04/04/2019

Crafting Our Way to Victory on Rishi

Conquest fatigue is still a thing for me, but our resident crazy crafter remains enthusiastic and was starting to get stir-crazy from lack of challenge, so I came home last Tuesday to find that - against what I would consider better judgement - he'd somehow talked an officer into invading Rishi while it was being contested by Fallen Exsilium, the Imperial alt guild of local mega guild Exsilium.

We made a big push on that first evening, but I still expected Fallen Exsilium to leave us in the dust by the next day... yet somehow that didn't happen, probably in part because they seemed somewhat preoccupied with trying to go for first place on the large yield planet with their main guild. Long story short, we actually ended up beating them, though it was probably the toughest battle of our Conquest history so far. We remained neck on neck all the way until Monday, with our scores less than 100k apart at most times of day.

I can't say that I was unhappy to have been wrong in my initial assessment of our chances and felt very proud of the many guildies who worked hard to secure our victory. At times it felt like a veritable relay run, with one shift handing the baton to the next as they logged off.

That said, the way we won was pretty nuts. I've previously written about the sheer weight our resident crazy crafter can throw around when he puts his mind to it. However, there were still some limitations to this: The repeatable objective to craft war supplies, which was his main source of points, is only included in some Conquest events. Crafting war supplies requires a fair chunk of materials, so it costs money and requires a certain amount of resource management - you can't do it all the time and there's some build-up required. Finally, it takes time, so to really optimise your point gains, you need an army of alts among whom you can rotate to really rack up those numbers.


M1-4X is my only crafter at 50, and only because you gain influence with him from doing PvP.

More recently however, a new "crafting hack" has been making the rounds. There is an evergreen objective called "Inventor" in all Conquest events these days that awards 300 points (that is with maximum stronghold bonus but without any guild perks) for crafting 50 items. It doesn't matter what level those items are, so you could in theory chain-craft Dielectric Cell Grafts (the most basic biochem component, which takes less than 10 seconds to procure on an influence 50 companion) for all it's worth... but that never felt terribly efficient. You'd basically stand there, re-tasking your companions over and over to create fewer than 500 crafts every ten minutes, earning you maybe 2,700 points. That's not exactly bad, but you'd have to do it for a full hour to reach even a single character's personal target and overall that's a lot of boredom for relatively little gain. You could probably cap that character in a similar time frame doing something more fun.

Now apparently not that long ago, someone realised that among the biochem schematics from before the big KotFE crafting revamp, which older biochemists can still access through their "archived" section, is an item called Premium Battle Medpac, which requires two Dielectric Cell Grafts to make, takes less than ten seconds to craft and comes in stacks of six. So if you take the roughly thirty seconds to craft two Dielectric Cell Grafts and turn them into medpacs, you're already at 8 of 50 for the Inventor objective. Scale that up to eight fully tasked companions and you're creating over 1,000 crafts in ten minutes, worth more than 6,300 points. Within an hour of doing this you'd have accumulated 37,800 points.

And that's taking it easy, because you can also stockpile the cell grafts in advance and just chain-craft medpacks directly, in which case you'd be looking at about 2,400 crafts in ten minutes, for over 86,000 points per hour. And all of this from grade one materials, which are cheap and plentiful.

So some of us crafted. Not everyone, because most of my guildies don't actually like crafting very much. Of those that did participate, not everyone had characters old enough that they had the archived schematics either; so they contributed with other crafts, even if it was slower. I didn't go as crazy as others, only racking up about 50k worth of "crafted points" (most of my score was earned the "normal" way, by actually playing), but I still feel simultaneously proud and ashamed of it. Proud because of how much effort we were all willing to put in, but ashamed because I'm usually pretty resilient when it comes to resisting doing things that are rewarding but dull. And by god, clicking that craft button over and over again is extremely dull.

I've seen some guilds that have used this method to great effect get accused of botting, which I hope isn't true. If it is, I hope that Bioware is able to catch them and take action against them. That said, until now I've never done anything else in game where I could at least understand why someone would want to automate it instead of actually playing themselves. If this method of competing catches on I fear that Bioware may have to actually save us from ourselves by nerfing the value of these particular items at least.

It reminds me of when right after the introduction of Galactic Command someone found out that the best way to earn Command XP was to farm mobs in a heroic area in a full ops group, and at least that still involved a lot more gameplay than this crafting mayhem. At the same time, Bioware may be less inclined to take action in this particular case because relatively little is at stake in Conquest battles (you don't win anything powerful or exclusive, it's just a badge of pride).

5 comments :

  1. Argh.
    Now I can't wait to get home and check if I have that one :D
    My current PT main was started in 2012 iirc and had Biochem from the start...

    I'm a little unfocused on SWTOR right now (sadly) but I still try to participate in Conquest, and when I can't make it to my guild's weekly event this would be a nice filler to at least hit my goal.

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    1. I didn't really mean to encourage people to do more of this... XD

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  2. I'm always amazed at how much effort people put into doing things more efficiently. Or how focused they are for a goal (the number) rather than a sustainable patch to achieve it.

    I've burned myself out on more than a few things with that mindset :(

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    1. It's definitely a risk and something I always wrestle with to some degree when doing Conquest in general.

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  3. I, too, had to check my main to see if I had that crafting schematic. Not that I've ever bothered to do any Conquest stuff, but as a completionist about recipes I would have been bothered if I didn't have it.

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