Inquisitor Roadhouse has an excellent Q&A with SWTOR Systems Designers David Hunt and Patrick Malott and has shared that with us on their site. This is by far the clearest interview/explanation I’ve seen yet on this topic and it’s well worth the read. Complete with screenshots and answers directly from the BioWare staff, you can get a clearer explanation of the Crew Skill changes incoming with 1.3.
Q: On the official SWTOR podcast, we heard that Augment stations were going to be added to the game with Patch 1.3. Could you talk a little bit about what they are and how they will work?
A: Our goal with the modification system has always been to allow players to use any gear they choose and have it function at maximum statistical efficiency. Most of the major itemization changes we’ve added have been moving towards this goal, such as moving set bonuses to mods and allowing extraction on endgame items. Augment tables are the next step in this process.
With the introduction of Augment Tables, you can interact with all the previously useless Item Modification Stations spread throughout the world and use them to add an augment slot to any wearable item of at least green quality – which is basically everything except some junk loot on the origin worlds. Previously, this slot was only available for crit-crafted items, and in 1.2 it means that a very limited selection of the items are statistically ideal. When you open up the Item Modification window, you’ll notice a new “Add Augment Slot” button. The new button is greyed out unless you’re interacting with a station. Fortunately, the way augment tables work allows us to apply this to all items, unlike the set bonuses where the ability to transfer them only applies to mods introduced in 1.2 or later.