Saturday, July 22, 2017

Fallout 4 on Very Hard Difficulty

Don't do it. Not without mods.

Difficulty in Fallout 4 is basically unrewarding because you don't get more XP for your kills. So these things happen and very quickly the game becomes really grindy-boring:
  • If you don't stealth, you die.
  • If you don't one-shot things, you will also probably die, unless you can get back your [Hidden] status through stealth. You will basically be sniping just about everything.
  • If your build doesn't emphasize stealth, it's no good.
  • You are missing out on un-stealthy things like Power Armor and certain encounters where you are meant to just rush in and be the hero. Also, your Companions are idiots and Stealth is hard with them. But at least they are unkillable and can take hits for you, especially if they were the ones that drew aggro on a Missile Launcher using Super Mutant.
  • Some encounters are designed to defeat stealth, such as mole-rats bursting out based on proximity, and Radscorpions immediately (literally, immediately no matter the distance) tunneling to your location when you snipe them and your hidden status becomes [Caution].
  • You will start avoiding encounters because the cost-benefit is too low. Coming out of a fight with four mongrels with crippled limbs and having to use stimpacks -- all for maybe 4 pieces of mongrel meat? Avoiding fights further reduces your XP gain and your rate of levelling.
You could just grind around low-level areas until your level goes up, but grinding is an MMO mechanic designed to keep everyone playing and feed the pockets of the devs through subscriptions. It has no place in a Single Player game.

If you really want to do Very Hard AND keep the game moving reasonably, you can do two things:
  • Have a decent build. Start with at least Agility 7 and Strength 2 (or Strength 1 and use the SPECIAL book to get it to 2) and get the Ninja and Big Leagues perks as soon as possible to help you one-shot as many things as possible.
    • They will serve you better than going for Blacksmith or Gun Nut because of the level limitations on the higher ranks coupled with stronger weapons needing higher ranks for the same modifications (such as the all-important Suppressor for a rifle).
    • As you level, you will find gear with mods and you can just cannibalize them onto your weapons without making your own with the perks. The perks make it more convenient, but the level requirement is too close to their random appearance on enemies and in stores.
  • If you like VATS a lot, start with Luck 10. Otherwise, Strength 2 (for Big Leagues), Perception 4 (so you can start opening Advanced Locks), Agility 10 (and focus on Agility gear) to survive with Stealth, maybe a bit into Luck for low-priority damage perks there, and the rest into Intelligence (at least 4 to work on Advanced Terminals, increase it toward getting Robotics).
  • Get an XP mod for more kill XP. This helps you keep up with the enemy difficulty and keep the game moving.
    • BUT, if you're going to do that to avoid grind, you might as well just play Normal Difficulty and customize your rate of Legendary Enemies showing up.
    • Also, with Ninja and damage perks, you can often kill enemies without substantially more work than Normal Difficulty. That said, if you lose stealth and have to slug it out, you'll probably die.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Devotion Oathbound Paladin PvE build for @NeverwinterGame

This guide for the Neverwinter game on ARC is for NW.80.20170417A.3, the 2017-May-1 first patch introducing the Shroud of Souls campaign (Mod 11b). There was only one announced change for Paladins having to do with PvP.

The focus of this build is PvE and healing. Typically, doing the solo content is not a problem unless you are severely undergeared, so we won't dwell too much on that. The main focus of this build is the observation that in dungeon / raids, what often kills party members is not your ability to keep up with healing -- just the Cure Wounds At-Will plus Bond of Virtue will typically keep everyone comfortably at or near their health maximum, mainly because enemy attack rate is pretty low. If someone should happen to dip below 75% typically they pop a potion or you have time to get to them.
What often kills party members -- which contributes toward the whole party wiping -- is someone suddenly taking a lot of damage. Sometimes you can quickly heal them through but if they are Defeated and Near-Death then you (or someone else) will have to quickly rescue them. If they take enough damage in one shot they will be Dead and that often means being locked out of a boss fight till the fight is ended or reset.
Sudden damage can be from bad luck and getting stuck in or clipped by a red zone, to getting ganged up on by a bunch of adds. Whatever the case, your build priority if you are to be a reliable healer is:
  • Top priority: Stay alive. This means you must also survive sudden damage bursts. More than that, you'll probably need to go in and revive someone although this should be the job of a dps character -- the tank needs to keep tanking and you need to keep healing the tank and everyone else.
