[Wall of Text] FC Beta 2 - final feedback and thoughts

Your 1&2 points are my top items as well and you explain it much better than I could. I'm beginning to lose hope we will see any improvement here before "New Era". The FC is more like a station than a ship, which means any change like a bridge or jump view will require bolt-on code that FDev will reject if its not a necessary function :(
 
While a bridge view/external camera view for jumping would be nice, I feel it will lose its appeal after 50 or so jumps... kinda like hyperspacing into systems. Cool for a while but just "part of the background" ambiance after a while. Still, would be nice as an option.
 
Ability to display animation on an in-game screen to the player - small detail, but boding well for the future of Galnet!
That's always been a thing. The notification messages you get when you rank up play a little animation in your comm screen for instance. I suspect the limiting factor is simply cost and time, as to why we haven't seen more of that sooner.

Did you try mission rewards too ? Like modular terminals or whatever was that for unlocks. So question if you can do missions and sell to others.
Yes, reward-only commodities are on the list of things you can buy and sell:
carriermarket.jpg
 
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rootsrat

Volunteer Moderator
Just thought of something.
That's always been a thing. The notification messages you get when you rank up play a little animation in your comm screen for instance. I suspect the limiting factor is simply cost and time, as to why we haven't seen more of that sooner.
I am not a programmer, but to my best knowledge I think they look like 2 different things. The rank up animations are simplistic and tiny. This is massive and more advanced.
 
First of, I agree with most of what you posted, but I do have some remarks.

THE GOOD
  • Cost and upkeep are now really fair and well balanced IMO.
I can't agree with you about upkeep and specifically the consequences of what happens when you can't/haven't paid for upkeep. The automatic decommissioning system is still hugely problematic as it is currently designed. It's not the loss of money per se that is bothering me, it's the loss of investment of time and resources that come with the decommissioning system. It takes away all effort that you as an owner put into getting your carrier to the place you put it (and for some that means thousands of light years away from the bubble). The loss in time/credits for mining/buying the tritium for the trip, the time invested to get the carrier where you want it. Now if frontier would mothball the carrier at the location it is in when you hit the 10 week overdraft limit and you'd have to pay a reactivation cost to make you carrier accessible again, that would be one thing, but to "destroy" you carrier and making you go through all the steps again to get the dang thing back to where you last put it is frankly very disheartening.

The only reason I can think of for doing this is to force players to place enormous sums of credits in their carrier accounts, so that they don't lose their asset, which in turn leads me to the belief that this mechanism is nothing more than a credit sink. Why FDEV thinks that credit sinks are needed/a good thing is beyond me, but I guess that they have a reason.
If the reason is to keep the player playing the game, then I think that they really are going about it the wrong way.


THE BAD

4.
No tools to advertise my business - following up on the part about advertising. I think that a random player showing up at my Carrier will be a rare occurrence in practice, considering the 400 billion systems ;)

I would love the ability to advertise my business to other players. Not an "auction house" known from other MMO games, but similar. Again, this idea uses stuff that is already in the game, at least partially.

So we know we can create MOTD type posts for our Squadrons. This functionality also has a drop down menu with options to select. Why not use that and combine it with Galnet, which has not seen a single article for 4 months now?

We could post our buy or sell orders with a few steps process, all predefined, no free text:

  • Select BUY or SELL
  • Select commodity
  • Select quantity
  • Select % of average price (same as when we set it up on the FC market)
  • The current location of our FC (automated and dynamic)

Or even better - automate all of that and make it part of commodity configuration. As the last step a box to tick - do you want to advertise this order? Yes - puts it into the new Bulletin Board section of Galnet.
This point indicates a bigger flaw in the current way trading works in Elite Dangerous: Trade information should be ubiquitously available to players.

The fact that everybody who is serious about trading needs to rely on external trading tools is just plain wrong. If we can tele-presence across the galaxy in real time, stations should be able to transmit their trade information across the galaxy as well. If the trade information system is updated to enable you to acquire trade information from every station in the galaxy (this could be filtered based on distance), it would automatically also give fleet carrier owners the chance to advertise their prices (as they seem to be treated as stations). I understand that this could lead to gold rushes at the galactic scale, but that should be taken care of by the BSG with dynamic demand management.
 

rootsrat

Volunteer Moderator
Your 1&2 points are my top items as well and you explain it much better than I could. I'm beginning to lose hope we will see any improvement here before "New Era". The FC is more like a station than a ship, which means any change like a bridge or jump view will require bolt-on code that FDev will reject if its not a necessary function :(
I hope for 1 more patch in between with some FC upgrades and some more bugfixes.

