Focused Feedback - Balancing Ship Engineering & Material Gathering

Hello,
I am really excited that you consider engineering changes. For me the materials grind is very painfull. I have many ships that needs to be engineered badly but I never managed to do it. Basicaly the problem is I burn out during the materials gathering. I grind for a day or two and then I need to take a 1-2 week break from Elite. Same with my friends. Some of them take even longer breaks after the grind.

Considering your proposals - it will be great to make more ways to gather materials. But please make us able to buy (maybe even sell) the mats as it makes no sense to me we cant. You can even make it expensive so many players would consider gathering them manually (signals, missions).

Considering balance/gameplay - make the high grade emissions more rare so players must search for it more. But when somebody drops into them, they should be able to get full inventory of one specific G5 material. This will prevent the reloging loop which many players do right now and from my point of view is very very weird game mechanic (if you can call it like that).

I am looking forward to the changes you choose to implement so we have better in game experience. o7
 
First,
Remove the GATED Horizon Centered Gameplay (to encourage ED season 1 owners to season 2) and rebalance materials back into the original Space base.
Allowing for materials to be found in more abundance in mining sites or loitering more near facilities (like the shipyards) construction.
Allow more ways to fuel and re-arm the ships.
i.e. Refinining Triton instead of fuel scooping.
Using the fuel scoop to collect gasses from geysers,
manufacturing facilities which relies on scannable blueprints, so basic grade1 manufactured parts can be well....manufactured.
So Explorers can craft things like Heat-Sinks (whose components can only be found in the bubble).

Predictability and Readability
Elite Dangerous is procedurally generated and not Random numbers, so the "seeded" experience is consistent for all players.
Use that to the advantage of the game, create skill-based tools and exploration to allow people to map (and even second guess) where Procedural Generation will "generate" the desired materials and stop relying on the math, to drive the percentage of materials from the planets "drop" rate.

Instead, make the game to be consistent with what gets dropped and where.
It's the "amount" that is RNG'd.

So if I "know" how to find polonium, I WILL FIND POLONIUM,
Especially if I can expertly tune my Pulse wave scanner to find hotspots of polonium in Asteroid belts and rings.
It's the amount that might vary.


DOUBLE RNG
As obsidianant and others have moaned about over the years.

the Double RNG is a kick between the legs.
Praying to RNGesus for a good drop of materials and being rewarded with rare materials, should not be then "chastised" by poor progress at the engineers by a series of poor rolls.
Especially when some G5 materials are locked behind Background States, or behind gameplay loops that we not be so good at.
And Scanned data, really is a confusing kettle of who, what, why, hope and praying.

We have ONE PROGRESS BAR FOR THE ENTIRE G1-G5 UPGRADE PROCESS

Instead of Five progress bars with 5 unique different grades of upgrades.
We have a single upgrade, represented by a single progress bar. (yeah I know.....not very creative)

Grade5 materials will give you the full upgrade in 5-7 rolls. End of story.
(The materials are better / purer leading to a consistent upgrade experience. A little bit of RNG for suspense but it's more for consistency's sake).
So a grade 5 blueprint gives you 15-20% of progress.


However, if you have ONLY Grade 1 materials, you can STILL get THE SAME full upgrade just with a heck of a lot more rolls 30-50 rolls. 2-3% of progress.
The substandard materials give a lower "progress" to the upgrade (The RNG of the results gives a wilder ride) but it's still fairly consistent because the known amounts of ingredients going in.

And to boot, if you have a smörgåsbord of materials from Grade1-Grade 5 blueprints, you can STILL hand them over to the engineer.
This cross-pollination of blueprints leads to an even wilder rng ride in the progress bar, as the high-grade materials will increase the upper limit of the roll. but lower grade / sub-standard materials will drag the low end of the rolls down.
So I could have a mixture of Grade 1 and grade 5 materials will put the upper and lower band to 2-20% of the progress bar (of course it's weighted for the amount delivered.)

So the engineer themselves are not "gated" by Background state, or the lack of a poor drop rate in the game that week,
the player ALWAYS get's their upgrade.


The biggest take-away

  • Remove the “grades” and just have ONE Upgrade which has “fixed” start and “Fixed” end point – a Quota to fill.
    • Removed of the Double RNG (one for collection, one for engineer rolling).
    • ALL blueprints of all grades and all materials of all grades contribute towards that overall upgrade quota.
    • Grade 1 recipe contribute towards Grade1->grade5, they just have less of an effect on the build, but they STILL contribute.
    • The arbitrary constraints of having materials for a G5blueprint but you have to grind through the lower-tier Blueprints is now removed.
    • All materials contribute regardless of “grade” boundary.
  • Now that Horizons is the new “base” game,
    • democratize and distribute the prior “horizon- centric” distribution of material gathering activities back into the “Original Base Game” mechanics and gameplayloops
    • example MINING, with upgrades to the wave scanner to find materials and not JUST surface, sub-surface and deep core deposits.
  • Increase lower grade pay-out.
  • BlackMarketeer can be requested for specific items, and be given a mission of equal awkwardness ( a messy catch-all solution I know).
  • Galaxy map, should have engineer information
    • bare minimum is showing off the list of “known” Engineers and their names and being able to set a course to their base (not just their system)
    • Full implementation of course
      • having bios, unlock status, recipe status.
      • List of all blueprints at the engineer (for planning reasons)
      • Maybe allow use to re-pin other blueprints.
  • Station UI upgrade for Remote Workshop
    • Pinned blueprints need to specify which engineer(s) that pinned blueprint is associated with, so it’s not waste of time traveling to the wrong engineer, because you got the bio’s mixed up on the engineer subpage that always resets when you close it down.
 

HeatherG

Volunteer Moderator
Alright then, instructions in OP are a bit unclear. In the last paragraph there are 2 contradictory statements:

Please advise.
What it means is that we want players to answer Bruce's post only, with your ideas, but not to respond to what other players have posted about.
 
I’m going to tell you about my experience with engineering. When i decide to upgrade a ship through engineering i usually start in high spirits. I go to the engineer, i see what materials i need pin the blueprint and set out.

Then this is what happens, the blueprint says i need a material found in certain systems, so i go and start searching. Two hours go by and i simply don’t find it. I have made no progress toward my goal and so i start to feel very annoyed.

The same experience is repeated if i need a raw material. I go on a planet and i start searching. Hours go by and no progress, even though it is indicated in the planet info that the material is there, again i have made no progress. If i do find it, it’s in very low quantitites and that too is very annoying.

Data materials are the absolute worst, they are very RNG bound. My best bet is usually to find them in missions and it’s always in very very small quantities. That is if i do find a mission with that reward, which is also difficult.

But let’s say i have found all the materials, i then dock to a station, i select the engineering section and i start upgrading. What happens next is that i can no longer upgrade because i have insufficient level with the engineer. I now have to go all the way there build my levels (presumably with another module) and then maybe, finally, i have achieved my goal (because if the RNG is bad i have to find materials again).

But wait, i now want to apply an experimental. So i select experimental effect and i see that i don’t have enough materials. Again i set out to search them, but these can’t be pinned so i forget what they are and now i have to resort to an external site.

