Ship crews and fleets

Hello to all :slight_smile:
I have been thinking about SC development. Then I started thinking about ship crew sizes and fleet crew requirements. I started looking at the actual numbers as far as i can see them. It was staggering in a MMO sense. As an example, lets look at the crew requirements for a Javelin. It has currently 13 turrets, a med bay, a single hangar bay. Its really big. I was thinking you would need a headquarters element with a captain, a pilot, an engineer, and a doctor, as a minimum. 13 gunners for each turret, a pilot for what ever ship gets put in the hangar. Maybe a marine element for ship security. I count around 25 needed to crew the ship. In MMO terms, that’s a raid sized group for just one ship. Then there are going to be escorts needed for the capital ship. Say for instance an idris. It needs a headquarters element like the javelin, It has 6 turrets and room for 2 fighters. The idris can land, so you can probably take ground vehicles in it as well. My guess is a crew around 15. If you want to create a serious fleet your gonna need several ships of varying size. Depending on the fleets mission, the crew requirements at that point are going to number around 50 or more players. For this to work out they definitely need server meshing.

If it works like I think it will. I would recommend a sign up sheet like the ones we use for raids in other games. Say we had a fleet ops night. We could treat it like we do a raid night. Maybe work with our allies, provide support/medical, or a combat capitol ship, I dont see us ever getting the numbers needed for an actual fleet of just OTGers.

1 Like

not much different than a galleon in Atlas. It is what NPCs are for.

Never played that game.

Building off what brohawk said, the current plan for the game is to be able to recruit NPCs for your ships. They will be able to do various things like repairs or operating systems. Also they are planning on putting in blades (i think?) in which are AIs which can operate systems like turrets.

Now of course neither of these are the best replacement for a fully player operated crew, unless its for example replacing me as a marine because im really bad at it, but it will help get the job done by filling in the missing requirements.

I have had this conversation with Simdoor before. It seems to me that we all want to captain our own ship, not serve as crew on someone elses. There are going to be players, especially newbies, that are going to prefer to be crew. They dont want the complexity of being in charge of your own empire. CR has said before that he doesn’t want us to be able to tell the difference between a player and an NPC. Personally I dont think a gunner player is going to be better than an NPC one. My reasoning is that with a player, there is built in lag. An NPC is generated by the game at the games’ location. NPCs are going to
be faster in response than a player. Also, there has to be a contract system in place to hire anyone. How long does the contract last? A week, month, year, hour? A player can’t fill that type of contract because we all play at different times. Not always the same time as your captain.

I think a lot of new players will want to jump into their solo fighters till they find out that being solo isnt as easy as they think. after that i could see them being a crewmen of some type. The majority of ships though are going to be fighters i feel. As you said everyone wants to pilot their own ship. The really big guilds will take out their caps for claiming territory or fighting other guilds but otherwise i would expect them to be grounded. We’ll have to see when we get there. As far as NPCs, we’ll have to see. I know they will have different skill “tiers” so you can recruit npcs that are very good at their jobs for a price. Human players, even without lag, is a pretty big gamble. Training for a role will obviously make them better but again as you said, different play times.

TLDR: there will be ways to offset the number of human players for crewmen and we won’t know how things line up till we get there.

1 Like

Yea. But CR and others have said that once you pull out a capital ship, its out. You cant put it back. That means finding a safe place to either dock it, or hide it. I think they will go back on that though. You would have to add a ton of capital class docking bays to a station to keep that up.

Sounds like EVE system. However, the ones that spent the cost of a new car for a javalin with LTI probably wont care as much and just slam it into everything. Im sure it will be addressed but as it stands now that could happen.

Yeah I think I remember that argument, I agree with you.

While some people like Streamers have an easy time crewing Hammerheads, for the rest of us we all want to be flying our own ships.

Heck at most I’ve only gotten 3 people to man my Retaliator with me… And it’s probably my ship I fly the least given the only pilot controlled weapons are the torps.

Not quite true. It depends on the ship.

As per Chris Roberts, Bengal Carriers will be perpetually in game, and will require groups to ensure they’re crewed 24/7. They will spawn as derelicts and a group will need to work to repair / rearm them, then they will not be able to be put away, ever.

They did not specifically say the same about Idris and Javelins to my knowledge, just “special” ships like the Bengal.

You might be right. I seem to recall though someone said it applied to all capitol ships. This was way back though, before 2015 I think. Things change, have changed. CR and his crew are finding out that player PVP has no honor right now. Think thats why the no-kill zones were put back in.

The problem is and has always been one of logistics, which is something CIG hasn’t even come close to addressing. I need 50 people to man my ship/fleet. That means the fleet can’t leave until everyone is there, and once we all are present and leave, you’re stuck with the fleet, not going anywhere else. If you’re crewing the Javelin then you’re walking around the ship for HOURS while I fly it where we need to go so you can fight for 15 min…and by “fight”, I mean “sit at a console and balance the shields, unable to see what is going on and no window anywhere near you, now do your job flunky or we all die”. It’s not like a WoW raid where the place we’re going has a summoning stone, you can show up late ,we can summon you in, etc. Once you are here you’re committed. And if we can’t make it back before the raid is over then you log out on my ship and are stuck out there forever until I can bring you back.

