Registered: 1399599588 Posts: 3,007
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Okay, my take is that for capital ships, if there are 7 or 8 players, the extra players should be allowed to take shuttles. They won't have a SIGNIFICANT effect on the performance of the ship, any more than having someone double up on Comms or Sci will have a significant effect on the performance of the ship. This isn't about having the most crewmen on a ship, it's about how well the crew works as a team.
If you KNOW you're going to have 8 or 9 players, though, and don't want to split up into 2 ships, then a carrier is a viable option for which the players in their fighters will do a significant amount of the overall damage. A carrier just isn't suitable for 6 players. So the fighters on a carrier should be able to field a variety of weapons and ordinance that just isn't available for the shuttles on a capital ship. Alternately, a carrier can use NPC fighters to make up the difference with the Nerfed beams and torpedoes. NPC fighters won't be anywhere near as powerful as an actual player out there with another beam, but they're better than NOT having another beam. I don't know if Thom is planning on giving player carriers NPC fighters, particularly on this first release. Non-carriers definitely should NOT have NPC fighters. (Although unarmed shuttles for special missions are fine) I do think fighters should be a limited resource which a base will have to build replacements for. Likewise, whether fighters use the same missiles as their ship or not, they should be loaded from the ship, and replenished by a base when they run out.