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From Ben: How would you feel about replacing the Cutlass?

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From Ben: How would you feel about replacing the Cutlass?

 
 
 
wcloaf
 
 
 
 

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Posted: 1:34PM
 
 
 
While I'm here, let me ask you guys a theoretical question: how would you feel about replacing the Cutlass? That is: how mated are you to the current look of the ship? One thing John points out in his piece (... as best I can understand, anyway...) is that there are certain significant limitations to how we can place thrusters on the current design. So if everybody had the choice between the Cutlass commerce raider and, say, the Buccaneer interceptor that's more maneuverable but has a smaller cargo hold, would that be a reasonable compromise? It's something we've talked about internally, and so I'd be interested to hear the thoughts of the megathread. (Please don't consider that a promise of a new ship... it's something we're thinking about, but will need to decide and commit resources to first.)

One thing I write about in my bit is the original inspirations for the Cutlass, which may or may not explain why I'm looking at it differently than some folks. And that's entirely inside my head, behind closed doors, so I wouldn't expect anyone to know... but hopefully it explains a bit? The biggest inspiration for creating the Cutlass was the Galaxy transport in Privateer, specifically because of the emergent gameplay that happened. Anyone who wanted to be a pirate skipped the Centurion bounty hunter ship that was all around best at everything else and instead went with a Galaxy that had the extra placement for tractor beams and a larger cargo hold for loot. So the Cutlass started life as 'what if we build to that gameplay'...

 

banditloafCIG Employee 165 points 4 hours ago 

To clarify a bit: it wouldn't be replace the Cutlass so much as give the option for Cutlass pilots who aren't happy with the current ship to switch to the more maneuverable interceptor they're dreaming about. So the current Cutlass would remain (as would the role-specific variants.)

It's all theoretical right now, but I'm interested in feedback.

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https://forums.robertsspaceindustries.com/discussion/comment/5895357/#Comment_5895357

 
 
 
wcloaf
 
 
 
 

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Posted: 3:01PM
 
 
 


I hate to say but I feel your well thought out, constructive post will have fallen on deaf ears. I think Ben would have just read the first 3 people yesterday to say they would be happy with the Buccaneer, took that as validation and went to sleep.

I'm still here following the responses!
 
 
 
 
wcloaf
 
 
 
 

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Posted: 3:09PM
 
 
 

 

I don't envy you.
People are passionate about a spaceship I helped come up with; in the long run, that's pretty cool!

 

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They spent a considerable amount of resources on making the ship, make it even flyable, made a commercial for it, only to only throw it away as the original ship idea was ill-conceived. It is something else that pirates may want a more manoeuvrable ship which doesn't fly like a brick, as could have been expected because of the looks and thruster placement, but at least keep the original instead of revamping the ship again. It would be something else if the ship were still in a conceptual stage, but this thing is pretty much on the shelve now.

All-in-all, if the ship doesn't meet the expectations or there is a mismatch with the intended role, offer a refund option and develop a true pirate ship in addition, rather than a replacement. If the Cutlass would still be in a conceptual stage, than it would all be different and it could have been tweaked. Sadly, this is the stuff what you should expect when you let an artist engineer ships.

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I don't believe they would replace it, just relegate it to the commerce raider it was originally designed to be. However, they have said that it is going to be very maneuverable which can't be done. I still think it is a good ship (if overpriced) as a heavily armed transport, not a fighter. 

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If you want a more maneuverable dogfighter with a cargo hold, i'm pretty sure many would like the avenger. The only key difference is that it does not have the turret seat. I think the best solution is adding something in between like the Buccaneer but at the same time, I feel that the avenger already satisfies that. 

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If anything, I feel the Cutlass should really only be allocated to medical or police setups.  It fits those roles fairly well over the pirate setup.  They can use the game lore to phase it out of existence within the first year of the PU going live.  It would be a relic to behold that a ship that was "no longer feasible to make money" was cancelled and production shut down.  Then those who really like the ship can enjoy a rare find years down the line with these ships in the PU.  More or less, they can be NPC used for such roles and remain a ship that could be hard to find.

But I am with @Ostia, the RSI forums are gone....

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1 hour ago, Doopsums said:

If you want a more maneuverable dogfighter with a cargo hold, i'm pretty sure many would like the avenger. The only key difference is that it does not have the turret seat. I think the best solution is adding something in between like the Buccaneer but at the same time, I feel that the avenger already satisfies that. 

