The Rant part:
I remember reading somewhere that everyone will be able to build a small ship.
That doesn’t seem to be the case.
Right now it seems that the smallest ship there is, requires a chain of everything up to scientists, almost every type of resource, almost every type of building, a working supply chain of other players transporting goods between several bases.
That kinda defeats the idea of building a small ship.
Ships are not supposed to be The End Game element, ships are the bread & butter of interstellar trade. Why the only difference between a huge gargantuan 2000t capacity ship to a 100t, is some cheapest elements, mostly BHP, SSC? Personally, I don’t see a point in building small ships, mostly because by the time I can do the chain, I’ll have so many bases with so huge production that it will again be defeating the purpose. Some will say I can buy components, but then I need the value of resources x16 or x32 because those are top tier components and there is no competition there, because once you can build those components and want to sell them you actually have nothing in game to do but role play being a benevolent CEO sharing space travel with the masses.
Right now it seems like I will be stuck with 2 starter ships and shipping contracted to new players.
The Constructive part:
My suggestion would be to allow players to build budget ships much sooner, ships that would require at most a small number of technicians to build. Make it so people can aim to build a first STL-only hauler in 30-45 days of playing, slow FTL capable ship at 75-90 days.
In short, make the space swarm with ships.
A ship for everyone.