Focused Feedback - Fleet Carrier Owners

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First off, the sound design for the jump sequence is magnificently glorious!

Initial costs: Not a problem I can afford the ~7bil for everything.

Now for some simple ways to deal with some of the problems:
  • We can't see the jump while onboard.
    • Do not force ships into the hanger. Allow us to sit in our ships on the surface during the jump.
      • I realize FD may not have created any in-hyperspace visuals for this, but I'm certain they could come up with something (existing tunnel + black clouds and lightning would be sufficient)
      • This way FD can avoid needing to let us view this from the rear observation platform, which would be nice but probably can't get it done by release date.
  • Jump delay/cooldown is too long
    • Reduce jump delay to 5 minutes
      • You have 2 minutes to get off my boat before lockdown. Else you are coming along for the ride.
    • Reduce cooldown to 30min
      • Why 30min? Because an unengineered A rated Cobra3 gets ~20ly. So a 500ly trip takes about 25min at 1min per jump. FC would be able to do 1 jump every 35min which is still slower than a Cobra3.
    • Cooldown is less important than the jump delay. We need to get where we are going to do what we need to do. Even a 2hr cooldown is more tolerable as long as we don't have wait to jump. 5 minutes is the ideal jump delay having executed a jump myself. Even 10 minutes would try my patience. I'm here to play the game, not wait to play the game. Refueling will be enough of a grind/delay.
  • Maintenance cost is too high
    • 1mil per week base, 14mil maxed out.
      • Suddenly nobody would even care anymore
  • Universal Cartographics is missing
    • If we can turn in bounties, we should be able to sell exploration data. Don't be stingy FDev! Just take 15% off the top like Interstellar Factors do. No BGS excuses either. Just dump the REP/INF into nowhere.
  • Commodity trading should be optional
  • Crew lounge should be optional
  • Remove the No Fire Zone for the owner.
    • I should be able to shoot my own ship and take out pirate scum that comes near.
  • Not respawning on carrier is a confirmed bug, but I'm listing it here for completeness.
  • Jump stages only get to stage 4
    • Possible bug... but 5 should be exit and 6 should be ending of lockdown.
  • Fuel is too scarce
    • Or reduce the fuel cost for jumps
    • Improve station supply of fuel (3t is not useful)
      • Price is a bit steep. Others have done the math. Read their posts.
    • Improve rate for mining
  • Remove automatic decommission
    • Decommission really means "sell" and we should not lose our 5-7bil investment.
  • Can't easily tell which FC is mine in the Nav menu
    • Make it green or mark it as mine so I can find it among all the rest of them.

Slightly less easy things to fix:
  • Separate module selling from outfitting and ship selling from shipyard. These should be separate options.
  • Let people stock modules and ships that they want. No "packs".
  • Let people sell ANY module and ship. If the buyer hasn't unlocked it, they can't buy it.
  • Reduce cooldown to 5min + (ly jumped / 20) = 30min for 500ly jump. In-system cooldown would be 5min.
  • Replace automatic decommission with automatic suspension and remove the FC from the galaxy if the owner has not logged in for 2 server ticks (2 weeks)
    • This will stop all costs and prevent loss of the FC
    • When the player logs in again, pop the FC back in where it was.

Market complaints:

What player commodity market? Do you really think I can buy and sell Biowaste with other players? I don't get this. Except for a few fringe cases, commodity trading between players does not exist. I'm fine with the option for those that want it and I will let them argue for improvments... but I don't see any use for myself.

Ship market is worthless aside from fringe cases out exploring where you didn't bring something with you and want to re-outfit and there is no station within 20kly.
If you want a player market, let us sell FULLY OUTFITTED SHIPS. Let us sell fully engineered ships (buyer would need components and engineering levels unlocked). Let us sell engineered modules. Nobody is EVER going to buy a stock anything from a random player's FC, EVER! If you want a player market, it's in selling engineered stuff and prebuilt ships.


Summary of critical issues:
  • Jump Delay to 5min
  • Reduce running cost
  • UC
  • Viewable jump
  • Auto-Decommission is bad
 
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Ok, so this is the thread where we are supposed to give our focused feedback on Fleet Carriers. Here's mine (as of Beta 1):

I want to preface this feedback with the statement that I think Fleet Carriers are cool and will create a lot of interesting new ways to play and interact with other players. I also feel that the work put into them should be applauded. I know that there are many players that feel that any upkeep cost should be deleted from the game but I feel that your entire system is created around the concept of balance and that to balance out the unprecedented freedoms (a floating city in space that is both a massive force projection tool as well as adding the options of storage and player trade) there should be unprecedented costs (massive upfront cost as well as significant ongoing upkeep).

These carriers are assets on a scale never before available in Elite Dangerous, and as such there should be substantial work required to attain/maintain them, as well as thorough examination by each player before they decide if this investment is right for them. Having said that, I think that there are some ways that they can be tweaked a little to provide a better, while still balanced, experience for your players.

1. You created a product called ‘Fleet Carrier’ that comes standard with a player market but does not come standard with the ability to carry your fleet. I would swap out the Market for the Shipyard in the list of default services so it’s more accurately named.

2. The upkeep costs are, I believe, way out of line. If a standard Fleet Carrier (which is already an entire floating city in space) has a 10 million per week upkeep cost (which I feel is fair and valid, for what it’s worth) then a fully tricked-out one with all the options should cost somewhere between two and three times as much. That would mean about 25 million per week for a fully loaded Fleet Carrier with all the services activated — which, to me, would feel about right.

The basic three services (in addition to running the entire ship) cost 10 million credits. As it stands, the seven optional services come at a cost of 147 million. You’re saying that the additional services cost fifteen times the cost of the basic ones and running the entire ship — unrealistic from an immersion perspective and punitive from a gameplay perspective.

My suggestion would be to reduce all the additional services costs proportionally until a fully-loaded carrier costs an additional 1.5x, or 25 million total cost, and then people could reasonably be expected to exclude one or two additional services and end up paying around 20 million per week for their carrier. As a potential carrier-owning player, that feels right to me.

3. Your announcement stream showed clearly that the price for suspended services was 10% of the cost of active services. However, for Beta 1 you have adjusted that proportion up to a much more punitive 50%.

I believe you should adjust that percentage back down to 10%, and also allow for services to be suspended and reactivated in any system (while still retaining the requirement for presence in a Carrier Admin system for adding/removing services entirely). Gameplay-wise, the point of this option is to provide players with a less-punishing way to add services that they may use occasionally but not all the time.

4. There are, I believe, a few cases where the terminology chosen in connection with Fleet Carriers could be improved. Two examples would be in the Advanced Maintenance screen:

  • ‘Paintworks’ should say ‘Paintjobs’ (for obvious reasons)
  • ‘Secure Warehouse’ should be renamed ‘Black Market’
I know these may seem trivial but I would direct your attention to the video Obsidian Ant put out about Fleet Carriers, in which even he was confused by the ‘Secure Warehouse’ and thought it was regular cargo storage. Some people are calling it ‘the Fence’, most people are calling it ‘the Black Market’ (because that’s what it is) — the one thing that nobody is calling it is ‘the secure warehouse’. When your terminology isn't used by anyone, and more accurately describes an entirely different feature, then it is confusing and in need of change.

