Celsfalia mentioned in a different thread that it would be helpful to know where Elders of the Republic crafters can get their hands on end-game crafting schematics. Absolutely! There are a lot of other questions in crafting that are kind of tough: where can I get Augmentation slot components? Can I actually craft decorations? How do I get a hilt from an ops toon to my artifice crafting toon to try reverse engineering? Why are 216 Relics so expensive on the GTN? If you have questions, hints, tips, or guides for Elders Crafters please post them on this thread! We have many centuries of experience in our guild. Someone's probably figured it out.
So, how can I get my hands on end-game crafting schematics?
When Bioware was preparing to launch 4.0 they surveyed their player base and discovered that a surprisingly small portion of their players were regularly involved in operations. As a result, they set up two parallel crafting schemes in SWTOR. I personally found this liberating as anyone can craft gear all the way to level 220 without having to worry about exotic drops from hard-mode operations. But it does make it a little confusing at first.
208 purple (artifact) gear (Ops and non-ops path): Almost all 208 gear in the game is purple/artifact quality. Hard-mode flashpoints drop some blue 208 gear, but you can't get schematics by Reverse Engineering (RE'ing) those pieces. If you are a preferred player and would like to equip purple (artifact) gear, you'll need to use Cartel Coins to buy an artifact equipment unlock. I did so myself almost as soon as I started playing the game.
All 208 schematics are obtained by RE'ing lvl 200 blue gear obtained from your crafting trainers. All purple gear (as far as I know) requires at least 1 piece of purple crafting material. These can be purchased on the GTN or obtained from the appropriate missions (slicing, diplomacy, treasure hunting, underworld trading) if you run a "Rich" or "Bountiful" mission category and have a critical hit. The base chance of a critical hit for a subscriber is 25% and 0% for a non-subscriber. Your chance of a critical hit increases with your level of companion influence such that a lvl 50 companion run by a subscriber will "crit" 50% of the time.
212, 216 & 220 gear (non-ops path): Your crafting trainer can provide you with 212 schematics for a rich variety of items. You will find that these typically require 6 of our first "exotic" crafting material: exotic isotope stabilizers (EIS). These are very expensive to buy and hard to get. For some reason, Bioware wants end-game crafting to be expensive and hard. It's actually easier to run operations! Oh well, Elders Crafters will power through it!
To get 216 schematics, RE the 212 items you crafted. Fortunately, there is a 100% chance of success for a subscriber (50% for a non-sub) to learn the 216 schematic. You will probably lose all of your EIS, but you now know how to craft those devilishly expensive 216 items!
To get 220 schematics, first craft a 216 item. What? It says I need a "Strategic Resource Matrix"! What in the world is a SRM, and how do I get one? A single SRM drops when a character completes their personal conquest requirements, so an SRM requires a week's worth of work! Please remember that Bioware needed a mechanism by which non-ops players could craft end-game gear without having to buy exotic crafting materials from hard-mode ops players. This was their solution. It works pretty well, but it becomes immediately obvious that players aren't going to "give away" their reward for a week's worth of grinding. You will find SRM starting at 320 - 420k credits on the GTN. Oh, yeah, and remember the exotic isotope stabilizers? You'll need eight of them instead of six for the 216. Once you craft a 216, you can RE it (100% success for a subscriber) to get your 220 schematic. Of course, to actually craft a 220, you'll need three SRM and ten EIS, but then you have it! Your crafted 220 piece.
This works for earpieces, implants, and relics, but you will find that the 212 schematics are missing for armors, mods, enhancements, hilts, and barrels. Where did they go? Bioware wanted to reserve crafting these for their ops players (Bioware loves their ops players). Non-ops players can instead craft "non-modable" armors and weapons. You can still use augmentation kits to install augments on "non-modable" armors and weapons, but they lack the two or three slots for armors mods and enhancements that you get in typical orange armors. Mind you, the 216 and 220 non-modable armors are REALLY nice - nearly as good as token drops from ops, but you can't min/max them by optimizing enhancements, and they can't accommodate an armor piece with set-piece bonus.
216 & 220 gear (ops path): The very "best" craftable gear in the game requires the RE'ing of gear dropped in operations. So how do you get these? Say you join for a Friday night ops training run and win an "unassembled" Earpiece on a "need" roll. If your character happens to know "Cybertech" she can take the unassembled piece to the appropriate token vendor and get a 216 Quick-savant earpiece. You can then RE this token drop (60% success for a subscriber) for a chance to learn the schematic for a 216-Quick Savant earpiece. The schematic will be different from the equivalent 216-Quick Savant piece crafted by the non-ops pathway. To start, it will require one or more ridiculously expensive and rare Dark-Matter Catalysts but will have a more optimized stat distribution than the equivalent non-ops path with less endurance and more power and alacrity.
In order to get the crafting Schematic for a 220-Quick Savant Earpiece, you would need to win the 220 unassembeled piece in a HM operation, and hope that your RE'ing works. Then you need to get even more pieces of Dark-matter catalyst, extoic isotope stabilizers, etc. to get a version of the earpiece that has slightly more power and alacrity than the 220 from the non-ops path described above. Does it make a difference? Yes, it can, but really only in hard-mode and nightmare-mode operations during dps and healing checks. For those of us who don't, in general, run HM and NiM ops, it's like have a sports car that could do 120 mph but never driving it past 65. O.K. I know some hard-mode flashpoints are rough, but characters in extreme high-end gear tend to shred these pretty quickly.
There are two tiers of gear that simply cannot be crafted in 4.0. These are armors with set-piece bonuses and 224 gear of any kind. These can be transferred within your legacy (hilts, barrels, and offhands with some difficulty) but they cannot currently be crafted.
Last edited by SpinForbidden on Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:04 am; edited 1 time in total