This is too annoying, it’s unbearable. I started in high spirits with a quest to see through, but now i feel just miserable.

So to summarize, everytime i find that i have wasted hours without making progress because of bad RNG, or that i have to resort to external resources i feel resentful toward the game. It makes me want to quit, and often i do. If i have been playing for one or two hours i want to feel like i have made tangible and substantial progress.

Therefore of all the suggestion made, i am mostly partial to the possibility of exchanging exploration data, voucher etc. for materials. I would love to go out exploring knowing that i can also use what i find for engineering, i would have the certainty that i am not wasting time and that for me is the major annoyance.

However, truth to be told, my perfect solution for this would be to simply be able to buy materials and upgrades with credits. It just makes sense, if i am a billionare why am i going around the galaxy searching for wrecks instead of just buying what i need?

Let us buy everything we want with credits, so if i love exploring or trading i don’t have to do something else i don’t like to progress. If this would require a rebalance of payouts, then so be it.

Please excuse my english and i hope this helps.
 
My personal opinion is that Engineering is too much of a stat grind, instead of just buying all your modules and being done, you now have to grind to boost those module's stats so you're not smoked in a fight, or can perform tasks as efficiently as others. Engineering should be more of a side-grade, where you change properties or boost some stats on your modules while lowering others. It shouldn't feel like a stat ladder that breaks the balance between ships, but instead a workshop where you tinker on a ship while weighing the compromises to suit exactly what you want out of your ship and make it your own.

With that out of the way, and now on Engineering materials themselves, personally it's not fun to acquire them. The most efficient ways are as noted, just going for Grade 4 and 5 mats and trading down. But especially for some mats, the most efficient way to get them is to sit down and grind for an hour or so to save as much time as possible, or else it takes MUCH longer to acquire them naturally.

Acquiring materials isn't really a passive system that you do over time, you have to put an active effort into getting them to finish engineering a ship's modules in a timely manner. Manufactured mats as the most egregious example, you find a high-grade emissions signal source, collect all the mats from the debris, then close the game. Log back in, engage supercruise, turn around, drop back into the same signal source that is now repopulated. This is not only incredibly immersion breaking, but involves the same few sets of actions on repeat. You're restarting the game over and over and repopulating the same place you just looted, just furthering how arbitrary the material grind is. It's antithetical to the rest of Elite's AMAZING immersive qualities, it's reminding me that I'm wasting time in a video game and that all this space around me is fake.

Engineering is what keeps me from playing more. Instead of exploring, I'm sitting in signal sources collecting debris from the same signal over and over again. Instead of combat, I'm sitting on a planet way out of the bubble in my SRV collecting rocks. Instead of cracking asteroids, I'm scanning Jameson's crashed ship's signals over and over again while constantly relogging to repopulate the source. I've even seen people record software to repeat the same actions to scan the crashed ship, logging out and logging in and then turning and scanning every signal before logging out and repeating the process, it's that simple and rote. Every time I've gotten the itch to play Elite Dangerous again and think of the different activities I want to do, I remember the engineering grind I'll have to go through to keep up, and suddenly the itch is gone.

As a slight positive, the most fun I've had with engineering was collecting rocks in my SRV. With the right coordinates by the community and being directed to planets way out past the bubble that have rich deposits of materials from geological structures, that I shoot off and collect in my space buggy, it can feel pretty serene with the expanse of space above me as I drive around, looking for materials to shoot off rocky structures to then collect, trying to not crash my SRV into the maze of rocky structures around me as I search for more materials. But I still had to make that an hour or more endeavor to get to a planet that is confirmed to be rich of the correct material grade, because it's incredibly inefficient to just drop on any ol' planet and try and find materials. Something fun in its own way still ends up being yet another part of the grindy nature of Engineering.

Personally, I think hunting for materials sucks and I'd rather be doing activities similar to the main activities in the game, I don't really enjoy having to take detours from the main activities I want to do, and maybe I'd enjoy the activities materials promote if they were like guided missions, like go to X point nearby on a planetary installation/ space beacon/ megaship/ crashed ships and scan a series of unique signals, go to X nearby planet and pick up 20 units of ore within a designated area several Km big, go to X nearby system and investigate some signals to find wrecks with marked items that the Engineer wants, and bring back the mission data and materials to the engineer to complete a batch of module upgrades.

But if material gathering is here to stay, then materials need to be more common and easier to get alongside main activities, and the average time commitment to be more consistent and in-line with other activities so it doesn't feel like a slog if you're not maxing out your material grinding efficiency. And I must stress, relogging to repopulate should either not work, or should not feel like the most efficient way to get materials. Gathering required materials should still feel fun without any kind of relogging going on, I love Elite's immersion and would prefer not having to break it to be efficient.

Thank you for reading and taking our feedback, Engineering has been a long-standing issue for me (and many others) and I'm glad Frontier is taking focused feedback on how to change it to make it more engaging and less time-consuming. I hope what you all come up with makes the game even better, and I hope we can turn Engineering into a positive system that enhances the game for everyone rather than one that makes people feel like quitting the game.
 
A few things / comments.
1) Make CQC relevant. Give material rewards for winning/playing. Bam! People would actually play CQC...

2) There's no reward or bonus for your reputation/rank with an engineer. It's soulless.
Why is it 9-10 times clicking a button each time I want to max. engineer grade 5 when I've done the same for 5 or 10 ships.
Can someone become elite in engineering? after 6000+ hours I would be if it existed, and even more-so I'd want to be if there was an in-game-reward for such rank.

3) Engineer missions. Missions for engineers should provide rewards of modded modules. I'd rather kill 10 pirates or skimmers, deliver cargo, passengers or whatever for a class 5 module than waste half a lifetime looking for specific materials that only appear when RNGesus bestows his random good will upon me.

4) More Dav's Hope(s). Let's face it - pretty much the entire game base drives round in circles at one place collecting materials, because it's 'doable'. Flying around in space for RNG high grade emissions is the worst thing I've ever done that is supposed to be considered 'game-play'. It's not. Settlements are interesting, cool, and finding more with materials is probably what some might consider 'content'.

5) Balance.
Engineering in the context of PVP has been applied blindly by people who don't play the game, and don't pvp. Shields/boosters are OP, and I could go on, but the unbalance of engineering as it is - is that's pretty much why 1 x ship (FDL) and loadout is still meta. Boring. Balance engineering properly. Taking the randomness out of results from old engineering didn't change the reality of max. results which mostly got stronger after the last changes to engineering.

Personally, I hated sandro's changes to engineering and crime.
I love derping around in the SRV at biological and geological sites. Doable and sometimes fun.
 
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Greetings Commanders

Now that Update 8 for Odyssey is live, we'd like to reignite the series of balancing changes that started before Odyssey's release. Now, it's time to turn our attention to ship Engineering. We recognise there has been significant feedback for on-foot Engineering too, but we'd like to approach these one at a time due to the number of aspects involved. Specifically, we'd like to look at the balancing of the Engineering grind, which largely relates to...

