4-Seat Multicrew could be amazing with a few little tweaks.

The recent addition of a fourth seat to many ships was a great change, but unfortunately, it really highlights the way multicrew is currently lacking.

Basically the only thing a multicrew player can do and be helpful is fly a fighter. Theoretically, multicrew players can do other things, like run shield cell banks or use heat sinks, but that requires a degree of cooperation and teamwork that just doesn't exist at the moment. If people were doing it regularly, then maybe, but it's a bad place to start.

In a similar vein, they can control the turrets and ignore chaff, but honestly, turrets already counter chaff pretty well just by firing constantly! Most enemies that run chaff are small ships that rely on getting out of your firing arc before the chaff ends, but turrets can keep firing after the chaff ends. On the flipside, players usually aren't as good at keeping on target as turrets are!

If you want multicrew to be used, players need to feel like they're useful doing it. And at the moment, that's exclusively running a fighter. But with a few small additions, there could be more than that!

1: Turrets

Turrets are the most straightforward change. Right now, the gunner controls ALL the turrets, and gets the bonus of faster targeting and ignoring chaff. That's just not enough.

What I think would be really cool is if instead, players could take control of a single turret, and overcharge it, just like with a fighter!

Consider that a fighter does about as much damage as a huge hardpoint. Why shouldn't a gunner do just as much? It's not overpowered when a fighter does it, and a fighter gets not only that, but also draws enemy fire!

So, instead of the current system of controlling ALL the turrets, have the gunner control a single turret, and overcharge it so it does about as much damage as a fighter. If anything, it should do even more than that, because it also means the pilot loses access to that weapon, a sacrifice that doesn't happen when you launch a fighter.

This means that having a gunner or two would be an absolute win! A ship like a Challenger might carry a single Large Turret so the copilot can run it, giving them a hefty bonus to their damage!

2: Systems

ATM the only thing a copilot can really do to buff systems is adding a pip. This is SOMEWHAT useful, but I'd argue that it's more harmful than helpful. A player grows accustomed to moving their pips around as they fly; suddenly having an immobile pip, despite theoretically being helpful, can throw off their balance and cause them to lose their rhythm.

Instead, I'd like to see little minigames added to each system. Nothing major! Just things that let the player participate more deeply, without directly interfering with the pilot.

For shields, this would be the ability to directionally boost shields, in one of the six spatial directions. Damage taken from that direction would be reduced by an additional 15%, like having another pip there. Alternatively, they could redirect their energy towards shield regeneration, reducing the cooldown to shields starting to regenerate by 33%(from 15s to 10s), and after it starts, increasing the rate of regeneration by ~10%.

For thrusters, they could play a little fuel redirection minigame, shifting between boost frequency, boost cost, and boost strength. On the one corner, they could reduce the cooldown for boosting by ~20%. On the second, reduce the cost of boosting by ~25%. And on the third, increase maximum boost speed by ~20%.

They could only do one of these things at a time, and only one player could be at a station at a time so it would be important to keep an eye on what's happening to the ship, not just playing with the turret constantly!

3: Fighter Bays

Last but not least, we can now have three players and an NPC waiting to fly a fighter; this is the perfect time to expand the C7 fighter bay to be able to launch 4 fighters! For ages its only advantage is the ability to launch an absurd 40 fighters, which is vastly more than anyone has ever needed. By swapping it to allowing all fighters AND the npc to be out at once you could have some truly amazing convoy shenanigans! It would be even cooler if the C7 could launch two fighters at once! Just imagine attacking a Cutter or T10, only for four fighters to swarm out like bees and begin firing!

This is the perfect time to make Multicrew the super-cool thing it was always meant to be.

Who's with me!

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/EliteDangerous/comments/qldfyp/4seat_multicrew_could_be_amazing_with_a_few/

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