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Thread: Player-owned Planetary Bases

  1. #1

    Player-owned Planetary Bases

    In late 3304, the combined governments of humanity agreed that they needed to increase the sphere of influence of human-controlled space. Colonia was a great start, but it was too far to manage centrally; those leaving for the new world(s) likely weren't coming back. Rather, they needed to open up new planets nearby - ostensibly to create new trade routes, but a second, less publicized reason, was to create a new frontier that could further buffer the core systems from external attacks.

    To that end, the major design corporations were tasked with implementing deployable planetary installations (DPIs) - basically self-building landing pads - that carried everything needed to build a landing pad and start converting raw materials into an installation. Each represented a design aesthetic, though Core Dynamics and Gutamaya had versions only available to appropriately ranked member of the Federation and Empire, respectively.

    These deployable planetary installations weren't cheap, and they were bulky, but enterprising commanders were encourage to carve out their own space - their own kingdom - out on the fringes of the bubble. Once deployed in a spot - and the DPIs were locked on sale to only be deployable at least 150 light years from Sol - they could be accessed by the Commander, who would, as he or she delivered supplies, guide the transformation of the raw supplies into an actual planetary base, which would then open up to all for trade and run missions from, thereby helping expand the human frontier.

    Implementation notes:
    • The DPI is a ship available for sale. It's the size of a Type 9 (and similar looking) though it has no changeable internals; it's basically a fixed ship that, when landed, can open up into a small planetary installation. It carries a Sidewinder inside to allow the commander to fly back to another base and start hauling supplies. The commander can select what kind of economy they're hoping to support, which might impact where they deploy. (Deploying an extraction base on a depleted rock is going to make it a lot harder to grow.)
    • Only one is available to a commander at a time. If they have a base, they can't purchase another one until they formally abandon the first, which makes it permanently uninhabitable, unless a faction moves into the system, at which point it could be automatically re-activated as a new planetary base for that faction. All references to the founding commander would be lost.
    • Inactive bases could still have a POI marker, with a note of the original name and the date of founding.
    • While active, these would be partially exempt from the BGS. The commander faction would always have at least 51% control over the base (and would never expand outside of it) though any other potential factions present in the future could have a presence on the base.
    • At first, the installation would only have a small landing pad, but with enough supplies it could add a medium pad, then a large pad (as well as secondary pads).
    • The station will not allow itself to be deployed within 10 km (or some decent number) of another station.
    • In terms of base-building, the commander, as the station grows, can opt to spend time upgrading other station amenities, such as station security (want some security ships flying around? Deliver the right goods. Want some Vipers instead of a Sidewinder running patrol? Time to invest!) Also, adding the capability to host missions or passenger missions would require investment (i.e. deliver) of goods and resources. A shipyard could be available as time grows, but the selection of ships available would have to be unlocked (with Federation or Imperial ships available only if you align your player base with them.)
    • The commander can also set the type of faction they have on the base. They could run a dictatorship or have anarchy or even run a cooperatire faction. Again, this player faction would not expand out of the base itself.

  2. #2
    (Figured I should post in here too, but maybe you should link the reddit thread?)

    Doubtful if this will ever happen and there are more other pressing matters to improve, but at some point FDev might realise that more social interaction will get more people playing and especially play more together. They already have player factions which tbh is in need of massive improvements and this could be part of it. (Well, we can dream at least).

    Some thoughts/ideas:

    • Name it after the player like "<CMDR>'s Base" or something like that to avoid outrageous names and moderation-nonsense (the workload of custom names would simply be too much).
    • Make it an independent base by default without other factions (I'm sure that'd be a BGS nightmare), but you could join/assign it a player faction. Then perhaps of whatever resource you're producing a percentage could be automatically shipped to the player faction main station (i.e. the station gets a bit of a resource generation bonus). Player Factions will of course need to be improved a bit too and actually allow us to really join up in-game.
    • I like the ability to start with a small landing pad and the ability to unlock better tiers (by usage) and/or improve (by upgrading the ship) to the medium and large landing pads later on.
    • To add to this progression of your base-unpacking-ship, have these three tiers also improve other things. Like a bit better resource production, as well as the percentage that gets shipped to a player faction you joined (like S=5%, M=12%, L=20%), "automatically" by your faction's NPC ships.
    • Perhaps the receiving player faction could somewhat influence selling pricing of these additional resources for their members/public (like +3% or -5% of galactic average etc).
    • Or maybe they could use these resources to unlock/add 1 or 2 additional station services they don't have yet (stock broker, materials trader, outfitting, w/e), though at fairly high costs perhaps depending on members-count/tiers. (like 200k of each raw-material for a material broker, more progression of co-op goals).
    • Maybe it would be best to only make it possible to set up camp in a system you fully discovered yourself, to make sure it's not inside the bubble and more of a explorer's camp. (less possible BGS influence, which might become a concern if a ton of players set up camp in a single system). And I think if the quality of the system could be counted towards the list of possible resources/rates you can choose from to produce, that'd be nice to drive the need to explore for a really good system too.
    • Instead of disbanding old bases (planetary littering) maybe it'd be better to allow packing up your camp and finding a new spot, limited to once a month (Less clutter and data to keep from a developer/database-viewpoint).
    • I'd also be fine with landing pads that don't go down into the ground (possible terrain issues), have them be more like explorer/surveying camps that are meant to be temporary. People will likely want to move from time to time anyway.


    Not that I wouldn't like a ton of different production facilities and fully expandable bases and such, I think that would just be too much. That's like adding 90% of the X: Reunion game into Elite. A space-camper that's much more simpler which you can pack up and go, that's something I could see happening eventually.

  3. #3
    Originally Posted by TheOriginalB View Post (Source)
    In late 3304, the combined governments of humanity agreed that they needed to increase the sphere of influence of human-controlled space. Colonia was a great start, but it was too far to manage centrally; those leaving for the new world(s) likely weren't coming back. Rather, they needed to open up new planets nearby - ostensibly to create new trade routes, but a second, less publicized reason, was to create a new frontier that could further buffer the core systems from external attacks.

    To that end, the major design corporations were tasked with implementing deployable planetary installations (DPIs) - basically self-building landing pads - that carried everything needed to build a landing pad and start converting raw materials into an installation. Each represented a design aesthetic, though Core Dynamics and Gutamaya had versions only available to appropriately ranked member of the Federation and Empire, respectively.

    These deployable planetary installations weren't cheap, and they were bulky, but enterprising commanders were encourage to carve out their own space - their own kingdom - out on the fringes of the bubble. Once deployed in a spot - and the DPIs were locked on sale to only be deployable at least 150 light years from Sol - they could be accessed by the Commander, who would, as he or she delivered supplies, guide the transformation of the raw supplies into an actual planetary base, which would then open up to all for trade and run missions from, thereby helping expand the human frontier.

