Orange quality gear in TOR brings together fashion and gear stat juggling and it does so in a really interesting way. First and foremost, orange quality gear means that its stats are completely customisable by various item modifications (or mods). Using mods, you can tailor the stats in a particular piece of equipment and upgrade those mods as you level up. Theoretically, you could wear the same robe and upgrade the mods your entire journey to level cap. So, how exactly does this work? And where does fashion come into the picture?
How Does This Work?
I’m going to start with how exactly this works. While looking at orange quality stuff and comparing stats, it is incredibly useful to have “Detailed Tooltips” turned on in your preferences (Options -> Preferences -> User Interface -> Tooltips -> Show Detailed Item Tooltips).
This shows each of the mods individually and makes it much easier to visually see whats going on.
The kinds of mods required to customise a piece depend on the type of gear – here we have Armoring, Mod and an Enhancement. The robes on the left have a different set of mods than say a Lightsaber.
Below is a more detailed look at the robes at the workbench.
Hitting Ctrl + Right click gives you a more detailed look at the piece and allows you to swap out mods if you prefer. In my robes example, I have Resolve Mod 8 in there which gives me a willpower boost – awesome for a force user. Looking at the number of modifications to juggle around can be a little overwhelming at first – indeed it was for me, and it took a little while to wrap my head around how all of this works. But once one gets familiar with the naming and the slots, item modifications are pretty easy to handle.
Two of these are already familiar from the robes: The Mod slot and the Enhancement slot.
The other two are the Hilt and the Colour Crystal. The Colour Crystal, as the name suggests, changes the colour of your lightsaber.
Note that keeping with lore, the colours you can use depend on your allignment.
My Consular is Light inclined, and thus she has a yellow crystal in there. Here’s a closer look at the Lightsaber at the workbench.
Keep in mind that placing a modification over an already existing one will destroy the previous one. There is the option to remove the previous modification before putting the other one if you want to use it for something else – and this comes at the cost of a few credits. Sometimes its worth it and sometimes not – I usually try to save modifications if I can reverse engineer them as an Artificer. Speaking of Artificing…
Where Can I Get Mods?
- Professions: Item modifications is the name of the game for this profession so if you have Artificing, Armstech or Cybertech, you’re all set – although the price of those crew skill missions beg to differ. No bitterness here. Note that item modifications from professions (as far as I know), are all BoE so you can still have access to them if a buddy has the profession too. Artificing gives you access to Colour Crystals, Hilts and Enhancements while Armstech can make Barrels to customise blasters. Cybertech is your source for the Armoring and Mod portion of the item modification.
- Commendations: Another fairly easy way to obtain mods. Each main questing area provides commendations for completing missions there and they each have their own commendation vendors that can sell you item modifications.
- Orange Quality Gear: I mentioned earlier that one can remove item modifications from orange quality gear for a price. This is true for orange gear that sometimes drops from lockboxes, is a quest reward or a boss drop.
- Galactic Trading Network: If you have an abundance of credits over commendations, you could buy these modifications from the GTN.
And What About Fashion?
That’s right I did mention fashion. When I first learnt about gear that was completely governed by item modifications, I wondered what was the point of having multiple pieces of this kind of gear. And the answer to that is looks. True that if ones looks at it completely from a gear upgrade perspective, it doesn’t make sense to have multiple orange quality robes drop if I can simply continue to upgrade the first one I ever got. Well, what if the first one I ever got was super ugly? What if it didn’t match my hair? I’m serious! I may be a hardcore healer, but I like to look good while doing it!
This is where fashion is in the hands of the player. You don’t have to wait for an upgrade to wear the outfit you want to – and you don’t have to wear the ugliest robe in the galactic network because its the only drop with decent stats at your level. I have saved a couple orange quality items in my bank just because I like how they looked and if I ever get tired of how I look in the future, I can just grab those, swap in the appropriate level item mods, and be on my fashion conscious merry way.
This is a really interesting way in which two completely different aspects of gear are brought together. I’m used to seeing the large divide between number crunching gear stats and taking looks into account but this has formed a much welcomed bridge between the two in what I consider an easy, clean way.