I’ve come to the conclusion that if you’re serious about running Operations then you really need to have Biochem as your crafting Crew Skill. The reusable stims, adrenals and medpacs may not be quite as powerful the consumable versions, but they offer quality of life and cost savings that outweigh the added healing or dps. I’ve written about the advantages of Biochem before. It should be noted that the information in that article was based on how things were at one point in the RotHC beta, and things changed when the expansion was released. Even with the changes as they are today, I still think Biochem is the Crew Skill for Ops.
One thing to keep in mind with the reusable items is that you can buy them off of the GTN. Unless you feel a strong need to make the stims, medpacs and adrenals, I’d recommend just purchasing them once you hit 450. It will save you the headache and wasted materials on trying to reverse engineer prototype quality items.
Obviously if you have the mats on hand you can level up quickly. Check you alts. and banks to see what materials you have lying around. One of my alts. had almost all of the mats required to get from 1-450. I had to buy a few things from the GTN, but nothing to break the bank.
Unless you have to have every schematic, buy only those that you need to level. If you craft orange level items, you’re guaranteed to get two points per item. You will usually need to craft ten of an item to move to the next level.
There is the potential to make some credits with Biochem so if you don’t have Bioanalysis as a gathering skill I recommend you pick it up, even if it means being 55 and having to level it from 1-450. I just completed this on my Trooper and while it took several hours, it wasn’t too painful.
At level 55 you’ll primarily want to send your crew out on missions. Until you get to mission level 41, the missions times are pretty reasonable. Maxing out your companions’ affection will also speed up the process by lowering the time it take them to complete missions.
You can combine this with running dailies or flashpoints which will help offset the cost. Once you get around level 200 you might considering hitting a few planets and mixing in some farming. Yes, it’s boring, but it will speed up the process. Remember that in addition to finding nodes, you can also kill creatures. Keep in mind that the skill required to scavenge a creature can sometimes be higher than what’s required to farm the nodes spawning on the same planet.
As an example, most of the nodes in Section X only require Bioanalysis 300 to farm, whereas the creatures require 400.
If you plan to try and make money from Biochem then it will still be worth it run mission to level up to 450. Those missions will yield current level mats which is what you’ll either be selling or using to make stuff.
Switching professions can be little bit of pain, but if you plan ahead and have the mats ready you can level a crafting and gathering Crew Skill from 1-450 in a couple of evening.
May the Force Be With You!