Focused Feedback - PC Participants

I think it's from Refinery stations, not Extraction. Also, as it's a Beta and you haven't visited many systems to get trade data (unlike your situation in the live game), it may be difficult to use the market tools at the moment. Probably best to just head for the nearest Refinery for testing purposes.

EDIT - here you go...
I've been to refinery, extraction, and refinery and extraction stations and it's not always there. Seems there is no way to guarantee a place to buy tritium.
 
Overall:

(y)
  • I like some of the game play avenues that this could provide.
  • Sound design is great as usual.
  • I like the look of the carriers but I hope there is a LOT more variation available, eg paintjobs, COVAS, banners, Carrier Kits etc. Make them really feel unique.
  • I love the mobile base idea but it's not quite there yet.

(n)
  • The costs are still too high in various area's (see below).
  • As an owner, the carrier does nothing to make me feel special, no special coloured landing pad light. No special voice comms or flavour audio, no extra module storage. It needs to do more to celebrate the owner being there.
  • There are no 'mates rates' settings on the tariffs. I want zero tariffs for friends and x% for everyone else.
  • Ship/Module Bundles are too restrictive.
  • Hard to find Carrier Admin systems.
  • The Flight control voice is horrible. I hope there can be a choice.
  • Your NPC generator still can't make a person of afro-carribean descent with dark skin and afro hair (of any length).

Carrier Use & Features

(y)
  • It was easy to find a purchase point and to find my carrier after
  • Administration feels ok in terms of setting budgets and most of the menus are logical
  • I feel the initial carrier purchase price is ok.
  • I love the jump sequence from outside the carrier (either end).
  • I like that we now get shipyard and module storage as standard. It makes it feel more like a carrier.

(n)
  • I found it difficult to find a carrier admin system. I set the filter to Carrier Services but there's no special icon for them. I had to find a list here on the forums.
  • I should be able to set individual tariffs for friends, Squadron and the Public, not a flat percentage for all.
  • Why do I need a ship to move fuel from storage to the Fuel Depot?! This needs to change. Give us a button on the Carrier admin to tell one of our minions to move the fuel.
  • We've got a massive carrier with lots of space; why no extra module storage?! 120 slots is tiny. I think most longtime players are using extra ships to hold engineered modules. Module storage needs to be north of 500 items at a minimum and a carrier is a good place to provide the extra space.
  • I don't like the module and ship bundles. Especially the module bundles. Why are the tiers exclusive?! Why can't I have 2 and 3 for example? On some of the bundles the price tops 1-2b credits for tier 3! If we must have bundles, why not lower the quantity of items within the bundle and let us buy multiples if needed so the cost of entry is lowered.
  • In all cases we need bulk prices so we pay less than cost and can make a profit
Costs

(y)
  • 5b purchase price is ok I guess. I would obviously prefer less of an outlay but it will do.

(n)
  • Everything else price wise is far too high and I don't see why any sane player would buy items from a carrier for the most part.
  • Service costs should be slightly lower. Maybe 30-50% less.
  • Upkeep costs are just too punitive. Personally I am all for zero but, I don't like having to have billions on the carrier to run it and there being no clear way to turn a profit. It shouldn't be both. Either way upkeep should only be calculated when the owner is actually playing the game. I'm in my 40's, I exercise, I socialise, I play other games. It takes too much cash to maintain as is. Something needs to give.
  • Ship and module prices need to be less than what a station can sell for, less that a powerplay discount or how are we supposed to make money from those services? It's just a waste.
 
So I own a carrier, I am the boss, it's full of staff that I pay for. why does the boss have to fly back to his carrier from god knows where and manually transfer fuel from a station or even more ridiculous from the cargo racks to the tanks while the crew has a cuppa tea before their nap? Buy a pipe from screwfix! Remote refuelling and automated tritium transfer from stations please.
 
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  • I found it difficult to find a carrier admin system. I set the filter to Carrier Services but there's no special icon for them. I had to find a list here on the forums.
This is the biggest disappointment of the Beta Blowout ... I get my carrier, but it's pushed out of an admin system and it is difficult to find one on the map, let alone one that is not cluttered up with abandoned carriers :(
 
Will keep this short and sweet since all the major points I think people have already hit, just my 2 cents after grabbing a carrier in this "beta blowout":

Liked:
  • Mobile base idea is something I've wanted forever. My "home" can now be my own object and I don't have to "live" at a station anymore.
  • Even without any extra services, there is some utility in owning one just to have a place to call your own, now that ship/module storage is included for the owner.