It’s not even like Eve where you park ships at a nearby station and “clone” over, then “clone” back when you want to do stuff. SC has no such “fast travel”, it takes time to get places and if you’re manning a station on a ship, you’re sitting there with your finger in your ear for long periods of time while I fly us there…no, you can’t fly my Javelin, I’m the captain, go sit at your station like I told you to…etc :stuck_out_tongue:

Yep true enough. Thats why I think NPC crews are going to be the norm. A subject change a bit, We get to the point where we have outposts, towns or cities. We are going to need an infrastructure for all of that. Vendors, shopping centers, landing pads/starports, police, you see where this is going. CR did promise us that kind of stuff, but no one has mentioned it in years, not since the pioneer came out. They did run a show this year about beginning to flesh out outposts. With all the time that around 500 people have been working over the last 8 years that CR has employed, I certainly hope they have some stuff done, but don’t have in yet because of meshing.

It’s still going to be super complicated getting people together. Anyone who’s done anything in any MMO knows this pain. “We’re gathering at 6pm and pulling out at 6:15”. 6:20, half of the folks are there and the ones that are there are saying things like “hey, we’re not ready yet, I’m going to take a smoke break” or “brb, wife agro” or “bio”, and the entire thing pulls out around 8pm, if at all. And that’s in an MMO where you can instantly move to the “door” and “hearth out” when done. The big issue in SC is the commitment it will take to gather and get somewhere. If I’m working in system A but the Org has something going on in system B that is 5 jumps away, I need to either drop what I’m doing and start a multi-hour trek or simply have an alt and a fleet spread out all over the galaxy just so I can participate…that, or we’re all forced to be in the same area just so we can work together.

Yep Every MMOI have played in. ITs a common denominator. Travel ahs always been an issue. CR doesnt want free teleport to everywhere. I like the idea say for instance, there is an unknown space faring race that had one of their battleships malfunction, causing it to shift in and out of normal space, moving a long a galactic size arc. It appears in a sector for say 2 weeks, then disappears into another sector for another 2 weeks. moving through the games maps. You dont know where it appears in your sector so you need to use a science vessel to find its trail and hunt it down, then you need a fleet to break through its defenses and board. Loot and danger all around once you board. Remember though the ship will blink in and out of real space at intervals, so you are on a time limit to get in the ship, fight, then get out. Say 4 hours as an example.

Or even something they have discussed…I’m out deep in my Carrack and discover a massive floating space hulk. No way in hell I’m going in there by myself, so I put out the call…“Hey OTG, come help me loot this thing! You keep what you carry!” And then I wait…for 12 hours…while people disengage what they’re doing, fly back to port, swap ships, fuel up, gather gear, launch, and jump 4 systems to get to where I am.

What’s the alternative? Everyone just flies around in deep space with me, “just in case”?

I know. But if you played galaxies, you know that the game started with no vehicles, no fast travel options. Sony put those in and it made the game a lot better. CR might eventually put in a fast travel option for instances. Say doorways into a new verse. Doorways at various locations in different systems. All going to the same instance. LOL he might even allow player corporations to build and control them. Say a gateway to the hulk you mentioned, we could put in orbit at an OTG station somewhere, or many somewheres. Even charge a fee for other orgs to use it. SC is making a really nice galaxy, even if it is going slower than the last ice age. I wanna travel. But raid locations should be easily addressed. We know how long it takes us OTGers to do anything together. Frankly, we need something like that.

What I’m hoping is for Agent Smithing of NPCs, which was discussed years ago and never again.

My ship is filled with NPCs, and I get into a bind. I put out a call to OTG, you guys park where you are and, in your game client, “take over” my NPCs. I’ve given you specific permission to do so, so you are now “here”, in my ship, experiencing the content, without your actual ship/player at risk, and it’s instant, doesn’t take hours. It’s “fast travel” without having to actually travel, so space still gets to feel big.

If they put in fast travel that will be going against everything CR has said since I backed in '12. I’m not saying he won’t, but it will make space feel tiny very quickly, IMHO at least.

Actually that was discussed recently, as in this past week, on one of those you tube videos. That is a really kool idea, original, possibly ingenious. I mean it would still limit how big your fleet is, but its a good idea. I have been wondering, is it possible to have more than one crewed ship per account at the same time? Way back CR mentioned having multiple account, you could turn the others into NPCs, you could jump into. Does that mean you could send them on missions?

Yes and no on fleet limiting. You, me, and Sim have our “big” ships that we pilot, perhaps my Idris, with fighters on board, 100% NPC crews. We set up the Op, we fly out and get near, we do the legwork, then call on the Org as 75 OTG folks “take over” our NPCs to come participate. With 1 person per ship for the setup we could still do some decent sized fleets without having to drag folks around. Even set up payment/reward systems with it, like you get 50% of the pay for the job if you jump into an NPC for the “gritty” part, etc.