Hanging up my sequinned dancing shoes in the Star Wars Galaxies trial, I decided to try my hand at being a Trader. The first thing that I ran into was that I’d filled up the two available character slots on the first server I’d picked; not a game for the alt-a-holic (though I believe you only had a single character slot in The Old Days, unless you unlocked the Jedi profession, so it’s an improvement on that). Not really a problem for me, I’ve tended to stick with one main character in other games anyway, and especially not in the trial.
Traders are the crafters of SWG; unlike World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings Online, where any character can learn a tradeskill, as far as I can gather only Traders can make stuff in SWG. At first I thought that was a shame, I’ve quite enjoyed dabbling in crafting in WoW and LotRO, making a few items for my own characters and friends, making a little money at the auction house. Then again, crafting in those games is sometimes terribly frustrating, and ultimately a tacked on sideshow to the main event of killing bosses for loot; maybe a separate crafting class is one way around that.
Running through the trading tutorial was pretty simple; someone wanted something, they give you raw materials, you pull up your crafting screen, select the recipe, drag and drop the materials from your inventory, and pow: stuff! I made some nice fruit tea for the barman (and glasses to hold it), a shirt, a couple of hatstands and a novelty letter opener in the shape of Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke that plays Sumo Rabbit And His Inescapable Trap Of Doom. Or maybe a small fruit knife. Something like that anyway.
What the tutorial didn’t cover was the gathering of resources, and once Han sent me off for his components again (“Don’t give me any of that oh-so-hilarious ‘how am I going to use my trading skills to do that’ rubbish, just shoot the damn things already”) I went back to my first character to blow up some more TIE fighters. From skimming some guides, it seems a pretty involved business; prospecting to find potential sites, buying or building harvesters, setting them up to extract materials.
As much as I enjoy tinkering about with a bit of crafting now and again in other games it’s not something I could focus on full-time in, so the Trader isn’t for me. I can’t comment with any authority on the economy of SWG, though at least in one of the revamps (or revamps of previous revamps, or new start revision of the revamps, or reversion of one revamp with extra revised revamping) I think they solved the problem Van Hemlock mentioned in a comment on the above linked post, of random-Jedi-unlocking resulting in a market flooded with worthless items.
So, after a minor diversion into Entertaining and Trading, time to get back to the Commando and finally finish the starter space station!