So quite honestly, I think most of you that read my blog (all six of you), that are also playing Defiance (a subset of two) probably already have this all figured out. But I'm going to go ahead and write it up, because well really, for no other reason than I when I was trying to suss this out, I wished someone else had written something like this up already. So if you are actually just getting started - if you've seen enough screenshots and tweets or whatevever and the post launch discussion has got you interested enough in giving this a try, then maybe this will help you with what is probably one of the more useful, but least well explained aspect of the game - modding your weapon.
First, I'd be remiss to say that there aren't already a few pretty darn good guides out there - like this excellent article over at TenTonHammer, and this blog will undoubtedly repeat some of what's already been said. But I'm going to focus specifically on modding the weapon, and specifically on the parts of the interface that aren't intuitively clear - or at least, weren't to me.
So just to get us going, weapons can have up to four modifications attached to it. They are in order from top to bottom: Stock, Sight, Magazine, and Barrel. In order for a weapon to receive a mod, it has to have a mod slot, and the particular weapon you're interested in may or may not have any particular slot.
Let's look at an example:
And that's really the most important (and least described) part - understanding those icons. The rest is pretty straight forward, but I'll go ahead and walk through the process.
A Sample Mod
So you have some weapons that have mod slots, and you have some mods, so you want to see if they match up, and you can use them. The first thing to do is to check the mod itself. Specific mods only apply to specific classes of weapons.
So for example the mod above, can be used on shotguns only, and it modifies the Sight slot. I have a shotgun.. and it takes a sight modification, so let's do this! You want to go to the Salvage Matrix tab of the Character screens. I typically hit 'L' to bring up the Load Outs, and then click on the Salvage Matrix tab.
Hit the big select item button, and select your Weapon of Choice (Fatboy Slim fans you're welcome). Once you've picked the weapon, you pick the slot you want to modify. It was a bit confusing to me here, because orginally I wasn't clear if I was actually selecting a slot here, or an actual mod. You're selecting a slot. Once you select the slot, if you have a mod (or multiple mods), you select that.
You can actually repeat this action for all the slots and mods you have available, so for instance in the picture above I'm slotting two mods into the weapon in one fell swoop. When you're ready to go, you press the big "Start Action" button at the bottom. Note - the act of performing any salvage on a weapon - whether you're adding mods, or breaking down the weapon, or adding a slot - takes time. How long it takes is displayed here at the top of the screen. You can see from the time here that this is an instant action. But some actions, like adding a weapon slot - take time. When an action takes time, it goes into a queue slot, of which you have five. I'm presuming at higher EGO levels you'll be able to queue up more than one thing at a time, as there are five spaces down there, but I haven't verified this yet. But at least when you're starting out, it's important to know that if the action does take time, you can't do anything else in the Salvage Window until that completes.
And that's it! Here's my newly modded shotgun, with modified stock and sight!
The Bane of Inventory Management - Secondary Loadout Screens
Besides modding your weapons, you can also break down items for Ark Salvage - it's the green brick currency. ArkSalvage is in turn consumed by some salvage operations, like adding mod slots. But occasionally, you'll see something like this - and there's no clear indication as to why you can't break this down!
Now some items simply can't be broken down. This mod above is an example. But in many cases, and you'll see this especially with shields and grenades, it turns out it's probably because of your second loadout. At a relatively early stage of your leveling, you'll get a second loadout - apparently you'll eventually get five.
When the load out is given to you it automatically equips whatever you currently had equipped at the time. No loadout can ever not have something equipped, except at the very beginning of the game, when you're getting your first weapons and vehicles. But as you gained new weapons, shields, etc, you've been modifying your primary loadout, and most likely ignoring the new, alternate one. But those weapons and items are still equipped in your alternate loadout. And that will prevent you from deleting them from your inventory, or breaking them down into salvage.
So if you're trying to make inventory space, and are selecting things to delete, but it won't let you delete them, or you're trying to salvage some shield or weapon, but it won't let you salvage them, check your alternate loadouts - chances are they're equipped in one of those.
And that's about it. Hope this has helped at least a few of you hit the ground running with Defiance's weapon mod system.
Good luck and good hunting!