While a bridge view/external camera view for jumping would be nice, I feel it will lose its appeal after 50 or so jumps... kinda like hyperspacing into systems. Cool for a while but just "part of the background" ambiance after a while. Still, would be nice as an option.
Well, staring at a wall lost it's appeal after about half a second, so... I'd rather lost appeal for a nice curved screen with a cool animation on it :p
 
Nice post @rootsrat - have to agree with pretty much everything you say. One thing tho' on the subject of not being able to watch the jump sequence ... I think the main problem is this.

Do not try to puzzle why you can't watch the jump sequence, that's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth... there is no jump sequence!


Source: whelp-now-we-know-why-there-isnt-an-external-camera-or-bridge
 
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Nice post @rootsrat - have to agree with pretty much everything you say. One thing tho' on the subject of not being able to watch the jump sequence ... I think the main problem is this.

Do not try to puzzle why you can't watch the jump sequence, that's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth... there is no jump sequence!

Well, there is (i.e. you have the FC change its position), its just FD have the timeline of jump events wrong. Internally the 6 point jump indicator is on about what, 4 when the FC goes pop (in that you are locked inside, and hear the whooshing stuff) and a little overlap while the FC appears in the next instance (invisible) and then pops out its cloud (visible again).

What FD can do:

When an FC 'jumps' the FC locks everyone down, races forwards with lots of lightning (Back to the Future style), just before it reaches the end of its movement animation its enveloped in a cloud (jump indicator 4) and pops out of that instance in a way that can't be seen (since you have that repulsive force keeping you away from the jump area). You then reverse it on the other side. The bridge view would be inky black clouds during the instant of the jump, and lots of lightning either side.
 
I spent about 15 hours in Beta in total, so here's another wall of text if you're bored at work ;) Usual disclaimer, this is just my opinion and it's OK to disagree with it. Also, this is based on the FC's as per Beta 2.

The changes and improvements introduced to Fleet Carriers for Beta 2 definitely made this content better for me than it was in Beta 1, especially the fact that my Fleet Carrier is now an actual Fleet Carrier from the get-go. However overall I am still hugely disappointed, because considering the amount of time we've been waiting for this not a lot was really delivered in terms of new content and in addition what we got just lacks the polish I would expect after such a long time of development time.

Some of my thoughts and ideas, all trying to utilise the things that are already in the game, so could be done with potentially less effort than making something new, while improving the experience as a whole.

THE GOOD
  • Cost and upkeep are now really fair and well balanced IMO.
  • New jump efficiency is now also well balanced.
  • UC now available.
  • Search and Rescue available via Commodities Market.
  • Alien artefacts available via Commodities Market
  • A LOT of the above is on the list of items to trade. This is really amazing and potentially creates good business opportunities.
  • Ability to display animation on an in-game screen to the player - small detail, but boding well for the future of Galnet!
  • A lot of bugfixes.

THE BAD

1.
The lack of Bridge is something I just can't get over. I'm sorry, but after spending 5 BILLION CREDITS I now have my massive flying city, how amazing - a mobile station! ...and I have to manage it from the GARAGE? Staring at a wall through a flat menu? I'm sorry, but no. Not after such a long time since veteran players got any new content, which was delayed twice at that. (A little entitled, yes, but I also think fair.)

This is unfortunately a MASSIVE downer for me.

Solution: I've actually had a look around the command tower, or whatever it's called, on a Fleet Carrier and the bridge is there, the scale is correct, judging by eye - so physically the space is there and it's available. All that was needed is a massive cockpit with multicrew chairs. And if NPC's can't be done yet to fill the space, then separate the captain's chamber from the rest of the bridge. I would accept and understand that.

Just don't put me in the garage.


2. No Fleet Carrier jump view - again, I am just staring at a wall, while my super cool mobile base is jumping 500 LY's. This is another massive downer for me. The view locks down for about 5 minutes or so - 3 mins prep and about 2 minutes for the jump and exit? Something like that. That's a loooong time spent on STARING AT A WALL.

