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Chef FAQ 3: The revamp strikes back
By sciguyCO

Sections marked with a * are updated from the previous FAQ to include information from the 2/16/04 revamp.

How to become a Chef 1

Tools of the trade. 1

I can't find a Chef trainer, where are they?. 2

Why does the Chef trainer say I don't qualify for any of their teachings?. 2

Do I have to make food to get Dom Arts skills?. 2

How to Grind Chef *  2

Ok, I achieved Novice Chef, crafted some more food, but I'm not getting any xp. *  2

What gives the best xp? *. 3

What resources will I need? *. 3

How do I get these resources?. 3

Why is a food is listed in my "draft schematics", but not in my crafting tool?. 3

These crafting tools take too long, what can I do?. 3

Is there a macro to speed this up? *. 3

How to be a successful Chef 4

How do I keep track of which food buffs what stat? *. 4

What's "Experimenting" and how do I do it? *. 4

Why isn't experimenting changing the number of doses or filling? *. 5

How do resource stats affect food? What are good stats? *. 5

What about meat, hide and bone resources?. 5

I keep seeing recipes requiring milk, where do I get it? *. 5

Does experimenting on components affect the final food? *. 6

How do containers work? *. 6

Casks need trim, and barrels need power conditioners and control units? Where do I get those? *  6

Why would I use up 10 times the resources and components from another profession?  6

What skill branch should I go up first? *. 6

Do I need factories? How do they work?. 7

How do I get more customers?. 7

What should I charge? *. 7

Do I need a vendor, and how do I get one?. 7

Other stuff 8

What about eggs, shellfish, or crustaceans? Do I need those?. 8

What is usage xp (UXP)?. 8

What's an Additive, and what's a "biological component"? *. 8

If the recipe says it requires "Alcohol" can I use something else? *. 8

Useful web sites *. 9

I'm not a chef, what can foods do for me? *  9

Stat buffs *. 9

Skill buffs *. 9

Special Effects *. 9

Pet buffs *. 9

How can I tell how filling a food is? *. 10

How fast does filling go away? *. 10

I ate a synthsteak, didn't get into combat, and now the buff icon is gone. *. 10

 

This is a second draft re-write of the previous chef FAQ to cover details after the revamp.

How to become a Chef Tools of the trade

First, get yourself a few Food/Chemical crafting tools. These are the red ones that look like toolboxes. You can use a generic crafting tool for most of the low-level artisan foods, but you'll need the specialized tools eventually. And you want more than one so you can continue to craft while waiting for earlier tools to complete.

Next, if you'll be harvesting your own resources you need survey tools. To get by for just grinding purposes, you'll only need a flora survey tool (for wheat and corn), a water survey tool, and one for power (solar is good for a while, then a mineral to locate radioactives). To make all the available recipes, you'll also need a gas survey tool (several drinks require reactive gas, and a couple need inert), a mineral survey tool (for drink containers), and possibly a chemical survey tool (Rakirian Burnout requires petrochem).

And if you are going to harvest your own resources, you'll obviously have to get a few harvesters. For the chef on a budget, personal harvesters tend to sell for 5-800 credits, depending on their extraction rate. Look for ones with a "Base Extraction Rate" (or BER) of 4, which is the fastest a personal can go. If you have Engineering IV, you can make your own, and if you use materials with high UT, SR and HR you should be able to get BER 4 fairly easily. You'll need one for each category of resource you intend to harvest; when I started I got by ok with four flora harvesters, one mineral, one gas, and two water. Harvesters cost maintenance and power to run (which must be paid in advance).

Harvester type

Maintenance / hour

Power / hour

 

 

 

Personal (max BER 4)

30

25

Medium (max BER 10)

60

50

Heavy (max BER 13)

90

75

Generator (wind, solar fusion)

60

0

If you have some money in your pocket, purchase medium harvesters instead, the price on most servers sell is around 15-20k. A well-made medium can have a BER of 10, although 9s are more common (and cheaper). They are twice as expensive as personals to maintain, but since they extract at more than double the rate, the resources are cheaper per unit. A heavy harvester is probably a little unnecessary since the credits/unit is worse than a medium, the larger footprint is more difficult to place, and BER 13 harvesters are difficult to achieve (requiring very high-quality resources and nearly all great experimentations), so they'll be very expensive (100k+).

The extraction rate determines how many units of resources the harvester extracts per minute. A 10 BER medium harvester on a 75% concentration will extract 7.5 units per minute, which is 450 units per hour which is 10.8k units per day.

Harvester power must be Wind, Solar, or Radioactive (the "fuel" resources cannot be used in harvesters), which can commonly be found for sale at resource vendors for 1-2 credits/unit, although that will vary by what server you are on. Or, again, you can choose to harvest your own. All generators use 60 credits/hour for maintenance and no power. Wind generators should probably be passed over unless you are really strapped for cash, since they are the slowest. A single solar generator should provide enough power for you if all you use are personal harvesters, a second may be needed if you have a lot of mediums. A Fusion generator is really only useful if you plan to maintain a large number of medium or heavy harvesters. Power resources with high Potential Energy give you more bang per unit. When you deposit power into the harvester, the "units available" depend on the amount of power resources in your inventory and its PE. For PE of 1-500, one unit of resource = one unit of power. For higher PE, the units of power = ( units of resource ) * ( ( PE - 500 ) / 500 + 1 ). So PE 750 gives you 1.5 units of power per resource unit, and PE 1000 gives you 2 units of power per resource unit.

