveled biochem, got my stims/medpac/adrenal, levelled synthweaving got my rakata belt/bracers, re-levelled biochem.

    Biochem is still a standout, the others have their uses – but still don’t come close.

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