What to upgrade first
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Playing DCUO atm
Shield extenders and recharges.
-I stole Conduit 3 directly from HVS..or was it Sega...or Nintendo?.-
dropsuit armor upgrades and dropsuit shield updgrades first. that will give you (at level 5) 25% to max shield and armor regardless of what suit you use, including those free starter suits.
"Ye shall be as gods"
Honestly I would say weapons, killing the other guy first is far more important than extending your own life expectancy by a second of two. It doesn't hurt to put a few points in shields, armor or what ever. But I would hold off raising it to above level 3 until you have a good weapon. Level 4 and higher tends to get very expensive in most skills, and generally not worth the small boost at first.
Plus there is not a lot of point into having complex shield extenders if you lack the dropsuit to use them on.
As for rechargers, meh I think their a waste personally. If your in a shield based suit you already have a good recharge of 20-40 shields a tick and rechargers take high slots, the same as an extender. Your better off with regulators that speed up how often your shields recharge, and best of all they take low slots.
"That is not just scraping the bottom of the barrel, that is lifting the barrel up and poking some of the slimy sludge growing underneath the barrel."
Some form of health upgrade. Better modules and a good dropsuit to fit them on
As for the previous poster suggesting upgrading weapons, i largely disagree.
The damage boost for upgrading from standard to prototype (skipping advanced) is roughly 10%. This is the same damage boost as slotting one complex damage modifier for your weapon. It was proven mathematically long ago that even in an ideal shot for shot 100% accuracy situation, shield extenders still beat damage modifiers in effectiveness.
Higher level weapons have dramatically higher CPU / PG requirements, the damage gain and ISK cost doesnt really balance out the fitting requirements in many cases.
Health is EVERYTHING in this game.
The only time i would suggest upgrading a weapon (at least early on in your dust career) is if there are secondary benefits to doing so other than just the damage increase from using a higher level weapon. Some weapons get a meaningful increase besides damage, or have a more effective variant of the weapon that requires a higher skill. For example, Flaylock pistol gets a relatively large splash radius boost from using higher level Flaylock pistols, Scrambler pistols get an additional shot in the magazine for every level of the operation skill.
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