I've been playing Elite for like 3 years, with and w/o VR and on gamepad and HOTAS setup. It is amazing game, but it is truly "wide as ocean, deep as puddle". I also been playing EVE, which is about space too, but much more deep than ED in all aspects.
After some time I realized, that changing ships in ED in a way ships realized in EVE could bring a lot, A LOT of fun and sense in game. For example, it will solve "Anaconda problem" – buy this ship and you won't need anything else.
However, I wasn't able to differentiate ships good enough using current game setup, so I came to idea of Supercruise mechanics change. Now it could be as simple as "Point to target and move throttle to blue zone". You can even reach Hutton orbital in that way, all you need – watch Netflix on second screen long enough. My idea is to make throttle in SC to control acceleration instead of speed. It adds skill requirement to SC flying – when to accelerate, when to decelerate and so. Also it will add variety for ships specs, which is the purpose of all my thoughts.
And now we can make ships SPECIALIZED. At the moment there is only 1 type of really specialized ships – passenger ones. You can't fit luxury passenger cabins on Cutter, so you NEED Dolphin/Beluga/Orca for really cool passenger missions (broken missions is another topic, let's focus on ships now).
Let's think, how can we differentiate other ships now:
Explorers: need long jump and good fuel scoop, Anaconda has both
Combat ships: shield/armor, maneuverability, fire power (Anaconda has all except maneuverability, so you may think about another ship, but you still can easily do HazRes on Anaconda)
Trade ships: CARGO (Okay, you may want to buy T9 or Cutter, but Anaconda is good enough too)
Universal ships: ehm… Anaconda?
And here is my idea summary:
- really long jump
- able to fit surface scanners (only explorers now)
- able to fit Exploration FSD – longest jump range, fastest SC acceleration, but only for limited mass. Overweight will decrease these stats to the floor
- able to fit best fuel scoops (other ships can fit scoops too, but exploration ships able to fit best ones)
- questionable – ability to fit FSD beacon jump drive. When you reached Sag A, and you just want home – use this jump drive and return to specified station in Bubble immediately.
- able to fit best shield reps
- able to fit in-combat armor reps (for Fed ships or AX-fighting)
- able to fit Interceptor FSD with increased SC acceleration for easier target hunting. Module should have some penalties, like lower module HP or increased heat generation
- not taking damage from interdiction
- able to fit Ammo racks in Optional internal, so combat ship could increase amount of ammo for guns
- able to fit Industrial FSD with modified curves: lesser difference between laden/unladen jump range AND laden/unladen SC acceleration. Yes, you still can haul things in Anaconda, but it will drag itself to starport like forever and jump to 10 ly when laden, even if it fully engineered, while T9 will jump 20ly with full cargo and will fly like a brick, but like a fast brick. At least in SC. Trucks are speeding at highways, you know.
- able to fit Industrial Collector Limpet Controller with increased range and lifetime
- larger ones able to fit Mining pod hangar, so your T9 can go to asteroid field, stop near the asteroid, launch limpets, and go outside in small ship with mining lasers/seismic launchers and spin around rocks, while your T9 is collecting the ore
Universal ships: NO SPECIALIZED MODULES, but plenty of hardpoints, optional internal modules and so on, so they really could be good at many things, but never get great at something one.
What do you think, fellow commanders? =)
And thank you for reading! Fly safe! o7