B rated modules

True, but that use dissipates when you get enough money to buy B or A rated modules, ergo, it's a temporal use like the Sidewinder.
Technically every other ship except the Asp, FDL, Python, Anaconda, Corvette and Cutter aren't relevant once you can afford these ships. There is still a need for intermediate stepping-stone ships and modules even if they aren't relevant for "endgame" use.
 
For modules without weight (so that B doesn't come with a penality) one can consider it but for core modules and important optional ones the downgrade is not an option.

Nobody engineers anything but A-grade or D-grade modules due to the hassle involved in acquiring engineering materials and in terms of basic balance all other ratings are merely supposed to be used temporarily until one can afford A-grade modules. Given how important mass is for mobility and jump range one definitely wants to avoid B-grade core modules on pretty much any ship - they'd have to give proper A-grade levels of actual resulting performance at increased integrity and mass cost to be ever worth a consideration.
For similar reasons C and E grade are not viable for anything but intermediary steps - you'd get less performance but no advantage for the severe downgrade they are.

As others brought up insurance cost - making a ship worse on purpose so you are incapable of performing well but then not having to pay as much when you do lose it (which is more likely from its reduced performance to begin with) isn't a good economical choice in the long run. The impact from dropping A-grade in favour of B or lower cripples performance accross the board to a point where you'd be better off flying a smaller ship you can still afford at full A-grade levels.
 
Technically every other ship except the Asp, FDL, Python, Anaconda, Corvette and Cutter aren't relevant once you can afford these ships. There is still a need for intermediate stepping-stone ships and modules even if they aren't relevant for "endgame" use.
What about the FAS, FGS, FDS, IClipper? They are very good options for PvP. The Viper MkIII and Icourier are the fastest ships in the game, still used in PvP. The DBS is a stealth ship.

See? Most or all ships have different characteristics that make them useful in the Endgame and even if not, they can be fun to fly while I don't hear about people going back to C rated modules for fun or objectives.
 
For Engineering however I always use A-rated modules. I had used an Engineered D-rated class 7 thruster on my Type 9 to reduce cost but have now replaced that with an Engineered A-rated thruster and the difference is substantial.
I once engineered a 7D engine (DD g5) on my Trutter. After this I could no longer change any of its modules because everything exceeded its maximum mass. When I removed anything I could no longer re-equip it either. :)

Keeping an eye on the reduced maximum mass is advisable when engineering D rated thrusters :)
 
Well, E modules are the best at that actually, though they are so cheap that everybody can afford better ones.
I think I did extol their value? E-modules are vital for getting your heat signature down if you wish to smuggle, the only catch is it is probably still worth getting an A-rated power module for it's much lower Head Efficiency rating, and modding it for Low Emissions.

E-modules = Eco-modules - good for the environment and good for your pocket.

But you are right to just point out their plain cheapness.
 
I think I did extol their value? E-modules are vital for getting your heat signature down if you wish to smuggle
Do NPC scans respect heat signature now? Last time I checked, they could scan me without issues even at 0% heat, while spamming heat sinks.

Otoh I can reliably smuggle 700 tons of slaves into any station with my Cutter, simply be entering the station as fast as possible, so nothing to bother with.
 
Hull or hybrid tank FAS for PvP should have B rated plant, preferably armour modded, to avoid being sniped and die with remaining hull.
 
Some of the modules I frequently B-rate:

FSD - My combat vessels only need enough jumprange to high-wake to the nearest system using jumponium. Thus, when mass is not an issue, shielded B-rated FSDs are my preference here.

AFMU - More integrity and much lower power consumption for a minor hit to repair rate and total repair amount. A B-rated AFMU is usually enough to keep up with incoming module damage in combat.

SCB - Normally I prefer A's because of the charge rate, mass, and heatsink considerations, but B's will save power and provide slightly more total recharge per reload.

Modules I have occasionally B-rared:

Distributor - The FAS and FGS have extremely vulnerable distributor positioning so protecting it can often be worth a hit to performance. This is less an issue than it was prior to Engineering, but still occasionally applies.

