SWTOR: Let’s Clarify BiS Gear.

Alright… so, as of 1.2, acquiring BiS (Best in Slot) gear is a little different than you might think. I wanted to take a few minutes just to clarify exactly how someone should go about setting themselves up with full BiS.

You would think that BiS would simply be drops from Nightmare Mode Explosive Conflict. Well – you’re sort of right, but there’s more to it. BiS is actually crafted orange gear with an augment slot. Then you take the mods from your Nightmare Mode EC gear and dump it into the appropriate orange gear. Theoretically, you could purchase full BiS from the Galactic Trade Market. See the post below from a Developer Q&A a couple weeks back for more details:

Reverse Engineering has also received considerable improvements with Game Update 1.2.

For one, when attempting to reverse engineer an item (for which you indeed need the appropriate profession) you will now be able to see in the item tooltip what your chance to successfully reverse engineer a new schematic is (or if such a chance exists at all).

Many of the new end game items (and end game items going forward) can be reverse engineered to learn schematics based on the original item:

Reverse engineering an item with mods leads to empty orange equivalents of the end game items. This can be done after the mods are extracted and used in a different item!

The item you learn to create is commonly Bind on Equip, as we want to encourage a more lively market on the Galactic Trade Network.

Many different mods can now be reverse engineered which will grant you a schematic to craft that mod. (This is not possible on armoring that carry a set bonus.)

Reverse engineering non-modded items usually leads to a schematic for an equivalent item.

Reverse engineering an end game item also provides materials needed to craft these items. Operations materials are also Bind on Equip now, creating a more diverse market.
A crafting critical on these schematics will usually lead to an augment slot. For item mods, it results in an extra item.

Effectively, this means you can sell nearly full end game items (including augment slots on a critical success) one component at a time. However, doing so requires a significant upfront investment, it’s certainly not easy. This also means every profession now benefits from Reverse Engineering and can trade items.

Armormech produces certain Augments, Augmented Tech Armor
Armstech produces certain Augments, Augmented Weapons
Artifice produces Color Crystals, Enhancements, Augmented Shields and Relics
Biochem produces Augmented Implants
Cybertech produces Mods and Augmented Earpieces
Synthweaving produces certain Augments, Augmented Force Armor

Augment schematics (green) are found via Slicing missions and blue and purple variants of these augments can be researched via reverse engineering by the appropriate crafters. It is not possible to reverse engineer legacy augments obtained from slicing before the game update arrives, however. These are technically different items.

Because we do not want players to gamble with reverse engineering custom appearances (orange items) which are often unique quest rewards, the schematics for these items are obtained via mission discoveries for various gathering skills and are set to Bind on Equip to encourage active trading.


Accomp is a gamer who enjoys a variety of game genres, focusing most on MMOs. He has a professional background in UI Engineering and User Experience and has written about video games since 2005. Join his Discord, follow him on Twitter, and subscribe on Twitch and YouTube!

13 Responses

  1. NickyDan says:

    How did you get a nested reply? You’re like a wizard! A comment wizard! I have tried clicking on your comment’s date and then replying, so if this reply is nested, that is how it is done! If this reply is not nested, then I’m still clueless haha~

    Anyway, on topic.

    With all due respect I think you may be misreading Bioware’s intentions. I don’t believe their designers are so vain as want to force people to wear specific armor, and just assume that everyone will love it all. Maybe it’s meaner of me to think this way, but I believe they just didn’t think it all through and honestly believed their armor modification system could accomplish everything an appearance tab would, but be cooler!

    I know for a fact they didn’t remove color matching because they wanted to force people to wear full sets in order to look good – they removed it because it just wasn’t ready at launch time. It didn’t have all the functionality that they wanted it to have. Now that it is ready, they reinstated it.
    Source: http://www.swtor.com/blog/why-unify-color-chest-piece-gone-and-whats-next

    In regards to the ‘WHO was it again that approved these?’ totally agree haha! At least they will be changing their armor design direction. Though why armor designs have a “long lead time”, so we’ll have to sit through a few more awful looking sets, I have no idea.
    Sources: http://www.swtor.com/community/showpost.php?p=3691938&postcount=730 http://www.swtor.com/blog/community-qa-friday-march-30th-2012-game-update-1.2-special

    • Baraslan says:

      NESTED…Boo-yah! I agree that Bioware has tried too hard to come up with a ‘new’ and ‘unique’ system to ‘replace’ certain things (i.e. appearance tab) in a cool way – but IMHO, some wheels don’t need to be re-invented! I also remember them stating at one point that they wanted to have these very ‘unique looking’ armor sets so it was quickly possible to identify who class was coming at you on the battle field. Something else I don’t agree with from a RPer’s standpoint. If I want my Sith Inquisitor to dress as a smuggler for some reason – or some story I’m running (which I actually did recently) I shouldn’t have to spend 5 hours trying to find an outfit he is allowed to wear that isn’t a ‘dress’… sorry… a ‘robe’. I ended up having to combine a piece of armor from the newbie intro area (where I grinded for a good 45 minutes to get it – it’s basically a ‘trash armor’ drop) in order to get a pair of ‘pants’ that an inquisitor can wear and then had to find an orange ‘top’ that didn’t have a hood… that took hours as well. That’s faaaaar to restrictive a system for my liking. not to mention, I’ve heard many female players I know (and consequently male players agree) that the republic apparently has some sort of ‘frumpy’ law in place for all their tailors. You want a ‘sexy, hot looking’ outfit – you have to go roll a sith. With the exception of the ‘Leia slave outfits’ – and variations on them – The republic clothing lines are all very, very … ‘conservative’.