I think the Buccaneer will be the inexpensive version of the vanguard. Weapons, one turret, but short range, little armor, higher maneuverability, and no redundancies.

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48 minutes ago, faquarl25 said:

I think the Buccaneer will be the inexpensive version of the vanguard. Weapons, one turret, but short range, little armor, higher maneuverability, and no redundancies.

This is a bit the problem, if you propose the Buccaneer you open up to a tsunami of people that all have in mind different things regarding to what it has to be.

Some want a weaponized M50, some want a Sabre with another paintjob or a speedy Hornet ( good luck with that), some linked the Brutus, some want it to have cargo but still be nimble and such, already theorycrafting it against the Hornet ( less armor more cargo), some want what is in practice an Avenger variant.

Whatever they pick they'll have the same crowd with pitchforks screaming for blood because it's not their Buccaneer.

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Though the cutlass was never my cutlass, it worked. It had a large cargo hold and the armament of a hornet, though it did handle like a boat. It will still be a menace to hulls and probably freelancers when there is more than one cutlass. I think people had an issue with it because it was the largest craft we were able to fly and, in comparison to the light fighters, it felt like a boat. However, I think CIG always meant it to be that way, highly maneuverable for multi crews, nut not in comparison to fighters. 

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14 minutes ago, faquarl25 said:

Though the cutlass was never my cutlass, it worked. It had a large cargo hold and the armament of a hornet, though it did handle like a boat. It will still be a menace to hulls and probably freelancers when there is more than one cutlass. I think people had an issue with it because it was the largest craft we were able to fly and, in comparison to the light fighters, it felt like a boat. However, I think CIG always meant it to be that way, highly maneuverable for multi crews, nut not in comparison to fighters. 

Just to point out, I wasn't singling your post, it was just to show how plenty of people have different opinions about what the Buccaneer ( and the Cutlass) should be and how hard it is to reconcile them.

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I completely agree, I just think that the cutlass still has a place, even if it handle differently than we imagined, in a pirate's fleet. My guess is the buccaneer is going to be somewhat short range (compared to the cutlass) and carry less cargo, making the cutlass the ship to have for carrying booty back to your hideout. 

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13 hours ago, faquarl25 said:

I completely agree, I just think that the cutlass still has a place, even if it handle differently than we imagined, in a pirate's fleet. My guess is the buccaneer is going to be somewhat short range (compared to the cutlass) and carry less cargo, making the cutlass the ship to have for carrying booty back to your hideout. 

I thought that is what the Caterpillar was for?  A pirate fleet consists of multiple Cutlasses, A caterpillar or two, and I guess now some Buccaneers.  At least that was my interpretation.   I would not rule out having a few other single-seat fighters in the group, but come on, the Cutlass was supposed to have a cargo hold to carry a few goodies, the Caterpillar more.

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I'm disappointed that CIG can't turn the Cutllass into an agile fighter, as depicted in the Cutlass commercial. Everyone assumed that based on the Cutlass' specs, dual TR4 engines and 16 maneuvering thrusters (twice as many as the Hornet), that the Cutlass would be fast and agile. The Cutlass' depiction in the commercial focused entirely on its unmatched combat maneuverability, as opposed to acknowledging its dubious reputation as the pirate's choice combat ship. Unfortunately, the flyable Cutlass in Arena Commander isn't fast or agile. It's slower than the Hornet and handles like a boat.

I don't understand why CIG can't make the Cutlass faster. I imagine that it would be as simple as changing the Top Speed value from 180 to something like 240 -- but it's probably more complicated than that. I suspect it's a combination of combat balance and flight model; making the Cutlass faster and more maneuverable than the Hornet might make the Cutlass too dominant; or increasing the top speed might cause more frequent blackouts when making tight turns -- perhaps CIG couldn't make the IFCS work properly.

As I said, it's disappointing that CIG couldn't get the Cutlass to fly properly.

However, I'm not opposed to the idea of a new "Buccaneer" Pirate Interceptor, like BL described. When you think about it, trying to create a combination fast-&-agile fighter, boarding craft, and loot hauler, was a tall order. And how that ship cost less than a Hornet when it's more than 50% larger and heavier, didn't make sense. (It seemed like CIG was enticing wannabe pirates with the $100 "Pirate Pack".) So the proposed idea of rebranding the Cutlass as a "commerce raider" as opposed to a fighter is a wise decision. In its current state, the Cutlass isn't a terrible fighter, but it's outmatched by a Super Hornet. That's how it should be IMO. As a "commerce raider", the Cutlass isn't intended to go head-to-head with a combat starfighter and have a high chance of success. Whereas, it's plausible for a Cutlass to take on an Aurora, Mustang Beta, Reliant, Hull A/B, Herald, Freelancer, maybe even a Starfarer. (The skills of the pilots will be the determining factor, of course.) It makes sense that pirates would prey on easier targets. It's pretty simple to understand: a Cutlass attacks a Freelancer, and runs away from a Hornet. (With dual TR4 engines, the Cutlass should be able to outrun a Hornet.)