Material Gathering

Availability and Time Required

To obtain them as fast as possible, materials within Grades 1 to 3 are typically traded down from Grade 4 and 5s. To make them worthwhile to gather by themselves, should their availability and the rate at which they are obtained be increased?

Similarly, Grade 5 materials can be traded down into 3 Grade 4 materials within the same category. However, Grade 4 and Grade 5 materials take similar amounts of time to gather. Should the number of materials picked up per instance be increased to account for this?

We're also aware that some materials are much harder to find than others as they are tied to rarer BGS states. Let us know which materials ought to be made more readily discoverable.

Any estimates regarding how long it took to earn a given Engineered module by gathering materials will also be helpful in addressing this aspect of balancing.

Alternate Gathering Methods

We appreciate that the repetitive nature of material gathering may not be for everyone. Some have called for ways to earn materials while engaging in the specific types of content they already enjoy.

We'd like to hear your feedback on the idea of unique missions offered by Engineers themselves. These could be repeatable and offer materials specific to the upgrades offered by the Engineer who issues them. Let us know what you think of this idea and how many materials this might offer relative to gathering the materials manually.

Another idea is to allow materials to be "bought" with items that are not obtainable at Commodities Markets. This could include things such as Exploration Data, Bounty Vouchers, Void Opals and Thargoid Hearts and would allow players to earn materials while playing within their chosen disciplines.

Rolling for Engineering Improvements

Some time ago, Engineering was changed so that some improvement was guaranteed with each roll. However, the amount by which your progress towards the next module grade is still random. This means sometimes the same number of materials will produce a minimal increase. Should this be changed so that the same number of materials are always required to reach the next tier? This would allow Commanders to know exactly how many materials are needed.

Other Feedback and Suggestions

Feel free to respond with other ship Engineering balancing feedback and suggestions that go beyond the ideas mentioned above. To keep the conversation on-topic and help us collect the feedback, this thread will be closely moderated. Please only reply with responses to the topics mentioned and keep feedback constructive. Unrelated or unhelpful posts may be removed during clean-up. If you find this has happened to your post, consider raising your points in another thread within the Dangerous Discussion section.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

O7

I just thought of a simple way to make collecting data materials a bit more straightforward. Give the default scanner the ability to scan wakes for data, but not for locations. So you select it and it processes for about 10 seconds, and then it gives you whatever data you would have gotten if you wake scanned it, but not the actual location.

That way you can collect wake data without needing to carry a wake scanner on every ship.
 
Firstly thank you for posting this. It really means a lot and I think you know that. I'm going to break down what I can and relay what I think would be best for the game as a whole. Now I am very used to and enjoy grindy games (Monster Hunter, FF XIV, Shadow of War) of so take that into consideration with what I say. Yes to most of what you are proposing. I completely agree with making the grind a bit easier. Most either cannot allocate the time or simply don't like a bigger grind and that is 100% understandable.

1. The easiest fix would be to increase how much we can carry and how much we get per pick up. I don't mind relogging but I also have a decent rig; those who don't would clearly have an issue. I LOVE the idea of using alternate methods to gather mats. It lets people play the game they want to and not punish them for it. For example I love going out into the black and refilling my T4's and T5s; however my wingman would get bored of that after a dozen jumps. Giving him a way to get those mats by killing pirates or recovering things or rescuing people/items would be FANTASTIC. Either way, let us carry more please.

2. I need both hands (and maybe some toes) to count the number of times I have needed about 4 pixels for the next upgrade only to get 3 pixels. While I do like the idea of you need X of mats a, b, and c right from the get go there is something really satisfying about getting a really good roll. My idea would simply be to drastically increase the minimum value a roll can give. Maybe do both? make the guaranteed upgrade a little on the higher side of cost but if you feel like gambling you just might get it for cheaper. Sort of like an auction on Ebay, you can bid for it or use the buy it now option.

3. Let us use mats to rebuild SRVs. You can build an Anaconda in a way that you can go into the black and be 100% self sufficient...except for rebuilding SRVs. If you run out of those, you have to head back to the bubble (or closest carrier if you are lucky AF). Make the mat price steep to rebuild the appropriate number of SRVs but let us do it. Make it take like 50 iron + 100 carbon + some Nickel and some Tungsten per SRV. Fighters can be as well but you'd want to use different mats depending on the fighter model.

4. This is slightly off topic but not really. Allow for restricted module slots to be fitted with AFMUs, cargo racks, fuel tanks, and anything else that weighs 0 tons. Now hear me out on this. Everyone has a few favorites ships right? Now I'm sure lots of those ships have restricted slots (as mine do). Those restricted slots COMPELTELY nullify most of those ships ability to be used for anything other than combat. In a game where any ship is supposed to be able to do pretty much anything, Having 3 C4 slots that you could logically fit an AFMU in (because it would have to be able to repair the module in that slot anyway so it HAS to be able to fit in there in the first place) but not being able to do so kneecaps the utility of so many ships. For example all 3 alliance ships, the Dropship, Assault Ship, and Gunship all could be half decent mat gathering ships that look good and/or fly well. We all enjoy the game a bit more when flying our favorite ship around.

5. One of if not the single biggest factor is simply jump range. Jumping takes a TON of time when mat gathering. Honestly you could 2x the jump range across the board and the game would improve sooooo much. I have said this to many people and not 1 has argued against it. It takes literally nothing away from the game and opens up the galaxy so much. The most daunting thing about going to do something new is simply how long it takes to travel anywhere. I specifically got my fleet carrier so I could ferry my friends around as they don't have a lot of time to play the game like I do. Being able to travel 2x the distance per jump would open up so many more avenues to enjoy the game while still letting the game feel insanely vast to the point it is still scary to newer players. I don't mean just let ships jump 2x further at the expense of 2x the fuel, I mean a jump that takes 20 LY using Z tons of fuel will now get you 40 LY for that same fuel cost.

TL;DR :: Let us carry more mats. Give us a reliable but slightly more expensive guaranteed upgrade but let those of us who like gambling gamble with an improved current system. Let us rebuild SRVs in ship using a ship load (ha!) of mats. Adjust what restricted optional slots can have in them to make those ships more versatile. Double the jump range across the board.
 
I forgot to specify the worst mat to gather, Pharmaceutical Isolators. However doing what I said above would pretty much negate most the tediousness as we could jump further, and pick up more per pick up. Less grinding in every aspect.

ANDENDUM :: The time to engineer something from T0 to T5 is so hard to estimate. Going hard at gathering you could probably fill up on all T4s and T5s after about 2 days (RNGesus willing) at ~10 hours a day. Then that is really just to trade down and get the mats you actually need. The closest estimate I can realistically give is ideally 1 hour per module but 2 hours realistically for most. The experimental effects also add a large chunk of time to that because you have to see the engineer in person for that. I think the minimum engineers you need to see to fully engineer a ship is 6 IIRC and that tacks on another 2 hours but that is for the entire ship and not per module. An equation to represent this would be 2x+2 hours. Where 'x' is the number of modules. Now this time required only increases as your available equipment decreases. Nobody is going to take on an Elite Anaconda in the Starterwinder and get the mats they'd need for some upgrades. This is assuming you already have a decent ship but are just out of materials.
 