Thrusters - I rarely B-rate these now, but before MRPs thrusters used to be exceptionally vulnerable and shieldless or hybrid setups often needed all the integrity they could get here. Again, this is much less of an issue than it was.

Fuel scoop - cheap, tough, lower power/standing heat, no mass, usually good enough scoop rate.

Power Plant - Rare for me to B-rate these anymore...even when I prioritize integrity, I'm still normally using dirty drives that require more power than a B-rated PP can provide through malfunctions.

Do NPC scans respect heat signature now? Last time I checked, they could scan me without issues even at 0% heat, while spamming heat sinks.
NPCs have generally always respected heat signatures, though to limited degree. They normally ignore you if you are cold enough and you don't fly in front of them and will move closer to scan you if you go cold before they can initiate the scan.
 
Do NPC scans respect heat signature now? Last time I checked, they could scan me without issues even at 0% heat, while spamming heat sinks.

Otoh I can reliably smuggle 700 tons of slaves into any station with my Cutter, simply be entering the station as fast as possible, so nothing to bother with.
I'm not sure I have a scientific answer for you. But I do think you have to keep thrusters to a minimum, and then - I seem to constantly get away with it.

But it could just be luck. I have certainly done so in high security, high population stations that often scan by the dozen per minute. I need at least 200 examples properly statistically measured before I assert any fact as being probably true, and I'm at least 180 away from that....
 
Stock ships come with a bunch of E modules to make the purchase look like a good deal, but needing 50-100% added to get it up to spec. Sounds just like a real car sale.
Well, to get a ballpark estimate of how much a "fully rated" variant of the ship will cost you can take the stock price and multiply by 5 and you will be close to the 'real' price of a fully fitted ship.

E.g. Vulture is just shy of 5 million stock, and costs around 22-25mill when fully fitted (depending what modules you use).
 
I have around 20 ships, all are A rated but only 3 are fitted for combat (vulture, fdl, vette) and only one more with guns, the rest are unarmed and barely shielded mission runners.

As I don't do pvp and only occasional pve, integrity has never been an issue. There are some good insights here on why B rated core modules might actually make sense that I've never considered.
 
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B modules, such as PP and FSD are very useful on PvP builds because PvP players usually target these modules. I use armored B FSD drives on my expensive PvP ships to aid in escape when it all goes south.
 
B modules, such as PP and FSD are very useful on PvP builds because PvP players usually target these modules. I use armored B FSD drives on my expensive PvP ships to aid in escape when it all goes south.
I just picked up an A class LE plant with no loss of power, and B integrity. Was pretty jazzed.
 
I once engineered a 7D engine (DD g5) on my Trutter. After this I could no longer change any of its modules because everything exceeded its maximum mass. When I removed anything I could no longer re-equip it either. :)

Keeping an eye on the reduced maximum mass is advisable when engineering D rated thrusters :)
I ran into a similar issue when I was replacing my D-grade thrusters on my Type-9 with A-grade thrusters and I wanted to keep the modified D-grade thruster in storage. The problem was that I couldn't store the D-grade thruster because the stock replacement module provided by the shipyard was E-grade and couldn't provide enough thrust needed for the ship's total mass. I ended up moving an A-grade thruster to my Anaconda for Engineering, then returned and installed it on the Type-9. I suspect that the Type-10 and Corvette would run into similar issues due to the high total mass but I upgraded to A-grade thrusters right away on both of those ships so I didn't have to deal with the underpowered E-grade or D-grade modules.
 
I just picked up an A class LE plant with no loss of power, and B integrity. Was pretty jazzed.
Unfortunately those rare outcomes that depend on beneficial secondary effects are no longer going to be possible when the new Engineering changes take effect as there will be fixed blueprint penalties (rather than random) and no secondary effects to improve them. Most of my ships either use a grade 1 overcharged mod with a secondary that improves thermal handling or a grade 1 low emissions mod with a secondary that improves power capacity so I'm trying to generate more of these Engineering rolls now while they're still available.
 
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