Now discussing in another thread of the issues with Large v Small Fleets, a comment was added which actually made a lot of sense:
The assumption that big fleets should expect to pay more because it was their choice to be big is wrong. I would agree if there were starbases that varied depending on the size of the fleet and such. But as we are all building the totally and exactly same thing that does not change wether you have 1 or 500 members, than there is no single reason for me to pay more only because I have more members. Currently, by the logic of size, it is that small fleets should expect to pay more per member, because it is their choice to remain small and not fully utilise the system in place.
This comment made more sense and actually nailed the bigger problem on the head. Why are Large Fleets and Small Fleets all building the same Starbases?
Surely it would make sense to actually have smaller bases for small fleets and Larger bases for the Larger Fleets?
Smaller bases don't need as many resources so straight away the projects require less to complete. Larger bases need more resources so the projects require more to complete.
You could actually get pretty smart here as well, imagine a small fleet which starts to expand and grow - additional projects can be utilised to "upgrade" the current base to a larger one. Once done, more items are unlocked, projects resources increase and your fleet can carry on with its expansion.
Something similar could work in reverse for the Larger fleets that have shrunk in numbers. Unable to fill projects due to lack of numbers? New projects which allow you to reduce the size of your base. Once complete, some items which were unlocked are now locked again, projects require less resources, ect.
The beauty with this sort of system means that fleets can either expand or contract themselves based on their current members. Small Fleets can stay small at the cost of cheaper projects but less items in their Fleet whereas the Larger fleets will have access to much more but costs a lot more to get there.
Thoughts , improvements, glaringly obvious loopholes to be pointed out always welcome
Biggest issue with implementing a change like this would be the effect on how the game is now. There will be winners and losers at the start yet this will happen with any big change.
To an extent this does already happen in that a small fleet has limited access to contributions so it stays small and doesn't get access to all the bits and pieces a large flets starbase has. As a result of this if a small fleet wishes to buy a fleet ship from their stores it costs less for provisions than the big fleet has to pay. Of course they also have a smaller selection to choose from.
Doing an entire starbase system with 5 tiers for multiple member sizes is just not practical on developer timings. That said as a small fleet owner with a pitiful Tier 1 starbase I would love to have a means of getting fleet marks more readily as I get really bored of constantly running elachi alert, fleet starbase defense and azura nebula all day at a mere 29 or so marks award per run.
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Doing an entire starbase system with 5 tiers for multiple member sizes is just not practical on developer timings.
This, really. Cryptic's trend is to build things that are "one-size-fits-all" to reduce their development time and get more "bang for the buck". For a F2P game, they pretty much have to do this.
When they built the starbases, they essentially built two complete interiors... and removed all of the eye-candy stuff that was project-unlock. At the same time, they built a series of exteriors to reflect the base progression from T0 to T5 for both Starfleet and KDF.
That's a lot of art development. Building even more variations of those isn't trivial for Cryptic to do, and not very cost-effective for what amounts to a "free" system.
Dirlettia is right. Fleets could essentially self-limit to T2 or T3 and never try for T5. I have doubts whether our fleet will ever get to T3, let alone T5. So maybe we are "right-sized" for our fleet, though I will probably never stop contributing. Cryptic chose to allow small fleets to "strive for five" and it was the right choice.
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Not to mention, you'll see tiny fleets that don't want to be constrained to some limitation based on their size.
I know of a 2-person fleet that reached Tier 5. They were willing to obtain and expend the resources necessary. The fact that your small fleet can't collectively grind that much is no reason to limit others.
Only thing I didn't see in the post is the "full" solution to the classic "build smallest fleet allowed by system, cheap-rush to T5, then balloon to 500" maneuver.
Yeah, I see "expansion projects", but what happens after the building is done but these projects aren't? "New" members are restricted to "low tier" goods till these expansions done? Base physically regresses?
Keep in mind, that with my in the stalled middle of progressing to T2 starbase, adequate provisons, and an invite easily attainable from global chat channels, I can buy anything available through the fleet system short of a T3-T5 fleet-grade starship, or the spire ships, and, in many cases, I can get an equivalent grade ship from the lockboxes...
Other than for "bragging rites" and the fact that if I get picked as leader for a fleet run I don't summon forth Rommies / Tholians / Borg / Undine / etc., I am not "unduly" suffering from not having a T5 fleet...
Well, with the upgrade announcement leaving NX and Connie fans in the dust again, can we restart / revisit the T5 Connie and NX threads - since they will no longer be "truly" endgame ships... (after we get the T5 versions, it'll be time to see them added to the T5U upgrade charts too...
For an example. Fleets who want that nice Conference Table, but buy it immediately with the Dilithium reserves. So they "requisition" it. But in reality its a very, very long term mission that we have to wait months for.
But no matter what, Cryptic really does need to address the base situation. It's really terrible on the Klingon side, where there is only like one or two active Tier 5 fleets and everyone else (that I know of are below Tier 3).