Watching paint dry is literally more interesting, as something at least happens as you stare...

Solution: I thought of something that is potentially easy to implement, as it uses stuff that's already in the game. The jump could be presented on the curved screen - the very same one we see when we buy the Fleet Carrier. For the jump we could see the same external view that is on the Carrier Management screen. Then the usual hyperspace tunnel during the jump and then back to external camera on the destination for exit.

Simple as that. No new things need developing, just stick that Carrier Management view on the curved screen and present it to the player instead of forcing us to stare at a wall.


3. Reversed Sim (tm ;) ) - what I mean by that is that in my opinion the simulation elements were put into the wrong game layer. I am talking about the tediousness of stocking up my Fleet Carrier market. Yes, it's realistic simulation having to bring the 10000 tonnes of gold manually into my Carrier if I want to sell it, but on the other hand I am in the wholesale business now. It's not some farmers market stall with 20 onionheads in a wooden crate on the back of my SRV truck, it's a flying city where I sell SHIPS and MODULES - which by the way are automatically transferred onto my ship.

Somehow I don't have to bring 10 Pythons one by one onto my Carrier, I can just order them, like a normal businessman. Realistically, I would have put an order for those 10000 tonnes of gold and it would have been delivered in bulk onto my Carrier, while I'm enjoying a nice Kamitra Cigar on my brid... I mean in my garage.

Oh, but you can put a buy order for 10000 tonnes of gold I hear you say. Yes, but in practice if I do that and just wait for a random player to first of all - stumble upon my Fleet Carrier, and secondly be willing to bring me 10k tonnes of gold. That would take AGES in normal circumstances, in an organic gameplay.

I am not able to advertise my offer to buy 10k gold anywhere either (more on that in a minute), so the only practical option is to hauk the stuff myself, which is just tedious and completely unnecessary, considering the context of FC being a massive mobile base, a wholesale business. Also every man and their dog will have a Fleet Carrier now that the Squadron-only idea was ditched, so it's going to be GTA Online all over again - everyone will be worried about filling THEIR Carrier with 10k gold, not mine.

That's one part of the "reversed sim".

On the other side, as an example - we have fake NPC ship traffic to produce an illusion of "breathing and living" Fleet Carrier. Why not use those NPC's to actually deliver stuff to our Fleet Carrier too? They could serve a perfect role for that.

Solution then: We have CONVOYS in game. We know they can carry specific cargo. We know they can be semi-persistent. They could be potentially used to simulate an actual cargo delivery for the 10k gold order. I know this is half baked idea due to the modes, but I also know FDEV could make it work if they wanted to.

This would also mean the simulation element of the game is in the right place (IMO) - simulating living and breathing universe, rather than the tediousness, repetitiveness and grind of hauling gazillion tonnes of cargo back and forth between my flying city and the nearby station.


4. No tools to advertise my business - following up on the part about advertising. I think that a random player showing up at my Carrier will be a rare occurrence in practice, considering the 400 billion systems ;)

I would love the ability to advertise my business to other players. Not an "auction house" known from other MMO games, but similar. Again, this idea uses stuff that is already in the game, at least partially.

So we know we can create MOTD type posts for our Squadrons. This functionality also has a drop down menu with options to select. Why not use that and combine it with Galnet, which has not seen a single article for 4 months now?

We could post our buy or sell orders with a few steps process, all predefined, no free text:

  • Select BUY or SELL
  • Select commodity
  • Select quantity
  • Select % of average price (same as when we set it up on the FC market)
  • The current location of our FC (automated and dynamic)

Or even better - automate all of that and make it part of commodity configuration. As the last step a box to tick - do you want to advertise this order? Yes - puts it into the new Bulletin Board section of Galnet.

--EDIT-- From the replies below, for info (thanks!):




5. The need to be in administration system to supply the shipyard and outfitting - this doesn't make sense at all. I understand that for fitting new services and facilities into your Carrier, you need a Flet Carrier Shipyard, so you have to be in the admin system. But for supplying Shipyard and Outfitting? This limitation just doesn't make sense to me at all? Why am I not able to order ships and modules for sale from anywhere?

I would love an explanation for that.