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Proposals for the extraction of materials and expanding the possibilities in the game.

These proposals have several purposes:
  • Expansion of methods for the extraction of engineering materials
  • Increasing the number of interactions between players
  • Introduction of the real (live) component
  • The introduction of collective player ownership

The essence of the proposals:
1.
Variation 1
Introduction in addition to the "consumer market" of one more trading platform - "Materials Market"

The composition of the market goods - all engineering materials, depending on the economy of the current system (raw materials, industrial, data), there are also dual markets and extremely rarely triple ones. Replenishment of goods on this market with goods is carried out exclusively by players. The market works not only for the purchase but also for the sale of all positions, including taxes. For example, one unit of iron can be sold for 1000 credits and immediately redeemed for 1100 credits.

1.
Variation 2
Introduction to the consumer market of a new group of products

All engineering materials get their analogue of a consumer product, for example, the material “Iron” is identical to the product “Pure iron”. Material merchants get a new function - the exchange of goods for materials. The exchange rate is 1 to 3 in any direction. 3 units of “Iron” from the set of materials can be exchanged for 1 unit of the product “Pure iron”, and 3 units of the product “Pure iron” can be exchanged for one unit of material “Iron”.

Raw materials get the prefix "Clean", Industrial "New", Data "Precise".

The supply of new goods to the markets can only be carried out by players.

2. Introduction of the possibility of direct extraction of raw materials

All planets for landing in “elite dangerous” have a list of materials available for extraction. There are two ways to implement direct mining - simple and complex.

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2.1 The easy way

A new planetary mining module is being introduced, it is installed in the slot for planetary transport, and it requires very high energy parameters of the ship. When this module is activated from a height of 50-100 meters above the planet's surface, the hatch of the planetary transport garage opens and from there a mining laser hits the surface, knocking out materials from the planet's surface that are collected in the cargo compartment by limpets. Materials are mined in a % ratio in accordance with those available on this planet.

2.2 The complex way

In addition to the direct mining module, an additional module is being introduced to scan the surface for the distribution of materials over the planet's surface (for example, a detailed surface scanner and the distribution of zones of biological species on the planet), the area of distribution zones of materials depends on the % of available materials. Zones can overlap.

3. Introduction of the possibility of squadrons to build ground bases

Declaring squadrons of players as legal entities with the right to own common property. Entering a squadron account for the formation of the budget for ground bases.

3.1 Construction mechanics

Techno-brokers are introducing new items "seeds" of ground objects as a standard container with tha mass equal one ton, containing a set of nanorobots programmed for the construction of certain ground base objects and having additional interaction possibilities from SRV or on foot to select a construction site and start construction. The seed from the ship is placed in the selected place with the help of the SRV, after which the context menu is called up with a choice of interaction options - to deploy the object or pick up the seed in the cargo hold of the SRV. When you select the option to unfold, an external camera is turned on for spatial orientation of the placement of an object on the ground.

After confirmation, a "material loading zone" is formed at the selected location, into which, with the help of the srv, it is necessary to deliver the raw materials and consumer goods required for the construction. After reaching the level of materials required for construction, it becomes possible to start construction. After construction, which takes some time, an object appears on the surface that requires some consumer goods to function.

3.2 Composition of the base

Base construction begins with the base core, which has a base control terminal. Next, landing sites are installed that have the ability to load and unload goods and refuel ships. All types of base modules from the "Odyssey" with their functionality can also be included in the database. The various base modules consume power from the power center. The size and number of generating sets will affect the amount of energy available.

Base cores can be of three sizes: small, standard, enlarged. Depending on the size of the core the base can support 4, 8, or 16 modules, respectively.

For example, a small core supports 4 modules - a landing pad, a generator set, a warehouse and a drilling rig.

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The base must include a Power Center, which provides energy to the entire base, before it is turned on, the Emergency power cell is required to maintain the base core operability.

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Power plants are of two types - standard and reinforced - differ in power.
The base includes landing sites for the delivery of goods and resources.
Warehouses may be included in the base.

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Warehouses come in two sizes - small and standard, for the functioning of a small one only energy is needed, for a standard one - additional workers.

The base may include a drilling rig. When energy is available, it continuously extracts raw materials and transfers them to the warehouse.

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The base can include production modules on which, in the presence of energy and engineering staff, production from raw materials - industrial ones - takes place.

The type of industrial materials produced is selected in a special menu, and resource requirements are also displayed there.

A laboratory can be included in the base; in the presence of energy and scientific personnel, data is synthesized by intercepting and analyzing signals from nearby solar systems.

The type of data obtained depends on the state and type of economies of the nearest inhabited systems.

A command center is required to install security turrets and drones.

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Housing modules are required for hiring and living on the basis of workers, engineers, scientists and guards.

3.3 Ground base functionality

The first and foremost function of the land base is the extraction of materials.

The second function is to trade the base with other players in the received materials.

Installing a base is only possible in anarchic worlds.

There is the possibility of an attack on the base, to counter which turrets, security drones can be installed and NPC guards can be hired. When attacking a base, all squadron members are notified. The result of a successful attack will be the possibility of stealing materials from the base warehouses, but only in open play. In all other modes, a successful attack is rewarded with a symbolic amount of resources depending on the size of the base.

In addition to security, it is possible to hire NPC pilots to purchase and deliver consumer goods to the base for its operation (food, alcohol, medicines, technical devices, etc.)

The level of hired staff affects the efficiency of the work.

A worker in a warehouse adds up to 10% capacity.

Production engineer reduces production time by up to 20%.

The scientific staff is increasing the synthesis of higher level data.

The more NPC base personnel the more goods and credits are needed for the base. Debiting takes place weekly.

The income from trading the ground base is in the base account and can be withdrawn to the squadron's account by pilots with a certain role in the squadron. Also, depending on the role, it is possible to receive the mined goods at a discount (leader 100%, senior officer 80%, officer 60%, agent 40%, newcomer 20%). A squadron can own multiple bases.

In the future, it is possible, according to the same scheme, to build orbital outposts for the production of any unique modules (for example fsd v1) but by the forces of players and their free sale to other players.

For cooperative players, the level of possible interaction with other players is increased.

Players who prefer solo mode will receive a simulation of trading with NPCs.
 
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Spent last night starting to engineer my shiny new Corvette.

Needed a bit of Selenium to complete a couple of mod's.
In Horizons, this wouldn't have been a big deal.
I have a planet bookmarked with a heap of Geo' POIs.
I go there, shoot some stuff and I get a couple of dozen lumps of Selenium.

In Odyssey, it turns out that Geo' POIs are no longer a thing.

Perhaps I should take this opportunity to remind FDev that we got the new FSS and DSS, a couple of years ago, with the specific intention of giving players the ability to find useful/interesting things more easily.

And now, with Odyssey, the Geo' POIs have been removed again, putting players back in the position where they have no alternative to simply driving around a planet's surface for hours, following the SRV's wave-scanner.

