Shaders and Materials

#1
In UE4, there is a node based materials editor that allows you to build materials out of a network of building blocks.

CE5 materials appear to be given a type (e.g. Water, Illum) and then you can set parameters for that type in the materials editor.

As I understand it, in CE5 you can develop your own shaders to complement the built in shaders for your materials, and this involves writing a shader "...that is very similar to HLSL and CgFX" (http://docs.cryengine.com/display/CEPROG/Shader+Development+Introduction).

Two questions:

1. Is my understanding correct?
2. How similar is "...very similar to HLSL and CgFX"? Will I be fine using Microsoft's HLSL reference or are there differences I should be aware of?

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