Elite Ship Transfer Feature

Lots of folks have opinions on this, and I’ll be honest I won’t cry whatever happens. I just don’t want Frontier to close the doors on some really nice richness and depth ( things that Elite: Dangerous is often accused of lacking).

So, if I were the owner for this feature I would set it out into manageable, atomic stories, earliest, biggest wins first. So I’d propose these:

#1 Instant Transfer

Bring your desired ship to the current shipyard.

  • The ship must fit the station size and on surface must have planetary approach suite. 
  • Cost should scale with distance
  • Cost must increase with ship value

#2 Time Delay for delivery

Ships need to take time to travel, transport firms have large stocks of jumponium materials to make jumps very quick. Don’t worry about drive capability yet.

  • Delay based on total distance, eg, 50ly / minute
  • Minimum delay (eg 2 mins)
  • Maximum delay (eg 15 mins)
  • Inbox messages when ship arrives

#3 NPC Ship Transfers

In supercruise generate various random ships named “Ship Transfer Contract”

These can be a new source of gameplay where faster ships or jump disrupting modules are useful

  • NPC ships are flighty, tend to run away fast
  • Drop jumponium materials if destroyed
  • Spawn more often if the current system is a CG location

#4 NPC Transfer ship chatter

Depends on #3

  • New NPCs chat about their trips, mention the scary things they see in hyperspace
  • Could be useful later for stories

#5 Generate NPC Ship Transfer Missions

Depends on #3 

Extending from #3 These can be a new source of gameplay where faster ships or jump disrupting modules are useful

  • Blockade, destroy X transfer ships to frustrate trade/CG/war efforts
  • Assassinate, target masquerading as a ship transfer
  • Pirate, steal cargo

#6 Remote Transfer

Depends on #1

This will take alot of UI work, low down on the list as I think this is nice to have.

  • From current star port send any owned ship to any other compatible station
  • Integrate with galaxy map.
  • Inbox messages when ship arrives

#7 Transferred ships landing

Depends #3

Another nice to have, not much work perhaps but not essential

  • When your ship is about to arrive an NPC jumps in and lands
  • Ship has your paint job, decals, modules
  • Ship may have damage when landing
  • More chatter on landing
  • Fate of ship has no impact on the actual delivery

    What would make me just live with instant transfers? Well, probably not much.

    If it became that ship ownership was essentially just transferred to a new hull and modules at your target station I would go for that totally. But with some caveats. Costs should then be like shipyard costs and not related at all to distance most if the time.

    1. If the station sells this hull price is 10% of the ship value, lower if you are allied to the station.
    2. If ship is not sold here, you must be allied with this station to transfer your ship
    3. If it doesn’t sell the hull here the price is higher as they have to pull the ship out of special reserved stock

    Please no instant ship transfer!

    ​Hi FD, I don’t often post [in the FD forums] but do read alot, one thing important to so many of us with ED is “believability” virtually everything fits into a possible sci-fi future, but to me at least instantly transferring ships weighing 100s of tonnes doesn’t.

    I understand the gameplay desire to switch rolls at a location but I feel this instantaneous flip closes the door on some things that really would be a boon to the richness of the game (and perhaps provide a valuable tool to those who like to disrupt CGs)

    First, I get the idea that you want this to be quick, you want to discourage it by giving it a cost too. But I believe the cost should be proportional to the jump capability (range, tank) and distance a ship would need to go. Summoning a T9 1000 lightyears should be very expensive (maybe summoning ships with insufficient jump ranges would be disallowed?)

    Second, instantly just doesn’t sit right, if I can do this with a ship and it’s current modules why not cargo, it jams a spoke in the wheels of immersion.  There could be a short delay, perhaps 10 mins max, proportional to the distance the ship has to go. In that ten minutes I might choose to do another cargo run, or a mission or buy a cheap eagle for some fighting. I could get a comms message saying my ship has arrived, perhaps even see it land.  This will give people more reason to stick around a system which can only be a good thing.
    We could see NPC ships flying about named “ship transfer” maybe aligned to some haulage company faction, or with escorts.  Maybe there could be missions to intercept haulage ships? (These NPCs wouldnt directly map to a player ship in transfer so could not be used to deny transfers)
    I am sure others feel the same, I look forward to the comments.