The Average Gamer

Star Wars: The Old Republic – Tips and Tricks

There are few things more frustrating in gaming then finding out (usually after several days of doing it the hard way) there’s a simpler way of doing things. MMOs and RPGs seem to be especially susceptible to this, mostly due to the non linear structure of the genres, preferring to leave you to either a) work it out for yourself or b) spend some time Googling. The very best finds are the ones you didn’t know you needed but now couldn’t live without.

I’ve been playing Star Wars: The Old Republic off and on for the last month and whilst I can’t boast a capped character yet I have played  most of the Republic classes and had a good mess around with the crafting. I like to try everything before I commit a lot of time to levelling. Bioware have done a good job of integrating the tutorial alongside game progression but there were still a few things I had to go hunting for.

  1. I cannot state this clearly enough: research your class path. At level ten you get to choose between two Advanced Classes, currently there is no way to reverse that choice. So unless you really enjoy faffing about on Ord Mantell or Tython as you start your character again, be careful. Once you’ve selected the path you’ll open up the generic class tree. These can be reset, as is standard, so go wild.
  2. Don’t run Gathering missions unless you’re super rich or don’t want a speeder (mount) the minute it’s available. There are three groups of Crew Skill (crafting): Gathering, Crafting and Missions, each with several options which fit sensibly together with possibly the exception of Slicing which seems a bit of a tricky one to work around. Generally speaking you’d choose a Crafting profession and then a Mission and Gathering skill to support the Crafting with materials. By taking Slicing you’re using up one of your three profession slots and not gaining any raw material collection, though you do get credits and schematics. IGN have an easy to follow crafting chart which is worth a look before you spend time and cash on levelling.
  3. Each time you enter a new area of a planet or city it’s worth killing a random enemy NPC. SW:TOR uses bonus missions to supplement XP gained from quests, these usually trigger from baddies you’re killing anyway but a number of times I’ve triggered them from killing roaming beasties.
  4. Check your Companion’s action bars for cast/induction time on skills. They take a little while to realise it’s all kicking off as it is, add to that a couple of seconds for them to launch a long cast and you’ll have killed everything by the time they’re getting started.
  5. On the subject of Companions, I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to work out what makes mine tick. Sometimes they agree and sometimes they don’t. I’ve paid attention. I’ve listened to them in Cantinas – if only they could tell me! Apparently if you press “L”, click for the Codex, find Persons of Note and look at your Companion’s information all their Likes and Dislikes will be listed. Thanks to Andrew Kelly for that one.
  6. It’s well worth checking through the Preferences menus thoroughly, if you haven’t got Area Loot and Auto Loot switched on you really should – massive time saver. You’ll also find additional UI bar options and comparative tool tips for your Companions’ gear as well as your own (under User Interface).
  7. During dialogue choices, if you’re not sure whether an answer will give you Dark or Light side points you can mouse over the options and the relevant symbol will appear. Even more usefully, if you cock a choice up and your Companion gets upset you can hit Esc and restart the whole conversation. Sick of the endless voice acting? Space Bar will skip through each section.
  8. If you’re having inventory space issues and are too tight to cough up the credits for a bag extension you can store profession materials in your cargo and still use them to craft! Banks on planets and fleets are linked to your personal cargo.
  9. Don’t be stingy with upgrading your Companion’s gear. I spent a shameful amount of time not realising it made a big difference. It really does. Even if you don’t think you’ll be using a particular Companion it can be worth hanging on to the better bits of loot on the off-chance. it’ll save the frustration at a later date.
  10. Much as I loathe them, doing the Space Missions will give you a good return for your time in terms of credits and experience. Don’t spam fire if there’s nothing to shoot at as your shields won’t recharge. The most difficult habit for me to get out of on these was target leading, you don’t need to fire where you think the target will end up… just fire straight at it. Silly game.

The official manual for Star Wars: The Old Republic can be found here and is worth a read if you purchased the digital download.