Back to the game after a while - finding it incredibly addictive as ever. (I started all fresh saves/characters)
One thing I am running into, the crew level-up system seems to be confusing.
From levels 1-15 or so, leveling them up was reasonably doable - I could just patrol around and kill enemies (even the nuisance ones that give little or no XP) and my crew would eventually level up. It was invaluable for making my (useless) level 1 marines level up so that I could actually use them.
Now, after breaking level 20, I tried to do the same thing I did every 5 levels (since crew seem to level in increments of 5) - I tried getting my best crew (specialists, etc) up to 20. The problem is, I'm sure I've been killing stuff for over an hour, and only one or two of my crew have actually levelled up. (I have kept them at 99-100 happiness the whole time)
Is this not feasible? I don't understand why there would even be a crew level-up mechanism if It's not useful throughout the whole game, not just the first dozen levels or so. If I'm supposed to just discard them like that old reactor once I find one better, why do they level up at all?
Here's what I know from reading other posts, or my own discoveries:
I suppose my question is - should I not get so attached to my crew and just treat them like that old reactor - or is there a (reliable?) way to level them up so that I can keep something other than the drakk flavor of the week around?
Especially since I've heard specialists just don't drop at higher levels, I'd like to keep my specialists around..
EDIT: I'd settle for a mod that flattens the 'level up' curve for crew, if possible. If the level 20+ ones could level as easily as they did from 1-15, I'd be OK with that. Don't know if thats even moddable though, I didn't see anything like that in the assets.
EDIT2: After having given it a few more hours, I'm starting to remember why it wasn't an issue for me last time around. In higher levels there are so many other items competing for slots (and other ways to get stats if you need it, such as crew equipment) that it isn't the huge problem I thought it would be. In fairness I shouldn't have posted at level 20 - which is really not indicative of the game at later phases.
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