At Alecto's suggestion in Dev Blog #25, and with today's release of yet another shuttlecraft, I'm fairly certain no one will begrudge me for raising this oft-mentioned issue that has so far remained largely unaddressed.
Shuttlecraft, Ship slots, and Shuttlebays.
Within the space of just two weeks, we've had two new shuttlecraft released in the form of the Chaffee-class Type 10, and now the Yellowstone.
...On top of that, my oft-sparring partner DecadeComplete has just noted that there may very well be the possibility of yet another craft in the SC-4 "Type-13" shuttlecraft in the not so-distant-future.
Offhand, I can say I have a Captain's Yacht, Delta Flyer, Danube, Chaffee, Type-8 and now the possibility of the Yellowstone. That's an absurd six ship slots, and it's getting to a point where if I pick any more up, I'm going to have to start discharging entire starships in order to keep this flotilla.
What a completely ridiculous proposition.
"Well it's simple," I hear some of you saying already. "Don't buy any more shuttlecraft!"
Well, indeed. And that is exactly why I will not be buying the Yellowstone, with the knowledge that there are far more worthy candidates for that slot sitting right around the corner.
It was suggested some time ago that starships would be getting shuttlebays for the purpose of changing out to smaller craft. A common sense suggestion, if there ever was one. Unfortunately, I can only assume this idea fell by the wayside of "too much effort" amidst the acquisition of Cryptic by PWE, and all we ended up getting was a half-measure that allows us to access those small craft from the transporter room.
Well, acqusition is done, content is coming out, and we are faced with an utter deluge of small, explosive glorified lifeboats that seldom get used outside of certain missions... at the expense of our shipyard capacities.
Cryptic... Can we please get a better system here? I shouldn't be having to consider decommissioning a Luna class science ship just so I can claim my 400-day Yacht. Ideally, I'd like to see a full separation of shuttlecraft from the shipyard slots in to their own, bonafide shuttlebays accessible from the interior of a ship.
Believe it or not, I don't actually mind spending the occasional buck in the C-Store to get something cool and interesting... But when that purchase requires me to buy more ship slots to go with it? Thanks, but in this instance I'll pass.