I’ve been restarting multiple times so I really haven’t done much of anything at high level (I think the highest I’ve reached is 49, the rest of my guys are in the teens or low 20s).
I feel the same way about stat requirements on items, they largely dictate how I spend my stats so I don’t really feel like I have a lot of control. For my Drakk ship I ignored Structure completely and just went shields for defense. Drakk ships get Helm when upgrading the ship and between that and having multiple crew with that stat,I didn’t have to invest a ton there. So it was mostly Tactical and Engineering.
That’s what prompted me to reroll a Shadow. I was going to focus on Computers, Helm, Atk/Def kind of thing, wondering if the crit would make it so I could do okay with lower level weapons (since I wouldn’t have the Tactical to run them). It didn’t really work out, Defense just doesn’t provide enough survivability since so many things ignore it, which made me go heavily into Engineering for both energy and shields. That character is mothballed because it’s not really working out, and is what prompted my posts about Defense earlier.
I feel like right now I have a hard time doing a “build” due to stat reqs on components, especially since the past two characters have had terrible luck finding crew. Helm you have no choice dumping points into because your ship gets slower as it gets bigger. Need Tactical to have weapons and engineering/structure for HP, so I mostly just end up having to spend my crew points on whatever stat I’m short on for the items on finding.
The Bonus you get for every 50 base points in a stat also feel off for this reason. Take my Drakk ship, which gains Helm when it upgrades to the next class. These free Helm points do not contribute to the base and I think they should, because getting those free points means I don’t have to invest as many there to equip thrusters, I need them in Tactical or Engineering or something. I also likely have a racial crewman that is giving me that stat. So because I spend fewer points in the stats my race ship gets a bonus in, ironically those end up being the Bonus categories I’m furthest away from.
I’m kind of wishing that stats just gave bonuses to components and weren’t required to equip them because it feels pretty restrictive. Either that or make it so it requires a stat OR a ship level. So maybe if your Tactical was really high you could equip a particular laser early at L27, otherwise you could equip it no matter what your stats are by the time you hit L33 or whatever.