This might not be rocket science, but here is a few tips and tricks I learned while leveling my alts.
- When you make an alt, you will probably look for ways to level without doing entire planets that you already did on your main. One of the biggest complaints about this game that I see is travel time. Companion quests, space missions, warzone daily quests, and flashpoint daily quests are attractive since you can get tons of EXP for basically doing little to anything at all and with 0 travel time. In fact, you can do all 4 of those things while being docked at the fleet.
- Mail to an alt on the same faction is instant, even if you’re sending items. Edit: you can send mail with items/credits to your cross faction alts [ Thanks snakedoctor and Thorden ]
- In normal mode flashpoints, the game seems to have a bias to drop items for the basic class of the people who are in the party. I was leveling my sniper and had my friends (level 50 operative and level 50 sniper) run me through Hammer Station, Athiss, Boarding Party and Foundry. 80% of the loot dropped was Cunning/Agent gear. Similarly, the 3 of us ran Red Reaper and Colicoid War Game but this time added a sorc in our guild to the party. All the gear that dropped was Cunning and Willpower. More recently on my Sorcerer, I had a Marauder run me through Athiss. Even though he’s a Marauder, he’s still a Sith Warrior. Some of the Warrior gear dropped was heavy armor, which Khem Val can use.
- Flashpoint dailies. An extension of the above, if you’re going to have a guildmate/friend run you through a flashpoint, grab the flashpoint daily first for additional EXP.
- On that note, heroics. Heroics are like FPs – If you can do them quickly (have high level dudes 1 shotting everything for you) they are very much worth it. Heroics and fps with people of your same level can be terribly derpy and make you frustrated. Time, location, etc, are also factors. Instanced heroics are fairly painless – I recall doing a couple on Voss where you just go into a cave and kill 5 dudes.
- Cross-faction alts. If you’re making a cross faction alt, you can feed it items and money through the Hutt Cartel GTN on Nar Shaddaa. Your alt can put up a trash item for lots of adena that you come and buy, or you can put up items you’d like to give your alt for 100 gil, then you log on the alt and buy them.
- Biochem and Bioanalysis are best for just leveling. Flashpoints (especially if you run them like I suggest w/people of same basic class) should give you all of the gear you need, plus you have supplements from quests and commendations. There’s no need to pick up an armor or weapon skill. Biochem allows you to make medpacs which are significantly better than the white ones, and also make stims to use while you level.
- On that note, Dromund Kaas is good for early Biochem. While there are fair amounts of gathering nodes for all of the gathering skills, Dromund Kaas also has a particularly large number of mobs that you can use Bioanalysis on. There are multiple silver mobs outside the spaceport and Kaas city which makes it easier to be Biochem early on as an Imperial.
- Space missions: Fighter pilots and turrets give exp. Space missions give tons of EXP and are relatively simple if you’ve geared your ship. But something I realized was that you also gain small amounts of EXP when you blow things up in space missions (fighter pilots, turrets, etc), but they come in mass quantities. So, when you finish a space mission with 1-2mins left on the clock, you can still get some extra EXP by shooting down random things.
- Belsavis and Ilum dailies don’t require level 50. Belsavis dailies don’t require you do the whole campaign quest on Belsavis, but Ilum dailies require you to do the campaign that occurs after your class quest is over. You can start getting daily commendations for gear before hitting 55.
- Companion Affection. (When I made my first character, I didn’t care about any companion except Blizz, and so @ level 50, I was doing dumb things to raise affection. I changed this attitude when I made my alt.)When you first get a new companion, go to a Companion Gift vendor. They sell rank 1 and 2 gifts. Buy a bunch of your companions favorite gift and level it to 4k affection. You can save 4.2k credits by using all rank 1 gifts, but it will take about 11mins longer. Gifts always have a 30 second cooldown, but you can bind the gift to a hotkey and just use it whenever. (Extra inventory space comes in handy here since the gifts don’t stack.) This will let you get a few companion quests, the majority of which give EXP, plus additional affection to open up new quests. We have an easy to understand chart for companion gift preferences right here.
- Companion Affection: Extreme Edition. When I made my first alt, my gut reaction was Biochem/Bioana/Slicing. But later, I realized this was kind of dumb. I already had lots of money, which is Slicing’s specialty. So what else could I pick? Diplomacy? I didn’t really need blue Biochem stuff to level. After some trial/error, I picked up Treasure Hunting as a 3rd crew skill. Treasure Hunting Companion Gift missions give Gift Fragments which can be turned into the Gift Curator for rank 5 green/blue/purple gifts. None of the gift missions in Diplo/Underworld/Investigation give gift fragments. And since the fragments drop from all levels of TH, there was no need to even max the skill out. I got a pretty large amount of EXP from companion quests. There was 1 level I basically spent at the Imperial Fleet.
- Selective skipping. Keep in mind that all you really need to do is your class quest. You can skip whatever you’d like, and at your choosing. Early on, I found myself doing entire planets, then I started skipping later. Early quests gave me stuff like low level implants/relays which aren’t craftable and/or aren’t sold on the GTN, and regardless of planet progress, I didn’t get a speeder until I hit 25 (= slower traveling/questing anyway). But then later, I was getting gear from BP/Foundry, and I didn’t really need the EXP or commendation gear. I wound up skipping all of Hoth and Belsavis except for my class quests, and was still appropriately leveled for Voss.
- Buddy system. Or, just questing with a friend. It’s quicker when there’s 2 of you, and it doesn’t seem to have a negative effect on EXP. Plus, if you level with another person, and you should be able to do the 2p heroics, and probably some of the early level 4p heroics.
In my opinion, the difference between doing dailies and buying companion gifts versus leveling normally and not skipping planets is how much money you are making, especially if you’d like to keep your spaceship geared up for dailies. But Belsavis and Ilum dailies are a great source of income, and you don’t need to be 50 for them.
So, what did you learn while leveling your alts?