I know people are going to direct me to places like r/FCOC , but I want to ask the opinions of the ED community at large, not just FC owners.
When FCs were first announced as a concept, way back in the day, I was excited. I couldn't wait to have my own massive, capital-style ship to ferry around my fleet and do cool stuff with. Then FCs were released and I became less excited. I just couldn't bring myself to spend billions of credits on what I perceived to be an intentionally tedious login mechanic. Right now I'm sitting on enough credits to buy a FC and keep it running for years, but I still haven't pulled the trigger. However, the thought of FC ownership has crept back into my head, so I'm trying to give the idea a fair shake before I dismiss it outright.
I want to like FCs, I really do. The concept is awesome. I just can't wrap my head around how owning one would actually improve my gaming experience. How it would make playing the game more fun, better in some notable fashion or form. In fact, my perception is that owning a FC would only make my experience more tedious and less enjoyable.
I'm asking you guys to make the case for FCs to me. Counter me point-for-point. What am I missing? What is it about FCs that make them worth all of the (perceived) negatives that I'm about to write out below?
My most significant gripe is that I don't think a FC makes any kind of financial sense. An absolute bare bones FC with only the essentials (refuel, repair, rearm) costs 5.185 billion up front and another ~500 million per year to upkeep. That's with absolutely no jumps, no buying of tritium, etc. 5.685 billion just to sit there and do nothing for a year. And for what? I still need to land at stations to accept or complete missions, I still need to land at stations to turn in exploration date or outfit my ships. If I need ships at a location I can always do a ship transfer. I would have to transfer my combat Corvette roughly ~400ly approximately 284 times before purchasing a carrier would break even. Again, that's without maintenance for jumps or purchasing fuel. Every ship is an investment. An investment of time, or credits, of material. Every credit spent outfitting a ship enables me to do something better, more easily, more efficiently, more enjoyably. My perception is that anything I can do with a carrier I can do for cheaper, more easily, and more enjoyably without one.
Pretend I actually want to use my carrier as a mobile base and not have it sit around like a really expensive paper weight. Forgetting the roughly 100,000 credit maintenance fee for every jump, let's look at fuel. I would have to spend hundreds of millions of credits, or countless hours mining, just to get the thing to move. That's not even taking into consideration the convoluted refueling process. I can jump my normal ships from system to system for free; every jump in a FC will cost me hours of gameplay. Whether I need to mine the tritium or spend the credits to purchase, every single FC jump costs hours of in-game time. That seems insane to me.
"But a FC is convenient. You can move multiple ships to a location at once."
Yes, instead of taking ~30 minutes to transfer my ship to a new location I can use a FC to get them there in….20 minutes. 10 minutes saved at a price tag about 284 times more expensive than just transferring the ship.
I can hardily customize it, I get no special privilege's when interacting with it, and I get harshly penalized for actually owning/using it. There are no unique or interesting mechanics that I get to experience while using a FC; I can't even watch the thing jump while I'm docked. I spend tens of millions of credits a week to crew a massive vessel that produces nothing and that I can barely interact with. I don't even get recognized as its captain.
Why, then, should I own one?
Update: really appreciate all the responses to this thread. There's been a lot of great feedback and opinions; people have made some great points/observations. Honestly, your responses have really motivated me to give FCs a try. I'll likely pick one up today or tomorrow after work and give it a trial.
But hey, if you have more to add feel free to post it below? I think my criticisms of FCs ring true for a lot of people, and I'd like to hear continued counter points to the argument I made above.