Thursday, December 15, 2011

Discovering SWTOR

Day 3 of my early access to Star Wars: The Old Republic, and besides leveling up to 13 I made some progress in discovering the less obvious features of the game. Less obvious as in "it doesn't work like that in WoW". One of these features are the datacrons, like cube-like objects found in remote areas everywhere. There are 3 of them on each starting planet. Finding them rewards you with a permanent stat boost, like "+2 aim". It is nice to get a reward for exploring, although of course you can also just look up the locations.

I also discovered a lot about how crafting works. Counter-intuitively you can (and should) reverse engineer items you crafted yourself, using the button on top of your inventory window. Reverse engineering your crafted green items gives you a chance to get the schematic for a blue item, which then reverse engineer into purple items. At that point it becomes clear why you need 2 specific gathering skills for each crafting skill: For example for Biochem you need Bioanalysis to gather the regular components that make green items, while you need Diplomacy to gather the blue and purple components to make blue and purple items. I was quite pleased with myself when I was able to craft a purple medpack. It heals for the same amount as the green version, but doesn't get used up in the process, very useful.

My crafting made a lot of progress in Coruscant, because there are a surprising number of potted plants you can gather with Bioanalysis in the areas of the city where you fight mobs. I got Biochem up to over 60, which then opened up a lot more crafting recipes from the crew skill trainer. Biochem is essentially alchemy, so besides healing "potions" I can craft buffs that last for an hour. I can now also craft adrenals which give a big stat boost for 15 seconds, but I'm not quite convinced yet that these are really useful. If a fight is over in 15 seconds you probably didn't need a boost in the first place. Maybe I can get longer lasting ones through reverse engineering.

You might have noticed that I am *not* looking up the recipes in some database on the internet somewhere. That is deliberate. I think I will have more fun if I discover the recipes for myself, even if that is not the most efficient way. I always found that the discovery is more fun than the execution, but that is for everybody to decide for himself.

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