Focused Feedback - Balancing Ship Engineering & Material Gathering

Want to know what I did?

Spent over 8 hours of my day off logging in and out of the game today.

I'm not new to the game, but I am new to engineering since I've finally decided to try out this grind. I hate it. I absolutely hate it with every fiber of my existence. I've put in over 30 hours so far logging in....and out....of a game.

That's all I have to say on that.

I'll leave the suggestions to those that have endured far worse in their expeditions with the grind over the last few years. I just need to absolutely stress that as someone that is completely new to engineering, this killed the fun for me right now.
Perhaps a auto scanner module would be helpful for getting scans.
The idea would be to get knowledgeable enough about space traffic (which would need to be designed and implemented if it doesn’t already have a system) and then park or cruise the area and let it auto scan ships as they pass through the scan range.

Take the micro management out of scanning but increase the complexity of space traffic patterns and the predictability of the kinds of scans to be expected from each ship type.
Maybe improving the limpets would be a nice way to gather manufactured mats. There really is plenty to hover up in low res zones, and the higher grades can be gotten from missions. Though some materials seem rarer than others, but some use of a material trader can compensate. I'd imagine the limpet controller built into every ship, and a large supply of limpets without having to store them as cargo. Also restored at rearm and not through a separate menu.. I'd like more ease of use, fire off a load of limpets after your latest kill and reap some of those mats instead of just letting them go to waste. I think a lot of people haven't discovered the joy of collector limpets, though they could have a longer range for on the battlefield.. Others might be reluctant to forego some modules to install cargo space and limpet controller.

I've relogged at HGEs but don't think I'll bother with it again. Some hours in a low res with an afk style type-10 turret boat manning the helm and limpet controller filled up most of my lower grade manufactured mats, while stacking kill pirate wing missions brings in a nice chunk of cash. I've also used limpets in res zones with other builds, but the type-10 turret boat really is kind of cool! Also great equipped with all multicannons for other fun scenarios. I digress.. :D

But in general I feel that we should just be able to easily pick up most materials through normal gameplay!
Please remove from Colonia (for ships) engineers the need to have reference to them from the Bubble engineers. For Odyssey engineers it is so already, and if player decide to build his area of operations in Colonia region, it would be really nice to not force him to make all theses engineer's unlocks in the bubble first. Ideall would be updating unlock requierements to local conditions (aka alternate unlock method). Local conditions have changed significantly during all these years, it would be logical step to make ship's engineers in the Colonia region independent.
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Going to weigh in on the engineering aspect of the game. From my years of MMO experience, I can say that I was not even slightly shocked to find this grind in game. EVERY SINGLE GAME that has lasted for years, uses time sinks like credit, skill, and crafting material gathering to draw you into the game and make you really work for the best stuff. Those that do not have the time, or dedication to work for it, dont really deserve to be on the same level as someone that has poured DAYS of work into a single module.

That said... Multiple avenues to acquire the materials would be welcome. Materials obtained through missions of different types makes since but in my experience never seem quite varied enough. Crash sites that could be looted for this stuff would be great. I have spent countless hours on surface blasting rocks and have only come across a single random pile of trash, and 2 smuggler cache. Ship grave yards on surface and in space would be great. One where players could pick through wrecked ships, and mega ships for materials avoiding other scavengers at the same time... or killing them for their parts...

The only other REAL change I would make would get rid of some of the material variety. Mechanical? Makes sense. Data... makes sense. Blasting rocks? Does not make sense at all. Even if it was suggested that the parts are being forged from raw materials... Tungsten for example... I wouldnt fly off to a random planet to drive around aimlessly looking for it. I would go to my local hardware store, purchase drill bits made from the stuff, melt them down and go from there. Carbon? Its literally in EVERTHING that burns. Honestly, the first 3 grades of materials just about make ZERO sense that there is ANY chore at all in obtaining them. It blows my mind that if I want 750T of platinum, I can easily locate and buy it from a market... But 50 units of Sulphur ... that take up ZERO cargo, is going to be a few hours of driving around a volcanic moon.

Honestly, I would add a deconstruct method of obtaining materials. Other games have done this and it makes sense. I should be able to buy a ton of fruits and veggies from an agri market, and then break that down into 10 carbon. Dont feel like blasting pirates for hours on end for parts? How about buy ships and then scrap them for a randomly generated mechanical list of parts?
FWIW: Right now my main gripe with mat gathering in Odyssey is that Data cannot be traded
Being able to trade mats made mat gathering in Horizons so much better. It really gave us more flexibility on how we went about gathering them.

That said, however, I do like the idea of doing missions for engineers to get upgrades rather than gathering things that seem like stuff you'd be able to purchase
Just one change will improve the situation immensely. You know how certain missions give you Biotech Conductors? Yeah ... so just spread around all the grade 5 data/manufactured materials into different types of missions. This will provide lots of motivation (beyond credits) to do different types of missions.

Other than that, I actually like the engineering aspect. Unlocking the engineers was fun (seriously)
Just one change will improve the situation immensely. You know how certain missions give you Biotech Conductors? Yeah ... so just spread around all the grade 5 data/manufactured materials into different types of missions. This will provide lots of motivation (beyond credits) to do different types of missions.

Other than that, I actually like the engineering aspect. Unlocking the engineers was fun (seriously)
This. All problems solved.
Engineering shouldn't be a random roll increase. They're making a modification to a module, not rolling a dice and hitting it with a hammer according to a dice roll. They are supposed to be prodigy's in their field, experts above the experts - they know a certain field/module so well that they create an engineering miracle, or at the very least know what can be done to achieve a very specific goal that a mass-producing manufacturer isn't intending in it's scope.

