Gearing to 340

In 7.4 we can now make it to gear level 340 without the need to complete the R-4 operation on Veteran/Hard Mode.  This operation was previously the gatekeeper for getting to max level gear for SWTOR and meaning that going above 336 item rating will be attainable by a much larger player base.  The gear ceiling is also raising to 344 (340 for Legendary Implants), but we did not see an increase to the starting gear score at level 80, meaning that new players will still be starting with 324 conquest gear (most likely).

The below page goes over the gearing strategy for players in existing 336 gear to get them into 340. I also detail the steps/requirements for getting into 344 gear, as it will now be much more attainable to reach for players.

7.4 Gearing Strategy - Getting to 340 - New Level 80 Player
If you already are at 340 and are Looking to go to 344 visit the page instead

Obtaining and Upgrading your Implants

Start with taking out the Technological Advancement mission as soon as you achieve level 80.  It is found on the fleet, in the supply section.  (Great Detailed Guide)

Your Main Armor and Gear

Completing any content in the game will make some form of progress on gearing up.  Flash points, Heroics/Conquest  and Operations are the 3 most common routes to gear through.  

Uncommon Gear Track - Conquest (Heroics), Story Mode Operations and Veteran Flash Points.

I recommend starting with content from the uncommon gear track.  Defeating bosses/Clearing Content will drop gear at your current level.  You will start from the bottom, earning 324 gear from anything you clear.  You will eventually replace all of your sublevel 80 gear with the starting uncommon gear (324).  You can bypass this process and just buy a full set of 324 gear from the conquest gear vendor on the fleet (same place you started the legendary implant quest).  This cost 200 conquest commendations, but is the best way to jump right into it, though it will use up those valuable conquest commendations you need for your implants.

Completely weekly missions - Story Mode Operations rotate weekly, but usually have 3 missions that can be repeated up to 3 times/week.  The weekly for veteran mode flash points can be repeated multiple times a week as well, but its completion is contingent upon queuing into veteran mode flash points and must have all the flash points toggled on.  If you toggle off any, progress will not count for you.  (I do not believe that if other players in the queue have any toggled off that this will bar your completion).

Each weekly completed will reward you with an upgrade box.  These boxes are HUGE and what we want to farm content for them as much as possible.  Each one you get reduces the amount of farming you will need to do for materials to upgrade your gear.

Prototype Gear Track - Master Mode Flash Points, Veteran Operations.

Flash point gear is going to dead end you into Blue 340.  I prefer the operations gear, as we can get it to purple, and that is what we are after.  Our goal here is to get into Veteran Mode Operations and farm them for gear that we can turn into upgrade components.  We need to get two pieces of gear to 340 to unlock the gear vendor.

Once you have farmed enough at the uncommon level to get your gear to around 328~330, augment it and use it to farm the easier veteran mode operations.  Equip, or keep equipping, a low level earpiece or relic.  It needs to be below 316.  Every Veteran Mode boss you clear will drop the item that you had at the lower level.  I.E. if you put in a 306 relic, every boss you clear will drop a 324 purple relic.

The rarity is the key here.  We want everything that drops to be Artifact gear.  Artifact gear deconstructs into 15 OP-1 Materials.  One ops run w/o a weekly will reward you 75 OP-1s.  With a Veteran weekly, that's 140/run.  (more on OP-1 farming here).  I highly recommend holding onto several of the weekly reward boxes from any Veteran Mode Operations you are able to complete.  You can use these to upgrade your relics and earpiece later. 

As soon as you have enough, go to the Operations vendor on the fleet and buy a purple, artifact rakata gear piece.  The cheaper the cost, the better.  I recommend choosing a belt and/or bracers.  We need 2 gear items to upgrade.  Once these items are purchased, they will get the focus of all of our upgrades, all the way up to 340.  The artifact gear you buy will be back at the 324 starting gear score.  This is okay, it is the rarity we are after.

Artifact Gear Track - Using Hyde and Zeek.

Below is my walkthrough of how to use the Hyde and Zeek vendor for gearing.  The values in the pictures/videos show older gear levels, but the process and concepts are identicle to getting to 340.

This is a video I made in 7.1 explaining how to use Hyde and Zeek to get to 330 quickly.  The same method applies to the 340 gear and is detailed below.

Head to Hyde and Zeek, they are located in the back right of the center booth in the supplies second of the fleet.

In 7.1 there was a gate of needing to have 324 gear score or higher to get the correct dialogues to prompt.  This seems to be gone in 7.2.  You will need to smash 1 for the dialogue options a million times (it's an extensive conversation) until you get to this option.

You can only complete 1 assignment at a time.  You will need to complete both of these assignments to gain access to all the 340 gear you will need.  Again, pictured are the 336 missions.  Versions for 340 will now be present are what you want to take out.

You will need 2 pieces of gear.  Once you have gotten your two Rakata gear pieces to 340, you can start this process.

Belts are the cheapest way to go as far as materials go.

Never give Hyde and Zeek Relics or Earpieces to complete their missions.  You cannot get Relics or Earpieces in this way, and you will cause more work for yourself.

You have your gear to 340, deconstruct it to complete the mission, head back to Hyde and pick up the second and repeat the process.

Once both missions are completed, interact with Zeek to access the store.

What to buy?

