It's clear that a lot of people have issues with the travel times associated with using the Apex taxis. Skip drives/Micro-jumping has been suggested in the past, but it seems that Frontier does not want to implement it for all vehicles as it would effectively make super cruise obsolete. They also don't want to make it exclusive to Apex for some reason I don't know. My suggestion is that they add an optional module with the caveat that it can only be mounted on civilian/passive ships (i.e. no offensive weaponry). Here's the specifics:
- Maximum skip distance is determined by module size, ranging from size 2 to size 6. The formula would be SkipDistance = 20,000ls*(s-1) where s is the module size.
- This will eliminate a large portion of travel times most often encountered, while keeping the really long journeys (Hutton Orbital) still really long.
- An in-system location must be selected. The jump takes place in the direction of this target and uses the maximum skip possible, or the distance to the target, whichever is shorter.
- If the jump would intersect with a stellar body, a failsafe aborts the skip at some exclusion radius, say 15-25ls.
- The module would be relatively rare, only being able to be mounted in select types of systems (e.g. High Tech/Tourism). In lawful systems the module can only be mounted to ships without offensive armament and offensive armament cannot be mounted to ships containing a skip drive. Defensive modules like chaff launchers or military grade armor is legal. This can be explained in game by the factions signing some arms containment deal to deescalate tensions or something of the like.
- Notably Pirate/Anarchy systems will be able to mount the module to ships with weapons, but this is balanced by the rarity of anarchy high tech systems. Also being caught in lawful space with the skipdrive/weapon combo will lead to a high value bounty being placed on the captains head.
- By limiting the module to civilian ships (legally), this massively boosts the attraction of a dedicated taxi service that can use the module. Players can also choose to create their own dedicated taxi ship either for personal use or for ferrying NPCs around.
- Jumps would be from subspace to subspace. This just makes the most sense to me physically and gameplay-wise, Frontier might think differently. A suitable spool up and and cool down time could be used to keep balance. I believe this time should be different from the FSD, so one could start up super cruise as soon as the skip is done, but could not immediately initiate another skip.
I think I've covered everything so what do you all think? Did I forget anything? Any modifications or additions you can think of?