Sunday, January 20, 2013

Star Wars - The Old Republic (Part Six)


SWTOR - Green Equipment
As mentioned in my previous post, the bulk of your stat increases do not actually come from leveling up but rather from the equipment and items that you wear upon your character. There is armor that you wear to defend yourself, main weapons and off-hands (weapon, focus, generator or shield), earpieces, implants and relics. But regardless of how numerous they may be, all you need to remember is equip yourself with the items that give you boost to your primary stat, your endurance and armor rating (defense) and you will be relatively safe.

However, I think there are still some minor aspects that I wish to briefly touch upon.
  • Armor Types
    There are four types of armor, light, medium, heavy and adaptive. With the same "rating", light armor will provide the least defense while medium armor will provide more defense than light followed by heavy armor offering the most protection.

    Adaptive armor, like the name suggests, adapts itself according to the best armor that one could wear. What this means is that, if your character can only wear medium armor, then the adaptive armor (when worn) will offer you protection that is equivalent to that of medium armor with the same "rating". If you can wear all three forms of armor, light, medium and heavy, then the adaptive armor will become "heavy armor-like" since that is your best protection outfit.
  • Earpieces & Implants
    SWTOR - EarpiecesSWTOR - Implants
    These slots merely provide more avenue to increase your stats and nothing more. You can start to equip earpieces and implants at around levels 15 and 20 respectively.
  • Relics
    SWTOR - Relics
    Relics are slightly more interesting because apart from serving the same purpose as earpieces and implants, they are also able to provide a temporary boost of power when you need it (such as to your critical and defense ratings for example). To use them, just click and drag the equipped relics onto your hotkey bars and you can use them like your using abilities. Relics can be equipped at around level 20.
  • Custom Equipment
    These equipment can be easily identified by their orange name and border. The primary purpose of using them, in my opinion, is when you wish to maintain your character's or companion's outfit or appearance while at the same time being able to keep your equipment up-to-date with your levels.
  • Rarity
    All items found in SWTOR are graded with a color coding system that is much like those found in other games we've played such as DC Universe Online. Starting from the most common, we have "Gray" (Cheap), "White" (Standard), "Green" (Premium), "Blue" (Prototype) and "Purple" (Artifact). And in the same fashion, items which are more rare would provide better stats and bonuses, however I must remind you again that the funny thing in SWTOR is that artifact level equipment cannot be worn by non-subscribers unless they've acquired an "Artifact Equipment Authorization" pass.

Item Modifications
Item modifications are a set of items made almost specifically for custom equipments...all except for one which can be used on all sorts of equipment if the conditions are right.
SWTOR - Custom WeaponSWTOR - Custom Chest Armor
The item modifications for custom equipment consist of Armoring, Barrel, Color Crystal, Enhancement, Hilt and Mod these six types. Each of these can only fit in their own specific slot and depending on the equipment, the slots available might be different. For example, a custom weapon will have slots for a color crystal, a hilt or barrel, a mod and an enhancement while a custom chest armor would only have slots for armoring, mod and enhancement.

And as far as I know, apart from giving extra bonuses to your stats like primary and endurance, a few of these item modifications also serve an important alternative purpose. For instance...
SWTOR - Guardian Armoring 5SWTOR - Hardened Terenthium Vest
Armoring also plays the role of modifying the defense provided by your armor pieces. With a higher armor rating, the armoring modification would offer more armor protection compared to one with a lower armor rating.
SWTOR - Color Crystal
A color crystal plays the role of changing the color of your lightsaber, beam fired from your ranged weapon or the color of your shielding.
SWTOR - Virtuous Strategist Lightsaber 1SWTOR - Virtuous Strategist Lightsaber 2
Hilt or barrel modifications alter the damage range of your custom weapon. With a higher power rating, your custom weapon will deal much more damage.
SWTOR - Extracting Item Modification
And since these custom equipments are made to be "update-able", you can actually swap the outdated modifications with newer and better ones easily (so long as you have enough credits and the right level requirements for them). To do so, just "ctrl + right click" on the custom equipment, right click on the outdated one to free up the slot and then put in the new modification.
SWTOR - AugmentsSWTOR - Augmentation Slot MK-1
Now Augments are the only item modification that can be used on all kinds of equipment regardless of whether they are customed or not. However, this is only based upon the condition that the item has an augmentation slot available.
SWTOR - Item Modification StationSWTOR - Augmentation Kit MK-1
From what I heard, these augmentation slots can appear on your crafted items during a crafting run if your lucky enough. However, since the chances are low (and even lower for free-to-play players), we can't really depend on luck for them now can we? So the more common method of obtaining an augmentation slot is actually through the use of the "Item Modification Station" and an augmentation kit.

SWTOR - Unaugmented CostSWTOR - Upgrading Augment Slot Cost
There are six "levels" of augmentation kits available, MK-1 to MK-6. Each of these kits when used will give your item an augmentation slot of the corresponding "level". The catch now is that an MK-6 slot can fit all levels of augments as long as your character level is sufficient for the augment while an MK-1 slot can only fit in low-leveled augments. Furthermore, regardless of whether your item is augmented or not, you will always need an augmentation kit and the same credit costs to make or upgrade your slot. Therefore, it is much more cost-efficient to just go for an MK-6 slot and pay 45,000 creds in one shot rather than work your way up from MK-1 to MK-6, all the while paying for the kits and upgrading costs (which would certainly be more than the cost of one MK-6 + 45,000 creds).

And just in case you were wondering, these augmentation kits can be made if you have sufficient skill in any one of these three crew skills, Armormech, Synthweaving or Armstech.

As for the important ingredient in making them, Augmentation Slot Components, they can be gotten from "reverse engineering" (dismantling) certain equipment (depends on your crew skill). For example, with Armstech, you can reverse engineer weapons to obtain them while Armormech and Synthweaving will require you to break apart armors instead.
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