One thing that has always bothered me about Oolite/Elite is actually the concept of TCs and the cannisters themselves. While I can accept the idea of food, furs, L&W, minerals, computers, etc... being divided up so that they fit inside this specialist style cannister... BUT... How do you move a Combine Harvester from an Industrial planet that built it to an agricultural planet that wants it, or a huge turbine for a low tech planet that's building a Hydro-Electric power plant? It makes absolutely no sense to break these delicate items down into lego style blocks and slide them into these little cannisters.Disembodied wrote:Particularly with regard to point 2), possibly the best way to do this (and indeed to bring about some balance) is to remove, almost completely, any chance of the player dogfighting in this beast. You could perhaps launch the shuttle, and defend the mothership that way; or you could give the hauler passive defences only, e.g. turrets, and have a small squadron of escorts which you can issue commands to as per Ramirez's [wiki]Resistance Commander[/wiki].Smivs wrote:You will all be aware by now that I am collaborating with McLane and others to produce a Capital player ship, and it is this which prompted my train of thought that lead to this thread. This ship will be a trader - I personally see no point in producing a Battleship/carrier/whatever - and I have two considerations with respect to this and similar subsequent vessels.
1) It should sit comfortably in the Ooniverse of the core game. It is obviously outside any previous experience in the game but if well thought-through, sensibly spec'd and priced and designed as an 'Oolite' ship this should be acheivable.
2) It should (has to, by its nature) offer the player a whole new experience.
The other option is to shift things away from the usual commodities, especially the commodities normally carried by players - i.e. computers, furs, liquor and wines, machinery - and move towards truly bulk hauling: e.g. minerals, alloys, radioactives, and indeed specialised versions of these not available at main stations. These could be sourced in large quantities from asteroid (or moon-based) mining stations, and the player wouldn't be buying and selling these so much as being paid to transport them (which would make things easier when it comes to balancing out the profitability of such a ship). There could be specific issues with loading these bulk cargoes, with getting permissions, with sourcing intelligence on the latest movements of pirate fleets and so on. All this would help shift things away from the core game, and make the experience genuinely different from being the pilot of a more-or-less nimble lone-wolf trader.
So, bulk carriers (this may possibly include the Anaconda (in its current state)) have a certain capacity *THE EQUIVALENT OF* X TCs - so they can take these very large items intact.
Modern cars have boot (trunk for US members) sizes given in litres even though this shape may be terribly laid out. (For example my car has an alleged capacity of 320 litres, but I couldn't get a small fridge into it that had an internal capacity of 160 litres (and measuring up an external capacity of about 210 litres))
So how about this - bulk carriers (possibly including the Anaconda) can take a certain number of physical TC cannisters BUT can take very large, bulky items, intact. So, you could limit the Anaconda to, for example, 250TCs for actual trading in TC cannisters - but its equivalent ACTUAL capacity is 750TCs, so contracts could also include genuinely bulky items that only Anacondas (core ship) and Bulk haulers (OXP ships) can carry. This way BULK Hauler would mean something. You would buy an Anaconda (core game) because you wanted to haul actual large items - with the ability to carry large but not silly amounts of TC cannisters for normal trading when no bulk items are available.
Let's not smash up the mythos of the original Elite, because "we" have decided that we want to expand the game and have decided the original core game is broken. Let's work with it instead, lets give Annie pilots a reason to exist, a genuine, alternative, career path, through the contracts system to haul bulk items.
<steps down from soap box>