Would Elite Dangerous Be Better If You Could Only Own One Ship At A Time?

In Elite you could only own one ship, a Cobra MkIII. In Frontier Elite II and Frontier First Encounters, you could own any number of ships, but only one at a time. If you wanted to fly a different ship, you had to part-exchange the ship you were flying.

In Elite Dangerous we can buy a number of ships and own them at the same time, still only flying one ship at a time (we can't be in two places at once, obviously). So would Elite Dangerous be a better game if we could only own one ship at a time, like the previous games in the series? And for this discussion, let's leave Fleet Carriers out of it, because you can and can't fly them, in a manner of speaking.
 
My Ship! MINE!

Without having to outfit and engineer every time it wouldnt make any difference would it? Youd have enough money to just swop at will? But with outfitting and engineering, no its too much PITA to get the ship you want for the job you want.
 
In the end, no.

You would probably end up with most people flying a Python because it can handle (though is not the master) of most tasks. It can land at all stations. You can use it for combat, trade, exploration, mining. Try that in a Viper.

The other thing is, if this were to happen, you would have to have a 'load-out' option, where you build load-outs and in, idk, outfitting, you select a pre-built configuration. Because endlessly swapping modules about would be fantastically annoying.

I think the game activities mean, it is not workable now. They're too wide and varied. If this was a simple, you blow things up game, it might make more sense.
 

Robert Maynard

Volunteer Moderator
Not in my opinion.

The genie is out of the bottle in respect to ship ownership. If the player could only own one ship then changing role would likely involve selling a ship optimised for one role and buying a ship and optimising it for another role, including engineering, which would be a barrier to gameplay.
 
the games design doesn't really cater for a nomadic playstyle - it allows some amusement park playstyle, but generally it caters to staying in the same region of space with some stints - in that context a fleet of specialized ships just makes sense.
also ships are "content" - it's great that people can experience some fun in an eagle, before switching back to their trading corvette.
when managing/moving a fleet was a weird weekend of "axctivity", my game wasn't enhanced by that.

my suggestion would be to (re-)include an element of nomadic playstyle, where moving in one ship makes sense. it's an aspect of exploration which i enjoy - the choice of ship over an extended time.
 
Funnily enough, that is how I play the game on my alt account, or at least I have been. The main ship is a multipurpose Cobra 3, but I've recently added a mining/hauling Krait 2 because I would like that CMDR to take part in CGs, unfortunately those CGs are all designed for quantity over quality - even getting into the 75% to qualify for whatever rewards there are ends up being a massive grindfest in a small ship, not something I'm prepared to do as the alt account is purely for role-playing and experimenting.

Now that the initial buzz from resetting and flying around in the same ship for prolongued times has worn off, I'm mostly using my main account again which offers a lot more variety thanks to the 30 mostly specialised ships on offer. Being able to change them at short notice to engage in whatever I fancy gameplay wise (mining, hauling, AX combat, regular combat, exploration) makes a big difference keeping the game fresh enough for me, and it's not something I'd want to give up now.
 
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In Elite you could only own one ship, a Cobra MkIII. In Frontier Elite II and Frontier First Encounters, you could own any number of ships, but only one at a time. If you wanted to fly a different ship, you had to part-exchange the ship you were flying.

In Elite Dangerous we can buy a number of ships and own them at the same time, still only flying one ship at a time (we can't be in two places at once, obviously). So would Elite Dangerous be a better game if we could only own one ship at a time, like the previous games in the series? And for this discussion, let's leave Fleet Carriers out of it, because you can and can't fly them, in a manner of speaking.
False equivalence, in that you are comparing the games wholesale while pointing at that one aspect as if it is the sole reason for whatever it is you are trying to prove.

To answer your question, no, I wouldn't care for having yet another grind, however small, built into the game.
 
So many of you saying "No", and I can respect that.
False equivalence, in that you are comparing the games wholesale while pointing at that one aspect as if it is the sole reason for whatever it is you are trying to prove.
I am not sure what you think I am trying prove. I am merely asking a question. There is no right or wrong answer. People saying that no, the game would not be better are just as correct as those who say it might be better. Sometimes having restrictions can make a game better. Would being restricted to owning one ship at a time better for Elite Dangerous? We will never know. As one person above put it, the genie is out of the bottle.
 
