How-To Guide of Surviving the SWG Economy and Profiting From It
Let me preface this guide by saying I played Galaxies the summer of 2003, and then quit in September, and restarted again this Summer and have been playing since. I play on the Starsider Galaxy and have amassed not so much a small fortune, but enough to keep me well and not worrying about money. (If you want actual figures, this translates into between 10 and 15 million credits – not nearly as much as the hundred and hundred of millions of some crafters and players, but enough to subsist easily.)
I play very often, but in this guide I hope to show everyone from the casual to the hardcore player how to amass enough credits to subsist. Most of these tips and tricks are actually not so much secrets, but just a collection of tips and tricks you may know already. I’m willing to bet though, that you haven’t heard of them all.
Now, the first not-so-secret of wealth in game is You must read the Official Forums (Link). The General Forums are actually less important than your Galaxy’s Trade Forum. Your particular galaxy’s trade forum should be bookmarked – it will become your lifeblood. As I go through this guide, I’m going to try and go in approximate order of amount you play. IE: more casual-player methods first and working your way up to players who can invest more time ingame.
In the aftermath of the Solo Group Nerf, one is no longer able to subsist on killing Mokks and Jantas. For the most part. While I am unable to verify this first hand – I have heard that - if you are Imperial, and you have an AT-ST, that if you pull it and group with it (and not other players), you will be able to pull the 30K missions. Now, the caveats of this approach – first off you have to be overt to pull faction pets. Secondly, Dantooine is still heavily populated – if someone seems an overt Imperial running around regularly – you can expect to be jumped on a Rebel Squad without mercy. Thirdly – your AT-ST will not actually help you on the missions (they are unable to attack non-faction oriented targets unless they are aggroed). So, in short – if you want to try this approach I suggest you – go overt in a remote location, travel to an empty player city on Talus, pull your AT-ST and group with it, and attempt to get Aa’kuan Champion missions for the usual 30K. Store your walker, do the missions, and repeat.
Now if this doesn’t work for you or you’re not Imperial, here is a guaranteed way to make money – it may not be the same pace you were used to – but it’s still good money. The method is simple – follow the meat (or hide or bone). Doctors need Avian and in general meat to make buff packs – a valued commodity ingame. They’re willing to spend a considerable sum for it as well. Even in the post-solo group economy, Avian meat has gone for as high as 100 CPU on my server. 100 CPU equates to this – for every 10,000 units of Avian meat you harvest – you make One Million Credits. General CPU prices range from 30-70 however, but that’s still enough to subside on. Now the caveat to this approach is you need at least Novice Scout to harvest. Investing Skill Pointes in Hunting, investing credits in a harvesting droid or veghash (food that increases the amount you harvest) are your prerogative. When you harvest a few thousand units of meat, you generally offer it to the vendor of the buyer at the prescribed CPU level. The other caveat to this approach is that there is not always a meat in shift that someone wants. In other words – you won’t always be able to head on out and kill flying things for money. Where do you find out if someone is paying for meat, how much they are paying, and where you can redeem your hard-fought goods for credits? Your Galaxy’s Trade Forums, of course.
If valuable meat isn’t in shift, and you’ve never looked around you and talked to the NPC’s, well, you have a number of opportunities open to you for fast cash – but beware, this is not a steady source of income – most of these quests can only be done once. Quests you say? Indeed – for you see some of the static themeparks and quests you can do from NPC’s give rewards that people find valuable – very valuable in some cases. It’s beyond the scope of the guide to list every quest, but I will tell you ones you can search the official forums for to retrieve waypoints and the like. The Scythe Quest can only be done once, and at the end gives a schematic that sells, on my server (please note all these prices are for my server, and may be more or less on yours), from 500K-1M. Jabba’s Themepark can give a few paintings that can net you 200-400K, if you’re Imperial the Lytus Family Artifact is a collector’s item worth 300K most of the time, and the Endor Landscape Painting (also Imperial-only) can go for 200-500K. Imperial Prototype Shield Generator Schematic, Singing Mountain Clan Themepark, Borvo the Hutt, Mat Rags (AKA Bol Skull or Master Hunter’s Trophy) are also keywords that can aid you in your searches. On some planets (such as Dantooine and Tatooine) you have the ability to reset your quest status on the entire planet by speaking with an NPC. I urge you to do this with caution – as you can only do it once. It would be a pity for you to do 5 Tatooine quests, reset your status, and then discover a 6th you can only do once because you were too quick with resetting. One more quick note on the quests before we leave them – if at any point you are instructed to take an item, or retrieve an item I highly suggest you place the item in an equipped backpack or droid, and then talk to the questgiver again. He’ll tell you, you don’t have the item and to redo that quest – that’s fine! You keep the original item and you get another to give up later. Even the trashiest parts are generally worth keeping and putting on the bazaar of not auctioning them. One man’s trash is another man’s rare item.
