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Every swappable item in the game is assigned a grade for ease of comparison, this should be your first port of call when deciding what items to buy and swap out as it gives you a simple scale to compare against. Additional details about the individual nature of an item with be visible in the purchase screen of any vendor, but for a place to start, we provide a simple letter grade.
Different grades have different values to the items:
A = The best possible performance, usually has an additinal Sub Item slot.
B = A good upgrade to performance, may have an additional Sub item slot.
C = The standard item for most ships be default, average performance.
D = Lower grade, generally makes up the NPC/AI populace, good for emergency use to get through troubles.
Most ships come standard with default C grade components. SOme of the more exotic or specialized ships may come with Grade B equipment in default loadouts, which can often be seen reflected in their price. Of course, the reverse can also hold true where cheaper ships may come with D grade components by default. They’ll still work fine and get you where you wanna go, but you’ll want to consider upgrading them after a while.
In a future 3.x patch we plan to assign every ship and every item a component class. This means players will only be able to put an item of that class into a ship that can utilize it.
Military – The best overall at that item’s functionality, at the expense of emissions and cost.
Civilian – The most common, wide range of behaviours to suit cost, options to approximate all other categories but not as specific.
Stealth – Vastly reduced signatures/consumption at the expense of functionality.
Industrial – Reliably high output and low wear, high emissions.
Competition – Higher performing than military but at the expense of durability and stealth, performance over everything.
At present, no ship is restricted to a single class of item, with each having at least two classes and virtually all of them featuring Civilian as an option. While this system is still in development, the idea at it’s core is to prevent players from making certain ships too powerful within respective areas. We still want there to be an enormous amount of customization available, but this system we’re still developing would do things like limit the chances of finding a Military Spec 85X or a Stealth Herald simply due to people buying the best items of that type.
I venture a guess here that running missions for the military and increasing rep there may grant access to Grade A military hardware, da best of da best ....