Hi all, I just wanted to touch a little on Jump Range in the game. This probably won't be an eloquent write-up cause that's just not something I have the focus to make but it's a topic I'd like to see some discussion about.
tl;dr: Jump range topping out at around 80ly (320 neutron) is artificial gatekeeping vs 500ly carriers. base jump range should be buffed considerably, neutrons buffed slightly but kept in line with base jump range increase and Carriers should not be seen as the creme de la creme of jump range. IE: Regular ships with 200ly max jump range base with ~400 neutron range. This would allow easier traversal of the galaxy, reduced travel times and the promotion of exploration of unexplored systems.
Firstly I'd like to preface this with a quick question; do you think the current jump range is okay? Any discussion for or against is encouraged and I'm eager to see differing opinions.
Now the meat of it, I've played this game off and on for years and Exploration is by far my favourite past time in this game. I've spent days and weeks at a time just waking up, logging on, booting up some fun things to watch and just flying through space getting my discoveries (shout out if you've seen my gamer name on a planet or system!). I'm also not one to use the Neutron Highway – which is something I'll address a little further down the line – I prefer the traditional jump to jump travel which makes the journey a little more exciting although sometimes a little more boring.
To me, the current system is a little flawed and makes not a whole lot of sense in the modern version of the game, in days past when the in-game galaxy was "young" slow boating to Sag A was an achievement, and the pioneers travelling off to distant systems was a thing to be applauded. Times have changed and getting to Sag A is not a big achievement and travelling the span of the galaxy is pheasible – but I feel it still takes far longer than it really should have to. Back at the start it made sense keeping jump range low to make those big discoveries special and to make the galaxy feel larger than it is, but with the relatively low amount of "big things" out there to be discovered and the fact that Carriers can jump 500LY by themselves, I feel like the artificial gatekeeping of ship jump range isn't necessary and only serves to hamper new or beginner explorers.
Getting into exploration is a daunting task for the new explorer, having to work your way up to a ship that is capable of decent jump ranges, then saving up the money to fit it out to extend that to "standard range", then again getting the guardian mods and the engineering to make it a tangible range where you can jump to SAG A in a time that won't eat away your week. That's a lot of time investment just to get setup – let alone actually travelling out in the black. Once you're all setup, getting out to the boonies of the other side of the Galaxy is then going to take you a large amount of time to traverse and by the time you get there you're not going to want to explore, you'll already be burnt on the travelling.
This leads me into the Neutron Highway and what I've personally named "Tourist Jumping". When I watch people explore or when I read forum threads about people exploring the galaxy, they're always utilising the Neutron Highway which isn't a problem unto itself but it really does not help the game in-terms of actually exploring the galaxy, people just jump neutron to neutron, getting no new discoveries, then landing at the tourist destination and calling it a day. I understand the want to do this, it cuts down on travel time considerably and makes getting places far more accessible but it certainly hurts the game in that people are not traversing all of those systems in-between or promoting players to go off the beaten path. This is especially seen in fringe areas or areas further away from tourist spots, these places significantly unexplored and is only hurt by length of travel out to these locations – why would I go out to Styx to explore if there is plenty of unexplored systems in the Formadine Rift which is arguably far closer to home.
For me personally I'd like to see the system reworked. The base range is not sufficient and is seriously shorter than the available options – a 4x bonus on neutrons is obscene and a 500ly jump range on Carriers is gross. Base range should be brought up closer to the neutron range and that neutron range should be brought up closer to Carriers. A tighter spread would promote people seeking out different gameplay options rather than just going with the easiest option (though I'm sure that would still happen – it makes sense). My proposal would be around 200ly for the most tricked out ship with a 2x bonus or a variable bonus based off your mass such that the neutron is more effective for less equipped ships and less effective for more equipped ships. Neutrons should top out around the 400-450 range with Carriers unchanged at 500ly. This would make traversing the Galaxy far easier, and allow people to get to unexplored areas far easier.
Sorry for the long read and all over the place thought process. If you did read it thanks for your time.
Thank you for coming to my LakonX talk.
EDIT: Clarity in the TL;DR to reduce confusion