This is, frankly, utter garbage and, of all the inconveniences, bugs and disappointments that I've put up with since Odyssey was released, this is the last straw.
I know it's a bit melodramatic but, much as I enjoy the FPS stuff in Odyssey, I'm done with it now.
I'm currently reinstalling Horizons and I'll be playing that, instead, for the forseeable future.

I'm no expert in game-design but it seems, to me, like the smart thing to do is take stuff that works and expand on it, rather than continually changing it, replacing it and, as a rule, cocking it up so it's worse than it was before.
 
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Material Gathering

Availability and Time Required

To obtain them as fast as possible, materials within Grades 1 to 3 are typically traded down from Grade 4 and 5s. To make them worthwhile to gather by themselves, should their availability and the rate at which they are obtained be increased?

No. You should instead reduce the number of grades and quantity of different materials altogether.

A lot of the issue with Engineering material collection, as it has been for years, remains superfluous complication-for-complication's-sake. Simplify and reduce the quantity involved, and you solve the dilemma at hand here.

For instance, you could have 3 grade tiers instead of 5 - anything that falls into the current 1-3, gets put in the new '1' bracket, with 4 and 5 becoming the new 2 and 3.

Your proposed solution would likely only serve to dilute RNG spawn pools (bearing in mind the methods materials are found, not just the material spawns themselves) to be full of more useless junk that players do not want to waste time with in the first place.

Similarly, Grade 5 materials can be traded down into 3 Grade 4 materials within the same category. However, Grade 4 and Grade 5 materials take similar amounts of time to gather. Should the number of materials picked up per instance be increased to account for this?

Perhaps. Again this has potential RNG dilution issues. If it makes Grade 5 materials harder to find, that's not a good solution.

We're also aware that some materials are much harder to find than others as they are tied to rarer BGS states. Let us know which materials ought to be made more readily discoverable.

Isn't this easier for you to reference internally simply by cross-referencing a list of where materials spawn against current BGS states? Anyways, untying material spawns from transient and often obscure BGS states in the first place would be the proper fix to this.

Any estimates regarding how long it took to earn a given Engineered module by gathering materials will also be helpful in addressing this aspect of balancing.

If it's relevant, it's been 3 years since I've had the motivation to try getting my ships Engineered fully...but in total seriousness, this depends on whether you're accounting for the out-of-game research required to figure out where and how to obtain the necessary materials - and that's after where and how to obtain the blueprints and desired effects. Once you actually have the knowledge of these things, as I recall you might be able to get it done in a couple hours starting from scratch, naturally less if you have a built-up collection of materials.

Alternate Gathering Methods

We'd like to hear your feedback on the idea of unique missions offered by Engineers themselves. These could be repeatable and offer materials specific to the upgrades offered by the Engineer who issues them. Let us know what you think of this idea and how many materials this might offer relative to gathering the materials manually.

Excellent idea. It also presents a new way to engage with Engineers and gives them more individuality. Lots of opportunity for the creative department there. I think you should aim for being competitive with gathering materials manually - the result will likely be that the time invested to complete Engineer missions (no doubt requiring some loadout specialization) will be equal or greater than manual gathering.

Another idea is to allow materials to be "bought" with items that are not obtainable at Commodities Markets. This could include things such as Exploration Data, Bounty Vouchers, Void Opals and Thargoid Hearts and would allow players to earn materials while playing within their chosen disciplines.

I like the idea.

Rolling for Engineering Improvements

Some time ago, Engineering was changed so that some improvement was guaranteed with each roll. However, the amount by which your progress towards the next module grade is still random. This means sometimes the same number of materials will produce a minimal increase. Should this be changed so that the same number of materials are always required to reach the next tier? This would allow Commanders to know exactly how many materials are needed.

Less RNG-injection is always a good thing. Do it! Consistency is always more fun in games that involve logistical planning. Leave "getting lucky lottery" to card games and casinos.

Looking back through my post history, the vast majority of my issues with Engineering was the piles of RNG layered onto more RNG. Removing that randomness would raise my interest and enjoyment considerably.

Other Feedback and Suggestions

Feel free to respond with other ship Engineering balancing feedback and suggestions that go beyond the ideas mentioned above.

Either rework or remove Corrosive. 1 experimental effect should not be "must-have" in literally every recommended loadout configuration on the internet.

Having a universal "do 25% more damage" button is absolutely antithetical to the idea of "balance". It is honestly stunning to me that, 3 years down the road, this is still a factor in the game. It's something I would expect to see addressed in a conversation about Engineering balance as a top-priority issue.

...

p.s. edit: It's a longer conversation, but Engineer modding entirely removes the importance of weapon choice. Need to deal with shields? Used to be you needed thermal weapons, now you just pick your weapon of choice and mod it. Need to deal with armor? Used to be you needed kinetic/explosive weaponry, now you just Engineer any weapon as you need. Want to protect yourself from particular damage types? Just Engineer your resistances away (which won't matter in the end against Engineered weapons!)

Your own beginner tutorials make a point of emphasizing that system of thermal, kinetic, and explosives, yet a beginning player will be completely unaware that Engineering renders that entirely moot. I'd encourage you to reconsider Engineering allowing damage/resistance type smearing, so that weapon loadout choice is more meaningful.

An example would be a game of D&D where the player wants to take Fireball and treat it as a lightning spell, or a slashing AOE attack, and use their racial trait resistance against being charmed to instead resist nonmagical attacks. Sure, as a DM, you can 'allow' that at your table in the name of 'fun', but you're removing the essence of what makes Fireball special and different from all the myriad other spells present in D&D. Learning about all the tools available to you, and then making a choice on how to best use those tools, is many times more fun than simply "make this one tool into whatever you want" (and never have to learn or worry about using other tools again).
 
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My suggestion list of what I think is either a bit or a lot broken. A lot of it has been suggested before and makes a lot of sense to me so I will shamelessly repeat them. Certainly not claiming to be an expert and sure to be missing some of the specific or deep meta details.

A lot of of the engineering changes I am suggesting are dependent on a deconstruction of old modules option. I think some sort of mat tokens grades 1 through 5 that could be exchanged for any same grade mat 1 for 1 is the best option. So deconstructing a grade 1 item would be 1 or 2 class 1 tokens up to a full grade 5 item giving 10 to 15 grade 5 tokens. Should be a 1000 token bin and the number of tokens returned could be tuned a bit.

Even without the changes below I would want this. I have a few and getting more unused (ideas that didn’t work as well as I expected), requirements have changes (got a fleet carrier) or obsoleted modules (just got 3 more fully engineered FSDs in that pile).

Mats:

I do remember the pain of laps around Davs and flying to the crystal trees in a 30ly Viper and it traumatized me enough that I am pretty frugal with spending mats these days to the point I don’t like seeing any grade 5 mat under 50% full. I also know there will always be a bottle neck at some point no matter what changes are put in place.

Team missions with mat rewards should have a option to select any grade 5 via a pull down menu in the category offered instead of the 3 specific ones offered now and a trip to the mat trader. Biotech conductors could be swapped for a the raw mat option.

Mat trader needs to be a bit less painful to cross trade. Maybe half the cost for 1 step up or down and 2/3rds the cost for further up or down. Half the cost while trading up, trading down is probably OK.

