At this moment in time, your ship is the only thing you can use to store anything in.
Well, not strictly true, Modules can be stored - to a point, and Ships can be stored - without cargo.
This is normally fine for the day-to-day pew pew stuff, but pretty soon, it starts to become a problem when a player wants to do other things.
It's especially a problem for anyone interested in Trading. It's also a problem if you wish to hop from one ship to another quickly - without selling the items in your cargo - for instance, if you've been mining in a system and you want to quickly hop into a fighting ship to take care of some pirates who harassed you earlier - or to help a friend (See my video Jobsworth)
Limpets cannot be transferred no matter what you do - even if you have space, or if you want to use them - your only choice is to sell them back to the station, exchange your ship and buy them back for some reason.
Allowing players to keep cargo, materials and data within their ships while switching would be great a short term fix for some of the problems - and it should be implemented - but it'd be a half measure.
The game needs station storage - Warehousing services.
If you could transfer your cargo to and from the warehouse in the station, you could transfer ships to your hearts content.
You could visit a station and notice that an item is particularly cheap - due to the current BGS status..
You buy as much as you can and fly to your home system and store it in the warehouse, selling it again once the price increases.
This is a common business practice and should not be prevented.
There's the case with limitations on rare commodities, but I'd suggest that it's up to a player if they want to stockpile rares.
Their ship can only have so many - the seller scans the ship to make sure they only have so many.
But there's nothing currently stopping another player from holding the items while the player hops back into the station and grabs another allocation. Allowing players to legitimately stockpile rare items would mean players may start trading rares instead of finding places like Quince to exploit.
By allowing for a warehousing system, it opens up the possibility of warehouse space rental. The player would incur a storage and retrieval cost for items over a certain quantity. They might also wish to pay for insurance, and security - to make sure things don't go missing.
Below 500 items, Free
500-1000 items. 10cr each (5000 to store and 5000 to retrieve)
1000-1500 items. 20cr each (10000 to store and retrieve)
1500-2000 items. 30cr each. (15000 to store and retrieve)
The cost increasing for each increment of 500 items.
There are not enough money sinks in the game currently - We have billionaires flying around - so adding warehouse rental would mean that earning money had a purpose beyond just getting another ship.
Limpets should be stored like cargo - especially when the new recipes to manufacture limpets in the field arrives.
As well as item storage, There is a need for Material storage.
As part of normal game-play, we come across a great number of common, rare and very rare materials.. but we have to throw them out if they're not needed for the current engineering blueprint we're trying for. Then when we level up with the engineer and want to try something else, we have to go collecting more materials, often the things we threw out.
This is not fun.
This is not compelling game-play,
This is annoying.
As with the items, materials should be stored in a pay to store, pay to retrieve warehouse.
Perhaps the price is different as it'd involve more dedicated storage facilities, however there is no reason at all for forcing players to give up items they found - just because their ship ran out of storage.
This enables players to do things at their own pace, to plan their game-play better and offers the chance for them to be smart about what they carry depending on what they're doing.
So a player who's done with their current round of engineering - but they would like to return to it in the future, but before then - they want to go exploring, or fly out to Jaques station, but they want the materials for long distance jumps, they should be able to take those materials from their storage and put them on their ship.
All that Data
Materials aren't the only thing - there's Data too.
It beggars belief that in the 33rd century, data cannot be stored on a server somewhere - or that the data storage capacity for a ship is so small.
As with materials, allow for data to be stored at a cost and retrieved at a cost. But possibly add a fee for the level of encryption applied to it - this encryption fee could be used to safeguard data from espionage.
In the data screen, there could be a hacking mechanic where data can be obtained by attempting to steal it from other commanders or NPCs.
The level of encryption paid for should make this difficult or impossible. It might make finding certain types of data easier but should also run the risk of being caught and fined. More gameplay is better.
Having poorly secured data might mean that it can be lost to another hacker. So it's worth paying for it.
Even if a hacking mechanic isn't desirable, having some storage mechanism is definitely required.
Having these storage features means that players would have a way to safeguard their materials and data, be able to carry only what they want to risk - if anything at all, but it should have some peril thrown in. If your ship is destroyed while carrying data or materials, those items are lost - just as cargo is lost.
Cargo, Data and Materials should remain at the station storing them until they are collected manually or the items are transferred to another station - for a fee, with a timer.
The transfer fee should reflect the quantity needing to be transferred. Items up to the limit of the free tier should be free to transfer.
More Module Storage.
Just as with all other forms of storage, Module storage should be increased but with a tiered cost.
Many commanders currently purchase many ships - Storage Anacondas in order to store their engineered modules. They shouldn't have to do that. Let them pay for more storage if they want it.
Make the BGS Matter to players
If the warehouse was only available if you held a certain standing with the controlling faction for some political systems, and the state of that system changed, another political system might not look favourably on the commander's possessions. This could be influenced by many factors, the player's rank and military standing it could effectively locking their stuff out of reach. It then becomes in the commanders interests to topple this new government. Not all governments should do this, but it could be a factor for some.
Perhaps warehouses are not locked-out in all cases, perhaps transfer from an unfriendly station is more expensive - with a chance of item loss.
By building in this type of interaction, there's a higher involvement with the BGS and the underlying political systems within the game.
Of course, players may choose to not take part. They should be able to play the game as it currently exists apart from data and material loss.
These BGS ideas are just that - Ideas to add extra Depth and Flavour, but no matter what..
WE NEED STORAGE