I am a simple man when it comes to my video games. Not that I don’t like complex video games, a la Crusader Kings, but rather I tend to not put a lot of offline effort into learning about the games I play. When a game starts to demand homework, I feel that the point of why I am personally playing the game — relaxing enjoyment where I don’t have to research solutions on the Web — has been lost.
Of course, this has a tendency to bite me in the ass, as I learned last night when playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. Folks in guild chat were discussing outfitting, style, and the flight suits that you get in the in-game email with the starfighter expansion. For me, gear is something that I take when it comes: if I get gear from a drop or as a mission payout, and if it’s numbers are higher than what I currently have equipped, then I switch. Otherwise, I stand pat. I hadn’t really eyeballed the flight suits that I’d been given because, quite frankly, they’re fugly. One of them looks like something the 80’s vomited (complete with shoulder pads that would make the cast of Falcon Crest envious. Look it up, kids). The other looks like a disco ball.
But then I read about adaptive armor. Most of the current gear I had at the time wasn’t able to accept modification. For those not into SWTOR, some gear can sport up to four slots for armor, mods, augments, and dye. You’ll either get these elements from drops, as rewards, or you can buy them. One of the ways to buy them is by spending Commendations, which is a currency you can select often as an optional reward for mission completion. With the 12x XP boost, the Commendation reward has also been boosted, allowing you to farm these currencies at an accelerated rate.
So I took a closer look at those flight suits, and about what adaptive armor was all about. Turns out it’s a “shell” of armor which by itself is pretty crummy. The main advantage of adaptive armor is that it up-levels with you, and once you start adding mods, then the stats start reaching appropriate levels for whatever level the armor is supposed to be. If you have adaptive armor, then, you never need to change it; just the mods. Since mods themselves have level ranges, the conventional wisdom I was able to find suggests replacing these mods every few levels so the gear naturally levels with you.
This may be “no duh” among those who actually take time outside the game to read about it, but that’s never been my forte. Actually, it used to be, when I played Ultima Online and my friends and I would talk about it all day (at work). I was stupidly excited to learn this last night, however, because it literally doubled my armor rating on almost every piece of gear, and boosted my AIM and ENDURANCE stats (for the Trooper class) as well. I then went on to use the second flight suit for my Elara Dorne, and tricked it out in a similar fashion.
The only problem is with the appearance. I misunderstood (surprise!) how the outfitting worked: I thought it worked in reverse from how it actually did, so I initially dropped 16,000cr on putting the flight suit into the appearance slots. Ugh. When I understood how that system worked, I swapped the flight suit into the main equipment slots, and my actually attractive gear into into the appearance slots where appropriate. I saved some cash by not replacing all gear. Some of the flight suit stuff was either attractive or non-consequential in terms of appearance. But companions aren’t so lucky: they only look like what they’re wearing, which means Elara looks like a Las Vegas neon sign.
In other related news, I finally hit 150 on my Armstech, which allowed me to pick up the housing and Galactic Conquest crafting skills. I was aiming for the Industrial and General prefab MKI recipes, but picked up the others as well. I don’t have any interest, nor is our guild large enough to worry about, the Galactic Conquest elements, but I did want to be able to make the Industrial Prefabs and eventually the General Prefabs. I then spent the rest of the night collecting the Tier 3 Researched Components needed to make these Industrial Prefabs. By the end of the night, I was only able to make three. Thankfully, most recipes only require one Prefab, but I don’t have the ability to create the Synth Prefabs, which means I’ll need to turn to guildmates, or level a Synth profession on my young Jedi to make up the difference (which will take some time to do).