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The item mod system in Star Wars: The Old Republic is complex. Even players who spent a lot of time in the game’s beta phase don’t really fully understand it. When it’s boiled down, though, while details remain complicated, the system itself is relatively simple and very, very powerful.
SWTOR players will find that this system of crafting will likely be what makes their character shine the most and what makes the game more of a sandbox than most other MMO RPGs being played today.
In early beta, customizations required the now-ubiquitous MMO “workbench” or “crafting area” setting. In the last beta and with its release, SWTOR did away with that and is now allowing most modifications (raw builds will still require a bench) to take place anywhere, at any time so long as you’re outside of combat and have all materials available.
Players can also reverse-engineer items they’ve found to create blueprints or further modification options for their items. Modular items are also around and on most common items, so they can be mixed and matched as part of the modification process to change an item.
One thing with modifications and items in general, however, is that they are heavily level-dependent. Players will find themselves doing a lot of modifications when they level in order to keep their items up-to-date with their advancement. While this can be a pain, it’s not really a game-killer or even a big issue now that workbenches are no longer required for most of these mods.
For example, the power source for your saber may become outdated when you reach level 20. To upgrade it, assuming you have the materials to add a better power source (and thus power-up your saber to meet your level), you simply do so by clicking on it and doing the mod. Players will find that most of the materials they need for most common modifications like this will be drops and quest rewards regardless.
This system also ensures that players’ mod skills will not fall behind as they level.
Overall, the mod system is relatively simple once you see it from the perspective of how it’s used at lower levels and then gains as your character developers through higher levels.
Learning to use the Item Modification System in SWTOR is not difficult and need not require that you read a lot of material to learn it. Learning by doing is easy and if you don’t look too far ahead of yourself, you’ll see that learning to do mods is simple at early levels and the complexity gains slowly, as your character develops and your own learning of the game’s mechanics improves.
Many players get hung up on looking too far forward and wanting to understand everything all at once when sometimes, it’s just better to learn as you go and allow the mystery to unfold.