Chapter 3: The Biz
You're well on your way to Master Weaponsmith, here are some tips to help you along the way.
This is a table drafted by our forum-goer, Ybagi, which lists all the resources you will need and the stats that you will need in Weaponsmith items. Note: Each box represents a different item. If one box says "OQ CD", that means one or several items call for OQ and Conductivity. If another box says "OQ CD SR" all in one box, that means one or several items call for all three of those stats. If one box just calls for "SR", that just means one or several items call for just SR in that particular resource.
Firearms across the board are dependent on Conductivity and Overall Quality. If you wish to craft guns, you will need to seek out metals with high numbers in these two stats. Melee weapons across the board are dependent on Shock Resistance. Subcomponents, however, vary in what stats they require. You can find what stats every item requires by selecting the schematic in your datapad and browsing through the item information. Alternatively, you can check through various SWG fansites to find schematic listings with detailed information.
Qualities that schematics call for are proportional. Some may list "66% Conductivity, 33% Shock Resistance". This means that Conductivity is going to have a slightly larger effect than your Shock Resistance. So if you have a metal with say, 600 Conductivity and 300 Shock Resistance to use on this item, it would be better than a metal that had 550 Conductivity and 350 Shock Resistance.
If your item calls for 100% Conductivity, the only stat you have to worry about is Conductivity. Every other stat could be 1 and it will not have any affect on the outcome of your item. You should only worry about Conductivity.
It is highly recommended that you begin hunting for resources the second you have enough funding and harvesters to support it. It will do you no good to grind to Master Weaponsmith if you have no materials to make Advanced Components, and your weapons are 30 damage less than every other gun you see. So take the time to focus on gathering important resources along the way.
Resources shift roughly every week, though not all at the same time. Some resources leave as early as 4 days, some as late as 14. Sometimes your planet may go a day without Radioactive while the resources shift. It's a very frustrating process that takes awhile to adapt to. When you open your Survey Tool, it lists every single resource on the planet. You do not have to find their names, the Survey Tool doesn't try to hide resources from you. If it's listed there, it's on the planet. When a resource "shifts out", that means you can no longer harvest it, it has left the planet forever.
Resources are different on every server. No two servers will have identical resources. Bria may have some 999 OQ Copper in shift this week, while Ahazi is stuck with 23 OQ Copper at best. Additionally, your planets can have different resources. Certain resources appear on nearly every planet. Others may only appear on one planet. Some resources may appear on one planet, and then that same resource may slowly appear on another three days later. But just because you see an uber Steel on Naboo doesn't mean it's going to be on Tatooine as well.
Additionally, more prized resources tend to spawn on more hard-to-reach planets. For example, the best Kammris, Doonium and Plumbum Iron I have ever had have all spawned on challenge planets. Do not neglect challenge planets, as they may have hidden treasure.
The ultimate, accurate, always up-to-date, Real-Time Resource Tracker is your Survey Tool. There are many Real-Time Resource Trackers published on SWG fansites, like SWGCraft. These trackers are all player-submitted data and they tend to miss a good portion of resources that spawn, especially important ones on Challenge Planets. Moreover, these sites tend to be a few days late in reporting resources that just spawned -- or marking resources that have shifted out and no longer exist. It is recommended that you use sites like SWGCraft as cross-reference information, but you should not use it as your only guide.
What To Sell
You're tired of running Survey Missions -- you want some extra fundage. Well, I'm going to tell you right now that the only thing harder than the grind is getting customers. Do not plan on being able to make any money off of guns until at least Master, you'll die trying. The Weaponsmith economy is overloaded. It is going to nearly kill you to try to bring in customers. That said, here's some suggestions to get your foot in the door.
Weapon Powerups: Always in-demand, always useful and rather easy to make, resource-wise. You'll need the highest OQ Metal and Chemical you can find, Master Artisan and an Equipment Factory. Powerups are an Artisan item, so they are based off of Artisan Experimentation, not Weaponsmith Experimentation, which is why you should get Master Artisan. Make schematics, run off a ton of power-ups in your factory and slap them on the vendor.
Weapon Upgrade Kits: Also fairly in-demand, they are required to slice items. These are not dependent on quality or experimentation, and Smugglers buy 'em by the crate.
