Ship construction from the new player perspective

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.



I don’t recall the exact number, but a small ship, similar to the starter ships, is in the low millions. That is a tough price point, but it is reachable. If you look at it like you do, ie doing everything yourself, than yes, that is a lot of work and planning. But no one says that you have to do all this by yourself. Instead you could focus on a few products, excel at producing them and use the money to buy the missing ship parts from corp mates or other players. I am aware that there are not many ship parts on the markets yet, but Ignition has just been released and it takes time for players to build these materials, fulfill their own needs and then sell the excess on the markets.


Let’s say it’s 3,000,000 for a 100t ship with no additional protection.
A single way run pays on average 12k for 400t, let’s assume a generous 3k Income per run, that’s 1000 runs, that’s 1000 x 14h (again generous, because most runs pay ok only one way) that’s 14000h that’s 583 days to get my money back.

If you add to it the number of starter ships, thus lowering the price of the freight, you’ll end up with ROI time at 1000 days.

I’m sorry, but I just don’t see how it’s economically viable to buy the small ship, rather than invest in 6 new bases. The ship will only put me at an absolute disadvantage vs base builders. Because the base building is gradual, and the ship needs the full value to generate income.

On top of that, you assume that people able to manufacture parts are willing to actually sell them outside their organization.

I’m not saying get rid of what you did so far, just add a budget, faster breaking, but cheaper options, so space trade is common. After all, Everybody gets 2 ships at the start, which means shipbuilding is common. Otherwise, your logic is flawed, as you give players about 8,000,000 in two ships, and 200k to build a base. That’s kind of weird.


I would counter this with the following arguments:
The most basic ship with the absolute cheapest components requires the following market maker items:

FFC: 1500000
LIS: 200000
NV1: 1500000

That means if you are buying any of these components from other players, you must pay at least 5 million. These components are impossible to assemble for a newer player on their own, as they all require scientists and buildings that use AFABs. Smaller players could provide some of the upstream components used to assemble these, but 95% or more of the value comes from the things that are hard to do involving engineers, scientists, and buildings that require AFABs.

Furthermore, we can look at the rest of the basic ship components as well.

  • Creating FTL Emitters requires AFABs and technicians at least for the BE
  • Engines require Space Propulsion Factory (SPF) to make engines and engine parts. This building requires engineers at minimum, and an investment in RFABs that would make most newish players jaw drop to the floor.
  • The most basic STL and FTL engines require: BE (AML), FAL and AST (High powered Blast Furnance), WAI (Scientist), and Gold/BGO (one of the rarest resources in this universe)
  • Cargo bays and fuel tanks require ZR (AML) and FET (High Powered Blast Furnace)

This leaves two things that the average player less than 6 months old could maybe produce on their own: Hull plates, and SSC. Anyone who can produce the rest of this stuff isn’t going to need to buy hull plates or SSC from a newer player, but even if they did we could probably have a single player provide all the production that is needed for the entire universe, and their products would pile up indefinitely on the CX from just a couple of production facilities.

Ship building might open up a few new markets for lower level players to invest in, but for the most part the resources and the critical parts of the production process are completely out of their reach. Creating a ship on their own is both completely out of reach, and a terrible investment. As mentioned earlier, the ROI on a ship is many times worse than a base, and that is while using some generous calculations.

Right now ship building is basically a fancy and complicated way to give players who have been around a while something to do while they are bored. It will be completely and utterly useless when the universe is reset and nobody has the resources or the need to build a ship for at least a year after that.


not gonna lie, I really hoped we had some lower level ships available from tech level. Maybe the STL only ships could be moved down to that level?