Guardian mats

A trader would be nice. Start at 3 or 2 to 1 and could be dependent on completing the 1st Ram Tah mission and only he can swap them. The 2nd Ram Tah mission would upgrade it to 1 to 1 and any Guardian tech broker can exchange them.

Engineering:

First time visitors get a free grade 3 module or experimental of their choice when they unlock the engineer?

Grade 5 needs to be a minimum improvement set per click. Sucks to click the button, have the mats disappeared and not even sure anything changed. Personally I like the mid grade stop option, I have a few items stopped at various grades for flavor like focused PA to match Enforcers shot speeds. I also rarely finish a item to full grade 5 except for thrusters on combat ships and the FSD on exploration ships. A few points to hull or shields isn’t going to make or break a build.

Modules with engineering:

A bunch of these changes are a bit dependent on if we are balancing to PvE or PvP. If it is to PvE then just make things better. PvP needs a more nuanced approach.

Lightweight hull reinforcements: Not sure any one will argue they are all but junk. Adding a blanket percentage addition to hull resistances starting at 1% for a class one up to 5% for a class five. If it doesn’t stack with another lightweight hull reinforcement it shouldn’t be too over powered. Other option is have them stack like the current module reinforcements where it is diminishing returns on more than 3.

Thermal conduit: Pretty broken with the right builds. Turning it down to 40 to 50% would be a start but even better would be having the bonus split between weapons, ie. if you have 5 weapons with the TC bonus set at 50% then each weapon is only has 10% bonus. Increase the heat cost/damage while using TC weapons?

Shields:

Shield booster: Heavy weight option is too much gain for too little cost. They would still be good at twice the weight and twice the power. Either put a limit on the number installed 1 for small, 2 or 3 for medium, and 3 or 4 for large, turn down the bonus, or another diminishing returns ala MRPs. Remove them entirely?

Shield cell banks: Put a limit on the number of slots that can have them installed 2 to 4 for small, 4 to 6 for medium, 6 to 10 for large. So a slot limit of 6 would be one 5 and one 1, a 4 and a 2, or 2 size 3. Can only be installed in military only slots?

Ships:
Tried to give a couple options to make them more appealing. 1 is the minimum, 2 is the sweet spot, 3 might be turned up to FdL.

Viper 4: Recently built one to haul around the new Plasma chargers and it is a pretty nice ship to fly. Might even be my recommendation as a learn FA off small ship. Definitely more than just a fatter slower Viper 3.
1. A 3rd utility slot
2. Option 1 and a bump to pitch rate.
3. Option 1 and 2 and a 4A power distributor

Asp scout: Never got one, don’t want to try one, maybe at option 2 or 3?
1. A 3rd utility slot and a not small bump to speed.
2. Option 1 and one class 3 becomes a class 5 slot
3. Option 1, 2 and a bit more weight allowed before it thruster performance starts to fall off.

Clipper: This is the Asp Scout of large ships in my opinion, which is to say it is out classed by medium ships. Not sure what to change without making it silly. It doesn’t really fit thematically either, Courier is a fast shield tank, Cutter is the same but the Clipper is a fast hybrid or hull tank. Some of these changes would required an art model change so might be a no go.
1. Swap hard points so the class 2s are in the wing tips
2a: Class 2 to center line on the hull, class 3 to wing, class 1 to wing tips
2b. Option 1 and one or both class 4 to class 5 and class 2 to class 3
3. Not as clear cut but 2a with a class 4 to class 5 would be my choice.
Thought experiment of a class 6 FSD? SLF capable?

Anaconda: Make a v2 and disappear the fairy dust hull and let it launch a Sidewinder or Eagle? It could jump away so it doesn’t clutter up the sky. Maybe have a NPC pilot as a mandatory requirement for it all to work. With a 60+ly jump range it would be the perfect Odyssey mission/explorer.

FdL: Feels like a devs pet project that got snuck in without the balance team looking at it. Says a lot when the main criticism is the goofy cockpit. It does it all, 4k shields with 2 utility slots to spare, 2k hull. Both at the same time? Sure why not. Mamba can do it but needs HD boosters in all 6 slots. Python is ‘close’ but not really. With the above changes to boosters and SCBs I think a small decrease to the shield profile would probably be enough.

In general I have an issue with huge hard points on a medium ship so both FdL and Mamba could be moved to a 5a power plant, the huge swapped to a large or both.

Gameplay:

Need to stop chain interdictions. I have been interdicted 7+ times within 10 ls of the station on more than one occasion. Was never going to die so it was just an annoyance. Maybe no interdictor (to prevent chain interdictions from a team) can get a lock on that specific FSD after the third interdiction for 2 to 5 minutes which could be tuned. Yes it could be abused but not sure the cure is worse than the cause.

Feedback cascade: Since SCB spam is real both in both PvE and PvP every combat ship essentially needs a rail gun, or 2, to slow it down. Either more weapons need to have this experimental option or there needs to be another way to deal with it short of the bigger DPS hammer. Maybe if you do more than 25 to 50% damage of the SCB charge while it is in progress it is reset with a longer cool down to the next charge, lose a charge? Phasing does full hull damage while the SCB is active? Might not be as big of an issue if the changes above are in place.

Module sniping: Specifically long range rails and micro gimballing. This hurts my head every time I see it in action on a stream. Naturally I am more than happy to use it when I am playing… I suspect this is a console controller specific feature that becomes comically OP with a mouse/kb. I would suggest instead of the little square it is a circle without specific area to gimbal too, ala the leading targeting reticle on fixed weapons. This area would be large enough that a small ship could fit in it at 1km so in effect you could not snipe a specific module, 2km for a medium and 3.5km for a large. You could still see the hp of the module but would need to be relatively close to get consistent hits on a medium and large ships.

I think torpedoes need a look at, maybe a long synth reload timer because right now then are only good in if you have a size 3 or multiple smaller hard points with them. A single class 1 or 2 hard point might knock the shields off a small ship, but only if it is harmless or lower.

Did the FdL designer move to the guardian weapon team? The new plasma chargers and shard cannons, from also rans to instant meta, suggest they did. The guass hammers need a buff. Faster spool time, small bump in optimal range?

In the end I would be happy with module deconstruction for mats or tokens.
 
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I'm not sure if I've already said so but an easy fix would be to remove the ridiculous bloat of ingredients. Cut down 50% of the overall number of ingredients. Heck, make it 80%. Stop diluting the bloody loot pools. Make players actually find what they are looking for and not roll a stupid dice and go "Haha, bad luck you sucker - try again!". Make players not waste time on struggling with game mechanics - make them PLAY the bloody game. Make players not waste time cheesing the game to overcome stupid barriers - make the game actually fun to play.
That doesn't mean shoving more power creep into the game is the solution. I'm looking at the double-engineered crap. It's gonna be standard equipment in no time.
 
1) Eliminate much of the RNG when it comes to finding the correct locations/instances to find specific materials. There is nothing quite so frustrating as to not being able to find the correct type of signal/location, and especially when you do find one, and might get one material. It is ok to require some time to gather mats, but it should be a straightforward, repeatable, and measurable activity.

