Artificing: Know Your Shinies

Working on crew skills in SWTOR is one of my favourite things to do. Anything that has your minions do the work instead of yourself can’t be bad afterall… and in SWTOR, wrapping my head around the different materials really kept it interesting for me. It took me a little bit to figure out how different crystals fit in and the various categories of our craft. Read on for an overview of what this crew skill has to offer!

Artificing is a fantastic profession for Force users although non-Force users can reap the benefits of it just as well by selling what they craft.

What do Artificers craft?

There are four categories of items we make:

Colour Crystals: Can be used by everyone – they change the colours of lightsabers and blasters. (In the interests of avoiding confusion, I’ll be calling these lightsabers crystals from now on).

Enhancements: These are item modifications that give you endurance and a secondary stat (like crit or alacrity or shield rating etc).

Lightsaber Hilts: It’s all about the Force here – hilts come in two flavours in addition to having endurance – the willpower kind and the strength kind.

Wieldable: Offhands of all shapes and sizes – we’re talking shields, generators, and focii.

The Materials:

The two gathering skills that support Artificing are Archaeology and Treasure Hunting. Materials for Artificing can be broadly classified into Artifact Fragments, Crafting Supplies (which may be bought from the vendor) and various Crystals. Crystals is where it begins to get interesting.

Crystals come in three main flavours for us: Colour Crystals, Power Crystals and Gemstones. Colour Crystals and Power Crystals are obtained through Archaeology missions while Gemstones rely on Treasure Hunting missions. While most of our materials are used in all things we craft, there are a few exceptions. Here’s a look at how colour crystals and gemstones work.

Colour crystals we obtain from Archaeology missions such as Red and Blue Polychromic crystals are exclusively used in crafting crystals for lightsabers and blasters. This holds true for red, blue and green colour crystals.

Example of a lightsaber crystal that uses a colour crystal from archaeology

The lightsaber crystals that make lightsabers/blasters shoot out yellow, and later on orange, use certain gemstones rather than colour crystals. Gemstones are of two kinds: the ones that we use across all things we craft, and the other that are specifically used in crafting Colour crystals for lightsabers and blasters. The latter is a blue quality crystal that is called “Perfect Orange Crystal” or “Immaculate Yellow Crystal” and such like.

Example of a lightsaber crystal that uses a gemstone from treasure hunting.

Reverse Engineering:

Reverse engineering is probably my favourite part of crew skills. In artificing, reverse engineering works slightly differently than other crafting skills. For (lightsaber/blaster) Colour Crystals, Lightsaber Hilts, and Enhancements, we can reverse engineer a green quality item to find a blue quality version of it and then on to its artifact quality counterpart. There is however, only one artifact counterpart for it and once you discover it, that’s that. This is somewhat different from other crew skills like Synthweaving where you can discover different versions of an artifact quality with different stats on them. So once you discovered Advance Insight Enhancement 22 or Advanced Yellow Resolution Crystal, you’re good.

Reverse engineering in wieldables, however, is a return to the norm. They reverse engineer like the other crew skills with the possibility of discovering different artifact versions from the blue quality item. Below is an example where I discovered two different artifact version from the same blue quality Reflex Enhancement Generator. I first got a “Commander’s” version which added Presence as a secondary stat to the generator – yech. So I tried again and got the much better Hawkeye version.

Perks of the Trade:

Despite being the profession that had me broke while levelling, Artificing did offer some lovely perks at level 50. The first of these is the series of Rakata relics you can make that have Endurance as their primary stat and a chunky bit of secondary stats as an on-use boost. These relics, like other crafted wieldables, have the possibility to crit while being crafted. If you do get lucky on that, they come with an added augment slot that make them very desirable indeed. In addition to crafting these beauties, Artificers at skill cap can also craft a variety of lightsabers which have a chance of critting with that extra augment slot. Unlike the relics, lightsabers are BoE and tradeable.

Final Thoughts:

Artificing is a really fun crew skill to have and I’m really enjoying it thus far. My most recent endeavour was to discover all the purple versions of lightsaber crystals so I could change the colour of my lightsaber, depending on my outfit. Don’t judge me!

Finally, there’s also the awesome Magenta Colour Crystal to be had. Its schematic drops from a world boss and is definitely something any artificer would love to have!

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