Q&A: Drake Vulture
July 5th 2018
Q&A: Drake Vulture
Following the launch of the Vulture from Drake Interplanetary, we took your community-voted questions to our designers to give you more information on the recently unveiled light industrial salvage vessel.
Special thanks to John Crewe for answering the top-voted questions.
There are no particular plans to have any synergy with other Drake ships as suggested in the image, however the idea is interesting and should work in theory with the Caterpillar and other ships of a similar arrangement.
The Prospector has its 128 SCU capacity spread across its multiple saddlebag containers, but cannot hold the full 128 SCU at a single time and must detach these containers to keep collecting material. Each container currently holds 8 SCU so without detaching them the Prospector can naturally only hold 32 SCU at a single time, the current value in 3.2.
As with all things economy based, we will be reviewing the profit/hour balance and make adjustments where needed. People should not speculate on the viability of the Vulture based on the current in-game scrap metal prices, as these are not the same as what the Vulture will produce. Internally, we discussed the size of the cargo bay during concept and made sure that if we need to increase the size of it, it can be brought in line with the other profession starter ships without requiring a significant rework. Likewise, if we feel the Prospector containers skew the comparison, they can be brought down in capacity.
Absolutely, all ships will have the scanning ability and certain ships, such as the Vulture, have enhanced scanners specifically suited to that role.
The 12 SCU cargo space is the cargo grid for both cubes and scavenged items which you wish to legitimately store. Of course, as in all ships, you can place items outside the cargo grids. However, this has downsides, such as your cargo not being secure and risking being damaged, as well as not being recognized or detected by the kiosk or sales interfaces as legitimate goods for sale.
Component salvaging is only one part of the salvage career, and while any ship could technically do this, the Vulture is equipped for the whole process (scraping, processing, and ship breaking) which will maximize profit from your trips versus just grabbing components alone. The Vulture, and other salvage ships such as the Reclaimer, come equipped with dedicated salvage scanners that allow you to identify components and their states much easier than non-dedicated ships. So while you could strip every item out of an abandoned ship into a Cutlass, 90% of it could be such low value that the Vulture owner would return essentially the same end profit by only grabbing the 10% identified as worthwhile.
An example to use would be Mining in 3.2. Players can just fracture and extract every rock in sight, but without scanning and reviewing their composition and carefully fracturing, returns will be low compared with a player who specifically targets the high-value assets.
During the concept phase we started out with just the component salvaging process as its key aim, but as we progressed through the concepts, it became clear that this wasn’t a particularly interesting or fulfilling role for the ship. As such, we decided to make the Vulture a more rounded introduction to Salvage covering all the basic principles.
Player accommodation and live-aboard features will have a role in the future. As such, we decided that entry-level ships should have these basic features to support solo players in being able to spend long amounts of time away from base, rather than requiring daytripper style planning.
Definitely, like Mining we don’t want it simple to be a click and leave mechanic, but to require some level of skill to control the return on investment for salvaged materials.
Every Vulture comes equipped with the Multitool which can be used for welding and cutting of objects, alongside a full complement of salvage charges.
As mentioned earlier, we’ll be making sure the return is appropriate from an economy point of view and that one method of salvaging is not vastly superior to the other. Components salvaged from a ship are extremely unlikely to be in pristine condition and their value will drop appropriately, presuming you can find a buyer willing to accept items in that condition. On the flip side, processed and compacted raw materials from salvage will be readily bought by most manufacturing locations and refineries.
This is just an oversight on the ship matrix and will be updated soon. The ship has two dedicated VTOL thrusters in the front nacelles at the rear of the landing gear, plus the rear two main engines will have VTOL capabilities if required. An early concept had them doing thrust vectoring, but this was left off later images. We may just use an additional integral thruster depending on what can be implemented at the time of production and whether it is required based on the other thrusters on the ship and their capacities.