Disliked:
  • No way to view jump sequence. A minor detail, but super disappointing.
  • 15 min "spin up" for jump time is still too long. Anything more than 5 minutes seems like a time sink for the sake of a time sink.
  • All admin systems have "no empty slots" message when trying to plot route. As such, I have not added any services. If this happened in the live game, after I had sunk 5b+ in credits (and the time it took to get them) into a FC and hit this roadblock, I'd be beyond annoyed.

Thoughts:
  • A player should be able to add services from anywhere, perhaps with a timer on how long it takes before they are usable instead of needing to go somewhere to get the services. I realize going to an "admin" system to set them up makes some degree of logical sense lore-wise, but good game-play should win out over "simulation" in this specific aspect.
  • Really, it may seem a little bit petty, but any spin up time longer than 5 minutes is unreasonable. Player could maybe opt in to a longer spin up time, say like up to an hour just in case they really want to schedule that far out for some reason (some kind of planned squadron activities or something) but any more than 5 minutes and i'm probably just going to log off and come back later.
 
Upkeep even while offline and force decomissoning is just a failed game concept to me.

Who wants a game that forces you to play(or to gring enough money before) to keep your endgame achievment you worked to get and removing your stuff if you don't?
It is just to remind players to come back to the game and that in a negative way.
There are some other issues as well but upkeep is the only one the has a direct negative effect on the player.

Doing this to remove derelict carriers is just a lame excuse imho.
This could be done otherwise, fox example just moving that carrier out of the game universe until the player returns.
Why not give the player the option the make the carrier non persistent to use for player only, a really personal "personal fleet carrier" and remove the upkeep for the non persistent carrier.

I really like the game and I want it to be better.
 
They are fine as they are now.

  • Upkeep a bit on the low side, but ok-ish still
  • Jump range is ok
  • Shipyard and Outfitting packs could see some increase in flexibility (custom packs would be a nice addition)
  • Decommission time (10 weeks apparently) should be lowered to about 4-5 weeks - since the loss of credits at decommission is almost zero, there is no point of having a long decommission time.
 
Been playing with the carriers for a while, and while I find the UI acceptable it would be nice if the owner didn't have to pay the tariff on their own carrier, also option to disable it for wing/friends/squadron would make a lot of sense. Second, some more flair when it comes to the docking with it would be nice instead of getting general, same for everyone else voice line, maybe some different lights on docking pads. Also, I guess it's only due to it being beta, but having the name of the ship shown on it would be a nice touch. Last maybe an option to have reserved landing pads for the owner/wing.
 
A curious thing, not sure if it's a bug or just an oversight, when you purchase your carrier and get the "View Carrier Location" button at the bottom, the screen you're taken to does not allow you to set a route (or even select the system) to your carrier. Likewise in the message you receive you cannot then target or set a route to your new carrier location. You have to do it in a round about fashion. Open the galaxy map, remember the system and plot a route. This could be greatly improved if we could just set a course from the carrier's interface or the 'new carrier mail'.

A problem brought up in Beta 1 that still hasn't been fixed. Without the ability to change personnel and services from outside a Carrier Admin system it is possible to be blocked out of those systems because they are full of other carriers, thus rendering your carrier inoperable.

Another issue left over from Beta 1 is that the slider option you've gone with for budget allocation is a lazy solution. It's sloppy and being based as a % of the total balance is prone to consistent inaccuracy. As soon as the balance changes from sales or purchases the funds allocated to upkeep is also changed as a result. Meaning this could result in a gross over-allocation or worse an under-allocation of funds towards it's maintenance.

Again, an issue brought up in Beta 1 that is still prevalent in Beta 2 is still having no way to remotely transfer tritium from the storage tank to the fuel tank and use it.

To repeat another often requested feature from Beta 1, we should be able to schedule a Carrier jump for a future date.

Without a personal welcome message or something for the owner of the Carrier, they still feel cold and empty. There's nothing really about the Carrier that gives a personal touch. A personal landing pad, a personal greeting, a captain's view from the bridge, there's nothing much beyond setting prices that makes you feel like you're the owner of this great asset.
 
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One thing I'd like to see that I haven't seen mentioned before - some sort of welcome message or a journal on the fleet carrier menu. Right now the only closest thing to something like that is the customisable FC background menu... Which doesn't offer a lot... For example, the owner could write whatever they want in it, like what they're selling/buying, how much Tritium they need to complete their journey, where they're going, what's the purpose of their FC or even just for RP reasons. Right now it doesn't feel like I'm interacting with other players when I land on an FC at all. All you get is a slightly different looking menu to look at. It gets lonely out there in the dark and it'd be nice to interact with someone, even passively, instead of getting a slightly different screen that makes it feel the FC is just another NPC, and not player driven as it should be.

