Hi everyone! In the past week or so I have been doing a lot of work with spices in my attempts to make, use, and sell them, and I have found that there is a general lack of understanding about spices and how they can help you (and hurt you). Seems some people had a bad experience with a downer and vowed never to use them again, and some just don't want to "do drugs". This guide will hopefully help you all understand what the role of spices really is and help you decide which spice is best for your needs.
Spices are portable buffs that can be used on demand. Each different spice will enhance certain stats (anywhere from 1 to 6) for a specific time, followed by a 2 minute downer period. You may only take one spice at a time. Spices are created by smugglers.
Effects of Spice
Each spice has a list of attributes that are enhanced and a duration. For example, say you have a spice that increases health by +100 for 400 seconds. When you take the spice, your current and maximum health both increase by 100 points, and will remain that way for 400 seconds.
After the spice has run its course, the downer kicks in. The effect of this is to REDUCE the stat that was buffed by the same amount that it was increased. So, in the last example, your maximum and current health will decrease by 100. All downers last for 2 minutes. Right now, if the downer kicks in and you fall to negative in one of your 3 HAM pools, you will be incapacitated. This may be a bug and might be fixed someday. The most important thing - strong spice = bad downer.
So why use spice?
Now that we have the technical details out of the way, the question remains, ,what good are they really? First of all, they are portable, on demand buffs. No doctor or dancer is needed to buff you and they can be taken before important battles or used in emergencies. Also, they stack with the other types of buffs.
Secondly, spices are the most direct way to effect the all-important mind pool during combat. A few of the spices have a +mind effect, and can act as the elusive mind stimpack in emergencies. Several spices have bonuses to focus and willpower, and can drastically increase the effectiveness of mind using classes like riflemen, medics, and even squad leaders.
The problem, however, is the downer. Because of this, spices must be used with much more care than other buffs. You need to think about the downer and how it will effect you - indeed lack of downer preparation is the primary reason many people have been turned off from spices. Basically, extended group hunts with lots of constant fighting are not ideal situations for a powerful spice like Neutron Pixie, because you will likely be incapacitated by the downer at a bad time. Spices become much more useful in situation when you can control the time of the battle and be somewhere safe for the downer. For example: right before you are about to solo a group of Dark Troopers surrounded by several other stormtroopers. (Sound familiar?) By the time you finish the mission, run back to Coronet to pick up another, and get out to your next mission, the downer should have worn off and you can be ready to pop another. Other examples of when to use a spice: before attacking the deranged AT-ST at the end of the Warren. Before PvP battles. The final room of the nightsister cave. The list is endless.
You can, however, still use spice in long hunts. The problem is that most people only know about and use Neutron Pixie and Muon Gold, both which have large primary HAM effects and are the WORST for causing yourself to be incapped. Some of the other spices can be used repeatedly without major side effects. More on this later.
One of the things to keep in mind with spice is the duration. Spice durations range from 400 seconds to 800 seconds, although most last 600 seconds (10 minutes). Keep this in mind - if you are running those darktrooper missions and your pixie downer kicks in right when you are ready to start a mission, maybe use a shorter duration spice so the downer hits while you are in coronet. In general, though, the longer the duration the better.
Secondary Stat Spice Usage
I hope to really open some eyes on how some of the spices other than Muon Gold or Neutron Pixie can be used. Remeber that the downer only effects the stats that are initially effected by the spice itself. Therefore, if your spice only effects secondary stats, you will NEVER be incapped by the spice directly. It also doesn't lower your HAM pools at all, so you will never take a whole bunch of "damage" when the downer kicks in. This is key - if the spice you are using only effects focus, for instance, just don't use any mind specials during the downer, and spam them like crazy during the upper. Effective, isn't it?? Most people have had bad experiences with spice because the 1000 health or 500 mind damage they take when the downer kicks in flattens them. Muon and Neutron aren't the only spices around.
A note on Doctor Buffs
Doctor Buffs are better than spices. Get them if you can. If you aren't a doc yourself, though, spices are much easier to find and use, and remember they stack.
Ok, now that that is all out of the way, I am going to list all the spices and thier effects, along with some comments on how they are best used. There are 15 types of spice - 3 are granted to the smuggler at each level of spicing plus 3 at novice smuggler. The level of spice doesn't have much to do with how good it is - some of the best are level 0 while some of the worst are level 2 or 3.
Level 0 Spices - Novice Smuggler
Grey Gabaki - +500 focus, 500 seconds
This is a great spice. This is the one that will let you spam mind specials at will, as long as you avoid them during the downer. You can use these all throughout an extended hunt do vastly increase your effectiveness and you never take a reduction in any HAM pool. If you are a riflemen, buy some.
