Trade Wars
26Jan/126

Companion Bonuses

The 40 companions all bring something extra to the crew skills. Everyone has a two bonuses that apply to two crew skills. Every companion has it's own unique bonuses which gives each class different options.

There are two types of bonuses; Efficiency and Critical.

Efficiency

This bonus affects the time it takes to complete a task. It might seem nice to be able to craft items or gather mats faster, but in reality this does not increase the profitability in any way, unless you are online 24/7 and assign tasks to companions as soon as they become available.

Critical

The critical bonus increases the chance of the task to have a higher yield. For mission tasks this will award artifact materials, schematics or gifts. For gathering skills it will simply add more materials. Most crafting skills will add an augmentation slot to the crafted item, with Biochem being the exception as stims, medpacks, and adrenals cannot have such slots. Instead a critical craft of these items will yield an extra item. Implants will still get augmentation slots.

The critical bonus is more profitable than the efficiency, so try to aim for crew skills with those bonuses to your class when selecting skills. The below table shows the distribution of bonuses. For each of the two types there are 3 tiers. For efficiency the tiers are +5, +10, +15 and for critical they are +1, +2 , +5. Always try to go for the highest critical bonus if possible.

Republic vs Empire

If you were to have one of each four classes for each faction how would you select your crew skills based on profitability? It is hard to determine what is most profitable from server to server but here is the selection I would do if we assume all servers are the same.

Republic

  • Jedi Knight: Biochem**, Slicing, Treasure Hunting (+8 crit)
  • Jedi Consular: Scavenging++, Diplomacy+, Underworld Trading+ (+5 crit)
  • Trooper: Armormech**, Scavenging++, Diplomacy+ (+12 crit)
  • Smuggler: Armstech**, Bioanalysis+, Investigation+ (+9 crit)

Empire

  • Sith Warrior: Synthweaving**, Bioanalysis+, Treasure Hunting (+12 crit)
  • Sith Inquistitor: Archaeology+, Scavenging+, Underworld Trading++ (+9 crit)
  • Bounty Hunter: Biochem**, Bioanalysis+, Treasure Hunting (+6 crit)
  • Imperial Agent: Armormech**, Diplomacy+, Underworld Trading++ (+9 crit)

*: Supported by one other crew skill **: Supported by two other crew skills +: Supports one crafting skill ++: Supports two crafting skills

It is clear The Republic has a lot more synergy in crew skills between classes if you look at critical only and favors crafting skills whereas The Empire favors mission skills. You could even change out Bioanalysis for the Sith Warrior and go with Investigation to diversify.

It is also worth noting companion affection impacts Efficiency and Critical as well as task yield/success so make sure to max their affection. This is also why you should avoid using the droid you get with your ship on mission tasks at all if possible, as it does not have any affection and will have a higher failure rate than your other regular companions.

25Jan/120

How GTN Works

Lets get one thing out of the way first: The Global Trade Network is not an auction house. It's a place you put your items for sale at a fixed price alongside everyone else's items. There is no minimum bid, only a sell price.

The search function is atrocious. In order to search for items you first need to specify a category and in most cases the subcategory as well. That will give you a list of items you can then filter by name. You also have the option of selecting the quality or level range and if the items are usable by you or any of your companions. The last option only applies to armor class and level as the GTN requires you to specify the armor class before searching the function is rather useless. For instance if you search for color crystals that is usable by you only it will still show crystals you cannot use due to force alignment. Also items are grey'ed out if you cannot use them.

The item list that you are provided with is sorted by stack price (if item is stackable), lowest to highest, by default. You cannot sort by single item price and to get it you will have to hover the mouse over the total price to see it.

Enough ranting about the search function. Now I need to rant on the sell function.

As mentioned above you are only able to put in a sale price when posting items. The GTN will also will in a default sell price for you. Always change that value. You have the option of putting your item for sale for 4  different time periods: 6 hours, 12 hours, 1 day, and 2 days. The deposit you will have to pay depends on the length of the "auction".

