Dec 25, 2011

Posted by | 3 Comments

Wild Space: Security, Crew Skills, And Datacrons

It’s a big galaxy our there, and Wild Space can be a dangerous place. Worry not, explorer – each week we’ll navigate you safely through the lost hyperspace routes of the Deep Core and track down the great articles and entertainment from around the SW:TOR fan community, all in less than 12 parsecs, of course!

In this shortened holiday edition of Wild Space, I would like to join with Darth Hater for a public service announcement about account security. Security breeches are a real problem for online games nowadays so it is advisable that  you take advantage of as many extra security features as you can to secure your account.

BioWare has already instituted policies to secure your account, including having every user create five security questions and has offered a security authentication token for two-factor authentication into your account. This means that to log into the game or website (and access your account information) you would need to use your password as well as the security key to access it. This makes your account more protected from the possibility of someone getting unauthorized access to your account.

To order a physical security key from BioWare ($4.00 + shipping) or download the mobile security key to your iOS or Android device, visit this website.

One of the innovative features of TOR is the Crew Skills system that allows your companions to craft and gather materials while you are out “playing the game”. For those of us (like me) who have never been able to get into crafting because of the time investment, or just didn’t find it interesting in other games, the Crew Skills system offers a fresh take on an MMO favorite.

If you are looking for ways to maximize all of your Crew Skills effectiveness, then this video by SWTORFace is for you. Also be sure to check out their diagram for which Crew Skill best supports another.

Are you a big explorer? Want to uncloak every map and view every mountain top? Well, if you are the Magellan type, then I would encourage you to read this write-up about the Datacron system from Corellian Run Radio. They will convince you why you will enjoy figuring out the puzzles required to get every Datacron.

If you would rather just get on with it and find all of those Datacrons because of the stat bonus that they provide, check out this article from SWTOR-Spy that lists all of the locations for every Datacron in the game as well as walk-throughs on how to get them all. (Warning! Spoilers on Datacon locations are contained within).


Read More
Dec 23, 2011

Posted by | 9 Comments

Zlatto’s Bazaar: Biochem – The Non-Crafter’s Crew Skill?

Zlatto’s Bazaar is the one-third Wall Street, one-third criminal empire and one-half gossip rag. You need to keep up on the Bazaar if for no other reason than to keep an eye on your competitors. Don’t be a Ho-tah and visit often. Your comments are encouraged, especially if they make me credits…

I know the title is a bit vague, but the concept came to me as I was checking out ways to make credits from my Consular’s Biochem skills. So far, we all know that Slicing will be an easy money maker. From what I have seen, once the skill has been leveled to 150 I was averaging a net gain of 20% just sending my crew out on lock box missions. As of today I have not been able to see what the GTN will be like for profit margins on Augments, but I would guess that there are going to be plenty of players looking to take a short cut to leveling their skills and we all should look to profit from it.

But back to Biochem and my goofy article title.

As you might have been able to tell, I am a bit of an OCD crafter (which might be why they let me spout my crazy here at AAJ). So as soon as I started leveling my character I was gathering on Tython before I could even craft. When I finally got my first companion I was able to craft up Biochem to the mid 20’s with just what I had in my inventory. As a testament to my disorder – I mean really who needs a level 8 purple item when you will craft past it in just hours – I worked up Reusable Compact Medpac to test a theory itch that I needed to scratch. Now look carefully at the image below:

I grabbed the image from Torhead as my screen shots in game are a bit challenging due to the strange Windows 7 64 bit craziness (that’s the last time I buy a gaming laptop from a Jawa). The image above differs from what we see in game as it does not have a “Requires” statement. In game, the Reusable Compact Medpac requires a player to have Biochem level 1 along side the actual character level of 8. “Why do I care about this Zlatto? I could have lost a quick game of Hutball in the time I have wasted reading this article”. Give me a another few paragraphs and a few questions to you and I will make it worth your while.

Read More
Dec 19, 2011

Posted by | 8 Comments

Blue Milk & Cereal: Have You Chosen Your Crew Skills For Fun Or Profit?

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!