Scramjet - +300 strength, 700 seconds
Another decent spice. If you spam health specials a lot this is a good spice to use for extended hunt situations for the same reasons as outlined in Grey Gabaki, above. Long duration. No incap on the downer. highly recommended.
Shadowpaw - -100 strength, +250 action, +250 quickness, 600s
An action spice - almost identical to Giggledust (below) but with a strength hit. An ok spice if you use action specials (pistoleers). Special importance to the smuggler as it is the best grinding spice.
Level 1 spices - Naturals
Giggledust - +300 action, +300 quickness, -100 focus, 600s
Another decent action spice - can be used instead of Shadowpaw if you would rather take a focus hit than a strength hit.
Sweetblossum - +100 health, +600 constitution, -100 action, -100 quickness, -200 focus, 600s
A powerful constitution spice with several side effects. If you need to regenerate your health a lot, then use this one. It may be useful for reducing downtime on longer hunts if you try not to get hit much during the downer.
Yarrock - +200 mind, +100 focus, +100 willpower, 600s
Mini-Muon. Provides a helpful boost to the mind stats. Because it's a mind spice it's automatically important, and may be good for mind using classes that don't want to take the much bigger Muon Gold.
Level 2 Spices - Meds
Pyrepenol - +300 strength, -100 quickness, -50 focus, 600s
Another good one for spamming health specials and avoiding "damage" when the downer hits. I have no idea why someone would use this while scramjet exists.
Sedative h4B - +400 health, +300 consitution, -100 mind, -100 focus, 600s
Another health one, focusing on regeneration. Might be good for reducing downtime if you've got no medics. Be ready for the 400 health downer.
Zyopolene Droid Lubricant - +250 health, +250 strength, +250 constitution, 600s
Another health based spice, affecting all three health stats.
Level 3 Spices - Stims
Crash and Burn - -200 action, -200 quick, +400 mind, +200 focus, 600s
Another mind one with side effects. I don't think this one is all that good - there are better mind spices out there.
Gunjack - +500 strength, -200 quickness, -100 focus, 600s
The strongest strength spice out there, very useful for those who use lots of health specials, and no "damage" on the downer. Good spice. Also rare because it requires an artisan component - this is the only spice a smuggler can't make alone (I've got some though)
Thrusterhead - +600 mind, +200 focus, 400s
This spice gives the biggest mind boost of them all, 600 points. This makes it the best "emergency mind stim" in the game. just be ready for the 600 point mind hit you will take when the downer hits, only 6.67 minutes later! The shortest duration spice.
Level 4 Spices - Chems
Booster Blue- +400 action, +400 quickness, 600s
The pistoleer's spice, great for using action specials. I like using this when I'm using my smuggler specials with my high HAM cost launcher pistol - it works wonders. I can use last ditch, lowblow, and panic shot easily.
Muon Gold - +500 mind, +500 focus, +500 willpower, 600s
By far the best selling, most used spice out there. Very effective for mind using classes allowing you to use mind specials at will and regenerate mind quickly. It's power is also it's downfall - if you are low on mind when the downer kicks in you'll incap and then not be able to get up. This is the reason people have had bad experiences - the most powerful spices have the most powerful downers! Be prepared!
Neutron Pixie - +1000 health, +200 strength, +200 Constitution, +500 action, +50 quickness, +50 stamina, 800s
The big one. Massive bonuses to health and action and the longest duration spice until the incredible downer. Neutron Pixie is not for the faint hearted. Remember, the secondary stats are only buffed a little, so this spice mostly just adds (a lot) to your HAM. This is great for solo battles, especially if you can't heal, but in general you WILL be incapped when the downer hits. You may have over 1000 health, but any damage at all an you are dirtnapping. Ensure you are someplace safe for the downer. Again, this spice, along with Muon, is the reason people are so leery of spices - it will incap you everytime. The downer is horrific.
I haven't experienced the bug that everyone is talking about on the Smuggler forums, but I wanted to mention it. Evidentally, when you have been incapped by the downer, sometimes when you wake up your secondary stats will not restore to the proper values and may even go negative. They say that they only appear this way on your character sheet - i.e. you really have your normal stats but they are displayed wrong. So even if you have a negative willpower displayed you will still regen mind at the normal rate, etc... Some say that eating some food will reset your stats, other say you have to clone or log off for awhile. Like I said I've never experienced any of this.
Spices are your friend. If used right they can be very useful. The important thing to remember is that there are more spices than Muon and Neutron and that really all of them have a use. Be creative and try some of them. Know how they work and you will be better prepared.
Finally, an advert
Snaproll is now selling almost all (soon to be all) of these spices on the LOWCA server. I have a vendor in the trading post near Coronet and one at Snaproll's Slicing and Spicing near Moenia if you are on Naboo (5570 -3679). I am also glad to do special orders - send an email to Snaproll.