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Many games, for example Star Trek Online (Dry Dock) and Battletech (Storage) have a concept of placing a vehicle in storage. It is not ready for use, you're not destroying unused vehicles, but rather you eject all equipped weapons etc. from it and then store the "husk" of the ship/mecha where it can be retrieved for later.

This seems to be a surprisingly common mechanic, so I'm wondering if I'm overlooking some use this mechanism has over just adding more slots for more ships. The only advantage(s) of this I can think of right now:

  1. Take load off the database that has to associate vehicles and items equipped on them. A stored ship has nothing in it (guaranteed) so is just a simple item.
  2. Encourage people to buy more vehicles (in games with a money store like STO) even if those are Bound To Character. Instead of deleting them when your ship slots run out, you store them.

Is the load on databases really big enough to warrant this? But why does a single player game like Battletech then have the mechanic? It should be irrelevant for the numbers involved in that.

Also, vehicles generally only grant bonuses when actually in use (i.e. in STO when the player is flying it, in Battletech when it is one of the 5 or so deployed mechs on a mission) So shouldn't the effect of having more ships on a user be totally unimportant?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I didn't downvote, but I think one possible motivation might be that you are giving us a solution and are asking for the problem it solves. The usual purpose of this website is to give us a problem and ask for possible solutions. \$\endgroup\$ – Philipp May 2 '18 at 14:10
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You might want to consider this solution for your game if you noticed one of these problems:

  • The players accumulate a large number of vehicles over the course of the game, which causes the vehicle selection menu to become cluttered with vehicles the player rarely or never uses, but doesn't want to get rid of permanently either.
  • Managing the equipment of the frequently used vehicles becomes cumbersome. For example, the player might remember they had that really cool ultra-rare gun on one of their vehicles, but they forgot on which one.

By allowing (or rather forcing) the player to moth-ball rarely used vehicles, you keep the number of vehicles more manageable. There is a lower number of vehicles to pick from, so you can make sure they and all their relevant information always fit on one screen without scrolling. And when the player is looking for a specific piece of equipment, there is a limited number of vehicles where they could have placed it.

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