Understanding Skill Modifiers, Attachments and Enhancements
Having a working understanding of skill modifiers, attachments and enhancements begins by understanding the terminology and by going back to the basics of the Skill Sheet.
First, let's start by covering the basics of the Skill Window. In-game, players can pull up the skill window by using the Data Screen toolbar or by pressing CTRL-S. This opens a player's skill window. On the right hand side is the Skill Onion, Skill Mods, and Commands and Abilities Granted windows. The Skill Onion displays the 4 skill trees that make up each profession. Each skill tree has 4 skill boxes. As players choose their skill paths and earn experience points, they earn the option to purchase more skill boxes by spending experience points (XP) and Skill Points. Each profession skill box grants a player skills, Skill Mods and Commands and Abilities. Underneath the profession's skill window are two boxes. One is titled "Skill Mods" and the other is "Commands and Abilities Granted".
On the top left hand side of the skills window are two tabs. One says "My Character" and the other says "All professions". Whenever you want to see the professions, experience, skill mods and weapon certifications, be sure to click the My Character tab in the top left hand side of the skill window.
Next, let's go over the basic terminology. For example, with 15 skill points, a player can acquire Novice Marksman as a profession. The Novice Marksman box grants two categories of character abilities: Commands and Abilities and Skill Modifiers. Commands and Abilities Granted: This is a category of Certifications and Special Moves that is granted with each purchased skill box. Certifications and Abilities allow players to use the certified weapon without a penalty or endow characters with special moves. The Novice Marksman is granted:
Skill Modifiers: Skill modifiers measure how a player's skills increases as they progress through the game. First, a player spends skill points on acquiring a basic profession: for example, the Marksman Profession. The Novice Marksman is granted:
- D18 Pistol Certification
- DH17 Carbine Certification
- DLT20 Rifle Certification
- Overcharge Shot1
- Point Blank Area 1
- Point Blank Single 1
- Carbine Accuracy +10
- Carbine Speed +5
- Pistol Accuracy +10
- Pistol Speed +5
- Rifle Accuracy +10
- Rifle Speed +5
Each of the Commands and Abilities allows a character to use each of these weapons, and the Skill Modifiers represent the initial skill mods granted by the Novice Box. Using Pistol Accuracy as an example, when our character purchases the Novice Marksman box, he or she can now use the D18 Pistol with no penalty. The basic skill mod for speed and accuracy at Novice Marksman is Pistol Accuracy +10 and Pistol Speed +5.
Once a player gains enough experience points by using the D18 Pistol and also has enough available experience points, they can purchase "Pistols I: Short Range Combat". By purchasing a skill box, a player earns more skills, skill mods and abilities. This next skill box on the Pistol Skill tree grants a player:
Commands and Abilities Granted:
- Body Shot I
- DL44 Metal Pistol Certification
- DL44 Pistol Certification
- Pistol Accuracy +10
- Pistol Speed +5
Each Skill Mod listed under the skills onion displays the skill mods, commands and abilities listed for that box and that box alone. A player can see what their Total skill mod is by looking on the left hand side of the skills window, under the My Character tab in the window labeled "My Skill Mods". This is the total amount of skill mods for each skill a character possesses.
There are two key points to remember about the My Skill Mods window:
When a skill mod stops increasing, it no longer changes because the modified skill is at its maximum value.
If you are wearing an item that enhances the skill mod category, the maximum value it can be increased is +25.
Now that we have a clear understanding of the skills windows and terminology, we can take a closer look at Skill Enhancement Attachments or SEAs. The types of skill enhancement attachments that players will come across in the game are Skill Tapes and Armor Enhancements. Skill Tapes and Armor Enhancements are looted items (only) that can be placed into sockets. By placing these SEAs into armor or clothing sockets, they enhance the skill modifier and raise the skill value. Skill Tapes are for clothing only, and Armor Enhancements are for Armor only.
To take advantage of these types of SEAs, the first thing you should do is to make sure your piece of clothing or armor has sockets. Players can verify if a piece of clothing or armor has sockets by using the radial menu and selecting "Examine". Examine the item you want to attach an enhancement to and make sure it has sockets. On the left hand side of the examine window in the description box there will be a listed descriptions that says "Sockets available". This value is the remaining amount of sockets that will accept an SEA.