It would be a different game - you'd need to have a reason to only have a certain type of ship at a time, such as a linear progression to be a certain role...

I would love to go back to the Elite 2 outfitting options though. Heres your ship with 120tonnes of space. Fit it out as you like, but you need need to consider engine size v weapons size v cargo capacity..... it would be interesting to see how everyone fitted ships out... ie Frameshift drive and Thruster module size, speed v distance and so on...
 
Propably not,

but I'm surprised the answers are that one-sided.

Sometimes I wonder how the game would be if it would be one-ship.

I'm tempted to say yes just to disagree. But I really can't find reasons except romantic feelings towards games like the original 84 Elite or Privateer.
The problem with single ship useage is that the ship of choice needs to cater to all different roles otherwise you'd be locking yourself out of a good chunk of game content. The mission board for example would require a complete revamp, unless you stick to a Python or Krait 2.

More importantly though, and this is of course subjective, ship building is still a key driver in motivating me to play the game (this hopefully changes with Odyssey), take that away and the game will become very samey very quickly and I'd most likely stop playing it.

Replacing the ship as opposed to accumulating a fleet like the OP suggests can work but changing outfitting and re-engineering modules when switching to a different ship with different modules gets old quick also.
 
Single-ship ownership worked in the previous games because the gameplay was built around it.

Elite 1: the Cobra III you get can be outfitted to do both good trading and extremely powerful combat performance at once. There was no real outfitting limit - you could carry all purchasable equipment simultaneously on the Cobra III.

FE2/FFE: the ships are basically only distinguished on speed, hardpoints and capacity. So once you've got to the ship with the right balance of speed and capacity for you, there's no reason to change. The popular ships from this era - the Panther, the Imp Courier, the Asp - all sat at particular sweet spots of speed vs capacity. While the smaller faster ships did have some limitations on capacity, you could still carry "one of most things" on the Asp, definitely one of everything on the bigger ships, and the occasional bit of reoutfitting was straightforward.

Elite Dangerous: a medium multi-role (Krait II or Python) can still be built to do all the Elite/FE2/FFE professions and a little bit more besides - the Krait II which I fly almost all the time can do trade, combat, missions, exploration, surface operations, and light recon/research duties without refitting. Despite being able to own multiple ships, I rarely actually fly the others...

However Elite Dangerous adds mining, AX combat, and CZ combat as activities which are tough-to-impossible to do with a multirole build, and really benefit from a specialised ship. (Yes, the previous games technically had mining, but it was so terrible it was best just skipped)

Elite Dangerous also has the large encouragements to make use of ship storage that:
- unlike the previous games, where Jameson-like "sells everything" stations were relatively common and straightforward to find on the map, Elite Dangerous outfitting is essentially designed to be incomprehensible. If you sell a useful module it might take quite a bit of hunting to find a new one.
- as pointed out above, engineering also encourages hanging on to modules
- several ship hulls have been optimised for high-end combat performance at the expense of most other capabilities, in a way that wouldn't be possible under the outfitting models of previous games. Every ship in the previous games was essentially a multirole (and had to be, of course)



So ... would Elite Dangerous have been a better game if it had been designed, like the others, around finding the ship you wanted and then sticking with it, all ships being largely capable of doing anything? I think probably yes, for me - the minor inconvenience of having to go and fetch a different ship (a whole two systems away!) means that if I can't do it in my Krait I'm generally not interested - but it would mean a more creative approach to outfitting to allow things like mining to work.
 
Why would that be good at all?- there are different tasks and they require different ships or one would just end up with a jack of all trades ship, which can do everything somewhat, but isn't really good in each of those roles. And then think of engineering - all the work gone by exchanging ships - that is a terrible idea imo. It's nearly 4 decades that Elite came out - and for about 1/3 of that time EVE has dominated the sandbox space MMOs. With Odyssey ED will achieve something where EVE failed - actually being able to leave your ship and walk around, not just in station, but everywhere. I'm quite excited about this aspect - but I want as well versatile ship builds for each of those scenarios I can imagine - we need rather more than less ships.
 
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