Focused Feedback - Balancing Ship Engineering & Material Gathering

Fix the RNG for On Foot Mats or increase the amount you get. Getting certain materials for engineers is such a pain. I'm still struggling to get Genetic Repair Meds just to get a referral (still only have 1) after taking a year break because the pilot equipment engineer portion is more grindy than ever. As other players have said "have bartenders allow us to trade for some things at a high cost." Or give us missions that gives us said materials as reward.

Not looking forward to Terra Velasquez's Meeting Requirements with heist and theft. I'm horrible at sneaking in buidings .... I pretty much blast my way through in Metal Gear Snake Eater and/or 4.

Relog and the certainty of getting those specific materials is the only thing that keeps me sane and not hating the game. From what I read from Reddit, relog is nerfed and It reduces me recommending this game.

I really want you to beat Star Citizen.
 
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 honestly keep trying to pick this game back up because it is gorgeous and flying is fun, but every time I get the itch to say, go try exploring or get more into PVE combat, I spec out a build, look at the amount of engineering materials I need to grind, think of the 12+ hours I will have to spend grinding the materials for that ship, and just not log in instead. I did the grind, I have billions of credits and a fleet carrier with enough bank to stay afloat while I do other things. Shame it takes about the amount of total playtime of a AAA game just to get a ship ready for a task it's meant for. Mining ships don't need nearly so much engineering. This is specific to exploration and combat paths. If we could get the grind per build down to <2-3 hours I could get back into this game again, but until then it just feels like a job.
 
I keep coming back to this ing game. It's so flippin beautiful and I love the immersion!
I'm going to speak on the common mats for Horizons (no gard/tharg). It's against my nature to be short, but I'll try. /s

> "To make them worthwhile to gather by themselves, should their availability and the rate at which they are obtained be increased?"
I don't mind traveling far to get mats. I don't mind flying around to grind mats. The rate in the bubble is a drip feed with the amount of some mats to do a thing, i.e. I need 6 shield boosters for my ship, so I roll out and do the frontier flop? The flop ruins the immersion. If flopping is the accepted way of gathering any mats then there is a serious disconnect in the way mats are collected. If I NEED to go to the Jameson crash site then to a trader over and over and over and over, there is something seriously wrong. If I'm flopping on a high grade emissions, ugh. Why not offer more crash sites to run or some other sites, abandoned or whatever. Make me fly a bit and increase the reward. Please just stop making me do the flop.

Missions, even passenger missions are crap for reward. I did a lot (in my small world few hundred is a lot). If I'm going to spend 20 minutes escorting a passenger to 3 points on the map, with 4 flawed focus crystals for my reward, I feel like something is seriously wrong, and I opt for yet more flopping. UGH!

I took a trip out to HIP 36601 and realized that ya'll did something almost right! The bio sites are cool, but I can fill up these very rare in 20 minutes? I'd argue that this is too easy, yet I understand the need to accommodate the instant gratification crowd. Before I spent hours driving around on a planet/moon, and this was almost cool. If I received a larger reward for those 1.3% very rare finds, hell I'd still be driving around. Driving the SRV is fun and immersive. ((Please give us the new SRV on Horizons))

Encoded mats are the absolute worst. Flopping the crash sites are boring an not immersive. I scan EVERY FLIPPING ship I can while in super cruise and even while auto-docking and undocking. I don't mind this, and I get a little tingle every time I get a mat from it. Why not 3-5 instead of just 1?

I don't have an answer on buying mats. I can say I like the fact that there is a separation in the things one can buy. I like that I had to work for mats to engineer a ship. I appreciate the grind. I am currently grinding to build a Corvette, after the grind to get one. I feel like I earned it, so that's good right?

Rolling for engineering is fine. Makes me cringe when I get a low roll, but that's ok. I'm not a min/max type of guy, so if I'm .01% to the goal I hit the next tier. It adds a bit of randomness to each engineered item. One can always choose to top off everything by grinding more mats.

> "Feel free to respond with other ship Engineering balancing feedback and suggestions that go beyond the ideas mentioned above."
OK and thank you.
You do a decent job of listening to the vocal minority by watching Reddit and other social media. Keep it up, your community is appreciative of these acts.
I'm not a great fighter, I think I made rank, "Mostly misses every shot with fixed weapons" and I wear it like a badge of honor. I'd like to see more support options. THinking out of the box, I would include flash bangs that blind the enemy pilot, temp disable modules on enemy ship (no DMG), fireworks (no DMG) for fun, cloak, projection that creates another ship just like mine to confuse enemy, locator limpet that is fired on a ship and can locate it for a period of time in the same system, EMP to disable a ship for a period of time, and PANIC button to call cops or other players and request help. I'm thinking anti-gank cuz this is your core issue with people that want to play in open but are annoyed with ganks. I suck at PVP, but I'd engage more if it wasn't so specialized.