Phew, that's quite a bit on harvesters, wasn't it? Lets move on to chef-specific stuff.

I can't find a Chef trainer, where are they?

Naboo, Keren: 1840, 2672
Naboo, Moenia: 4942, -4837
Naboo, Theed: -4877, 4066
Talus, Nashal: 4283, 5172
Corellia, Kor Vella: -3147, 2792
Corellia, Doaba Guerfel: 3070, 5260
Tatooine, Bestine: -1217, -3601
Rori, Restuss: 5181, 5668

Why does the Chef trainer say I don't qualify for any of their teachings?

Chef is an elite crafting profession; you can't just jump straight into it. First, you have to take Novice Artisan, and then go up the "Domestic Arts" branch. Once you learn Domestic Arts IV and then earn an additional 19200 general crafting xp, you may train Novice Chef.

Do I have to make food to get Dom Arts skills?

No, this skill branch uses the same General Crafting xp as all the other Artisan skills. The fastest way to earn Artisan experience is to grind out crafting tools or survey tools until Engineering III, followed by personal harvesters. Each harvesters give 425 General Crafting xp, 446 in practice mode.

How to Grind Chef * Ok, I achieved Novice Chef, crafted some more food, but I'm not getting any xp. *

The Chef profession uses a different type of experience than Artisan, only food schematics you gain from Chef skills give "Food Crafting" xp. Once reaching Novice Chef, you're limited to Air Cake, Alcohol, Almond Kwavuu Biscuits, Blap Biscuits, Medium Food Additives, and Soypro to earn Chef xp.

There is also a bug reported by several crafters after Publish 6 (2/12/04) where experience does not get added no matter what you craft. This appears to simply be a display problem; your earned xp is being tracked, just not added to the experience monitor. One workaround is to log out for 5-10 minutes, and log back in. At this point, you should show the xp that wasn't showing up before.

What gives the best xp? *

Novice Chef: Soypro, 10 cereal, 10 vegetable, 80 xp (84 in practice mode).
Desserts I: Pastebread, 20 wheat, 10 oats, 10 water, 160 xp (168 in practice mode).
Entrees I: Synthsteak: 20 vegetables, 20 cereal, 5 hide, 180 xp (189 in practice mode).
Desserts III: Kiwik Clusjo Swirl: 40 berries, 20 fruits, 20 water, 260 xp (278 in practice mode).

One trick to get faster xp at Novice is to actually create the soypro (don't use practice mode), then after you've made up a bunch, eat them all. Soypro is a component, so it has 0 filling, and you get UXP for eating the last dose of your own food. So instead of getting 84 xp by grinding in practice mode, you'll get 120 by crafting and eating it.

The simplest grind path is Soypro -> Pastebread -> Kiwik Swirl. I just threw in the synthsteak in case you happen to have a bunch of hides lying around and already have Entrees I.

What resources will I need? *

For soypro, vegetables and cereal. For Pastebread wheat, oats, and water. For Kiwik Swirl berries fruits and water.

To get from Novice Chef to Desserts I by grinding soypro in practice mode requires making 391 soypro, requiring 3910 vegetables and 3910 cereal. If you do the "craft and eat" method (getting you 120 xp instead of 84), you will make 267 soypro requiring 2670 vegetables and 2670 cereal.

To get from Desserts I to Desserts III grinding pastebread requires making 610 breads. This means you will need 12200 wheat, 6100 oats and 6100 water.

To get from Desserts III to Master Chef grinding Kiwik Swirl requires making 2464 swirls. So you'll need 98560 berries, 49280 fruits, and 49280 water.

So, the total grind resources are:

3.9k vegetables
3.9k cereal (any type)
12k wheat
6k oats
98.5k berries
49.3k fruits
55.4k water

How do I get these resources?

You can try purchasing resources, but most resource vendors tend to focus on metals, ore, power, and specific resource types required by the big-money crafters (weaponsmiths and armorsmiths). You can find resource vendors by going to the planetary map, expanding the "Vendor" category, and looking under the "Resource" sub-category. You might find water for sale, at least. You can also try contacting the player who owns the vendor to see if they would be willing to sub-contract out your resource gathering. The other option is to harvest your own. See the harvester discussion under "Tools of the trade".

Why is a food is listed in my "draft schematics", but not in my crafting tool?

More complicated foods have more requirements to even begin crafting them. At Novice Chef, everything is going to need a Food/Chem crafting tool, a generic is no longer sufficient. After a couple more boxes of Entrees, Desserts, or Mixology, you start needing to be by a crafting station. And at the highest level, you specifically need a private crafting station (in a home or droid).

These crafting tools take too long, what can I do?

The time required for a crafting tool to finish depends on the item's complexity, shown in the schematic. There's no way to speed this up. However, you can streamline your grinding by having four or five food/chemical tools in your hotkey bar. As one tool is working on an item, you can start a new one in the next crafting tool. Depending on what you're grinding and how fast you can click through the screens, you may only need three or four.

Is there a macro to speed this up? *

You can use macros to skip through the entire crafting session with the exception of selecting the resources. You must do that step by hand. An excellent macro is listed in the armorsmith FAQ.

