General Thoughts on SL craft and Multi-crew possibilities.

I was talking with some friends, and we all had an agreement that multi-crew is basically not worth it which seems to be the consensus in the community.

I had a long think, and while I am not super new, I am also not totally unversed in how Elite works so I had some thoughts that I would like peoples opinions on.


1: Allowing Multi-crew AND wing to work together. Say for instance, me and my buddy are in a multi-crew, it would be nice if a friend of ours could join with us as a wing-mate, or if he had a multi-crew ship having him and his multi crew partner be able to join us. It would still be limited to 4 players, so you could have 2 man crews and still wing up with another multi-crew vessel, or one 3 man crew could have an extra wing man. This would work exceptionally well for multi-crew people wanting to do wing-missions and give the ability for everyone to work together instead of relegating them to being separate. Which brings me to my second idea.

2: Having different types of ship-launched craft, other than fighters. I personally would love the ability to have something like a ship-launched mining vessel. Similar to the fighter bay, you would have several different variants that would be able to do the specific kinds of 'mining' that are available in game that your fatter (type 10) kind of ship 'can' do but has difficulty doing.

For instance: Having 3 variants, One with mining lasers, One with the Sub-surface missiles, and one with Seismics and an abrasion blaster for Core mining. You could even go the extra mile to further specialize them, and allow these mining vessels to have a specialized cargo-hold that can only hold asteroid fragments and cores, and each would have a pulse-wave analyzer (10k) on them for find the good asteroids. Maybe a special 'probe' cannon that would work like a prospector limpet that would use ammunition instead of having to have limpets in the cargo hold of the mining vessel.

I believe this would add an interesting idea for multi-crew as well, since you could have a 'mother ship' of sorts, that has the refinery and the main cargo capacity, as well as the armaments to defend itself rather than having to sacrifice hard-points for the sake of being able to mine. Rather than trying to navigate a dense asteroid field or ring, the 'mother ship' would float above or below the ring/asteroid field and the multi-crew with them would take out the mining craft, while the mother ship is keeping an eye out for hostiles.

The mining vessels meanwhile would be swooping out and using their smaller size to navigate the asteroid fields and find the good space rocks, filling their cargo-holds with the fragments, and then taking them back to the main vessel to be refined.

If you had multiple variants available, they would all be doing their specialized task and communicating with each-other about their specialized needs. Say if one found a core asteroid but wasn't the right variant for core mining they could come back and swap out or they could just ask the person in the core-miner to come to their position. Or if they had an asteroid with sub-surface, they could communicate that and have them come tap it instead.

Of course, this could also be used to 'supplement' a mining vessel on the big-scale. Even for solo play, if you set up your ship for mining a particular way, you could sacrifice some cargo space to put in a miner that was a different configuration. So say you set yourself up for core-mining, but also want to have the capability to do sub-surface drilling or laser mining, you would sacrifice one of your cargo slots for the mining vessel that could do that.

The AI-crew would not be able to use the mining vessels of course, but you would still be able to have the AI-crew control the 'mother ship' while you went out in the mining vessel instead. This would allow one to be able to choose if they want to control the big ship and rely on AI-fighters to defend them while they mine, or if they want to use the mining vessel, and let the big ship defend itself while they do the mining in the small vessel.

Just like the fighters, they would not be FSD capable, so they would have to be collected, or they would self-destruct after leaving a 30km radius of the mother-ship. I would also say, that perhaps upon destruction, be it by self-destruct or by players or pirates, that any asteroid fragments the vessel was carrying would drop in place allowing for a different kind of PVP piracy if one wanted to be under-handed. A collector limpet and a refinery on your pirating vessel, swoop in, kill a miner that was a bit too far from the mother ship, suck up the ores and fly out before the slow and fat mother-ship can bring you under fire.

I would like to hear any other feedback from more veteran players, on why this would/would not work.
 
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The multicrew/wing combination idea has been mentioned before, but it bears repeating. I hope they have fixed their code in Odyssey and made all this possible. Wing, crew, SRV and on foot. Bring it all together. Sounds like they have.

The mining SLF/pod thing has been discussed too, but not usually with this much detail. I was just thinking about the idea when I was mining last night. I can follow a deep deposit in a spinning asteroid just fine with my engineered T-10 (provided there are no other rocks in the way), but it would be more interesting to have a mining pod to do that. I would avoid too much specialization or there would be the limpet problem again. Or perhaps there would be a special mining pod bay that can 3d print any of these mining pods, but not SLFs.
 
The multicrew/wing combination idea has been mentioned before, but it bears repeating. I hope they have fixed their code in Odyssey and made all this possible. Wing, crew, SRV and on foot. Bring it all together. Sounds like they have.

