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Thread: NPC SLF Pilot Perks

  1. #1

    NPC SLF Pilot Perks

    Aside from flying your SLF, your NPC pilot is a blood-sucking absent irritation that doesn't show up on your bridge and can't survive death when you can.

    What if each NPC SLF Pilot came with a unique perk? Something minor, but valuable.

    Examples:

    2% bonus to PD rates in a single category
    2% bonus to FSD optimal mass
    2% bonus to drive optimal mass
    2% bonus to scanner range (KWS, Surface, or core)
    2% bonus to scooping rate
    2% bonus to weapon cooldown

    etc.

    I think you'd be more protective and connected to that little portrait...

  2. #2
    I am not sure I agree.
    I lost “Mohammed Ryan” yesterday, having taken him from harmless to dangerous fighting bugs.
    Dropped into NHSS TL5 yesterday, it was full of sprouts, including two Inciters and two Bezerkers. They proceeded to beast me, about the time I decided to run with about 20% hull remaining, I got hit with a mega salvo of caustic missiles.
    Made it outwith 2% hull, dropped straight out of SC to try to burn off the caustic goo, but I blew up.
    Turned ED off for the day as a mark of respect for poor Mo, I was a very sad bunny.

  3. #3
    An idea not without merit.
    Does anyone not just hire crew as needed and then fire them when they don't want them? Why should I keep crew around when I'm just off doing whatever. I chop n change my ships dependant on task so I've never bothered to level one up.

  4. #4
    I would like to suggest that once we grow our SLF Pilots to "Dangerous" they get an offer to join the PF. Once we pay the 'Membership Fee", they get a one time use Escape Pod. Upon destruction the pod sends them to your destination, where you can purchase another pod for the traumatized fellow. This would encourage training up and nurturing the right pilot, and introduce an insurance like fee to retain all the effort.

  5. #5
    This sort of thing was discussed quite a lot in the DDF, and something similar even made it into an FD Proposal.

    Originally Posted by Barry Clark View Post (Source)
    • Each ship has a maximum number of crew slots for each type
      • When crew slots are filled the commander has access to a number of benefits based on crew type:
      • Gunner: turret weapons are more accurate and can switch targets to make opportune attacks; the more gunners available, the more turret weapons can gain these benefits at the same time
      • Engineer: damaged modules will be repaired; the more engineers available the more modules can be repaired at the same time.
      • Pilot: the commander can initiate defensive manoeuvres, chase target and travel to location orders
      • Marine: marines will automatically engage ship invaders (requires ship internals update)
    Alas that was back when other non-player entities within the "living, breathing galaxy" were envisioned as much more nuanced. Despite FD's best efforts, what the game gives us now is a galaxy in which the player or players are the only entities with any meaning or persistence, while the rest are just random number generators or glorified autopilots with avatar skins.

    Not that your idea as presented couldn't be implemented, in fact on the surface it seems quite straightforward. IF {crewmember x present} THEN {apply modifier}. But that's all it would be, more stats. I can't speak for every player, but I wouldn't feel any more of a connection to that +10 DMG gunner than I would to the modified weapon she's using.

    If she died and +10 DMG gunners were ten a penny, I'd just get another. If she died and +10 DMG gunners were as rare as hen's teeth because of RNG, it'd just turn into another grind, trawling through the bulletin boards looking for another "God pilot". So what would I feel protective of? The crew member, supposedly another human being in this fictional world? Or the useful modifier that I'll have to spend hours praying to RNGesus to replace if I lose her?

    Gah, maybe I'm just jaded because I get so disappointed every time I'm reminded of the Proposals. At the end of the day it's still a good idea and useful features do tend to creep into this game over time. Every little helps, as they say.

    +1 for reminding us that crew should really offer more than just being a temporary AI wingman who takes a percentage of your profits.

  6. #6
    I like the idea of different characteristics / personalities but they should be more realistic rather than the buffs you randomly picked...

    How about
    - good at pip management
    - good at maneuvering
    - very defensive
    - very offensive
    - fast reactions
    - etc

  7. #7
    Seems like folks would like to get more from their NPC SLF pilots given the costs and loss...