5. Ok, so we've come to the biggie... Universal Cartographics. You guys are obviously smart and didn't leave this out by accident, so presumably you feel that the exploration gameplay loop depends on the act of returning to a sale point to unload the data, and allowing it to be sold at a Fleet Carrier would somehow diminish that experience in a way you do not wish.

However, the current implementation doesn’t really give explorers much of a reason to own a Fleet Carrier. Adding one in some way would broaden their appeal, and there’s no good reason to exclude them when nearly all the other station services are included.

If you want to preserve the appeal of returning to the Bubble to sell data, there could be some taxation on the UC data when sold on a Fleet Carrier which would incentivize people to sell their data in a location other than the Fleet Carrier. Many dedicated explorers want to use their carrier to be completely self-sufficient in deep space — that’s a clear use-case for which there is broad support.

In a game where we are encouraged to "blaze your own trail" it just feels better to be able to earn your upkeep costs through your chosen profession than be forced to engage in mining to supplement your budget so that you can engage in your chosen playstyle. I remember very clearly David Braben saying in an interview that he very much disliked the idea of the game forcing you into one playstyle to pay for another. If you allow explorers to at least potentially pay their for their Carrier’s upkeep through their chosen profession, you would be honoring that sentiment well. And as there is already Universal Cartographics on the Gnosis (which is the existing player directed mega ship) it would seem to be within the bounds of existing lore.

If you feel that this is still an unacceptable reduction of the exploration gameplay loop then another option you could consider as a middle ground would be to leave UC off Carriers, but provide a ‘data core’ option. In this way an explorer could ‘save’ their exploration data to the Fleet Carrier, and then at a later date ‘withdraw" this data and then make the trip to an existing sale point at a space station. This would make Fleet Carriers a lot more useful for explorers but preserve the need to return to the Bubble, if you are determined that this be preserved.

6. The spin-up and cooldown times. If the use case of a Fleet Carrier is quick travel with all your assets within the Bubble, then I could definitely see the advantage of having say a five minute spool-up time for the jump drive, and perhaps a commensurate shortening of the cooldown time too. This is a clear use-case for carriers, which isn’t currently supported by the implementation as it stands.

The concern there might be that someone may dock on your Fleet Carrier to do some repairs, step away to use the restroom, and come back to find themselves 500 light years away. One way to address this might be if at any point while docked with a Fleet Carrier (or offline while docked) it makes a jump (or upon login if the jump occurred while offline) the player gets a popup screen telling them that the carrier jumped and is currently at X location, and then can choose to either remain in the system they were in or remain docked on the carrier at its present location. Doing this would address every possible concern I can imagine on the subject, though I admit for some might ruin immersion.

If we are to keep the same two-hour minimum for jump times, the ability to remotely schedule a series of jumps (and the ability to direct my crew to appropriate enough fuel from cargo for this) would be a good workaround. If I am paying a crew millions of credits per week and can give them remote instructions from anywhere in the galaxy, and have hired an entire department for no other purpose than to manage my fuel tank, I should not have to be there in person to remove fuel from cargo and put it in the fuel tank.

By allowing players to remotely schedule a series of jumps and have the crew automate the fuel transfers to do so, the two-hour jump sequence would be less of a deterrent to many. Surely, the whole point of upkeep costs is that the crew manages the carrier as a fully-operational, persistent, permanent platform — even if I'm on the other side of the galaxy?

The last two points I want to make are more observations than focused feedback, but I hope you will permit me a moment.

First, I can’t help but feel that mining fuel for these carriers from ice ring asteroids is a bit of a missed opportunity. I would have loved to see the carrier fuel source come from scoop mining gas giants or from some material mined from the asteroid belts found in so many systems (the ones listed as strips on the system maps without a planetary body). In my opinion these are underutilized assets that could have been put to good use here. I am not, however, privy to your internal planning so perhaps I will just need to wait a little longer to see them used to make for interesting gameplay.

Second, I can't help but notice that your last two new content patches were both very narrowly focused (the New Player Experience patch and now the Fleet Carrier patch), and while I can certainly understand why you would choose to focus on both of these issues, in the future you could avoid many of the complaints of those people who express some variation of "there's nothing in here for me" if you were to pair these narrowly-focused patches with some bonus content that is more widely accessible. If you were to say add a new SLF/SRV variant, or a small/medium ship, I feel that with an admittedly sizable amount of effort (Note: I’m not a Dev so I’m probably making a crazy big ask here but as you guys are smarter/know better I’m sure you can pull one or two more easily achieved tasks from your “widely accessible” pile of potential additions) you would provide a relief of much of this tension.

It's sad to say but it's a very human quality to see a content patch directed at a smallish subset of the game and, instead of understanding that this will in the long run enrich the entire ecosystem and provide for a more robust and rich experience for all players, to instead be petty and jealous of your neighbor’s new toy; and, without one to look forward to of your own, become bitter. Anyways, those are my thoughts as a whole and I would very much like to thank you for reading them.

Again, I would like to thank you for all your hard work on Fleet Carriers which I believe (with some small tweaks) are fantastic content! I hope that you and your families are staying safe in these crazy times and am very excited to see this product mature along the beta process as well as the New Era content that I know so many people are very hard at work on right now.
 
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Some more feedback from an explorer...
  1. It takes waaay too long to mine tritium. This should be much more abundant.
    When I'm out in the black, it should be fun to explore and so finding the tritium hotspot should be the payoff. Not sitting in a mining ship for 5 hours to fuel the next jump.
  2. Jump time is ok, as long as it only takes 2 hours to refuel the ship.
  3. Universal Cartographics is a must. How else am I going to keep this thing running as a base when out in the far reaches of the galaxy?
  4. On that note, must be able to suspend and activate services in deep space, to save CRs and keep her out there for longer.
Ta for now.
AVA.
 
Ok, so this is the thread where we are supposed to give our focused feedback on Fleet Carriers. Here's mine (as of Beta 1):

I want to preface this feedback with the statement that I think Fleet Carriers are cool and will create a lot of interesting new ways to play and interact with other players. I also feel that the work put into them should be applauded. I know that there are many players that feel that any upkeep cost should be deleted from the game but I feel that your entire system is created around the concept of balance and that to balance out the unprecedented freedoms (a floating city in space that is both a massive force projection tool as well as adding the options of storage and player trade) there should be unprecedented costs (massive upfront cost as well as significant ongoing upkeep).

These carriers are assets on a scale never before available in Elite Dangerous, and as such there should be substantial work required to attain/maintain them, as well as thorough examination by each player before they decide if this investment is right for them. Having said that, I think that there are some ways that they can be tweaked a little to provide a better, while still balanced, experience for your players.

1. You created a product called ‘Fleet Carrier’ that comes standard with a player market but does not come standard with the ability to carry your fleet. I would swap out the Market for the Shipyard in the list of default services so it’s more accurately named.

