What are people's plans for trade skills upon launch and why?
My plan for trade skills is to rank only gathering skills, at least on my first character. This is because for my gameplay style, I obtain rare and good gear through group quests and instance spamming, so i would not be able to use anything i can craft as i level up. For me, the crafting crew skills, at least in any other MMO i have playd, can make money useful gear only once you hit level 50 and when you try to craft epic pieces. I think its good to start out as a gatherer because it will be a good source of income up to level 50, as you sell all your mats, instead of using them. Another option would be to have two gathering skills and one crafting skill where the crafting skill uses materials that you happen upon through drops instead of through active gathering. (IE: enchanting or tailoring in WoW)
Whenever a game launches, or a new patch/expansion comes out that introduces new materials, there is a huge demand for raw materials as everyone else is trying to level other skills that consume materials.
The economy will be horribly unbalanced for a few weeks to a month, with 200%-500% inflation (or more) on raw materials until the initial surge levels out. Once things slow down, continue to farm a decent supply of materials for whatever profession you want to pursue and then switch.
You'll end up with some extra cash a strong starting point in your profession of choice.
(Or you can be like me and continue to gather and be a raw-materials mogul, if money/economy is your thing...)
I plan to go with Cybertech/Scavenging/Underworld Trading. These seem to really mesh together with the crafting/gathering/mission skill synergy. I also noticed a lack of people claiming Cybertech as their choice in craft in my guild. I'm a huge engineering fan in WoW and this craft is comparable. From max level mods and ship part to reusable grenades and vehicles this craft seems to be both entertaining and useful in the game.
Self supporting and a great set up for end game PVP. I should also be able to make some decent money out of it.
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