Could have seen the progression go something like:

25/25, 50/50 and 25/100 ships - Tech level, around 500k-1m each with no or very slow FTL (maybe 2-3x slower than current ships)

100/100, 200/200 and 125/400 ships - Eng level, around 1m-2m each with similar contraint as above

bigger ships + faster ships available at sci level (3-5m for STL and 5m+ for STL)

(obviously just a rough idea of how I would see it, dont think its quite balanced like that)

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Being a new player, i didn t look at the ships apart from curiosity’s sake. But from the little i understood, the floor price of the ship is so high that a lot of options are useless. I mainly want to talk about cargo, having the 3 types of big cargo is a nice idea, but apart from the people who wants to be among the 1st to build their ship and may have cut some corners here and there to make them, is there really an economic reason to not take the biggest cargo possible ? When you ve sunk several millions into your ship, would anyone be cheap enough to take the smallest cargo bay possible to save maybe 1 million ? Is the speed gain big enough for the player to sacrifice cargo space when the price difference is that small compared to the huge cost of the ship ?

Also, at one point i thought it could ve been nice to have a feature where people (well maybe a group of people/corpo) could mass produce cheap ships and sell them on the market/LM. But at that price, it s not possible. But what i can envision if selling ships is possible, is new players selling one of their starting ship for big seed money.

If just imagining the consequences of the possibility of selling ships as a whole product, leads to weird decisions being the most logical (a space trader selling one of his ship instead of looking to acquire more), then there s a balance/cost issue.

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Well, ships ain’t cheap, that’s for sure.
I’ve allready invested countless millions in infrastructure, just to be able to make the electronics for the ships. ( Rfabs / Afabs, resource taps , … ) It’s costed me 25 - 30 million to get to this point, and I have yet to start on engines.

I also need to repair my bases that need Afabs, and those are really expensive to buy if you can’t make them yourself ( like me atm ).

You don’t need ships for shipping contracts only. You will need ships when you have so many bases that you can’t ship it all on your own.

The biggest problem is that currently there are not enough engineers / scientist in the universe ( also a lack of technicians overall ) to be able to expand the shipbuilding infrastructure to the point where we can mass produce.

Problem will still be that the same 5-10 dudes will have ships and the other 300 won’t ever be close

I find ship construction quite well balanced. Maybe SKF is a bit too useless.
If ships would be cheaper the shipping industry will die off and there will be no way for newer players to make a quick well earned cash infusion. - Ships should stay expensive to keep the shipping industry alive in a mid to late developed game.
I also find it quite good that the new ship production chains encourage players to aim higher than T1 industry. Combined with POPI ( which in theory should restrict aggressive expansions by base spam ) it should offer a more balanced growth in the coming rounds.

The only issues I have all around are :

  • how can population stealing be fixed at higher tiers.
  • worker pool being adjustable at population tier level by governor.

Is this from the perspective of a 500+ day old player though?
I’m here looking (as a 1 year old player who hasn’t expanded very aggressively) at it as near unattainably expensive. I think the barrier for entry is crazy high. The inequality this will encourage is very worrying from a gameplay perspective. I do wonder if the removal of the MM’s might encourage medium sized players to actually be able to make some bids.

I’ve been inactive since end of January or so, thus my real game age is maybe half-ish year.
A small player doesn’t need more than 2 ships until he gets to 10-15+ colonies. Making ships accessible to a low point would kill any shape or form of shipping industry ( why pay people for shipping when the return of investment for building a ship is acceptable and more profitable? ).

Fear of inequality is misplaced in my opinion.
The likelihood of people that are able to build ships to get involve in shipping contracts is rather non-existent.
So, from the perspective of a player that throughout 6 months I invested in progressing the tech levels rather than getting fat wallet I believe the cost/reward is quite low.

10-15 bases?
Let’s check the low point on that and how you can manage to do anything.
10 Bases, fully done, so around 40 DW, 40 RAT
all bases within 1 day of each other, a perfect circle
Consumables delivery for 10 days
pickup 10x10x40, 4000 DW 4000 RAT
1st ship takes DW, 2nd ship takes 1900 RAT (3rd ship takes 1900)
You need 3 ships to deliver just consumables.
Who will deliver your cargo between bases?

