Now bear with me as I take you on another wee flight of fancy to illustrate a point but imagine you walked into a computer game shop to buy a new game and the conversation went something like this…
You: Hello shopkeep, I would like to purchase a copy of GTA X, please!
SK: Of course, that’ll be £1,000, sir.
You: *splutter* What the chuff? A grand! A GRAND!
SK: Yup, £1,000 for the game computer. And another £40 for the game source data.
You: Oh! Ah, the computer… No, I just want the game.
SK: Yup, the game computer. You buy the game computer and the data.
SK: It’s simple. All games now use the same resources and therefore come on a single data source but the computer is what decides exactly what game will be played.
You: But… that’s insane!
SK: You’ll need a new table too…
Erm, I’ll leave it there but suffice to say if that happened you’d think the world has gone mad and yet that’s exactly how drones work in Elite Dangerous – you buy multi-use drones that each take up exactly 1 ton of relatively valuable cargo space and then use up a far more valuable module slot with a use-specific controller unit and that means if you want to use two types of drone (why have two? ohhh I don’t know, if say you’re prospecting and also want to collect maybe) you’re going to have to sacrifice two module slots. Why? Why does a drone need a new controller? It’s madness! The controller should be universal and it should be the drones that are specialised – not only does that make logical sense (why would a fuel drone be the same machine as a prospecting drone? And what if they ever introduce repair drones?) but it makes better play-sense too as it frees up module slots allowing greater flexibility of ship use.
If you ask me (let’s all pretend you did) I think the decision taken is possibly due to Frontier needing cash sinks in the game (due to a flawed economic model, but that’s got another post) and also to give players a path through the shipyard. The problem is I don’t want a path through the shipyard. I want to play in a sandbox and I want as much flexibility as possible which means I want to make better use of the (arbitrary) module slots on each ship I fly so I can play the way I want to.
So, in summary, the number of controllers is too damn high. Thank you.