  • Secondary priority: Massive emergency healing. If someone suddenly takes a lot of damage, you need to quickly get their health up so they don't become Defeated and either need to be revived or die outright. If revived, you need to quickly bring up their health.
    • We will NOT focus on running Aura of Life all the time! In my opinion that is wasting an Aura slot on a contingency that you should avoid to begin with. In a massive raid such as Greed of the Dragonflight, you might want to run it because it saves you from running over to everyone who's downed -- possibly having to run through red zones or other dangerous situations. But in smaller parties it's nicer to have more constant utility from your abilities.
Character Creation - Race
  • Human - A solid choice for 3% Defense (more survivability) and 3 extra Heroic Feat points. You lose Ability Score points but gain flexibility with Heroic Feat points. Those 3 points for the top tier feats can be worth more than just +2 to two Ability Scores. If you like customizing Feats, go Human.
  • Tiefling - Ability Scores in the right places, and a solid offensive ability in Bloodhunt. A good alternative to Human if focussing on solo PvE play.
Ability Scores
  • Maximize Constitution initially to squeeze as much Hit Points and Damage Resistance from your build.
  • You do not have any choice how the game assigns your Wisdom and Charisma, but as you level up, put points into Constitution (for more Hit Points and Damage Resistance), and Wisdom (for more Healing, Critical Chance, and Control).
  • Improving Charisma is not a bad choice for the Action Point Gain, but I would still recommend Constitution and Wisdom instead.
  • You can eventually get every power to Rank IV through Overflow Experience and the Sharandar Campaign Task "Assist the War Effort" so don't stress out too much about point assignment here. However, here are some recommendations:
    • For solo PvE I typically go with Burning Light, Templar's Wrath, and either Bane or Vow of Emnity. Pull the enemy, flash them with Templar's Wrath, and while they are stunned use that time to fully charge Burning Light to stun them even longer. Spam these to help your team handle larger mobs.
    • For small teams in dangerous dungeons I go with Bond of Virtue, Absolution, and Bane or Vow of Enmity.
      • Bond of Virtue to help you heal everyone all the time.
      • Absolution to keep up a big pool of Temporary Hit Points to survive sudden damage bursts.
      • Vow of Enmity on the main target so that every hit on it heals even when you are busy doing something else. If you are confident about being free to heal, go with stacks of Bane, which increases damage to the target and decreases their damage output.
    • For large teams or Dragonflight, if you can actually target the boss with Bane (often a teammate gets in the way and gets blessed instead), go with stacks of Bane on top of Vow of Emnity.
  • Absolution - Key power
    • It is very important to note the temporary points last until they are used up, so you can pre-emptively shield people with this. Use this to mitigate the chances of yourself and the person taking point getting suddenly killed.
    • It is critical to note you can only shield yourself and ONE other person. That person is the last person you chose to use this power on. Whoever the previous person was will lose the points.
    • Also use this as emergency healing because it works on percentages rather than absolute amounts. When an ally has over 100,000 Hit Points, it's hard to beat healing them instantly for half of that. Since these Temporary Hit Points last till eroded, they are just as good as real healing. You still do have to heal them, however, but you've bought them breathing room, and whatever healing they do on their own through potions and the like will not be redundant.
    • Refresh yourself whenever you can and top up the tank if you are not hurt. To reliably target yourself, you may have to look straight up.
  • Aura of Divinity
    • Great passive healing so you can concentrate on fighting while still healing. Still won't help against sudden massive bursts of damage but requires less attention than the At-Will healing power. Use this when the enemy isn't outputting a lot of damage, such as in a Skirmish, where it's usually less intense than a Dungeon.
  • Aura of Life
    • As mentioned before, we should aim to not need this but it has its place and you'll probably end up spending points on it anyway because of how Power Point spending works.
  • Aura of Truth
    • Not sexy for being a defensive aura, but every little bit counts when mitigating suddenly huge bursts of damage that can one-shot or nearly-one-shot an ally. If the dungeon you are in is suddenly one-shot-killing your teammates, choose this over auras than help output damage.
    • Based on the tooltip, it is not Damage Resistance so presumably it is not affected by the Damage Resistance cap, nor Armor Penetration.
