SWTOR From Scratch: Part Two

CHAPTER 2 – Starting Planets (Levels 1-10)

Levels 1 to 10 will take place on a ‘starter planet’ meaning everyone with your class starts on the same planet. Starter planets are not accessible by enemy players, so you will be safe from PvP here on all server types.

Starter planets are meant to show you the ropes of your class. The enemies are comparatively weak and non-aggressive(yellow names), so you will have time to react and learn which buttons and attacks do what. The most important thing you learn here is that you get to make decisions in quests, not just read what happens.

Some decisions you make have consequences regarding your Force alignment. Often during important story moments, your choice wheel will come up and have options for light side (white/blue) or dark side (red) choices for you to make. You may want to stick to one or the other for two reasons.  First, there is a vendor for each side on the fleet that sells special items based on your alignment. Second, there are  achievements for maxing out your alignment. If you choose differently each time, your choices will negate each other and your score will stay at 0. You will not be able to use either vendor. These items are not necessary to level, but they are helpful. The items are equal for both sides, so there is no statistical advantage to choosing one or the other.

When your inventory fills up while questing, you can ‘Sell Junk’ and ‘Repair All’ at the bottom of any vendor window.

**There is a light spoiler ahead if you have not finished your class quest on your starting planet.**

Level 10

Level 10 is your first major accomplishment. You have likely concluded your class story for that planet, met your first companion, and have been directed to the fleet. If you are not happy with your character choice, now is a good time to start over. In the grand scheme of things, you don’t have much invested at this point (Generally about 2 hours). The next few decisions however will shape your gameplay forever, and require more investment. Do not delete this character, you can still come back to it later. If you are happy, read on.

Your next stop is the fleet. The fleet is a big and busy place, and the central hub for activity on the server. Once you reach the fleet, you will be directed to choose your Advanced Class. This decision is important, and cannot ever be undone. Your earlier choice for class by combat style and role has to be narrowed down further. Here is a chart by advanced class showing your choices.

swtor advanced class description

 

If you want to choose your Advanced Class by weapons

 

swtor advanced classes by weapons

Once you choose your AC, read over all 3 skill trees and pick the one that sounds most interesting to you. Your skill tree choice can be reset, so don’t stress over the choice. Don’t worry about what Talent you pick here either, as you will only have 1 point to put in the skill tree so there won’t be much noticeable difference yet.

Crew Skills

Your next choice to make is crew skills. Crew skills are your crafting and gathering skills. I’ve listed the basics of each crew skill to help you decide:

  • Cybertech – Makes gadgets, ear pieces, armor & mods for gear, and special grenades.
  • Biochem – Stims, adrenals, and medpacks (consumables).
  • Armormech – Armor for Smugglers & Troopers
  • Armstech – Ranged Weapons, non-Force melee weapons.
  • Synthweaving – Armor for Jedi classes mainly
  • Artifice – Color crystals and off-hands for Jedi
  • Slicing – credits, slicing parts for augments
  • Scavenging – basic gathering for Cybertech, Armormech, and Armstech
  • Diplomacy – gain light side/dark side points, advanced gathering for Biochem
  • Archeology – basic gathering skill for Synthweaving
  • Bioanalysis – basic gathering skill for Biochem
  • Underworld trading – advanced gathering skill for Armormech, Synthweaving
  • Investigation – advanced gathering skill for Armstech
  • Treasure Hunting – advanced gathering skill for Artifice

Each class companion has a crew skill bonus.  Without any spoilers, here is a list of just the bonuses each class has access to.  There are two types of bonuses. An Efficiency bonus decreases the amount of time required to complete the crew skill mission/time crafting. A Critical bonus increases the chance you will produce 2 of the item/create an augment slot on it. Before 50, augment slots are only important on Orange gear. Augment slots allow you to place an augment modification into a piece of gear providing you with more stats.

***A Critical bonus is better than an Efficiency bonus with one exception. That exception is the Slicing crew skill. Critical is better because creating two items allows you to sell more. Completing missions faster is only going to drain your credits faster. The speed bonus given by Efficiency is also not a significant enough amount.

Crew skills can be dropped at any time to start another one. I recommend that you only keep your crew skills within your level range. For example, your gathering skill will list a level range at the top. For example: If you are level 12, and the range is 11 to 15, do not move on to the 16-20 range. Gathering Crew skills require credits. This can significantly eat away at your credit balance, which must also be used to purchase new abilities each level and equipment.

**If you are unsure what to take, try Slicing and Diplomacy. This way you can gain credits to fund your light side/dark side gains with Diplomacy. LS/DS points can be hard to get if you PvP a lot or skip around when questing. When you reach max alignment, you can drop Diplomacy for another crew skill. The LS/DS points will remain even when you drop diplomacy.

**You can craft from your Cargo Hold so you don’t have to keep crafting materials in your inventory.

Subscribers can train Crew Skills for free!  F2P users don’t worry, the costs are pretty negligible once you hit max level.

