April 29, 2004
The AFK Chronicles

Something has been bugging me about Star Wars Galaxies: The Entertainer Professions (Entertainer, Musician, Dancer). During the beta, I made an entertainer as one of my characters and was quickly impressed by how boring the profession was. At the time there were assurances (more from the players than from the devs) that by release the so called "social classes" (politician was still a glimmer in the dev plans eye) would be rich and compelling.

Not too long after, it was announced that the game would be released unfinished, everybody gasped and ranted, and on the penultimate character wipe I said "screw this" and went back to playing Everquest. But I digress.

Fast forward almost a year to when I actually bought the game. After getting my bearings a little bit, not to mention accumulating a few hundred points of battle fatigue, I remembered the "social" aspect of the game... that is, the part where part of playing was being "encouraged" to go to a cantina.

So to the cantina I went, to find pretty much what had existed through much of the beta: the AFK entertainer. Oh sure, they're called many things such macrotainers, holodancers, cantinaspammers, etc. Most of the names are nasty, and I'd rather not get into a discussion about the right or wrongness of this development.

What I am interested in is the availability of a class that can largely be played AFK, with only a few exceptions. We'll get to those in a minute, but first:

The Entertainer

Meet "Twi'lek X" (not her real name), a pretty Twi'lek that lives on a server that is not Corbantis. I made her for experimental purposes, to prove to myself that it is possible to make a MASTER social class char with minimal time spent actually playing.

Why I care, I don't know. I think it's just the pride (if that's the right word) of being able to say "I have a Master Musician/Dancer/Entertainer on [server name] that I spent about 1 hour actually playing."

The rules

  • With the exception of macro tweaking and talking to people to get training, time spent at the keyboard should be minimal. If I'm really bored, chatting for a few is fine, but no extended play. The character will be played at night and while I'm at work.
  • An exception will be made to the above rule so that I can grind out the Image Design tree in order to master Entertainer. I will however grind on myself to avoid interacting with other players.
  • I will also probably have to spend a little time logged in to amass the 1860 AP I need to master 3 skill trees, but I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.
  • I will spend NO MONEY, so that I can get good numbers on how much an afk entertainer can expect to make. I will accept clothes as tips, if I happen to be watching when they are offered.
  • I will not ask for tips in my macros. At least not at first.
  • With the exception of getting training, I will not leave the Cantina where I began entertaining. I will definitely not leave the city.
  • When I master Dancer I will become a buff bot. At this point, I will write a macro that autojoins groups and asks for tips in group chat.

Update 1 : Day 1

I made the char and she spawned automatically on Tatooine. Hmm, not really what I wanted. I got the helper droid as part of the new publish and did the quests (took about 20 minutes), netting a couple extra credits plus a free shuttle ticket. Mos Eisley (the new forced starting city) was dead, so I used the free shuttle coupon to get to Bestine.

For stat hounds, I migrated her HAM to 400/1250/1000 in order to slightly maximize the profession. Since I plan to never leave the cities, This should not be a problem.

In 24 hours of AFK time and about one hour of play, Twi'lek X is Entertainer 1/1/2/2 and has accumulated about 9k in tips. A master dancer also gave me a nice dress (Luxurious Gown with 3 sockets!!!), I hope she's not too mad if she ever figures out she gave the dress to a macrotainer.

Update 2 : Day 3

Well, I've had to break the rules a few times, mainly in order to optimize experience for Twi'lek X. To be more exact, I had to spend money.

On what you say? Instruments.

Basically, you get more XP it turns out, for playing with higher level instruments as you gain access to them. I noticed when I had gotten to dancing IV but only a bit into music III. The way it works is that you get XP for the instrument level you play or the song you play, whichever is lower, so I realized that I would have to buy instruments in order to make m musician XP happen very fast at all.

At first I spent 500 to buy a generic crafting kit, but then I realized that crafting is a money nightmare... once I started crafting, there was no way I'd be able to keep track of how much I had made. So I backed off that idea and decided I would just buy instruments as I leveled.

Unfortunately, this has made me leave Bestine. As there was no instrument market there. I flew to Coronet, and I bought a Fanfar, Kloo Horn and a Mandivol. So this brings our money to:

Current money from tips: 37000
Generic Crafting Tool: 500
Fanfar: 500
Kloo Horn: 800
Mandivol: 1000
Ticket to Coronet: 800
Total Money made so far: 40,100 credits.

Not so bad for a few hours work, plus several nights and days afk. I'm currently at Entertainer 1/3/4/4 and will "work" on either Music IV or Novice Dancer tonight.

Update 3 : Day 4

Mo' Money Mo' money.

No, not really. Although moving to Coronet has been good XP and good for buying instruments, it's been pretty crappy for money.

I got enough XP for Novice Musician & Novice Dancer, and had to buy that from a trainer and a Traz. Total money out? 11k.

Total money out to date: 14,600k
Total money possessed: 27,720.

Total money made to date: 42320 cr

...which is only a influx of 2220 credits yesterday evening, and no credits at all last night. Destroy missions are definitely faster. My guess is that if I fly her to a more remote location, credits will start flowing again.

Posted by illovich at April 29, 2004 02:43 PM