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Vehicle part conditions obfuscation
If you don't have the skill...

Much like some -other- systems in the game, I believe knowing the condition of vehicle parts should be skill gated. Looking at a vehicle shouldn't tell you that XYZ parts are damaged, and if you don't even have the skill to begin with, how are you going to evaluate the thing?
I agree, or at least not the degree of damage. I feel like without the skill, you should be able to see if something is 'stock', 'repaired', or 'damaged'.
I like this idea but in light of a lack of consistent auto and aero techs at all hours in both sectors, wouldn't this just contribute to @puppet-requests with NPC service providers and take up valuable GM time?

I think the system as it stands encourages PC interaction. If you obfuscate things too much, people will ask for automated NPC mechanics to help deal with demand.

That said, I think a layer of obfuscation accompanied by the damaged vehicle messaging that has been implemented may have the desired effect but I would be extremely cautious about skill gating vehicles as they already feature a number of balance issues.

I don't think telling if items are damaged should be behind a skillcheck. If a tire is shredded, you can tell a tire is shredded. If a tire is flat, you can tell a tire is flat. Making you able to tell the most minor damage may not be realistic, but from a gameplay standpoint I think it's necessary.

BUT.

I think evaluate to look at the inner parts should only be done if you're 1. Authorized on the vehicle 2. In a mechanic's workplace. And if you aren't in either of those, then it should be considered wildly suspicious because some of those parts you're going to need to be lifting up hoods or leaning/digging in incredibly close that should make the ambient population wonder why that's happening.

The lack of techs is an issue to a certain degree, I agree.
I think that will be fixed with more people playing tech characters due to changes with junkyards,etc. I definitely have seen more auto-tech characters than I've seen in years recently.
I think there are some issues still, but that's maybe worth it's own post or an XHELP to avoid IC info.