  • Aura of Vengeance
  • Bane
    • Stacking three times means this power is actually a very strong support power such as when groups focus on a single boss.
    • The Oath of Devotion really reduces the utility by allowing allies to be affected because it is so much easier to have your line of sight blocked or interrupted in a large raid like Greed of the Dragonflight, thus missing your debuff on the enemy. Instead of everyone doing 10% more damage to the boss, only 1 person does 10% more damage.
      • For this reason, while I'd like to run it on Dungeons to reduce boss damage output, I usually run Vow of Enmity instead as its easier to aim.
    • The tooltip doesn't mention it, but Bane (and Vow of Enmity) does inflict damage when you debuff, so you do have some ranged attacks with which to pull mobs to you.
  • Banishment
    • Interesting power for general adventuring when you don't want to have to handle mobs -- flash them and run away. Otherwise too situational to really want to tie up an Encounter slot.
  • Burning Light and Templar's Wrath
    • Both notable for the stun duration. If your party gets mobbed, flash these in between healing as an enemy that is not attacking can't deal damage that you have to heal. Even flashing Burning Light without charging it up for a long time can be useful for the interrupt.
      • The worst part of Burning Light will be the long charge-up time. Often, by the time you charge it to max, the strikers in the party will have wiped out the trash mobs.
  • Healing Font
    • Fire-and-forget healing that you can put somewhere and walk away from, allowing you to heal in two places at once.
    • A duration long enough that you might be able to refill your Action Points fully and use another Daily Power before the Healing Font has expired.
  • Heroism
    • Looks great for emergencies except it's often too late to activate if you get downed by the attack. The Temporary Hit Points go away after the duration, so you still have to heal madly in the meantime. Doesn't help anyone else either (but you could pair it with the Prism Paragon Feat).
  • Lay on Hands
    • An interesting power that works on percentages. Good for emergency healing except you need to aim it right, and that can be hard to do in combat. Pre-emptive Absolution is still your better choice since you have more time to turn it on.
    • Also good when you need to protect non-player characters, such as the priests in the Throne of the Dwarven Gods skirmish where their immense number of Hit Points means conventional healing can take an excessively long time.
  • Oath Strike
    • If everyone (or the key healing target / tank) is close by, consider just whacking something with Oath Strike instead of putting out heals with Cure Wounds since the healing burst on each third strike should reach them as well, in addition to increasing your healing power by 10%.
  • Radiant Strike
    • Very good when you don't need so much constant healing (otherwise you swap out with Cure Wounds).
    • Key to note is the really broad area effect of this power. So if you need to move and/or hit the boss but don't want to get too close or directly attack, switch targets to a secondary one nearby and whack them with Radiant Strike.
  • Relentless Avenger
    • Knockback is a great interrupt but more often than not you will want to keep enemies grouped together for Area of Effect damage. There are times when you can knock enemies off into unplayable areas for an instant kill, but if you need tricks like that you are probably undergeared for the area.
  • Sanctuary
    • Remember there are lots of goodies here including damage resistance, healing, and getting immunity to Control Effects (clearing them as well by turning it on and walking out of a control zone). Sometimes your raid can't really move out of a continuous damage zone, so try shielding up.
    • If you are out of Divine Call energy and other burst-healing powers, you can definitely try just activating Sanctuary, which can heal quite a bit on top of granting damage resistance.
  • Vow of Enmity
    • Under the Oath of Devotion, allies striking the targeted enemy also get healed, making this a great fire-and-forget healing power especially if there is just one boss everyone is focussed on.
    • You can recast this anytime, either changing the Vow target or refreshing the duration on an existing one (or just to clear stacks of Purifying Fire).
    • Great for long-range support since you don't have to be there to heal if the person needing healing just continues to attack the target of the Vow.
    • You can get more damage against a boss with Bane, but against hard-hitting bosses like Orcus in Castle Never, Vow of Emnity is safer as it helps you put out continuous healing.
  • Some pretty tough choices here, though as a Human you would get 3 more points which can be very nice to really focus on the final tier and get the huge bonus to Critical Chance.
  • The key ones to get are:
    • Toughness and Steadfast to improve Hit Points above and beyond the bonuses from Constitution. Of course there is synergy with Aura of Courage, but for our goal of surviving sudden death, more Hit Points further boosted by keeping up the 20%-50% Temporary Hit Points from Absolution really helps.
