Pre-Release Information on the Engineer's from the Newsletters Edit

Engineers are individuals who provide the blueprints (which describe the materials and items needed for a specific modification) and can then apply them to the weapon or module. They are characters with their own back story, preferences and specialisations. Initially we’re looking at around 30 engineers dotted throughout human space and we will be able to add more in future updates. One of the reasons that we chose mission givers and engineers first for the characterisation treatment is because in both cases you have an ongoing relationship which can change over time with the character. For the minor factions this is measured by your reputation with that minor faction (although factors like Pilots Federation rank will influence the deference with which they treat you), with the engineers the measure is taken from a variety of stats throughout the game and dependent on the nature of the individual. For example we have an engineer who is closely aligned with the Federal Navy and so your rank with the navy is his key consideration, so the higher your naval rank the better blueprints he will be able to offer. As well as naval ranks, the Pilots Federation ranks (including combat, trade, exploration and CQC) will influence some engineers. Some engineers will be affiliated with minor factions, so you’ll need to manage your relationship with them as well. Some will use your stats for mining or trading in illegal goods as well as a host of other indicators. As well as these initial governing factor there is a separate reputation with them, which must be cultivated along the lines of their governing factor to gain their trust and so more capable blueprints. Not all engineers are immediately available to all players. The factor that governs their relationship with a commander has a minimum threshold that must be reached for them to deal with the player. Each engineer has a specialisation, meaning that the deal with specific weapon types and modules. This is because they are experts in squeezing a bit more performance than the norm in their particular field. We are looking at having a secondary specialisation for engineers, just to help balancing the distribution of specialisations and of course we can add more engineers in the future. Or even remove ones if circumstances require it! The engineers are spread geographically to add more geography to the map, but also to fit with the individual’s characteristics. They tend to be reclusive characters who are found at their own, isolated facilities on planet surfaces. -- Newsletter #108

Engineers are individuals with their own characteristics, history and specialisations who will facilitate crafting. They are spread throughout human space and they are the people to see about implementing changes to your weapons and modules. The release of season two saw the first steps in loot and crafting and this will developed to a much greater degree in 2.1 - we’ll delve into more details on this soon as well. -- Newsletter #107

Who are the engineers? Engineers is an all-encompassing name for a disparate group of people that exist on the outskirts of civilised society. They shut themselves away, coming up with weird, amazing, and often useful contraptions. Some of these modifications are even safe to use. Many of the engineers are those that rebelled in their earlier years, but now support those with similar inclinations to themselves. They are inveterate tinkerers, coming up with all sorts of at times outrageous modifications to what would otherwise be standard pieces of equipment. Such engineers have existed since the beginning – when humanity first started using tools. Whether it is attaching a bit of sharpened flint to a wooden stick for better mammoth-killing, a longer bore cannon with extra charge on an ancient earth sea ship, or a modified waste gate in a turbine on a Huey helicopter to get that extra power boost in battle, engineers have existed through the millennia. They are often contrary people with strange requirements, and the thirty fourth century is no different. If you’re careful and gain their trust and respect, you too can benefit from their tinkering – but be aware, no two modifications are exactly the same. -- Newsletter #122

How do I find an Engineer? Gaining an Engineer’s services requires establishing a relationship with them. You will gain knowledge about the first few from public sources. Other engineers will reveal themselves through invitation – particularly from other engineers, once you establish a good reputation with them. Each Engineer has a different background, and that will affect the commanders he or she will deal with. Some will look into the commanders' background – see if they’re an explorer perhaps – before they’ll deal with them. These prerequisites vary across commander’s roles. For example, in the The Dweller’s case he deals with criminals, or those at least familiar with the underworld, so you will need to have knowledge of a number of black markets. Once you have passed the requirement test, the engineer will invite you to their base. At this stage their location will also be added to your galaxy map and you will have permission to land there. Once invited, you have to complete an initial contract to use the Engineer’s services. Again this relates to their personality and often feeds into their specific activities. For example Liz Ryder loves explosives and is currently amassing enough land mines to destroy a small moon. Whether that’s what she actually plans to do with them is anybody’s guess! These initial contracts can be physical items, like the land mines, but can also take a more intangible form like combat or bounty bonds to prove that you’re worth dealing with. Where do engineers live? Engineers each have their own surface bases. These are quite different from surface starports. Many began as secret bases, embedded deep in the rock, but as their bases grew they became bigger and bolder, in some cases smelting their own ore – something very hard to hide from space! They each have their own jurisdiction, and it’s a good idea to not commit crimes in their areas - their willingness to work with you is reputation based, remember. --Newsletter #122

How does Engineer crafting work? When the initial contract has been fulfilled, the Engineer will let Commanders make use of their particular services - the basis of which are the upgrades that they can provide. Typically these are focused on their individual specialisations, although some also offer low grade upgrades for a wider range of weapon or module types. All upgrades come in up to five different grades – as you develop your relationship with the Engineer they will give you access to higher and higher grades of upgrade. Building your reputation will also make the Engineer more likely to tip you off about other Engineers in their network. Each upgrade consists of a blueprint which contains the items or information that the engineer requires to complete that upgrade. Some of these items relate directly to the upgrade, but others are for the engineer’s own benefit or secret project. The blueprint defines the changes that will be applied to the weapon or module being modified. These changes have positive and negative consequences, and the Engineers trade is more of a black art than a science, so results can vary with each attempt. There is a small chance that the engineer pulls something special out of the bag and is able to add a special effect, which can add specific abilities to the upgrade, like the special weapon effects we’ve shown in recent newsletters. Assuming that you’re happy with the result this upgrade will be fitted, or you can choose for the engineer to abandon the upgrade and try again, as long as you have the required resources. What else do Engineers do? As well as crafting upgrades, some have their own stock of specialist equipment, such as Professor Palin and his recent development of the corrosion resistant cargo racks that can safely carry the elusive alien artefacts – that were developed with the support of Commanders in the recent community goal. We’re sure you’ll develop a great relationship with one or more of the Engineers, and we’ll see many great new weapon variants spread through human space and beyond in the next weeks and months. -- Newsletter #122

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