The fleet carrier beta has ended and it’s been an interesting couple of weeks exploring the carrier. I always find the betas useful for trying out new features without any risk before it hits the live galaxy. Mistakes can end up being costly if a Commander isn’t careful.

Over the last few days of the beta, I decided to MAX out all of the services just to see what kind of costs a fully equipped carrier would produce. 24.7 million was the final weekly cost figure. Just adding a shipyard and outfitting nearly doubled the weekly running costs. A huge jump. I can afford it but I don’t think I can really justify the expense of shipyard or outfitting onboard.

A carrier, run for the benefit of a large group or squadron, will find shipyard and outfitting facilities incredibly valuable, almost essential, but for the lone commander, the benefits really don’t outweigh the costs. How many ship sales would I get anyway? How many commanders would need to change modules on their ships? Very few. It seems a bit of an indulgence for a lone CMDR.

My plan is to fit out a carrier that focuses on maintenance services with additional redemption and universal cartographic offices for cashing in bounties and data. The ability to rearm, refuel and repair is essential for the carrier to be of any use anyway especially if the ship is a long way from home. I suppose the shipyard and outfitting could be added at a later date if I feel I really need them. I’m won’t be in any rush to add them yet though.

One excellent link that I came across was The website provides the ability to calculate FC fuel requirements for jump routes. Colonia to Asellus Primus back in the bubble is listed, for example, as 6,659t of Tritium. This useful website has changed my attitude to long journeys in the carrier. Moving the carrier back to the bubble is now a distinct possibility when looking at those calculation numbers. I’ll probably try that early next year when I head back to the bubble from Colonia.

So what are fleet carriers missing? Well, a view of the carrier during jumps is an essential addition. The noise of the ship’s drive getting ready to jump is very atmospheric and the visual effects as the carrier jumps are also impressive but currently, you see nothing if you’re on board. The ability to schedule jumps would be a nice addition especially if the carrier had a long-range navigation plotter added. A message board for the carrier owner would be great too though it would have to have tight rules to stop potential abuse.

The potential of the fleet carrier is huge but I do wonder how it will change the galaxy. How will these mobile bases be used by commanders and squadrons? I’m sure groups and organisations will find carriers invaluable. Will the carriers spread out across the galaxy providing a safe refuge for explorers and travellers in remote locations? I really hope so.