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Weaponmodding and Armormodding

Hey all,

Neritus has requested that I start a forum post to gather some feedback on the weaponmodding and armormodding, so here it is. If you have any particular issues with it in its present form or want to see some tweaks and improvements, perhaps quality of life adjustments, post them here.

I want to start by saying that I love the changes to these two tradeskills, feels like the first bit of actual longterm content that the game has received in a while. Followed sharply on the heels with our asteroid mining content, I am overjoyed to have things to do again. Thank you, Starmourn team.

Now, moving on to my feedback:

Mod Scaling
While I do not have exact numbers at hand, it does feel like getting a mod from level 1 to level 14 in research takes roughly the same amount of research credit as getting it from 14 to 15. This in itself isn't a bad thing, perfecting and finishing a mod off should be a gargantuan amount of effort, to excel at your chosen field. What gets me is that this amount of effort is not reflected in the results.

Lvl 14 = 24.75%
Lvl 15 = 25%

There is a measly 0.25% increase for what is likely months of effort in increasing a mod from level 14 to level 15. I suspect that other mods have the same sort of scaling, where the later stages of development grant minimal improvements.

With the numbers as they are presently, there's just too many downsides to slotting in a level 15 mod, there's really zero reason to push research up to the maximum level. You will get more out of using that 1 level out of your 30 total on a different mod. You may as well just use 3 mod effects at level 10, or split it to 2 at level 8 and 2 at level 7 if you can find four effects that benefit you for your one piece of armour or weapon.

If this final tier of research is going to be such a huge commitment in time and effort, then I do want to see a payoff for it. I have a few ideas, not necessarily picking all of them at once, but balance is ever an issue when I dream up stuff.

1. You can only slot 1 mod of level 15 in on any piece of gear. All mods at level 15 gain additional unique bonuses. An example I gave Neritus was Crit_Chance at level 15 grants 25% crit chance and 10% more damage on a crit. Criticals are PvE only and this won't effect PvP balance, but thinking up useful, relevant boosts for other mod types at 15 may impact PvP and that is obviously a delicate situation. A few ideas for other mods could be that the afflictions under their banner (muscular, sensory etc) proc more often, tick faster. Perhaps small passive wetwiring regens every 15 secs on the armours, The resistance mods increasing the lowest resistance on a piece of gear to the same as the modded resistance. I'm sure you can think up better things that won't be massive balance swings.

2. Fully researched mods provide a research boost towards other mods. You have mastered X, you know the ins and outs of it, and this has provided insight into how other mods are slotted together. As such, each mod you fully research provides a stacking 10% increase to research credits earned.

3. Rebalance the amounts you get at each level of a mod so the scaling is better. If you're committing a large amount of your mod level allocation to one effect, it better be worth it in boosted stats. Make it scale more linearly so the mods don't just taper off with virtually no improvement over previous levels, or make the final amounts so much better. If you can only have 2 level 15 mods in your equipment, you've still got a tradeoff because you're not including other beneficial effects.

This is all I have as feedback on the system. Everything else seems pretty fair and balanced to me. The artifacts that effect this system the most are freely available to everyone through credit purchases (parts gen and research).

One last thing I have noted, however, is that if you have weaponmodding and armormodding, you are diluting your capabilities of researching these and can't focus on one specific branch to increase your gains. I would love an option to tell your manage to concentrate efforts on weapons or armour, so that any you find while triangulating are limited to this.

Love to hear everyone else's thoughts on this, your own opinions or just tearing mine apart, all are welcome.


  • I think progress for research for one mod skill feels about right, where the research artifact feels meaningful. I don't think I'd want to see number 2 implemented; I haven't learned how long the grind truly is, but I do think it's too early to ask for it to be shorter when we can get to level 6, 8, or 10 right now -- the three very meaningful thresholds -- in an effect fairly quickly.

