The story of the Stubborn Shipwright!

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The story of the Stubborn Shipwright!

Post by Aegean »

Hello to everyone here and I hope you don't mind my indulgence of posting all this. It's just something I think is worth sharing. Please enjoy!

It was in the Autumn of 2004 when I learned that SOE were going to introduce a new crafting profession. At this time I was a noobie artisan, I had just gotten to the point where I realised how far behind the established crafters I was.

I loved crafting but couldn't see a way to make a good living from it. The first suit of armor I bought was paid for with credits from Artisan survey missions in Theed. I would forego travelling to Lok and other expensive destinations in order to afford my harvestor maintenance. Being a new and bright-eyed crafter was not an easy life.

When out surveying, I would tentatively place my 1 medium mineral miner beside fields of heavy harvestors. Literally scores of them, each emblazoned with a crafters name and shop waypoint. I wanted to be that successful, I wanted the glory of being a top tier crafter.

At that time it really was like that, the best weaponsmith or armorsmith was someone to be both respected and admired. They were integral to the whole servers success. And filthy rich of course :) If you had something of value to sell, or a service to provide, they were the ones to go to. They fostered interaction.

The introduction of a new crafting profession would even the playing field a bit, if I got in at the start I would have the best chance of success. It was an exciting time, I couldn't wait to start my new adventure.

The expansion hit and there was mayhem in the streets of Mos Eisley! I saw dozens of people huddled around the new Shipwright crafting stations at the starport entrance, they were huge and I wanted one of my own! I sat down on the ground, booted up my crafting tool and spent the whole evening taking notes of everything I could. I don't think I even ate dinner that night :)

IIRC, it took 8m units of steel alone to get to mastering Shipwright. SWG had never seen anything on this scale, it would be a long and expensive road. I spent every hour trying to make credits to buy heavy harvestors. Of course their price had skyrocketed but I had no choice. I reluctantly admired the business acumen of those Architects...

While my guildies were hunting from the Mining Outpost I would craft and craft, gaining XP and using up all the resources I had mined that day, only then would I go join my friends in their bloodlust :) I think it took me about 2 months to finally master the profession.

During this time the market was flooded with parts, some of the established crafters tried their hand at it, but there were many people like myself too, selling from humble houses in small backwater towns as they mastered.

As time went on I think most of the old-school crafters dropped out, the honeymoon was over, and their resources were far more valuable to be used in guns and armor. They could make 30 weapons with the same amount of resources it took to make a single level 7 engine. They could easily shift those in a couple of days at 10 or 20K credits each. The difference in
scale was too much.

Things were looking up for me, I had a good variety of quality resources, my knowledge of crafting was growing (I learned to not rely on that pesky green indicator bar!) and the market was settling down. I began to equal the stats of the best remaining Shipwrights, but I was still having huge trouble mining enough good resources when they spawned. I wasn't in
a position to buy any so I enlisted the help of some friends who placed harvestors for me in exchange for ship components. I was starting to become a business man like I had dreamed of, cutting deals and gaining a reputation for quality and honesty.

Those were my halcyon days in SWG. I was the guilds Shipwright, I was useful, I was helping people to succeed in their virtual world. JTL was still new enough that everyone had both something to learn and something to share.

I helped to establish a town with my friends from other guilds. We built a desert oasis that was home to a few different guilds, each adding their own character to the mix. My new merchant tent there was doing very well, it helped to bring bustle to the town with Pilots visitng neighbouring shops and striking up conversations with the residents.

The towns crafters then combined their efforts under a common brandname, and we became known as a mercantile centre. We even subcontracted work out to other crafters for items we couldn't manufacture ourselves. We spent happy hours sitting on the steps of the town hall watching our market square thrive as we hatched new plans. We had accomplished something great. I wasn't just in competition with other Shipwrights, together my friends and I were in competition with whole cities!

I was happy to have touched my dream, and happier still that I was sharing it with like minded players, each as dedicated to their craft as I was to mine. We couldn't have done it without each other.

The Combat Upgrade hit, many of our residents quit, some of my business partners quit, and trading slowed significantly. I lost a lot of suppliers, customers and friends. The dream was fading fast. The common brand and the town itself continued but over time people fell away and eventually I also stopped crafting.

Then we had the NGE, it's difficult to explain how shocked I was at what I was seeing. I remember thinking this must be some kind of cruel joke and checking the date from my phone. It was definitely November 15th, not April 1st.

I made a choice to stick with the game on a limited basis. I strategised and put the pieces in place to maybe start the whole dream again on what I hoped would become the most active space server. The months went by and I logged in for an hour here and there on the new server only to mine resources.

After a short test run I opened my new shop 3 months ago, and this month alone I have had over 400m in sales! Beyond anything I could have ever imagined. It's starting to get a bit heavy work so I'm trying to team up with other crafters again.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that SWG still has the potential to be a great game for a dedicated crafter. Yes it has taken some hard knocks but the fact remains that there is nothing else like it or even planned. It can be very rewarding for a crafter, it offers a unique experience, and I'm (mostly) glad I stuck with it ;)
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Re: The story of the Stubborn Shipwright!

Post by Zimoon »

Thanks a lot for sharing your story. Though I have never played the shipwright I recognize many of your moments, and shocks, and can relate to and share your feelings. Thanks.

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Re: The story of the Stubborn Shipwright!

Post by Savacc »

Boy do I relate to your tale. :lol:
I started a bit earlier then you and went through my growing pains as an architect. I remember doing missions to get cash to put in my harvesters, or hawking a small house in front of the starport so I could keep my personal harvesters going. Like you I looked around and saw the big time Weaponsmiths and Armorsmiths who were the "rock stars" of my server. I couldnt compete with them, but saw an oppertunity with JTL and a new profession, Shipwright, to make my mark. I was already an established crafter when JTL went live, so I was bit ahead of you. I had stock piles of resources waiting and 2 hours after installing JTL, I was a Master Shipwright and taking orders. I was getting tons of /tells and I told people to come to my shop and stand in line, I was only taking orders in person. It was wild few days.

Glad to see you stuck with the game and profession. :D
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Re: The story of the Stubborn Shipwright!

Post by Aegean »

Thanks for the encouragement guys! Hopefully I can put all this experience to good use and encourage some people myself.
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Re: The story of the Stubborn Shipwright!

Post by Laidbacca »

If you reach the top then there is a great view, it is allways a hard climb but in the end it is usually worth it. The hardest part though is maintaining it, getting into a routine that keeps you there and still allows you to enjoy the other aspects of the game.
At our peak on kettemoor we where pulling in 300-400m a month, that was based on 3cpu chassis, 5cpu parts and 10cpu missiles/CM's, that is a shedload of crafting by anyones standards even split between two of us. It was an amazing time even just hanging about talking to the constant stream of pilots outside the tent, and it was constant back then. But times change, i still craft a few odds and ends though its mostly POB/GB stuff and have found that the fun is back into the ground game again with the emphasis on grouping etc. No matter wether the crafting gets to much for you or not allways try to have fun and don't turn it into a job.
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Re: The story of the Stubborn Shipwright!

Post by Onyx »

Great story :)

Brings back a lot of memories too.
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Re: The story of the Stubborn Shipwright!

Post by Ibaum »

Aegean - If you're looking to start a new conglomerate, hook a fellow Starsider up :). I'm a master in name only, as I've only been around a few months. Send Ibaum a mail or tell sometime in game if you see me on.
I've been here for 30 days and all I get is this lousy rank?!?!
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Re: The story of the Stubborn Shipwright!

Post by Hodru »

I too would be interested in joining some sort of crafting conglomerate on Starsider.

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