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Announcements post #284: Modder than ever.

From: Neritus
Subject: Modder than ever.

Hello, Sector!

Out with the old, in with the new. The mod rework has arrived. This is a juicy update, so hang on tight.

We wanted the new mods to be fun to research and craft and rewarding to own and use. On the user side, the new mods provide deep specialization options, beyond simply damage and resistance. On the crafting side, we've aimed to provide a robust and immersive experience with plenty of options for progressing your craft that you can do multiple times a day, once a day, and once a week. We also wanted to put you in charge of a team in your very own, physical WORKSHOP (check the syntax, and HELP WORKSHOP).

Modding is now done in workshops. Stations throughout the Sector now contain locations where you can establish your modding workshop. You'll need to have learned a crafting tradeskill to do it, and just a reminder: the modding tradeskills do not cost credits to learn. Unless, of course, you want to submit designs for your mods... Mods can now be designed if you've paid the design license fee for the relevant modding skill via the WORKSHOP LICENSE command.

Once you have done WORKSHOP ESTABLISH in a valid room, you can WORKSHOP ENTER/LEAVE to enter/leave your workshop. You'll be greeted by a workshop manager, who has modding quests available and will also help you do mod shipments. The manager also has an introductory quest to teach you the basics, which we recommend doing.

In addition to your Manager, you can also hire up to 3 Workshop Assistants. Assistants do tasks for you passively on a 16 hour cooldown like fetch crafting parts, research specific effects, or represent you in meetings with manufacturers to improve your relationship with them (the higher your relationship with a manufacturer, the more mods you get in a shipment). The success of these tasks are modified by corresponding stats, which all assistants have: Logistics, Intelligence, and Charisma. When they finish the task, they'll gain some progress towards leveling up the corresponding stat. If you truly care for your meeples, you'll consider sending them for professional development instead, giving them a much bigger boost in a specific stat. The more stats they gain in your employ, the more loyal the assistant becomes to you. The more loyal they are, the better they are at every task you send them on.

That's the gist of the crafting side, but there's lots more to cover... Let's talk about the mods themselves.

Finished Mods are now composed of various Mod Effects. To see the effects, use MOD EFFECT LIST. In fact, just check out MOD by itself for all the syntax. These go much further than just damage. We now have weapon and armor mods for subsystem damage, affliction duration, armor piercing, forced move resist, cover effectiveness, and even passive life regeneration independent of wetwiring and... Crits. Talents now grant 3.5% per level, meaning the max you'll get from talents is 35%. With maximum effect mods, you can get your crits up by another 25%, meaning the new max crit chance has gone up from 35% to 60%. Also, crit chance from mods applies even before you get to MIL 75...

Moving on, weapons and armor can only slot one mod now, but a single finished mod can have up to 5 different effects, or a maximum of 30 levels worth of mod effects in total. The maximum level of an effect is 15 and maxing research in an effect is designed to take a long time. That said, mod effects have reduced returns on how effective they are as the levels get higher and higher, such that a level 3 mod effect is definitely worse than a level 4 mod effect, but there's almost no difference between a level 14 and level 15 effect. Meanwhile, the parts and research required to go from level 3 to level 4 is *significantly* less than to go from 14 to 15. In fact, it takes less research to go from Level 1 to Level 13 in an effect as it does to go from Level 13 to Level 15. So before you go spending all your credits maxing out a single effect, please do understand the highest level effects are *very* costly and have significantly reduced returns.

If you feel you'll never quite get all the effects you might want researched all by yourself, don't worry. You can mod TOGETHER! Multiple modders can MOD INSTALL on the same mod chassis. Read more in HELP WORKSHOP.

Have I lost you yet? Stay with me.

When you get your hands on a mod, you can MOD SLOT and MOD UNSLOT it at the cost of 3s of balance. At the moment, you can slot and unslot mid-combat, but this may be changed along with mid-combat ARMORSET swapping. We don't want PvP to be all about slotting and unslotting mods, after all.

Mods have been plugged in so many places it's hard to describe them all in one post. A BEAST Tethering you for instance could potentially trigger move_resist, move_resist_pierce, cover_penetrate, cover_effectiveness, and then for the weak knees affliction from it, aff_dmg_musc, aff_duration_musc, aff_resist_musc, and aff_reducer_musc.

What if a BEAST uses Armvice? There are no weapons to mod for Suittech and Plasmacasting, Neritus! Fear not BEASTs. You actually can MOD SLOT directly into SERVOS and PLASMA. These are "weapons" that "don't really exist" as such, and there's now a whole new layer of the underlying weapon system to handle such non-physical weapons.

... But that's not all, BEASTs. As the very special owner of a weird piece of equipment, the Shield, you get an extra treat. Hybrid mods. Hybrid mods can have both weapon and armor effects, can only be slotted to Shields, and have the very special feature that the Shield will contribute certain armor mod effects in certain situations, described in HELP HYBRID MODS.

... Also, take note Scoundrels, cover_effectiveness can only be slotted into Light Armor. Happy table dancing. For now, that's the only armor class restriction among the mod effects, but hey, the functionality is there if we want it more in the future.

If you've gotten this far you're probably wondering what's happened to your old research progress. When you arrive in your workshop, you'll get a bulk sum of global research credits. Please make sure that if you decide to blow all your credits attempting to max one effect that you undertand the diminished returns system mentioned above. We will not be refunding any research credits.

If you want to read more, here are some help files that have had some updates: HELP WORKSHOPS, HELP ARMORMODDING, HELP WEAPONMODDING, HELP ARMOR MODS, HELP WEAPON MODS, HELP HYBRID MODS.

I will be monitoring for bugs and assorted imperfections. Obviously there are huge ramifications for PvE and PvP balance here. Don't be surprised if some mod effects get nerfed, turfed, buffed, or if new ones get added in the short term, or if some abilities get toned up or down in light of the new modding system. In fact, you count on it.

Next up, we have some special plans for the next big project, Ship Modding, but first things first is a pass on ships more generally. We also want to make sure the Workshop system is smooth, engaging, fun, and bug-free before Ship Modding. So keep the feedback coming!

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