2) Do not require so many materials to advance through the ranks. In fact, do not require upgrading modules from 1-5 at all. If you have rank 5, you can start modding at rank 5. This keeps CMDRs from having to trade down materials so often, which is not fun gameplay.

3) Remove the RNG in fully upgrading a module in each rank. 3-4 upgrades = maximum values reached.

4) Consider reducing the number of different materials. It's a massive headache to track what you have and what you need for X number of rolls per rank, per module.
 
Maybe set up the engineering like the Guardian Modules, where you gather the materials and then have access to that engineering for any module.

At least reduce the grind, there's no point in spending an hour driving in circles at Dav's hope, or spending an hour scanning in circles at Jameson's crash site, it just sucks the fun out of the game. I don't mind going to the different places to get some materials, but I should be able to gather what I need without ever having to log out and back in.

And the random applications drives me insane, there have been many instances where I have 10 rolls on a single level for a modification, and still fail to get the modification done! It's crazy! Just make it known what materials are needed.
 
Please make these change I think the community will greatly appreciated this.
And please continue to find things like this to focus on and fix as needed..

I know I'm a little late here but I really do a huge amount of grinding for these. Currently maxed for all Hor materials abusing any bug or fasted method and right now data is bad. I basically do Jameson's crash site relog relog relog relog ... Then trade my 100 for like 20g5s which is terrible. With the raw they mostly easily if you go the sites (selenium excluded ) but in 3-5hours on the plannet it is possible to max. Manufactured (farming g5 and trading down) is very hit and miss some super easy others you will never find but again using the relog bug that was "fixed" makes it kinda bearable except for improvised components and pharmaceutical isolated.

Ody on foot engineering really sucks you have gone back to the cap you used with earlier engineering having a cap for all materials which later to fixed for a cap for each one which was much better but then you released Ody and went back to the max cap on materials why ??
I honestly have given up in upgrading my Ody gear and that been said after I have max resources for hor stuff is saying alot. Also trading materials at 1000/1000 is Impossible you first need to get one even if you use more trading then you get. Why don't I post a bug ? Ah yes great question they expire cause there may more things waay more broken to even bother with

If I could bounty hunt or farm combat bonds this would be great to get the missing g5 and trade from there. Further missions getting these would also be great.

We need bounty hunting for on foot like Res sites. Might be possible to do defend settlement type things which you can start on foot, this would be fun. I know it's off topic
 
TL;DR for Devs, please read the yellow text. Bonus points for spoilers:LOL:.
Material Gathering
Availability and Time Required

To obtain them as fast as possible, materials within Grades 1 to 3 are typically traded down from Grade 4 and 5s. To make them worthwhile to gather by themselves, should their availability and the rate at which they are obtained be increased?
I'm a little concerned that the question was asked this way (feels like the "alternative" is nerf the G4 and G5s) but nevertheless it was asked so by golly I'm gonna jump on it. (getting a bit excited that material gathering is being looked at:p)
First off I would love to see an option to auto collect anything you touch in your SRV if you cargo hatch is down and not have to select it first. That could help a bit with the collection rates.
I look at gathering materials as a rate per hour, and find the raw mats to be a good rate as far as the grade 5s go (my personal farming rates below) when gathering from the crystal shard sites in Horizons (really hope they are brought back in Odyssey or another method added that is just as good). I'm not sure how you could increase the gathering rate of the raw G1-3 mats themselves to make them worthwhile. You could make the rocks that you shoot on planets more common but they would still almost not even be worth the time it takes to pick them up compared to down trading unless you were to increase the number you get per "item pickup" from the current 3 to 15 or more for the G1 and adjust for the G2 and G3 accordingly and that would just be to match the same rate as down trading.

The biggest thing for grinding mats would be to give methods of gathering that are as good as the crystal sites for data mats and manufactured mats without the need to re-log or fly to new locations every 5 minutes just like the raw crystal sites are now. For manufactured mats, places like Dav's Hope with a lot more items to pick up (thinking a couple hundred mats to spawn in) would be a start (cant think of a new method that would be interesting right now) or make the High Grade Emission signals (HGE) spawn many more with each pick up giving more than the current 3. For data... I don't even know how to farm data outside of high wake scanning (which is not even worth doing) and Jameson's Cobra. Maybe add a lot more scan points at locations like Dav's Hope? Guardian obelisk data could also use a good bump with maybe more of the obelisks being scan-able.

Similarly, Grade 5 materials can be traded down into 3 Grade 4 materials within the same category. However, Grade 4 and Grade 5 materials take similar amounts of time to gather. Should the number of materials picked up per instance be increased to account for this?
Assuming "instance" to mean each collected "fragment/item"?? If so, kinda answered above.
We're also aware that some materials are much harder to find than others as they are tied to rarer BGS states. Let us know which materials ought to be made more readily discoverable.
Not too familiar with this other than I have never personally seen a, how do you call it, "Pharmaceutical Isolator"? I've only really searched for any HGE I could find and then cross trade the materials I found the most (usually shielding and alloys) for ones I didn't have.
Any estimates regarding how long it took to earn a given Engineered module by gathering materials will also be helpful in addressing this aspect of balancing.

I collect G5(or is it 4?) raw mats at a rate of about 160 G5 mats/hr (26/hr of selenium but only having to cross trade for one is fine) [30 minutes to fly out to crystal sites + (35 minutes to collect all 150 + 10 minutes to fly to next planet body) x6 + 10 minutes to fly to second system + 30 minutes to fly back home]
Data is Jameson's Cobra re-log loop is [15 minutes of re-logging to fill on G5 (usually get around 120 of G4 too) + 15 minutes to fly to nearest trader and return] 24/hr of all mats except Encryption Files which are 400/hr maybe a bit high on their own but when its all we have for the others via trading then I wont complain.
For manufactured mats it tends to have a bit more RNG and so its more of an estimate but if I find a good HGE (35+ minutes, or why not just remove the timer all together?) I can get around 50-80/hr with re-logging to desktop, of a random mat that I usually need to cross trade so that equates to about 12/hr of what I need if its a good day but if it takes more than 30 minutes to find a HGE (has taken up to 2 hours and I just filter for high population systems looking for ANY HGE) then it can often be lees than 10/hr.

