The professions in Star Wars the Old Republic are fun to do and the execution of leveling them is quite impressive. For me this is the first time in a MMO that I have played where my companions level my professions for me, yes you read that right, my companions level my professions. However, I am getting a bit ahead of myself so let’s start with the available professions, how they work together and then we will discuss the joys of delegation leveling.
The professions in SWTOR can be broken down into three categories, crafting skills, gathering skills, and mission skills. They all are intertwined together and some of them depend on each other to help you level. Let’s first take a look at the skills and what they do.
Crafting Skills: These involve using the raw resources gathered to create many different items. These skills enable the character to construct armor, weapons, implants as well as other types of useful items and gear. Some Crafting Skills offer the benefit of an option call Reverse Engineering. This allows the crafter to break down the item made to get either materials or schematics for better items. Below are the kinds of crafting skills you can learn:
Gathering Skills: These involve collecting raw materials for use with Crafting Skills. Below are the kinds of gathering skills you can learn:
Bioanalysis – This involves collecting genetic material samples from creatures and plants. Bioanalysis can also be used on plants, and sometimes on creatures you have killed and looted. These will display on your minimap as stars.
Scavenging – This involves the art of recovering useful materials from parts of old or damaged technology. Scavenging can also be used on droids you have killed and looted. These will display on your minimap as stars.
Mission Skills: These skills are used to send your companion characters on various missions to recover information, hunt down loot, or complete other goals to bring you rewards that can be used to craft blue items or they can also bring you different levels of companion gifts. Below are the kinds of mission skills you can learn:
Diplomacy – It involves the art of conducting and managing negotiations. Diplomacy missions can be used to gain either Medical Supplies or Companion Gifts, they also come with additional dark-side or light-side points depending upon the mission (this is a great way to get dark-side points fast if you want to spend the credits).
Treasure Hunting – It involves the art of tracking down and recovering valuable items through the investigation of various clues. Some say that Treasure Hunting will be one of the few ways players can obtain rare crafting recipes. Treasure Hunting can be used to gain Lockboxes, Gemstones and Companion Gifts.
Now that we covered the skills you can learn, let’s talk about how they interact with each other. You will want to pick three skills to have and level, and many of them help give you materials that you need to craft certain things for certain skills. However, please note that if you want three gathering skills, you can do that too! You don’t have to have a crafting, gathering and mission skill.
If you do chose to have one of each of the skills, here are some suggestions for skills to pick up that make great partners together:
Armormech is good to partner with Scavenging as a Gathering Skill since it will provide you with the metal you need to craft items. Underworld Trading is a good Mission Skill to pick with it since it will give you the Underworld Metals you need to craft items as well.
Armstech is good to partner with Scavenging as a Gathering Skill since it will provide you with the metal you need to craft items. Investigation is a good Mission Skill to pick with it since it will give you the Research Compounds you will need to craft items as well.
Artifice is good to partner with Archaeology as a Gathering Skill since it will provide you with Crystals and Fragments you will need to craft items. Treasure Hunting is a good Mission Skill to pick with it since it will give you the Gemstones you will need to craft items as well.
Biochem is good to partner with Bioanalysis as a Gathering Skill since it will provide you with Samples and Compounds you will need to craft items. Diplomacy is a good Mission Skill to pick with it since it will give you the Medical Supplies you will need to craft items as well.
Cybertech is a good partner with Savenging as a Gathering Skill since it will provide you with Scavenged Metals and Compounds you will need to craft items. Underworld Trading is a good Mission Skill to pick with it since it will give you the Underworld Metals you will need to craft items as well.
Synthweaving is a good partner with Archeology as a Gathering Skills since it will provide you with Crystals and Fragments you will need to craft items. Underworld Trading is a good Mission Skill to pick up with it since it will give you the Luxury Fabrics and Underworld Metals you will need to craft items as well.
Let’s Start Delegating!
Ok, so now you’ve got your crew skills picked out and your companion/s and you are standing around the Cantina wondering what next. Put down that drink and tell those companions to get to work!
When you click your Crew Skills Icon at the top of your screen on the option bar you will open a window that will show your Crew Skills, their level and you will see your companion/s icons as well. Next to your companion/s you will see an icon that represents your Crew Skills (see above icons for reference) that you chose to pick up.
