Making crafting more fun in SWTOR, Star Wars The Old Republic MMO

My question to you today,

What can we do to make crafting more fun in SWTOR?

For some people in MMO’s today crafting can sometimes be looked at as simply more than a utilitarian function, a means to help the overall leveling process.  As something you do as merely a side thought when you need some type of item in-game.  Some people would go so far as to call crafting “boring”, or something they do out of boredom.

To us that thoroughly enjoy these types of systems in MMO’s, we know them to be capable of so much more.

So what can we do to make crafting more fun in SWTOR?

What can we do to give other people more enjoyment in their MMO experience using the crafting mechanics?

Rewind a decade or so, into a realm called Ultima Online….a few years after release of that game me and my guilds top crafters had come to the bright idea to use the crafting and housing mechanics to our advantage and create a player driven in-game event to showcase our crafting ability as a guild.

We decided to host a weekly auction of player created or enhanced weapons, armors, items, etc…no lowbie stuff here, this was the primo, using charges from your grandmaster sewing kit kind of gear.

We talked among ourselves to determine who had the perfect house and perfect location for the auction to be located at.  We settled on my plot that was a 16×16 – 3 story plot, that was right next to the Britannia moongate.  We deconstructed my house that I had built already so that I could customize it to be the most efficient set up for the auction.

The first time we got ready to do the auction we sent runners to all the cities with a 10 minute time limit to get to the bank area or where ever people were gathered and start announcing the auctions and the time/place over the in-game chat to groups of people in their areas.  They each then timed out 30 minutes that they made this announcement.  After this time they were to come back to assist with the auction or to just mill around the area to make the place look happening and lively.

After about 30 minutes the auction would start giving people time to bank and store gear and bring their gold, and travel to the auction site.  The appointed auctioneer would take his place on the podium and welcome the guests and begin the auction.

As the items were being auctioned the owner of the home plot that had all the permission settings for the home would take the items out of his bag or nearby chest and lock them down on the counter next to the auctioneer so that the attendees could mouse over the items and see what they were and their stats to help them decide if they wanted to bid on the item or not.

In true auction form via the in-game speech bubbles the auctions were done one by one until all 15 items we had chosen to auction were sold.  The buyers could then go to the house owner after the auction and via the in-game trade window make the swap, gold for item.

The player doing the buying got the fun of attending an in-game event, they got a very nice item for what ever deal they might have gotten, in the end crafting helped that person to have a fun time using the mechanics available.

Me as a crafter I got the pleasure of interacting with others, showing off my skill as a tailor, meeting people who later came to be guildmates, feeling like I was needed for my skills, and also I got to make quite a bit of coin in a way that was way more fun than standing at a town bank area and spamming….

“LRC chest piece, 25% LRC bonus—-> 25k gold”

My suggestion is to use your skill as a crafter and the available in-game mechanics to come up with ways that you can turn crafting into an event for other people, creating more fun for you and others in SWTOR.

Some other ideas of things that could be turned into a crafting event for guildmates or people in the game space:

“free repairs night” where crafters of a guild would gather and offer free repairs for others of their items if the in-game mechanics caused item degradation, and if the crafter had the ability via the crafting skill to make repairs on items.

“group harvesting night” if there is a resource in-game that is hard to come by and is desperately needed by the guild crafters then gather your guildmates and make an outing of a group gather for that particular resource.

“guildmate lotto” if the armor in the game can be made in “sets” pick a guildmate via lotto of some sort to be geared up.  Have crafters of respective crafting skills, make that certain guildmate the best gear they can make all at once in a group effort to provide that guildmate with a “set” or the best the guild crafters can provide for armor and weapons or other items.

I am sure that with some thought you could come up with many more ideas, these are just some of the options we have when trying to make crafting in SWTOR more fun!

Thanks for reading!


About swtorcrafter
About the author (using the term loosely) swtorcrafter is a crafter at heart, dating back to the start of the Ultima Online beta. It was there that he developed his love of massively multiplayer online game crafting systems and economies in online games. It was there that he was first introduced to what it was like to actually play online with other people. It was a grand six years. The longest he has been in any one MMO since. He has searched countless realms since trying to recapture that feeling, sometimes finding satisfaction, sometimes not. Now as he grows older he decides it is time to go all in, one last bold attempt at finding that perfect anvil, the crafting system of his dreams. Enter stage right..... Star Wars The Old Republic MMO by Bioware *Fingers crossed*

4 Responses to Making crafting more fun in SWTOR, Star Wars The Old Republic MMO

  1. Daelda says:

    Good posts! I like reading your updates and ideas. I am really looking forward to crafting in SW:TOR – especially if the crafting is as deep and “exclusive” as it seems like it might be. Sure, it may be simple to do, aka WoW mechanics – but if I can be one of only a handful of dedicated Crafters capable of crafting “X” item…that will make all the time and effort I put into my crafting well worth it!

    I am one of those semi-fortunate individuals in that I have a combination of factors working for me when it comes to playing an MMO and crafting – I am slightly OCD, I am a Completionist, and I can play for pretty much as long as I want each day (as long as I don’t neglect my ferrets or my wife). I am also an Alt-O-Holic and with the Crew Skills system BioWare has shown, I just may be able to become a Master Crafter.