Galactic Trade Network

Gear

I recommend you do not buy gear (or anything) on the GTN while leveling. You will be leveling so fast that purchasing gear will often be credits wasted. New gear will be available frequently through quest rewards, PvP rewards, etc. Also at each level you gain new skills. It costs credits to train those new skills, and can be very expensive at certain level milestones (25, 40, 50). Having a faster speeder for example can save you a lot of travel time, and be more valuable than a piece of gear you will replace in an hour. Try and save your credits for level 60. There is a lot of GTN shopping involved at 60 when fine tuning your gear.

Don’t buy, Do sell

I recommend you sell any extra materials or gear on the GTN. You can make some good money this way, and it will familiarize you with using the GTN. Gathered materials as well as any gear prototype (blue) quality and above, and any implants, ear pieces, and pre-60 relics.

Selling on the GTN is simple. You search for items like yours, or within a few levels, and post it up at a competitive price. It will cost you a listing fee based on the sale price, and length of auction. If your item does not sell, the listing fee will be refunded in full. Also, part of your listing fee will be refunded the sooner your item sells. Once you put something up for bid, never remove it. You will lose your listing fee completely. Instead, try putting up items for 6 or 12 hours. Prices can change quickly, so you will be able to put it back up with a new price sooner than later. 24 & 48 hours are ok if you won’t be around for a few days.

Keep in mind how much the item vendors for. You dont want to try and sell the item on the GTN for barely more than you can vendor it. You will also pay the listing fee and commission, so keep the following equation in mind:

Vendor Price + Listing Fee + Commission + Your Trouble < Sale Price

Also keep in mind how many credits the potential buyer may have. If you are selling a level 15 head piece, it is unlikely a new level 15 player will have 10000 credits. Some players obviously have alts with more credits, so you will want to try and find a good balance. If you are unsure, just go with whatever the suggested price is. This price is the starting price given by the GTN when you put an item up, shown below the listing fee.

**Cartel Market unlocks should be sold for 200k – 350k. The players who need to buy these unlocks cannot spend more than this at a time.

If you are selling a similar item, price it the same as items already posted, or slightly lower. At 50-60 you will really start to accumulate credits, so the established players will have plenty of credits. Placing items significantly lower can reduce your profit more than reasonably necessary. Try undercutting by 5% (Tip: half of 10%) unless you see an item is obviously way overpriced.

A simple rule of thumb to follow is never sell below the suggested price.

Moving On

So now you have a handle on how the “background” of the game works.  Assigning talents, managing crew skills, and making credits are all things you will be doing between your adventures.  Mainly this is done on the fleet, but as you make more and more credits, you can do this from your ship or even your guild ship.  You can do a web search for talent builds of your chosen spec, and don’t be afraid to experiment yourself.  They are easily reset, and sometimes learning for yourself will give you a better understanding of the game.  I have some in-depth Companion and Crew Skill information, but it does have spoilers.  I have extensive guides on making credits with the GTN, starting daily quest hubs at level 48, and then just farming credits without daily quests at level 50 and beyond.

You are now ready to jump out into the wild universe of Star Wars: The Old Republic!  I have many other guides pertaining to PvP, Galactic Starfighter, and more!  You can always find the link up top under Star Wars.  So strap in, and jump to lightspeed already!  The game awaits!

4 Comments

  1. Nice initiative, but a couple of mistakes ended up sneaking into this guide…

    – Sage/Sorc and Shadow/Assassin are exactly the wrong way round on your role chart.
    – On your weapons chart, Scoundrels use a shotgun in their off-hand, only companions use scatterguns as far as I remember.
    – Sage and Sorc only use normal lightsabers.
    – Operatives use blaster rifles, not blaster pistols.
    – Powertechs on the other hand use blaster pistols, not rifles.
    – In the crew skill section: Biochems can make implants, not ear pieces (ear pieces come from Cybertech).
    – Armstech makes non-force melee weapons as well.
    – Underworld trading also provides advanced mats for Synthweaving.
    – Might be worth mentioning that training skills only costs credits these days if you’re not a subscriber.

    Not wrong, but I also strongly disagree with the suggestion that one should max out light or dark side points simply to be able to purchase a couple of vendor items. They are absolutely not worth the loss of the fun of making your character’s choices freely, and advice like this only perpetuates the myth that “you can’t play the way you want because you need to be light or dark five to be effective”. :/

    • Fixd, fixd, fixd, and fixd! Thank you very much. I really don’t know how I missed all that. I also added your training skill costs suggestion! You’re a really big help, almost like a proofreader. Since you’re ALL THE WAY OVER THERE, I can fix things sometimes before I embarrass myself in front of the US too, instead of just Europe and the rest of the world.

      • You’re welcome, and I’m glad you appreciated the constructive criticism. I’m a natural nitpicker and that’s something that isn’t always well received. 😛

        I do think you provide some great resources for new and free players though, wouldn’t want them to be marred by any errors!

      • Eh, if I was perfect, this would be boring to read. Or i’d be doing other stuff in my spare time. I’d also rather know if something’s wrong, instead of looking like an idiot.

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