Clicking on these icons will open up another window that will show you what your companion can craft, gather or a mission they can complete. You read that correctly, your companion can craft, gather and go on missions for you! Super neato right?
In fact, you never craft an item yourself, and usually unless your companion is not out or they are busy, you will never gather an item and you will never go on a mission. You delegate your companion/s to do these! Please note that you can only have up to 3 companions out on Crew Skills missions at a time.
Let’s go into more detail here just to be clear on how this all works together!
How to Craft an Item
Clicking on the Crafting Skills icon on your Crew Skills menu will show you what you can craft. Typically you want to craft the items that have an orange dot next to them to guarantee leveling; however crafting an item with a green dot next to it might also level you as well.
Once you find the item you want to craft and you have clicked on it, the right window will tell you the materials you need to craft the item. Hovering your mouse over each item tells you what it is exactly (Compound, Solution, Medical Supply, etc…), the level of the item and you can also see how many of the item you have as well as how much it takes to craft it. If you have all you need to craft the item click the craft button on the bottom right. You can click this button up to 5 times to have your companion craft the item 5 times.
Make sure you have the correct companion working on an item so you don’t send one out that you might need while you are working on your own missions. Another note to make is that certain companions bring certain buffs to specific crafting, gathering, and mission skills (this is shown in the Crafting Skills menu under the companion that you have selected at the bottom). It is suggested that for the best outcome use the companion you have that can bring buffs to it, however this is not necessary.
Gathering an Item
There are obvious ways to gather items, meaning you are out on missions and you see a star on your minimap and go over click it and your companion gathers it. However, let’s say you aren’t gathering enough or you just don’t want to pick up things around you, you can send your companion/s out to gather so you don’t have to get your hands dirty.
Clicking on the Gathering Skill icon in your Crew Skills menu, you will see missions your companion/s can do that will give you rewards. You can see the rewards you are given, as well as how long it will take your companion to complete the mission and the cost. Yes, I hate to use this example but “Time is Money Friend” and if you don’t want to gather, then you must pay others to gather for you. As your skill levels the time to complete missions and the cost of them goes up so pay attention to that and make sure you can afford a 30 minute mission for some materials.
Another nice feature here is let’s say you leveled your Gathering Skill faster than your Crafting and you need to get it caught up but don’t want to go back to past planets and run around gathering older materials. You can send your companion/s out to gather materials at different levels than the one you are currently at. So if you need a Level 1 Compound or Solution, you click on the Gathering Skill icon and notice a small drop down box on the top right. This changes the level of materials your companion/s gather so you can get older materials if you need to. This is EXTREMELY helpful if one Crew Skills gets ahead of another, your companion/s run around catching them up, not you.
As mentioned above in Crafting, some companions bring certain buffs to Gathering Skills; feel free to use those specific companions on your gathering missions; however it is not a must.
Mission Skills for Your Companion
The Mission Skills are very similar to the Gathering Skills in the way that you can send your companion/s out to do missions for items. Within the Mission Skills menu you can see the reward, the cost, the time it will take to complete, and if you have Diplomacy, if it will reward Light-side or Dark-side points. It also has the feature to allow you to change the level of the mission your companion/s are on in case you need a material that is lower than your current Mission Skill. Also, as mentioned above as your skill levels the time, and the cost of them continues to increase. Remember too that some companions bring certain buffs to Mission Skills, feel free to use those specific companions when working on your Missions; however it is not a must.
What all of this means is that while you are working on leveling you can have your companions out leveling your Crew Skills for you! You can even sit around the Cantina and have up to 3 of them running around crafting things, gathering or working on missions! Personally for me this was a welcomed change from my previous experience in leveling professions. Having this feature allowed myself and my husband to stay up to speed on all of our skills without back tracking and taking away from our pace of leveling and experiencing the game.
I hope that after reading all of this you have a better understanding of the Crew Skills in Star Wars the Old Republic. Being a new player to the game it took me a while to figure it all out and I’m sure I have missed some information. I hope this helps you pick a skill that you like and helps you level it as you enjoy the game. Have fun!