So it's been maybe a year since I first looked at revamping the Tinkers in vanilla. Things didn't go very well IRL so I stopped work on my prototypes. But I'm coming back to it and starting to write up my rough suggestions for comment before I work on prototyping them further.
Tinkers at present are a bit iffy: a lot of their crafting doesn't really work out as worthwhile, and some of it is fairly boring. I'd like to rework the crafting recipes entirely along the lines of making unique items based on existing tech, rather than crafting enhanced versions of store items. In addition, crafting enhancement items...so you can make nice custom gear without locking yourself away from enhancements unless you choose to add one yourself.
I need feedback and suggestions to move on with this project to turn it into a full proposal (which it is not, as of right now. It's not finished after all). So, here's what I'm planning to suggest as of now. I'll update with edits as required, and annotate in replies when I do so.
Laser and particle weapons
First off, I propose removing the omnidirectional X-ray laser from the tinkers and placing it (and a single X-ray laser, based at Level 4) in the standard Bushido lineup. This improves the lineup of vanilla omni weaponry (though balancing it for commercial sale might mean a fairly high price or rarity value). It also leaves room for the following:
Side-mounted laser cannon: Level 1, rare, single-slot. Uses the standard linked-fire sidemount system. Not overly useful, but can be a boost to firepower and a useful system for NPCs.
Side-mounted turbolaser cannon: Level 3, rare, single-slot. An extremely useful item, but fragile like all sidemounts. This is the most popular sidemount in SM&M++
Side-mounted particle beam weapon: Level 4, rare, single slot. Not tested as it isn't in SM&M++....but I think it should balance like the other guns fairly well.
Quadruple laser cannon: Level 3, might be worth having as a VeryRare rather than NotRandom. 2 slots. Effectively on-par with a dual turbolaser cannon. Not overly amazing, but a nice flavor-gun. Crafted with 6 standard lasers in SM&M++
Quadruple turbolaser cannon: Level 4. 2 slot. On par with dual X-ray. Crafted with six turbolasers in SM&M++. A very, very competitive gun for ships like the Wolfen
Quadruple Particle beam weapon: Level 5. 2 slot. Does not exist in SM&M++. Preferable to a quadruple X-ray cannon as even if we add the single X-ray laser you'll never find six of them in time.
A note on quadruple weapons
Quadruple weapons have roughly the same spread as a dual weapon, with two closely-grouped shots on each side. Thus for damage calculations they're probably twice as effective as a dual weapon (although there are cases where a quadruple VS a dual weapon, each with the same total damage, will differ between the two guns). They use the configuration:
Code: Select all
<Configuration aimTolerance="5"> <Shot posAngle="90" posRadius="10"/> <Shot posAngle="270" posRadius="10"/> <Shot posAngle="90" posRadius="5"/> <Shot posAngle="270" posRadius="5"/> </Configuration>
This is still something of a work in progress, so things may change. None of these have been trialed in SM&M++ except for the Mark I sidemount and the dual Mark I (and the stock dual Mark III)
Side-mounted AK15 Partisan cannon: Level 3, single-slot, rare. The AK15 is a good gun, so side-mounting it makes sense. There's no quadruple gun to correspond to this though (and no dual because there *should* be a dual Partisan in the standard lineup but there isn't...yet).
Side-mounted AK505 Ballista Cannon: Level 4, VeryRare, single-slot. This is absurdly impractical and frankly reckless to try and use. As such it should be good fun on the rare occasions it gets used.
Side-mounted Mark I howitzer: Level 5, single-slot, VeryRare. There's a bug with how recoil is managed that can affect this gun. Does not benefit from Makayev enhancement?
Dual AK505 Ballista cannon(s): Level 4, two slot. NotRandom. Crafting recipe uncertain. Recoil.
Dual Mark I howitzer: Level 5, two-slot, NotRandom. Heavy recoil.Inferior to the dual Mark III, but easier to make.
Dual Mark III howitzer: Level 6, two slot, NotRandom. Heavy recoil. Otherwise as-per existing weapon. Possibly make crafting recipe easier since it's hard to find Makayev enhancers.
Armor and Shields
This section is a placeholder, and will be edited in later when I've had time to brainstorm. Suggestions welcomed.
Current thoughts: Steel or plasteel barricades? Shields might be low-HP, high regeneration (like A30 and the like from SM&M++)? Or possibly improvements on some gimmick armors (XMH, photo-org, etc)?
Rather than offering pre-enhanced items, the tinkers will instead offer crafting for specific enhancement items. This is still in the brainstorming phase, but some items have been planned already. None have been tested.
Reflective armor coating: Crafted from gold ore (several tons), organic acid and hydrocarbons. Reflects laser weapons. Crafts one barrel at a time.
Particle reflective coating: Crafted from dwarg catoptric armor (one segment), degen nanos (1 barrel), and hydrocarbons. Reflects particle weapons. Crafts one barrel at a time. This is powerful but the ingredients aren't the easiest to get and there's arguably better pastes given that missiles are generally more dangerous than beams.
Device enhancement and enhanced devices
Shield Efficiency ROM: works as a cargo-hold item picker. Reduces energy consumption of a single shield by a certain percentage. Allows for early installation, but removes possibility of better enhancements.
Weapon efficiency ROM: As above, but for weapons.
Enhancement Device efficiency ROM: Reduces power cost of enhancement devices by a set %. Hard to set up, consider tentative idea rather than concrete proposal.
I've had ICX-like devices suggested for this, but haven't had time to develop them yet. They'd likely be in here too. For now, there's just one I have pencilled in (untested):
Improved Particle Accelerator: As per the vanilla "particle accelerator", this improves the damage of particle weapons. Unlike the standard one, it uses the same power but gives a 75% boost, not a 50% boost. It cannot be stacked with other particle accelerators (improved or standard)
In addition to providing crafting services, Tinker stations will continue to offer their standard dock services and the trading of damaged equipment. However, they would gain an additional, randomised "Special Service", possibly including:
Software installation: For a small fee, the station will install software onto the players ship. We don't really have enough software to make this amazing, but this *would* make targeting ROMs not *essential*.
Device Repair: For a nominal fee, the station will repair devices in the players cargo hold or device slots. These must be non-alien/chimeric, LEvel 6 or below, and non-military. Dunno about illegals.
Device enhancement: VERY TENTATIVE. For a steep fee, get a random enhancement on an item. Might not be a good one. Maybe limit per station?
Surplus Store (needs a better name): An additional trading space where a small randomised selection of the rarer crafting ingredients (added to the station inventory after this option is picked) can be bought. Tentative.
Illegal weapon craftin: An additional crafting space where illegal/military weapons and missiles can be crafted from their own list. Would include the XM900 (or similar) and Reaper crafting, actinide waste cannon, possibly a set of low-damage thermo weapons based off vanilla low-level kinetic weapons. Might require Syndikat rank?
Where this project is at
At this point, I have the bones of a proposal but lack specifics. Particularly in shields and armor, devices, enhancements and the illegal crafting options. I'm looking for feedback to develop this further into something that can be fairly easily written into a community-made or george-made-based-on-my-notes patch for the game. I haven't looked at altering the Tinker stations themselves as of yet, though that may also be a good idea. In short, I need to know what other people think of all this before I move on with it.