    15 having so little effect over 14 doesn't seem right. However, it makes sense in the case of at least one armor mod, in which you only need 1 across all mods to gain the effect: restorative. (BTW do cover effectiveness and move resistance work like restorative, where only one is needed for the whole body?) Outside of this sort of armor mod situation, it doesn't seem quite right. Perhaps shifting the scaling of weapon (and armor?) mods higher up would be in order to address this. Armor mods are a little different because of the wide variety of effects incoming and the scopes -- it's much more complicated to say whether the scaling should shift upwards. Armor mods are much more likely to want to max out on number of effects, I think, and having some effects that want 15 because you only need 1... It seems fine for armor mods at first blush.

    Should weapon mod effects include things like out of room ranged attack damage bonus? Room-wide damage bonus? Damage bonus to specific scopes, like dmg_scope_head? Armor mods could match these effects with room damage resistance, head protection, and so on. This seems like a meaningful step towards weapon-specific and armor-slot specific mods, which exist purely for flavor right now.

    As for taking both weapon and armor modding at once, I think it would be nice if the player could direct the manager to find armor or weapon mod caches. However, I don't think much else should be done to alleviate the part where you only have one workshop and three assistants. By choosing both (or all three when shipmodding releases, possibly?), you're signing up for diverting your resources so that you can do it all.

    All in all, I'm having a ton of fun with this system. But it would be nice to feel as though the level 15 research and level 15 effects were somehow worthwhile outside of the armor mods that you only need 1 of.
  • I've been busy with in real life stuff for awhile but I do check in and attempt to train my assistants as soon as the timer goes down. Karafee is amazing and I feel like a real drug dealer just pumping my assistants with it to get them to work faster. I've yet to truly send off my assistants for research but I've almost level 10 Intelligence in all three of my assistants so I'll report back soon.

    1) Regarding the armor/weapon/and possibly ship sharing the same assistants and workshops. This really does divert where you can send your assistants to do or research stuff but I mentioned it in discord before that turning Workshop_Brew into a multi-tier artifact to give one, two, or three karafee would really make a difference. This is obviously a promo artifact but I think in the long run making it into a normal artifact with multiple tiers would earn more money for IRE but that's just my personal opinion with no real backing behind it. (Other players feel free to chime in here.)

    2) Personally, with all the current mod effects we have from a new player's point of view it might be a bit overwhelming. If we do introduce more mod effects just know it'll only complicate combat further and lead to having to adjust classes more and more for the sake of balance. I don't mind if we steadily add more but when I last checked the combatants are still attempting to get those perfect mod ratios. Then once we get a standard mod loadout set people are going to create sets to counter those sets and it should be an infinite cycle albeit a slow one until we get people with everything at least to level 10 mod effects.

    3) It does seem a bit odd that the highest level of a mod effect gives so little. It's almost not even worth getting unless you're an absolute completionist. That last level could be one level into something else and it'd probably be more cost effective. I like the current numbers for mods around level 6-10 but after that it seems like you get the shorter end of the stick if you go higher. I haven't thought of any real solutions to this yet nor know if it should be changed but like Steve said 6, 8, and 10 does seem to be the sweet spot.

    (Scatterhome): You say, "Do you like things up your ass? Is your record clean? Are you looking for a job in the near future but not right now? Smuggle drugs for Solus and get stuffed across the galaxy."

  • The feedback I have on this system is pretty general, and fully a matter of opinion. Overall, I think it's a fantastic addition and I'm really happy it has been added / changed into its current implementation. 

