ENGINEERING: Basics - An Introduction To Engineering - #00024
What are "Engineers"?
Engineers are NPC characters which are able to alter your ship's module's characteristics in certain ways.
Modifications include more performance, better energy efficiency and a broad variety of specialised per-module modifications and countless 'experimental' effects.
With Engineers, you can outfit your ship to your needs. Although this sounds as an advertisment for the 'Horizons' package, it isn't. It's just a hint: If you love Elite and if you wish to enjoy the highest performance possible with your given ship, give it a go.
Engineers do have a drawback, though: without knowing in depth what you are meant to do, you will live through a nightmare of material collecting, engineering the wrong modules, the wrong modifications, the wrong effects...
This is where ed-howto.com can help you big time. READ ON!
So I simply go shopping?
Not so fast, young jedi.
There is a broad variety of Engineers. The existence of a few of them will be shown to you when you reach certain levels of experience.
Let's use Todd "The Blaster" McQuinn as an example: He is 'known' to you just by public knowledge, as he's one of the basic Engineers with some mighty modifications. For him to accept your contact request, you need to deliver him 15 bounty vouchers you gained by destroying wanted ships. For his services, he demands 100.000 credits. Once. Up front.
After knowing, contacting and unlocking McQuinn, you need to work your way up from basic level access to maximum - 5th grade - access (if you wish to create maximum quality moduleS).
You do so by modifying any module the Engineer offers a modification for:
1 time for grade 1 modules (up to 4 times)
2 times for grade 2 modules (up to 5 times)
3 times for grade 3 modules (up to 6 times)
4 times for grade 4 modules (up to 7 times)
5 times for grade 5 modules (up to 8 times)
By doing 1,2,3,4,5 modifications on each grade, you 'unlock' that level.
In other words, by once unlocking each level until you are "grade 5" ranked with your Engineer, you will need less cycles for each grade.
Instead of 3+ attempts of modification in order to be able to go from grade 3 to 4 on a module, you only need 2-3.
So unlocking the higher grades is all about efficiency.
Nearly all. You need to have grade 3-4 access to some engineers in order to learn about others. It's a good idea to unlock grade 4 with every engineer you know.
TL;DR? Once unlocked, you need less material for each grade. The basic rule is "one less than grade number", so 3 runs for grade 3, 4 runs for grade 4. Sometimes one less.
When planning upgrades, memorize 1,2,3,4,8 - this is the maximum number of runs you need for (almost) top performance - IF you have that grade unlocked, yet. Plan at least "grade plus 2" if not.
Okay, but I only got one/two/three Engeineer(s) in my list?
Engineers need something to make them known to you. With some, it's "public knowledge" like with Felicity Farseer.
Other Engineers need to hear from you via some colleague. Another engineer you worked with. See above.
So Engineers can tune up my ship? How?
Yes, dude. Power it up!!!!111one
Seriously, Engineers can push performance in a variety of ways. From extra-cool-running power plants that help you "hug" a main star for refuelling in an extra close (and extra-fuel-flow-per-second) way to stronger weapons, be it per shot or in regard to damage per energy used. The options are countless.
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