GTN Deposit

  • 6 hours - 5% of sell price
  • 12 hours - 10% of sell price
  • 24 hours - 13% of sell price
  • 48 hours - 15% of sell price

You will get your deposit back with the item when the auction expires or with the credits when it sells. The only time you will lose your deposit is when you cancel the auction. When an item is sold the GTN takes a 3% cut of the sale, but because you also get the deposit back the credits you can pick up from you mailbox is always greater than the sale, so you hardly notice the 3% cut.

Speaking of mails from the GTN. Whenever you sell an item you will get a mail instantly informing you about the sale and letting you know that in an hour you will receive the credits. If you do not check your mailbox before the credits arrive this mail will luckily vanish. The mailbox will also allow you to get attachments and credits from all mails with two simple clicks which makes the process nice and easy. The only gripe I have is the "get all attachments" button is right next to the "delete mail" button. One could easily press the wrong one if not careful.

So these are the basics of how the GTN works. Later I will discuss how we can use this to give ourselves a competitive edge when selling items.

 

22Jan/124

A Closer Look At Gear

As with any gear in the game their stats are tailored to fit a class/role combination. There are a total of 10 basic gear types which match the 10 class/role combinations. Here is a listing specific for Biochem and implants. Other crafting skill will have a similar structure but different names.

It is important to know which roles use which kind of gear as it impacts the demand and you also need to know which stats will likely be useless for at specific class/role combo. As Accuracy is not used by healers, any Resolve, Rejuvenation or Cardio gear with a Accuracy prefix (see How Reverse Engineering Works for info on stat relations to prefix) will be less effective as one with Alacrity. Even though you do not have to known the preferred stats for all class/role combos to play your own character, you still need to know the rest in order to have an idea of the demand of certain items.

Below I have color-coded the optimal stats distribution green, lesser but still viable options yellow, and everything that does not fit the specific class/role red. Please comment if you think I have miss-colored anything.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

This brings us from 140 to 50 potential profitable items and gives a more focused approach to data gathering and crafting selections.

20Jan/120

How Reverse Engineering Works

There are a few ways to get higher quality schematics, but I will focus on the most common (and easiest one): Reverse Engineering. The basics of reverse engineering(RE from now on) is that you dismantle an item to learn how to make a better version of it and in the process you get some of the materials back. Sounds easy right?

For the most parts that is how it's done. When it comes to gear there are different improvements you learn through RE. For instance will RE of a green item have a chance of granting one of 3 types of schematics. Those types dictate what stat is added to the item. The 3 types are recognized by the prefix given to them:

  • Critical
  • Overkill
  • Redoubt

Critical will increase the Critical Rating, Overkill will increase the Power and Redoubt will increase the Defense Rating. How much of an increase depends on the level of the schematic learned. For instance will implants for level 50 players grant +35 to the bonus stat.

These 3 blue schematics have a chance to grant a purple schematic when RE'd and again a stat will be added. For the same implants as above the initial bonus stat will be increased by +5 and a new bonus stat is also added with an +40 increase. The 5 new stats to be added to a purple schematic are:

  • Accuracy
  • Alacrity
  • Presence
  • Surge
  • Shield Rating

The only exception is Redoubt items which for some reason will not grant any schematics with Alacrity. This gives a total of 3 blue and 14 purple schematics from just one green schematic. On top of that there are 10 different implants at skill level 380 and above which are available from the trainer. That's a total of 180 items to potentially craft and sell just for level 50 players.

In order to tell the 14 purple schematics apart they all have a certain prefix based on the two bonus stats. The blue prefix is removed and replace by one of 14 new prefixes. Here is a view of those:

Some of these are more useful than others and in a later post I will go over which ones might be profitable.

19Jan/126

Level 400 Biochem – Now What?

If you haven't yet visited the crew skill trainer head over there and pick up all non-purple schematics. If you want to save some coin you can go for the top level schematics only which are the ones that require skill 380 and above. Unless you have a specific use for a Rakata schematic they are just a waste of money.