Even if the Cutlass Black is rebranded as a "commerce raider", presumably it'll retain its variants: Space Ambulance and Police/Bounty Hunter ship.

The real change will be CIG is obliged to create a new Pirate Interceptor ship: the Buccaneer. I expect that the Buccaneer will be a single-seat agility fighter with no cargo capacity, fitting in somewhere between the M50 and Gladius -- the more compact and streamlined, the better, so it's more difficult to hit. The Buccaneer should be a ferocious dogfighter, with 2 x S3 fixed hardpoints (or S2 gimbals), 2 x S1 gimbals (or S2 fixed), and 6-8 x S1 missiles (or 4 x S1 and 2 x S2 missiles). It should be faster and more agile than a Hornet, with a top speed of 230-250. The Buccaneer should be lightly shielded with minimal armour, the power plant and engines should be inefficient and "run hot", and the ship should have lower quality components, so it's a relatively inexpensive fighter, befitting Drake Interplanetary.

If CIG does go ahead and create the Buccaneer Pirate Interceptor, I imagine that Pirates will operate in Wolf Packs consisting of two or more Buccaneers, supported by a Cutlass that serves as a boarding craft and loot hauler.

TBH, this doesn't change much. I always expected that Pirates would operate in Wolf Packs. The only difference was that I expected Pirates to use other combat ships, like Hornets or Gladius', as dogfighters, supported by a Cutlass. This just means that there will be a dedicated "Pirate Fighter", which is kinda cool.

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1 hour ago, faquarl25 said:

Those weapons would make it OP. I would think closer to the standard 2x S1 on the wing tips and a S 2/3 hard point on the nose. Then have 2 s3 pylon points. It would be on par with the Avenger and 300 series but mush cheaper.

There are already 3 ships with that weapons configuration: Avenger, 325a, and Gladius. That would make the Buccaneer triple redundant. Players could simply slap one of the pirate ship skins on any of those ships and bam! It's a "pirate fighter".

The Buccaneer needs to serve a useful purpose and distinguish itself as a Pirate Interceptor. It needs to fast, agile, and pack a lot of firepower. It also needs to be inexpensive and weak on defense, because it's a Drake ship. If the Cutlass is a glass cannon, the Buccaneer should be a glass machine gun. It should be ferocious, but fragile. It's basically like a TIE Fighter.

The Buccaneer should not be cheaper than a Avenger or 300 series. To make converting from a Cutlass as simple and painless as possible, the Buccaneer should be priced the same as the Cutlass Black: $100 for the standalone ship, so Cutlass owners can convert to the Buccaneer at no cost, without losing money in a downgrade. The Gladius is $90, so the Buccaneer needs to justify the extra $10 by being superior to the Gladius in some respect; offense seems the logical choice for a Pirate Interceptor. It might seem OP, but it makes no sense to equip a pirate fighter with peashooters. Drake Interplanetary designs inexpensive combat-oriented ships that appeal to pirates -- that's their demo. Pirates would go for the cheapest, fastest ship with the biggest guns. That's the ship Drake would build.

To balance the Buccaneer's offensive capabilities and speed/agility, it would need to be weak in other areas, such as durability, efficiency, and component quality. The Buccaneer should be light and somewhat fragile, which wouldn't be a problem for Pirates, because they'd be the attackers. Poor fuel economy would be necessary for ship balance, limiting its range and endurance in combat. Its factory weapons should be power hungry, overtaxing its power plant and/or overheating quickly. Its components (power plant, shields, engines, and thrusters) should be lower quality; probably high output, but also highly detectable and inefficient. Imagine the Buccaneer as having the firepower of a F7C Hornet and speed/agility of a Gladius, but its guns discharge and/or overheat in half the time, and it has half the shield/hit points. The Buccaneer would be OP on offense, but it would still be balanced.

