Sampling resources is probably the most common way to find a particular resource, especially for a beginning crafter. To sample, you use a survey device. Survey devices come in several varieties, each for a specific class of resource, like minerals, chemicals, or flora. When you open a survey device, you will be given a list of all of the resources available on the entire planet, divided by type, on the right side of the screen. Select a resource you want, and hit 'Survey'.
The machine will take a moment to send out a signal to detect any of that resource nearby. A map will then appear on-screen showing the local concentration in percentages, and a waypoint will be activated to the highest percentage in range. These percentages represent your chances of finding a sample of the resource at that location. Go toward the waypoint, and, when you arrive, hit 'Survey' again. Continue this process, being careful of enemies if in the wild, until you reach the location with the highest percentage (you'll know you've reached it when you hit 'Survey' and the waypoint doesn't move). Once you are there, hit 'Sample', and you will kneel down and take a sample of the resource. If you are successful, you will receive a small amount of the resource, and will continue to sample automatically until you are out of Mind points. Sit, rest, and sample some more. Eventually you will end up with enough resources for your needs.
- Unless you are desperate, or are seeking a very, very rare resource, don't bother sampling until you find a resource percentage of at least 70%. Anything less can take far too long.
- If you rename a waypoint created by the survey device, that waypoint will be permanent (rename waypoints in the datapad).
- Note that resources shift from time to time, and can run out. You may find different resources on Tattooine today than you did two weeks ago, or you may find that your favorite aluminum spot on Corellia has disappeared.
Extracting Resources with Harvesters
Harvesters are special facilities crafted by artisans or architects that can be placed out in the world to automatically harvest resources for you. This may sound like the easy way of doing things, but there are some drawbacks:
- Harvesters require energy to run. That means that you either have to pay for energy, or, a better approach, buy a special type of harvester called a power generator to create power for your harvesters. One power generator will create enough energy to run two or three harvesters.
- Harvesters (including power generators) require upkeep, which is money to keep them in good repair. If you don't pay upkeep on your harvesters, they stop harvesting and eventually break down and disappear.
- Both upkeep and power have to be hand-carried to harvesters on a regular basis, and resources have to be claimed directly from the harvesters. This means lots of traveling on foot.
Harvesters are still the best way to get lots of resources, as long as you can afford the investment of time and credits necessary. For a full-time craftsman, this works great, but for an occasional crafter that doesn't want to have to go to his home planet every few days, it can be a bit much.
While crafting is essentially simple, there are a lot of ways to make items that work and sell better.
- Make items near crafting stations in towns. Not only will you have access to more complex schematics (item recipes), you can use your experimentation skills to make much more effective items.
- Not all materials are created equal. If you have a schematic that calls for steel, and there are four types of steel on the planet, it does not mean that they will all create equal items. Pay attention to the descriptions and statistics of materials. Statistics like overall quality, malleability, or conductivity will help you to determine which materials to use in projects.
- There is no need to neglect the low-quality materials, should you find a good concentration of them. Save them for when you want to focus on building your skills by making and destroying items.
- If there are several types of a particular resource in an area, take a single sample of each, examine it in your inventory, and decide which to collect based on its qualities.
- To make the very best equipment, try out different types of materials. If you are making guns that use copper, for instance, make one gun with each type of copper you can find, and see what gives the best results. Take notes on your results for future reference.
- When you can afford it, get access to a factory (an automated crafter) to create components needed to make complex items, like cloth panels, batteries, or bone plates.