    • Light's Shield to maximize your Damage Resistance (which does however have a cap of 80%, however).
    • Exemplar's Haste - Although the bonus tops out at 6%, there are too many synergies involving Encounter Powers to not take every opportunity to maximize them, especially when some of them take a long time to recharge.
  • Divine Call related Heroic Feats - pass
    • Divine Call really generates very slowly in combat. Unless combat lasts a very long time, you are unlikely to flash it more than three or four times in your healer role. When you need it, however, you might spend two or even three in one go, such as when multiple teammates are suddenly at low Hit Points (because the Oath of Devotion lets you heal for 50% more if you use it again within 10 seconds).
    • However, because we don't get to use it very often, we feel it is fine to give Divine Call feats a pass. This includes Divine Action (Activating Divine Call gives 1/2/3/4/5% maximum Action Points) and Impassioned Pleas (you generate Divine Call energy 2/4/6% faster).
    • Instead, we will aim for Vengeful Judge, which gives Encounter Powers a chance to immediately grant a charge of Divine Call. The behind-the-scenes mechanic is more likely to be 100% with a 30-second cooldown. It does however make the small bonus from Divine Action look expensive for 5 feats.
      • Vengeful Judge of course also gives +35% damage for 10 seconds, which theoretically means you are relying on Divine Call a lot -- but that is generally for solo play. If you are the mission critical healer I recommend saving Divine Call for emergency healing -- referring to our Secondary Priority for this build, Divine Call can be activated twice quickly with no aiming required, and you give bonus healing on the second Divine Call.
      • In solo play your healing powers generally let you outlast most foes, so I recommend using the damage bonus from Vengeful Judge to augment your Divine Judgement by flashing Divine Call between Vow of Emnity and Divine Judgement.
  • If you picked Human to play, you get three extra points which can let you also get Divine Wisdom or Force of Will. Easily worth more than 2-4 Ability Points.
Paragon Feats
Although survivability suggests going the Bulwark path, as a healer who is not meant to draw enemy aggro, that path is an inferior choice. As a healer, the Light path is also an apparently natural choice, but this build is based on the premise that we are normally over-healing already, and need help with survivability and emergency healing. With the Justice Path, we get a lot of support powers plus powers that synergize with Encounter powers, which everyone spams.
  • Swift Flash - Once every 10 seconds you move faster for 4 seconds. The actual utility of this is honestly not that great, especially considering you need to get hit first.
  • Bound By Light - To support our use of Burning Light and Templar's Wrath.
  • Flash of Light - Apparently doesn't help you, and 25% chance to reduce cooldown by 10% basically averages to a 2.5% cooldown reduction for allies whenever you use an Encounter Power. However, it's this or Shining Beacon, which requires you to be hurt for you to benefit. Between the two, Flash of Light will see more utility more often especially if tank pulls all aggro from you and you just need to watch out for area effects.
  • Stem the Tide is pretty much useless unless you are in a solo instance. You need the most help with group content such as Heroic Encounters and dungeons, so this is a waste of points.
  • Beacon of Hope sounds good because of the big numbers, but it is actually very chancy and situational.
    • It is wasted if your allies are doing fine.
    • It's random so it will not necessarily heal the person who needs it the most, nor at the moment they need it. You can pulse Cure Wounds out faster than that.
    • It will give out three heals over the six seconds for weapon damage, which is probably around 2% health. You can probably do faster better and at any time with any other healing power.
  • Purifying Fire
    • The way it works is, if you land five hits within 60 seconds without interrupting the target with an Encounter Power, at 5/5 you will have done an extra 10% + 20% + 40% + 80% + 160% weapon damage as Physical Damage. This is 5 stacks and further hits do not inflict any more bonus damage until the stacks are cleared.
    • Five hits within 60 seconds is pretty easy to do, so this works out to an average of a 62% damage bonus on weapon damage.
    • Since our feats support trying to use Encounter Powers frequently, we can clear the Purifying Fire stacks often enough for it to be useful -- even Bane or Vow of Enmity will clear the stacks.
    • Radiant Strike will apply Purifying Fire to all targets affected by the Radiant Strike!
    • Generally this is the solo adventuring choice. Since solo adventuring isn't typically all that challenging, I recommend Prism over Purifying Fire.
  • Prism means everyone gets healed when you are healed.
