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Friday, June 3, 2011

Star Wars: The Old Republic - Crafting

 It takes a certain kind of person to enjoy crafting, much less dedicate a significant amount of time to it. I know that when I play an MMO, I want to be out completing quests, seeing the sights, and going on the occasional raid. The last thing I want to be doing is tediously gathering resources and toiling to craft something with them. I’d be willing to bet I’m not alone either. Luckily for us crafting-impaired types, Bioware is giving us the option to make our companions do our boring crafting for us. That is excellent news for someone like me, who was forced to grind out the Architect class for nearly two weeks in an effort to unlock Force Sensitivity in Star Wars Galaxies.

When away from your ship, only one companion can accompany you at any given time. Both you and your companion can harvest materials from fallen enemies. Doing this requires Gathering Skills, which are broken down into the Bioanalysis, Scavenging, and Slicing specialties. According to the official Old Republic site, Bioanalysis is “the practice of collecting genetic material from creatures and plants”, Scavenging is “the art of recovering useful materials and parts from old or damaged technology, and Slicing is “a skill in accessing secured computer systems and lockboxes to acquire valuable data and rare schematics”. You or your companions can specialize in one or all of those Gathering Skills, but it is yet to be seen if you can also train in a Crafting Skill if you have specialized in all three Gathering Skills. On another note, you can also assign your currently unused companions to go out a look for materials on their own.

Once you have enough resources to make something, you can assign one of your companions with a Crafting Skill to forge something useful out of the raw materials. Just like Gathering Skills, there are currently three known Crafting Skill specializations. Armormech is “the ability to work with hard metals and electronic shielding to construct all types of personal armor”, Artifice is “the delicate work of constructing Jedi and Sith artifacts”, and Biochem is “the engineering of performance-enhancing chemical serums and biological implants”. You can have up to five companions crafting on your ship at one time while you’re not actually present at your ship. The real beauty of this though, is that your companions continue working, whether it be on crafting, gathering resources, or running missions even while you’re offline. I don’t know about you, but that sounds awesome to me!

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