    Implementation notes:
    • The DPI is a ship available for sale. It's the size of a Type 9 (and similar looking) though it has no changeable internals; it's basically a fixed ship that, when landed, can open up into a small planetary installation. It carries a Sidewinder inside to allow the commander to fly back to another base and start hauling supplies. The commander can select what kind of economy they're hoping to support, which might impact where they deploy. (Deploying an extraction base on a depleted rock is going to make it a lot harder to grow.)
    • Only one is available to a commander at a time. If they have a base, they can't purchase another one until they formally abandon the first, which makes it permanently uninhabitable, unless a faction moves into the system, at which point it could be automatically re-activated as a new planetary base for that faction. All references to the founding commander would be lost.
    • Inactive bases could still have a POI marker, with a note of the original name and the date of founding.
    • While active, these would be partially exempt from the BGS. The commander faction would always have at least 51% control over the base (and would never expand outside of it) though any other potential factions present in the future could have a presence on the base.
    • At first, the installation would only have a small landing pad, but with enough supplies it could add a medium pad, then a large pad (as well as secondary pads).
    • The station will not allow itself to be deployed within 10 km (or some decent number) of another station.
    • In terms of base-building, the commander, as the station grows, can opt to spend time upgrading other station amenities, such as station security (want some security ships flying around? Deliver the right goods. Want some Vipers instead of a Sidewinder running patrol? Time to invest!) Also, adding the capability to host missions or passenger missions would require investment (i.e. deliver) of goods and resources. A shipyard could be available as time grows, but the selection of ships available would have to be unlocked (with Federation or Imperial ships available only if you align your player base with them.)
    • The commander can also set the type of faction they have on the base. They could run a dictatorship or have anarchy or even run a cooperatire faction. Again, this player faction would not expand out of the base itself.
    The idea that you can fly to x location and set up a little home where you want to, does have its appeal, and allowing you to invest to get it build up would be cool.
    That said, they definitely need to not be a part of BGS, maybe instead paying local faction if any x amount to live there if in populated space, and if not then nothing, but instead upgrading it would be more expensive, given no infrastructure from near by factions?
    Building it, upgrading it, basically making it a home could be quite cool, though it really needs to have minimal, preferably no impact on the BGS as such, sure it could give the owner themselves and themselves only some advantages as suggested factions in that system might give price reductions of some items.
    But it definitely needs to take a long while or else people would just pop around with bases where they wanted a discount on a ship or similar.
    But a player 'home' really shouldn't generate a faction.

    Instead give the player factions a similar ability, only in this case, allow them to build bigger and to build upgrade improve e.t.c an actual home base, heck even a space station if they can afford it (or maybe this needs a planet base to support it) obviously only allow it in 'home' system which are already defined, and which factions already can't get kicked from last I checked.
    Certain advantages could then be afforded to that faction, not only making them an official faction that their members can actually join and which would be displayed in game, but other potential improvements.


    As for clutter as DaftMav mentions, I generally don't see that to be a problem given the size of planets, but yeah eventually a base could become abandoned and indicate such? being shut down or similar?

    player bases, should only allow owner to dock, where faction bases would naturally allow all players part of said faction to dock.

  4. #4
    Just wanted to show my support! Would be really cool to see a planet full of bases, where you could get lost in.
    Hopefully someday we can have tiny bases. Even tiny space stations would be awesome.

  5. #5
    I did post this on Reddit (as DaftMav mentioned), and there's been a bunch of great feedback, and an unsurprising amount of suppor.

    I think what I like about this idea is that it's one of the many ideas for giving players a home. It's a game about being out in the stars, but many of us would like to have a little strip of land to call our own and come back to. We're not the heroes or major characters in the Elite universe, but, after years of space trading, we've made enough to establish our own small outpost on the frontier.

  6. #6
    If its part of the BGS it will have to be attached to a faction and therefore wont be "yours". And if its part of the BGS someone will nick it on you anyway. someone... shifty eyes.

  7. #7
    I'll put my reddit response here too. ;-

    This idea has been banging about the forums for ages. I think everyone can see the potential about a Planetbase game where you can build up a base in addition to your ships (ChaosWolf did a fantastic you tube on it).

    However, Adding that would probably be a huge piece of work and would probably be a whole season to be honest. I think people would prefer Atmospheric Landings and Elite Feet (Space Legs) First.

    Don't get me wrong, I would love to see this in game, just I don't see it any time soon.

  8. #8
    I've wanted something like this for ages! At one point I even worked out a system of assembling a base from prefabricated sections carried as cargo (using a custom SRV as a "deployment vehicle"). But I didn't really give much thought to the economics, it was just a place to refuel/repair and stash stuff. This makes more sense.

    I did consider that Frontier would be reluctant to implement a system that lets players leave stuff all over the galaxy. Most of the 400 billion star systems are procedurally generated, so not much data is being stored for each system (though the discoverer of each body in the system must be stored somewhere). However, limiting players to ONE base is a great idea that solves this problem. No need to store any data about bases within the system's record, just have a lookup table of bases (one per CMDR) with the system ID of the base. So when you junp in and the system is generated for you, a quick search of that table will reveal any bases, and the base record will include the physical position of the base within the system (and how well-developed the base is).