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34 minutes ago, faquarl25 said:

Can't argue with that. All that I can says is, wouldn't that make the 325 redundant? Or would it be priced higher than the 300 series? That would make no sense as the luxury brand should charge more than the economy brand. 

I don't think you understand how it works. Origins JumpWorks is indeed a luxury ship manufacturer, so their ships are higher quality and often have luxury features. Drake Interplanetary is considered an economy brand, because they make inexpensive ships that are easy to maintain and repair. However, that doesn't mean Origin ships are more expensive than all other ships. It means that for a particular "class" of ship, the Origin ship will probably be more expensive and higher quality. The 300 series is a low-tier small, single-seat, multi-role ship, whereas the Cutlass is a low/medium-tier, larger, two-seater multi-role ship; so the Cutlass is more expensive than the 300 series, despite that the 300 is considered a luxury ship.

The Aegis Avenger, Origin 325a, and Aegis Gladius share a similar weapons configuration: 1 x larger gimbaled cannon on the nose, 2 x smaller fixed cannons on the wings, and 4 x missiles (the Gladius has 8). Adding a fourth combat ship with that weapons configuration would be redundant.

However, the 325a isn't redundant, because it has a specific niche: a luxury single-seat combat ship. The 325a is distinct enough from the Avenger and Gladius to justify itself.

I believe the Buccaneer will be priced comparably to the Cutlass at $100 for the standalone ship. The first reason is to make the ship conversion process as simple and painless as possible. Some Cutlass owners bought it because they assumed it was an agility fighter, but that's not how the Cutlass handles in Arena Commander -- and apparently CIG can't fulfill that expectation. Those Cutlass owners will probably want to convert their Cutlass to the Buccaneer. The easiest way to handle that is make them the same price, so there's no cost.

The second reason is that wannabe Pirates will want a ship that packs plenty of firepower, not another ship comparable to the Avenger/300/Gladius. Basically, this means a more powerful Gladius for $10 more. I believe that will satisfy wannabe Pirates' desire for a Pirate Interceptor.

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6 hours ago, Reavern said:

I'm disappointed that CIG can't turn the Cutllass into an agile fighter, as depicted in the Cutlass commercial. Everyone assumed that based on the Cutlass' specs, dual TR4 engines and 16 maneuvering thrusters (twice as many as the Hornet), that the Cutlass would be fast and agile. The Cutlass' depiction in the commercial focused entirely on its unmatched combat maneuverability, as opposed to acknowledging its dubious reputation as the pirate's choice combat ship. Unfortunately, the flyable Cutlass in Arena Commander isn't fast or agile. It's slower than the Hornet and handles like a boat

I don't understand why CIG can't make the Cutlass faster. I imagine that it would be as simple as changing the Top Speed value from 180 to something like 240 -- but it's probably more complicated than that. I suspect it's a combination of combat balance and flight model; making the Cutlass faster and more maneuverable than the Hornet might make the Cutlass too dominant; or increasing the top speed might cause more frequent blackouts when making tight turns -- perhaps CIG couldn't make the IFCS work properly.

As I said, it's disappointing that CIG couldn't get the Cutlass to fly properly.

However, I'm not opposed to the idea of a new "Buccaneer" Pirate Interceptor, like BL described. When you think about it, trying to create a combination fast-&-agile fighter, boarding craft, and loot hauler, was a tall order. And how that ship cost less than a Hornet when it's more than 50% larger and heavier, didn't make sense. (It seemed like CIG was enticing wannabe pirates with the $100 "Pirate Pack".) So the proposed idea of rebranding the Cutlass as a "commerce raider" as opposed to a fighter is a wise decision. In its current state, the Cutlass isn't a terrible fighter, but it's outmatched by a Super Hornet. That's how it should be IMO. As a "commerce raider", the Cutlass isn't intended to go head-to-head with a combat starfighter with a high percentage of success. Whereas, it's plausible for a Cutlass to take on an Aurora, Mustang Beta, Reliant, Hull A/B, Herald, Freelancer, maybe even a Starfarer. (The skills of the pilots will be the determining factor, of course.) It makes sense that pirates would prey on easier targets. It's pretty simple to understand: a Cutlass attacks a Freelancer, and runs away from a Hornet. (With dual TR4 engines, the Cutlass should be able to outrun a Hornet.)

Even if the Cutlass Black is rebranded as a "commerce raider", presumably it'll retain its variants: Space Ambulance and Police/Bounty Hunter ship.

