- Forged reg-tags - The fiction outlays that the smuggler being interviewed was caught using fake tags. Bad black market deals on stolen IDs or shoddy work on repurposing a stolen hull could make each landing a gamble.
- Disengaged cargo hold - This ‘sounds’ different than simply jettisoning cargo (see hardpoints below), but the mechanic of getting rid of your cargo to move faster has been long suspected on the forums. This provides confirmation that this will be a usable tactic and may be useful to many beyond smugglers.
- Breakaway Hardpoints - The name of this upgrade / mod class is a bit ambiguous On one hand, this may be what the disengaged cargo hold is actually referring to where mods can be ejected. The concept sounds very interesting for all criminals, especially if there are black-market / banned weapons you’d need to ditch in a hurry. The lingering questions are: What is the tradeoff to make the point breakable (e.g. just cost or weaker upgrades) and what are the insurance implications? That said, the 'breakaway hardpoint' is mentioned in the same paragraph as disguises. So, this could be referring to mod disguises themselves that 'break away' (see the Hidden Upgrades below).
- Sentient Transports - People as cargo. Hinted in Kid Crimson (and Privateer if you’re looking way back), slaves will likely be a black-market trade item (probably high value). Now, other people-smuggling also sounds possible. You may be smuggling diplomats or the like across borders for profit or criminals out of systems. It would be interesting if dump a sentient transport has harsher penalties or if you could sell passengers into slavery. Perhaps that is too dark..
- Criminal Syndicates - It sounds like there will be multiple organizations of crime to can ally with. There is some trade offs mentioned in contrast to lone-wolfing it, but it is heartening to hear the depth of the criminal enterprises. I would like to hear if there is reputation associated with these syndicates and if positive rep in one means negative rep in another. The benefits of these reps would also be interesting. Failing at a smuggling job could incur bounties, but it would be good if there is more to it.
- Specialized Holds - Cargo holds that trade space for stealth (of cargo). There doesn’t seem to be much use for this outside of the smuggling profession, but the concept of masquerading could be applied to things beyond cargo in the hold. Combined with the jettison mechanics, perhaps certain weapons could be stored and then launched from the hold? Hidden mines perhaps?
- Hidden upgrades - Also mentioned are hidden upgrades (thrusters). Again, probably useful to many professions. Traders fleeing pirates or the pirates themselves are other obvious customers of such stealth mods. Q-Ships (war vessels disguised as trade vessels) are the other obvious implication.
- Underground Shops - Shops with legitimate fronts that specialize in underground tech and illegal operations. Combined with criminal syndicates, these posts sounds like multiple criminal professions will be able to find ports of safe harbor across the game.
- Job boards - Both ‘unconnected’ and syndicate sponsored, the smuggling profession sounds like some depth has been put into the missions smugglers can take. It would not suprise me if there is a similar system for targeted piracy or assassinations. See the Bounty Hunter board below for more possibilities.
Bounty Hunters (http://robertsspaceindustries.com/news-update-bounty-hunter-guild-news/)
- Job Boards - Just like smugglers, it seems Bounty Hunters will likely have some form of job board. The bounties are mentioned as part of a guild newsletter so there may be some dependency on your guild as to what job you can see. Also, the fact that the bounties are in a letter, I would venture to guess that you’ll be able to see jobs over your ship’s comm (as opposed to landing on a planet to see it). The jobs are mentioned as only available to members in good standing. So, in the terms from the smugglers post, these may be similar to syndicate jobs. It would be interesting to know if there are similarly ‘unconnected’ BH jobs outside of the guild.
- Job Range - The jobs on the board range from tracking to captures to dead or alive (assassinations). Some mention guild permission, special circumstances, etc. The morality of the jobs on the board seem to be varied, so it would be interesting to know whether all jobs that are guild sponsored are ‘legal’ with the UEE. Similarly, it would be interesting to know if there are other BH guilds that are less scrupulous. For instance, bounties being placed on regular citizens, military officials, etc. may only be available to certain BH guilds or, perhaps, those are treated entirely different (e.g. a pirate gang’s assassination / grudge board).
- Intact Cargo - Jobs may require intact cargo. Since boarding is a fairly intense activity, the big question here is if there is a way to ‘force’ the cargo to be jettisoned (without destroying the ship). This could have huge implications to piracy tactics.
- Guild Reputation - One job is mentioned to be available to ‘silver-level members and above’. Is this a rank based on reputation? Do you buy levels (e.g. is the guild a co-op with shares) or earn them (via jobs)? Either way, this sounds like good news to those operating outside of the law. Any levels / rep outside of Citizenship is a boon to those that can’t earn it.
- Auto-lasers - mentioned as rapid fire (high refresh rate) and good for wearing down shields. Likely also a favorite in piracy if disabling the other ship is the goal.
- Targeting - Also mentioned in the ships doc, etc., the ‘tracking sight’ / targeting computer is another upgrade point. It would be interesting to know if the upgrades apply to all weapons (obviously Class 2 and above) or are somehow installed per gun.
- Grappler - An energy weapon that stuns the ‘unprotected’ occupants inside a ship (if the shields are down). This sounds like a perfect boarding tool (rendering no resistance while disabling thrusters and boarding), so it will be interesting how it will be balanced. The phrasing makes it sound (to me) that the counter may be a part of personal equipment (e.g. personal anti-stun armor), but this is an open question. How this is balanced in dogfighting is also a question. If could simply wear down shields and then stun, the physical armor of the hull would be useless. So, the weapon may have a very short range, very long recharge, an easy counter in normal fights, or some other balance.
- The Veil - a transponder that broadcasts a fake ship ID for a limited time. IDs have been mentioned in past posts, but the limited time part is new. The time may be a balance issue and upgrade option, so it will be very interesting how this is handled to many professions.
- System Effects - Shields and scanners could be radiation affected. This is great info for those in the ambushing business.
- Pirate Planet Protocol - The ‘trashworld’ Spider was mentioned in the 3.75M crowdfunding update. This post mentions that the ‘planet’ has a unique landing protocol. The way the system is mentioned (only give ID after 4 requests) makes the system sound manual, which is an excellent bit of flair for pirate immersion.
- Customs Crossings - Not really new info (mentioned in several of the fiction stories), but border crossings are reiterated as problematic for the criminal element.
- Random fiction tidbits - Bounty hunters are also called Shacklers (slang).
Did you see something I missed? Let me know in the comments. :)