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:
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.