Balance the existing items that are considered bad for PVP. Space healing beams are the glaring example.

OK I digress,

Thank you for listening,

Pa
 
Getting materials to even unlock certain engineers is easily the most boring and ridiculous thing I've seen in a long time. I have just made a trip to buy some f*in cigars only to see there are only 15 available to be bought on what seems to be the only station selling them. Meaning I have to wait no idea how long for restock and make another 3 trips here and back. Ridiculous waste of time. It's "halt the progress for the sake of halting the progress". I don't even have a problem with gathering mats for actual updates, which many consider grind. At least I know what to do and where to look at and I do a bit of everything and I can see progress everyday. But this delivery... It's completely unnecessary to make a simple delivery into possibly full day or couple of days work. I have a ship with enough cargo and I have money. Let me buy the damn cigars. Someone must have thought "you know what would be nice? Instead of one trip to make a delivery, let's make them do same trip 4x or 5 while they also wait for restock. Because why not?" I could understand if there were many stations selling them, but it's just one. I've been enjoying the game so far (bought it about a month ago), but this is truly making me want to stop. Ugh..
 
Last edited:
Getting materials to even unlock certain engineers is easily the most boring and ridiculous thing I've seen in a long time. I have just made a trip to buy some f*in cigars only to see there are only 15 available to be bought on what seems to be the only station selling them. Meaning I have to wait no idea how long for restock and make another 3 trips here and back. Ridiculous waste of time. It's "halt the progress for the sake of halting the progress". I don't even have a problem with gathering mats for actual updates, which many consider grind. At least I know what to do and where to look at and I do a bit of everything and I can see progress everyday. But this delivery... It's completely unnecessary to make a simple delivery into possibly full day or couple of days work. I have a ship with enough cargo and I have money. Let me buy the damn cigars. Someone must have thought "you know what would be nice? Instead of one trip to make a delivery, let's make them do same trip 4x or 5 while they also wait for restock. Because why not?" I could understand if there were many stations selling them, but it's just one. I've been enjoying the game so far (bought it about a month ago), but this is truly making me want to stop. Ugh..
When you deliver them there immediately is more stock for you. But yeah, engineer unlocks are simply not fun.
 
As an AX player I wish I could get my old wing mates to start playing again but the material grind Is insurmountable. They can’t even enjoy the game with me until they spend 60 hours to upgrade a krait.
Allow me to purchase mats with my billions
Allow me to sell mats to friends
Allow me to buy mats like rares with a limit per purchase.
I understand proposed missions for engineers, but I can see this taking longer for some things. If my options are grinding HGEs or doing an entire mission for an engineer for 3 mats, don’t even bother.
Skip the grind and let me use my currency for something for a change
 
Last edited:
Data Mined Wake Exceptions have to be the worst. I fitted a wake scanner to a couple of ships and got into the habit of scanning wakes leaving space stations. One ship I did this with was an Orca - lots of traffic in popular places for passenger missions. Eventually I had 247 grade 1 atypical wakes scans is it? And just one Data Mined Wake Exception in the same period. The only viable way I know to get Data Mined Wake Exceptions is to park behind Jameson's crashed Cobra relogging every few minutes and trading the encoded mats across to Wake Exceptions at Ray Gateway in Diaguandri. This is an idiotic, insulting excuse for "game play". There needs to be a fun way to obtain what is needed without relogging over a similar time frame. It needs to be viable to get all types of mats in Colonia too.
Why are such a large number of any given mat needed to go a a grade in engineering? It just causes repetitive "play" patterns that are not fun.
Why do I have to do 3 trips to supply a rare good to an engineer to unlock them? Sometimes it's a low jump range ship I want to take to them and the mandatory 3 trips is just frustrating and boring.

On a similar but different topic - Imperial and Federation rank. Also an insulting, idiotic grind that pretty much requires you to do endless data courier missions if you want the Duke or Rear Admiral rank in less than a thousand hours of game time. I did it once for an Imperial Cutter, but I will never use a Federal Corvette because I started the Federation rank grind and couldn't face doing it anymore. A rank upgrade mission should also be something unique, challenging and fun. Not just deliver another bit of mail or fetch 32 units of liquor or whatever. It demeans the meaning of a new rank.