    • You have to activate a Daily Power, but the duration is long enough (up to 20 seconds) that you don't have to time this power for when you suddenly need it.
    • Transforms a non-healing Daily Power into a healing one. Great when you want to slot Divine Judgement or emergency short-term defenses like Shield of Faith. For healing Dailies, this is probably overkill and may still not help you enough in emergency-healing situations.
After reaching Vengeful Judge from the Justice path, you have 15 more Paragon Feats (at Level 70) to spend. Good feats to aim for:
  • Bulwark tier 2 Divine Innervate
    • If you restore HP to an ally (does not activate if you do not actually restore health with your healing power), you will also increase their Damage Resistance.
    • This is not bad, although in the sudden-damage scenarios we are trying to mitigate, this may come too late unless you were already healing them as they took smaller amounts of damage -- a likely scenario given that you can spread healing around to everyone pretty much all the time with Bond of Virtue.
    • 2.5% is rather low, but you can't expect that much from a low-tier Paragon feat. Still, it works on percentages and 2.5% off a huge burst of incoming damage works out to a potential lifesaver.
  • Light tier 2 Light Touched
    • This helps you get more Action Points from healing spells, which you will be using a lot of in group content.
    • Even without this you can refill your Action Points before Healing Font expires.
So far we've talked about things that will cost you a Retraining Token to change. Gear (including Companion and Mount powers) is more flexible, so for gearing, I actually recommend prioritizing Power, and secondarily Defense -- with the caveat that you get something like Barkshield Enchantment to help against sudden bursts of damage. Even the basic Barkshield will make a huge difference.
Also watch for Artifact, Companion, and Mount powers that trigger healing when you are incapacitated (e.g., stunned), low on health, or suffer a large hit. Adding all those will greatly help you survive sudden bursts of damage, leaving you free to direct the various bonuses on the rest of your gear.

Once you can comfortably handle sudden damage and survive it or heal through it, then to make life more bearable in solo play, prioritize Power and Defense (in that order), and Critical if you want to work on a third stat.
More Power will
  • Help you kill things faster in solo play and make life less tedious.
  • Strengthen your heals, making allowing you to quickly heal a target back up to full health.
  • Increase your passive and side-effect healing such as from Oath Strike, leaving you more room to contribute to damage -- remember that with Oath Strike plus Vow of Enmity you can both fight and heal in melee at the same time.
If you feel you need more defense, you can adjust your gear quite easily in general so don't worry too much about it.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

New Player Guide - How to make credits in SWTOR

A lot of people ask how to make a lot of in-game money (credits) in SWTOR (Star Wars: The Old Republic). Usually they provide a useless question like "how do I make a lot of credits" and get a lot of useless answers like "sell item mods". The problem is these questions and answers lack context, the key one being what assets the player has to execute a strategy.

This guide is aimed at new players who are basically starting a new account and have no one to give them a handout. I'll assume that somewhere in between making money you will actually be playing the game. How much time and resource you devote to playing the game is basically up to you and you'll have to adapt this guide to account for it. For example, I pretty much always list for 2 days because I don't want to spend my entire day refreshing GTN sales over all my alts and actually want to play the game!

Further, I'm going to assume you are either Free-to-Play or Preferred and you know how to bank credits in SWTOR until you have enough that the rest can go into escrow. This means we won't talk about making massive-credit moves like buying packs off the Galactic Trade Network (GTN) or trying to control a really pricey item on GTN like Grand Chance Cubes. We also won't talk about investing Cartel Coins into product since that is a limited resource that new players typically don't have much of. Nevertheless you can still literally make millions per day using the techniques outlined here.
  1. When you first start an account, you can make 10 characters as a Free-to-Play account (as of SWTOR version 5.0).
    • You want to make 10 characters and get them all in a guild that can get you access to a GTN kiosk (usually in the guild stronghold or guild ship), Cargo Hold, and Legacy Storage.
    • Make sure you know which characters you're going to keep and which you are planning to or are willing to delete later -- the expendable ones don't need upgrades and must not have credits locked in escrow.
    • You are making the maximum number of characters allowed because as Free-to-Play you are only given 5 GTN slots per character. The more characters you have, the more GTN slots you get, the more credits you can make.