2. The upkeep costs are, I believe, way out of line. If a standard Fleet Carrier (which is already an entire floating city in space) has a 10 million per week upkeep cost (which I feel is fair and valid, for what it’s worth) then a fully tricked-out one with all the options should cost somewhere between two and three times as much. That would mean about 25 million per week for a fully loaded Fleet Carrier with all the services activated — which, to me, would feel about right.

The basic three services (in addition to running the entire ship) cost 10 million credits. As it stands, the seven optional services come at a cost of 147 million. You’re saying that the additional services cost fifteen times the cost of the basic ones and running the entire ship — unrealistic from an immersion perspective and punitive from a gameplay perspective.

My suggestion would be to reduce all the additional services costs proportionally until a fully-loaded carrier costs an additional 1.5x, or 25 million total cost, and then people could reasonably be expected to exclude one or two additional services and end up paying around 20 million per week for their carrier. As a potential carrier-owning player, that feels right to me.

3. Your announcement stream showed clearly that the price for suspended services was 10% of the cost of active services. However, for Beta 1 you have adjusted that proportion up to a much more punitive 50%.

I believe you should adjust that percentage back down to 10%, and also allow for services to be suspended and reactivated in any system (while still retaining the requirement for presence in a Carrier Admin system for adding/removing services entirely). Gameplay-wise, the point of this option is to provide players with a less-punishing way to add services that they may use occasionally but not all the time.

4. There are, I believe, a few cases where the terminology chosen in connection with Fleet Carriers could be improved. Two examples would be in the Advanced Maintenance screen:

  • ‘Paintworks’ should say ‘Paintjobs’ (for obvious reasons)
  • ‘Secure Warehouse’ should be renamed ‘Black Market’
I know these may seem trivial but I would direct your attention to the video Obsidian Ant put out about Fleet Carriers, in which even he was confused by the ‘Secure Warehouse’ and thought it was regular cargo storage. Some people are calling it ‘the Fence’, most people are calling it ‘the Black Market’ (because that’s what it is) — the one thing that nobody is calling it is ‘the secure warehouse’. When your terminology isn't used by anyone, and more accurately describes an entirely different feature, then it is confusing and in need of change.

5. Ok, so we've come to the biggie... Universal Cartographics. You guys are obviously smart and didn't leave this out by accident, so presumably you feel that the exploration gameplay loop depends on the act of returning to a sale point to unload the data, and allowing it to be sold at a Fleet Carrier would somehow diminish that experience in a way you do not wish.

However, the current implementation doesn’t really give explorers much of a reason to own a Fleet Carrier. Adding one in some way would broaden their appeal, and there’s no good reason to exclude them when nearly all the other station services are included.

If you want to preserve the appeal of returning to the Bubble to sell data, there could be some taxation on the UC data when sold on a Fleet Carrier which would incentivize people to sell their data in a location other than the Fleet Carrier. Many dedicated explorers want to use their carrier to be completely self-sufficient in deep space — that’s a clear use-case for which there is broad support.

In a game where we are encouraged to "blaze your own trail" it just feels better to be able to earn your upkeep costs through your chosen profession than be forced to engage in mining to supplement your budget so that you can engage in your chosen playstyle. I remember very clearly David Braben saying in an interview that he very much disliked the idea of the game forcing you into one playstyle to pay for another. If you allow explorers to at least potentially pay their for their Carrier’s upkeep through their chosen profession, you would be honoring that sentiment well. And as there is already Universal Cartographics on the Gnosis (which is the existing player directed mega ship) it would seem to be within the bounds of existing lore.

If you feel that this is still an unacceptable reduction of the exploration gameplay loop then another option you could consider as a middle ground would be to leave UC off Carriers, but provide a ‘data core’ option. In this way an explorer could ‘save’ their exploration data to the Fleet Carrier, and then at a later date ‘withdraw" this data and then make the trip to an existing sale point at a space station. This would make Fleet Carriers a lot more useful for explorers but preserve the need to return to the Bubble, if you are determined that this be preserved.

6. The spin-up and cooldown times. If the use case of a Fleet Carrier is quick travel with all your assets within the Bubble, then I could definitely see the advantage of having say a five minute spool-up time for the jump drive, and perhaps a commensurate shortening of the cooldown time too. This is a clear use-case for carriers, which isn’t currently supported by the implementation as it stands.

The concern there might be that someone may dock on your Fleet Carrier to do some repairs, step away to use the restroom, and come back to find themselves 500 light years away. One way to address this might be if at any point while docked with a Fleet Carrier (or offline while docked) it makes a jump (or upon login if the jump occurred while offline) the player gets a popup screen telling them that the carrier jumped and is currently at X location, and then can choose to either remain in the system they were in or remain docked on the carrier at its present location. Doing this would address every possible concern I can imagine on the subject, though I admit for some might ruin immersion.

If we are to keep the same two-hour minimum for jump times, the ability to remotely schedule a series of jumps (and the ability to direct my crew to appropriate enough fuel from cargo for this) would be a good workaround. If I am paying a crew millions of credits per week and can give them remote instructions from anywhere in the galaxy, and have hired an entire department for no other purpose than to manage my fuel tank, I should not have to be there in person to remove fuel from cargo and put it in the fuel tank.

By allowing players to remotely schedule a series of jumps and have the crew automate the fuel transfers to do so, the two-hour jump sequence would be less of a deterrent to many. Surely, the whole point of upkeep costs is that the crew manages the carrier as a fully-operational, persistent, permanent platform — even if I'm on the other side of the galaxy?

The last two points I want to make are more observations than focused feedback, but I hope you will permit me a moment.

First, I can’t help but feel that mining fuel for these carriers from ice ring asteroids is a bit of a missed opportunity. I would have loved to see the carrier fuel source come from scoop mining gas giants or from some material mined from the asteroid belts found in so many systems (the ones listed as strips on the system maps without a planetary body). In my opinion these are underutilized assets that could have been put to good use here. I am not, however, privy to your internal planning so perhaps I will just need to wait a little longer to see them used to make for interesting gameplay.

Second, I can't help but notice that your last two new content patches were both very narrowly focused (the New Player Experience patch and now the Fleet Carrier patch), and while I can certainly understand why you would choose to focus on both of these issues, in the future you could avoid many of the complaints of those people who express some variation of "there's nothing in here for me" if you were to pair these narrowly-focused patches with some bonus content that is more widely accessible. If you were to say add a new SLF/SRV variant, or a small/medium ship, I feel that with an admittedly sizable amount of effort (Note: I’m not a Dev so I’m probably making a crazy big ask here but as you guys are smarter/know better I’m sure you can pull one or two more easily achieved tasks from your “widely accessible” pile of potential additions) you would provide a relief of much of this tension.

It's sad to say but it's a very human quality to see a content patch directed at a smallish subset of the game and, instead of understanding that this will in the long run enrich the entire ecosystem and provide for a more robust and rich experience for all players, to instead be petty and jealous of your neighbor’s new toy; and, without one to look forward to of your own, become bitter. Anyways, those are my thoughts as a whole and I would very much like to thank you for reading them.