    • swtorcrafter says:

      Thank you Daelda your opinion means a lot to me as I know you to be someone who is truly interested in the crew skills system. I am looking forward to the exclusivity of the rare schematics for sure, that is going to be one way that I totally can feel unique as a master crafter.

      I am anxiously awaiting that news from bioware on the question of if whether each character on a account can learn a separate crafting skill. Also whether we can have access to all of their offline crew skills queues or if they will restrict it to one character per account when setting offline crew skills queues.

      I share a lot of the same personality qualities as you, except for the ferrets, i bet those are fun indeed. 🙂

      • Daelda says:

        With all the emphasis BioWare has placed on rolling and playing alts, it would seem to be a contradiction to me if you were unable to have each alt learn a different crafting skill or if they restricted crafting to only one character per account. Wouldn’t BioWare be sending mixed signals? Right now they are saying you don’t have to delete your original character just to play an alt. But if only one character can craft, they are saying, “Oh, ya, you can keep that high level character…but this new one…if you want him to craft…he’s gonna really suck at it for quite a while and your original character can’t do any crafting in the meantime. Sorry.” That right there would stop truly dedicated Crafters from playing alts – unless they bought a separate account for each alt. And let’s not even think down those lines. EVE Online isn’t about playing alts with different storylines. TOR is.

        My question is: Will the crafting be linked to your character’s level – like in WoW (you can only go to “x” skill level until you level up your character), or will it be more like in LotRO where there are quests at certain levels, but friends can assist low-level characters to pass them. I suspect that it will be the WoW version, if nothing else because it promotes the requirement of leveling multiple alts to gain the benefit of multiple crafting characters.

        Also, remember that just because you have 8 level 10 characters, that does not mean that all 8 are working that well as Crafters. To maximize crafting efficiency, each character needs at least 5 Companions. I am highly doubtful that a full 5 Companions will be available at level 10. Perhaps by level 20 or 30 possibly. Finally, your Companions’ efficiency will be modified by your Relationship with that Companion. To raise this Relationship, a player will have to interact with the Companion, go on Companion Quests, etc. This will all take time to do. Thus, even getting a dedicated group of 8 alts, with a full compliment of 5 Companions, all with relatively high Relationship values will take a massive effort on the part of the Crafter Player.

        Finally, let’s look at the daily time invested, assuming that we have 8 Character Slots, and that a player manages to fill those slots with full-time crafting character – complete with at least 5 Companions, all with relatively high Relationship values. Now, BioWare has stated that Crafting Assignments can be set for anywhere from 5 minutes to 23 hours. So, this player sets all of his Crafters for 23 hour Crafting Assignments. How long does this take to do? Let’s say it takes 10 minutes to log in to the character, look at the materials the character has, what Recipes that character has available, decide on a Recipe, set the Crafting Order and then log back out of the character. Now, that is for ONE character. This player has 8. So, each day (or, for the truly dedicated, every 23 hours), this player spends 80 minutes of their day just assigning Crafting orders. Let’s add in an extra 10 minutes for general Guild chatter, mailing materials from one alt to another, and other random factors. Now we have a total of 90 minutes – that’s 1.5 HOURS! And this person hasn’t even done any of the other aspects of playing an MMO yet! Nor has the person put anything up for sale on the Auction House!

        Now, being a Dedicated Crafter, this player will want to sell his Wares on the Auction House – as well as monitor it for good deals on supplies. Let’s give that person an average of 1 hour each day to do so for all 8 characters. So, we have someone dedicating 2.5 hours PER DAY, just to manage their Crafting. How many players are going to do that? Sure, many might start something like that, but will they stick to it? Or will they get tired of the micro-managing and go back to slaughtering whatever enemies are around?

        I can see a lot of dabblers in such a system. I can even see a decent amount of semi-hardcore Crafters in such a system. But 3, 6 or 12 months in, only the most dedicated, hardcore Crafters, with plenty of time and perhaps a little less sanity than most, will actually stick it out and fully utilize such a system.

      • swtorcrafter says:

        I am suspecting that they will allow you to have alts that can each have a different crafting skill and like you said there focus seems to be on re-rolling so I would almost bet for sure they will allow it. The thing I am hoping is that they wont restrict the offline crew skills queue to just one character at a time only allowing you to queue crew skills tasks to just one character.

        When you break it down like you did about the time involved to manage 8 characters and the different skills like you have it sounds totally daunting and intimidating. I am like you though in that I have the drive to push this system to the limits, I also can mess with SWTOR at home and work so I envision me having lots of time to try to figure out a efficient and effective rotation. If certain points like the non-limiting of the offline crew skills queue work in our favor I will be absorbed by figuring this out.

        I agree with you and I think the system might also work in the dedicated crafters favor as well because for some that aren’t as dedicated it might intimidate them to the point that they can only focus on one crafting skill at a time, opening up the field for the truly dedicated.

        I agree with you and I suspect it will be tied to a crafters level more so because like you mentioned the companions, who knows how long it will be before we can even get a full compliment of 5? Maybe by level 15 or 20 or maybe even higher. Trying to think about doing that for 8 accounts is mind boggling. That is one of the areas that I plan to watch very closely is where do the companions join you and in what quests are required to get them.

        Factor in their loyalty ratings which will give bonuses to crafting “crits” and completion times, and special companions that have inherent bonuses to certain things like vette with treasure hunting and WOW this system is astounding!

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