    Probably best to limit each player to one "active" base and one "derelict" base. If you make a new base, the old one becomes derelict (and any older derelict is removed), and your new one then develops at double the usual rate until it's as well-developed as the derelict was (as traders gradually relocate etc). The derelict is then deleted (scavenged for scrap) and the bonus disappears. If you change bases too often, the bonus won't help you much, because your last derelict wasn't very well-developed and soon expires.

    This can also tie in with the often-expressed wish to name systems. You get to name your base, and if you're the sole discoverer of the system, you also get to name the system. But if you then move on, the name reverts to the default, so you can only have one named system at a time.

    I can see a problem with the generic Sidewinder idea as a return vehicle: you could be in deep space, needing a fuelscoop. And possibly a better FSD for managing the jumps. And so on. However, this might tie in with my
    Pocket Carrier concept: the colony ship has a dedicated Small Ship Hangar (not capable of in-space deployment) which you load up with a stored small return ship that you have prepared for this. Once the colony ship has deployed, this becomes a shed with a small pad on the roof, capable of holding/launching one small ship. However, where do you respawn if your ship gets destroyed (or you self-destruct) on the way back? If you end up back at your new base, you might be stuck there if you've miscalculated and your little ship didn't have a fuelscoop or whatever. But if you end up back at the last "proper" base, that could be abused to simply teleport back to civilisation. So probably best to respawn at the new base. But if you've really screwed up bigtime and end up there in an ill-equipped ship on the far side of the galaxy, you might need a LOT of help from the Fuel Rats! (it would be handy if they could collect you in a Pocket Carrier, ahem...)

  9. #9
    Pardon the length. This is one thing I'm strongly in favor of, and have been for a while.

    I have been wanting this feature in the game since I picked it up in 1.2. I want this far more than I want group/squadron carriers, because "personal housing" gives me:

    1. A sense of belonging to a place that I chose and created. There is no feature like that in this game right now. Yes, you can buy ships, but ships aren't homes or bases in the sense of belonging to a patch of dirt somewhere fixed. Sure, I can pick a station to "work out of," but that's not my home, it's just the station I'm using as a base. They could throw me out or blow me up. My home would never do either one to me.

    2. A feeling of ownership in the game that comes from staking out a chunk of space in it. By having my own base (over having however many ships you want), I feel like I'm actually putting up shop, setting up for business, whatever you want to call it. Either way, I think players would feel much more attached to the game, and especially their base, if they had control over it.

    3. Real meaning for my ranks. I'm an Admiral, a Duke, a "Friend" of the Alliance (whatever that means... I guess we're buds?), I'm closing in on double Elite, yet it means nothing in the game, save access to Shinrarta Dezra, and buying a few ships. Whee. Make it so that rank unlocks bases. More rank, higher rank, better bases. Better trade rank, means more stuff in your market, and better prices. Or better stuff. I dunno... just give a meaning to rank progression other than mindless grind for a few ships. Incredible grind should have incredible payoff. Make this part of the incredible payoff!

    4. A credit sink to plunge credits into. Credits in the game right now have too few uses. Use credits as one of the ways to expand the base, and give us a reason to go out and get some more credits. MMOs need stable credit fountains and credit sinks to maintain a healthy sense of balance. If I sit on a pile of worthless money, I don't feel its value. Give it value by giving me more things to spend it on.

    5. Something to personalize/decorate. Some MMO players love to customize/decorate their MMO huts. There are lots of websites dedicated to customizing MMO housing, and all of the amazing things people have done with just stock components and some ingenuity. (Yes, it's a totally different style of game, but the concepts can still translate!) Personalization would add yet another thing to spend credits on. More need for credits means more reasons to get them, which means more engagement. Or better yet add the ability for players to make their own custom decorations through synthesis/gathering materials, etc. A common but engaging mechanic.

    6. A feeling of control. In a game where it feels like a lot of the time, I have no control over what goes on in the places I dock (or anywhere else for that matter), this would be the ONE place where I'm the boss, where what I say, goes. I would not get fines for loitering. My own station would never vaporize me, unless I asked it to. If I don't want you to dock, you don't get to dock. (Set it so that the owner can give permission to friends, everyone, or no one.) If I want a black market, I get one. If I want UC, I get it. (I might have to clear some seriously heavy prerequisites first, but I get to decide that.) When you dock, you see my ugly mug welcoming you.