The basic macro layout looks like this:

/ui action toolbarSlot##;
/selectDraftSchematic ##;
/pause 5;
/nextcraftingstage;
/nextcraftingstage;
/createprototype practice no item;
/createprototype practice no item;
/pause 1;

The first line selects the toolbar slot holding your crafting tool. This goes from toolbarSlot00 (the top-left) to toolbarSlot11 (top-right) to toolbarSlot23 (bottom right if you have the double row). The next line selects the draft schematic (more on this later) to pick the item you want to craft. Next is the resource selection window, which must be done manually. The "/pause 5" gives you time to enter all the resources, adjust this higher if you can't get everything in and loaded before the macro continues. The next four lines progresses through the remaining crafting windows, making the item in "practice" mode, from the "practice no item" options on /createprototype. If you want the actual item to be put into your inventory, remove those options. Finally is a short pause to make sure the crafting tool finishes before you go on.

The draft schematic selection is the trickiest part of setting this up. As you gain any crafting skills, new schematics are placed in your datapad, with the schematic number increasing as it goes. The schematic number can be different depending on what crafting tool you are using, since it starts at 0 for the first item craftable in that tool type. So schematic 0 in a weapon/droid/general item tool would probably be something like a chance cube, schematic 0 in a food/chem tool is probably Bofa Treats. You can get a rough estimate on what the schematic number is by going to your datapad (it cannot have been resorted), and counting all the food items starting from the top, going left to right. Say you did this and got 35. Open up a crafting tool, and type in the command "/selectDraftSchematic 35" to make sure you're right. If it's the wrong item, check where in your datapad the item you got sits, and adjust up or down to get to the item that you want.

To use the macro, first put multiple crafting tools into your toolbar. Then, copy and paste the above text into the macro box, one block for each tool. Change the toolbarSlot commands to match up with the slots you put the tools into. So if your tools are in F2, F3, and F4, the first block will have toolbarSlot01, the next toolbarSlot02, and the last toolbarSlot03. Change the /selectDraftSchematic lines to the number of the item you want to make.

Finally, you probably want this macro to repeat itself, so you can grind at blinding speed. Save the macro, put it's icon into your toolbar, then edit the macro to end with "/ui action toolbarSlot ##", where this time the ## is the slot the macro sits in your toolbar.

You may find yourself finishing with the crafting tool before the first has finished, leading to "Unable to start crafting session" errors. You can get around this by either using more tools, or putting a pause at the end of the macro just before it calls itself.

Another method (which I used myself) takes advantage of having a multi-button mouse. In the Windows control panel (or maybe a separate mouse configuration program, if the mouse is non-Microsoft) map the center button to double-click, and another to "Enter". AFAIK there's no way to set up that mapping in game. Now you start the session, hit the mouse button for "enter" (assuming the schematic you want is the one selected, which the tool will remember next time)), use the center mouse button on each resource (double-clicking automatically inserts the resource into the first available slot), then the "enter" mouse button three or four times to finish it off. If you have your crafting tools in your hotkey bar, you can keep your left hand on the function keys, your right on the mouse, and blaze through crafting as fast as you can click two mouse buttons. With this method I was able to start a new Ithorian Mist every 8-10 seconds.

How to be a successful Chef How do I keep track of which food buffs what stat? *

A detailed list of food effects are here, which organizes the foods by skill box, and contains information useful to a crafting chef (resource requirements, xp gain, complexity, and experimentation percentages). A list more helpful for customers can be found here, which breaks the foods down by effect.

What's "Experimenting" and how do I do it? *

Experimentation allows you to make improvements to your products. This includes making the buff last longer, making the buff bigger, reducing the filling and increasing the number of doses in each stack.

To experiment, you first must have a specialized tool, in this case a Food/Chem tool. Second, you have to be standing next to a Food/Chem crafting station. This can be a public station (found in most cities/outposts), a private station (obtained from an architect and placed in a building you have admin rights to), or in a droid (from a droid engineer). These look like, well, a big green pinball machine set on its side.

When standing near a station, after the details window from the initial combine, you get a new window with options "Experiment", "Create Prototype", and "Create Schematic". Selecting "Experiment" takes you to the experimentation window. This window has four main parts. The top half shows the food item and its current stats. The bottom half has a bar graph showing remaining experimentation points, the experimentation categories, and a risk meter.

Experimentation points are gained in the Cooking skill branch. For every +10 you have in the "Food experimentation" skill modifier, you get one experimentation point. The risk meter gives an indication on how likely a success is for a given experiment. This is apparently based on the item's complexity (which goes up with each experiment), your "Food Assembly" skill, and the number of points you spend on each experiment.

The experimentation categories for food are "Filling " which reduces the amount a food adds to the food or drink stomach, "Flavor" which improves duration, "Nutrition" which increases the buff size, and "Quantity" which increases the number of doses in the stack.

You might wonder how many points to use. I've found the best results are when you focus on a single category at a time. Some people take the conservative approach, using one point per experiment. Others put as many points into the category as they can, hoping for the one big improvement. Personally, I stick to 2 or 3 points per experiment. Each experiment raises the complexity, making the risk on later ones slightly greater. Also, the complexity determines how long the item takes to complete in the crafting tool.

NOTE: Experimentation does not increase factory time.

An advanced guide to crafting is available from the main starwarsgalaxies.station.sony.com page. This goes into some more details on how the resource stats affect the initial combination (although I go into that in the next section) and how experimentation improves stats. Although for some reason chapter 2 seems to be missing. And it mentions insurance costs being based on an item's complexity; ignore that.