Adding a skill enhancing attachment to a piece of clothing or armor is a one way process, so it is a good idea to take a moment and think through what you are trying to accomplish. Once you have confirmed your clothing/armor item of choice has an open of socket and you have decided on a Skill Tape or Armor Enhancement to install into the socket, simply "drag and drop" the SEA onto the item, and voila! Your item now has a skill enhancing attachment.
Just above where an item's number of available sockets is listed is the total Skill Mods the item of clothing or armor gives a player while wearing the item. In the clothing item above, the current Skill Mods the shirt gives is a Melee Defense of 4 and a Defense Vs. Stun of 17. These values can be further increased by adding additional Skill Tapes, or a player may choose to add skill tapes to the existing sockets for different types of Skill Mods.
Some very important Skill Tapes and Armor Enhancement tips are:
Always make sure you have available sockets before you drag and drop an SEA onto your clothing or armor item. (Use the radial menu to Examine the item)
Make sure that the enhancements on the SEA are what you want to add to the item. This is a permanent, one-way process.
There are limits to item bonuses. If an item is at its maximum value, then the SEA will be lost and no benefit will be gained.
Partial Bonuses do apply when adding SEAs to clothing and armor items. If an SEA has multiple bonuses and the item you want to enhance has one or more values that are maximum and one or more values that are not at their maximum value, the item will register whatever values that are not maxed out. For example, if you have an item with Melee Defense and Pistol accuracy and the clothing you want to enhance is at its maximum Melee Defense but its Pistol Accuracy is not at its maximum, the item will take the Pistol Accuracy Mod and drop the Melee Defense Mod. Further, if that same item was at max value for both Melee Defense and Pistol Accuracy, both skill mods would be lost and the item would be irretrievable.
Throughout this process, you can check your total skill mod value by pressing CTRL-S and opening up your skill window. The window labeled "My Skill Mods" will show you the total amount of skill mods on from your skill tree and the enhancements of the clothing you are wearing. Under the My Skill Mods section, each skill is listed and the modifiers are displayed. The total base value is listed on the left and the total value while wearing the item is displayed just to the right of the base value after a slash, like this: Pistol Accuracy +60 / +80.
In this example the +60 is the total base value of the skill modifier from the bonuses granted by the profession and the skill boxes in the tree. The +20 is coming from the SEAs imbedded into the clothing or armor. Another way you could read the My Skill Mods values would be like this:
[Skill Mod] total value without any items / total value while wearing items
Crafted Enhanced Items
Another method to enhance skill mods is to craft them. Players can either pursue crafting professions or work with crafters to have enhanced items crafted for them. Tailors and Bioengineers can craft "enhanced components" that can be added to clothing. Tailors can also craft finished clothing items made of synthetic cloths and reinforced fiber panels. Bioengineers can craft tissues that can then be crafted into clothing by tailors. Armorsmiths and Weaponsmiths can craft enhanced components and enhanced segments. In both cases, Armorsmiths and Weaponsmiths can craft these items with both crafted components or looted items. There are lootable items that may be crafted into weapons. Weaponsmiths can also craft weapon enhancements such as scopes and grips, but those items are Power-Ups and work differently.
Below is how an armorsmith might take a looted item, craft an enhanced armor component, and then craft it into an armor segment:
First, brave the galaxy's creatures and/or auctioneers and acquire the raw materials. This is a looted Krayt scale that can be used to enhance armor. There are also segments that can be crafted that work similarly, though as a general rule, looted items are more valuable than crafted items.
The armorsmith can then take this material component and use this to enhance armor by crafting it into an armor segment (these items CANNOT be used in sockets):
The armor segment is then used during the crafting process by placing it in a materials slot along with the basic material components to make the armor segment. What results is an enhanced piece of armor:
The final product will be a piece of armor with enhanced skill modifiers which can be viewed by using the radial menu to "Examine" the item. Again, the total value for all skill mods (base and with worn items) may be found in the skill mods window in the box titled "My Skill Mods"; the total value without any items is listed on the left side of the skill mod and the total value while wearing items appears after the slash.
There are a wide variety of crafted and looted items that can be used to create enhanced components, and an even wider variety of crafted enhanced clothing, armor and weapons. Be sure to get out and mingle with your crafters and adventurers to find and barter for looted components, skill enhanced segments and items. Good luck!