Again, I would like to thank you for all your hard work on Fleet Carriers which I believe (with some small tweaks) are fantastic content! I hope that you and your families are staying safe in these crazy times and am very excited to see this product mature along the beta process as well as the New Era content that I know so many people are very hard at work on right now.
THIS
 
  • Advanced maintenance does not allow to repair hull integrity separately. Only all at once including repaint. I do not do repaint and proudly wear my scars.
Elite Dangerous Screenshot 2020.04.09 - 04.07.00.32.png

  • I can setup commodity market to buy tritium, it is not clear how can I transfer it to fuel storage.
  • During purchase seems to be more handy to use credits from main account. Transferring them to the carrier is redundant.

Edit: managed to login into issue tracker. Reported as bug.
 
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As many CMDRs stated, that March 26 snapshop is way too old... From the date where the price was announced, and the time to grind that money, many of us were only able to obtain 5 Bcr last week...
Please consider updating accounts balances to a closest date if you want more testers... Sorry, but if i can't buy my own Carrier, i'll not participate in the Beta !
I agree. Way too much money for the Beta. I"m not even sure I'll buy one in the permanent game. Frontier sure messed this up in my opionion. No Man Sky gives you freighter adding so much to the game. I'll be playing that much more now instead of Elite, sadly.
 
On the main FC Management screen where you have an external view of the ship, it turns out that you can use your Store Camera bindings to rotate and zoom in the view. A nice feature that should be made more obvious?
 
Ok, so this is the thread where we are supposed to give our focused feedback on Fleet Carriers. Here's mine (as of Beta 1):

I want to preface this feedback with the statement that I think Fleet Carriers are cool and will create a lot of interesting new ways to play and interact with other players. I also feel that the work put into them should be applauded. I know that there are many players that feel that any upkeep cost should be deleted from the game but I feel that your entire system is created around the concept of balance and that to balance out the unprecedented freedoms (a floating city in space that is both a massive force projection tool as well as adding the options of storage and player trade) there should be unprecedented costs (massive upfront cost as well as significant ongoing upkeep).

These carriers are assets on a scale never before available in Elite Dangerous, and as such there should be substantial work required to attain/maintain them, as well as thorough examination by each player before they decide if this investment is right for them. Having said that, I think that there are some ways that they can be tweaked a little to provide a better, while still balanced, experience for your players.

1. You created a product called ‘Fleet Carrier’ that comes standard with a player market but does not come standard with the ability to carry your fleet. I would swap out the Market for the Shipyard in the list of default services so it’s more accurately named.

2. The upkeep costs are, I believe, way out of line. If a standard Fleet Carrier (which is already an entire floating city in space) has a 10 million per week upkeep cost (which I feel is fair and valid, for what it’s worth) then a fully tricked-out one with all the options should cost somewhere between two and three times as much. That would mean about 25 million per week for a fully loaded Fleet Carrier with all the services activated — which, to me, would feel about right.

The basic three services (in addition to running the entire ship) cost 10 million credits. As it stands, the seven optional services come at a cost of 147 million. You’re saying that the additional services cost fifteen times the cost of the basic ones and running the entire ship — unrealistic from an immersion perspective and punitive from a gameplay perspective.

My suggestion would be to reduce all the additional services costs proportionally until a fully-loaded carrier costs an additional 1.5x, or 25 million total cost, and then people could reasonably be expected to exclude one or two additional services and end up paying around 20 million per week for their carrier. As a potential carrier-owning player, that feels right to me.

3. Your announcement stream showed clearly that the price for suspended services was 10% of the cost of active services. However, for Beta 1 you have adjusted that proportion up to a much more punitive 50%.

I believe you should adjust that percentage back down to 10%, and also allow for services to be suspended and reactivated in any system (while still retaining the requirement for presence in a Carrier Admin system for adding/removing services entirely). Gameplay-wise, the point of this option is to provide players with a less-punishing way to add services that they may use occasionally but not all the time.

4. There are, I believe, a few cases where the terminology chosen in connection with Fleet Carriers could be improved. Two examples would be in the Advanced Maintenance screen:

  • ‘Paintworks’ should say ‘Paintjobs’ (for obvious reasons)
  • ‘Secure Warehouse’ should be renamed ‘Black Market’
I know these may seem trivial but I would direct your attention to the video Obsidian Ant put out about Fleet Carriers, in which even he was confused by the ‘Secure Warehouse’ and thought it was regular cargo storage. Some people are calling it ‘the Fence’, most people are calling it ‘the Black Market’ (because that’s what it is) — the one thing that nobody is calling it is ‘the secure warehouse’. When your terminology isn't used by anyone, and more accurately describes an entirely different feature, then it is confusing and in need of change.

5. Ok, so we've come to the biggie... Universal Cartographics. You guys are obviously smart and didn't leave this out by accident, so presumably you feel that the exploration gameplay loop depends on the act of returning to a sale point to unload the data, and allowing it to be sold at a Fleet Carrier would somehow diminish that experience in a way you do not wish.

However, the current implementation doesn’t really give explorers much of a reason to own a Fleet Carrier. Adding one in some way would broaden their appeal, and there’s no good reason to exclude them when nearly all the other station services are included.

If you want to preserve the appeal of returning to the Bubble to sell data, there could be some taxation on the UC data when sold on a Fleet Carrier which would incentivize people to sell their data in a location other than the Fleet Carrier. Many dedicated explorers want to use their carrier to be completely self-sufficient in deep space — that’s a clear use-case for which there is broad support.

In a game where we are encouraged to "blaze your own trail" it just feels better to be able to earn your upkeep costs through your chosen profession than be forced to engage in mining to supplement your budget so that you can engage in your chosen playstyle. I remember very clearly David Braben saying in an interview that he very much disliked the idea of the game forcing you into one playstyle to pay for another. If you allow explorers to at least potentially pay their for their Carrier’s upkeep through their chosen profession, you would be honoring that sentiment well. And as there is already Universal Cartographics on the Gnosis (which is the existing player directed mega ship) it would seem to be within the bounds of existing lore.

If you feel that this is still an unacceptable reduction of the exploration gameplay loop then another option you could consider as a middle ground would be to leave UC off Carriers, but provide a ‘data core’ option. In this way an explorer could ‘save’ their exploration data to the Fleet Carrier, and then at a later date ‘withdraw" this data and then make the trip to an existing sale point at a space station. This would make Fleet Carriers a lot more useful for explorers but preserve the need to return to the Bubble, if you are determined that this be preserved.

6. The spin-up and cooldown times. If the use case of a Fleet Carrier is quick travel with all your assets within the Bubble, then I could definitely see the advantage of having say a five minute spool-up time for the jump drive, and perhaps a commensurate shortening of the cooldown time too. This is a clear use-case for carriers, which isn’t currently supported by the implementation as it stands.

The concern there might be that someone may dock on your Fleet Carrier to do some repairs, step away to use the restroom, and come back to find themselves 500 light years away. One way to address this might be if at any point while docked with a Fleet Carrier (or offline while docked) it makes a jump (or upon login if the jump occurred while offline) the player gets a popup screen telling them that the carrier jumped and is currently at X location, and then can choose to either remain in the system they were in or remain docked on the carrier at its present location. Doing this would address every possible concern I can imagine on the subject, though I admit for some might ruin immersion.

