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Be careful what you wish for!

... You might get it. And boy, did I ever get it.

After much shagrin to make spacecraft available to intersted private citizens it has finally come to pass. The appropriate laws were issued and regulations were changed. I was one of the first owners and captains of one of these new means of private transportation. The great thing about it, at first, instant departure.

The first shock came later, when I passed my first jump gate and was presented with a fuel bill of over 11,000 credits for a little over 1.4 grams of fuel. Turns out that fuel prices vary from station to station and you best know them before you refuel. Tau Station itself has by far the lowest price in the Sol System.

But refueling also takes time, I had to wait over 40 segments for 1.6 grams. And it's dangerous anti-matter business, so no hiding out in your ship. During the refueling I could have made several tours of all the Sol stations with public shuttles. Or I could have spent some bonds to motivate the refueling techs.

Next thing is space damage (not the normal wear and tear from flying) by colliding with whatever else zips or floats around the ether. Once you have it, your ship cannot fly anywhere until you repaired it yourself. That took a whopping projected 70 segments, so I hired a few mechanics to speed it up. Sadly, even with the help of half a dozen mechanics, the whole repair process demands your constant presence at the docks, which effectively turns it into jail for the duration of the repair. There's not even enough time off to read a book. I wish there was also a mechanic foreman I could hire to oversee the whole repair process.

According to my calculations it is slightly cheaper to fly around Sol than to use the public shuttle, but only if you refuel at Tau Station. Crossing the jump gates actually is more expensive in my own ship, the consumed fuel costs 355 credits more than the shuttle ticket, and it takes about two segments longer.

So to all potential captains, be wary of all the money and especially of all the time a ship is going to cost you. We should also be happy that due to some administrative oversight the required uni courses for the Razorback are not available at this moment. I have a sneaking suspicion that the cost/benefit ratio for that ship might come off much worse than for the private shuttle.

Just count your blessings and think long and hard if you really need your own ship right now. The only discernible (positive?) effect is that it might cause ship envy with others.


  1. What would you expect from a novice captain like yourself? (Unless you have mad skillz you've been hiding from everyone...) While your private shuttle will always be slower than the public alternative--even without considering refueling time--I suspect that a few more nano-injections might improve your ability to navigate around dangerous hazards.

    ...And here's a thought, purely from speculation and curiosity: Have you had any training as a Port Technician yourself? I wonder whether skill as a Refueling Tech would impact refueling time at all.

  2. Yeah, it's not like I had a stellar career as Port Technician, have been Ship Wipe, Refueling Tech, Ship Inspector, Apprentice Ship Technician, Ship Technician, Nav System Specialist, and Hull Integrity Specialist.

    I've been working as Shipwright for about a whole cycle now. Believe me, the repair and refueling times are calculated very generously. If one were so inclined one could even call it a racket. But hey, everyone looks out for themselves.

  3. Ahh... anti-matter. Sounds like a monopoly and an opportunity for markets and professional careers. Anti-matter harvesting from mines on specific planets or from the ruins. What is found can be taken by ship merchants to refineries and then to independent marketers on stations maybe to bring down costs. Maybe the especially skilled refiners could develop special versions of fuel to make the private ships a bit more speedier. Oh the opportunities...

  4. Repairs can be cheap, fast and painless, it ssems.

    My "The %s" was damaged by just 2%, so back at Yards of Gadani I scheduled it for repair at the shipyard where I bought it.

    And guess what? I spend less than 150 credits, it only takes about 4 segments, and I don't have to be present while it is being repaired. My good friend Foreman Dekker is overseeing the repairs for me.

    Why was it so cheap and convenient for me, but so expensive and annoying for you? Some possible reasons come to mind:

    • I was at a shipyard, you were at a dock
    • Your ship was damaged slightly more than mine, and that made all the difference
    • Maybe repairing at the shipyard where the ship was constructed is easier, because they have all the blueprints available, and maybe even remember this particular beauty with fondness?

    There's still hope for this ship-owning business!

  5. Another benefit is a place to "hide" on a station without an inn.

    Not as refreshing but safe for random encounters.

    I haven't seen a way to offer passage to other folks. Unless I'm missing something.

  6. There will be more University courses to absolve before we're allowed to take passengers for a ride. Don't you remember Safety 101 from "Basic Ship Handling"? :D

  7. Safety? What kind of luxury yacht do you think I'm running? :-)