Freshly Fifty – Day of the Ding

It’s been a long and arduous journey to level cap, one fraught with struggles and doubt. You may have questioned your choice of class, gazing longingly at others while gliding across Alderaan. You may have dabbled in alts, never quite ready to reach level 50 and undertake the responsibilities that come with it. Shit, you might’ve gotten to 49.5 and just lost your will to play, adverse to the soothing autumnal tones of Voss. Whatever happened on the way there, you’ve finally made it. With that final quest, you’ve achieved level 50, and with it unlocked the second half of your SWTOR experience: the endgame.

Once the flood of congratulations ends you may find yourself asking the question: “Where do I go from here?” If this is your second or third 50, you probably already have a decent idea of what lays before you, but if it’s your first…well, you’ve got some work to do.

Whatever your long term goals are, there are a few important steps to take shortly after hitting level cap.

1) Finish your class quest.

I know, Corellia is a terrible place with a City Planner that would make Escher look orderly. It’s awful and you’re glad to be done with it. But not so fast sir, you’ve got to slog through and complete that climactic storyline you’ve been working on this entire time. On the plus side, you can now safely skip all those incidental side quests along the way.

Completing Act 3 serves a vital purpose: it unlocks the three daily quest chains that will provide you with a significant amount of gear and money. Without doing so, you’ll not only never know the stirring conclusion to your story, but you’ll be missing out on one of the easiest ways to accumulate some starting PVE gear.

2) Hit the GTN.

After all your training, you’ll probably still have a decent amount of cash left over, rapidly burning a hole in your pocket. There are a few places to immediately look when surfing the GTN for the first time as a grownup. With the change to high-end crafting materials in  1.2, many crafters are able to flood the market with raid level Columi Implants and Earpieces at reasonable prices. Make sure you know what your class and spec’s “item type” is called and search for it (For example, Scoundrel healers use “Field Medic” gear, while DPS Scoundrels use “Enforcer” gear.)

Another good place to find gear is by searching for [Prototype] artifact level gear of your armor type. These items are at the same level as an orange loaded up with artifact level 50 mods, so if you get lucky, you can snag a few select pieces to fill in the holes of your gear. Another expensive option is to grab some orange bracers and belt, either from the GTN or from the Legacy vendor on Coruscant or Dromund Kaas. Both options are relatively pricey, but orange bracers / belt with level 50 mods beat out most anything else available at that level.

3) Do your daily quests.

Once you clear your final mission, you’ll find yourself in the possession of a quest directing you to the icy planet of Ilum. You’ll also notice two new quests on the Fleet, sending you to Belsavis and Corellia (oh god not again!) respectively. While completing these new quest chains, you’ll start receiving Daily Commendations, which can be used to buy all sorts of interesting gear. In addition to high level implants, earpieces, and relics, you can obtain level 51 armoring and barrels / hilts rather quickly and easily. These can give you an important early boost, as most likely you’re still rocking that chestpiece you got in Athiss at level 20.

In addition to the commendations, completing the “heroic” daily quests reward you with level 50 armoring, mods, and enhancements. In some cases (tanks especially), you can obtain mods from these quests that you can’t actually craft using the Cybertech profession. So while you’re stockpiling commendations to get yourself a Rakata Implant, you can start plugging those Orange items full of updated parts.

Lastly, the heroic quests are a great opportunity to start meeting the level 50 population of your server. The game suggests that you add people to your friends list for a reason! Get to know the tanks and healers you find yourself pairing up with. You never know if that same tank might be willing to help you on your first Hard Mode Flashpoint. More on those later though, for now just make those vital connections.

4) Craft those level 50 items!

If you’ve been leveling a crafting skill, odds are you’re close to the max rank, 400, by now. All of the crafting skills come with some special BoP item you can use to enhance yourself, but they all require a previously difficult to obtain crafting material to do so. Thanks to the change in patch 1.2 to make these items tradable, now you can hit the GTN to grab all the Biometric Crystal Alloy you need to craft all your unique items. The full list is below –

Biochem – Reusable stim, adrenal, and medpac.

Artifice – Rakata level Relic

Cybertech – Reusable grenades

Synthweaving / Armormech – Rakata bracers + belt

All of these give you cheap and powerful buffs without a lot of effort. With some luck, you may be able to critically craft your item, adding an augment slot to it. You can place augments in these slots, adding even more stats to these already powerful items!

Once you’ve gone through all these steps, you’ll be ready for the next leg of your journey: Hard Mode Flashpoints.

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