If we are to keep the same two-hour minimum for jump times, the ability to remotely schedule a series of jumps (and the ability to direct my crew to appropriate enough fuel from cargo for this) would be a good workaround. If I am paying a crew millions of credits per week and can give them remote instructions from anywhere in the galaxy, and have hired an entire department for no other purpose than to manage my fuel tank, I should not have to be there in person to remove fuel from cargo and put it in the fuel tank.

By allowing players to remotely schedule a series of jumps and have the crew automate the fuel transfers to do so, the two-hour jump sequence would be less of a deterrent to many. Surely, the whole point of upkeep costs is that the crew manages the carrier as a fully-operational, persistent, permanent platform — even if I'm on the other side of the galaxy?

The last two points I want to make are more observations than focused feedback, but I hope you will permit me a moment.

First, I can’t help but feel that mining fuel for these carriers from ice ring asteroids is a bit of a missed opportunity. I would have loved to see the carrier fuel source come from scoop mining gas giants or from some material mined from the asteroid belts found in so many systems (the ones listed as strips on the system maps without a planetary body). In my opinion these are underutilized assets that could have been put to good use here. I am not, however, privy to your internal planning so perhaps I will just need to wait a little longer to see them used to make for interesting gameplay.

Second, I can't help but notice that your last two new content patches were both very narrowly focused (the New Player Experience patch and now the Fleet Carrier patch), and while I can certainly understand why you would choose to focus on both of these issues, in the future you could avoid many of the complaints of those people who express some variation of "there's nothing in here for me" if you were to pair these narrowly-focused patches with some bonus content that is more widely accessible. If you were to say add a new SLF/SRV variant, or a small/medium ship, I feel that with an admittedly sizable amount of effort (Note: I’m not a Dev so I’m probably making a crazy big ask here but as you guys are smarter/know better I’m sure you can pull one or two more easily achieved tasks from your “widely accessible” pile of potential additions) you would provide a relief of much of this tension.

It's sad to say but it's a very human quality to see a content patch directed at a smallish subset of the game and, instead of understanding that this will in the long run enrich the entire ecosystem and provide for a more robust and rich experience for all players, to instead be petty and jealous of your neighbor’s new toy; and, without one to look forward to of your own, become bitter. Anyways, those are my thoughts as a whole and I would very much like to thank you for reading them.

Again, I would like to thank you for all your hard work on Fleet Carriers which I believe (with some small tweaks) are fantastic content! I hope that you and your families are staying safe in these crazy times and am very excited to see this product mature along the beta process as well as the New Era content that I know so many people are very hard at work on right now.
Um. Yeah. So, ++++ to everything said here.
 
Just a query having read most of this thread.

Many testers are asking for a UD service. That could help overcome the problem with maintenance costs for explorers, but there are other problems with using an FC for exploration - refuelling by mining and spool and cool down times mainly.

However on the UD service, doesn't this mean the owner (explorer) will be selling the data to himself? I.e. the data purchase credits the owner receives will just decrease the FC bank when the purchase is made, the deposit of the credits by the owner back to the FC just replaces what has been spent by the FC? Won't UD service only work if the money comes from a third party?

Have I missed the point? (I'm not that bright).
 
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It was my understanding from the Fleet Carrier reveal that you could act as an interstellar faction so that players could pay off their bounties. We just had one of our wingman shoot the FC and it fined him 400 credits as it beat his corvette. He managed to get away with 0 shields and 0 haul. Not sure how. He left and came back, docked and there was no "interstellar factions" to pay off his fines. Is this turned off?
 
So turns out FC work less like a big ship but a mobile station. Not what I am expecting but that is ok. Without having to do huge change to the current system (though alot are to be desired),
I suggest 2 simple changes that make Fleet Carriers actually useable. They won't be any major system changes, just switching the numbers.

1. upkeep cost need to be greatly reduced.
at current state a "functional" FC with refueling and shipyard etc will cost over a hundred million per week in upkeep cost, considering FC BARELY generate any credits by itself, the only way to support this thing now is to have a squadron of players mining everyweek. And even then the benefit of having one for squadron is very little.
We already have to pay 5 billion for this thing, no one wants to keep grinding just to keep it running.

2. As a mobile base of operation, the current build up/cooldown time is simply far too long.
When I decided where to go with my squadron, waiting for a whole hour is not practical at all.
It is literally faster to fly over there and transfer my other ships over. Rendering it barely useful in group play. I would suggest a 15mins in buildup time, cooldown can be longer, 30 mins might work.

I know it is not realistic at this point to ask for a full FC overhual, but ay least these can be reasonably changed.
 
My contribution.

 
[Moved from previous thread]

Been playing the beta a bit, so I figured I'd share my thoughts to start.
I generally play solo or private group with a small group of friends.
I've got a bunch of ships, and enough cash to buy a FC and then some.

Things I like:
1)
FC are pretty cool in general, and having my own means I can move it around to help me do something to help me in the "present" moment.
2) I love the sounds and effects when the ship moves.
3) Player trading is implemented in mostly a fair way, through the commodity market. Although the risk of dumping credits to others is still there.
4) CQC queue. This is pretty great for the game in general. I feel like I can finally break from my regular stuff and do this ad-hoc without having to wait on a join screen for a long time.

Things I don't like:
1)
Upkeep costs are too high. They need to be reduced significantly (down to 5-10% of what they are now) or removed for any of them to really be worth the trouble except for in extreme circumstances. Honestly I'd rather let the crew take a % cut of the tariff profits earned by the carrier instead of paying them a huge monthly fee that will eventually ruin me. NPCs need to be interacting with FCs and actually earning real profits for the FC for any of these services to be worth it (in the bubble).
2) Commodity trading only allows EITHER Buy or Sell, but not both. So if I wanted to strategically place a carrier so I can trade commodities, I wouldn't be able to buy low and sell high at the same time. I would have to buy low and THEN sell high, which kind of defeats the purpose of any trade station where the idea is for profit to be made fluidly.
3) Station services seem to be grouped in a strange way such that you almost have to buy into multiple expensive modules for even simple functionality.
a) Ex: If I wanted to set up an outpost for mining, the basic need is limpets, repairs (occasionally), and fuel. Each one of those is a whole separate module. This would be fine if the modules were cheap, but owning one (even in suspended state) is incredibly expensive (only 45% off weekly if always suspended). If services are going to cost us, make them super low maintenance when inactive.
b) Ex2: If I wanted to set up an outpost for combat (of any kind), the basic need is repairs, fuel, limpets (for engineering mats gathering), weapons restock, and a place to turn in. Again, for one of the lowest paying professions in the game, the cost to maintain doing this is a bit extreme right now.

