Crafting, Equipment, and the Economy
The people that designed Star Wars Galaxies have spent the last few years learning how to make an artificial economy work for numerous players, and Star Wars Galaxies is the product of that experience. One of the first things that you will notice when you play is that practically everything worth having is player-made, from pets to weapons to houses. There is a wide variety of advanced professions whose sole purpose is to master the art of crafting these things, and whose well-being in the game comes from selling them to other players.
The artisan basic profession, plus the advanced classes based on artisan focus on crafting, although several other professions (such as medic and scout) craft items as well. Although the tools, resources, and finished products are different depending on profession, the basic process involved in crafting is almost identical.
Crafting uses a tool, called a crafting tool, to make items. There are two types of crafting tools for any particular type of item: Generic crafting tools, and specific crafting tools, such as a clothing and armor crafting tool for tailors. The generic crafting tool is the starting equipment for an artisan, and allows you to make a number of simple items. The specific tool allows you to make complex items that the generic tool cannot. Additionally, if you are near a crafting station (normally located in towns) when you open a specific crafting tool, you may find a few other, more complex items available to be made.
When you choose to make an item, open the crafting tool, and choose the item you want to make from a list. You will be shown a picture of the item, a description of its purpose, and a list of the ingredients (resources) necessary to create it. When you hit assemble, you will be taken to a new screen that lets you choose exactly which resources you want to use. You will then attempt to create the item. A normal success creates the item, a good success creates an especially strong or powerful version of the item, and a critical failure just destroys all the resources you were using.
Once you have successfully created an item, you will be given the opportunity to name the item and, depending on the item type, customize certain aspects of the item. It will then, after a short wait, be deposited into your inventory.
As you can see, crafting uses resources to create items. Those resources are not always easy to come by. There are several basic ways of getting resources; you can forage them, sample them, harvest them by hand (scouts), or extract them with a harvester. You can also buy them from other players, but this is rarely the most efficient way, as it will be tough to make a profit from good produced on purchased resources.
Many resources, especially those used by medics and chefs, can only be found by professions with ability to forage. Scouts can forage for food, and medics for medicinal supplies. This is normally done through a simple command, and the results are fairly random. It is easy to be successful, but it can be hard to find a specific resource.
Harvesting Resources (Scout)
Scouts have the ability to go up to an animal that they have slain and harvest three specific resources from it: hide, bone, and meat. Meat is most useful for chefs, but hide and bone are used by lots of crafters, including the scout that found them. Each kill will allow a scout to harvest only a single resource, although if multiple Scouts are in a party, each Scout can scavenge a different resource from a particular kill (for example, scout A can harvest bone and scout B can harvest hide).