Well, I suppose I need to go back on this now that it’s actually been shown in action, because it’s not fine at all. I’ll repost an analysis I posted on the FD forums below:
I am a touch miffed about the decision to stick with the through-tier upgrading process. It reeks of artificially lengthening a process that is already fairly lengthy and not even all that rewarding (since power creep has made engineered modules the new baseline), and goes out of its way to screw people who operate multiple ships, or trade in ships frequently, like me. I have a mostly upgraded Anaconda, Python, Fer-de-Lance, DBX, Imperial Courier, Imperial Eagle and Sidewinder, plus am planning to acquire a Chieftain and Krait once they become available. My current crop have upgraded critical systems for my play style (drives, FSD, reactor, shield gen, boosters, plus between two and eight weapons, more if I am experimenting with builds). I am nowhere near being an extreme example, I have merely played casually since the Standard Beta and haven’t even interacted with the engineers until after 2.2.03. I have around six hundred million in total assets to my name, mostly in ships, acquired by just messing around and doing whatever I felt like. Point is, I’m not by any means a hardcore player.
Upgrading that under the old system took me less than two hundred rolls in total (since I already have most of the engineers unlocked and levelling up with them can be done in a dozen or so rolls anyway. Under the new system, assuming the current statistical distribution of upgrades holds (average of four to six rolls per level, judging by the video) it would take me, assuming a perfect streak of god rolls, about a thousand upgrades, and more likely upwards of six thousand to achieve the same level of enhancement plus or minus a few hundred, and that’s for partial system upgrades, not all-module upgrades, and not counting hull tank upgrades needed for fighting Thargoids or soloing wing mission NPCs. That means I’d be looking at an investment of between fifteen and thirty thousand units of materials, depending on an upgrade’s exact requirements and the luck of the draw, not counting extra materials needed for trading, CGs, or the new tech broker, who draws from the same pool. And yes, I know my current modules will be transferred to the new system unchanged, but that’s not the point, the point is comparing a bad system to an even worse one.
So tell me, how exactly is this fair to players who choose to, as the ever-so-obnoxious marketing materials put it, play their own way and blaze their own trail? There is only one group of players who benefit from this, the sort of people who, immediately upon starting a new Jameson simply grind passenger missions for twenty hours straight, park their rears in an Anaconda and never fly anything else, and then quit and complain about how there’s no content. The kind of player most of us can’t stand, in other words. The rest of us are having at the very least five times, and under real-world conditions closer to twenty-five times the amount of grind the engineers have up until now required forced upon us for no sane reason. The condescending response given by Mr Sammarco was the worst part. “People are afraid of change.” Utter tosh, we’re not afraid of the new system, we’re disappointed by how infuriatingly stupid the new upgrading process is, smack in the middle of what is an otherwise flawless update.
I see two solutions to the issue:
Solution 1: ditch the through-tier upgrades, let us start at the highest unlocked tier, jack up resource prices to compensate. The highest unlocked tier is the only one anyone cares about anyway, and doubling prices would make acquiring upgrade materials more deliberate without forcing players to resort to material grinding to the exclusion of all other activities.
Solution 2: ditch the rolls. They are pointless in the new system anyway. Everyone knows what they’re going to get, the only uncertainty is how long it’s going to take to get there, making it indistinguishable from commuting through London at rush hour. Without the upgrade percentage uncertainty of the old system, the upgrade roll is reduced to nothing more than a randomly-allocated resource cost for a fixed-percentage upgrade. So get rid of it. Give each upgrade a fixed resource cost, plus our pick of additional effects for a further cost. If you want to keep controlled, minor uncertainty, well, we already have that in every other step of the engineering process - finding materials, unlocking engineers, doing missions for both, et cetera. Half of the upgrade’s attributes are locked anyway (the negative stats), would it really hurt the game that much to lock in the other half as well? I really, really don’t think it would.
There is no challenge to getting engineer upgrades, no test of skill, no obstacle to overcome by mastering the game’s systems, they’re hard to get because they’re so obnoxiously obtuse and more padded than a Tolstoy novel in an insane asylum, and that’s just terrible game design. You don’t even need to be a designer to know that, you just need to play the game for longer than an hour at a time once a week while doing more than just bouncing off of station walls and crashing into landing pads. Rolling dice is at least compelling when the outcome is unknown, but when it is known, it’s just an unnecessary time sink. So please, please change it, or at the very least reign in the number of rolls it takes to go up a grade. Three should be the maximum, not a rare-to-the-point-of-being-unheard-of minimum.
Just to add to this, the current implementation of the material trader has absolutely insane trade-in costs. A tier 2 material gives you three units of a tier 1 if converted. The price for that material in tier 1 units? Six. It’s bloody outrageous, and the worst part is that very few people seem to be outraged by either of these. I’m actually seeing loads of people praising the new upgrade system, not realising how awful it actually is.
In conclusion, I will… tolerate the new system. It is, admittedly, better than the old one in some ways (I like the new experimental effects), but the progression model at the heart of it is utter garbage. But whatever idiot thought this was a good idea should be sacked immediately, and fucking blacklisted from the whole industry.