The mining SLF/pod thing has been discussed too, but not usually with this much detail. I was just thinking about the idea when I was mining last night. I can follow a deep deposit in a spinning asteroid just fine with my engineered T-10 (provided there are no other rocks in the way), but it would be more interesting to have a mining pod to do that. I would avoid too much specialization or there would be the limpet problem again. Or perhaps there would be a special mining pod bay that can 3d print any of these mining pods, but not SLFs.
I was thinking something along the lines of the SRV and the Planetary Vehicle bay. With how you can restock, refuel and repair them with synthesis. That way the Miners, can spend a lot more time out in the mining field if they so wish, so long as they had enough materials to keep replacing the munitions of the miners, and keep them repaired.

My only worry about if you could '3D print' any miners you wanted on demand, is that people could use them as projectiles for memes. Just grind up materials and then park outside a station and just print out miners and crash them into people trying to leave dock to get them stuck.

And yes, I know there are plenty of pilots who have no issues flying a type 10 into those tight nooks and crannies of a popped core-asteroid. You also have to agree that there are plenty of other commanders that have a problem getting an Orca through a mail-slot without a docking computer. That is why it would definitely be an optional thing, since you would be having to sacrifice some cargo space or optional modules you could probably make use of to have the mining craft.

For rookie miners, it would be a tool that you could use for more comfortable mining in larger ships that you don't want to risk losing to a wonky asteroid spin. Something easy to use without worry of losing millions if you make a bad decision and get a bit too close to a spinning rock.

For veteran miners, or multi-crews, it could be a way to exponentially speed up a mining operation if you had several capable people in miners all mining from different rocks collaboratively to quickly complete mining missions, or stock up a fleet carrier on Tritium for as little downtime as possible out in the black.

For your self-capable miner? They could forego the module all together, for the sake of more cargo space if they didn't feel they needed it and still make bank without feeling like they are missing out just because they don't use it.

It would also allow for mining ships to save some space, since they wouldn't have to waste power fitting a prospecting limpet controller, and a collecting limpet controller, they could just fit the refinery and their main armaments for defense, and do the actual mining on the smaller craft, which would allow them some precious slots for extra space or modules just in case they came under attack. Or even a Guardian FSD booster to allow them to get out to the pristine rings that are further away without taking forever.



It would also be nice to have some new SRV types considering Odyssey is coming soon-ish, but that would possibly require another thread unto itself.
 
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My only worry about if you could '3D print' any miners you wanted on demand, is that people could use them as projectiles for memes. Just grind up materials and then park outside a station and just print out miners and crash them into people trying to leave dock to get them stuck.
I mean '3D print' in the same sense as the SLFs are printed according to the lore. You'd have limited number of mining pods available, but unlike the fighters, you wouldn't have to equip the types. Instead, the user would choose the type when launching. Because mining isn't as fast paced as combat, it would probably be acceptable gameplay to have to wait for the pod to be printed for a while instead of having one ready to fly instantly.
 
I mean '3D print' in the same sense as the SLFs are printed according to the lore. You'd have limited number of mining pods available, but unlike the fighters, you wouldn't have to equip the types. Instead, the user would choose the type when launching. Because mining isn't as fast paced as combat, it would probably be acceptable gameplay to have to wait for the pod to be printed for a while instead of having one ready to fly instantly.

Ahh well I suppose that would be a perfectly reasonable idea lore wise. However I could see that timer being a tedious pain that would be redundant enough to keep people from using the optional module. However, I could see it being something as a 'punishment' that would incentivize being careful with your mining vehicles rather than something to be discarded if a mild inconvenience occurs.

If the options would be "Head back to a station, and make 5 minutes of hops to the station, risking interdiction and then having to spawn new pirates when you come back" or "Wait 1-2 minutes, and for your replacement miner to be printed" I could see it being decently balanced.

I am not sure about the idea of the player picking on launch what kind of vessel they are launching. I think the type of vessels on board should reflect what the owner of the main vehicle wants his miners to do just like you pick the variants available in the fighter bays when you leave a station.

The question would become, would we want it to operate like an SRV hanger bay? Or would we want it more like a fighter bay?

If you wanted to keep your 3D printed idea, I could see it being where you start off totally full of ships with the materials to print them when you left the station and giving it a similar cooldown to the fighter bays, however like you said Mining is far less intense and combat oriented. So I don't see much of a need to have them be able to manufacture replacements on their own, since they should be striving NOT to lose them.

So I think having a similar cooldown like the fighter bays, where you might have multiple hangers, but enough materials where if you lose a fighter, they can easily print you a new one in that hanger bay but there is a limited amount. If you lose a mining vessel, there would be a cooldown, but if you had alternate hanger bays with different mining vehicles in it then you could take that one out instead while the other replaces itself, or you could just wait for the cooldown if the other vessels are occupied...give you some time to reflect on your actions that caused you to lose it.

But it wouldn't be a huge cost to the person who owned the main vessel to replace, you aren't gonna be able to bankrupt and 'troll' a miner you are multi-crewing with by 'accidentally' crashing all his miners.
 
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