Why isn't experimenting changing the number of doses or filling? *

The stack size and filling of a food is always a whole number. So unless the experimentation gets to a level where an increase/decrease occurs, the food won't be any different from you spending that experimentation point. The ranges between the minimum and maximum can be very narrow, especially for higher-level foods and drinks. For example, a Breath of Heaven made with a small glass seems to only be able to get 2 or 3 doses. This means that until you get the experimental quantity above 50%, it will remain at 2 doses. Some foods only have a difference of 10 in the filling from max to min, so you have to get above the next 10% in filling to get a single point drop.

To determine the "rollover" points for these foods, use the ranges provided on this site and do some simple math: subtract the minimum from the maximum, and divide by 100. This is the first rollover point, where you go from minimum to minimum + 1. To get the second rollover point, multiply that number by two, for the third multiply by three, and so on until you reach 100% (which you'll probably never actually see in practice).

So as an example, Vasarrian Brandy with a small glass can have a quantity between 6 and 10. (10 - 6 ) / 100 = 0.25, so the rollover point is every 25%. Since most initial assemblies with good resources start in the mid-teens, you'll probably be starting at 6. If the experimental quantity was 13%, and you got a great success, you're now at 20%, but still have 6 doses. Another experiment with a great success would put you at 27%, bringing the quantity to 7. If you wanted to make a stack of 8, you'll have to get the percentage above 50%.

How do resource stats affect food? What are good stats? *

I may go overboard on the math in this section, so get your calculators and scratch paper ready.

First, look at your available food schematics. It will have the four experimental categories. Under each sub-category will be a list of two stats with a percentage. This is how much that stat affects that category.

Using these numbers and the related stats, you can even determine the maximum percentage you can experiment to. Take each stat, multiply by the percentage shown, add them up, and divide by ten. If there is more than one resource in the recipe, take the number for each resource, multiply by the units of that resource used, divide by total number of resources, and add them up. This will be the maximum percentage value, basically where the experimental category fills up and you can't add any more points into it. For example, under "Experimental Nutrition", Air Cake has "Nutrition" of 66% Flavor and 33% Overall Quality. If you use some berries with Flavor 300, PE 700 (we're ignoring the dough and carbosyrup because they don't affect the experimental percentages) you get:

( 300 * 0.66 + 700 * 0.33 ) / 10 = 42.9

So the highest you'll be able to experiment the Nutrition with these berries is 42%. The initial percentage you start out at (before any experimentation) tends to be around 1/5 of the maximum, at least with a "great success" on the assembly.  An experiment resulting in a "great success" adds 7% per experimentation point spent; an "amazing success" adds 8% per point spent.  "Critical failures" subtract 7% for each point spent, and if this brings you down to 0%, no amount of experimentation will add anything to it.

The experimental percentage determines where in the range your food actually lands. The Air Cake's bonus to Dodge (affected by the Nutrition category) ranges from 15 to 25. The range from min to max is 10, so the actual bonus you get will be 15 + 10 * Nutrition% / 100.

What about meat, hide and bone resources?

Meat, hide, and bone are only harvestable by someone with at least Novice Scout. They are obtained from creatures slain by the scout or by someone they've grouped with. Again, you have two options: get it yourself, or buy them from someone. Buying from someone usually requires a long-term arrangement with a scout, ranger, or Creature Handler, since you're going to be wanting large amounts of the same type for factory runs. Because of the nature of the harvesting, these resources are going to be a bit more varied in the quality and quantity than you can get with resources you can harvest with installations. Prices will probably range from 5-15 credits per unit (cpu).

If you decide to go the mighty hunter route yourself, you're going to need to train Novice Scout, probably go all the way up the Hunting skill branch (since this gives you more units per harvest, although some Veghash could help out), and you're going to need some decent combat skills. www.swgcraft.com includes listings for creature resources, and you can find out what creatures drop a particular kind of meat/hide at this site or this one.

I keep seeing recipes requiring milk, where do I get it? *

Ah yes, with the new publish we've finally "Got Milk". Milk can be obtained from living creatures, with not a lot of information currently available about what is available to be milked. First off, in order to keep from "spooking" the animal you must either have "Mask Scent" (requiring Exploration II in scout) or be camouflaged (requiring Ranger skills or having a ranger apply a camouflage pack to your character). While the concealment is in effect, bring up the radial menu on the creature, wait a second, and the "Harvest Milk" option will pop up if the creature is milkable. Select this, stay close to the animal for 20-30 seconds, and you will obtain a stack of either Wild Milk (the most common) or Domesticated.

The size of the stack seems to be determined mainly by the type of creature (I've found that larger creatures give larger stacks), and does not seem to be affected by your "creature harvesting" skill.

Does experimenting on components affect the final food? *

Nope. Prior to Publish 6 (the big chef revamp), component experimentation did make a difference (although this was small with low-level components). Now, most components aren't even experimentable (carbosyrup, alcohol, containers, etc) and those that are have their own effects, and do not pass that experimentation on to the final item. So your best bet for components is to use cheap, crap quality resources, saving your good stuff for the final item.

How do containers work? *

Containers are required components for all drinks, but you can use any container in that slot. Each container has a multiplier that gets applied to the base quantity of the drink (which is shown in the Food Chart).

