Ok, since Frizz discarded the old level system, we need to decide what order to take the new stuff in. Since the new system doesn't do anywhere near as much in combat, we also have to decide whether to focus as heavily on levels (vs shared slots or fac strux) as we were before. These are likely to be tweaked, but currently, the new levels are going to be as follows:
Level 1. Simple Unit (Prowler)
Level 2. Crews cost one less Command to Recruit
Level 3. Increased crew survival rate (+4%/+2.5%)
Level 4. Intermediate Unit (Hawkeye)
Level 5. Improved Unit Salvage Chance (+4%/+2.5%)
Level 6. Increased crew survival rate (+4%/+2.5%)
Level 7. Advanced Unit (Dread)
Level 8. Improved Unit Salvage Chance (+4%/+2.5%)
Level 9. Command bonus (33% / 25% of unit's deploy cost) per PVP vehicle kill
Level 10. Elite Unit - BA III (More armor and reduction than a BAII, but even slower, and with a single large gun that does less than the normal 2 combined)
The much earlier access to the Dread sounds quite appealing, while salvage boosts certainly don't hurt. I'm not a huge fan of the BA III personally, but I wouldn't be surprised if it gets a future buff.
Level 1. Simple Building (Command Tower)
Level 2. Build speed increased by 15%
Level 3. Improved Building Salvage Chance (+6%/+4%)
Level 4. Intermediate Building (Resupply)
Level 5. Build speed increased by 15%
Level 6. Improved Building Salvage Chance (+6%/+4%)
Level 7. Advanced Building (EMP)
Level 8. Build speed increased by 15%
Level 9. Faction earns free Command (100 per day)
Level 10. Elite Building - Improved Heavy Shield Generator (Stronger shield, but slightly less chance of deflection)
Having a stronger EMP than the Shak one is definitely appealing, and building salvage *is* profitable. I think this is still going to be least used path, but it's got some nice stuff. The elite is kinda meh, but I could see it being occasionally of value.
Level 1. Simple Mod (Gladius)
Level 2. One additional Build Slot and bonus to get Mods Slots
Level 3. Improved Mod Salvage Chance (+6%/+4%)
Level 4. Intermediate Mod (Punisher)
Level 5. Crews receive an increased chance of earning merits (+2.5%) and recruited crews start at level 2
Level 6. One additional Build Slot and bonus to get Variants
Level 7. Advanced Mod (Escape Pod)
Level 8. Improved Mod Salvage Chance (+6%/+4%)
Level 9. Crews receive an increased chance of earning merits (+2.5%) and recruited crews start at level 3
Level 10. Elite Mod - Chaos Computer Targeting (+1 range to energy and missile at 1.0 CE)
This is probably the one elite we're going to care about, provided it's not asininely expensive. Mod salvage is also the most important one to boost, since the odds start lower, and Shak runs can be a huge profit. With the punisher now at level 4, we should pretty much pounce on that the second we can.
The only change I know of to the old level-based strux is that Gladius has been doubled to 32 damage. It *still* isn't very good, but it's at least occasionally useful now.
The cost of the new levels is unknown, but Frizz said he's going to make it "as close as possible" in total FP to the total cost of the old stuff. Since there's 10 levels instead of 12, this means everything's going to cost a bit more than it did.
For those who don't know, shared strux work as follows:
1. To obtain a shared slot, you pay FP based on the complexity of the slot - 250 for simple, 1000 for inter, 2500 for advanced.
2. Once you have the slot, you can set it to any strux you want, but once you choose, the choice is permanent.
3. Up to 20 of each strux can be shared.
4. There is no limit to how many share slots you can buy, provided you have the FP of course.
The fac strux thing is a gamble... you pay 100 FP and 3 TB to receive a random strux. If you're lucky, you get a bandit strux, a DIM, or additional strux of something unlocked by faction levels. If you're not, you pretty much just waste FP.
Here's a path I think could work:
1. Start with Combat 7, Research 4, and Construction 3. I'm pretty sure we'll have the points to do this instantly.
2. Max Research.
3. Get Construction to 7.
4. Max Combat.
5. Max Construction.
I'd say keep shared slots to an absolute minimum while we're still faction leveling. If there's one we're constantly using a gazillion of though, grab it.
The random strux thing I don't think we should use at all until we're basically maxed out in both levels and slots. We can buy them from elsewhere in the meantime.
So.... thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Does this sounds like a good plan?