Some Fleet carrier suggestions:

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I think that most of the mechanics behind fleet carriers are just about right (other than the upkeep), and nothing really needs to change in terms of how the core mechanics work, at least nothing that wouldn't require a massive rework of the entire system. However, most, if not all of the numbers behind fleet carriers are way off and need to be changed.

What is right:
I think that the upfront cost and the cost of services for the fleet carrier is just about right as they are, as long as the other costs are balanced out.

As usual, virtually all of the visual effects and sounds are spot on.

From what i've seen, the UI for fleet carriers is easy to navigate and intuitive, and nothiung needs to be changed there as far as i can see.

My main suggestions:
Upkeep needs to be decreased hugely, preferably removed completely. Period. If there was one thing that I would change, it would be this. Either that, or stop the decommissioning of fleet carriers. As many people have said, it is a bad game mechanic that negatively reinforces people and punishes them for playing the game.

The cool down and spool up times need to be decreased. As it is, the fleet carrier is theoretically slower than the starter sidewinder. The spool up time also makes it impossible to easily join an event or do anything useful with the carrier at short notice. I would say something like a preferred five minutes of spool up, maximum of ten, and around ten minutes of cool down with a maximum of thirty.

The loss of selling carriers needs to be decreased. In my opinion, it makes very little sense as a game mechanic, and as it is it is slightly too complicated for players to understand. Coupled with the forced decommissioning of carriers, I think that the money returned on selling a carrier should be around 95% for the first few days, and going down to a minimum of 80% return on the upfront cost over time. This makes more sense, is more forgiving for players and is easier to understand.

There needs to be some form of implementation with squadrons and sharing costs. As it is, it seems like squadrons were implemented as a check on a list and promptly forgotten about. I would suggest a pool of money in the squadron that can only be used for buying fleet carriers, and cannot have money taken out of it for any other reason.

The shipyard and outfitting spaces need to be increased. Currently, these are the same as stations. I would very much like to see the fleet carrier being used as a way to open up more gameplay mechanics and open doors for players, and this is one of the first steps towards this. Currently, they are way too low to be resonably used by players. I would suggest a much higher limit (something like 100 - 150 ships, and around 1000 - 2000 modules). Either that, or a softer limit that allows players to increase the ship and module limit indefinitely at the cost of space in the fleet carrier or something similar.

Secondary suggestions:
Some of the jumping effects seem slightly off, namely the dust cloud that the carrier jumps into. It looks like a load of textures mashed together, and doesn't really fit with the rest of the aesthetics of the game. My two cents would be to go for a volumetric cloud, rather than what is going in at the moment.

One thing I would like to see implemented would be some form of route planning that the carrier would automatically follow, given enough fuel. This is even more important if the cooldown and spool up stay as they are. This would allow for things like automatic trains that players pay for in carrier fuel, allowing them to travel to a set destination.

I would like the carrier to be reasonably able to break even on any passive costs of running it. This is not through players using it, since the player density of the game is so low and unpredictable that it would be impossible for a player to reasonably turn a profit off players using their carrier. I would recommend something along the lines of a set amount of money earned depending on the population of the system the carrier is in, the services available in that system and what services are enabled on the carrier. This would be a very good counter to the upkeep costs, allowing players to park their fleet carrier in a place it would be able to be completely self sufficient.
I would very strongly suggest against allowing players to make a profit off fleet carriers, since it is more or less a certainty that that feature will at some point be exploited to be able to make trillions of credits while AFK. Instead, I would suggest that excess money off of running costs are either deleted from existence, or put into a pool of money on the carrier that can be used to buy upgrades and can be used to pay for further upkeep costs.

I would like to see some finer control of where fleet carriers can go, preferably the ability to fly to stations or even go to specific instances. As it is fleet carriers can only be in their own separate instance, and allowing some connections with existing things in game would be brilliant and add a lot of life to them and some existing mechanics. (being able to sit somewhere and see a fleet carrier jump in, for example).

Some wild ideas:
I would very much like to see a smaller carrier implemented, that is cheaper to buy and run, with slightly more limited abilities, allowing for short trips to collect materials or to go exploring for a bit.

Another great thing to implement in my opinion would be a way to sell cargo directly to stations without having to ferry it across manually.

Piloting / seeing from a pilot's perspective! I think it is a bit of an oversight that we can's sit in the bridge of a fleet carrier and see it jump, or watch other ships come and go. It would cement the idea that it is actually a player owned station for many people.
 
Great ideas! I agree with you. If they are absolutely against removing upkeep costs I have an idea...
I wonder if they implemented a “distance from the bubble tax (upkeep) break” for FC. Essentially, the closer to the center of the major(populated) hubs would require the standard upkeep. But, as a commander pushes the boundaries of known space, the upkeep drops more and more. This way there is insentives to keeping FC numbers low in densely populated areas and promotes exploration and populating the 99% of the generated galaxy that no one has seen yet.

I feel there is such a massive portion of this universe that is untapped and barely any insentives to tap into it. This way people can utilize their investment to promote the expansion of civilization across the galaxy.

Win/win. Devs get to keep a mechanic to minimize people overloading a few select systems, and they give players a reason and the means to push the boundaries of the galaxy.
 
No what you suggest is not a win/win. (creative thing tho.. Always good)

It means 80% of players (the not exploration type) will be 'forced' to go exploring or pay bigger upkeep? And why does it make sense to make something cheaper when you are further away?
 
Excellent points to bring up!

It would be interesting to see what could be done to address those issues while still promoting the expansion of the bubble. Personally, when I play this game, I feel the only real end game content is to expand into the great unknown. Why else have a galaxy this massive. At the moment there is very little purpose in exploring outward other than bragging rights and mapping. But then what comes next?
I see the FC as the perfect vehicle to push the frontier and establish a foothold further out. Then once the outpost construction hits the game, it can act as a segue to that expansion.
Perhaps if a commander specs their FC for very specific tasks, they may apply for specific permits that allow them to operate in systems that are relevant to the task they spec’d for, with the benefit of the “maintenance reliefs”.

so if I buy a FC and make an exploration build,i could apply for a deep space permit which would entitle me to pay less maintenance as long as the FC is being used for the purpose of deep space exploration. A mining vessel would do the same but would have to stay close to mining hot spots. military FC would benefit from their military prowess and victories in combat.

if the FC doesn’t essentially play the role they are built for, the full cost of the maintenance is felt and the player would lose the perks of the permit.
For fully decked out FC’s... well, you just have to pay.

this way there is incentives for all play styles. This may help spread out the FC’s a bit and help alleviate congestion and player frustration with managing these maintenance costar. The miningFC’s might be troublesome to balance.
 
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