Small Glass: 1x multiplier (base quantity)
Large Glass: 1.5x multiplier
Cask: 3x multiplier
Barrel: Unknown (bugged as of 2/15/04).

The multiplier is applied after any rounding due to experimentation. So if a drink needs to be experimented to 25% to go from 6 to 7 doses, that point is still when additional doses appear, just with the multiplier. With a large glass, that drink would go from 9 to 10 doses (6 * 1.5 = 9, 7 * 1.5 = 10.5, but it gets rounded down). This makes things tricky when using large glasses. The rounding is done twice, so you'll get some jumpy increases, first from 9 to 10 at 25% quantity, then from 10 to 12 at 50% quantity.

The container multiplier also stacks with any BE quantity enhancer. So if you use both a +150 quantity tissue (which gives a 2.5x multiplier) and a cask, the final drink will have 7.5x as many doses as one made with a small glass and without the tissue.

T'illa T'ill is the only exception. This appears to be designed as a single-dose item (although why a 10-15% reduction in the food stomach is considered that powerful is beyond me). This will always come out with a single dose no matter what container or BE tissue you include in it, so stick to small glasses.

Another thing you'll find with containers is that you don't have to use the same factory run of glasses in the final drink. When you make a drink schematic, there is no serial number associated with the container. This means you could do one run of glasses, make a drink schematic, and if you find you've run out of glasses, do up another run of glasses to finish up the run of drinks. You do have to use the same type of container (you can't stick in small glasses and expect it to work in a schematic made with casks), but this should reduce the problem of "short crates" of components left over. It also allows you to do full 1000 unit factory runs of drinks that don't use any other components, since you don't use up one glass making the schematic.

Casks need trim, and barrels need power conditioners and control units? Where do I get those? *

Trim is a tailor component; any tailor with "Formal Wear I" can make it. Power conditioners and control units are components made by Master Artisans. You can either take these skills yourself (which will also require an armor/clothing factory for trim and an equipment factory for the conditioners and control units) or purchase crates from other crafters. Some pricing I've seen on my server are 2k per crate of trim, 2.5k per crate of conditioners or control units.

If you can't find a stocked vendor (try the "Vendors -> Components" category on the planetary map), try contacting some local artisans or tailors to see if you can order some. You may also be able to get a discount if you provide the resources, so here are the requirements:

Trim: 20 Fiberplast, 5 Inert Petrochemical ("Lubricating oil" or "Polymer").
Power conditioner: 12 metal, 6 Polymer, 5 Low Grade Ore, 4 Copper, 3 Inert Gas, 2 amorphous gemstone
Control Unit: 10 Metal, 10 Polymer, 5 Low Grade Ore, 3 Copper, 3 Inert Gas.

Why would I use up 10 times the resources and components from another profession?

Well, containers do have a couple benefits. First, you get the added quantity right off the bat without having to spend experimentation points. Second, just offering 1.5x or 3x the number of stacks/crates may not be feasible, such as when you're making drinks with BE additives or rare/uber resources.

Finally, larger containers can offer some good cost/benefit ratios, especially with drinks that start with a decent base quantity and a high selling price. Six-packs of Vasarian Brandy (made with small glasses) sell for about 2k on my server, or 50k for a crate. I buy Trim from a tailor for 2k per crate. Using 3cpu for a rough resource price, a crate of small glasses would take 750 credits worth of gems; a crate of casks would take 11250 credits worth of gems. Add in the 2k for the trim and you're spending 12.5k more to make crates of 18-dose brandy you could sell for 100k. The customer gets 3x the doses at only double the price, and you get around 37k more profit.

Note: the prices are rough estimates, and will vary from server to server, but I think the reasoning is pretty sound.

What skill branch should I go up first? *

It basically depends on what you want to make. For grinding purposes, go up Desserts first to get to Pastebread and Kiwik Swirl. Cooking skills are essential in providing a high-quality product, since that gives you a better assembly skill (improving your success types on the initial combination) and higher experimentation skill (giving better successes during experimentation and more points to spend).

With the revamp, there are many more useful foods, instead of just the old Angerian Fishak, Bivoli Tempari, Ryshcate, Breath of Heaven, and Correlian Fried Ice cream (all Master or 4th level schematics). Many foods are either unique in their effects (such as the Entrées I food Blood Chowder, with Bleed resist) or have something that makes it preferable to higher-level foods, even if the size of the buff is less. For example, Synthsteak gives you  damage reduction, but with a lower percentage than Flameout (a Master Chef drink). However, Synthsteak has a lower filling and reduces damage from more hits, possibly making it more desirable to someone who may not need Flameout's 90-100% damage reduction.

Do I need factories? How do they work?

Factories are useful for a few reasons. First, they make items for you without you having to hand-craft everything, allowing you to go do non-chef things and still have stock to sell. Second, the items come out in crates of 25 items, each crate only taking up one inventory slot. These crates are highly valued by your customers, since now they can carry around 25 Vasarian Brandies in the space of two (one slot for the crate, one for the extracted drink they can drink from). Finally, some schematics require "factory identical" components. This means that in order to make, for example, Vayerbok, you have to insert two alcohols that were made in the same factory run. Many higher-level food items require factory identical components.

To get a factory, go to your local low-level architect (he/she only needs "Installations I" and "Buildings I") and order a "Food Factory". This will probably cost around 25k. Place it like any other building, and you're almost ready to mass-produce. Factories require maintenance and power just like harvesters. 50 credits/hour and 50 power/hour will keep it chugging out crates for you.