6. Lack of polish and small details
  • The Nav Panel filter list MUST have a separate option for Fleet Carriers. They are currently linked to Stations on the filter list. Please FDEV.
  • The Codex part about Reputation has no information about Reputation. (Only about security).
  • No divider for numbers, as usual. Come on, FDEV... This is basics and you always do it. When I see 13245142465 in my report, that does tell me literally NOTHING, as opposed to 13,245,142,465 or 13 245 142 465.
  • Inconsistent quantity tool when setting up commodity on the market. The quantity does change to 10's and 100's gradually, as you hold the button to select how many tonnes you want to trade. But the "% of galactic average" doesn't and it sometimes takes ages if you want to set high % for a commodity that has a big gap between the extreme prices and the average one. (Similar when buying large quantities of limpets).
  • ...and more


7. No information about Brewer Corporation in Codex. Again. After so much criticism received for the same thing in Bridging the Gap...

I am making this a separate point, as I care deeply about the lore. It was always THE thing that dragged me to Elite. It always had this strange magnetism, it was interesting, intriguing and well written... Unfortunately for a long time now it seems to me that Frontier stopped really caring about the lore of their own game. Stuff pops out of the blue without any reason or back story. Other things contradict itself... (see the link in my signature).

It makes me really sad and having to see that lack of care (I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but this is how I feel about it and this is genuinely the impression I get) being present time and again, and on a greater scale every time.


8. Inconsistent fundamental assumptions for design of player economy?

This is something that is really bothering me and however I try to look at it - I just don't get it.

What is the point of economy? To make profit, right? Frontier did say in the Lave Radio interview - and they said it straight - that the Fleet Carriers were basically "designed as money sink" and were "NOT designed to make profit". What is the point of introducing a whole new layer of economy, give exclusive control over it to players - and yet also have a fundamental rule of not making a profit within that economy?

I honestly tried to look at it from various angles and I just don't understand how is that supposed to work. What is the player economy for then? Only for players to pump the exploited money into it for no apparent reason? Only because the BGS economy is broken due to lack of attention to money making exploits? Then I think I would prefer for the Fleet Carriers to be something else entirely and instead of wasting time for introducing the player economy (which in the context of what I've said above seems a bit like a waste of time and effort to me), for FC to for example have an impact on BGS. This would at least make it useful in many more ways than now.

It would also gave it an actual purpose that wouldn't be seemingly contradicting with the fundamental design assumptions.

9. "Gold sellers"

Using 2 Fleet Carriers and -1000% / +1000% commodity price margins you can potentially hand over 1,5 billion Credits to another player in a matter of minutes. We have tested that extensively, as gold sellers is something I hate the most in online games and honestly, I think if I have to read all of the "BILLION CREDITS JUST 5 USD BUY NOW AT www.iamanidiot.com" all day long, I might just quit altogether.

I am not sure how profitable Elite Dangerous would be for potential gold sellers, but the ability to easily hand over large amounts of Credits currently exists in the game. This is definitely a downside, albeit an inevitable one with any player controlled market. I just hope Frontier will stomp down if the GS show up in Elite and will have no mercy for them. None of this shadow banning for a week business. Perma them to hell and beyond!

I also hope that the community will show some sanity and stand against them and not use their shady "services".

That's considering GS will actually ever show up in Elite.



THE SUMMARY

That's all from me. Final thoughts... While I do recognise the potential of sandbox fun with Fleet Carriers and I will definitely appreciate the convenience of having a mobile base with all my ships and modules in one place, unfortunately the cons, the lack of polish and attention to small details, the lack of couple of IMO fundamental features (namely the Bridge and lack of any FC jump visibility) and the small amount of content we've received overall - all that in the context of how long we've had to wait for Fleet Carriers, the delays of this content, cutting out other stuff like Galnet and Interstellar Initiatives and delaying other stuff a lot of players have been waiting for (new ice planets) - I just can't not to be very disappointed with Fleet Carriers.

The cons outweigh the pros for me and they do so massively. I wasn't expecting much, but I wasn't expecting this little either. I also hoped Frontier would really polish the details, but in my eyes - they didn't do that either, which just makes the whole thing even more bitter than it already is for me.

Saying all that, I tend to look at the positives and try to enjoy what we have rather than complain about what we don'y have. I will definitely be buying a Fleet Carrier then and I will try to use in the best way I can. But I will be doing that without a smile on my face. Also, from a garage.

Staring at a wall.
Quality feedback, fingers crossed FD will take note. Thanks for making the effort to write this up, all of which I agree with 100%.
 