Now you need to study the market. This part of the process is by far the most time-consuming at the moment. Without add-ons or other tools to help you gather the data you need, you basically have to resort to pen and paper. On the surface this doesn't look to difficult, but then you realize that one green implant can turn into 3 blue implants and those 3 blue can turn into 14 purple, then it can be quite a task to keep track of up to 10 different green implants and their improved versions.

In order to keep track of the prices of mats and items I created a spreadsheet to hold some of the data needed. Let me go through how it works.

First you need to fill in the market value of the different crafting materials on the Materials sheet. The vendor mats are fixed on all servers so they are pre-filled. At the moment only Grade 5 & 6 materials are implemented in the sheet so don't bother with any of the others.

On the other sheets you fill in the market value (price) of the items on the GTN. In the example below you can see the data for the top level Reaction implant. The ones not filled are situations where there is no items posted on the GTN. This is obviously an opportunity if there is a demand for the item. I will cover which prefixes are most likely to be in demand and which ones to stay away from in a later post.

Another feature of the spreadsheet is being able to add your own schematics without having to deal with formulas and calculations. On the Adrenals & Stims sheet there is a custom section where any schematic can be added. The only restriction is the schematic can only use grade 5 or 6 materials. Just put in the amount of materials used by the schematic in grid to the right and the market value and you will know if there is a profit to be made from crafting the item.

Feel free to leave suggestions or feedback to the file in the comments below. You can also email me. My email is in the file as well.

18Jan/122

What Crew Skill Is Best For My Class?

So you have started a new character and are looking for the best crew skills to go with that class. Unless you are a tank and are planning on min-maxing end-game PvP or PvE it doesn't really matter. The goal here is to make a profit, not select what fits your class best. There are a number of things you need to look at when deciding what is best for you. Most of these factors are dependent on the server you are on so I cannot say one way or the other. Here are what you should be looking at:

  • Which crew skills are underused?
  • Which markets can I penetrate?
  • What are material prices like?

The most obvious factor is how many are using their crew skill to make credits. Chances are there are plenty of players with Biochem. This opens up for lesser used skills where the competition might not be as fierce.

Check out the different categories on the trade network. There might already be people that have cornered the market on specific items or even whole crew skills. Is it worth it going up against those players?

You might very well decide not to be a crafter but a gatherer. There are plenty of credits to be made supplying materials, schematics and other goods to other traders. If material prices are high there is usually not a huge profit to be made or the risk you will have to take is too overwhelming when starting out with a limited bank roll. An easy way to make a living is to have only gathering or mission skills.

Here is a look at how the different skills are connected.

 

17Jan/120

A Starting Point

Welcome to Trade Wars.

Even though I aim to explore all crew skills in the game, I will have to focus on a few to begin with. The most interesting crafting skill, with the most potential to me initially was Biochem with the support of Bioanalysis and Diplomacy as the corresponding gathering and mission skill. As my main is a tank the prospect of better than average med packs, stims and adrenals and the possibility of reusable consumables, it was an easy choice.

Being level 50 I have maxed all 3 skills to 400 and are now in the process of gathering information on the most profitable way to use Biochem and it's supporting skills. At the moment Implants seems to be the only profitable option other than selling materials gained from Bioanalysis and Diplomacy. So the strategy at the moment is to focus on Implants and go for the high level market. This area is large enough as there currently are 10 different Premium (green) schematics, which are all trainable from the skill trainer. These lead to 30 different Prototype (blue) schematics through reverse engineering, which again lead to 140 Artifact (purple) schematics. So a total of 180 different items to learn, craft and sell - and that's not even counting the critical crafts with augmentation slots.

I am also leveling an alt with Synthweaving, Archaeology and Underworld Trading. I am not at a stage where I can give any sound advise so I will continue to explore that avenue at a later time. I will try to learn as many crew skills as possible, but the game is still young and I do not want to spread my efforts too thin this early.

It is evident that a lot of work lies ahead and I will try to keep track of my endeavors on this site. Please subscribe and check back regularly for updates.