That's right folks, this morning I got an invite to the SWTOR (Star Wars: The Old Republic) Weekend Beta! I'm pretty darn excited, not because I love Star Wars but because I'll be able to bring you the scoop on crafting in a new and highly anticipated game =) I'm not sure how much information I can actually share while I'm testing, from what I'm reading the NDA is still in effect. If I'm not able to publish right away, I can still compile the information for you and have it ready to roll when the NDA drops or when SWTOR launches next month.
Since I'm not a huge Star Wars nut (I like SW but I'm not a weirdo about it) I thought I'd give you the opportunity to weigh in on how best to tackle the beast. I know that a lot of players are looking to roll a Jedi or a Sith. I currently don't have a preference on this. Normally when I try a new game, I roll a healer or healer-hybrid if they have one (like a druid). If that's not a viable option (say the healer class is a weak solo class) I will often take a pet class like a hunter. And sometimes I roll a rogue or similar stealth/melee class just because I like being sneaky. Now how any of this translates to SWTOR, I have no idea. But I'm open to suggestions since I'm sure some of you have endlessly researched the various classes being offered in SWTOR. From reading the overview information on the official site, I'm toying with the Jedi Consular (Sage) or the Smuggler (Scoundrel).
My main focus will not be the leveling game, so bear that in mind. Especially given the very short testing window I have, I'll only level as much as I have to in order to unlock crafting content. Usually in a test environment I take a gathering skill and a manufacturing skill, so I can be self-sufficient. Often trial accounts are locked out of mail and auction facilities, so autonomy is important. However, I see that the gathering skills in SWTOR are a bit unusual, there's only one that looks to be comparable to WoW's traditional gathering skills. If I take "Bioanalysis" I can collect genetic materials from creatures and plants. Otherwise they have Archaeology, Scavenging, and Slicing, which all appear to be variants on the scavenging concept.
For a Primary profession, my usual tactic is to take an armor skill that my chosen character can benefit from or weaponry. In SWTOR they seem to have two different armor skills (Armormech for heavy armor and Synthweaving for light armor), a gadgetry skill (Cybertech), an alchemy skill (Biochem). a weaponry skill (Armstech). and a jewelry(?) skill (Artifice). For a bit more detail on these options, you can read through the Crew Skills page, but there's not much detail here. I will pick up as many tradeskills as I can, and if what I'm hearing about the companion system pans out, that could be pretty extensive. We'll have to see how far I can get in two days.
I should also mention that I made a point to try out the old Star Wars Galaxies over the summer. I didn't play this game in its heyday, but after hearing that the servers were being shut down for good, I signed up for a trial to check it out. There was a lot to like about crafting in SWG despite the overall game feeling very dated. I loved that there were so many resources out there and no nodes for other players to steal. By letting players use a harvester object, we had a lot more control over the gathering process and no room for griefing. Also, they had dyes built right into the creation interface. Even as a lowbie, making lowbie crap, I was able to sell a good number of my wares because I would make each item in a variety of colors. This is a huge perk to those of us who love to craft. I didn't get to fully explore the crafting system as much as I would have liked, but I got just enough of a taste to have high expectations for SWTOR.
So feel free to chime in on which professions you'd like to know more about and any other crafting related questions you have. I'll do my best to tackle as much as I can during this Beta weekend. Just a reminder, even if I don't post right away it doesn't mean I'm not working on it!