While many of us are already on the servers, progressing through the story and leveling our characters and Crew Skills – there are still those waiting to play TOR on or after the launch date (tomorrow, December 20th)! Even for those of you who may not be in game yet, you’ve probably spent some time thinking about your upcoming Crew Skill choices.

For many, the Crew Skills will be the primary source of income as well as creativity. For others, they will be the optional thing to do for fun. There are already players who are speculating on what is the “best” leveling combination and which Crew Skills are the “easiest” to level. While most of the information is speculative, one shouldn’t ignore it as it may bring some insight and turn out to be very successful. R2-Db’s has a nice page on Crew Skills to suggest what things might go together – check it out. This shows the recommended combinations of the crew skills in order to maintain the full production line on your character – from resource gathering and missions to the final stages of crafting.

Some players decide to go another route – they pick up three gathering skills and flood the Galactic Trade Network with their harvested materials up for crafter’s grab. At least for now, all combinations are highly viable and useful – so my advice to you if you haven’t decided on Crew Skills yet – pick whatever seems like fun to you. But at the same time, don’t be afraid to experiment as they can be unlearned and new ones picked up free of cost!

So with all of that in mind, we want to know – how will you choose your Crew Skills? Based on fun, or the potential profit you can make? Discuss! (Oh, and visit the columns from Zlatto and Momus if you want more in-depth reading the topic!)

Do you/will you choose your Crew Skills for fun or profit?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...


Read More
Dec 16, 2011

Posted by | 8 Comments

Blasters, Beggars & Credits: Money Matters

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.

Some people probably read my little columns (absent for a time, and for that I apologize) and snicker to themselves – “What a sucker, he’s revealing his strategy to everyone!”

Well, not really. Due to circumstances, I have been unable to play straight through the last two days, so I’m neither very advanced in level (hit 22 late last night) or in money (I’ve peaked at around 30k before training costs hit). But there is a plan.

They Drew First Blood

Every day we get a new amount of players crowding the scene, a new wave of people getting into the game. And these people are, in general, going to be less hardcore about news, and blogs, and fan sites – and very unlikely to read any column of mine. Much to their sorrow!

I periodically have been checking back at the GTN, and later I’m going to give a small tutorial. But for now, for those avid money-makers, here is what I am doing to amass a small fortune before advancing too far in level.

This, my friends, is our new home.

Flipping has been working quite well for me. Many people are posting things for ludicrously small amounts of credits. For instance – someone put 6 Red Amorphous Crystals on the GTN for 10 credits each. I turned those around for 75 credits a piece – that’s a 650% ROI. Every day I check the Archaeology tab, and every day I’m amazed to find stuff for under 40 credits.

Remember folks: 10 credits is nothing. It’s not worth auctioning something for that much. I turned 30 credits into 450 without so much as batting an eye.

Read More
Dec 15, 2011

Posted by | 12 Comments

Zlatto’s Bazaar: Doing Nothing Is Profitable

Zlatto’s Bazaar is the one-third Wall Street, one-third criminal empire and one-half gossip rag. You need to keep up on the Bazaar if for no other reason than to keep an eye on your competitors. Don’t be a Ho-tah and visit often. Your comments are encouraged, especially if they make me credits…

When it comes to playing a merchant class style character, you face some grind like any average player. A player’s skill progression in most MMOs depends on the money, effort, time and skill. In most games, these dependencies have always created a feeling of toil and effort over being a hero. I was fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time testing out crafting mechanics in Star Wars: The Old Republic during beta. The numbers can always be adjusted but the concepts behind them should still be in play now that the game has launched.

Doing Nothing Is Profitable?

Ok, so I cannot state with certainty that the economics in the game will make all crafting professions profitable. Heck, the only guarantees right now might be Slicing and maybe certain Treasure Hunting selections. The mechanism of a truly profitable MMORPG economy are high-brow topics covered by Momus and all his crazy spreadsheets over at Blasters, Beggers & Credits. But there is more to profit than just credits my impatient  scrag-enders. Remember the famous Toydarian saying, “Time is Money.” In this regard I can clearly state that crafting, in its current iteration in TOR, is profitable.

Read More