A couple of ideas for future updates

Hey Fdev and community,

I was thinking about what the near future will bring for Elite and noticed that there were very little details about what to come.
I have thought of a couple of things, either new or improvements that perhaps might make the game feel even more alive than it already is.
Small note before I being: When I mention the word shipyard, I mean the big installations which can build Capital Ships, like in Carthage.
Here we go:

1. Squadron Goals:
Similar to Community Goals, but only for Squadrons. Give something special like Accolades or even medals. (Or even better, let the leadership of the Squadrons choose themselves what they want
to reward for specific SG's and just make them available to the public.) These rewards can be handed out to the top 3, top 5 or top 10 contributors, depending on what the squadron leadership chooses.
To avoid certain players who have a lot of free time to have way more accolades and medals I also suggest a maximum of 3 SG's in which the cmdr can get an accolade or medal after which they can't for the next 3 SG's.
This way more people can earn accolades, thus giving more incentive to join one of them

2. Advancement on crew members: Don't get me wrong, I like having an extra pilot, but the current crew system is purely focused on combat. In my opinion that needs to change. In order to make your ship feel more crowded and alive I suggest that you can hire crewmen by the batch and order them to specific parts of your ship. For example: I once heard that if the Anaconda was a real life spaceship it would require around 30 crewmembers to effectively operate. All of these crewmembers can be assigned to specific stations in the ship in order to keep everything running nice and smooth. My idea is there can also be hired specialists to be either an officer on the bridge, in case of a big ship, or be an officer in their respective area, like be posted in the FSD bay to coordinate their team from there. Specialists and experienced crew can increase your chance of finding things. I'll talk more about the things they can find in the next bullet point.

3. Ship Situations:
With a crew comes discovery. Things you as the pilot can't notice from the commanders chair on the bridge can be noticed by your crew. This can be in every kind of department. I'll list a couple of examples to show what I mean:
Example 1: Damage Control. When your ship has damage your crew can find specific points where either they can quickly try to patch stuff up or wait for you to use an AFMU or a repair limpet to fix it. It doesn't make the AFMU or Repair limpet obsolete, not at all. But it can give you like +5 or +10% health on a module, depending on the skill of the crewmen and their teamleader if they have one. This also brings your crewmen at risk, because if it goes wrong, they can get killed. The more damage a ship has, the more crewmen get killed. When your ship blows up, a few of your crewmen can survive if they reached the escape pods in time. To avoid having to rebuy all of your crew you can salvage the escape pods on the place where you got destroyed.
Example 2: Exploration. When you are out in the black there might be special things, like the stellar phenomena which were recently placed ingame, nearby, but you don't know about it bc you are not in that system and just go your merry way. Your crew, if placed in the correct departments, in this case communications, can recieve a message that a couple of stellar phemomena have been sighted in a nearby system. They can ask you, the commander, if you want to plot a route that way so you can visit them. If you reach the system the phenomena are located your crew automatically plans a new route to your original destination, so when you have visited and scanned the phenomena you can immediately resume your journey.

4. Advancement on Squadron and the already revealed Fleet Carrier: Fleet Carrier construction.
So, Fleet Carriers will come, we don't know when, but they will. There is just one thing I never have seen adressed in the livestreams when the Fleet Carriers (FC for short) were mentioned: Costs. In my opinion just buying a Fleet Carrier with your Squadron doesn't do it for me, so I've come up with a plan for that. There are numerous shipyards, yes, the big ones, in the bubble. They often look like they have space for more construction. What if you and your friends in your Squadron could actually make the Carrier? This is how it works (and I'll talk about more ideas of the shipyards in the next bullet point):
1. The shipyard is owned by a minor faction. If it's not a PMF (Player minor faction) there is a standard price to rent a building slot per day. It depends on the build speed of your Squadron how many days the construction will take.
When a Squadron can't pay one day, the construction is halted until they can. To make sure everyone in a Squadron can contribute there will be a general donation spot where pilots in that Squadron can donate credits to keep the contruction going.
If the minor faction controlling the shipyard IS a PMF they can negotiate. It seems only reasonable that groups who are allied can help each other out here by lowering the daily costs, not halting construction when there isn't enough that day (let them pay the debt once the construction is done) or reduce material costs.
Bring me to the next phase of building: Material gathering. Like an SG (Squadron Goal), a Squadron can request their members to donate materials to make the FC. This can be deposited at the shipyard. When there are enough materials
the next phase starts: building. This is where I think I get a bit more creative, so there will be two options. Option one is to let the workers at the shipyard do their work. This will take some time but it will deliver your FC. The other option is to help the actual construction by using repair limpets as construction limpets. The more you construct yourself as a Squadron, the less time and therefore daily costs it takes to complete the FC.