I won't play Odysee all the time upgrading suits and weapons means an even worse grind mechanic - not interested in FPS shooter game play anyway. I would buy Odysee if it let me walk into and around my ship - that would be amazing for immersion. The stand at the foot of the stairs in a glowing box then, fade to black and now you are in the pilot seat is just insulting and immersion breaking. I may well play Star Citizen soon even though it is an incomplete game because they got entering ships right.

One of the best things about Elite is they way you can personalize and customise your ships for the tasks you want to do. Increase the variety of tasks and make the ship upgrade process a bit more predictable and fun. Take the repetitive grind out of the process.

Other too hard to find materials:
Pharmaceutical Isolators
Military Capacitors
 
Last edited:
When can I plan on re-downloading the game once your team decides to make engineering more accessible? I've had the game for a few years now and the potential is amazing, I keep coming back and wanting to play but as soon as I get to a point where I feel I need to engineer my ship I uninstall.

Your engineering gameplay loops are currently terrible. There is nothing fun about them, and it wouldn't be that big of a deal if there wasn't such a massive power creep attached to them. Such a small percentage of players play in open, and it's such a shame. The PVP balance has been absolutely destroyed because engineering doesn't just give you a small advantage percentage wise, it can make you practically invincible to a good pilot in a stock ship.

By making engineering something everyone can get into and maybe enjoy, you'd be doing your community a huge favour. Your player retention would increase, you'll have more players playing in open, knowing that their engineered ship might stand a chance and it will create more unique community gameplay loops because you have more people interacting with each other.

The only people who would be against engineering changes are the neckbeard gankers who want to gatekeep the community and don't want an actual challenge pvp wise.


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!

07
 
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 have 4 fully engineered ships. And man, it's a grind. Turned me off playing for over a year or so. If the mats could be obtained ( grade 4 and 5) via bounty vouchers, explorer data, engineer missions that are replayable, that would be a game changer. Lots of buddies have left because of the grind. Getting these mats in the mentioned methods would ease access to more casual players, lessen the grind, and trading down for lesser materials would take far less time.

Logging out and relogging just to farm the same material out in the black is awful.

Thanks for asking us how to make it better Fdev!! This game is amazing, let's make it better ( and less soul crushing grindy ) merry Christmas guys and gals!
 
Earning by other means such as exploration data is a great idea.

The simplest other idea would be to randomize the mission rewards.
It seems like specific material rewards are tied to specific mission types.
Just randomize it - if a mission can reward a specific G4 or G5 at the moment, just change it to reward a random G4 or G5 instead.
 
Another thought, maybe more constructive than my last, is that currently combat missions that aren’t pirate massacre style missions have too low payout in credits per mission to be worth doing. Since massacre missions make most sense for credits (go kill a lot of pirates in this combat zone or RES and we’ll pay you a lot of money), maybe it would incentivize the hunter PVE gameplay loop if the assassination/search and destroy missions paid out really well in engineering materials (i.e. more than just the 5 G5 mats that currently get offered).

For exploration, there’s a big incentive problem currently, and while the reward is often in the experience itself, it would be nice if you could get something back besides low credit payouts. Maybe scans of planets can give you engineering data like wakes do? Scans planetside could give you engineering mats for suits? It would be cool if instead of thinking “I need to build a new ship, I need to go grind scanning 3 points and searching for HGE’s for 12+ hours” you could say “I need to build a new ship. Time to head out into the black and get my name on some uncharted territory, maybe hunt down some pirates that have been harassing traders in the system” for half the time.

The reason I think we hear so much about “The Grind” in this game is that progress seems disconnected from the activities you’re progressing in. You don’t get a gradually better combat ship as you participate in combat, you go grind materials for 12 hours and then go fly around building the combat ship before you ever do any combat in it. You don’t build an exploration ship over time by exploring, you spend a bunch of time flying around the bubble to the same couple of systems grinding materials, then you can head into the black. Especially since you have to fly back to the bubble to actually do any of the upgrades anyway, you’re basically punishing yourself by heading out without a fully optimized ship to start with. If there was a better connection between the activities you do and your ability to do them, the “grind” would be much less obtrusive.
 
