TL;DR: Cosmetic ship interiors for bragging rights and friendly capsuleer visits. Optionally, include crew to have personal tamagochi / Sims.
The suggestion has multiple modules. Some may be easier to code in than others, but even partial implementation would be fine.
For now, we have several minigames in EVE already. And that’s a part of what makes it a great MMO. Project Discovery, hacking, planetary interaction, maybe more that I can’t think of atm.
The suggestion here is to add another. An editable interior for every ship. With crew or without.
Luxury ships can have an advantage here by being more customizable.
Different styles ranging from death metal black fabric and red painted steel, over classy chandeliers, fireplaces and rocking chairs to grass, trees and flowers. My Little Pony, Marvel or Warhammer.
While the ship is docked, you can show it to other people.
Later, we could get a minigame with living things for our decorations. Fallout Shelter or Sims come to mind. Eventual profits from such games would be negligible and there would be no combat advantages involving it. Maybe a little bit of skill points over time. Rewards would be in minutes and you could save up a few hours of training time over one month.
If there’s AI crew, they could require food, water, medical supplies, etc. That useless stuff from the auction.
There were a bunch of places on the Internet discussing the crew in EVE. There was one that mentioned how the amount of crew depends mostly on capsuleer’s preference.
People you find as cargo on quests or buy from he auction could be your crew. Some might even require cash to work.
The voluntary crew members know that it’s extremely dangerous working for a capsuleer. Many of the crew are either running from something, serve a sentence or were just unlucky. Others however, wanted to travel the space, research or explore without their boss being bound by laws or paperwork.
Some join the capsuleers’ crews for the risk and thrill.
Some are in it for the riches. “Planetary currency is near worthless in isk” - some ingame quest. And this: “(…) For example, a capsuleer can afford a spaceship corvette like it’s nothing.”
WALKING THE SHIP:
Player can come and visit the crew of a ship in person. It becomes a big event. Affects crew happiness, loyalty, etc.
For this, the ship must be inactive but unpackaged and the player must be in their pod in the station.
Character attributes matter for the player’s AI avatar. Player can issue movement orders for themselves, but can’t affect how crew interacts with him/her.
Some members who may be kidnapped from a quest or bought from the market may even try to kill the player’s avatar.
But since the player is in the pod, it actually means the avatar visiting the crew is just a cheap, volatile clone (10k-100k isk) without implants that lasts only for a short while anyway.
If the minigame would be affected by combat, it would be in a suspended state by default. It would work if you have its window opened, minimized or forced to “always on”. To not be a load on the servers, the AI could be client-side. On large ships, not every single crew member would be simulated. At that point, the game would treat it more like SimCity. Might even have to reserve a CPU core for itself.
In combat you’d have to be careful of hull breaches. If it happens, the location could be random. But if the position of rooms inside the ship are relative to the actual played ship,… Great! Anyway, depending on the damage type:
armor damage would:
- destroy lamps, screens,… (EMP)
- heat up the environment (thermal)
- shake the ship (kinetic, explosion)
Hull damage would electrocute, burn or make holes (deep and narrow for kinetic, wide for explosion).
Some players would really love the minigame and would try hard. Others would collect human “cattle” just to see them die in combat or of starvation. Some wouldn’t even bother (as they don’t with planetary interaction, data sites or Project Discovery).
Either way, it might help with player retention. Even if it’s for the wrong reason.