Summary G5 mat farming (I always down trade because reasons we are now addressing :D)
Raw mats (G4): 160/hr (26/hr for selenium)
Data: 24/hr unless needing Encryption Files
Manufactured: <12/hr :cry:


Module engineering time: calculated from time to gather the required materials assuming you will "fill up" on each mat there by reducing the time flying out to get started and back once done. Full grade 5 engineering (rolls per grade average 1>1.5>3>4>10) + experimental effect (extra fly time to add experimental not added to times below but may be around 10-15min average).
FSD increased range + mass manager: 55min
Sensors lightweight: ~100min
Thrusters dirty + drag drives: 85min
Life Support lightweight: ~100min
Hull Armor heavy duty + deep plating: 55min
Power Distributor charge enhanced + super conduits: 95min
Power Plant armored + monstered: 50min
Hull Reinforcement heavy duty + deep plating: 50min
x4-8
Shield Booster resistance augmented + super capacitor: 70min gulp.. x4-8
at this point I didn't feel like calculating full time to engineer a combat ship anymore...............................
Alternate Gathering Methods
We appreciate that the repetitive nature of material gathering may not be for everyone. Some have called for ways to earn materials while engaging in the specific types of content they already enjoy.
Ideas for new/updated gathering methods: Add as reward in CQC to incentivize players to play it (there are currently no rewards, 100CR per match doesnt count).
Raw: randomly acquire materials from fuel scooping with % chance per ton scooped and based on star composition (maybe one mat per 50 tons scooped) and very low chance for abnormal raw mat (ie 1:3000 tons get technetium or mercury or other unexpected)

Data: Scanning ships in resource sites (like to find if they are wanted or not) or more/higher grades with Kill Warrant Scanner, large sites like the guardian obelisk sites with dozens of data scan points,

Manufactured:
feel like legal commodity trading to stations could be a good way to get these but cant think of good way to go about it, for black markets could have payment option of your choice of manufactured material (any G1-5 the player chooses) and based on the profit you would have received (ie if profit would be 2,000,000 for a transaction then player can instead choose 5 G5, 15 G4, 45 G3,...) as if you were smuggling or trading to the "shady characters" and anarchy factions could give a bit more for each transaction
EDIT 1: Remove the timer on HGEs and have them spawn shoot-able items and/or "dead" abandoned ships that you need to use hatch breaker limpets on that give all the grades (G1-5) of a single category. Make them instance based (there by removing the re-logging) but make them spawn enough materials that you can mostly fill up ,at least 60% of each grade in that HGE's category, before you have to go find another HGE. It should also be able to be emptied out of all its materials within an hour.
We'd like to hear your feedback on the idea of unique missions offered by Engineers themselves. These could be repeatable and offer materials specific to the upgrades offered by the Engineer who issues them. Let us know what you think of this idea and how many materials this might offer relative to gathering the materials manually.

Chain missions could be great from engineers for the materials they work with for their engineering mods with maybe a bonus reward of fully engineering a module of your choice with the mod and experimental effect. For example, you finish the mission chain (10-15 missions long) and on top of all the engineering mats you received as rewards for the missions, you get a bonus "voucher" for any engineering mod and experimental effect that that engineer can provide on the ship and module of the players choice. If done through Professor Palin you could fly the ship you want engineered there after completing the chain (or use the same one you used for the missions) and then chose grade 5 dirty + drag drives on thrusters or even chose grade 3 fast boot + stripped down on an FSD.

Another idea is to allow materials to be "bought" with items that are not obtainable at Commodities Markets. This could include things such as Exploration Data, Bounty Vouchers, Void Opals and Thargoid Hearts and would allow players to earn materials while playing within their chosen disciplines.
Sounds like a good idea, don't have further thoughts on this at the moment.
Rolling for Engineering Improvements
Some time ago, Engineering was changed so that some improvement was guaranteed with each roll. However, the amount by which your progress towards the next module grade is still random. This means sometimes the same number of materials will produce a minimal increase. Should this be changed so that the same number of materials are always required to reach the next tier? This would allow Commanders to know exactly how many materials are needed.
Please remove the RNG entirely! If I manage a grade 5 mod in 8 rolls im thrilled but I average around 9.7 rolls per grade 5 and it always feels like I just received a "consolation" prize afterward but without the actual prize...
More constructively, I would change all G1-G3 rolls to be a single roll each with the same material cost as it is on average now and the G4 to be done in 2 rolls splitting the current average cost between the 2. For the G5 rolls I would change it to 4 rolls but make it the equivalent cost of 6-7 current rolls.
Another idea is to just make the engineering a slider with all G1-5 in the same slider so you can choose the amount of engineering for the module (probably not as useful for most players but better for the min/maxers and very specialty builds). The slider would have the same total engineering cost as the fixed rolls above when slid all the way to max and a "minimum" mark for adding an experimental effect around the G1 equivalent spot.

Refund 50%+ of mats used on current modification when changing it to a different modification or when selling the module?
Other Feedback and Suggestions
Feel free to respond with other ship Engineering balancing feedback and suggestions that go beyond the ideas mentioned above. To keep the conversation on-topic and help us collect the feedback, this thread will be closely moderated. Please only reply with responses to the topics mentioned and keep feedback constructive. Unrelated or unhelpful posts may be removed during clean-up. If you find this has happened to your post, consider raising your points in another thread within the Dangerous Discussion section.
Remove the material grades entirely. Hear me out on this.
To simplify the engineering material grind and usage a bit change condense all the materials of each category in the players inventory into one slot with a cap of 30000 (each category keeping separate caps, "wake scans" 30000, "encoded firmware" 30000, etc...). Lets use Conductive as the example here. The different grades of mats would still exist when you go to pick them up (basic conductors, conductive polymers, biotech conductors,...) but once you do they would all add to the same shared pool "Conductive" in the manufactured mats in your inventory. As you pick them up each of the grades would give you different amounts instead of the standard 3 each as it is now. The G1 (basic conductors) would only give one mat, the G2 would give 3 as it does now, the G3 would give 9, G4 = 27 and G5 = 81. So if i picked up 2 conductive components, 3 conductive polymers, and 1 biotech conductor I would have a total of 168/30000 "Conductive" mats (2*3+3*27+1*81). The engineering costs would all adjust accordingly as well. Using the Increased Range for FSD, the current cost (assuming grade rolls of 1>2>3>4>10) it now costs
Atypical Disrupted Wake Echoes: 3
Chemical Processors: 5
Phosphorus: 3
Strange Wake Solutions: 3
Chemical Distillery: 4
Eccentric Hyperspace Trajectories: 4
Manganese: 4
Arsenic: 10
Chemical Manipulators: 10
Datamined Wake Exceptions: 10
after converting that to remove the grades it would be
"RAW Category 2": 1
"RAW Category 3": 4
"RAW Category 6": 10
"Wake Scans": 931
"Chemical": 287
This idea would completely remove the up/down trading and would keep the current "best material farming places" while also increasing the value of the lower grade mats as the "conversion rate" is 3:1 instead of the 6:1 that up trading is now.
These numbers may not be ideal and would need further balancing but this is the general idea I was thinking of. Because of the raw mats, the synthesys costs would also need to be adjusted with another benefit of a spesific synthesys mat requirement being easier to get because you would only need one "category" for the premium instead of 3 different types/grades of raw mats like it is now.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
Thanks in advance for reading.
I love this game as a large majority of us players do and we want to see it succeed and reach its potential probably even more than you do. I don't mean that in a negative way at all as I believe that you also (any Dev or person that works on any part of Elite Dangerous) wish for this game to be more amazing than even us players can imagine (quite a feat I might add). I did not spend the last 7 hours working on this post because I didn't care but because I really genuinly want to help in any way I can, even if it is staying up till 4AM with another CMDR to write a post that may never be read (thanks CMDR GreenVenom for bouncing ideas).
o7

Edits:
1. 12-9-21 added gathering idea
 
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