In an announcement of the official forum today, Frontier have mentioned some huga changes to fleet carrier mechanics. The next beta for fleet carriers begins on the 11th of May and is available on all platforms for the first time. The changes made should make a lot of CMDRs very happy indeed (whether they admit it or not). During the beta which carries through until the 26th, there are some noteworthy changes coming thanks to feedback from beta 1 last month.
Fleet Carriers will have Universal Cartographics available as an optional service.
This was a large concern for explorers out in the black during the first test. One use for carriers will no doubt be exploratory outposts in various locations throughout the galaxy. Previously, with no cartographic options available, CMDRs would have had to travel back to occupied space in order to sell valuable (both in monetary and notoriety terms) exploration data.
Providing Universal Cartographics seems a no brainer, and we’re glad to see Frontier have got this in the works for the next beta. This way, players will be able to sell data at operational outposts, providing more use for the carriers especially in terms of larger scale expeditions
Decommissioning now refunds the full fleet carrier cost
On this one it’s important to note that unpaid debt will be recovered from this refund, but it’s a great step for those concerned about losing credits. Where previously Frontier have reduced upkeep costs substantially (by around 85%) and extended the debt period, this now means that those who take a break from the game don’t need to worry about losing their carriers.
To stop negative effects from abandoned fleet carrier detritus (fletritus?), Frontier have been clear that upkeep will be required. A concern here was that if a commander wanted to take a break from the game they would have the possibility of losing their carrier, and a lot of money put towards it. Even with upkeep vastly reduced, meaning carriers could easily be maintained without player interaction for years, CMDRs still weren’t overly happy.
This step will see the full cost of the carrier returned to the player, with the only reduction being unpaid debt for recovery, and a static fee when decommissioning voluntarily.
Module and ship storage provided as default for the owner
Another great change is that fleet carrier owners will now be able to store their own ships and modules on the fleet carrier as standard. Shipyards will still need to be fitted to allow other CMDRs to take advantage of facilities, but having the ability to store your own fleet without additional purchases is a great move.
Tritium performance doubled
In the upcoming beta, Tritium consumption has been reduced by approximately half. This will make movement twice as efficient, however Frontier have noted that this will continue to be monitored, and rebalanced during and after the second beta period.
Many commanders have been sad to see the high cost of fleet carriers continue during the beta. Typically during Frontier’s betas, costs have been greatly reduced and in some cases simply turned into one unit of fish. Instead of the typical 10-15% price, fleet carriers were to remain at 100% of their in game estimated cost. This move was simply to ensure that both sides of fleet carriers were adequately tested.
If the carriers were 15% of the usual cost, every CMDR in the galaxy would own one, and interest in testing the User elements, rather than the owner elements, would have been sparse. To ensure full testing of both important issues, the high cost will remain in the second beta. However during the final stages of the beta, carriers will have a reduced cost of just one million credits.
These changes are all very welcome, and we hope that many commanders will embrace them. Once again Frontier have proven their commitment to the title, and to the community around it, by responding comprehensively to player feedback. Let us know what you think in the comments below, and over on Facebook and Twitter.