Let me take this time as to segway back to the Trade Forums. In your reading you no doubt have seen the auction threads people have run. I’d like to direct you to this thread in my Galaxy’s Trade Forum that will hopefully give you a good idea on how to run an auction of your own. I pray you put thought and time into your auction thread, as nothing frustrates a Trade Forum regular than a poorly run auction for an item he wants.
Now hopefully you’ve seen the high-end items that are being auctioned on the trade forums – don’t you wish you could get some items like that! Well you can. And there are two ways. One way is to get them yourselves – generally through being lucky or persistent in looting. The other – is to get them cheap from someone who doesn’t know what he has. If you spend a lot of time in the cities – find a Bazaar terminal. Click it onto Entire Galaxy, and spend a few moments seeing if there is anything worthwhile up. I sort by longest time remaining – as those are the most recently listed auctions and more likely to be something valuable that someone listed. Anything on the bazaar is selling for 6K or under, so even the poorest can make a buck off this trick. The categories I always check are Components (Especially for Yellow Cubes, High Power Janta Blood, and you may even see Krayt Tissue or something there), General -> Item (This is where Holocrons show up occasionally), General -> Generic Item (For loot kit adhesives especially), and General -> Clothing Attachments. Other categories can of course contain treasures also, I’ll leave it to you to explore them. Occasionally (but not often) you may see someone selling something for an especially cheap buyout price on the forums, but that’s more rare.
The previous and the next section both tie into the value of items – which vary from server to server dramatically, but in general some things hold true. Any type of Experimentation modded Attachment or Clothing is valuable – but some dramatically more than others (Clothing Experimentation is only worth a few hundred thousand credits to someone if it’s over about 10, but a +3 Weaponsmith Experimentation Attachment will probably sell for a few million). Any Krayt Tissue, even base, is worth something (especially 6K if it’s on the Bazaar). Any loot kit adhesive is worth a bazaar price - pick those up if you see them there. Rifle and Two-Handed Speed attachments, no matter how small, are valuable. Any accuracy attachment is worth something (although Pistol and Carbine Accuracy less so). Unarmed, One-Handed, and Pistol Speed attachments are generally worthless, but Dodge, Counterattack, and Block attachments are not. There are a number of mods (modifiers, or the + whatever on your clothing/attachment) that simply do not work – they’re bugged or turned off. These in general or not worth anything, but can be used to get a secondary mod out of something (this gets into how attachments stick on clothing when there are multiple mods, which is beyond the scope of the article – search the forums).
Now we come to the science of looting. And it isn’t an exact science, but it can be approximated fairly well. The subject of looting could be the scope of another entire guide, so I’ll keep this as short as possible. Basically, the seller you see always on the trade forums selling amazing attachments for millions of credits – he plays a lot and he kills a lot to get those items. Imagine the loot system works like this – every time you kill, say, a Nightsister – you have a one in one thousand chance of looting an Exceptional Weapon, or an awesome attachment (the odds are probably higher than that, but it’s an example). How would you get your desired item? Well, you could kill 5 and hope to get lucky… or you could kill a thousand and increase your odds greatly. It’s all about the numbers. It’s frustrating at times, but if you can develop a rhythm and system and breeze through Nightsister Elders, Rangers, or Krayt Dragons, or Lord Nyax consistently and quickly, the loot game can pay off.
