Starter Ship Rebalance Discussion

Continuing a conversation about rebalancing the 2 starter ships as in my opinion they feel to powerful compared with early game ships to incentivise ship building.

To add to what I said in Montem chat and to clarify my opinion I think that there should be cheaper options for ships in the early game as well as ship refitting and more specification.

Firstly the Shipyard, its the most expensive project by far which makes it a massive wall behind shipbuilding and the shipyards on planets in the starter systems don’t really help either as you have to build a base with the sole purpose of building yourself ships. My suggestion would be adding a new building much more affordable to begin the shipbuilding process which would be the ‘Refit Yard’ or something along those lines where ships could have replacement parts put in eg a better engine or new cargo hold.

Secondly, the starting ships are too powerful compared with early game ‘built ships.’ To build the cheapest ship in the game would cost a play hundreds of thousands and would give them a ship unable to do FTL travel and that had very little cargo. My solution to this would be weakening the Starting ships and making them require more fuel and have less cargo but make upgrading to the ships equivalent to current starter ships slightly cheaper. This would both allow players to run fleets of ships earlier and would make the industry of ship building more important.

Finally some more interesting modules for the early ships would be fun for example early versions of the Mass or Volume favored cargo holds like a very cheap 50m^3/500t or 500m^3/50t.

A general balance issue with ships is a missmatch on the fuel tanks. SF fuel tanks are far larger than is actually needed. There will almost never be a situation where you actually need more than 500 fuel in the tank, let alone 1500. On the other hand, long trips around the galaxy will definitely need more than 300 FF fuel, but that’s all we have there. It’s doubly odd since FF is extremely easy to transport and we could just have it in our cargo holds, but that’s a separate issue.

The basic STL fuel tank that starter player ships should probably have is 600, which would also be reasonable as the smallest fuel tank in the game. Most two way trips from planet to CX cost around 200-300 SF.

The FTL fuel tank for starter ships should also be at least 600. A round trip between two CXs will run 200 FF, that’s twelve jumps. Though I think 800 would be better, as that allows for the tanks to store enough for a round trip 12 jumps away or a one way trip 24 jumps away.

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I really like this for helping our fuel refiners early game. Way less to get dumped on the market early on. And as a guy with an Ementior base, saves the hassle of carrying extra FF for an nonextraordinary base distance.

You wouldn’t be able to get trading off the ground with smaller ships. The space on the current ships is barely enough to transport heavier metals as it is.

You also wouldn’t be able to have enough room for a second base on a gas giant-which would mean no fuel, no ships as key Shipbuilding components are on gas giants.

AEF is pretty heavy.

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You DO have two ships

This is why my suggestion includes Ship Refitting and cheaper early game ship upgrades. If my suggestion was implemented it should include lower tier cargo bays in terms of resources, maybe a 500/500 bay that can be made in a settler building but would require much more (but lower tier ie AL and FE) in terms of resources than the SKF version.

Yeah, I think allowing refitting and allowing the starter ships to be refitted is key to making shipbuilding viable.

Imagine a universe in which the starter ships suck, but with settlers and techs, you can make a slightly bigger cargo hold or fuel tank then slap it into a starter ship. This would allow shipbuilding to exist as a business before someone can make a complete ship because the individual parts could be put into existing ships.

We’d also need higher damage on the starter ships to drive demand for hull plates and hull plate upgrades.

I’d also suggest maybe adding a tier of upgrades that require engineers but not scientists for a more natural progression.

Yeah I really think the first FTL ships should be Engi and no Sci it feels weird that Engis have nothing to really do without Sci

Also as a general note for shipbuilding and refitting, the jump from tiny to small crew quarters is huge in terms of cost. Going straight from techs to needing scientists to make WAI. Once refitting is in, it would be nice if the way that crew quarters worked was redone to make it more gradual and with a direct upgrade system so you can always increase the size/tier of your crew quarters.

I also think Crew Quarters should come with crew, Eg the CQT has 100 Crew, the CQS has 200 Crew 10 FTL Operators, and so on (for example the glass STL engine could require 20 of your Crew.) This would mean you could see what modules would require a higher crew quarters size and also would show you what crew quarters are needed for FTL (could have them match PIO, SET, TEC…)

One note about all but the glass STL engines, their automatic cooling system requires a WAI to build. It makes glass the only option before scientists and nothing else about the engines is as hard to make as the WAI. Exchanging the ACS for a RCS would bring the requirement down to technicians instead, allowing standard and quick-charge STL engines to be built at technician level. Advanced and hyperthrust engines currently have a minimum bridge size of mk2, which currently prevent them from being used before scientists.