Storage. I’ve been looking at this since I started playing. Currently, it’s broken down into 2 categories: Weight and Volume. I understand why it’s like this, but it really doesn’t make any sense. I’ve been working in the logistics sector for decades now, and I can tell you that only Volume is relevant . If I have storage, let us say a Warehouse, then the weight of what I put in there is irrelevant. Only the Volume matters. I can stack things up to the roof, if I needed to. The weight of what I put in there doesn’t matter, not even a little bit. Only the Volume that something takes up matters. For any warehouse that is on a planet, you should eliminate the Weight stat, and only use the Volume.
For moving things on ships, again, Volume is what matters. Weight would only make a difference in the fuel used. Mass matters! But only so far as how much fuel will you need to lift off from a planet. Engine strength might come into play, for liftoff, but I don’t know enough about the space travel mechanics to factor that in. From playing with the sliders while trying to fly from one place to the other, I noticed that it’s really wonky. Fuel changes are erratic at best.
So, main theme of this post is: Due away with Weight for storage purposes, because they are really irrelevant. Change the formula for spaceflight to be based on weight, and allow full volume of your cargo bays.
Mass is an interesting factor in this context. It should matter, but basically there’s no real limit to the mass a ship could carry except for the amount of fuel burned to accelerate and decelerate it. So yes, volume is what matters.
Here’s another thought: if we were doing this in real life (at least for sub-relativistic flight) there’s no reason to keep solid cargo inside the ship. Even liquids or gases could be carried externally if there was a [relatively cheap] container.
Mind you, it could be complex deciding what does and doesn’t need a container. So to keep it simple, we assume that ALL external cargo needs a container; therefore for a surcharge you can carry cargo externally. If you do that, you can carry as much as you like - but you still need to pay the penalty for mass. It would basically work out to being able to carry practically any amount of cargo - but the more you carry, either the more fuel you burn or the slower you have to go.
(External cargo could be only permitted in space - you can’t land with containers. There would still be
a reason to carry a small amount of internal cargo).
I know mass can impact your thrust to weight ratio, which affects many aspects of space flight and can significantly impact the travel distance of the ship and is kind of the most important thing when flying. This depends on both the planets gravity as well as the actual mass of what is being hauled though.
If you assume that the current engines can’t lift more than 400kN (assuming gravity of the planet is 10 kg/m/s^2) of cargo plus the weight of the ship, then you wouldn’t even be able to get off a planet regardless of how much fuel you’re willing to burn. Also to accelerate and decelerate during flight is also heavily impacted by mass which would affect fuel consumption and flight times.
The way they bring volume into flying is that the larger the volume theoretically the more FF you would have to use for faster than light travel. However, this doesn’t really make sense unless the ship’s cargo holder expands and contracts based on what it is holding.
As far as storage on a planet goes I agree, seems a bit irrelevant to be blocked by mass instead of volume, it would make more sense to be governed by weight if the argument is that it is being limited by the structural components of the storage facility.
If your ship never landed, then I can see external cargo containers being added to the outside of your ship. But, so far as I can tell, all ships need to take off and land on planets. So unless they make some kind of space dock, where you can attach extra pods on your ship, lets say we just skip it.
Grimble makes a good point, and one I pointed out in my original post: You need the thrust to escape the planet’s gravity.
Weight shouldn’t matter, only volume. You will still be limited to what your ship can lift with, and land with, though. So a planets gravity is VERY relevant! But you can move some really heavy stuff from a low grav planet to another low grav planet. Or from a low grav planet to the new space based CXO’s they are planning. And, the heavier you are, the more fuel you will burn to speed up and slow down.
The ship builders might actually want to figure out what mass their new ships can lift with, before pulling the trigger and building that new starship!