The newest newsletter for Elite: Dangerous has some quite juicy details for the upcoming Engineer update to the game. The content of this newsletter focused on the crafting and production systems being introduced and overhauled in the upcoming update.
Building relationships and alliances is a huge part of being successful in Elite, and that sentiment carries over with the Engineers. Before a player can engage with them and begin crafting, one has to build a positive relationship with their desired Engineer. Each one is different, with various backgrounds and focuses that make the task different for each Engineer. One, for example, is known as ‘The Dweller’ and is “renowned for custom modifications for local criminal elements”. If your commander is too much of an Elite: Dangerous goodie-two-shoes, The Dweller probably isn’t going to be interested. These standings you generate with the Engineer will function as the primary test for whether a player can make use of their services.
Once a player passes this test, you’ll be invited to join the Engineer in question at their base of operations. You’ll then have to complete an initial contract to secure further services. The contract won’t always be physical items, it could “also take a more intangible form like combat or bounty bonds”.
Once these steps have been passed, players can use Engineers to craft new modules for their ships. Each one will have individual specialties, but will also provide more basic upgrades too.
Upgrades have five different tiers, and access to the higher ones will only be possible once your reputation with the Engineer reaches a specific point. Every upgrade tier has a corresponding blueprint with the necessary items the Engineer will need to complete the module. Said blueprint also “defines the changes that will be applied to the weapon or module being modified”. There will be both positive and negative consequences, and the Engineer’s talents are described as more “black arts” than sciences.