    7. A new exploration objective. Players have already hit all of the "-est" points in the galaxy, so it's time for some new exploration objectives. Why not give us personal ones, namely, finding a patch of rock to call my own? I wouldn't mind having one near a redesigned Black Hole, or a ringed neutron star, TBH. But I have to find the right spot, first! This adds a whole new meaning to "personal narrative," IMO.

    8. New mission objectives could also be created. Now that I have my base, I'll have to run a series of missions to get various services up and running, or maybe when I land, I'll run into a crisis, and need to go fly off and kill Pirate Lord Smurfhead or something. Sandy likes to talk about "Personal Narrative," what's more personal than doing missions to protect/build up/enhance/customize my base?

    The problem I have with the squadron carrier is that it brings in all of the drama of guilds/squads/group play, with everyone wanting to be the pilot, but only one person being able to do it at a time. If I'm not the pilot or the owner, it's just Another Thing I Have to Get Permission to Use, that could potentially blow me out of the sky. It doesn't address the lack of individual housing (in MMO terms.)

    Generally, I'm not opposed to the carrier, it just doesn't feel like it solves the fundamental problem that Elite has-- the lack of a "home ground" for pilots, unless we RP/Headcanon one ourselves. Sure, some pilots are great at that, but a lot of us need something more concrete. Personal planetary bases are about as concrete as it gets.

    I want to stop living like a space hobo, and have a place where when I land, the disembodied voice welcomes me home, and tells me I can land on pad 1. The shower is hot, the sheets are clean, and the debris has been swept away.

  10. #10
    I think part of the fun would be flying an ungainly, crummy range colony ship out, right? It would have to be the next size up from L, and less maneuverable than a T-9 with engine damage. It could be able to hold one S sized ship, like a DBX, or a Hauler, or whatever your S size of choice is, to fly out once you've established your base.

    It would also throw down a gauntlet at players who like to see how far out they can establish bases. (How much pain can you take?)

    I also think that the farther out you move from the main bubble, and to a lesser extent, the Colonia bubble, it should cost more/be more inconvenient/be generally harder to get things in, like supplies, people, etc.

    Maybe main-line (normal in-game) assets would be attracted to areas that had a sufficient number of independent bases... that would be an interesting side-mechanic. So if an area of space is interesting enough to enough CMDRs, some enterprising organization might want to build an asteroid base, or maybe a crazy engineer might want to set up shop, who knows? That might make for a fun random element to the game. (Because humans are pretty random creatures sometimes.)

    I mean, they always seem to know when I have one lousy modular terminal left over in my cargo hold, surely they'll find my base with the beautiful vista, right? "Hold, on, he's on to something! Quick, move an installation out here, and let's move some tourists out this way!" "Oh, this is a lovely place, we should set up a colony here!" That kind of thing.

  11. #11
    This is a great idea which I unfortunately have read being suggested many times. Everyone wants it and we can all hope it will come someday. It probably is going to be difficult to implement, because adding bases that all look the same is probably not something that everyone would want, including the dev team. Variety would be nice.
    Personally, I'm more in favor of player owned starports, but planetary bases probably make the most sense, since that would lock it behind the Horizon's Expansion.
    May be you are already planning on making this happen with the next payed expansion, which we would all love.
    Please give us some sort of idea of what we may or may not get, this addition would be fantastic.

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by TheOriginalB View Post (Source)
    I did post this on Reddit (as DaftMav mentioned), and there's been a bunch of great feedback, and an unsurprising amount of suppor.

    I think what I like about this idea is that it's one of the many ideas for giving players a home. It's a game about being out in the stars, but many of us would like to have a little strip of land to call our own and come back to. We're not the heroes or major characters in the Elite universe, but, after years of space trading, we've made enough to establish our own small outpost on the frontier.
    To be fair, your idea is not new, and both myself and many others have made similar post, and there continues to be support for the idea, and frontier has taken it under consideration, is what I think is last heard.
    But no matter who posts this idea, yeah, there's wide support.

