I discussed this with Rev (Reidski82) and he largely agrees with me here. This is a long post so I'll post a summary first:
Basically, I don't think any PoB right now should be increased to 1.0 base speed, they're actually fast enough as is for what they do and even compared to fighters. I do think the gunships should be increased to 0.8 base speed, but only if they get some other changes too (like a few less weapons, along with the PoB mass reduced to be equivalent with gunships).
If we're talking about making these multi-player ships more fun and player friendly, then it's not so much about speed as it is ensuring that everyone aboard has something meaningful to do. Make the co-pilot role more useful / active, or just get rid of it and have another turret there instead. For missiles, don't tie those all to the pilot, instead turn those into missile turrets with a faster lock-on time and a way to load more ammo from aboard ship.
My detailed explanation from Discord:
Intro / Preamble
There are currently essentially two 'tiers' of PoB ships -- 'low tier' (fewer guns, higher speed -- like Nova Courier) and 'high tier' (more guns, lower speed -- like Incom Gunship). Just my names for it, not sure if the community has an existing name for that distinction. In my Nova Courier ('low tier' PoB) I have a top speed faster than most fighters with reasonable loadouts. Obviously on paper any fighter should outspeed it, but in reality a typical fighter has a lot less mass to work with, and will want to focus a lot more on weaponry (aside from interceptors obviously). I also have a pretty high pitch/yaw when at speed, but with a pretty bad accel/decel rate, which makes sense. Drift isn't a thing here in SWGR's space physics, so having slow accel/decel makes sense to simulate that.
I know 'high tier' gunships like the Vigo are even slower, but theoretically make up for it with more guns. I don't have a 'high tier' gunship yet, so I can only base my observations here from my time spent on other people's ships. Which means, their loadouts or even their piloting skills (no offense to them) might not be great and therefore provide a skewed perception of reality. But for the most part, it seems like these ships serve the design purpose, which is to be mostly stationary weapons platforms. Fly into position, then hold that position while you let your enemies come to you, and otherwise supported by faster ships to dogfight or chase runaways. Perfect for ambushing static spawn points.
What's confusing to me is the max mass discrepancy between the low tier (5M mass) and high tier (3M mass), which means, when coupled with the different base speed (0.8 low tier, 0.6 high tier), I'm confused about the intention behind each PoB tier. (ignoring the not yet released YT-2400 which theoretically will get 5M -- let's call that 'special tier' PoB for now) Given the way my ships handle (and particularly fighters of different mass using the exact same engine with the exact same base speed), it seems like mass affects accel/decel and maneuverability in SWGR space physics. What specifically confuses me is, what is the intended role for the high tier PoB (gunships)?
To me, the high tier PoB seems intended to be used as either a slow speed glass cannon or a mediocre speed shieldship (tank). Tanking in space isn't really a thing here yet -- I typically tell my support fighters to use my Nova Courier (low tier PoB) as a shield when they take a beating and need to recharge shields, and I otherwise run my Nova Courier in front of them if they're taking too much damage and need help to repair. But I'm only effective at that because the Nova Courier is fast and can make it there (in between enemy and friendly) quickly enough to draw fire. This seems like it would be impossible to do in a high tier gunship. Which leaves it with the slow glass cannon role, which typically works fine vs 2 enemy heavy cruisers (+ support craft) at a time. More than that and it gets dicey.
I guess what I would ask for is a little more complex than simply a base speed change. In the absence of a space physics change (which I wouldn't ask for, too complicated), I would instead probably ask for a mass change, and maybe a third tier with a different profile, to make the roles more distinct and useful. Something like:
- Missile Boat PoB (like Nova Courier)
- 3M mass (instead of 5M)
- same weaponry (0 cockpit guns, 2 gun turrets, 3 launchers)
- eliminate technician role (co-pilot), merge with pilot
- turn the launchers into missile turrets, faster base lock-on time, and a way to load more ammo from ship inventory
- overall means 6 crew (1 pilot + 5 turrets, pilot flies + manages flight computer)
- increase maneuverability ratings
- same base speed (0.8)
- intended roles: interdiction (fast missile boat)
- Gun Boat PoB (like Vigo or Rebel Gunship)
- same mass (3M)
- reduce weaponry (2 cockpit guns, 4 gun turrets, 0 launchers)
- eliminate technician role (co-pilot), merge with pilot
- turn one cockpit weapon into a cockpit-mounted turret
- overall means 6 crew (1 pilot + 5 turrets, pilot flies + shoots 1 gun + manages flight computer)
- increase maneuverability ratings to match Tier 1
- increase base speed to match Tier 1 (0.8)
- intended roles: interdiction (fast gun boat)
- Light Capital Ship PoB (new class -- cruisers)
- 7.5M+ mass
- 1 pilot, 1 co-pilot technician (manages flight computer) with faster base computer and some unique commands (like shunt power from engines to shields, shields to weapons, etc.) -- this gives the co-pilot a much more active role
- 6 gun turrets, 2 missile turrets (faster base lock-on time, and a way to load more ammo from ship inventory)
- low maneuverability ratings (lower than current Gunships)
- low base speed (0.6 or lower)
- intended roles: battleship
For the missile turrets, I mentioned 'a way to load ammo from ship inventory'. I'm thinking new ship-specific container called 'missile rack' or something like that. Missile Boat PoB can only hold one or two, while Light Capital Ship PoB can hold more (maybe up to four). Or just make them different container sizes -- Missile Boat holds 60, Light Capital holds 240. Or, make new missile launchers that only work on PoB ships, and they naturally hold many more missiles. PoB missiles will need to cost a little less in order to use them in such high quantities.
In the meantime, I would recommend increasing the existing gunship PoB class to 0.8 base speed, with the intention that some weapons will be removed to balance against the existing missile PoB class.