Here's an example I quickly mocked up.
Untitled-2.png


Another thing that bothers me about FC is the lack of communication with other players that can land on my FC. AFAIK, there's no way to check how much player traffic my FC is getting, how many people are landed at the moment, what sort of services they use (except for commodity trading, in a way)... I suppose it'd be hard to be accurate with data because of instancing, but it would be nice in any case.
 
Okay, I'll give my feedback again, mostly on the changes made in beta 2 this time. My initial feedback from beta 1 can be found here, and I'll be referencing it a few times since I don't want to write everything all over again. I'll try to at least outline what I said there as sort of a TL;DR though.
Like last time, I'll be posting this from the standpoint of a BGS squadron leader that will primarily use the FCs as infrastructural support and personal use will only be second-in-line.
With that out of the way:

  1. Still no BGS connection
    I know that many will disagree on this (including probably you, the devs), but I am still sad about the complete disconnect of FCs from the BGS, given that they were initially announced as squadron carriers and player minor factions being one of the big features of ingame squadrons. So we had thought we'd get at least some tools to play with and now we're here, with nothing at all. I still suggest the same thing as in my beta 1 feedback linked above.

  2. Jump mechanics and fuel
    Big improvements were made in this department, especially the jump timers are now at a usable level. Calculated average Tritium usage for a squadron use of the carrier would be around 300 tons per month, which is very manageable and I feel that's okay.
    What I'd still like to see is to have an ability of scheduling jumps hours or even days in advance. Not being forced to do so, but an option. Another thing that both we and the explorer community would like to see is to plot multi-jump routes, possibly in a similar way that flight plans for megaships in the game work. It would greatly enhance the fleet carrier navigation.

  3. Services and their costs
    Improvements were made here in beta 2, but we're still unhappy in several places. For one, the shipyard and outfitting services cost too much upkeep in our opinion. Especially the shipyard costing substantially more per week than the whole base carrier seems absolutely ridiculous to us. All services should have less individual upkeep than base upkeep. We'd like something around 4m/week for shipyard and 3m/week for outfitting at maximum, otherwise it's simply not worth the money for us.
    We also still believe that the commodity market should have the possibility of having both a buy and sell order for the same commodity up at the same time. Stations can do that, so there's no reason we shouldn't be able to.
    Next, I think that the 12.5% cut of the FC owner on the redemption office and universal cartographics services shouldn't be fixed numbers, but instead use the same tariff that we can set for the other services. The other 12.5% that are disappearing magically look like a punishment to us, those services already cost weekly upkeep, they shouldn't take another per-transaction cut as that ought to be covered by upkeep exactly.
    For the refuel/repair/rearm services, I think that all the credits spent by visitors there should land in our carrier balance, and not just the additional tariff, to help those low-revenue services to cover their running costs. They are basic services, so I feel it shouldn't be so hard to break even on those (I feel differently about outfitting/shipyard here).

  4. The upkeep system in general is bad
    Though my above feedback might make it seem like we've given up on it already, we won't tire of saying that the upkeep system is a bad one in general, simply because they're a weekly credit deduction that make carrier reduce overall profitability of an individual CMDR by more than they increase profits.
    My personal suggestion at this point would be to implement a login/interaction timer for the decommissioning system, with an option of paying upkeep to disable that timer for X amount of time. The running costs of everything should only accumulate during active play time and not disregard it entirely.

  5. Miscellaneous stuff
    Cross-platform use doesn't seem to be thought through well on the docking permission side. There should be away to restrict docking access while still letting friends (or alt accounts) on other platforms dock on your carrier. I can't think of an easy solution to this one, but it's frustrating that you have to let every (possibly unwanted) visitor use your carrier to avoid locking out some friends.
    There should be an ability to post some kind of welcome message/statement on your carrier, in a similar fashion to the squadron main page showing the latest statement from the squadron feed.
    There should be some kind of outside view for the carrier jump. The sounds are so awesome, it's really disappointing to not see anything.
    Like many, many people have said, Tritium should be able to be automatically replenished from the cargo hold. There's no discussion here, it's kinda stupid not to have that feature.
    Fleet carrier flight control should have some personalized lines for the carrier owner (and possibly friends/squadron colleagues of the owner).
    The carrier should appear as allied (green) on the radar for friends and squadron colleagues of the carrier owner. Especially since other squadron members already show up that way on your scanners, please have some continuity.
That's it for my beta 2 feedback. I hope at least some of it will be taken into consideration.
 
The idea for fleet carriers: How about a way to blacklist commanders from your ship?

