SWTOR Guild Summit Economy/Crew Skills Discussion

Economy and crew skills were one discussion panel I waspersonally interested in. This is probably because one of the things I lovemost about playing MMOs is playing the economy and making money/credits. I likewatching the numbers grow. It’s a weird fascination I have… to each his own,right?
So anyway, there were some pretty useful things to come outof this panel at the Summit. First, they said the economy is doing very welldespite the hard to use Galactic Trade Network (GTN). We could all agree thatcould use a little more work. 
This panel was very much about stats and figures so I lovedit (others seemed to be falling asleep during it- but then again, it was a longday). Here are some highlights:
Crewskill distribution: BioChem is not the most used skill – archeology andscavenging skill are most skilled. most popular crafting skill is artificefollowed by BioChem. Underworld trading dominates mission skills
Wealthdistribution for level 50 chars – 84% of level 50s have less than 1 M credits.  
chartends at 10 million – less than 1% have 10 million.
Withpatch 1.1.5, we introduced some content for rich people – encourage them to letgo of their credits.
Majorityof credits spent – ability training, drops off around Feb. as more and morepeople are 50. Other money sinks now take over.
Questreward – biggest source of income – this is the way to get credits.
Sellingcontent to vendors helps as well
Relativewealth: the actual inflation rate we have right now is around 12% – it is nottoo bad. People are saving up in anticipation of new stuff like Legacy.
Factionselection distribution –
·       57% Empire to 42%Republic across all servers.
·       More empireplayers on PvP servers.
·       Gender selection:70% male, 30% (This is player characters, not players in real life)
·       Most popularclass: Sith Inq (no surprise), “It can get a bit lightning heavy in warzones.”
Smuggler/IAare very low numbers ever since alpha testing. Short of making the class reallyOP there isn’t much we can do.
 Leveling curve: time to level – very smoothcurve. There are no big gaps or gaps around 40 or something. Our target timefor 50 – we nailed that in terms of game hrs played (can’t tell you how muchthat is).
Top25 products based by sales volume: desh, top end crafters are making a killing- rakata, rank 25 enhancements/mods. 
BioWare on cheating and spamming:
exploits:we will fix Ilum chest looting in 1.2. If you show up with a lot of credits, wewill track your activity.
Wedon’t see a lot of kill-stealing in our games but this kind of behaviors isseen with chests.
Theone credit spam mails- we know about it. We’re on it. We have a team of 30people to get rid of people that spam – they get banned as soon they show up. Wecan track all credit transfers.
Bioware advises: See a spammer, report it. That’s the fastestway to get them banned.
Crewskills: crew missions are the #2 money sink. Not every crewskill is viable forendgame – only biochem currently is.
Reverseeng for a better overall – better rates and more items – we made it a lot moreuseful.
Youcan craft Operation gear with critical augments.
EVERY CREW SKILL IS BEING GIVEN AN ENDGAME USE
Augmentcrafting – sythweaving, armstech, – augments
Slicing– currently the source of augments -will be source of augment mats.
Cybertechspeeders become boe.
Changedprices on speeders – you are now paying less for tier 3 speeder training butcool looking mounts – expect to pay more. cybertech grenades – shortercooldowns.
Artifice– new color crystals – PvP craft – schematics/mats can be obtained from pvping.
5page of patch notes for crew skill – a blog released soon
Crafting– avg craft is richer, looks better and better geared than a non-crafter. weexpect this to really take off with patch 1.2
Economy and Crew Skills Q&A

Q: Expensiveto remove 25 mods – if you can make those mods, shouldn’t it be cheaper foryou?
A: Notfor 1.2, we will look into it.
Q: IPvP, my gear never breaks, add repair cost to PvP?
A: Maybe– [groans from the audience.] Yes we are aware of PvP and PvP gear repaircosts. Net income between PvP and PvE are about the same
Q: Isthere a design intent to give crew skills a social purpose? Like allow crewskills able to change colors
A: With1.1.5 – lightsaber colors – all colors are available with the same stats. Weare adding a large number of orange gears to the game – you will be able to getfrom crafters and only available from crafters? crafters – best source ofcustomized appearances in 1.2
Q: Cybertechhealer – can I get kolto grenade?
A: Maybe
Q: Contractsystem? Request to have something made
A: Isit possible to have a system like this? A: yes it is on the wall of crazy, notimmediate concern but it’s in the works. Probably some day.
Q: Someclothing options look slightly different color on different classes?
A: Someitems look different between republic and empire – this is an intentionalfeature to preserve some faction identity. In terms of color – what you said isnot something we have seen, can you send us a screenshots?
Q: Craftinggear better than endgame PvP/PvE?
A: Yesit is better but it is more work since you have to extract mods from endgamegear and get a critted orange gear made.
Q: Phasingout reusable stims – how far is it to make every crew skill to be viable ingame? RE chance at end-game level, is it worth the risk?
A: 1.2will have a tooltip that can tell you if you can RE something and get somethingout of it. We also increase the gains from RE
Q: Anyplans for longer crew skills missions – 16 hr missions for epic stuff
A: Welike the idea too – incentive to log on at least once a day.
Q: Anyplans to add crafting daily to give people option to get high level mats?
A: Newresource nodes on new content and also on existing high level areas to help youout.
Q: Possibleto send two companions to send on the same mission to reduce the time:
A: Notpossible right now. With 1.2 expensive missions you bought from GTN are nolonger fails.

Lisa Mason

Lisa has been an avid gamer since she was old enough to hold her first controller and a game writer for more than a decade. A child of the Nintendo generation, she believes they just don’t make games like they used to but sometimes, they make them even better! While consoles will always be her first love, Lisa spends most of her gaming time on the PC these days- on MMOs and first-person shooters in particular.