We're going to be Star Wars heavy for a bit. I think that's understandable, but I apologize to the WoW folk around these parts. There's just, well, everything to learn about SWTOR and pretty much nothing new to learn in WoW as an Affliction 'lock. It happens.
There was a helpful comment from Targeter yesterday, and it reminded me of a great primer I read over at The Stoppable Force. Stop does a great job of explaining all the stats, so if you're not a Jedi Shadow, feel free to head over there and extract your own gearing plan.
For Shadow's it's pretty simple early on. I anticipate it getting a bit harder at advanced levels, but at least for levels 1-20, you only need to pay attention to two stats on gear: Willpower and Endurance.
Willpower is your offensive stat. It'll make you hit harder in all facets. Endurance is your defensive stat. It will help you live longer and regen health faster. For the most part, you're just looking for the gear with both of those stats on it (it's pretty standard). For mods you're looking for Resolve mods and Force-wielder hilts (for example). For the most part, this should get you through, but if you come across a trade off directly between Willpower and Endurace, just make a judgement call on how you feel. So far I've given Willpower the edge, but I don't feel super-squishy. If you're dying a lot, think about favoring Endurance. (Not that items also have an armor rating on them, but this is really a secondary concern. It can also help in a trade-off situation, but I don't think it should be a primary consideration.)
It gets a little trickier when you start trying to gear your companion, Qyzen Fess. Even though he's a melee fighter, he apparently falls under the "trooper" paradigm. I assume this is because, though he fights like a Jedi Knight, he's not a force-wielder. As such, his primary offensive stat is Aim with Endurance still being the primary defensive stat. He can wear heavy armor, so armor rating is a little more useful for him, but still more of a secondary concern. Keep him in heavy armor with his primary stats and you should be in good shape.
I did make Qyzen some Jedi Knight gear through my Synthweaving and had him wearing it for a bit, at least until I found something with his primary stat on it. I figured gear is better than no-gear, even if it had Strength instead of Aim. The Endurance still worked, but otherwise you're not going to be able to craft very much for him, which is a shame.
Now, if I could only get my ship. A'ryatha (Fuu) and I are sitting at level 18... we have to be super-close to getting our ships. From what I've heard, most people are getting them before 20. I'm assuming it happens through the class quest and we just haven't gotten there yet. Maybe tonight...
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