    Personally I'm hoping in game bulletin boards in a shape or form is added at some point, to promote more communication in game, see old old old suggestion post.
    And another idea i've suggested might work too, dynamically scaling stations, which in general I think would make the world seem more 'alive'

  13. #13
    I would think the easiest way is to "rent" a base from F-D, for a monthly price of say, $5 USD, for a completed "standard" planetary base they have already designed and implemented in-game, placed at a location advantageous to both the player and the game itself.
    Not only would it advance gameplay, it would ensure added funds for other future E-D projects, create an extended range of refuel points going to Colonia or other future locations.
    Player bases will be able to accept deliveries of materials for further distribution, charge the refueling costs as the established stations are able to do, with those costs then applied to the advancement of station facilities etc.
    These stations could also be used as reference points for POI's in the system, making those places easier for excursions and tourist attractions, (admission charges) creating more profits for the station of focus. (yawanna see? ya needa ticket)
    Eventually when a certain threshold is reached, the establishment of an outpost or starport at that system, which would offer the full services of established outposts - starports.
    -AS A SIDE NOTE-
    Bases, stations, and starports should be built in and by progression, possibly in parts, landing pads, buildings, and the services rendered on planets/moons, as well as varying stages for outposts and starports. you want another landing pad ya got to pay. (payments made by in-game credits).
    This can be set to a monetary/visitation level, you make more you get more.
    This will create interest and attention to those locations, the same as with station repairs currently implemented ingame. (we just added a Large landing pad- we now offer more services (outfitting) - come see the new addition to our base, station, outpost etc.)

  14. #14
    I have an idea: rather than making the colony ship similar in size to existing large ships, why not make it bigger, and undockable?

    You order one from the Shipyard menu, but then you have to wait for it to be assembled/delivered (like waiting for a ship transfer). When it arrives, it's floating in space outside the station, and you have to take a small ship out to it and land on the built-in small pad. This effectively ensures that you can't go anywhere without a return ship onboard. But if the ship you use doesn't have a fuel scoop and you're heading into deep space, that's your own fault (obviously the colony ship itself would need a fuel scoop).

  15. #15
    Originally Posted by IPFreely View Post (Source)
    I would think the easiest way is to "rent" a base from F-D, for a monthly price of say, $5 USD, for a completed "standard" planetary base they have already designed and implemented in-game, placed at a location advantageous to both the player and the game itself.
    Not only would it advance gameplay, it would ensure added funds for other future E-D projects, create an extended range of refuel points going to Colonia or other future locations.
    Player bases will be able to accept deliveries of materials for further distribution, charge the refueling costs as the established stations are able to do, with those costs then applied to the advancement of station facilities etc.
    These stations could also be used as reference points for POI's in the system, making those places easier for excursions and tourist attractions, (admission charges) creating more profits for the station of focus. (yawanna see? ya needa ticket)
    Eventually when a certain threshold is reached, the establishment of an outpost or starport at that system, which would offer the full services of established outposts - starports.
    -AS A SIDE NOTE-
    Bases, stations, and starports should be built in and by progression, possibly in parts, landing pads, buildings, and the services rendered on planets/moons, as well as varying stages for outposts and starports. you want another landing pad ya got to pay. (payments made by in-game credits).
    This can be set to a monetary/visitation level, you make more you get more.
    This will create interest and attention to those locations, the same as with station repairs currently implemented ingame. (we just added a Large landing pad- we now offer more services (outfitting) - come see the new addition to our base, station, outpost etc.)
    You and I disagree on having to rent the base, but I'd love to see base customizations available in the Frontier store to help support this. Large neon vanity sign? Fake Thargoid ship overhead? Massive pyramid with a light beam shooting into the sky? All available to buy.

    You and I do agree on having the station/base built by progression. My personal goal would be to start with a small pad and a building by default, then have it grow (in ways you control) as you deliver materials and supplies. That would be hours of fun!

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