4) No Universal Cartographics. This is kind of self-explanatory as to why we all want this. We players are often curious explorers wanting to fly out into the nether and see what's there. That's what very often drew many of us to this game in the first place, so why not enhance the experience?
5) Jump costs. Tritium is an interesting concept, but the cost to jump is pretty high still. I realize that based on capacity, the tritium cost is reduced (ex: 500ly is not always 500 tritium, more like a few hundred), but this needs to be something like... 500ly is 10-20 tritium average. I also noticed there's a 10 tritium minimum right now (even same-system jumping).
6) Jump waiting period. Recommend 5 min warning before initiating jump sequence to allow NPC and players off before jumping (making it about 10 minutes to jump fully). No more than 30 minute cooldown, IMO. Or even, fit an exploration module to reduce spinup / cooldown times or something.
7) Need fine tune ability on selecting ships and modules when providing them for sale. Maybe I don't necessarily need to stock 5 anacondas. I'd rather have direct control of exactly what (and how many) of a certain thing I want to stock instead of being locked into packages. Packages could be an option, but honestly I'd like more control. If I want to stock 10 anacondas, why should I also be forced to stock other ships and modules that I don't really want to stock?
8) Carrier Administration systems: These shouldn't be a thing EXCEPT for obtaining/removing crew. Why is my ability to tell my crew they are suspended determined by location? I'm still paying them even when suspended (although I'd argue that maybe that shouldn't be a thing). Also, can't do this unless I am in the CA system (not necessarily the FC). So if I'm out in the middle of the galaxy and my FC is sitting at home trying to collect me money, I can't do any remote administration.
9) Decommissioning: Rates at 90-95% is fair when selling the carrier IMO (same as ships). Any lower than that is not fun. Variable rates based on time owned is not fun. Negative income and basically repossession is not fun.
10) Interface for - and + on commodity market, buying and selling... takes forever. I literally spent 10 minutes holding down + to get LTDs at production current market levels.
11) Entering a FC instance usually puts me out somewhere like 10-12km out from it, making me boost over a bit more than I'd like. It would be nice if that was a little bit closer, but not a big deal.
12) Unable to view other FC markets unless docked. Can't purchase market data of current fleet ships.

Bugs I've noticed:
1)
"Loop of Shame" using Throttle in blue without navigation module
2) Accessing Carrier Management from right side ship menu in the middle of jump sequence causes the sequence progression bar to stop moving
3) Accessing Carrier Management from inside the FC for some reason disables my ability to click to select CM menu options. I can still hover over the option and hit spacebar to select it. Actually kind of got stuck in a menu doing this. Accessing Carrier Management from right side ship menu allows for normal mouse clicking.
4) Ghost FC. Saw a FC in System Map and started flying to it. Went into the FC instance to try and land on it and still saw a marker where it should be inside the instance. However, the FC was not there. Shortly after it disappeared from the system map. Was in Solo when this happened. Maybe I caught it right before it was jumping, but I'm just speculating at that point.
5) When I select to navigate to my FC in a system with multiple FC, the navigation/route icon shows above ALL the ships around that same body/location.
6) When clicking around on the commodity market (Manage Market) Buy Price / Maximum Stock - and +, somehow it glitched and displayed a large negative value on the "allocated credits for this commodity" (even though I had millions in it). The Buy Price somehow ended up at 0%. I haven't been able to replicate it yet.
7) After jumping the FC from Kruger 60 to a different system and flying back to Kruger 60 in a normal ship, my FC waypoint was still a targetable location in space (in supercruise), but did not exist in the System Map or the left panel Navigation. I was able to drop into this location, but my ship was not there. Similar to bug #4, except it was with my own carrier. The target icon looked like when you target the system star.
Also, my right side panel did this while inside the instance (required a log out to main menu to fix):
20200408235005_1.jpg

Final thoughts:
As a casual player that wants to basically use the FC as a mobile base of operations AND play solo/small private group, I would want to own one of these for the following reasons:
1) Use as a large storage facility when mining/trading/because I want to be a hoarder maybe ;)
2) Make casual profits by maintaining supply/demand chains
3) Fly my fleet out into the black and explore with minimal hassle. I don't mind a little mining here and there, but for the most part I just want to be able to get from point A to point B.
4) Provide a simple place to congregate with friends.

For the investment of hundreds of hours of mining, exploring, and generally playing the game, I envisioned FC as one of the final stepping stones of success. I want it to be simple to maintain, but complex enough to still be able to do a bit of micromanagement of resources for fun and profit. I don't want to constantly grind a specific thing for it. I don't want to be a burden on me in any form or sense. I just want to relax and play with all my cool stuff, and have fun with friends while doing it. It's okay for FC to be hard to get. But I don't feel it's okay for them to be hard to keep.
 
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My concern of FC's is quite overwhelming due to this feedback I am reading at the moment but I'll consider grinding out a few billion for a carrier under these four aspects:
1. Nerf upkeep costs to the ground or getting rid of them altogether. They seriously need to knock a zero or two off those costs to make them somewhat reasonable.
2. Allow universal cartographic on carriers as you have shown us on the official trailer so we can sell our exploration data. FC'S will be entirely useless for explorers without them putting at risk of the loss of said data if an accident happens.
3. The spin-up/cooldown timer on the FCs jump drive is TOO LONG at two hours. If you're gonna make us mine for fuel on top of the cooldown, that timer needs to be 10 minutes tops otherwise it would be crazy to think what we're supposed to do next on that hour of jump/cooldown period.
4. The 1 billion for buying tritium should be nerfed as well and make it more viable to buy it from stations (mining it won't be an issue since it would be found at icy rings with its hotspots)

My only hope is that the devs that are gathering this feedback listen to the players and do as many changes as you chaps see it fit.

o7
 
  • Once you have your Fleet Carriers, we would like owners to try:
    • Jumping the Fleet Carrier to new locations. We would like your feedback on:
      • Preparation and cooldown times
      • Navigating through the Galaxy and System map to plot the route.
Navigation was silently cancelled (i.e. without feedback) the first five times I selected a destination (Borann). It worked the sixth time. The system menu was completely missing from the galaxy map star selector, it turned out that in the copy of my data from weeks ago, this target system wasn't explored and so you couldn't see the system, but it took me a while to work this out due to a lack of feedback, it seemed like the carrier could only jump to individual stars until I tried another system that had been explored.

So I have a destination set. I am now tabbed out of the game doing something else - writing this feedback, in this case, but I guess playing some other game, reading a book, reading poetry to my husband etc. outside of a beta situation - waiting for literally anything to happen in 50 minutes' time. I am bored out of my tiny mind.
  • Using the standard services available to you.
Ship transfer appears to work, although the carrier management menu still says "0 stored ships" even though the shipyard itself shows one stored after transfer.
  • Try out different crew members.
The cardboard cut-outs are successfully replaced with other cardboard cut-outs when you click the Replace button. I have no idea what the point of any of this is. These non-entities have no distinguishing skills from each other and bring me no benefit. I don't need or want to see their lumpy nightmare faces or their identikit names.
  • Filling the Fleet Carrier with Tritium, which you can get by mining Ice Asteroids or purchasing at stations that supply it.
It's ridiculously expensive, or time consuming, or both, to get tritium. Why would I ever bother to travel in a carrier when my own ships can do the job quicker and cheaper? I'm a combat-focused player so I spend 99% of my time in the bubble. Why would I grind hundreds of tons of tritium to make one jump? Why would I pay such insane prices when the ship transfer feature is likely cheaper in the long run? In the incredibly unlikely event I ever bought my own carrier, the chances of it making exactly one jump in its lifetime are very high.
  • With the different services available to you, we would really appreciate your feedback on all of these. We understand that kitting out your Fleet Carrier for your playstyle is important, but it would be helpful for us to see owners try each and every service they can.
Even the process of transferring funds to pay for these services is tedious. The shipyard for example costs over half a billion. I hold to hold my mouse down on the + for over a minute to tick the transfer amount upwards enough for that alone.
  • Carrier Upkeep
    • What are you thoughts on the standard upkeep costs?
    • Does suspending services help with the management of your weekly costs?
I think the upkeep - hours of grind required to maintain even a subset of services - is absolutely insane and there is no way I would purchase a carrier in the real game with the current set-up.