5. Other big constructions.
I think CG's are fun, and some have delivered some amazing work like the Gnosis or a lot of asteroid bases, but you should be able to do that in a Squadron as well. As a Squadron you should be able to make starports and outposts, but it should be limited to a certain amount in a system, looking at the size of the system as an indicator. For example: A maximum of 3 starports per system can be build, a maximum of 1 outpost per planet, not per moon. A maximum of 1 planetary port per 3 moons and a maximum of 1 shipyard per Squadron-influenced PMF. Construction of these stations will follow the same principle of the FC construction, with a base to deliver materials and credits to. When the stations are build, they will follow the rules of the BGS and can be taken over by other factions in that system.

6. Last but not least: Personal ship construction through a shipyard.
In my opinion a shipyard should have 4 huge slots for FC construction, 6 for large ship construction, 8 for medium ship construction and 10 for small ship construction.
The idea here is that instead of just instantly buying your ship, you can have it build for a discount. All ships will be the same as the ones bought in the in-station shipyard.
Example: Someone wants to build an Anaconda. They currently can buy it at in-station shipyards for a set price (146.9 million) or 15% off in LYR (Li Yong Rui) space.
In order to make this interesting I propose different costs for building it, since it requires time and effort to actually make the ship.
For an Anaconda: To get the build slot one has to pay 100 million credits at a regular shipyard, with the materials required at a rough cost of 30 million. This will save 15 million, but requires more time and effort.
To avoid making LYR obsolete I suggest reducing the prices in his space. (Be aware, the costs are a proposal, if someone comes up with a better balanced number I'll take that.) A large building slot in a LYR controlled or exploited system will be 80 million instead of 100 million. The material costs will also be lower, I'd say around 23-25 million. This is still about an Anaconda tho, smaller ships have smaller prices.
Small note: the materials that need to be collected vary depending on the ship. For example: A Beluga and a Federal Corvette are both large ships, but the Corvette will require more metallic materials since it's base armor is higher than that of the Beluga. The requirements are based on size, manufaturer and the overall default stats of a ship.

These are my ideas which in my opinion will make the game more activating and alive. Please note that none of these ideas are meant to replace the current systems, only to give another avenue of playing.

-07 Woody
I'd take all 6 of these.
Non-Combat gameplay is something I always like to see in the game, and the more mechanics we have to make our ships and gameplay unique the better. We can shoot things to bits with an impressive number of different toys already, and many features, like ship launched fighters, crew members and also multicrew are either combat only or just nice to play around with but has no gameplay attached.
Also, since Elite doesn't have any kind of personal story (WHICH I LOVE ABOUT IT!), customization of ships, crew and our Commander will breathe some more life into our virtual existence.
I'm still fairly new, although I played the original at length back in the 80s if that helps(!) Anyway I'm scared if ideas like this come through. I could be playing at length again more than I should.. I.e. Although I play open I personally haven't joined any player groups / squadrons, but these suggestions would certainly bring me in.. Although I'm conscious of so many things that the FD folks gotta look at though, where some of these look like big dev projects. So I guess not going to happen any time soon(?)
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