Ok hear me out. (TLDR below) Fdev's efforts at patching odyssey has kept me around long enough to draw inspiration for the future of odyssey. I believe they have long-term plans for odyssey post the patch work.. Hoping to nurture this idea in hopes that maybe if there's enough commanders out there that agree, this can become part of the future of odyssey.
Settlment clusters – Procedurely generated clusters of settlements scowered around planets. Each settlement is distant enough , that it will have no fps penalty. Potentially close enough to be visible, atleast after some travel. A journey for an srv. A easy quick apex ride. Or, a hippity hop's away with your own ship.
Regions – Areas of the planets with multiple clusters of settlements. Potentially all controled by a super power or corporation/ faction. There can be multiple regions around a planet with various control from factions.. Or in galactic power dominated space, 1 power in control.
Potential new srvs/vehicles – If odyssey were to head this way, it simply must bring a diverse set of srvs. We have a very diverse set of ships, fighters..
A motorcycle like hovercraft, incapable of mining or dps, fast and nimble.
A multi-personel vehicle, fast, cargo space, perhaps some multicrew.
Slow moving srv, lots of cargo, heavy hull, good for trade. Perhaps some mining capabilities.
A tank like srv, it can use ship weapons. Up to side medium. Good for conflicts.
What could this mean? MISSIONS, Exploration!
This could mean settlement on-planet cargo delivery missions, convoys, passenger missions, Conflicts, Trading, Commander races, stunt videos. Exploration. A npc that got robbed in a nearby settlement seeking revenge (covert mission), a local dictator that would like to settle politics (massacre), the list could go on and on…
Cargo delivery – trading – Deliver the amazon packages at the main city or bring it to a settlement that needs goods delivered. Or simply visit the commodity market and do a little bit of trading on your downtime. Perhaps one settlement sells some illegal goods to another settlement. This could be data transfer.
Convoys – A convoy needs to go through, become a hired gun and take either your ship, or a armored srv and try to help in getting the goods delivered. Help a person cross the barren wasteland. It's a volatile and dangerous place. So there is constant need for safe passage. Maybe there would be need to smuggle some VIPs.
Combat – There is always conflict and the struggle for power. A entire settlement cluster can be in conflict with another. Tanks being sent, military goods to be delivered. Air offense. A small settlement can retaliate and there can be a war waged throughout the entire cluster, bit by bit the whole cluster can fall under different control. Or the main city's politics can put an end to it fast. All tied to the background sim, factions and powerplay.
Exploration – A srv that can travel quicker or be less prone to bumping rocks (like a hoverbike) , could give the commander a better way to explore the ground on the ground, no more simply orbiting a planet looking for only a cool mountain or canyon. You can land some planet and just go for a long and fast ride.
Races – If there is anything i know about this community, is that commanders are dedicated and creative. I can see groups finding canyons to race in, which would require a fast and durable srv that could get them through to the finish line. I see it already, the youtube videos posted on this subreddit :')
Biology: As mentioned by OA's video. Some settlements can be dedicated to 1 thing, life. Why not have sample/ sequencing missions available in these. Perhaps this is a research facility that will now need to deliver it's data at the main city! Take a srv, or simply your ship, etc.
Apex – Would serve a greater more integrated purpose. If a commander were to stay and roleplay as a mercenary in a region of a planet.. Apex would definitely come to serve as a viable option to your ship (IMO). And if you're caught in some illegal activity, just be sent to jail as a different nearby settlement.. No need to have to travel across many systems.
IMO, all of this would help integrate odyssey into elite. I do not know where odyssey is going in the future, where it is today will be far different from where it will be in maybe a year or two's time. I think we'll see it fully realized by then. And if it were to include some of the stuff i mentioned above… I think this would bring much needed integration and content for elite and odyssey. I can't speak for everyone but i know i'd be stoked :v)
I've mentioned in my older post. That this could be a new means of a new commander start.. > spawn in a small settlement > do gang/illegal activities to get some cash-money > afford a broken down ship, giving you access to travel around settlements quickly, access the main city, get your supercruise working. Now have access to other regions of the planet much faster , able to travel to other worlds > Visit the main system port > Get your FSD fixed > Finally escape your starting system, explore the galaxy. Etc. It's ambitious, but i think it'd be a great new way to experience the start of elite..
As of now, odyssey is good. But the settlements leave more to be desired. They in a way just feel like a storm trooper in a star wars movie. Just there to be shot at. I'm not sure what fdevs have in the future for us.. One can only hope it's something fun.
As i mentioned in my older post, as of now. You can't "play elite without a ship" with the current state of odyssey. The moment. you're forced to use apex to travel to a required location.. You just have to sit back and literally do nothing for minutes on end.. You're immediately encouraged to get your own ship and completely skip this feature. "play elite without a ship" is incredibly challenging in the worst of ways. Wait to FSD to another system.., Sometimes a mission can be in a distant star in the same system, i've literally gone to eat some food while on a apex ride only to get back and not be at my destination yet.
With settlement clusters, that wait is far less. You could be in your next location in seconds! Same gameplay. Heck MORE gameplay would be possible, given the mission type oppertunities something like this would bring. A world can sustain you enough with activities, and in a pure odyssey fashion.. When you're bored. You can just go to the next planet or get back to your ship and skip the next system even!
Take on a planet with a group of friends, crew or squadron, playing politics and combat zones. Etc.
TLDR: This is only an idea; a procedurely generated cluster of settlements, on each populated planet. (More in denser populated systems),Where the next settlement could take you 10-15 minutes to get to by srv. Causing you to go through the terrains. A massive journy on foot. But an easy and quick apex ride.
IMO this would bring more depth to odyssey, giving way to new mission types, think trade, smuggling, data delivery, civil war. Etc.
This would give way to new srv types that serve specific purposes. Fast, resource gathering, exploration.. Etc.
And for fdevs… Cosmetic oppertunities.
I gotta finish for now, so i might edit this later to fix/add anything later on. Let me know what your ideas are!