  2. NickyDan says:

    @Baraslan Oh man, how I wish they’d just made an appearance tab! In the end, they’re trying to create an equivalent system, but they wanted it to seem more ‘unique’ to swtor or something? So they’ve spent all this time on their orange gear system, and it keeps not being as good as an appearance tab, so they have to keep going back and changing it… Imho, it has wasted dev hours and needlessly complicated gearing up.
    Also I’m kind of selfishly sad because most of the orange gear that I want to wear, doesn’t have schematics and can’t be augmented yet. And while I previously thought I’d just wear what I want and ignore augments – I’m in a progression raiding guild. I really want those extra stats haha ;__;

    • Baraslan says:

      I think you hit the nail on the head when you said “they wanted it to seem more β€˜unique’ to swtor or something?”. I think a lot of things they’ve done in this fashion with ideas they they think players will want more.. but sometime I just don’t think they get it – they’re still working too much in a ‘single player RPG’ mindset and not in the * social* mindset of an MMO. I heard it said that they didn’t include an appearance tab because they really wanted players to be proud of the outfits that they’d earned and put together and apparently Bioware was really proud of the designs… it ended up being one more example of players just wanting what they want, regardless of how much Bioware insists.. ‘No – you want this! really! It’s better!”

      I think Bioware’s learning this lesson – though not fast enough for my liking. The most recent example being bringing back the color match function for gear that Bioware removed because they wanted you to work hard to find that matching set because they put a lot of time and effort into it. I can appreciate Bioware making a lot of outfits for the game, but don’t *force* me to play a certain way or look a certain way because you want me to love all the outfits as much as they do. Especially when some of them are.. ‘wow’… ‘WHO was it again that approved these?

  3. Telanis says:

    @Baraslan Yeah, most of the stuff is fine for my male Sentinel but I really want to slap whoever design Kira’s equipment πŸ˜›

  4. Baraslan says:

    This is great because as someone who is very concerned what my character LOOKS like in game vs just what their stats are – this GREATLY enlarges the looks you can have as a a viable armor set – even for end game. While I’d still love an “Appearance Tab”, this is the next best thing and CERTAINLY an improvement over the system the game launched with, because honestly.. some of that end game gear is *really* bizarre looking and I was NOT looking forward to having to wear it to be viable in end game content!

  5. Telanis says:

    Got it, thanks. That’s great, I’ll need to get me some of that πŸ˜›

  6. Accomp says:

    @ Telanis – All orange gear is the same, regardless of level, yes. The set bonus is actually carried over with the armoring for 146+ set items. Rakata quality and below will not carry over the set bonus. Basically, orange provides you with the ability to pull mods from a new set piece (146+ head > orange head), carrying over the set bonus for that piece, plus giving you an augment (+18 main stat). It ends up being a couple hundred extra of your main stat, a super upgrade.

  7. Telanis says:

    Interesting. So all orange gear is the same regardless of level, unless it’s been RE’d from something with a set bonus?

  8. NickyDan says:

    It’s also worth mentioning, I think, that Georg Zoeller has said that they “are aiming to allow you to be able to add augment slots to existing moddable shells in Game Update 1.3”.

    As someone that has my heart set on specific oranges, I’m not going to worry about getting augment slotted gear until then :> I’m too lazy and the current system is too confusing haha~~

    Quote source here: http://www.swtor.com/community/showpost.php?p=3823497&postcount=102

  9. Wickedr says:

    While the augmented orange items are going to be the best, remember that until you have War Hero or Campaign gear, the set bonuses won’t transfer with the armorings. This does have a nice side effect of letting you put armoring/mods from one set into another. For instance, you could have the full War Leader set stats in 4 pieces of battlemaster for some different bonuses.

    @raptiq – The Implants/Earpieces are RE’able, our smuggler got lucky on the cunning one; the rest of the Black Hole gear isn’t RE’able though.

  10. raptiq says:

    Suppose I’ll be rocking some lowbie orange set then. I’m curious if what he said about “nonmodded” items basically always yielding schematics applies to say Campaign gear you took the mods out of it. I know someone who has tried to RE the Black Hole implants/earpieces 3 times to no avail.

    The reason for this is because if I wanted Augmented Campaign gear with the current 20% RE chance I have heard is present I’d have to get ~5 of each set just to learn the schematic (then craft many worthless BoP versions till I critcraft). I don’t care enough about appearance to do this but I do like having unique appearances people can recognize on the spot, but now to raid I need augmented gear….

    TLDR: The new RE system has interesting ideas but I’m displeased.

  11. Troop says:

    I am already stacking up on the Fortified Electrum (Augmented) set.

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