Included on each of the class guides is a recommended gearing list for 340 with gold augments.  I have a separate page that allows you to select specifically which class you are gearing and what gear score/augment level you are gearing it to.  The numbers at the bottom of the sheet will tell you how many of each flavor of enhancement to purchase for that loadout.

There will be some junk available.  Filter the menu at the top center to ALL to ensure you can see what you need to get, be vigilant in sorting through the unneeded stuff.  You want the Purple Enhancement 101s and the Blue 105 Mods/Armoring/Hilts.  Be sure it says "Rating 340" Before buying.  It will run several Million Credits to buy everything you need for your gear, so have a stack of credits ready.

I found this blue Enhancement 105s to be 340 as well.  PURPLE is the better DPS option.  I suspect these blues may exist for tanks wanting to build critical and alacrity stats.  Avoid these unless for some reason you want more HP and Less DPS/HPS output.  (please never do it)

The correct Armors and Mods for DPS/Heal sets (now blue 105s Rating 340)

The correct Enhancements for DPS/Heal Sets (now purple 101 rating 340)

The Correct Armors and Mods for Tanks (now 105 Rating 340)

The correct Enhancements for Tanks

Tanks have the greater flexibility with the hyde and zeek vendor.  The Blue 105s (rating 340) will have less endurance, but more defensive stat, to the reverse, the purple 101s (340) will have more endurance and less defense.  It is really personal preference on tank stats as far as HP vs Defense.  I prefer defense rating, and this is the balance that comes with rakata gear.

Ok, so we have all these cool mods now, where do we put them?

The adaptive gear vendor in the supplies section has gear for sale that can equip the components we got from hyde and zeek.  I like the Void Master's (imperial name will probably be different) set at the bottom.  It is legacy unlocked and can be stored in my legacy bank.  That makes it to where I only need to do the Hyde and Zeek unlocks on one Character, saving me mats for gearing up Alts. 

The enhancements, mods ect that you purchase will be bound to you for 2 hours of real character log in time.  If you want to put the raw components into your legacy bank (say to transfer to another toon that needs to put the components into an item that is not legacy bound) you will need to first put them into a piece of modable gear, then remove them to remove the bind timer.  Alternatively, you can mail them to the desired character to get around the bind timer.  This takes a lot of mail messages, as you'll need around 27 components to fully outfit a character.

Equipping the gear also removes the bind timer, you can then extract the mods ect to put the base pcs in your legacy bank.  I find mailing them to another toon to be the cheaper, faster route.

You will notice that weapons and off-hands are all bind on pick up.

Relics and Earpieces

Once you have completed the Hyde and Zeek process above, you should have now, your Legendary Implants to 340 (or getting close), all of your main gear to 340 and now just need your Relics and Earpiece upgraded.

You have a few options.  You could go back to the vendor and buy a relic/ear and upgrade it all the way (costly), or, remember those weekly upgrade boxes you were holding onto?  Now is the time.  With all of your other 340 gear equipped, use the box.  It should pop out a relic.  With luck, it will be a 342 Relic or ear.  I have seen it go both ways.  Sometimes the game seems to look at my other gear and give me something 2 points above it.  Others, it seems to just look at the lowest item and upgrade it by 2 points.  Relics seem to be kinda back and forth as you have two of them.  It really is just a matter of opening boxes and seeing what level it is, then equipping it and going for the next box.  Continue to upgrade your relics and ear.  They will go all the way to 344.

So how do I get everything to 344?

Master Mode Operations are the holder of the 344 gear.  Farming "NiM Nefra" will most likely be what most players turn back to.  You essentially need to replace all of your Hyde and Zeek "moddable gear" with Artifact Rakata Gear.  Clearing NiM (master mode) Nefra will drop 340 Rakata gear (hopefully not a relic or ear).  You can then take that gear drop to the vendor and continue to upgrade it to 344 with materials.  It is a long process that is contingent upon RNG and clearing a NiM boss consistently enough to farm it.  (which may be best done with an alt army), but it is at least now possible for the everyday raider to obtain 344 gear.  (before it was locked behind Hard Mode R-4, which was not the most "PUG" friendly environment).

7.4 Gearing Strategy - Getting to 340 via awesome Guildies
If you already are at 340 and are Looking to go to 344 visit the page instead

R-4 Token Farming - Remember to thank your friends :)

If you can get into a guild, or can find 7 players willing and able to run a player short for R-4's WatchDog/Lord Kanoth, a new player can be transformed into 340 in just 3 clears of R-4 Bosses.

The team will need to Clear Veteran Mode Watch Dog, Veteran Mode Kanoth, then either boss a second time. (and the team will need to send all the earned tokens to the player they are farming for)

The player will need to use the two Purple Watch Dog Boss 2 Tokens to get their 340 relics.  1 Kanoth Token goes to buying an Earpiece.

Use the last two tokens to buy any random piece of Purple R-4 gear.

Head to Hyde and Zeek and take out the missions for 340 Artifact/Prototype.  They will need taken out one at a time, but when completed will unlock your ability to get all of your armor and equipment to 340 as listed above.

This will take a couple hour raid session for teams able to help in this fashion.  This decreases gearing time by hours of game play and essentially just leaves it to the "newbie" to grind tech fragments and conquest for implants.