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SWTOR Crafting - Money Maker?

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 15:08 — AngryJason

The other night, my level 50 Marauder took place in an 8 main raid of the eternity vault.  It was a fairly good time, but after it was done, I noticed that I was under 100k in credits.   I started looking into the economy on the server (Sith Meditation Sphere) and found prices to be fairly high.  I then took to my level 24 alt, a bounty hunter with biochem.  Now, at that level, biochem recipes pretty much revolve around an hallucinogenic compound.  In order to craft enough to crit a re-engineer into a blue or purple item, I was burning through these faster than my companions could retrieve them through crafting missions.  Keep in mind, those missions cost money as well.  At the end of the day, I was low on funds with that character as well.  I then took to the auction house, and found these to be selling for a steady 2000 credits each!  This is in no way sustainable to crafting and the whole craft/re-engineer/repeat grind.  

I have a sneaking suspicion that the economy is broken.  I decided to take a look at credit prices.  You can now buy 1 million credits for $6.  6 weeks ago, this price was $13.  Is it cheaper since people in general have more in game money and don't mind paying inflated prices for grade 2 biochemical compounds?  It is my theory that gold buying has become so prevalent that the economy fails for a guy who just wants to play the game legit by questing, crafting and selling his best items.  (I do open the question to that not being the case later).

I haven't bought any credits yet, but in a sampling of people who I sometimes play with, it's about a 25% rate.  Those are the ones who admit it.  What's the real number?   

I am obsessed now with making a boatload of credits the legit way (I really don't want to get banned, although I can't find one documented case of a credit buyer or seller being banned).  I researched and even after the earlier nerf, it seems that slicing is the preferred method to generate money while leveling up.

With this hypothesis, I rolled a new toon and quickly leveled up to 10, where I got my crafting skills.  I took slicing (I picked a trade skill and a mission skill, but haven't played those) and have been concentrating on my slicing.  Today, I ran 50 slicing missions. 

After 50 missions, I had critted a blue item (schem, augment or crafting mission) 6 times.  I had also failed to get anything 6 times.  Checking the gtn, I estimate that my blue items I picked up will yield about 9000 credits total.  My cash situation was almost break-even with 89 credits in the black.  I was up about 1400, but hit two high credit failures back to back which put me in the red.   If the blue items do yield 9000 credits, then my average value on the 50 mission test would have been 180 credits profit per mission roll.  

on my other toons, I've been using crafting and gathering for crafting and gathering - not as an attempt to make money to pimp my toons or even pay for repairs.  Can crafting missions be a legit money maker?  Is the best way to earn serious bank to just grind mobs?  

I have thought of using my 400 artifice to make some things to sell on the GTN, but after some simple math, it just doesn't pan out.  Many of the items which sell for 150,000+ credits take some seriously rare gems that can only be gained through ops. Others use a corusca gem, which by themselves, cost 10,000/each.  By my math, it appears that building these, then re-engineering into better items, then gathering the mats for those, then selling would be a zero sum game to a money loser.  Could this point to not many people buying gold?

So how about it?  Is the economy out of whack, or just right?  Are too many people buying credits, or is it not widespread?  What is the absolute best way to legitimately ensure you've got a sizable bank to spread the wealth between your main and a couple alts?  Are most level 50's really too poor to buy a level 3 speeder license?  When I see a marauder with 2 250k credit crystals (vendor price, not gtn) - how is he doing that?  

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