Now, while I know some people who play the loot game day in and day out (and they probably have many more credits than I do), that doesn’t interest me entirely – so I found another niche. The buying and reselling of items. Buy low, sell high – just like the stock market – except with the stock market, it’s less of an anticipation of how the market will turn, but more of knowing the value of items to the general public and specific high rollers, and finding the deals and then selling the item publicly or privately for as much as you can. In my experience – this involves a lot of driving through cities with the overhead map turned on, looking for any vendor named “Loot” and seeing what they have. The caveats of this approach, which I know all too well, firstly you have to have money to make money – many times you’ll find yourself with a few hundred K, one sale “guaranteed” (no such thing) and waiting to be delivered, and another two or three high ticket items waiting to be sold. It’s an uncomfortable feeling having your credits tied up in items at those times. The second caveat – a lot of my game time is spent shopping. I don’t mind it so much myself, but I’m positive it would drive some people crazy.
The next technique would probably be ideal for the person who’s reading this from work – because it means you can slouch on the job when you’re not able to play the game! Basically, in a nutshell, crafters need resources to make goods, and at this point in the game, if you don’t use the best resources available, your items won’t sell because they’re sub par. Where do the resources come from? Well, organics from those meat and hide runs you learned about before, but inorganics from harvesters. You probably have 6-10 free lots right now that are going to waste! If you put some heavy harvesters on a 90% concentration of a valuable resource, and then sold it for 5 CPU, you could easily make 2-3 Million in a week. But you have to know what to harvest – that’s key. The use of SWGCraft.com is beyond this article, but the gist of it is, look at the current resources for your server, see what the resource is used in, and seeing if it’s the best or one of the top 5 resources your server has seen. If it’s used in something useful (like T-21’s or Buffs or Composite Armor), and it’s in the top 5 list that your server has seen (keeping in mind that if a better one is recent it won’t sell as well), it will likely sell for a few CPU and is probably worth your time to harvest it. Be aware – you need power and maintenance to run those harvesters of yours, so make sure you account for that in your cost and calculations.
Another method along this same line is what is called a “lot trade”. Basically, you create a character on another server, and place harvesters in a static location (lot trades are often called “static lot trades” to indicate that they are in fact static). You give another character Admin on the harvesters (and he actually gives them to you also). That character then does the exact same thing on your server, giving you Admin. You then have 10 new harvesters (that don’t move) that you generally just set to harvest the highest percentage of resource. Then you sell it for a few CPU as bulk resources. You can do a large number of lot trades, and get an enormous number of harvesters. That can pull in a large amount of resources in each week. At 1 or 2 CPU, that’s a decent amount of money but you also have to factor in maintenance and power for the harvesters – as well as the simple fact that you may just wind up with a very low percentage of everything. The reason I’ve listed lot trades this far into the guide is because while it sounds easy – it’s usually best for experienced players, because the unseen costs can really hit you over the head sometimes.
By now you should be thinking to yourself “Do I really want to do all this to make some cash?”, and the answer is probably not – but some people will, and I mean for this guide to be as exhaustive as I can make it. So of course, the penultimate of the guide – the uber crafter. The Uber Crafter is a 12 point Master of his chosen Profession, often augmented by Force Sensitive Skills, and the perquisite absolute best resources the server has ever seen. His wares are among if not the best on the server, and “becoming” the uber crafter is not something taken lightly or done easily. And the payoff may not be what you expect either. It’s a silent way of income – it’s very hard to guess their wealth in most cases, so I won’t try. I’ll merely leave it as a way for a very dedicated person to make money. It requires a lot of investment capital, a lot of time, most likely a number of friends in game to help you, and a certain mindset. I would not recommend going the route of the “Uber Crafter” if you want to make money – I would leave it as a pursuit you would undertake if you wanted to do it for its own sake.
I aimed this guide to increase steadily in the amount of time you have to dedicate to the games and the forums, and I hope I have done that. Any game is only fun when you are enjoying it, and for many people the “keeping track of the finances” part of Galaxies is too much like real work. I hope that you can get enough out of this guide that the business aspect of the game takes less time, and the play aspect of the game takes up more – because that what the game is about – play. If you’re not having fun, why would you play? (And if you’re canceling – can I have your stuff? ;))