Ships So... dozens of worthless grade 1 crap it is?

I recently arrived in Colonia. As per my plan, I explored all the inhabited systems there, sold exploration data from the journey to gain reputation with all eligible* factions that own a station. The next step is dealing with the new engineers there.

Except apparently all four of them are set to "only crafting modules counts". I would have expected, given that this content was added later on, FD would make use of the various improvements and equip each of them with at least one means of gaining rank that does not require throwing cheap materials onto throwaway modules and then spend hours refilling your materials inventory. I was actually looking forward to hunting pirates for Mel Brandon, deliveirng cargo to Petra Olmanova etc (assuming, based on their unlock requirements, what the alternative tasks would entail). Nope. Iron, sulphur and phorphorus it is then. Le sigh.

* Not criminal factions or dictatorships. I need something to shoot at. :)
 
As they weren't added until after 3.0 had rewritten engineering progressions, and removed the "pay rep for experimental" requirement, they didn't need alternative routes to rep.

You can max out your rep with one by upgrading one (1) fresh module to early grade 4 [1]. Assuming that you're unlocking them because you want to actually engineer some modules, that won't require much effort - your first module will require a few [2] extra G1/2/3 rolls compared with already being at max rep. There are material traders at Coeus, Kojeara and Ratraii if you for whatever reason have lots of G4/G5 materials and only 3 Iron.

[1] If you would like to be public-spirited, use a module which they don't have at G5 yet as your "rep" module.
[2] Probably about three extra rolls at each level, from what I remember.
 
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