Player VS SWTOR: A guide for Warcraft players (Part 2)

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Welcome to the second installment of our introductory guide to Star Wars: The Old Republic. In case you missed us yesterday we covered factions, dark/light side points, classes, advanced classes and species.

If you missed it and still deciding what kind of character to pick, be sure to jump back and check it out. Today, we’re going to go over:

  • Gearing
    – Armor
    – Stats
  • Companions
  • Crew Skills

Gearing
As much fun as running around nude may be, it’s not going to get you too far. Gearing up, SWTOR follows a fairly standard item rarity/quality color system. Cheap, Standard (white), Premium, Prototype, Artifact and Custom.

Custom items (also known as social items) are not superior to Artifact, as they have no base stats. However, they have many open sockets to allow you to put custom stats on and upgrade as you progress. This allows you to look a specific way if you find that piece you like. This works similar to gemming in WoW, if you get to gem for each type of stat individually.

Armor
Depending on class and role determines what type of armor you have. There is light, medium and heavy armor; just like cloth, leather, mail and plate. Fairly straight forward. There are more item slots to put stuff in though, with the inclusion of ear pieces and implants.

Stats
Like Warcraft, there are primary and secondary stats. Depending on which role you play, will depend on what stat you’ll want to equip. Most secondary stats won’t make a big difference at lower levels. Later on, chances are the secondary stats you need will come paired with the primary ones anyway. There is also a larger variety of stats with SWTOR versus WoW, and it can be overwhelming at first. Remember to check back here if you ever get lost.

Primary Stats
Aim: Increases ranged damage, and increases chance of critical hit. Used by Bounty Hunters and Troopers. Similar to Agility for Hunters.
Cunning: Increases ranged damaged, ranged critical chance, your tech damage and your tech critical chance. Used by Smugglers and Imperial Agents.
Endurance: Increases health, and health regeneration rate. Similar to stamina.
Expertise: Increases your healing and damage in PVP, as well as reduces damage from other players.
Presence: Increases your companion’s strength, health and healing.
Strength: Increases melee damage and melee critical hit chance. Used by Jedi Knight and Sith Warrior.
Willpower: Increases the damage and healing from force abilities. Used by Jedi Counselors and Sith Inquisitors.

Secondary Stats
Absorption Rating: Increases the amount of damage your shield can take.
Accuracy: Increases the chance to hit the enemy. If over 100%, reduces the enemy’s block/parry/dodge. Similar to Hit.
Alacrity: Lowers cast time of abilities. Similar to Haste.
Crit Rating: Increases chance of a critical hit causing critical damage. By default, Critical damage does 50% more damage.
Defense Rating: Increases parry, dodge and block.
Power: Increases damage and healing, regardless of type.
Shield Rating: Increases the likelihood of your shield taking the hit, instead of you.
Surge: Increases damage done when you cast a critical hit, on top of the 50%.

Companions
Regardless of which class you choose to play, you get a companion by the time you finish questing on your first planet. Companions fight along side you and count as a player in groups when it’s not filled by real people. Unlike pets in WoW, you gear up your companion just as you would if you had a second toon. As you progress you’ll acquire more companions to choose from, each filling a different role within your party (tank, DPS, healer).

Aside from just fighting with your new companion, you can also give them gifts. This will raise their affection to you, which can lead to more quests and plot twists down the road. Affection can also be gained/lost by the decisions you make when interacting with NPCs. If you do something they agree with, you may get more affection; or lose it if they disagree with your decision. It’s important to note that this isn’t based on light side/dark side decisions, but more based on each companion’s personality type.

Crew Skills
Crew skills are your professions in SWTOR. These can make you a ton of cash, or cost you a lot of cash. Unlike in WoW, your character isn’t the one doing the crafting. Instead, you get your companions to do it. Crew skills can be completed by any of your companions, however some will have character bonuses to allow them to do certain tasks quicker.

Crew Skills Chart There are two types of crew skills: Crafting and Gathering/Missions. You are able to learn one crafting, and two gathering skills. For most of the crafting professions, there are gathering professions you can choose to get all the mats to complete the crafting (without needing to farm anything). To the left is a helpful little chart from swtorcrewskills.com that shows what crew skills go best together; as well as what classes can make the best use out of the skill.

Since your companions are the ones doing all the work, you get to send them off to make or gather stuff. Depending on what level item it is and their skill, this can take a few minutes to a few hours. For gather/missions, there will be a small fee and usually take quite awhile for them to get back. It’s usually best not to send the companion you’re currently fighting with in these cases. A good thing to remember for crafting skills is that the materials don’t need to be on your person, your companion is able to use items from your cargo hold to craft.

Crew Skill Makes WoW Counterpart
Armormech Medium/Heavy non-force armor Blacksmith
Armstech Guns and melee weapons Blacksmith/Engineering
Artice Lightsaber parts, enhancements, off-hand items Inscription/Enchanting
Biochem Implants, stims, med kits, adrenals First Aid
Cybertech Armoring, mods, gadgets, speeders, ship parts, bombs, ear pieces, droid parts Engineering
Synthweaving Light/Medium/Heavy force armor Tailor

Classes can also reverse engineer items they make (like disenchanting). Doing this they get a few of the mats back that were used to make the item, and also have a chance of learning a new schematic.

That’s the basics for today’s subjects. We’ll go into some more details on specific items we’ve discussed in future posts. Join us in Part Three where we cover:

  • Leveling/Questing
    – Heroics
    – Legacy
    – Transportation
  • Flash Points / Ops
  • Warzones / PVP
    – Warzones
    – World PVP
    – Valor Points
  • Social
    – Grouping
    – Guilds
    – Social Points

Until then, may the force me with you!

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