Ok, first off, I love the game and nope I’m not rage quitting. But there is a problem that I have with the Post 3.2 changes when it comes to item modification. IT’S DESTROYING THE CRAFTER’S MODIFICATION MARKET ! How so do you ask? Well, here is the deal, end game crafted modifications really aren’t that useful past lv 50 unless you are trying to squeeze and extra point here and there when min/maxing the modifications. The mid-level and low level market for modifications used to be somewhat lucrative, especially for Ear pieces and implants. Patch 3.2 lowered the commendation costs by half for all Mods at the various modification vendors. This really destroys the need for Cybernetics/Barrel Modifications/Enhancements at the low to mid-level range. At LV 50, it’s very easy to get (140) modifications for a complete armor set at an approximate cost of I think 200 or so Basic Commendations. Those modifications will last you easily to Lv 55 and with a little diligence you’ll do the same for Basic Lv 50 Modifications. Where then is the need for Cybernetics/Barrels/Enhancements?
Now Artifice still has a niche for the Implants and I think Relics. But seriously, even if all of the end game mods are useful, the whole crafting process has been thrown on its heels due to the Commendation drop in cost. This isn’t very good trade and commerce practice. In the current state, player made crafted items are decreasing in value and therefore decreases the actual need to gather/craft items. It also hurts the raw material/components trade. What is left for crafters? Well, Orange/Purple Custom gear is one outlet especially now that the Appearance designer has been implemented. I do like the designer implementation and think that it does open up a new market, especially as we start seeing more showcases on the net of creative outfit designs. But this still doesn’t address the core issue of crafting in the game as a whole.
On Ebon Hawk, even a DPS character starting at LV 15 can get between 20-30 Basic Commendations per day by doing a daily KDY run and 1 instance. What this equates to is using the Commendation Vendors twice per 10 levels to completely outfit a full set of modable gear. Done this way, your character/avatar is really set all the way to Lv 50. You no longer need to seek out crafters with the exception of perhaps Ear pieces / Implants / Relics.
So what is the solution? There really isn’t one unless Bio Ware changed a few things dealing with crafting. One would be increase the Vendor mods back to previous prices which would help make crafted items more competitive or attractive to buy. The other is to make crafted item stats more valuable than that of the Vendor Commendation market. Of course you can re-engineer greens to blue and blue to purple. The problem with purples is the amount of re-engineering required to obtain the purple modification and then even worse the no fragging kidding amount of time/cost requirements of finding the purple rare mats to craft the modifications in question. Can it be done? Yes. But the time and cost involved makes it somewhat prohibitive. To counter this, make the crafted blue modifications a little bit better than the vendor commendations and the rares to be equivalent to at least 2 levels higher with specific tertiary stats included (alacrity/accuracy/critical/power etc). This would motivate the crafter to try for said materials and creates a demand in the market for them. The other is to make it easier to find crafting schematics for interesting customizable gear that can be worn for appearance or for modification.
Finally, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF THE FORCE, take gold spammers seriously out of the picture! It’s obvious that because the game can be free to play, gold spammers are rampant. There isn’t an easy solution to this either. I offer two possibilities here. The first is to make earning credits at low levels a lot easier to obtain or at least more lucrative by increasing quest completion credit value. The other method is trading in commendations for credits. Something like this was done on EQ2. There, with so many tokens you can by a bag of platinum coins or other little niceties. Use commendations to do the same in this game. Either of these may bring about price inflation of Cartel bought items that get resold on the open market. But with the advent of the Outfit Designer, Cartel prices are starting to drop on the GTN. I’ve already seen it over the last few days. I’ve also seen green items that look cool get serious resell value.
Ok, I’ve expressed my concerns here. I don’t want my readers discouraged or thinking I hate the game. Point in fact, I love SWTOR and it’s beautiful story telling as well as it’s epic scope. Point in fact I’ve gotten Damios up to Lv 55, attended 2 OPS and am going strong. I’ll write more about his exploits on Makeb and then his current adventures on Rishi. Why Rishi? Because that place kicks ass! The pirate’s haven central and I do love the area. So far, it has to be one of my favorite places to adventure.