Now, you'll need a schematic to put into the factory. Craft up your item next to a crafting station, experiment your heart out (remember, you'll be making tons of these, make them good), and instead of selecting "Create Prototype" on the final screen, select "Create Manufacturing Schematic". The next screen will be similar to when you make a prototype, the same description at the top, the same line to edit the name. But now you have a selection for the "manufacturing run size". This is the max number of items you'll be able to create from this schematic, and the most you can set it to is 1000. Select "Create" and the schematic will be stored in your datapad, under the "Data" tab.

Take your newly minted schematic to your factory, bring up the radial menu, hover over "Options" and select "Access Schematic Slot". This will bring up a dialog box allowing you to select the schematic to insert into the factory. Go to the options menu again, and there will be some new items to select. Go to "Access Input Hopper". This is where the factory stores its raw materials. Put in the exact same resources you used to make the schematic. Just the same type (Corn, Domesticate Rice, etc) isn't good enough. If you made the schematic using Wiggy Tatooine Domesticated Wheat, than you have to put a stack of Wiggy in the input hopper. If the item you're creating uses subcomponents (dough, pastebread, alcohol, etc), those components must be from a factory run themselves, and the serial number on the crates must match what's on the schematic. If you forget what you used, select "List Ingredients" from the options menu. That will tell you the resource name, quantity needed per item, and total items for the run. Multiply the quantity per item by the run size to determine how big a stack to put in.

Note: Containers (small glasses, large glasses, casks, and barrels) do not need to have the same serial number as the container used to make the schematic.  When you view the "List Ingredients", the container name will not have a serial number.  You do obviously have to use the same type of container.

Now you've got the schematic in the factory, along with the resources, so go to the options menu again and select "start factory". Now you wait. To figure out how long the run will take, examine the factory, and in the details section you will see the item being created, how many have already been manufactured, and the time needed for each item (in seconds). Multiply that time by the number of items being created and divide by 3600 to get how many hours before the run is complete. You can remove items from the output hopper while the factory is in operation by clicking directly on "Options" in the radial menu.

When the factory stops manufacturing, you will get an email. It could stop because the schematic has been exhausted (you've reached the manufacturing limit), you've run out of resources, or the factory runs out of power. I believe that if maintenance runs out, it will continue manufacturing, but it will start decaying, which will require repair in the form of many, many credits. You can also manually stop the run if you want to switch schematics. Anything left on the schematic's run size will remain on it when it gets returned to your datapad, so if you created it with a run size of 1000, manufactured 750, then switched schematics, examining the schematic in your datapad will show 250 left.

How do I get more customers?

Advertise. Some people are still a little uninformed when it comes to the benefits of food. Put up your chef title, put food effects into the item names, and know your products. The web page listing food buffs has a column for each of the stats, that's what I use when I'm looking for a particular buff. Put items up for sale on the bazaar, and (if you have one) put a waypoint to your vendor in the description. Check out your server's trade forums, there are occasionally people posting there looking for food. If you have a vendor, it's probably worthwhile going up the Merchant "Advertising" skill branch to get to Advertising III, this allows you to register the vendor on the planetary map, declaring to the world that yes, you have some food for sale. Finally, never underestimate customer service. Food is a consumable commodity, keep your customers happy and they'll keep coming back.

What should I charge? *

Every chef seems to have a different take on this. Some charge per unit of resource, some per dose, and some with a complicated combination of buff size, duration, stack size, and resources.

The best way to ease into the food sales market is to check what other chefs on your server are charging. If their prices seem high for the quality of the buff, sell lower. If it seems like they'd be doing better just selling the raw resources, sell higher.

And I have found that quality can sell just as well as quantity. Putting experimentation into buff size and duration can help differentiate you from chefs focusing purely on stack size, especially if you combine that with a brand name. A brand can be modifying the name slightly while still keeping it recognizable as the base food, or just putting your name at the end. After making Mixology II and Cooking IV, I started selling "Sith Sunburns", +1800 buff for 420s in stacks of 4 or 5. I had quite a few people drop me an email after picking up a couple from the bazaar asking for more. Of course, with sunburns removed from the menu, maybe Synthsteaks would be a better selling item for the advancing chef.

There's a good price breakdown done up by Mokia here, and here's the source spreadsheet.  This calculates the price based on a straight cpu basis, with additions done for cross-profession components (BE tissues, Tailor trim, Master Artisan components for when barrels work).

Do I need a vendor, and how do I get one?

A vendor isn't really needed until you start producing in bulk, usually with a factory. Since I don't think any chef items are worth more than 6k (the bazaar maximum price was increased the same time as the revamp) when sold in single stacks, you can use the bazaar to sell anything you make. However, you will be limited to 25 sales at a time.

Vendors are gained starting with "Business III" in artisan. You get more options and more vendors by going into the "Merchant" profession above Business IV. To place one, you need a public building that you have admin rights to (it doesn't necessarily have to be owned by you). From the "Structure Management Terminal" select "Create vendor". It will ask a few questions about the type of NPC you want, and then create a vendor stored in your inventory. Place the vendor where you want it by dropping it like any other item. Rotate if necessary. Then select "Initialize Vendor" from the "Vendor Management" radial option. It is now ready for you to place items up for sale.

