WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A DROID:
Both the CHM & STPM have ratings that are stackable. The more modules installed in the droid, the higher the net harvesting or trapping rating.
The harvest rating on the CHM determines how much resource will be gathered by your droid. The maximum rating that a CHM can have is 20. Therefore, the highest overall rating that any droid can have is 120 (an Adv. R3 with 6 perfect CHMs). Prior to the release of JtL, it was basically impossible to have a 120 rated droid since hardcaps on resource qualities limited a DE’s ability to make perfect CHMs. However, since the expansion’s release, making the perfect CHM is now theoretically possible with new resources that do not have stat caps. Essentially, any droid that has a harvest rating of 100 or above should be considered fairly solid. The highest that I have seen personally is 114.
The amount of resource that is harvested by your droid is determined by the DIFFERENCE between the droid’s harvest rating and your own (which can be checked in the Skills Window using Ctrl+S). As long as the droid has a higher rating, it will give you a harvest bonus. The greater the difference, the greater the bonus. If the droid has a lower rating, it will harvest less resource than you could if you were doing it yourself. This also means that as you advance in your harvesting skills, the droid will harvest fewer bonus resources.
The rating on the STPM is thought to work in a similar fashion, but it is not entirely clear exactly how the rating affects its use. My own testing has indicated that the higher the trapping rating on the droid, the greater the chance of successfully trapping, but this evidence is not well tested. I have had droids that had much higher trapping ratings than me that at times seemed to trap significantly better than me, and at other times significantly worse. As the determination of success is a dice roll, I’ve neither had the time nor the inclination to test it out statistically. However, in general it is considered best to look for a trapping droid with a higher trapping rating than your own.
HOW TO USE YOUR DROID:
Upon calling a harvest droid for the first time, you should notice that it has a menu in its radial entitled “Harvest Options.” The “Program Target Harvest” submenu allows you to select a verbal command that will tell your droid to harvest whatever you have targeted. Selecting it will cause a “?” to appear above your droid. This is your droid asking you what command you would like to use. I personally just use “h,” but you can make it just about anything you want. If the command is stored successfully a “!” will appear above the droid.
The “Set Target Harvest” submenu lets you pick what you want the droid to harvest (meat, hide, bone, or something random).
When you kill something, simply say the verbal command in “Spatial Chat.” The droid will respond with a “!” indicating that it got the message, and it will automatically approach the corpse and harvest. Note that you must be targeting the corpse when you give the command. If your droid has a storage compartment (a module that can be installed in the droid instead of a CHM), anything that it harvests will be put into that compartment, which you can access via the “Droid Options” menu in the droid’s radial. Otherwise, all harvested materials will be put directly into your inventory.
Important note: If you tell the droid to harvest a corpse for a resource that the corpse does not possess (e.g. bones from an insect), the corpse becomes completely unharvestable by you and everyone else in your group.
Upon calling a trap droid for the first time, you should notice that it has a “Trap Options” menu in its radial. The “Program Launch” submenu allows you to select a verbal command that will tell your droid to harvest whatever you have targeted. Selecting it will cause a “?” to appear above your droid. This is your droid asking you what command you would like to use. I personally just use “t,” but you can make it just about anything you want. If the command is stored successfully a “!” will appear above the droid.
To load the droid simply call up a trap’s radial in your inventory where you will find a “Load Trap in Droid” command. The droid has a limited capacity and can only hold one type of trap at a time. Once a trap has been put into a droid, it cannot be recovered. Traps must be used, or they can be deleted via the “Clear Ammunition Processor” subcommand in the droid’s radial.
OTHER USEFUL FUNCTIONS:
If you find it annoying that your trapping droid runs away, you can ask a DE to give you a droid that has combat capability. R-series droids (max. 6 module capacity) and LE Repair droids (max. 3 module capacity) can have a combat module installed in them in place of an STPM. While this lowers the trapping rating of the droid, it will stand its ground when attacked and even fight back. These droids can also have armor modules installed that increase their resistances to damage. Probot (max. 5 module capacity) and DZ70 Fugitive Tracker (max. 2 module capacity) droids both come with inherent combat capability. They do not need a combat module and will stand their ground when attacked. However, without a combat module they only do 1 pt. of damage per attack.
** A sidenote about droid armor: Currently the display rating for droid resists is bugged. The maximum resistance that any droid can have is 20%. However, the droid will display 40% resists after the first time it is called. This is a display error. **
If your trapping droid comes under attack a lot, you may want to invest in droid stims to help keep it alive (or at least significantly reduce healing time). Since combat droids aren't tremendously popular, you might not find these on many DEs' vendors. You may have to ask around for them.
You may also want to ask your local DE about item storage in your droids. Droids can be given a slot that holds up to 10 items (this is a maximum for all droids regardless of their storage ratings), effectively increasing your inventory space. Moreover, items in the droid’s storage compartment do not decay when you die. This is very handy if you use alternate sets of armor for different situations. Giving a droid this ability takes up at least 1 module slot in the droid however.
Droids can also be equipped with crafting stations that allow you the benefit of a private crafting station anywhere you can call the droid. This can be handy if you’re out in the field & you need to craft high quality traps, camps, etc. Again, a module slot must be taken for any of the 5 different types of stations you might want.
BUYING A DROID:
For experienced veterans, buying a high quality harvest or trap droid should not be a problem. Most Master DE’s charge somewhere in the high 5-figure to low 6-figure range for top quality harvesting droids. Many DEs do not bother to stock trap droids on their vendors, but will make them for you upon request. A novice Scout might look at the cost and think “why so much?!” Most DEs know that a high level combatant with at least Novice Scout, harvesting meat that he/she sells for at least 50 cpu., can easily pay for a high quality harvesting droid in a very short time.
So what do you do if you’re poor, still grinding through the Scouting profession, and would like the help of a harvesting or trapping droid? My suggestion would be to find a non-Master DE or a Master DE that likes handcrafting droids. Do a search in Theed or Coronet, check the DE profession board for DEs on your server, or post a request on your server’s trade forum.
Harvesting and trap droids can be made with less than optimum materials in chassis that don’t offer the full 6 slots. To a non-Master Scout these can still be very useful since the droid’s rating will still be higher. Most reputable DEs will be able to make these droids for you at a fraction the cost of their top-of-the-line models. Once you’ve had a chance to develop your skills & make some money from harvesting, you’ll be able to go back to your friendly DE & get a better droid.
Hopefully this post will help those of you in the scouting profession to level up a little faster, make more money, and enjoy your SWG experience a little more. If not, then at least I have a place to send the all the Novice Scouts that ask me “what’s a droid good for?” I still welcome any questions you might have about droids here on the forums or in-game (send the tells or emails to bloodfin.omab).
Best of luck!!
Omab Espeonugik on Bloodfin
~~OmabINC Droids & Artisan Goods~~
636,-3660 Coronet, Corellia