e.g. Fuel typically sells for about 50cr per tonne. The upkeep on the fuel facility is 9 million a week. I would have to sell 180,000 tonnes of fuel at 100% markup just to break even on the fuel facility alone - e.g. 5,625 Anacondas would have to refuel from empty. (Why would any player want to play double for the fuel in the first place? Are you trying to incentive me to form a squadron of players and then actively fleece them all?) Ditto for any of the other upkeep costs. There is no chance of you ever making a profit out of them. I doubt you would even come close to breaking even. So I find myself confronted with this enormous white elephant which only benefits other people's game time, which I have to continue to grind to support. You want me to do the same missions and grind the same asteroids as the last 4 years in order to provide a mini-station that is more expensive for other players to use, supposedly enrich the game world for other players. Sorry, that's not a job I want.

Maximum upkeep for all services is about what, 150 million a week? So it'll burn through my remaining billions in less than a year. Why on earth would I want that to happen?

"Suspending" the services apparently only reduces the burn by 50%. Why isn't it 0%?

Why are any of these numbers what they are? I genuinely don't understand what is supposed to be attractive about any of this.

Other feedback: Why are the panels so hard to read? What is with that disabled-looking dark grey text on a darker grey background?

View attachment 168172

Lastly - why are NPCs landing on this thing? They won't buy fuel or trade in services apparently - a ton of NPCs have docked and taken off while I'm waiting for the jump and if I didn't already know that carriers are dead to NPCs, it'd be clear from my unchanging carrier balance that they are contributing precisely nothing to this enterprise. So they are just taking up landing pad space. It would be nice to able to ban them from landing if they're just going to get in the way.
#Signed
 
[Moved from previous thread]

Been playing the beta a bit, so I figured I'd share my thoughts to start.
I generally play solo or private group with a small group of friends.
I've got a bunch of ships, and enough cash to buy a FC and then some.

Things I like:
1)
FC are pretty cool in general, and having my own means I can move it around to help me do something to help me in the "present" moment.
2) I love the sounds and effects when the ship moves.
3) Player trading is implemented in mostly a fair way, through the commodity market. Although the risk of dumping credits to others is still there.
4) CQC queue. This is pretty great for the game in general. I feel like I can finally break from my regular stuff and do this ad-hoc without having to wait on a join screen for a long time.

Things I don't like:
1)
Upkeep costs are too high. They need to be reduced significantly (down to 5-10% of what they are now) or removed for any of them to really be worth the trouble except for in extreme circumstances. Honestly I'd rather let the crew take a % cut of the tariff profits earned by the carrier instead of paying them a huge monthly fee that will eventually ruin me. NPCs need to be interacting with FCs and actually earning real profits for the FC for any of these services to be worth it (in the bubble).
2) Commodity trading only allows EITHER Buy or Sell, but not both. So if I wanted to strategically place a carrier so I can trade commodities, I wouldn't be able to buy low and sell high at the same time. I would have to buy low and THEN sell high, which kind of defeats the purpose of any trade station where the idea is for profit to be made fluidly.
3) Station services seem to be grouped in a strange way such that you almost have to buy into multiple expensive modules for even simple functionality.
a) Ex: If I wanted to set up an outpost for mining, the basic need is limpets, repairs (occasionally), and fuel. Each one of those is a whole separate module. This would be fine if the modules were cheap, but owning one (even in suspended state) is incredibly expensive (only 45% off weekly if always suspended). If services are going to cost us, make them super low maintenance when inactive.
b) Ex2: If I wanted to set up an outpost for combat (of any kind), the basic need is repairs, fuel, limpets (for engineering mats gathering), weapons restock, and a place to turn in. Again, for one of the lowest paying professions in the game, the cost to maintain doing this is a bit extreme right now.

4) No Universal Cartographics. This is kind of self-explanatory as to why we all want this. We players are often curious explorers wanting to fly out into the nether and see what's there. That's what very often drew many of us to this game in the first place, so why not enhance the experience?
5) Jump costs. Tritium is an interesting concept, but the cost to jump is pretty high still. I realize that based on capacity, the tritium cost is reduced (ex: 500ly is not always 500 tritium, more like a few hundred), but this needs to be something like... 500ly is 10-20 tritium average. I also noticed there's a 10 tritium minimum right now (even same-system jumping).
6) Jump waiting period. Recommend 5 min warning before initiating jump sequence to allow NPC and players off before jumping (making it about 10 minutes to jump fully). No more than 30 minute cooldown, IMO. Or even, fit an exploration module to reduce spinup / cooldown times or something.
7) Need fine tune ability on selecting ships and modules when providing them for sale. Maybe I don't necessarily need to stock 5 anacondas. I'd rather have direct control of exactly what (and how many) of a certain thing I want to stock instead of being locked into packages. Packages could be an option, but honestly I'd like more control. If I want to stock 10 anacondas, why should I also be forced to stock other ships and modules that I don't really want to stock?
8) Carrier Administration systems: These shouldn't be a thing EXCEPT for obtaining/removing crew. Why is my ability to tell my crew they are suspended determined by location? I'm still paying them even when suspended (although I'd argue that maybe that shouldn't be a thing). Also, can't do this unless I am in the CA system (not necessarily the FC). So if I'm out in the middle of the galaxy and my FC is sitting at home trying to collect me money, I can't do any remote administration.
9) Decommissioning: Rates at 90-95% is fair when selling the carrier IMO (same as ships). Any lower than that is not fun. Variable rates based on time owned is not fun. Negative income and basically repossession is not fun.
10) Interface for - and + on commodity market, buying and selling... takes forever. I literally spent 10 minutes holding down + to get LTDs at production current market levels.
11) Entering a FC instance usually puts me out somewhere like 10-12km out from it, making me boost over a bit more than I'd like. It would be nice if that was a little bit closer, but not a big deal.
12) Unable to view other FC markets unless docked. Can't purchase market data of current fleet ships.