How did you arrive at any player needing just 2 ships until 10-15 bases? Please show me some simple math so I can enlighten myself.
Please don’t tell me other players, because if everyone is forced to do your logic only new players will be delivering anything and only until they are self sustainable at which point they will start posting contracts not taking them.
Also at some point the number of new players will drop and what then? You’ll just multi account and ship for yourself?
Aldin, please provide some formulas that make you believe that 2 ships is enough and that forcing everyone to build everything in game before building a ship is ok.
Also, other issues you have, feel free to voice them in different thread and keep this one about ship building, thx.

My issue of inequality is not that big players will take shipping contracts. It’ll more be they just stop needing to post them and they’ll also have the ability to crash every market price and still make huge profit as they can suddenly ship huge quantities of goods. As soon as someone can reliably ship a whole base of RIGs H2O production off Etherwind there goes any chance of smaller players selling DW.
Yes this will lower overall prices and H2O prices for smaller players which may be good, demand will also grow hugely to match. But the issue is the pull away for large players will be astronomical.

I’m not sure I understand your math. You multiply consumption for 10 days with number of bases and deliver every day to each base and you come to conclusion you need 3 ships?

Why don’t you supply with max cargo/trip each base, this way in 5 trips x 2 ships = 10 bases with 1290 DW/RAT for 30 days. ( I just simplified the import need to fit your example ). So, having this exercise completed you supplied in 5 days 10 bases for 30 days and have 2 ships free for the rest 25 days.

My bases are designed as minimum import/export but it’s up to you how you build and play, however, a 15-20 days supply for a colony is achievable with one cargo load. Assuming you pick all the cargo to a central point of distribution then 30 - 40 fully fledged bases can be supplied by two ships, more or less depending on proximity.

Which “other issues” I should mention in another topic?.
The two topics I listed are strictly related to shipbuilding.

  • Population siphoning is a direct impact of Shipbuilding where more and more players will eventually tech up to join the race of shipbuilding and have this side-effect.
  • Worker pool adjustment is related to above population siphoning where 10% of tech/eng/sci in a base exist to serve these migrations or expansions.

I can agree with that @Bobemor but I have no idea what the impact will be and it was proven in past that speculating didn’t work very well regarding market dynamic in this game.
In past rich people used to buy all stocks and relist at insane prices. So, I guess, we will find out.

Ugh, now you say 30-40 full bases is ok for two ships, so I’ll just drop the discussion with you.
Nice trolling.

@molp can you please at least answer what @Visinvictus was saying about costs?

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well… technically as long as they don’t need any imports they should be fine, just cycle where your ships go and take back the exports to a central hub such as the cxs, but you’d have to make every base do everything rather than utilizing them to their maximum capacity. It all depends on what kind of bases you have, i can have 2 bases and not have enough ships because my second base is a full rtap. the converse is also true

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I have 20 bases currently and at some times I feel I need additonal ships, but most of the time I get by with them.

I have some corp members doing some occasional shipping for me, but not all that much.
I’m currently building one heavy ore hauler type of ship, because that’s mostly what I need around now, because those metals are damn heavy :slight_smile:

I do agree though, that while high end ships should be expensive, I feel that intra system ships should be easier to make, and would only need tech ( and an occasional engineer item ) to build.

This would be small, slow ships on tech level.
We can then expand to better ships ( engineer and scientist level ) to create faster / higher cargo ships.

FTL ships should stay at engineer/scientist lvl I feel.

But making the first intra system only ships available to tech level would help greatly by expanding system production hubs ( because right now, it’s faster to jump out system and back in then travelling through the system ).

The ship to me that makes sense for new players to have some ability to make is an intra-system ship which can’t land on planets. While that is not useful in the current game, once we have space stations and asteroid mining, such a ship would have a niche to fill.

hm still leaves the shipyard that needs A-Fabs.

2 types of shipyards.

1 for small intra system ships,
1 for the bigger and FTL ships

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