Grenades: Grenades are in amazingly high demand, especially when marketed well. Even smiths with only Techniques IV can make Grenades worth buying. Master Weaponsmiths hate making Grenades, they're a huge nuisance and take up a lot of precious factory time. So take advantage of that!
Other Munitions: Charged-based Heavy Weapons also fall into the grenade category: Somewhat high-demand and most Masters won't bother with them. The downside is that they are a hell of a lot harder to make. One Heavy Particle Beam Cannon might just bankrupt you before you finish crafting it, so be advised.
Knowing what to sell is only half the battle. Now you need to know who to sell it to and how to get them to know you have stuff for sale!
Firstly, my personal secret weapon is the mailing list. This is how I manage my mailing list:
Step 1: Place a CDEF on my vendor, named "Read me!" In the Sale Description, write "E-mail me if you want to be placed on my mailing list! You'll receive immediate updates about my stock and their stats the second it goes up on the shelves!"
Step 2: Start putting these people on your mailing list by using your Friends list. /addfriend [person], and then put them into a group, say "Customers". Keep your "real" friends into a separate group, named "Friends", that way they won't get your silly Weapons spam.
Step 3: Send out your first e-mail to your mailing list. Open your Community Tab (Ctrl-J) and select Friends. Sort by "Group", that way your real "Friends" are out of the way. Use Shift-Select to select everyone in your "Customer" group. Then click the "Mail" button. Neat! All of your customers are automatically typed in the TO: field for you.
Personally, my average e-mail to my customers looks like this:
In Stock 12/24/03!
Just letting you all know, I've restocked 50 sliced Republic Blasters, 50 sliced Flamethrowers and 50 sliced LLCs. I hope you're all enjoying your holidays!
Base Stats --
LLC: 500-1000 1.0
Republic Blaster: 200-400 1.0
Flamethrower: 600-2000 1.0
Customers eat this stuff up. They love getting mail and they love being able to know what's on the vendor before heading all the way out there. Only downside is, your friends list can get sort of crowded. (I have like, 300+ people on it from my mailing list.) But I think that's a good sacrifice to make.
Secondly, the more well-known-and-less-of-a-secret weapon: Planetary Map Campaign. You MUST MUST MUST get Advertising III and get the Planetary Map Campaign. Nobody's going to know about your vendor if it's out in a field in the middle of nowhere. But if they can see it right on the map, they'll be able to know about you! Even better, find a public Player City to join, especially one with a shuttle port.
Lastly, if worst comes to worse, you can go by the ol' defaults: Shout spamming and Bazaar advertising. It's not the most glamorous advertising campaign, but everybody had to resort to these measures at some point. Bring a crate of your best Powerups to the Starport and shout-sell them. Tell your buyers that they can find even more at your shop. Use the search feature to look up Marksmen and send them waypoints to your shop. Craft a CDEF, name it "Joe's Weapons -3000, 4000" and stick it on the Bazaar for 3000 credits. Some find these methods of advertising distasteful, but they work.
Economics 101: Supply and Demand. That's all you need to know. There are no "set prices" for weapons across all servers, asking us at the forums is going to do no good. Your best bet is to send a few tells to friendly Weaponsmiths on your own server and go from there. If your guns sell too quickly, price higher. If they sell too slowly, price lower. Simple as that.
Now Sliced Pricing is a bit different. Personally, my formula for sliced weapons is as such:
For slices under 30%, I price them by second digit x 1000.
29% slice = 9000 markup. 25% slice = 5000 markup. 22% slice = 2000 markup. Anything sub-20%, you likely won't be able to get sold unless you discount it.
For any slice 30% and above, I have a different formula. 30% slices are double base-price. So if I sell unsliced LLCs for 20k, a 30% damage sliced LLC would be 40k. I add a 2k credit markup for 31-33% slices, so a 31% damage sliced LLC would be 42000 and a 32% damage sliced LLC would be 44000, etc. For 34-35% slices, they are triple base price: The LLC would be 60000 for a 34% slice and 62000 for a 35% slice.
You can feel free to adjust the formula to suit your needs. This is just the one that works well for me.
Chapter 4: Useful Information
SWGCraft.com: The Ultimate Crafter Site
Allakhazam: All-Purpose SWG Fansite
The Best Macro Thread Ever
The Old Weaponsmith Board FAQ
Resource Table v1.0 by Ybagi
Message Edited by Logix on 12-26-2003 09:12 AM