The real change will be CIG is obliged to create a new Pirate Interceptor ship: the Buccaneer. I expect that the Buccaneer will be a single-seat agility fighter with no cargo capacity, fitting in somewhere between the M50 and Gladius -- the more compact and streamlined, the better, so it's more difficult to hit. The Buccaneer should be a ferocious dogfighter, with 2 x S3 fixed hardpoints (or S2 gimbals), 2 x S1 gimbals (or S2 fixed), and 6-8 x S1 missiles (or 4 x S1 and 2 x S2 missiles). It should be faster and more agile than a Hornet, with a top speed of 230-250. The Buccaneer should be lightly shielded with minimal armour, the power plant and engines should be inefficient and "run hot", and the ship should have lower quality components, so it's a relatively inexpensive fighter, befitting Drake Interplanetary.

If CIG does go ahead and create the Buccaneer Pirate Interceptor, I imagine that Pirates will operate in Wolf Packs consisting of two or more Buccaneers, supported by a Cutlass that serves as a boarding craft and loot hauler.

TBH, this doesn't change much. I always expected that Pirates would operate in Wolf Packs. The only difference was that I expected Pirates to use other combat ships, like Hornets or Gladius', as dogfighters, supported by a Cutlass. This just means that there will be a dedicated "Pirate Fighter", which is kinda cool.

With that kind of loadout the prob is either you make obsolete quite a few other small fighters ( a market slice already crowded, poor 300I) or you need to make it made of paper ( mustang like) and you would get an uproar from the Cutlass crowd.

It is obvious that the Cutlass that was pitched cannot be done ( fast, agile, cargo space, weaponized like the Hornet).

Again, even now if you look at the CGI forums  you'll see there are a lot of "buccanners" that people want, all different ( cargo yes/no, look at the Butus, no it must be small and fragile, put a turret in, no just forward facing guns).

The result is that you will have the same brawl it's happening with the Cutlass now with the Buccanneer, with the CUtlasss one still raging ( if you argument, as absurd as it is, is that you "paid" for that ship as pitched, you still paid and you still want it, Buccanner or not).

 

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Not to devalue the excellent points made in here, but why are people still trying to shoehorn labels onto ships? I mean, let's look at a real world comparison, the Toyota Hilux. It is a cheap to make and cheap to maintain utility pickup. It serves many jobs and roles, all over developing and established contries. So why is it usually associated with militarized technicals? You know, a pickup with a 12.7mm ring mounted machinegun on the bed?

 

Because of it's price and ease of mantenience. I suspect ships will be costly to maintain. While the Cutlass my not be best in class, she'll probably be the easiest to maintain. If you were a pirate, why go through the expense of repairing something more expensive that has a bit more speed/manueverability.

 

The 2.0 IFCS adjustments will supposively fix a lot of the manueverability and top speed complaints associated with the Cutlass. While I suspect she'll still be slow to accelerate, she will probably have a much higher top speed than it does currently.

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        $150 - LTI Razor                                                                          $400 - Hull D  - 4 yr
       $165 - LTI Prospector                                                                   $415 - 3 yr Conni Phoenix                 
        $190 - LTI Hurricane                                                                    $415 - 4 yr Conni Phoenix
        $210 - LTI Terrapin                 
        $225 - LTI Hull C 
        $245 - LTI Vanguard Hoplite  
        $500 - LTI Prowler
        $825 - LTI Polaris (non-warbond)
       
      All ships listed below are CCU'd unless otherwise noted and all have LTI.
      Standard CCU'd Ships with LTI                                                Rare CCU'd Ships with LTI                          
      $105 - LTI Gladius                                                                         $190 - LTI Super Hornet
      $115 - LTI Cutlass Black                                                              
      $125 - LTI Hornet                                                                         $275 - LTI Vanduul Blade
      $125 - LTI Freelancer                                                                    $295 - LTI Merchantman
      $135 - LTI Cutlass Red                                                                  $295 - LTI Retaliator Bomber
      $140 - LTI Ghost (Hornet)        
      $140 - LTI Freelancer DUR
      $155 - LTI Tracker (Hornet)
      $155 - LTI Freelancer MAX
      $165 - LTI Taurus (Conni)
      $240 - LTI Andromeda (Conni)
      $265 - LTI Redeemer
      $300 - LTI Aquila (Conni)
      (*) Concept ship with LTI unless stated otherwise.
       
      SPECIAL OFFERINGS
      3 - War Bond Polaris - $700.00 ea                                                                               

       
       
       
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