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As Flexible Survival has progressed, the number of choices available for people keeps increasing, and many people are worried about making the right choices when it comes to gear - what to use, how to get it, how to use it, and so on. Since these questions come up frequently, here are some collected answers!
When you first start the game, you can talk to the Requisition Clerk in Triage to receive a gear starter kit. Depending on which kit you choose, you are given a chainsword or a laser pistol, a combat helmet, and either a medkit or an armored vest.
To see your inventory, you type 'i', 'inv', or 'inventory'. This gives you a numbered list of all the items you are carrying. For example, it may say:
- 1 Chain sword
- 2 Combat Helmet
- 3 Armored Vest
And so on. You can view an item's stats while it is in inventory by typing '+gear 1' or '+gear 2' and so on, using the inventory number of the item. In order to equip an item, you type '+equip 1' or '+equip 2', etc. To see your currently equipped items, type '+equip' without any numbers. Here is an example of the +equip screen:
|1 Charlotte||Load: 21||Upkp: 5|
|2 Armored Vest||Load: 30||Upkp: 1|
|3 Combat Helmet||Load: 15||Upkp: 1|
|4 Laser pistol||Load: 15||Upkp: 3|
Remaining Loadout: 18.8 - Total Upkeep: 10
Here, the number is the equipment slot each item is in. Load is how much loadout each equipped item uses, Upkp is the Upkeep cost of each item (in Resources). For now, the two important things are Load and Upkeep. If you want to see the statistics of an item that is currently equipped, the command is 'load #' - note that this one does not use a plus sign.
Every character starts the game with a maximum of 100 Loadout. This can be increased through merits (Always Be Prepared, All Natural) and Roles (the Readiness role). Every character also starts with 10 Resources, and Resources can be increased to a maximum of (Player Level x2) by spending XP. If you want to equip a piece of gear, you need to have enough available loadout and resources; if you are out of loadout you just can't equip it, and if you are over budget on resources all of your gear stops working.
Bluntly, there are a lot of options available for gear. Some, like the items in the starter pack are unmodifiable. All the craftable items and modifiers are on the wiki. Essentially, a piece of gear is like a new power for your character, while the gear modifiers provide various bonuses, either directly to the item in question or to whoever it is used on. For example, the 'Physical Armor' item is 'Target: Self' and 'Auto: Self', which means the bonuses it gives (+1 Physical Damage Resist and +3 Max HP) are passive bonuses just for having it equipped. Any modifiers that are added to this item will apply their Ally benefit as a passive bonus. The Liquid Bandage is an active item; when used, it targets an ally and heals them, as well as applying a Regen and Healgain buff. Any modifiers added to this item apply their Ally benefit as an active bonus. Weapons deal damage and sometimes apply negative status effects to enemies; some modifiers have enemy effects, and will apply those to targets hit by a weapon.
Although it is possible to stack bonuses from several pieces of gear, bonuses will only apply once per named source. It is possible to own and equip four different Generic Armors, but you will only receive the bonus from whichever one is the strongest. Gear modifiers act the same way; it is possible to have a Fast Physical Armor, a Fast Module, and a Fast Shield, but you can only get the passive bonus from Fast once. However, the passive bonus and the active bonus of a mod will stack - someone with Fast armor can still get the full effect of a Fast Banner, for example. If you want to stack Haste, you will need to use different items that provide a Haste bonus (such as the Overclocker and the Cybernetic Reflex Enhancer) and utilize different modifiers (like one item with Fast and one item with Cool).
One thing that can often surprise people is that the top of the line gear is expensive. Many modifiers apply a percentage based increase to the cost of an item, which means it adds up quickly when you start adding three or four modifiers to what you are building. A Nanite Buffer without any modifiers costs 80,000 credits, five common mechanical salvage, and one uncommon electric salvage. A Heavy, Improved, Miniaturized Nanite Buffer costs 924,000 credits, and requires 62 common salvage and 5 uncommon (and one uncommon salvage costs 100 common salvage). When it comes to actual performance, even though the three-mod buffer is over ten times as expensive as the unmodded one, it only provides 36 HP Buffer (before level scaling), while the unmodified buffer provides an HP Buffer of 25. Unmodified Phyiscal Armor provides 1.0 Physical Damage Resist and 3.0 Max HP for 200 creds and 10 common salvage, while a maxed out Heavy, Overwhelming, Improved, Miniaturized Physical Armor costs close to 6,000 credits and 400 salvage, for 2.0 Physical Damage Resist and 6.0 Max HP.
Essentially, the cost of improving an item increases far, far faster than the increase in a gear's bonuses. There are many people who have complained that, if they can't get the best gear, they may as well use nothing until they can afford the top gear. This is silly. Most basic gear is relatively cheap, and it can be exchanged later when you can afford it. Even items with only two modifiers are around half as expensive as a three-mod item, and can still be very useful.
So, what are some key modifiers to know when you start putting together gear?
- Generic Status Modifiers: Heavy and Overwhelming are frequently used on almost everything, sometimes just one or the other, sometimes both. Heavy increases all status effects from an item by 30%, while Overwhelming is more expensive but increases all status effects by 40%. Improved will also increase all stats by 10%, and is fairly cheap. I typically recommend at least one on an item if it has any effect on stats.
- Loadout Modifiers: Miniaturized, Ruggedized, Ergonomic, and Modular all reduce the loadout and/or upkeep of an item. While this has no direct impact on the item's stats, it does mean you can get more total gear.
- New Status Bonuses: These are modifiers that add fully new stats to an item. For some items (modules, banners, amplifiers) you need at least one of these, as the base item has no effect without one. For other items, it lets you customize what benefits the item gives or what penalties it inflicts.
Each item requires four things to make:
- XP - Found by RPing and defeating monsters! Yes, every item requires some XP to make.
- Credits - Again, earned through RP, fighting, missions, and etc.
- Builder Nanites - If you have a nanite collector, you start collecting these. Most crafters will have plenty on hand.
- Salvage - Usually the sticking point for most items; you can see what salvage you have by typing 'salvage' in game. 100 Common salvage can be converted into 1 Uncommon salvage, and 25 Uncommon salvage can be made into 1 Rare. You collect salvage from fighting, and from doing some missions.
If you know what item you want to make, you can see what it'll cost by typing 'test item=mod1,mod2,mod3' (or just use one or two mods, or none). To make an item, you type in 'make item=mod1,mod2,mod3'. Note that you can only test items and modifiers if you know the schematics for them. Not every schematic is for sale in the shops, but most crafters have gone through the trouble of collecting them and should be able to give you a quote.