      • For making credits, a very good investment of Cartel Market Coins is in buying more GTN slots. Not really necessary if you are a subscriber since you get 50 slots per character (and a lot more characters available) but getting up to 15-35 slots will help you make a lot of credits daily.
      • 10 characters x 5 slots = 50 slots. This might sound like a lot, but it is actually not, especially when you can't count on every item selling. Also, you will rapidly get more things to sell than you have GTN slots or storage space. When you start regularly getting a large number of items to sell for a good price, you'll want to start investing in GTN slots. However, you should also balance this with how frequently you want to subscribe since credits in escrow are basically just waiting for you to subscribe so you can access them.
        • There are of course Escrow Transfer passes in the Cartel Market, but those are worthless considering how little you can transfer out compared to what you can buy with them.
  2. Start getting your characters to level 10. At level 10 you will receive the Emergency Fleet Pass, signalling your ability to travel to Fleet regardless of where you are in your character's story.
    • Get one character to Fleet as soon as possible to get your Stronghold and to learn Crew Skills.
    • Once you're on Fleet you'll also have access to Heroic Mission terminals which can let you travel to other planets even if you don't have your personal ship from the character story.
  3. Crew Skills
    • For all characters, get Slicing. Once you start getting Lockbox missions, you can start generating credits.
      • Lockbox missions always result in a lockbox that gives you more credits than you spent on the mission. It's random, so theoretically you might only do slightly better than break even -- BUT it is still important because they will provide a basic income from which you will fund all your initial credit-making. With Slicing, you really can't run out of credits to manufacture goods to make you more credits.
    • For your remaining Crew Skills, it is generally a good idea to have some harvesting skills on characters who can get to many planets.
      • The starting planets typically have very little you can harvest except with Bioanalysis and Scavenging to process some enemy corpses. Once you get to Coruscant and Dromund Kaas, you can really start harvesting.
      • If you level a character enough, they can pick up a Heroic Mission from a mission terminal and use the associated Heroic Transport to travel to the required planet -- even without having obtained your personal starship through progress in the character's story. In this way you can position characters to harvest on planets you can't normally get to.
      • Flashpoints can also have enemies you can process, but that's trickier since you have to kill said enemies and unless you enter them solo, groups typically want to move along in the flashpoint than stop to kill everything for materials.
    • For characters who you don't play much and therefore won't be in a position to harvest, assign then Crafting Skills as necessary. For the remaining slots, choose one of Diplomacy, Investigation, Treasure Hunting, or Underworld Trading for each character.
      • Slicing + one other skill = two skills, which is the limit for free-to-play characters unless they purchase a third Crew Skill slot from the Cartel Market. With a 10 character limit, you should still be fine.
  4. Spend some time working on Companion Influence by farming Esseles / Black Talon flashpoints.
    • In the early game with limited resources, this will be expensive. If you are willing to grind, however, you can get your first story companion's Influence up quite quickly by doing Esseles / Black Talon flashpoints solo.
    • Doing these flashpoints will not only get that one companion's Influence up (resulting in better Crew Skill Mission outcomes), but you will typically get good loot to sell right away.
    • Since SWTOR 5.0, the Esseles and Black Talon flashpoints are synced to level 10, even for Veteran Mode so you can run it at Veteran Mode pretty much right away.
  5. While you are levelling your characters / playing the game / doing missions, you will come across various items that are not classified as grey "junk". The easiest thing to do is to sell them to a vendor for quick credits, but if you don't need the credits right away, try selling them on GTN first.
    • This is your initial sales inventory. We'll look into how to manufacture your own inventory, but when you're starting out, that's what you're working with to get you into trying to make credits right away.
      • Transfer items between characters using Legacy Storage in your Stronghold.
    • The price suggested by GTN will be 5x the price you would get from selling it to a vendor. If you don't know what to sell for, try that. But search GTN first to get an idea of the market.
    • There's a lot of guesswork involved in pricing until you get a feel for what will sell for how much, but here are the key things to keep in mind:
      • What you think of as "useless" might still sell. Don't bother trying to discover why, just try to sell at what the market will bear.
      • What you think of as a ludicrous amount might still sell at that price. A good way to tell is to see if a lot of people are listing at that price range every day -- they are probably making some sales at that price. Otherwise they wouldn't bother.
      • Mass-posting and undercutting doesn't always work well. Don't get drawn into a race to the bottom price, especially when you don't yet have the inventory or GTN slots to do it.
