The Engineers, part of the Horizons expansion for E:D, Some people hated them for the amount of RNG involved in improving your modules. Trying to get that god roll to maximise FSD range or get the right secondary effects to maximise benefits or reduce/remove negative effects. So with 3.0 they have had a major overhaul…
Engineering materials are split into 3 categories; elements (Iron, carbon, tin, zinc etc), manufactured items (shield emitters, focus crystals, etc) and data ( Legacy firmware, bulk scan date, classified scan data banks etc.) In the original implementation data had a certain storage capacity and elements and manufactured items shared another capacity and it was up to you to manage the storage yourself. The limited storage was a serious impediment and you could be hunting for one engineering item but having to dump stuff that you would need for your next engineering upgrade. Thankfully, the update has changed storage to an amount per type.
The change gives each grade I item 300 storage decreasing by 50 till at grade V you get 100 for elements, data and manufactured. It’s only a small change but it means that every time I go to acquire say Polonium a grade V item, picking up all the other elements is still valuable because I have the storage and it gives a better sense of progression because im gaining stuff and not having to dump it because I don’t need it at this time. Some elements are super easy to acquire for example Iron, Carbon, sulphur etc. even though these have a generous 300 storage limit it is still easy to fill up, but now once I’ve nearly filled up the storage I can go to a material trader and convert these common items into a more valuable to me or rare item and so on down the line till I have a stock pile of grade V items.
The engineers are spread across the bubble many 100’s of Light years between them and each ship will need to visit multiple engineers if you want to get the most bang out of your ship. This could be infuriating if you have a combat ship with a small jump range because your total journey could add up to kLY or more. maybe not all at once due to your limited storage. But dragging a ship with a 12 LY jump range and a small fuel tank could be soul destroying there is no fun in that. So at engineers you can pin a blueprint for example below.
For example FSD extended range, which nearly all ships use, can be accessed anywhere. So as soon as you buy a module you can apply upgrades from 1 to 5 without having to travel to the actual engineer. What you can’t apply is the special effects, these can only be applied at the engineers themselves which is a tradeoff for been able to use upgrades from any remote workshop. From the screenshot above, so far I have a handful of useful upgrades pinned and as I gain more materials and im ready to upgrade my Federal Gunship more I will get the shields and power plant pinned as well. I run out of materials while upgrading my multi-cannons so I have a few not fully upgraded but it’s an easy work in progress now and I no longer have to make the journey untill I decide what extra effects I want on my multi-cannons. The extra effects are no longer random, you buy the effect you want with materials, for example, corrosive rounds on a multi-cannon.
The RNG engineering screen has been removed no bouncing bars…
The actual engineers work slightly differently as well now, you know what the maximum/minimum effects you will get per rank of upgrade. When you apply an upgrade you will get the negative applied and an amount of the benefits that is based on a little RNG. So you could go up a full grade in as little as one roll at grade one or could take as many as about 8 at grade 5. You know the value of the upgrades you will get but not how many rolls it will take to get to that value, but that randomness is offset with the increased storage of materials. It also allows you to theory craft your ships on websites for example EDShipyard.
These sweeping changes to how the engineers work in my opinion really improve the feeling and ease of use. The fact that you know what you are going to get from a certain level of upgrade. The ability to acquire resources without the need to be very frugal with the storage and the ongoing feeling of progression no matter what resource you pick up because you know even if it is not needed instantly, it could be useful in the near future and is not using vital storage for the rare items/data. It’s enjoyable upgrading your modules and weapons with distinct progression and removing the ‘need’ for a god roll. On the forums it has been well received with only a few people disliking the removal of RNG/gambling.
It also gave me an excuse to drive across planets and moons in my SRV as if I needed one.
See you on the other side…