Nice post @rootsrat - have to agree with pretty much everything you say. One thing tho' on the subject of not being able to watch the jump sequence ... I think the main problem is this.

Do not try to puzzle why you can't watch the jump sequence, that's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth... there is no jump sequence!

I noticed that as well, the first time I tried. Very disappointing given the usual standards of visuals in the game.
 
I am not a programmer, but to my best knowledge I think they look like 2 different things. The rank up animations are simplistic and tiny. This is massive and more advanced.
It's fundamentally the same thing. The FC intro is just playing a higher res video mapped to a larger surface. It'd be like the difference between embedding a small 240p video in the corner of a web page or doing the same thing at 1080p across the middle of it.
 
Nice post @rootsrat - have to agree with pretty much everything you say. One thing tho' on the subject of not being able to watch the jump sequence ... I think the main problem is this.

Do not try to puzzle why you can't watch the jump sequence, that's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth... there is no jump sequence!


Source: whelp-now-we-know-why-there-isnt-an-external-camera-or-bridge
They've forgotten the mirrors. It should be smoke and mirrors.
 
The amount of Tritium and how to collect it without mmmmmmooorrrrreeee grinding especially for exploration needs addressing.
 
In particular, I think #4 and #9 are the killers.

#4 makes the FC irrelevant to creating social interaction, forcing the continuance of reliance on 3rd party tools. Unfortunately, FCs won't be part of the EDDB or other resource databases, so the random land on your FC is all you will get.

True communication tools in this game (message boards, job orders, player run mission boards, etc. etc. ) would improve it tremendously IMO, irrespective of FCs.

#9. I'm sure you have all seen DTEAs breakdown of the money machine capability of the FC with the fundamental market design flaw. I've been warning about this as soon as player managed markets were floated.

I wouldn't say FCs are going to be a game killer, but I would say they are going to be problematic and not a net positive for the game.
 
Good post. A big issue is that the carriers are so credit-focussed. No other commodities really mean anything (except tritium, of course, which is for carriers only anyway). Just like when deep core mining was introduced and we got a bunch of deep-core-only commodities to make mining more profitable (which appears to be FDs idea of fun), we now have another gameplay item that's not connected to the rest of the game.

The reason we don't see NPC interaction except for cosmetic purposes, and don't have any interaction with the local BGS and markets, must be that FD is either very reluctant to, or have forgotten how to, add new elements to the BGS and rebalance the system. The core of the BGS must be some sort of card house, ready to topple if anything is adjusted. Only way to go is to add new parts to it.

Even when introducing the onboard UC, all FD did was add a money-making tool that have no connection to the BGS. So much for being part of a living, breathing game world.

:D S
 

rootsrat

Volunteer Moderator
Nice post @rootsrat - have to agree with pretty much everything you say. One thing tho' on the subject of not being able to watch the jump sequence ... I think the main problem is this.

Do not try to puzzle why you can't watch the jump sequence, that's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth... there is no jump sequence!


Source: whelp-now-we-know-why-there-isnt-an-external-camera-or-bridge
Yeah, I saw that earlier today. I don't think that would be an issue with my idea either. I'm sure FDEV could do a good transition on that theoretical animation just before the truth is revealed into the hyperspace tunnel ;) We wouldn't even know! It could have been a win-win :(

Unfortunately, FCs won't be part of the EDDB or other resource databases, so the random land on your FC is all you will get.
I wouldn't be so sure about that. I didn't check the journal files and I've not seen any documentation for the new journal, but maybe those transactions are logged in it. And if that's the case, then you can send that data to EDDB, just as any other market data.
 
A minor quibble. We are the owners of Fleet Carriers and are paying minions to run and fly the ship our viewpoint for this should be the owners suite with various viewscreens so we can watch the activity in the Carrier or tell the captain where to take us to in addition to the exterior views.
I think you captured a vital part there: We are paying them to run the ship.
What exactly are they doing?
I can tell you what they are NOT doing: Transferring fuel from the storage to the tank. Plotting the next course on the 2000 LY trip (on the same tank). Refueling the ship or fuel scooping! Repairing the ship!

So what are we paying them for?
I'm the one that has to micromanage them AND pay them on top!
If they were my employees, they'd be so quickly out of a job they wouldn't even be able to finish blinking.
 
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