NOTE: Right now (12/27/03) there is a bug with terminal and droid vendors not initializing properly. See this thread in the Merchant forum for a workaround.
Updated Note (2/15/04): I'm not sure if Publish 6 fixed this bug. Will remove this if the problem is gone.

Vendors require maintenance in order to keep working. For a vendor with no other options (such as city taxes, having it speak to customers or registering on the planetary map) this is 15 credits/hour. If you don't keep up on your maintenance, they will start decaying like structures, and when they reach 0 condition will poof, taking all your stock with them. Think of it as an unpaid convenience store clerk running away with all the merchandise.

To put items up for sale, either double-click the vendor or select "Use Vendor" from its radial menu. A screen will come up similar to the public bazaar, click "Sell Item" to put your items up for sale. You don't pay the sale fee required by the bazaar, and the sale time is 30 days, instead of the bazaar's seven.

If all that seems like too much of a bother, try making an arrangement with an established Merchant. Chefs can be in short supply, and many servers have "malls" that try to offer one-stop shopping, they may want to act as your retailer. They won't be able to give you admin access to the vendor, so you can't put items up for sale directly. One arrangement is for you to simply sell your stock to them, and they can sell from the vendor with a markup. Or you can contribute credits for maintenance, give them the stock, and they send you the money when it sells. Needless to say, only do this second option with someone you trust.

More information on Merchant abilities can be found in the well-written guide in the merchant forum.

Other stuff What about eggs, shellfish, or crustaceans? Do I need those?

Eggs can be found by searching creature lairs, and can be used in a recipe's "meat" or "organic" slot. Shellfish and crustaceans are found using a special survey tool (the schematic is available as a quest reward). However, there is no chef recipe that specifically requires any of these types of resources. Bio-Engineers do have some egg and seafood requirements, so you can try to get on one's good side (for crates of food Tissues) by offering large stacks to your local BE.

What is usage xp (UXP)?

Usage xp is earned when someone uses an item you crafted. Generally you get 50% of the crafting xp when someone eats your food. Right now, that "someone" can even be you (although I'm not sure whether or not this is intended). Simple enough in theory, but in practice there's a few complications. First, the xp is only added when the last dose of a stack is used. Second, you need to be in close proximity to the person eating your food. Finally, you need to be logged in at the time. UXP is so sporadic it's better off not worrying too much about it and focus on just crafting items for your xp.

One exception is when you've just gotten Novice Chef and are grinding Soypro. Since Soypro is a component, it has no filling, so eating it adds nothing to your food bar. If you made it in practice mode, you'd get 80 * 1.05 = 84xp. If you actually create the item and then eat it, you get 80 * 1.5 = 120xp.

What's an Additive, and what's a "biological component"? *

Most foods have an optional Additive slot. These are not required, but do add some "oomph" to your food. The slots are filled by Additive components, craftable at Domestic Arts IV (Light Additive), Novice Chef (Medium Additive), and Master Chef (Heavy Additive). Each additive is made from water and a "food bio component" created by a Bio-Engineer.

Biological components come in four types, one for each experimentation category. Each type has three sizes: Light, Medium, and Heavy. These sizes match up with the Light/Medium/Heavy additives craftable by chefs. Each component (or tissue, I'm not sure of the terminology) can only be used in an additive of the same size: a Light tissue in a Light additive, Medium tissue in a Medium additive, etc. However, a food can take any additive equal to or smaller than the size of the slot in the schematic. So an Air Cake can only accept a Light Additive. A Veghash can take either a Medium Additive (indicated in its schematic) or a Light Additive. A Breath of Heaven can take a Heavy, Medium, or Light additive.

The stats on the biological components is a percentage increase (or decrease if its for filling) of the filling, duration, buff size, or stack size you get after experimentation. So if the buff size is normally +200 with 25% experimentation, making that food with a 75 Nutrition additive would make the buff size 200 + 200 * 0.75 = +350 at 25% experimentation. Duration and quantity act the same way (being rounded as necessary). A Filling additive subtracts from the filling, so a normally 40 Filling food with a 35 Filling additive would end up with 40 - 40 * 0.35 = 26 Filling.

Finally, not all foods have all three experimentation categories.  Instant-effect foods and foods that trigger once don't have a "Flavor" category. Foods of that type wouldn't benefit from using a "Flavor" additive.  Check whether there's actually something for the additive to improve before putting one in.

If the recipe says it requires "Alcohol" can I use something else? *

No, except when dealing with pre-patch components. After the revamp, chefs now only have the "Alcohol" component for drinks; Solluston Gin, Kyllesian Fruit Distillate, and Aludian pu38 are no longer available. However, any of these components left over from pre-patch can be used in place of an alcohol (although the final food will get no improvement from the higher-level alcohols).

Useful web sites *

www.swgcraft.com: A comprehensive database of resources available. Players update this site, so there tends to be some lag between a resource shifting in and showing up here. You can search by server, planet, and even put in the schematic percentages to have it sort the resources by their "score". Bookmark it, update it, love it.

home.comcast.net/~sciguyco/swg/FoodChart.htm: A useful reference for chefs, containing the foods organized by skill box, including the required resources, general buff/duration/filling/quantity ranges, complexity, and experimentation percentages. At the bottom is a listing for BE tissues (used in additives) so if you want to provide resources to a BE for these you'll know what to look for.

home.comcast.net/~sciguyco/swg/foodPricing.htm: A pricing guide using a base cpu cost and a profit/demand modifier.  The source spreadsheet is another useful tool if you want to tweak things for your particular server economy.

www.gamekast.com/swg/foodtables.html: A useful listing for food customers. The foods are organized by stat/skill bonuses.

home.comcast.net/~sciguyCO/swg/images.htm: A listing of food screenshots. It's handy for people wanting food for strictly decorative purposes.

