Trade skills, jobs, crafting and gathering…we as the community, have not heard/seen anything whatsoever involving professions from player to player, or from class to class (except that they will exist). As it is, though…people still want to talk about it. Everyone has their thoughts as towards what should and what shouldn’t be; everyone has their favorite MMO to cite plausible ideas from and what we might be doing on our Trooper or our Sith Warrior (or whatever class you may choose)…so I’ll go ahead and talk a little about a few expected professions, which of those would fit into the Star Wars universe…and some newer ideas that I personally would like to believe in.
When you think of professions, what do you begin to envision? Common thought that seems to poke out of people tends to be along the lines of weapons crafting and some form of gathering. Most people, without much disagreement, will say that it’s obvious that Blaster crafting, Lightsaber crafting, and even sorts of armor crafting must exist. Amongst the usual MMO players, it becomes pretty obvious that some form of gathering must exist…be it salvaging from fallen droids, dismantling weapons (similar to Prospecting in WoW), or for the Runescape Players…chopping down trees and growing farms.
As exciting as some of those things are, let’s look at these things from a realistic level (as far as Star Wars goes):
Crafting: It would be fairly reasonable to assume that each class will have the ability to craft one item or another. The only factor for this would be this: What purpose would a Trooper have to crafting Lightsabers or for a Consular to create a magnificent blaster…? So a lot of people believe it would be more likely that crafting-types would be more of a class specific deal, which could work out. Making armor of sorts or upgrade componants would make sense for everyone though, as I can imagine any class tailoring himself or his friends to his or his friends needs, be it made by him or others. Of course, no matter what we can or can’t craft, it generally will be equal or slightly less mighty than what you can acquire in the game at that level (through more dedicated effort).
Gathering: This, right here…this is probably one of the most difficult professions I can imagine existing with most characters. I mean…imagine you’re running around on your Sith Inquisitor, and you find yourself in front of a node of Cortosis. You’re surprised at it’s rarity and that you were lucky enough to find it! So you whip out your trusty Vibro-pick-axe…and start hammering away. Does that feel right? Well, when I say it like that…maybe. Should it be so? Again, I’ll say maybe. There has to be some form of gathering, even (as I said before) if it’s in the form of “prospecting” fallen enemies and weapons.
I’d like to talk about “secondary professions”, if you would. These could entail something as generic as First Aid, and/or could extend the reach into more interesting jobs. I’m talking about actual jobs; Gambling, Swoop Racing, Smuggling, Bounty Hunting, Diplomacy, and whatever job the developers feel they could fit into the Star Wars universe without extending their reach too far!
Now, this idea in its own is somewhat extending my own imagination and reach, and is pure speculation and desire….but in the Star Wars Universe, there are many people of whom hold a job that’s a bit more than their “class”, then some hold jobs that are their class. Smuggling and Bounty Hunting are professions known to be done by more than just the usual Smuggler or Bounty Hunter-type, after all. Let me explain this a bit further to help you understand what I’m talking about.
I’m bringing about the idea that professions are allocated into three separate divisions…One division would be Crafting (whatever you may craft), Gathering (however they may implement it), and an actual job choice for your character (something you do when you’re not saving/destroying the universe).
Example: I create a Sith Warrior, and I go through my beginning experience. When I finally get to a real, populated area where I’m able to choose my professions, I choose to pick up Lightsaber crafting and dismantling weapons. I also find a multitude of NPCs offering to “teach” me how to do one job or another. While thinking what I may want to do, I hang out in the Cantina and see a pair of awkward-looking aliens playing Pazaak, there are swoop races on the monitors over-head, and a bartender is taking someone’s bet on the mentioned swoop races. Upon walking up to the fellow who bet, you’re dragged into a cut scene and the alien who placed a bet is cheering and slams his fist on the table in victory, as he collects his winnings. He then looks over at me, and asks “What’re you looking at, two-legs?!” (I’ll choose the nice dialogue option here) “I’ve been looking to make a little easy cash…I’m not too familiar with this scene, though. Could use some lessons…” And after a discussion about the price and such, you gain the ability to gamble on the various games around you, and as your skill goes up, you’ll eventually be shown (by the computer) which choices are most likely to win (through some form of highlighting) to somewhat make you feel like your skills are teaching you to “feel” which of the racers/players are more likely to win. The odds would still be random (if it involves purely NPCs), but it would be random out of two pre-determined contestants (though I’d expect the highlight to stop at as low as 3 choices). Those two are out of 8 or 10 at some times (swoop/pod racing, or tournaments), and it’s a good way for people who love the casinos to pass their time when they need a break from story. Should you be placing bets on human players, doing which-ever sport…the highlighting would take place based on who holds a better ranking/success rate in the competition.
That’s just an idea, though. The same type of situation could be applied to any job-like profession they introduce. This is a way that players who don’t like the Smuggler class, but still want to maneuver some illegal goods can make the Kessel Run, and thus some cash. Of course, the way I’m thinking is that if you’re playing a Smuggler and pick up Smuggling as your job-profession, you’ll get a bonus to the money you make or to your reputation as a smuggler. On that note, reputation is a good way to make the skill-level system of these job-professions work! Let’s say you’re Bounty Hunting, each successful bounty you make grants you X amount of reputation. As you grow further in repertoire, you’re allowed to go on the more “dangerous” bounties (in the case of player bounties, this could be determined via positive difference in level + credits allocated for completion).
I’m going way ahead of myself, though. These are just the eloquent dreams of a wishful writer, and I have no expectations for this form of idea to be in The Old Republic. All that we can truly expect out of this game is what a “standard MMO” would hold, that being simple crafting and gathering. Though there has been no mention of it as of yet, there’s also the hopeful addition of Upgrades, similar to KotOR I and II. A crafting profession could be related to these, similar to Enchanting or Jewelcrafting of WoW. That would be less extreme than my previous ideas, but still on the level of pure optimism.
In Summary, through the many years of MMO existence, many people have come to expect certain things from the developers we hound, though not as high as other things on the list (i.e. PvP, PvE encounters, etc)…it’s much less controversial. Trade skills and professions are the sort of thing we expect to be there simply to bide our time and have something minutely useful as far as encounters of any sort go. They’ve seldom had a very large impact on our game at all, honestly. This is why I (personally) hope to see something along the lines of a REAL profession in the game, to the extent of being outside of your class. I want to see professions that actually effect who your character is, what about you?
You were deceived.