Requires materials for each level should be tripled, but garauntee a tier.

The Jameson crash site log in/log out is.... Effective. And that's just stupid. Going 1500Ly out to HIP 12099 (I might have that wrong) and gathering 5 types of grade 5 crystals is effective - but that's at least understandable. (But the currently broken wireframe/object placement needs to be fixed because that's just silly).

But for my friend, who pretty much ONLY likes the Odyssey/On-Foot part of the game... He will never see those materials.

It should be possible to select among a few different categories of materials for mission rewards. Or maybe a currency used specifically by a group in the game - tying it to Powers or Empire/Imperial/Allegiance or local factions. You gain currency from them and can use that to purchase materials.

And yeah - you should be able to get any type or material from any given mission. Not restricting certain types to certain missions - which would be why the need for multiple choices of materials per mission would be good.
Feel free to respond with other ship Engineering balancing feedback and suggestions that go beyond the ideas mentioned above
Right now the emmissive effect is far too strong, it lasts too long and doesn't have a cooldown. This makes hulltanks and cold running builds even more disadvantaged in the current shield meta. It could do with being toned down.
In addition to the engineer mission rewards,
I would like to see Materials as a guaranteed mission reward for ALL mission types.
Something like 10-20 mats for each mission turned in and the grade depending on mission difficulty.
collecting engineering materials via SRV - aiming for the moon

- pls add "Select Next Target" & "Select Closest Target" on drive targeting

- is it too much to ask to attach a collector limpets on an SRV or auto collect materials without targeting them
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One time upgrade per tier pls. Not 1to5x random times per tier. I just need to know how much i need for the next upgrade so i dont have to spend the next 2-4hrs looking for the remaining materials.

Mission rewards engineering materials, give us different G4 or G5 materials to choose from. Give us an option to choose engineering material mission rewards - like 3xBiotech Conductors or 3xExquisite Focus Crystals or 3xPharmaceutical Isolators
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TYher eis no one best solution. to improve the engineering you need all of the following:
1. Remove the log out to desktop respawn of High Grade singnals as you did with the log out to menue
2. increase the nimber of G5 mats in high grade signals to 10-15.
3. add the same number or more G3 and G4 mats in in degraded signals plus a G5 data port to scan
4. aloow us to spend rare minerals that are only deep core mined on materials with material traders.
5 . let engineers give missions but not for material but for a level of engineering. easier mission for lower engineering levels and harder mission for higher levels of engineering.

This will allow us to play our favorite style and collect materials with signifiocantly less grind.
I have been grinding mats daily since my last post on this thread. If Fdev wanted to help make this system less tedious, they could increase the number dropped and up the drop rate of the rares. I’m going to put it at something like 20 hours total killing at a hacked navigation beacon over the span of a week and the items I need refuse to drop. Upping drop rate, and increasing frequency of rare items is something they can adjust and test in a day.
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Good day,

Availability & Time (GR 1-3)

To make GR 1-3 mats worthwhile to collect on their own, I would increase the number of mats dropped slightly, and I would increase the variability of mats from their sources, by modifying what I assume is a mat drop table to include the full range of GR 1-5. This would make it so that even Degraded Emission Signals would be worthwhile to drop into if there is a chance (however small) of obtaining a GR 5 mat.

In my experience, it is generally quite easy to engineer a module to GR 3. I would not make this process faster.

Alternate Gathering Methods

Love the idea proposed. Engineers offering unique missions for mats, as well as allowing Exploration Data, Bounty Vouchers, Void Opals and Thargoid hearts to be traded for materials opens up awesome opportunities, with obvious tradeoffs.

Rolling for Improvements

I like the randomness and would not change this.

Other Feedback & Suggestions

Overall, I believe engineering should be a longer-term commitment with every engineering Grade being something to live with, as the player slowly improves their ships. After all, why even bother with Grades 1-4 if the game easily allows you to rush Grade 5?

While I do not agree with the "grind" argument for many reasons, I do think the process can be made more fun and engaging in the following ways:

  • In game identification of WHERE and HOW to obtain each mat type needs to be made more clear
  • Break the log in/out exploit, if possible
  • Increase the number of mats available for storage, if possible
  • Implement the Alternate Gathering Methods as you proposed - this would help so much
  • Similarly, for those who prefer to run missions, material awards should be expanded to include Raw, Manufactured and Encoded categories, and offer deeper variety, such as a guaranteed mat plus a couple random mats. Drop tables here could be interesting, with a chance for GR 1-5 mats in all cases, meaning even low-risk missions would still have a tiny chance to have a surprise award of a GR 5 mat.

With the above suggestions implemented, engineering continues to be a long-term goal, but one that does not force a narrow gameplay.

Thank you for your time.
Just one change will improve the situation immensely. You know how certain missions give you Biotech Conductors? Yeah ... so just spread around all the grade 5 data/manufactured materials into different types of missions. This will provide lots of motivation (beyond credits) to do different types of missions.

Other than that, I actually like the engineering aspect. Unlocking the engineers was fun (seriously)
Really is that simple. Vary the missions by material type - combat missions net you things like Core Dynamics, Military Alloys, Supercapacitors. Aid/rescue missions get you Pharmaceutical Isolators and Biotech Conductors. Covert/sneaky missions net you various classified datas.

That and balance the materials trader. Trading 6 G5 for 1 of another is an absolute ripoff. Unloading 100 G5 mats and walking out with just 16 is a slap in the face. Make it 3 to 1 or even 2 to 1.
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