Merchant FAQ: An excellent FAQ covering how to use your vendors.

www.swgcraft.com: Weren't you paying attention? Go use this site now!

I'm not a chef, what can foods do for me? * Stat buffs *

The stat buffs work basically the same way as pre-revamp. The available buffs are much more organized: artisan foods for a single HAM or regen stat, drinks that buff all three stats in a single category (Health/Str/Con, Action/Quickness/Stamina, Mind/Focus/Willpower), desserts that buff the two secondary stats in a single category (Str/Con, Quickness/Stamina, Focus/Willpower), entrees for a single usage stat, and Breath of Heaven for a buff to all three usage stats. The duration is at least doubled compared to pre-patch foods, with the exception of the Usage/Regen desserts which remain in the 6-10 minute range, but have a buff in the +4-600 range.

Skill buffs *

Brand new additions to the chef menu are foods that give you an increase to a skill. These can range from specialized bonuses useful to a small part of the population (bonus to wookie roar, bonus to Trandoshan regeneration) to foods allowing combat characters access to skills they may not have from their profession (+dodge, +defense vs. knockdown) to bonuses for crafters (+assembly success, +experimental success).

If a skill requires using a command (/survey, /harvest), getting a bonus to that skill only benefits your character if you have already learned that command. Chandad's +survey won't allow a non-artisan to use a survey tool since they don't have the /survey command. Veghash's +creature harvesting won't allow a non-scout to harvest bone/hide/meat from an animal they killed. Jawa Beer's +Mask Scent won't help you unless you already have Exploration II. If a skill does not require using a command (dodge, terrain negotiation, Defense vs. X) then you do gain the benefit of the bonus even if your character did not have that skill. So a non-scout eating Travel Biscuits (+terrain negotiation) will travel faster when going up hills. A non-fencer, non-pistoleer who has eaten a Pikatta Pie will occasionally dodge an incoming attack.

Note: You cannot stack two foods that improve the same skill, even if you're trying to eat different types of food (Air Cake and Pikatta for +dodge, for example). If you try, you will get the message "You are already under the effect of this food".

Special Effects *

Damage reduction, crafting bonuses, xp bonuses. All new benefits you can get from food. These have most of the "triggered" effects, so they don't really have a duration. Synthsteak, for example, reduces the damage done to you for the next 25-50 attacks. You can eat one, wander around for thirty minutes, and still get the benefit when you're attacked. Ormachek gives you a 4-5% increase in earned experience (it doesn't apply to crafting xp, though). Starshine Surprise and Cavaelian Creams reduce the duration of your next incapacitation.

Another class of "Special Effect" foods give you built-in resistances to certain special attacks. Trimpian makes you resistant to Fire (sorry, commandos). Blood Chowder gives you resistance against bleed attacks. Thakitillo and Corerelian Brandy give you resistance against knockdown attacks.

Special effect foods have the same un-stackability as skill buffs. You can't take two +40 Defense vs. Knockdown foods and get +80 defense.

Pet buffs *

Several foods are specifically to buff pets. The details of the food will contain "Species restriction: pet" if this is the case. Initial reports seem to say that these aren't incredibly useful, except for low-level pets (such as the CL10 creatures usable by non-creature handlers). HAM bonuses, even if they are in the +600 to +700 range, aren't that big a deal if the creature already has 3-5k HAM. It's possible we may see foods to boost pets' secondary stats, especially regeneration, check back later.

How can I tell how filling a food is? *

Examining a food item shows how much that food/drink adds to the appropriate fill bar by the value of the "Filling" property. This number is a percentage, so you can eat two 40 Filling foods and a 20 Filling food before becoming completely full. In addition to that, you can drink four 25 Filling drinks, and then be full in both the food and drink bars.

How fast does filling go away? *

A full stomach (either food or drink) empties completely in 30 minutes. This is a continuous process that begins as soon as you've eaten an item, and has no connection to the buff duration. So if you start with an empty stomach and eat only a 20 Filling food, your food bar will show about 1/5th full, and will be completely empty again in 30 * 0.20 = 6 minutes. In general, you digest 3.3 points of filling per minute.

There is an issue with digestion right now, either a bug or a poorly communicated design change. From testing done by several chefs it appears that the time to go from 100% to 0% is 45m, not 30. The original plan was 60m, so we're not that bad off. But keep this in mind if you're not able to eat as fast as you think you should given the 30m calculation.

I ate a synthsteak, didn't get into combat, and now the buff icon is gone. *

Triggered effect foods have a built-in timer of 60m. If you haven't used it up by then, the buff goes away. This timer isn't effected by any Flavor experimentation the chef does, but it is one of those things we hope the developers are keeping on eye on for their promised "tweak once the revamp goes live".

FAQ Revision history

Every FAQ seems to have one of these, I figured I'd toss it in.

12/12/04: The revamp shows up a day earlier than expected, I throw something together based on previous version.
12/15/04: Get the various new stuff polished up, some formatting neatening.  Effectively done.
12/17/04: Added pricing guide.

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