Hey Bruce,

How long are we going to talk about this subject before your team does something? This thread was started nearly 60 days ago. I downloaded Elite again but I don't see anything different in game.

If I could get ALL types of engineering materials as rewards from doing jobs for npcs that'd be enough to bring me back. Randomize the rewards. Just do something about the problem for now until you come up with something better.


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
 
Last edited:
How long are we going to talk about this subject before your team does something? This thread was started nearly 60 days ago. I downloaded Elite again but I don't see anything different in game.
Yeah, I'm hoping for some news on this as well before I reinstall. I'd love to try out some new ships, but the first thing you need to do with a new ship is engineer it, and engineering it is such a pain right now. At least if I could use, say, bounty or exploration vouchers to do it that part of the grind would be much more enjoyable.
 
Why do we even need this thread when the solution is already in-game?

Ship Engineering: Remove RNG from all grade levels when visiting Ship Engineers. This is how it currently is for On Foot Engineers and kudos to whoever made this decision. These Engineers spent years of researching specific blueprints, so it doesn't make sense that they end up giving us terrible results sometimes (Grade 5 I am looking at you!). If a player does the mod themselves at a station using the bookmark tool, then the RNG should apply to them since they don't have the experience/dedication.

On Foot Engineer: Increase the drop rate and mission rewards of all materials/data from 1-5 to 3-5. If you are going to make the spawn of the item random, for the love of Braben don't make the amount also random! This is how it currently works for ship engineer. It would also be great if you folks also let the bartenders trade all on foot materials.

I doubt this threat is actually going to make a difference though since I have a feeling that someone higher up at FDEV is going to throw a temper tantrum about making engineers more fun and accessible to all players.

As someone who spent weeks getting the best grade 5 mods the old way, I agree with Yammicks statement from a video:
"Put your foot down FDEV. Get rid of Legacy mods and give everyone the same max grade 5 result. PVP should be based on skill once both ships have grade 5 mods. Not by who got the luckiest result from an engineer." If you are a newbie then you can always try and use the torpedo/mine meta to give you a chance to run away.
 
Sorry if this was already mentioned here...

I'd like to suggest to consider adding ability to disassemble manufactured materials to obtain some low-grade raw materials. It could be useful for space combat and undermining - to refill ammo, to avoid going forth and back to the station.
 
Last edited:
Pasting this from a thread I made on Reddit and the forums, and was told to post here.

TL;DR at the bottom

This is a concept for how Ship engineering could be slightly reworked to use existing game mechanics, but simplify the collection and upgrade process to make it less dependent on farming specific materials over and over. At the bottom of this post I briefly talk about why this wouldn't work as well for on-foot engineering. Anyway, on to the post.

Engineering effectively has two stages (assuming the chosen engineer is unlocked - changes to the unlocking process is outside the scope of this post). These two stages are: Material collection, and then trading/crafting. The gameplay loop as it stands is

  • Farm as many G5 mats of either Raw, Manufactured or Data that you need by visiting a popular farming site
  • Trade them for the materials you actually need and craft the upgrades.

I think a lot of this is needless - it's clear that Fdev has always wanted to reward players with materials for basically just playing the game - mats are dropped in some way from nearly everything in the game. Unfortunately it's built in a way that makes "just collecting mats as you play" a useless task that will usually result in you never being able to engineer anything you actually want. So I have some changes to both the collection and the crafting side of engineering to encourage collecting materials in all styles of play, where every material you collect is actually a useful resource to you further down the line.

So first of all, here are my changes to the material collection part of engineering. Once materials are collected, they go straight into a storage pool and are no longer stored or tracked separately. Effectively there are three new currencies: Raw components, Manufactured Components and Data Stores.

Different grade materials offer bigger increases to that currency. A G1 increases the currency less than a G5, proportional to rarity.

What does this do?
It fixes the collection gameplay loop which currently consists of "go to a location where you can easily re-log for G5 mats and then trade them down". Grinding G5s is still a thing, but currently anything other than a G5 is a waste to farm for since it's probably not what you need and you probably won't be able to trade for what you do need. With this change, every material collection is useful because over time you will build up stores. If you need currency fast though, grinding G5s is still possible. But all your other mats will have provided value too.

So collection is fixed. What about actually crafting?

Engineers now have a "credit pool" system, where you can deposit your currencies into a total component pool. The logic is that you donate components to an engineer, and they pay you back by offering upgrades. Different engineers give bonuses to different currency deposits. For example, Farseer, being an exploration focused one, might give a bonus to donating Raw Components as they are the things you collect most during exploration.

