Slicing can make someone a wealthy and dangerous member of the Star Wars: The Old Republic economic community. Within the Star Wars universe, Slicing involves hacking and controlling computer systems to get what you want, and it is no different in The Old Republic. Slicing can keep a player supplied with a constant stream of easy credits, as well as increase his store of augment crafting materials and the Crew Skill mission discovery items that everyone needs, but only Slicers can retrieve. While anyone is capable of running the lockbox missions and selling anything that comes of them to a vendor, ensuring that you get every single credit possible takes a bit more knowledge and skill. This guide will run you through what you need to know to become a SWTOR Slicing mogul.
Often overlooked by players who are more interested in gathering and crafting, Slicing is one of the most vital Crew Skills a player can have. Tier six lockbox missions are capable of a positive return more than 75% of the time, with potential losses from "poor yield" mission successes limited to less than 200 credits (keep in mind that mission failures, while rare at end-game, are still possible). Based on a controlled test run of over forty individual tier six missions, the return averaged 1,700 credits for missions that cost 1,415 and 1,485 credits to conduct — with many returns surpassing 2,000 credits. Tier five missions, costing 1,940 and 2,050 credits, can get critical successes of over 8,000 credits per lockbox, with potential losses from successful missions still rarely higher than a few hundred credits. Tier five missions are not always available as an option however, and returns are not as consistently positive as tier six mission, making them a far less reliable source of income. However, the potential long term return is vastly greater when compared to tier six missions, so it is important to run them whenever they appear. While lockbox missions are not a very fast method of gaining credits, they are certainly a way to guarantee a steady increase in wealth over time.
As with all crew skills, the importance of affection must be recognized in Slicing. Unfortunately, affection does not directly factor into the amount of credits that can be gained, nor the amount of missions that succeed. Critical successes occurred with slightly more frequency in the test sample when companions had over 95% affection. However, this was likely random chance, as the companions with less than 10% affection had a higher ratio of successes to failures; three, to the companion with higher affection’s seven. The real impact of companion affection is reflected in the time it takes to complete the mission. Averaging a decrease of four to five minutes in completion times — roughly 14% — a player can see a marked increase in credits gained per session, especially when compared to companions with lower affection. This decrease in time can enhance income dramatically over the course of a single game session.
Slicing and the Galactic Trade Network
Although they are a constant stream of credits, lockboxes are slow and can take a whole day of constantly updating missions to make a sizable impact, even with affection bonuses. The easier, speedier, and higher paying work comes in selling high level Crew Skill missions and augment ingredients on the Galactic Trade Network. Depending on current market prices, faction, and server, artifact quality components can go for anywhere between several thousand credits, to tens of thousands of credits each. To make a profit in this fashion, only the basics of the Galactic Trading Network need to be known and practiced; knowing what to sell, at what price, and how many to sell at a time. Depending on what you are selling, certain rules are more important than others. Keep reading for specifics as they relate to augment components and Crew Skills mission items.
Augment Crafting Materials
Originally the only source of actual augments in the game, Slicing is now the sole source of augment crafting materials. They require much more work to sell on the Galactic Trading Network than Crew Skill missions, as prototype quality materials are abundant and artifact level materials are relatively rare. It is important to remember to sell materials in proper stack amounts, just like with all crafting materials. Few people want to buy dozens of materials for thousands of credits, just to make a single item. Fewer people can even afford such a price. Selling materials in chunks suitable for the crafting that they will be used for will ensure they are bought before the more expensive bundles. Also, it is much easier to sell a small amount for a reasonable price, than to sell a huge stack for a large price that not everyone can afford.
Artifact level materials should always be sold one at a time. Due to their rarity, pricing them in this manner will ensure they remain at the top of the list, or at the very least, on the front page. Making sure they remain close to the top of the list will ensure they are bought first, as that is where players tend to look when first opening the GTN interface. Stacking rarer items will force the price to go up, and thus drop it further down the list. The only way to combat this is to make stacks of materials cheap, which in turn drives down the price and forces everyone to accommodate. As will be said many times, there is little point in selling something for cheap when it will still be bought at a higher price.
Crew Skill Missions
The trick to selling on the Galactic Trade Network is less about the price and more about the demand as well as shaping the price to fit the demand. The easiest and most successful way of receiving rare materials is by using Crew Skill missions, making them appealing to anyone interested in crafting. For Crew Skill missions, some are of an inherently higher demand than others, and thus are worth more. Underworld Trading and Treasure Hunting missions, for example, are the only reliable way to gain artifact quality materials used in artifact level equipment, which are important throughout the game.
It is vital to recognize the mission types that are of a higher value and to remember to sell them when the demand and the price is at its highest. If they don’t sell at their listed price, lower it a little and try again. There is no loss in credits either way, as the GTN only takes its cut on a successful sale, and the deposit is returned after the timer has expired. An example, a certain mission type sells for 20,000 credits normally, but one day the average is 9,000 credits. Wait a few hours — or a day — and the price will slowly return to normal. These drops are caused by poorly priced items, marked down so low that the market average falls with it. There is no need to sell something at 10,000 credits when it can be sold for 20,000. This ensures you will get all the credits you can for your items, without harming anyone else’s business.
Getting Every Last Credit
As with all items sold on the Galactic Trade Network, be aware of the market trends. Common sense says to have the price lower than whatever the next lowest price is in order to make it appealing to the buyer. A rule that is often forgotten is to keep the difference in price small. As mentioned earlier, dramatically steep cuts in prices harm both yourself and the other sellers. If you drastically cut the price you will likely be able to sell the item easily, but you will also lose out on a great deal of credits.
Another thing to be sure of is to keep the number of items you post low, so as to not flood the market. Keeping the number available low, especially if it is an item that is normally rare and expensive, will ensure the price for it stays at a normal high. This will provide you with the bonus of ensuring that you do not sell all of your expensive items during a temporary period of low prices. Scattering your sales over a few days will ensure that you have a steady income and do not lose your entire stock on a single poor day of prices.
Whatever your play style, whether you prefer PvP or PvE, raiding or Warzones, roleplaying or not, the simple credit will be your best friend throughout the entire game. Slicing is not only fun and easy, but can be exceptionally rewarding. A single day can net Slicers over a hundred thousand credits from lockboxes and skillful use of the Galactic Trade Network — as well as some luck.
What might be most appealing to people who are often on the run in the game is that, as with all Crew Skills, Slicing can be done in the background, without having to devote much game time to it. While selling missions and materials do take time on the Galactic Trade Network, running missions for lockboxes take only a few seconds to set up. This can easily be accomplished during a lull in a Warzone or raid, allowing it to be done even in the middle of busy or hectic situations, something that cannot be said for any other credit-making methods. This makes Slicing an appealing option for anyone wanting credits.