What I mean: So what I mean by this is when you go to carrier management, you are able to set it so only people in your squadron, friends, both or neither of the above are able to not able to board the carrier. This blacklisting system will essentially allow commanders that own the fleet carrier to blacklist commanders providing they know their full name.
So for example; if a friend wanted me to blacklist me from their carrier, they would type out ForwardUntoSean in the blacklist section and select blacklist. I will then be alerted that if I dropped near the carrier, I have a 20 second (or more) warning to get away from the carrier, or I will die within my ship. I can drop near the ship but I must stay away from the carrier at all costs. I'm thinking the range for this warning should be 7500 or maybe closer?

Either way this could be a good feature to deny certain commanders from gaining access to your carrier and carrier services etc as there are some people you do not wish to see onboard your carrier.
 
So here are my thoughts:
  • Upkeep: I might buy a stock carrier just for myself because I can. Dump 1b into the account and I will still have enough left to by 5 more carrier and upkeep them for another 4 years. So money isn't an issue. What irks me though is the fact that I am paying a crew to stand around do nothing. That's right. Nothing! They are not repairing it, they are not refueling it, they are not moving fuel from the storage to the depot, they are doing NOTHING! But it costs me 5 million a week.
  • Fuel: I haven't mined grindonium in beta, only read reports of others and they mine at about 200t/h. So one full fuel tank is about 5 hours of just fuel mining. Want to fill up the cargo hold too? Give up on life! Or maybe I could get the crew to do that for me, you know, the ones I'm paying 5m a week... nvm!
  • Jumping: One jump at a time, 15 mins wait to jump. No route plotting. Seriously? I got a crew who I'm paying 5m/week to assist me to fly this darn thing!
  • hull wear and tear: costs me another 100k per jump. Water off a duck's back when you can afford one of these ducks, you got a crew who looks after your carrier... oh wait, no they don't!
  • the crew: I can swap their portraits. Now that's helpful. Could I just fire their Arx and not have one of them? I'm doing everything myself here anyway! Would save me 5m/week.

Additional services:
UC: I'm paying 1.5m/week for what again? For the 45m Antenna that I got to put on the roof?
Shipyard: Nope... nope nope nope. Not taking on more baggage.
Outfitting: I'm meant to buy packs of E rated junk for sale? Or B and C rated? At least give me 100 extra items storage or so, then it would make sense to have that on board and pay for it weekly.

Things to take on board:
  • Bridge view please! Paying 5b to stare at a wall in a garage is a bit over the top. Honestly!
  • Crew: What am I paying them for 5m/week? Can I just fire them and do everything myself? Like I am already doing now? Either make them useful or allow us to fire them and reduce the upkeep in the process.
Some examples:
  • Bridge crew: Allows you schedules multiple jumps, might improve fuel efficiency over time.
  • Repair crew: Fixes your ship after jumps & keeps your fuel depot topped up from the cargo hold
  • Shipyard: Better purchase prices with crew on board, else they are "at cost" or plus tax.
  • Redemption office: Staff takes a cut from the redeemed bounties and vouchers, but less than 25%. Without staff, it's 25% cut due to remote.
  • Outfitting: With staff: better prices? Extra module storage? 50 or 100 slots?

  • Extra upkeep for additional modules:
  • Universal cartographic: You buy the antenna, it's yours - no upkeep needed there.

Other bits and pieces:
  • Shipyard: Let us pick the ships we want to sell. No one will buy sidewinders or have the urge to outifit that brand new hauler with C rated modules.
  • Outfitting: See shipyard: No bundles, no packages, we pick the modules, I won't be buying B, C and E rated modules. EVER!
  • Commodity market: I got nothing on this one.
  • black market: Not my thing, got nothing on this one.

The FCs have a huge potential from my perspective, please don't waste it.
 
I named mine "OK, So I Bought One". It sums things up.

After using my feet carrier, and depleting my cash on tritium, I jumped to one of my first discovered systems on the highway to Colonia. Good news: It's a mining paradise, including tritium. Bad news: No customers.

Without proper advertising in-game, and no NPC customers, the ship won't pay for itself. In populated systems, you cannot compete. You need to budget for every item you plan on marketing, so there's a sunk cost, even without upkeep.

The shipyard packages are a non-starter. I deleted my shipyard, after looking at the ships included in them. You should be allowed to pick individual ships.

With a 500 light-year range, you will need a cargo ship to go back to inhabited space to do business, pick up goods, provide tritium (unless you want to Keep Mining), and generally be able to play anything else in the game. The carrier itself cannot go too far out, or risk being stranded. The range of the carrier needs to be doubled. Worse, for explorers, everything within 500 light years has been cherry-picked.

So, I enjoyed my experience with base-building, Elite style. I'm glad that what's in Beta, stays in Beta, because I would tire of it, in it's current form, rather rapidly. Having owned and run a small business, I can see a bad franchise proposition coming...
 
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