  8. #8
    Originally Posted by Commander Danicus View Post (Source)
    Aside from flying your SLF, your NPC pilot is a blood-sucking absent irritation that doesn't show up on your bridge and can't survive death when you can.

    What if each NPC SLF Pilot came with a unique perk? Something minor, but valuable.

    Examples:

    2% bonus to PD rates in a single category
    2% bonus to FSD optimal mass
    2% bonus to drive optimal mass
    2% bonus to scanner range (KWS, Surface, or core)
    2% bonus to scooping rate
    2% bonus to weapon cooldown

    etc.

    I think you'd be more protective and connected to that little portrait...
    I don't think folk need to be more protective, if you've ever ranked up a crew member then lost them you'll know what an loss it is (due to the investment).

    I like doing more with crew though.

    Looking at your list I'm wondering if choosing a career for the crew member might work, so combat pilot, explorer, trader, miner, surface prospector, whatever.

    The bonuses or abilities are related to the role.

    Or alternatively have the role preset, and you just hire one with the role you want.

    It'd mean there's then a reason to hire multiple crew.

    Also crew should not be paid if inactive!

  9. #9
    The best way to fix the problem is just do away with the problem and NOT kill NPC crew.
    Just sayin'

  10. #10
    Originally Posted by bitstorm View Post (Source)
    I don't think folk need to be more protective, if you've ever ranked up a crew member then lost them you'll know what an loss it is (due to the investment).

    I like doing more with crew though.

    Looking at your list I'm wondering if choosing a career for the crew member might work, so combat pilot, explorer, trader, miner, surface prospector, whatever.

    The bonuses or abilities are related to the role.

    Or alternatively have the role preset, and you just hire one with the role you want.

    It'd mean there's then a reason to hire multiple crew.

    Also crew should not be paid if inactive!
    I like the idea of a career-focus crew member (might even connect with the backstories) - and that the related bonus connect with that career.

    It might make it worth it to hire multiple crew members, if the bonuses applied even when inactive (with no stacking of course). The active status would only relate to SLF pilot availability.

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by Commander Danicus View Post (Source)
    Aside from flying your SLF, your NPC pilot is a blood-sucking absent irritation that doesn't show up on your bridge and can't survive death when you can.

    What if each NPC SLF Pilot came with a unique perk? Something minor, but valuable.

    Examples:

    2% bonus to PD rates in a single category
    2% bonus to FSD optimal mass
    2% bonus to drive optimal mass
    2% bonus to scanner range (KWS, Surface, or core)
    2% bonus to scooping rate
    2% bonus to weapon cooldown

    etc.

    I think you'd be more protective and connected to that little portrait...
    I love your idea about small perks for NPC crew, but these perks should be part of a fully developed npc crew system, and should not all be attached to the SLF pilots we currently have. Different crew members should give us appropriate perks that fit in with their function.

    For that to work we need to have a much more developed NPC crew system.
    Some ships should not even be able to take off without enough crew, just like in Frontier: Elite II. Back then a Python had a crew of 7 and a Panther Clipper had 10 if I remember correctly. I am not saying that we should have the same crew numbers as back then. Perhaps a skeleton crew system could be implemented. I think that for example a Python should at least have 3 crew to be able to take off, but to enhance its functionality you can hire more.


    The following is part of my NPC crew proposal I have posted long ago. I think your perk system would fit right in:

    As far as having NPC crew is concerned I would already be happy if they were just a basic requirement for certain ships to be able to fly.A minimal sceleton crew to get certain ships of the ground and more crew for certain functions if you want/need them.
    I just want them on board. I don't want huge special advantages and I don't want control taken away from me as a cmdr anyway.

    - Perhaps having an ENGINEER might enable a slow auto repair for internal modules, or perhaps the use of fuel might be reduced with 5% Percent. Or perhaps you get a 5% better jump range. Or shields might reboot just a little bit faster.

    - Perhaps having a MEDIC might come in handy when first person action (FPA) is introduced and cmdrs can get wounded. Or perhaps your life support systems function 10% better.

