This thread has been a long time coming for me, the reason for which is because i have been thinking long and hard about how we could make a new R&D system work in drawing more people into crafting- and the idea basically boils down to an open crafting system- no following recipes, throwing ingredients into the mix and watching what unfolds.
The reason why I am finally writing this up is for 2 reasons:
1) crafting in its current system grows old quickly, and i have no real desire to do it for more than one toon the way it is working right now
2) Im tired of members in my fleet being disappointed when i tell them that i cant actually craft those MkX tetryon beam arrays with 2X[Acc] because there is no "recipe" in the crafting cookbook we call the R&D progress window.
I have the core idea laid down on paper, but for the rest of it- its still a work in progress so feel free to dd in your suggestions and hopefully we could build this up and eventually see this open system to fruition.
The core idea of the system is that there is no more "cook book" with laid out "recipes"- rather opting for an easily customisable system that will let us tailor to our own preferences. Data samples will also become a lot more useful in this system, rather than just collecting dust in the personal or fleet banks once your finished mastering the recipe crafting. Each data sample will contribute to adding a specific type of buff, depending on whether you are modding consoles, weapons, shields, engines, ect. this is the part that i havent quite fully drawn out yet.
the limitations to this system would be that you can only add a total of 2 buffs to the item you are modding- we wouldn't want to be making the marks and emblem- obtainable items obsolete now, and items crafter will remain pretty much in the same usefulness as they are now: not much good after RA3.
to mod the Covariant Shield Array MkX [Cap]X2 right now, you need the following ingredients:
- 500 Physical Sciences R&D points
- 360 Advanced Physical Sciences R&D points
- 18 Unidentified Substance
- 12 Exobiological Data
- 1 Covariant Shield Array Mk X
using my suggested open crafting system, we could rebuild the recipe to add our own buffs to the covariant shield array MkX. The basic ground rules to the crafting would be that each technology type that you are modding would have a base data sample type. shields could have Photonic Technology as their base data sample modifier. Depending on the Mk # of the item you are modding would depend on how many of these base modifiers are needed. This part is entirely open for suggestion, but here is how we could define that base modifier:
-Mk III items have a base requirement of 4X their base modifier data sample, this number increasing by 1 for each Mk the item goes up.
your next buffs to add would follow a fairly rudimentry formula. So say we wanted to add a [cap] buff to this shield array, you add 6X encoded data(this is just a suggestion. we can work on specific data sample assignments later). to add a second [cap] buff, there will be an extra charge of 2X Encoded data on top of the 12X Encoded data you are already adding. the next Data sample that would be needed to be added into the mix would be the new blue data samples that are occasionally found. For the sake of example, i will say we would need 2X Dekyon Particle Traces. So to make the same shields on the new(suggested) system, the recipe would be as follows:
where the flexibility would come in is say we wanted to add in a [Reg] buff to the shields, instead of the [cap]X2, our [Reg] modifier could be Radiation Sample. the "recipe" for the new shields would then be as follows:
Each data sample will have a different use for different item types. So Encoded Data being used on a deflector array would add a [SenP] buff, since there is no [Cap] buff for a deflector.
How we would buff consoles(which are totally absent from the R&D list if you havent already noticed) would still be a fairly similar structure
so for this example, i will throw in a Halon System Mk VIII
if we wanted to add to its already +11 Hazard systems buff to make it a +14 Hazard systems, we could simply throw in 4X a specified data sample. For examples sake, we will say Alien Artifact, though thats simply suggested for lack of a better idea currently. its 02:40 here right now and my brain is starting to get a bit muddled.
the basic ground rules for the R&D points would need to be adjusted in this case, and the way we could adjust it to complement this system is have the min. R&D Points increase per Mk item. I cant get an example out right now, thats still very much on paper that bit- purely because i have yet to come across a good way to mark up the experience and set a min. required R&D points.
the rest of the ideas will come down to finding a buff for each data sample type for each item. once we have got the suggestions down, we can then make it into a simple to follow chart.
so in the time in lieu, let me know what you think of this suggestion for an R&D system overhaul, or even make some modifications to the core idea i just laid out: i know the fleet members i have discussed this with love the idea, and believe like i do that a change like this will bring new and returning people into R&D to stay, and it will also possibly bring in the benefit of slightly cheaper exchange prices, since only the people who dont have the R&D points, the data samples, or are too lazy to R&D will be forced to buy the greens and blues for the exorbitant prices you see
Tying one sample to one buff would limit the amount of buffs lower level players could create, and would limit the amount of buff types that are craftable to the amount of samples. So how about, instead of tying certain samples to certain types of buff, you tie certain combinations to buffs.
At the lower levels, you would have small amounts required to combine. So a Covariant shield mk IV, for example, could be combined with 5, or 7 samples, and an optional 8th. Combining it with 2 bio, 2 tech, and 1 physical (5 total) would give a [cap] boost, while 3 bio and 2 physical (5 total again) would give it [reg]. Adding samples would allow for multiple buffs - if you use all 7 in this example, you could get both the [cap] and [reg]. Adding a special, "new"-type sample in the 8th slot would allow you to get a third buff.
Now, that was a very general example, and I'm sure the developers would tweak numbers as necessary, and add crafting level requirements as you have above. The point is, low level items require a few low level samples to add buffs to, while higher level items would require many more samples, of the higher levels, to add buffs to.
You could also keep these combinations a secret until a player crafts them, adding to the game - don't make it overly frustrating, maybe have item lists that say "2 X and 3 Y and such and such shield give a 'shield [cap]'," but at least make players figure a little bit out. If a player puts in the wrong thing, maybe the player loses one or two samples, IF THAT, but they don't lose all the stuff they put into a test crafting. I would think a message saying the attempt failed would be more than enough.
yeah- i thought of something similar at first, but creating workable examples for all the different types of buffs turned my mind into a jelly- just like what happens when i start thinking about the temporal paradoxes explained in Star Trek