      • If you "make a mistake" and under-price it by using the GTN-suggested price, you at least made more credits than selling to a vendor. It's better to do this to clear your inventory of low-priced items on GTN than be forced to sell to a vendor at an even lower price to free up storage space.
  6. Find things to sell
    • Instead of grinding for things to sell, start manufacturing things so you have a reasonable inventory of things that will reliably sell.
      • You can also devote time to grinding/harvesting with whatever toon you are playing, but I am NOT going to assume that you are going to do so. Ultimately you are on SWTOR to play the game, not grind or harvest like a bot. You CAN spend hours harvesting like a bot and hopefully make millions despite being undercut.
      • Or, as you are playing you can run Crew Skill Missions to build an inventory of stuff to sell.
        • It's easy to underestimate this when your Companion Influence is low. But once you get even three companions to 25+ you'll really start to see the difference, especially in Slicing. You can end up with more Schematics than you can sell or store if you aren't careful.
    • Many people have suggestions for what to make that will either reliably sell, or sell for gobs of money. I personally like to run Companion Gift missions from Diplomacy, Investigation, Treasure Hunting, or Underworld Trading. The main reasons are:
      • They are useful items. Considering how many gifts are needed to level up Companion Influence, it is unlikely that the market for these will completely dry up. Unless the Companion Influence system is completely changed, Gifts aren't going to be obsolete.
      • You can use them yourself.
        • It's fine for your production to exceed your ability to sell them because you can definitely use them on your own Companions to get their Influence up. Free-to-play players need only three Companions to maximum level because they can only send a maximum of three on Crew Skills (as of 5.0, subscribers can send 8). Even so, that will require a LOT of Companion Gifts.
          • If you already have three Companions to max, it's still worthwhile to have a fourth in case you need a high-Influence Companion to help fight, so you still have three on Crew Skill Missions.
        • You're not going to get saddled with a huge stack of dead inventory that cost you a lot to manufacture.
      • Your cost to make them is a fraction of what people buy them at from in-game vendors.
      • It's likely that other people have spares. You can try trading for the types you need on a 1:1 ratio.
    • Once your Companion Influence is quite high, around 20+ or 30+, consider switching to Slicing Lockbox missions with the aim of getting schematics now that you have a decent chance of a critical result.
      • You'll likely get a lot for Diplomacy, Investigation, Treasure Hunting, or Underworld Trading. Run them for materials to sell; and for Companion Gifts to use or sell. Inch your Companion Influence higher toward the maximum.
      • If you really have no time for harvesting, then run the Archaeology, Bioanalysis, or Scavenging missions as well. Otherwise try to sell those.
      • Be careful not to focus on only the highest-level Lockboxes (Grade 9) because you may end up with a huge inventory of Grade 9 materials. Instead, start spreading missions around to do some of the lower grades, thus expanding your inventory.
      • In the unlikely case that even the pink/artifact grades don't sell reasonably, you can still use them yourself making something else you can use or can sell, such as Univeral Prefabs to get utility decorations.
    • Buy under-priced things
      • Once you have a handle on how much things sell for, you can start to spot when someone has a severely underpriced listing, and buy that for resale.
  7. Manage your sales
    • If you invest in extra GTN slots, it's helpful to have 15 or 25 per character. This way you can group things to sell on that one character, and just refresh the listing on GTN whenever an item sells or is returned to you Expired.
      • For example, one character with 15 slots could sell 1 stack of each type of Grade 5 prototype/blue Companion Gift. That takes 10 slots, leaving you 5 slots to sell anything on an as-needed or opportunity basis. When you sell one stack of gifts, you don't need to check what you need to re-list since you will just re-list that same type of gift and you know this character sells only one stack of that item at a time.
      • This helps to keep things organized and speed up your day. It is easy to while away hours tending to just your GTN sales over 10 characters, leaving you no time to play the game.
    • Know when enough is enough.
      • Remember you are on SWTOR to play the game, not endlessly make credits. Unless you are a credit-seller, in which case you are in violation of the Terms of Service and are liable to get banned from the game once they discover you.
The tips here should give any starting player a solid foundation for making credits. Once you have a good reserve, go ahead and ask for tips from others and experiment. If you lose your shirt, come back here and make back a fortune.