    I love:
    • Regenerative armor mod.  <3
    • Critical hits weapon mod.
    • Establishing a workshop, the simple customization options we have available for it right away with the room adjective and LOOK description.
    • The way the assistants work overall, with the different tasks I can send them on, the long timer, the slow buildup of skills and loyalty, the varied races to pick from.
    • The way parts and mods are tradeable with other players.
    I like:
    • The way designs for mods work and how the flavor messages on those work on slot/unslot.
    • The majority of mod effects we have to select from.
    • The 60 RL day expiration date on mobs. This isn't a "get the perfect mod and forget about the system forever" kind of thing.
    • For PvE, I can pretty much just slot a regenerative somewhere and an impact/melee resist somewhere and be mostly fine.
    I'm neutral about:
    • The full range of effects available, since there are many that either seem too niche or not really worth investing into currently (wetwiring affliction stuff, cellular damage, etc).
    I dislike:
    • The amount of armor mods I should get is a bit overwhelming. It just feels like a lot to calculate and purchase and keep track of to me.
    • Limb scope overall, and related to this, how armor works as a whole. 
    • The inequality among classes in how much each one requires you to "slot against" them. (PvP specific)
    • The prevalence of "Impact" as a damage type and how important it is to protect everywhere against it. It feels like it's removing meaningful choice. (PvP specific)
    For the last part (things I dislike), I understand that this feedback is not always directly related to the addition of armor and weapon mods, but I figured I'd share both the positives and the negatives for a more helpful and complete representation of my feelings towards this system and how it fits in to the game. I feel like there are too many pieces of armor, and I have to put a big impact resistance mod into most of them. I understand that with more "slots" comes the potential for more customization, but I'm not currently feeling too much value from it. I know a big overhaul is out of the question, but I feel like a more intuitive and straightforward system might just have armor split into something like 3 slots (upper/middle/lower or arms/torso/legs) rather than 7 pieces or 11 scopes. 

    (And anticipating a "if you don't like engaging with all those armor slots, don't bother, it's a small difference most of the time": Other PvP concerns I have are often met with the response of "well you need to mod properly before this opinion is valid", so I figured my issues with the experience of "modding properly" are relevant and worth highlighting.)
  • If I could pick one big thing to change about SM to flesh out the game using systems already in place (from the player perspective -- can't know for sure because I'm not a dev), it would be simply this: that mobs and player character abilities use all damage types in meaningful quantities or ways. I'd also expect mobs to have strengths and weaknesses to various damage types, too, as part of this. From a development standpoint, I imagine this would be a good time to increase the number of places scopes plug in.

    However, for PVE, I think the complexity should be kept lower such that each area or level bracket has a few noteworthy things to watch out for, like a lot of cellular damage or some really nasty critters that bite at the ankles (leg scope).

    Simple on the concept side of things, but a lot of time to implement.

    It should be obvious, but in case it isn't: that would dramatically increase the number of mod research options that make sense to invest in and use.
  • Hi everyone! Thanks for the discussion so far. Just going to reply to some things in a random order.

    Good news is that the mod effect power scaling based on effect level is very easy to change. The original intent with the steeply quadratic scale was twofold: 1) to make sure old modders felt they could get lots of effects researched to effective levels, and 2) to provide a long-term research option for an effect that is less a mechanical requirement, and more a personal challenge or a matter of a character's RP. As the dust settles, it could make sense to adjust things to either a more linear scale or a less steeply quadratic one.

    Definitely agree we need dtypes and dsources on mobs to match the feel of the mob's attack, but that will certainly be an incremental thing.

    As for mod effects that exist but aren't useful for much yet, like wetwiring affliction ones. Well, we might just need those in for the future :) ... Though I have a Nanoseer here saying not to sleep on cellular.

    Limbscopes came as a surprise to me. It wasn't really a thing that was known or talked about, and yet there it was! Ultimately it just made more sense at the moment to leave it in, and it gives BEAST shield some more identity. But it certainly is possibly a bloated aspect of the whole thing that could go away if we wanted it to. Some people seem to love it, others don't care, and yet others hate it.

    We could certainly add some way to seek either weapon mods or armor mods for lost shipments.

    Regarding armor mods specifically, a first attempt was made to reduce the complexity of armormodding yourself by applying all armor mods globally. As we proceed, we can look for more ways to streamline it. Possibly they could also have longer decay times that weaponmods.
  • edited September 2021
    Something that might be cool is making it so that when you reverse engineer something your assistant's stats can give a bonus. So logistics would give a bonus to parts received and intelligence to research credits and loyalty would boost both. Might be overpowered though unless the assistants have to actually be there to get the bonus. Or maybe even have the assistant do the reverse engineering for you ( EDIT: having them  gain an additional bit of skill in logistics and intelligence on top of the bonus to parts and research credits would be overpowered.)

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