I have been thinking of Multicapsule Ships recent days and I feel that it is time to improve the concept further. There are some things that need to be addressed right away.
Multicapsule Ships - Crew Time Zone Differences, Log Off Needs and Lore Elements around that
I have to admit that I hadn't thought about that at all, ever since I started to make the Multicapsule Ships (MS) concept. Like - what was I thinking!? Maybe I assumed that the MS crew will play 20 hours a day, every day?
EVE takes a big and prominent part of our lives, but we got other things in our life that we got to take care of and they are, or should be, of greater importance in general. Family, kids, income - all the things that are interconnected to our lives and keep us going, needs no explanation. Everyone manages their time differently and will not always be able to be in fleet, managing the MS, far away from any station, out in the deep of Uncharted Space. So this needs to be addressed for our MS here.
When flying in a MS, it would be recommended to have a crew that is in the same time zone or close. The story would be that in Uncharted Space, on the far reaches of K-Space, due to some special conditions, there would be some pilot fatigue building up, a result from the increased distance to the EVE Gate, which, as some recent discoveries might claim, would emit a vast field that improves pilots overall body endurance. Same field, on a smaller scale would be emitted by planets. The fatigue would build up slowly and capsuleers would need to hibernate in their capsules (log off even during fleet operations, when they have to go), and that would also explain why they don't wake up from their hibernation when the MS has been attacked while other crew members (that are logged in) are operating it.
In order to hibernate, a capsuleer should leave all their ships and bring their capsule in the Shell (the large capsule that contains the other capsules). Once this is done, they would have left the rest of their ships and equipment to be used by the rest of the crew, rather than hibernating in their ship in the Deck, which would leave it unusable. Alternatively the Captain of the MS should be able to move any pilot's capsule to the Shell, if they have left it in a ship in the Deck, like a loving father or mother, that carries their child to the bed, after finding them asleep on the couch.
There will be some improvements to the Shell in this blog, described below.
When the ship is not in use (all crew members logged off) it should be cloaked and removed from space, just like the Safe Logoff mechanics that are currently in place. Upon a crew member login, they would appear in the ship, but the ship should still be cloaked, until they want to operate with it. If they don't operate it in case they want to wait for other crew members that are about to log in soon, the cloak would remain indefinitely. After the crew starts to operate the ship, it should decloak.
With these things in mind, there can be some options for MS crews in terms of time zones and log off needs. The concept will evolve accordingly, to supplement pilots in that regard, having more and larger MS for various fleet sizes.
Which leads to the next thing.
Multicapsule Ships Sizes and Storing Capabilities
In the previous MS post, I described that the ships will have Small, Medium and Large categories.
In the Small category I described some sub-categories that were:
Yes, they are scratched, cause I feel the concept would be too complicated with them, having too many hull variants that would not be viable. Instead the three big categories - Small, Medium and Large - will remain, offering ships of fixed size and crew capabilities, that would be reasonable to fly in the dangerous environment on the far reaches of our space.
So let's get to it.
I have been thinking on the size of ships that a Small MS would be able to store in its Deck. Well I have settled on the fact that MS will be capital ships, even the smallest ones. Having a capital ship, supplemented only by some frigates or destroyers, housed in its Deck, plus some battlecruisers attached to it, would not be very efficient. To scale things a bit I got another idea.
A Small MS should be able to store at least two cruisers inside its Deck. Plus at least two battlecruisers in its two Attachment Hardpoints. Additionally I am thinking of giving Small MS one Fighter Launch Tube - to be able to have one fighter wing for better combat capabilities.
In order to keep the existing carriers and supercarriers viable, MS fighter capabilities should be limited, since they are not as specialized as carriers in terms of fighters.
About the Small MS Deck Capabilities
As I described in the previous post a MS Deck would have storing capabilities measured in Deck Points. This is needed, since the capsuleer crew would be able to dock their ships there. Each ship would have different Deck Points designation. The following Deck Point designations are still not set in stone, but here they are in their current form:
Corvettes and Frigates - 1
Bombers - 2 (they need more space for maintenance, since they are specialized)
Destroyers, including Tactical Destroyers - 3
Cruisers - 4
Strategic Cruisers - 5 (again since their subsystem specialization they need more space)
Battlecruisers - 6
Battleships - 12
Carriers - to be determined
Supercarriers - to be determined, but maybe it will not be possible for them to be stored in an MS Deck, even in Large MS.
Another thing - the Shell.
In the previous post I proposed that the Shell should have some limited space for capsules inside of it,
A Shell should be able to house all the capsules of the maximum possible pilot count that a MS can support, both in Deck capabilities and Attachment capabilities. Even when there are pilots attaching their ships to the MS surface, they should be able to transfer their capsules to the Shell.
Attachment Hardpoints Capabilities
In the previous post I described a Small Attachment Hardpoint capabilities on a Small MS. Ships attaching capabilities were as follows:
It is scratched, because a new design is needed.
I feel that in order to simplify these things, Attachment Hardpoints should have the same ship accommodating design as the Deck Points system.
So the new design of a Small Attachment Hardpoint should have 6 points, meaning that it can store one battlecruiser, or one cruiser and one bomber, or one cruiser and two frigates, or two destroyers, or three bombers, or 6 frigates and other combinations in this limit.
Visually I imagine Attachment Hardpoints like elliptic or circular sockets, similar to the sockets of the Triglavian ships weapons, that would be deep enough to make some room for a ships gathered one next to each other in the socket. For vertical ships, there should be some sockets on the sides of the MS, or maybe if that is not possible, vertical ships should be laid down on their sides on the normal sockets. The Attachment Hardpoint would hold the ships with a strong gravity and/or electromagnetic force field, having them float a little above the hardpoint surface.
So let's have an example with a Small MS.
It should be able to store at least two cruisers in its Deck, meaning that it should have 8 Deck Points.
That would mean that it can also store smaller ships: 8 frigates, or 4 bombers, or 2 destroyers and one bomber, or 2 destroyers and 2 frigates and any other combination of ships within the 8 deck points limit.
In addition, a Small MS would have two Small Attachment Hardpoints, each of them having 6 points capability, (12 points total) meaning it would be able to attach two battlecruisers at least and 12 frigates at most and any other combination within that limit.
That makes up to 8 frigates in Deck and up to 12 frigates attached, meaning that the Shell should be able to accomodate 20 capsules . Adding the captain of the MS and the shell would need to accommodate 21 capsules total.
This is for the Small MS. Other MS sizes will have increasing number of ships for their Deck and Attachment Hardpoints.
Also: MS should have a Fleet Hangar for storing capsuleer crew modules for their ships, as well as Ship Maintenance Bay in order to store fitted ships, ready to be deployed to the Deck. This makes the concept MS to have the following inventory:
Drone Bay (including for the large mining drones with strip miner capabilities)
Ship Maintenance Bay
Solar Jump Fuel Bay
Cynosural Jump Fuel Bay
Hmm... I think i got them all.
I will just remind that MS would have micro factories on board, to be able to build their modules and ammo, maybe even crew ships. So they definitely will be large. The smallest of them would be a little larger than a carrier and the larger of them will grow huge. Largest of them will be Motherships, probably able to store even carriers in their Decks.
These are the things I imagine for this developing concept.
The project is evolving, thanks God!
I am so grateful that I can bring these things to you guys. I hope you enjoy.
See you next time!