Time to let Solo players man the guns?

Not all pilots have friends or even want to play with friends. (or maybe friends just don't like ED and prefer playing other software-related experiences that they believe are called games)
But with the advent of super-cruise assist, advanced docking computers, or even being able to launch and SLF and the ship autopilots a little / you can get a NPC crew to do that.

It feels there is little in-game reasoning that prohibits the helmsman NOT to be able to switch to the gunner's seat.

Now I do understand the "gameplay" significance, similar to I-war, where the player barely saw the helm view in the later stages of the game and controlled everything from the gunners perspective. We'd have players just boosting away and shooting from the rear-turrets at the persuing ship (my favourite tactic in the original Elite).
- okay, I just talked myself out of this already.

But I'd still love to do this to jump into my Gunner Control and look around, blasting rocks as a Miner and seeing my guns move around my ship, see my nice rendered vessel from an external cam, without cutting out on my productive time in the game.
Maybe the ship is "forced" to come to a stand-still, or forced to have an NPC onboard?
 
Hmm. On this topic, my sarcasm wins. And my sarcasm says: there's a good reason why FD put limitations there on how you can access gunnery control and makes sure that nobody can access it on his own ship. By it not being accessible, people try the SLF part of multi-crew, find those small ships to be awesome and are happy. They do not get into gunnery mode and find out how terribly bad it actually is.

Based on that, I dare to say that this suggestion is not worth considering as long as gunnery mode is not reworked ground up. And as I have no real idea how to make it a lot better than it already is and also haven't read one, I also see no basis for that.

But really, gunnery mode is in a shallow grave. Once a while somebody digs it out too see how this zombie behaves, to then quickly burry it again. The good part of multi-crew were the SLFs. That's what's worth using.
 
And as I have no real idea how to make it a lot better than it already is and also haven't read one, I also see no basis for that.
Here's my suggestions from another post:

Add "Target Helm's Target" and Select Next/Previous/Subsystem Target bindings for Gunner.
You have to dork around aiming and selecting random ships in an already disorienting environment.

Add a stupid Radar screen for external Gunner view!
Why can we see the radar in the cockpit where we can't use it, but is completely missing in turret view, were we need it the most?

Gunner role fixed..

X.
 
I think it's the vicious cycle especially with the gunner role. It's so bad that no one uses it and FDev sees no point of fixing it because no one use it. People who host multicrew often don't even have turrets because want to crew to fly fighters exclusively. Having single player access to this feature would at least give FDev more feedback about it, telling how exactly it is broken. I don't think it can really be made into a good feature, but at least a little less broken would be nice. For example being able to aim turreted mining lasers without having to lock to a target.
 
Here's my suggestions from another post:

Add "Target Helm's Target" and Select Next/Previous/Subsystem Target bindings for Gunner.
You have to dork around aiming and selecting random ships in an already disorienting environment.

Add a stupid Radar screen for external Gunner view!
Why can we see the radar in the cockpit where we can't use it, but is completely missing in turret view, were we need it the most?

Gunner role fixed..

X.
This might, just barely, bring the gunnery role to halfway useful state in the scope of this suggestion, that the owner of the ship would be the gunner and the ship would, hmm...
1. Do nothing and fly in a straight line?
2. Do random evasive movement, perhaps piloted by some NPC?
3. Try to turn in a way that the maximum of your weapons can actually fire where you point your crosshair at? (Freelancer style ftw! )

Mind you, as soon as gunnery is used in an actual multiplayer setting, it gets much worse. It very much feels like everybody, both gunner and pilot, have like half of a ship at their hands. For the very reason that this is exactly what is happening: the same functions of the ship, which formerly were in the hands of just the pilot, are now spread thin over two players.

So no, as long as the gunnery role doesn't miraculously add new hardpoints to ships, it'll always fall terribly short of any other way of playing together in this game.

That's exactly why multi-crewing in SWG:JTL was actually of some use. Ships supporting multiple players had turrets holding weapons which simply did not fire as long as not manned by a player. So any additional player on board directly added firepower, instead of taking it away from the pilot. But the customisation system of ED just doesn't work like that. Anything you provide for your gunner is a weaker version (see: damage stats of regular weapons vs. their turreted counterpart) of what would otherwise be available to the pilot.

So making the gunnery role to be of any actual use would require to completely rebuild and restructure this games outfitting system. I don't believe that this will happen.

People who host multicrew often don't even have turrets because want to crew to fly fighters exclusively.
That's exactly what i do when playing with friends. My Krait has two extra seats and two SLFs. Everybody has a ship. The SLF might be small, but it brings sufficient punch to be worth it. Thus everybody feels to be useful and to be contributing. Without me (the ship owner) feeling like he just forgot half of his ship at home.

We also tried the gunnery role. But for exactly what i just explained (everybody has part of the weapons and the turrets of the gunner are weaker than what the pilot could have) it didn't feel good. For the whole one tour we did with a gunner, it was very obvious that another ship in the wing would've been much more productive and useful.

While the SLF sure also doesn't pack the firepower of a federal corvette, its combination of agility and firepower makes it punch far above its weight class. So as the "telepresence, get into the action right away" eliminates the coordination overhead, it feels like a rather good tradeoff. People notice that they are useful and do contribute and everything runs smooth. SLF for the win!
 
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I think they need to first allow sub targetting with the gunner role.

Then commands that get fighter NPC's to attack subsystems (easy, you target it and say attack my target)

Sorry it's kinda off topic.

I don't really like this idea though, mostly because, I actually wish the biggest ships couldn't even be piloted without crew... (Commense shouting)

I feel like it would have been excellent to have had things you literally could not do without a crew on board, that would have made multicrew truly exceptional

And this suggestion is the exact opposite.
 
Subsystem targeting is reasonable, yes. I don't imagine it would be hard to implement unless the janky netcode is the actual problem. I have all sorts of unreasonable ideas as well, like special turret modules for military compartments that would add more hardpoints that can use turrets only and don't have forward firing arc. That would be too much work. I don't think allowing solo use of the gunner position would really be an advantage except in some very special rare cases. Mostly it would be just a way to practise the controls for real multicrew and a novelty.

One should also approach the whole concept of multicrew as a change of pace and sometimes convenience. Having the players show up with their own ships in a wing is always superior, but with a well enough implemented crew play it'd be fun to sometimes mix it up and do it with a single ship. And of course there should be more crew tasks, but those are better covered in other threads.
 
And of course there should be more crew tasks, but those are better covered in other threads.
Just as a sidenote on this: i yet have to see just one suggestion of more crew tasks, which pass all the following criteria:
  • Are only of relevance when things have gone badly elsewhere.
  • Do not take away from another players activities on the same ship.
  • Do not feel like a game of whack the mole.
  • Do not involve ages of waiting till action of this role is actually required.
Also, as described above, i have seen implementations in other game where the gunnery role was useful. Yet the only space game where another role than pilot or gunner provided an enjoyable experience is Star Trek Bridge Commander. But that gameplay is so far away from how ED operates, i don't see any way to connect those two.
 
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