Bugs I've noticed:
1)
"Loop of Shame" using Throttle in blue without navigation module
2) Accessing Carrier Management from right side ship menu in the middle of jump sequence causes the sequence progression bar to stop moving
3) Accessing Carrier Management from inside the FC for some reason disables my ability to click to select CM menu options. I can still hover over the option and hit spacebar to select it. Actually kind of got stuck in a menu doing this. Accessing Carrier Management from right side ship menu allows for normal mouse clicking.
4) Ghost FC. Saw a FC in System Map and started flying to it. Went into the FC instance to try and land on it and still saw a marker where it should be inside the instance. However, the FC was not there. Shortly after it disappeared from the system map. Was in Solo when this happened. Maybe I caught it right before it was jumping, but I'm just speculating at that point.
5) When I select to navigate to my FC in a system with multiple FC, the navigation/route icon shows above ALL the ships around that same body/location.
6) When clicking around on the commodity market (Manage Market) Buy Price / Maximum Stock - and +, somehow it glitched and displayed a large negative value on the "allocated credits for this commodity" (even though I had millions in it). The Buy Price somehow ended up at 0%. I haven't been able to replicate it yet.
7) After jumping the FC from Kruger 60 to a different system and flying back to Kruger 60 in a normal ship, my FC waypoint was still a targetable location in space (in supercruise), but did not exist in the System Map or the left panel Navigation. I was able to drop into this location, but my ship was not there. Similar to bug #4, except it was with my own carrier. The target icon looked like when you target the system star.
Also, my right side panel did this while inside the instance (required a log out to main menu to fix):
Final thoughts:
As a casual player that wants to basically use the FC as a mobile base of operations AND play solo/small private group, I would want to own one of these for the following reasons:
1) Use as a large storage facility when mining/trading/because I want to be a hoarder maybe ;)
2) Make casual profits by maintaining supply/demand chains
3) Fly my fleet out into the black and explore with minimal hassle. I don't mind a little mining here and there, but for the most part I just want to be able to get from point A to point B.
4) Provide a simple place to congregate with friends.

For the investment of hundreds of hours of mining, exploring, and generally playing the game, I envisioned FC as one of the final stepping stones of success. I want it to be simple to maintain, but complex enough to still be able to do a bit of micromanagement of resources for fun and profit. I don't want to constantly grind a specific thing for it. I don't want to be a burden on me in any form or sense. I just want to relax and play with all my cool stuff, and have fun with friends while doing it. It's okay for FC to be hard to get. But I don't feel it's okay for them to be hard to keep.
I agree with your thoughts 100%
 
Now for some simple ways to deal with some of the problems:
  • We can't see the jump while onboard.
    • Do not force ships into the hanger. Allow us to sit in our ships on the surface during the jump.
      • I realize FD may not have created any in-hyperspace visuals for this, but I'm certain they could come up with something (existing tunnel + black clouds and lightning would be sufficient)
      • This way FD can avoid needing to let us view this from the rear observation platform, which would be nice but probably can't get it done by release date.
  • Jump delay/cooldown is too long
    • Cooldown is less important than the jump delay. We need to get where we are going to do what we need to do. Even a 2hr cooldown is more tolerable as long as we don't have wait to jump. 5 minutes is the ideal jump delay having executed a jump myself. Even 10 minutes would try my patience. I'm here to play the game, not wait to play the game. Refueling will be enough of a grind/delay.
  • Remove the No Fire Zone for the owner.
    • I should be able to shoot my own ship and take out pirate scum that comes near.
These actually are very problematic.
First thing, viewing the jump: Not possible because quite simply, the inside of the hangar animation is a loading screen. I watched a carrier jumping in with 2 wing mates on board and it took them way longer to actually appear in the target system, video of that is already uploading. The carrier model goes into the cloud, stops and just pops out of existance, in rare cases you can briefly see that. Same as with jump in, for a milisecond I saw the carrier model in position before the actual animation happened.

Second, the delay: The devs did explain this on lave raido, it's not possible to reduce the spool up time for technical reasons as the servers need to load and calculate stuff. Only thing that could be reduced is the cooldown.

Third: Removing the no-fire zone for the owner will lead to Gankers exploiting that. Not sure how to feel about this.
 
Since I had just over 5 billion, I tested FC as an owner.
(Sorry for my English. I'm not a native English speaker.)

I like:
  • the design of FC. It's beautiful. Watching NPC ships docking in and out of my gorgeous FC gives me a great feeling and immersion.
  • the size of FC. It's SO BIG and satisfying just by looking at it.
  • the fact that FC consumes around 1t of Tritium per 1 lightyear of jump because I first thought it was gonna consume all 500t in one jump no matter how short the range is.
  • the price for buying FC (kinda). 5 billion is a BIG money, however, it's not unrealistic price setting for me since I'm seeing FC as an endgame content, so to speak.
  • the option to choose who can land and who cannot. When I like to fly with my friends only, I just need to change the setting whenever I want to.
  • the concept of installing/uninstalling services just like modules on our ships. The fact that I get to choose what kind of services I want is A MUST.
  • the sound when FC is jumping to another system. Just like ship's boosting sound, it's heavy and I love it.
  • the Tritium Depot mechanism. This way, I can go mine some Tritium with my friends and go back to FC together for refueling FC and it's a great roleplaying.
  • the paintjob function. Even though beta does not have any option, devs let me dream about applying fabulous paintjobs (and shipkit equivalent maybe?) onto my FC. This is fantastic.

I don't like:
  • the concept of weekly upkeep (especially core costs). After I went through all these grinds, devs want to drain MORE MONEY from me? No, thanks. Please get rid of weekly upkeep entirely.
  • the concept that weekly upkeep increases by buying services. Services are already expensive, why more money after I PURCHASED them?
  • the concept of tariff. I don't think it's necessary because there's no player-controlled economy and I can't find any way to obrain profit out of it. Same goes with service tariff. Just let visitors use them without extra charge.
  • the fact that I don't get to watch FC jump from outside. It'll be so fantastic and mesmerizing to see MY carrier jumps in capital ship style.
  • the spool-up and cooldown time between jumps of FC. Make it 1/4 or half (15 - 30 minutes each) maybe? Waiting total of 2 hours to jump is kinda long.

I want:
  • the FC to be in alliance with minor faction of my choice (just like squadron allegiance settings to a minor faction/superpowers). Also let the player choose to go with no allegiance whatsoever.
  • the FC to be in alliance with Squadron of my choice, just like faction allegiance I mentioned above. If this is possible, then giving some benefits (like discount on refuel/repair) to squadron members could also possible, perhaps? NOTE: it should be controlled FC by FC, not by squadron so that one squadron can have multiple FC, not "one FC per squadron".
  • ship kit equivalent for FC. Customizing my own FC just like doing so on my ships will be great.
  • the FC price discount in the next beta planned in May. I think devs need bigger player (tester) base for this big update. Getting rid of one zero off the price might do well. Right now, only a small number of players are able to afford FC. LET US DREAM ABOUT FC because FC is fantastic.
  • the FC price NOT LOWERED (I'm talking about losing 1 zero kind of discount) in the real release of this update, in exchange for keeping the weekly upkeep staying the same. I will hate it to happen.

Bug:
- I found a bug when trying to access system map via navigation panel on the left-hand side of the cockpit. The game just soft-locks (but doesn't freeze) and doesn't let me do anything. No keyboard/joystick input seems processed. Just the Esc key works and let me close the game. Also, If I wait 15 to 30 seconds after soft-lock, the game gives me Scarlet Krait error message. I already reported this to Issue Tracker.

Again, sorry for my English. I hope devs listen to us and apply changes to the next beta so that we can test it again and reflect to the actual release.
FC will be a wonderful addition to the game. Keep up the good work!
 
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