    - Perhaps having a CO PILOT would be required to fly SLF yourself (just like it is now) and the copilot might also enable auto jumping when you have plotted a jump route, and auto approach to a station in a system, and also auto docking.

    - Perhaps having an npc WEAPONS OFFICER would simply improve turret targeting speed by 5%, and/or let weapons run 3% cooler and give you a 5% faster Kill Warrant scanner. Perhaps he might also function as a Drone controller and give some perks to the limpet drones.

    - Perhaps a MINING SUPERVISOR might increase your ore yields by 20% and increase limpet lifetime.

    - In the future we might hire a SCIENCE OFFICER and have a scientific module on board (cool for explorers). A science officer might improve your speed of system and planetary scans etc.and we might take soil, flora and fauna samples and analyze them and sell the data for money.

    As I said nothing fancy or complicated, or overpowered.
    I don't need my ship to become a powerhouse.
    Most important thing is that I just would like to have npc crew.
    Being a soloist at heart I will never play ED with others. I just do not want the social interaction.

    PAYMENT
    ---------
    Of course the current percentages crew get wouldn't work that well as they would eat into our profits far too much.
    And we also need the ability to put our crew on hold when we want to fly smaller ships for a while. Because if you want to fly an Eagle for a few weeks and do a bit of fighter combat then you can't have 4 crew members eating into your profits for doing nothing at all.
    Otherwise we would either get bankrupt very soon, or we would have to fire them all the time (which is already happening now with the hireable pilots).

    CREW SURVIVAL
    ----------------
    Also: Give crew the same survival option as the humans.
    Possible alternatives to killing them off:
    Perhaps if your ship is blown up you can not use your crew member for 3 days, because he is on sick leave, or perhaps you need to pay medical costs, or perhaps there is a 10% chance he dies, but... do not kill him off by default. That makes no sense at all and is counter productive. People do get attached to crew. Use that to enhance the game. Work with that. Build mechanics around that.

    ADDITIONAL GAMEPLAY:
    You could also have crew escape in escape pods, and then, after ship destruction, and when you respawn in a station, be able to accept a mission to pick up those pods with your crew in them.This would add logical and compelling gameplay.

  12. #12
    ^ This is amazing! Iskariot for president or PM (?)!

  13. #13
    Interesting ideas.

    I'm sure the FD version would look a lot like a reskin of Engineers.

    Hire your NPC.
    Gather all the things.
    Upgrade your NPC at the Traingineer.

  14. #14
    I'm all for fleshing out NPC crew more, but I don't really like the idea of passive bonuses just for having them around.

    Originally Posted by CMDR Redcrest View Post (Source)
    Does anyone not just hire crew as needed and then fire them when they don't want them?
    I have three Elite NPC crew, all trained from Harmless.

    Originally Posted by bitstorm View Post (Source)
    I don't think folk need to be more protective, if you've ever ranked up a crew member then lost them you'll know what an loss it is (due to the investment).
    Yep.

    Originally Posted by Suvi Anwar View Post (Source)
    The best way to fix the problem is just do away with the problem and NOT kill NPC crew.
    A cure worse than the disease, at least without other downsides.

    Originally Posted by Commander Danicus View Post (Source)
    It might make it worth it to hire multiple crew members
    It's already worth it as I can immediately field another high rank crew member if I happen to get shot down (rare, but does happen).

  15. #15
    Principle or balance..? Here goes.

    Principle?

    In principle I consider high-rank NPC crew loss to be a completely disproportionate punishment spike, with the only equivalent being loss of long-term exploration data. Which is equally horrible and absurd compared to the credits trivia that applies to everything else.

    Hence that suggests getting rid of the spike via NPC crew (or high-rank NPC crew) immortality.

    Balance?

    Elite NPC SLF is one shed ton of advantage (in PvP or PvE). If NPC's become immortal, before long the game will move towards yet more 'mindless grind parity time wasting creep' whereby everyone will have to schedule ranking up an immortal aimbot NPC to Elite into their personal grind diary.

    Whereas imho we should actually be moving away from aimbot and towards something better, like more sophisticated skill reward.

    So, I can see both sides.