Each engineer has a separate "credit pool". You can donate to them at locations where materials traders used to be (the traders themselves are redundant), bartenders (for on-foot), or at engineering locations themselves.

Engineering upgrades simply require a cost from that engineer's credit pool.

The idea is that you can gather materials in gameplay, and then bank them with specific engineers you are planning to use. It also allows those with no specific engineering goal at that moment to invest into their future by donating to engineers and effectively saving up credit to be spent on future ships and on-foot upgrades.

This solves the problem of needing to make huge lists of specific materials to trade for when building a new ship. Instead, all you need to budget for is which engineers you will be using, and (if you want to be efficient) gathering enough of the currencies that they give bonuses to. It encourages you to still plan out your gameplay and work towards getting the resources for engineering your new ship, but now instead of being forced to grind G5s to trade down for what you need, not only does the new system mean that non-G5 materials are actually valuable to collect, but also it cuts out the material trading middleman and allows you to just directly go from material collection to getting upgrades.

Regarding On-foot engineering introduced in Odyssey, it's a bit different for on foot since material collection for Assets, Goods and Data is all done the same way (looting settlements) and material trading is only for Assets and not for Data and Goods, even though all three are required to unlock engineers as well as upgrade gear. To be perfectly honest, even if we replicate my changes to apply to on-foot gear, the problem remains that settlements are the only way to gather any of the materials, and so there's barely any purpose for the three separate categories to even exist in the first place. In other words, Odyssey materials and engineering needs a much bigger rework to make sense and be interesting than my changes can really fix.

TL;DR - Materials are stored as currencies based on what type they are (raw, manufactured or data). Bank currencies with different Engineers to gain "credit" with them, and you spend that credit on any upgrades they offer. No more need to farm lots of G5s and then fill lists of specific materials through traders. Just gather any mats, bank them with the Engineer you want, then visit them and buy upgrades with the credit.
 
For me i would like to buy all the materials for engeneering with credits. I prefer to grind for credits and spend it instead of grinding for materials. If i get bored at least i can change the way to grind credits. Most of my engeneered modules are not because i have grind it but after a year of gameplay, i just find out that i have the materials to engeneer.

Also the collecting of materials is slow. You can increase the material drop and if possible faster material collection with the limpets.

Some kind of missions that gives you upgrades.

Everything that don't inculde too much material grind. Or logout -> enter -> collect if you want to be efficient.

Right now i don't have fully engeneered ship and i won't grind for that. Before i was playing open play. Right now i prefer to play on private group with friends with no engeneered ship. This way i feel i don't need to engeneer everything and do what i like in the game.
 
Another suggestion (originally posted as comment) - not immediately related to materials and upgrades, but to mission negotiation.

Would it make more sense to choose a reward before negotiation and accepting mission?

This could potentially open some more opportunities:

  • get different completion timers, e.g. if choosing influence - until next BGS tick, if credits/reputation - 3 days or even a week
  • choosing materials reward would lead to greater increase of materials and possibly decrease of credits part (potentially down to 0) as part of following negotiation

Also would be nice if negotiation could lead to adding some extra objectives. Like you ask for more credits for killing known terrorist, then find in addition a cache of commodities stored on the surface. So having 3 new options with reward after negotiation you may choose to complete just base goal (small increase to reward), base goal + one extra (medium increase) and base + 2-4 extra (significant increase).

There could be one fake/impossible variant added to new reward variants - like a joke in dialog option - and player would need to recognize it won't work and not choose it. And if they did choose - the negotiation is aborted and some reputation lost.

So basically any mission having material reward (including new ones from engineers) - should be negotiable, allowing to get greater amount of this type of materials in exchange of tougher mission (more objectives, more strict time constraints, competing NPC etc).
 
Would be cool if we could auction or trade materials with other commanders, this could reduce the feeling of grind, provide a money sink and drive player interactions.
I actually think this is a fantastic idea, would make trading more interesting. And with the rework of alternate ways to gather materials it could create this thing where a trader could meet up with someone who does the work to get the mats (and there might be different ways to do that now) and buys or trades for those mats, it would be nice to have some in game way of posting that the trader has x amount of this to sell. Someone contacts them and they meet up! I am definitely a fan of players having to meet in person.This could be a 1st step in being able to actually be a real trader in the game in a way that could be kinda fun.
 
Top Bottom