OK, I think I've got a plan to implement now that is both respectful of elite lore and flavorful in terms of ship variety.
(Be warned, spreadsheets ahead...)
That can look pretty complicated but for the most part it's quite simple:
- 3 ship traits - as discussed up thread
- 2 positive attributes and 1 negative for each increase in a trait
- Equipment that has either one or two trait value requirements,
- equipment that also has a cargo space requirement,
and equipment that has no requirements at all (lowest rank of each grade)
The various grades represent distinct 'remodels' or 'custom' versions of each ship.
Instead of buying a new ship it is possible to remodel the ship you already have (with no depreciation costs
The key to understanding what any given ship is now capable of is to know both of its fixed qualites (tech and size) and also the default grade that holds its standard game profile.
The above is hardly perfect but I think it captures the feel of the core ships rather well.
Each grade is calculated from the (somewhat cryptically abreviated) formula in the Size area of the first table.
The ships that are perhaps doing too well
out of this at the moment are the Boa Cruiser and the Python Cruiser - I might need to refine the ruling for the bigger ships...
For my own amusement, I like to formalise the ship classes with particular names, so here's my latest update on that theme:
So possible ships include the Sidewinder Scout Ship
, the Asp Explorers
, the Eagle Long Range Fighters
and the Ophidian Yacht
but rather than being the only version of each ship they are now just one of five distinct models.
The naming scheme perhaps won't make it into the oxp but some of the other details might, such as where each model can be found for sale.
The distribution should seem fairly logical with one of the assumptions being that military grade craft are not commonly available in the more orderly systems.
To further explain the role distribution, the followimg table illustrates that it is not as restrictive as it might initially appear:
So whilst ship grade gives a clue to a ships business (as I think it should) such things are far from certain.
The grey lines are simply there to illustrate the variety of threat and appearance to the innocent trader.
- - - - - - - - - -
I've put quite a bit of thought into this and I think it makes ship choice more interesting.
In terms of game balance it's perhaps worth questioning just how well balanced the ships were in the first place - the Cobra Mk III (especially after its speed boost) and the Boa Class Cruiser are arguably 'super-ships' in the default game. With this system any 'super quality' in a ship should come at a cost beyond the initial purchase price.
If however, you just want to pilot your ship of choice, the one you like just how it is, then you'd probably be well advised to steer clear of this oxp. This mod will present choices and consequences; not the stuff of an easy ride or of right and wrong but perhaps, for some, the stuff of adventure...
...I may have oversold it a bit there
Now I just need a few (hopefully
) free hours at the keyboard and no unforseen problems (fingers crossed).