HANGAR OWNERS - The Long Wait "Well obviously, when space opens up, it's going to be alucrative business to own a hangar, that's for sure." - Frank/MindArk The above quote from Frank at MindArk comes directly from a video interview conducted at the E-for-All convention in Los Angeles in October 2007 by Entropian Dion Red Strike. The comment is made at the very beginning of the video at 0:35. Updated Hangar Style I had an opportunity to spend some time with a few of the hangar owners to get a general overview of where they're at right now after the opening of space. There have been questions raised as to what the function of the hangar owners will now be since the introduction of Motherships, along with Space Thrusters for Quad-Wing Interceptors and Sleipnirs that will allow people to travel through space. What follows is an accounting directly from some of the members of the Hangar Owners Group that presents a sort of timeline if you will of what has occurred over the past couple of years. As a side-note: Out of the current 70 hangar owners, only 39 are members of this group, and only a handful have participated in this undertaking. Also, not all hangar owners offer a space flight service, and therefore, may not be represented as such in the content of this article. Those who have offered the following data also do not speak on behalf of all hangar owners, but rather a small group. Going forward, when using the term hangar owners, it refers to those in the Hangar Owners Group who have actively participated in the activities presented in this article. FROM THE BEGINNING Since August 2009, the hangars stopped offering functionality, and after VU10 and CryEngine2, the hangar buildings themselves were removed. From that point forward, the hangars remained restricted and non-functional, leaving the owners without the ability to do anything with the deed whatsoever. 20 August 2009 - VU10 Content List - In Development (near the bottom of the list) "Due to the crowded space around Calypso in this phase of resettlement, civilian space traffic has been grounded. Also, hangars have not been rebuilt yet. Travel between CND and Calypso is currently serviced by a teleport service. A one way ticket is 25 PED. This fee will be distributed among the hangar owners when civilian space travel service is reinstated. NOTE: This is a temporary solution. Crystal Palace is closed at the moment and travel there has been suspended." The hangar owners initially had high hopes when MindArk indicated that all systems would be back by the end of 2010, but as we know, this didn't happen. On January 14, 2011 Hanne|SDS addressed the Hangar Owners Group in their private sub-forum at the Planet Calypso Forum with the following: "We haven't finished the planning period yet, so I don't really have any direct ETA, but creating the hangars and the spaceships themselves is quite high on our priority list as Marco mentioned." As a form of compensation, MindArk decided to pay all hangar owners the teleport fees collected from participants. Initially, they received fees from Club NEVERDIE only, as Crystal Palace was temporarily shut down for several months after VU10 and the CryEngine2 conversion took place on 17 Aug 2009, and not reinstated until 18 Nov 2009 (see VU10.3 Content List). To this day, the hangar owners are uncertain if the fees they received were 100% of the income generated by the TP transports, or just a smaller percentage. Initially, the fees were made in a lump sum payment every 6 months or so. With Hanne's support, the hangar owners were able to persuade MindArk to make daily paymements instead of lump sums over longer periods of time. In this respect, they were able to gain a better idea of the traffic patterns between Calypso and CND, and later Crystal Palace. Also, when a new planet was released, there was a brief increase in daily fees. The following chart shows a graph of the daily payouts. The left column of the chart represents the amount of PEDs paid out, and the bottom portion of the chart represents the number of days (76) from 2 Dec 2010 to 16 Feb 2011. After the 100+ PED spike, and a short period that followed the Next Island launch, the income seemed to have stabilized within the 30 PED range. NOTE: The payment of teleporter fees ceased on 21 June 2011 with the implementation of space travel. Many within the community speculated that the income received from these payments was rather large in size, when in fact hangar owners have indicated that it was not the case at all. Also, many of the working pilots who offered flight services prior to VU10 and the CryEngine2 conversion shared that these fees were much less than what they were making with their businesses. On 19 April 2011, the updated hangars were reintroduced (see Planet Calypso Content Release 2011.2), which finally came with an unrestricted deed that gave the hangar owners the option to once again be able to trade or sell their hangars. The newly revised architecture of the hangar came with a Bar area, along with a Local Trader, Auctioneer, Storage Management, and Local Crafter. However, the new facility did not give the hangar owners the ability to place shopkeepers in front of the hangar as before, and they were unable to place items in the secondary display area. This was considered to be a bug that has yet to be fixed despite support cases being filed. Hangar Bar Area and NPCs Hangar Secondary Area and Ship Landing Zone On 8 June 2011, MindArk's Latest Buzz Bulletin was published at the Entropia Universe website hailing that space was imminent, with an introduction of a two-part contest. It was stated that three Motherships would be given away as prizes for the highest Hall of Fame related respectively to Hunting, Mining, and Crafting. The secondary part of the contest included the opportunity to win a Medium Fighter (Quad-Wing Interceptor) for the highest loot acquired killing certain mobs on each of the respective four planets. This contest ran from 8 June 2011 to 20 June 2011, and ended the day before space would be released. The news for the hangar owners however, only stated that they would receive some special treats in the space release, as well as a subsequent release. The announcement did not come without concerns from the hangar owners, as they still did not know what special treats referred to, and exactly what type of ship they would be provided with. What concerned them however was the fact that 3 more Motherships were going to be made available at auction on the day of the space release, and once they were purchased, MindArk was going to place another Mothership at auction every 24 hours with no notification as to when this would stop. With this news, the hangar owners started feeling restless, and still uncertain as to what their role would be as a result of newly introduced spacecraft capable of transporting a lot of people. In a subsequent Latest Buzz Bulletin, MindArk also stated that there would be new entrepreneurial opportunities, and that space pilots should prepare themselves for a new age in the transportation services. This only increased concern for the hangar owners, as well as continued confusion as to what their role would be in the space transportation business. Prior to space being released, MindArk officials were offering space previews (trips into space) to random individuals at Twin Peaks and Port Atlantis, yet still no mention of, or contact with hangar owners with any information as to their role in space travel. Stress started setting in, as well as concern about the heavy investments that were made in acquiring their hangars. The future of many who had developed a space travel business was hanging in the balance, as well as fear that their investments would be lost. About a week or so passed before hangar owners received an email from MindArk inviting them to tour space at a specific time. It was during the tour that they learned that their ship would be an Unlimited Privateer, which was shown to them by MindArk's CEO (Jan Welter Timkrans) via his Official avatar Sera Witchspade Connor. Some of the hangar owners were able to get a closer look at the Privateer, which was much smaller than other ships that were being introduced (except the Quad-Wing Interceptor), and concerns grew even more with regard to what their transport capabilities would be, and how their space flight businesses would indeed become lucrative as Frank had indicated. Hangar owner Wanderer posted video footage taken on his tour with MA's CEO Connor, which you can see here and shows what the Privateer looks like. Space is Released Space Photo from Entropia Universe Website On 21 June 2011 space was released, and it was further learned that Quad-Wing Interceptors and Sleipnirs with a Space Thruster attached to them would be capable of entering space and traveling not only to space stations and Motherships, but also to other planets. The introduction of Space Thrusters now gave individuals an opportunity to travel on their own in space, as opposed to hiring a space flight service to transport them. This new feature now became an alarming concern to hangar owners, as they still had no idea what their role would be. The hangar owners had waited in anticipation of the space release to see just what the special treats would be, as well as if there would be changes to their hangars. However, with the release of space, they received nothing, and panic started setting in for many. No ship, no hangar changes (fixes), and no special treats. Upon hearing that there was a MindArk official at Twin Peaks, several hangar owners went there in hopes of getting an explanation. They were told that they would be getting an email with information, as well as an Unlimited Space Thruster which would be very rare. Within an hour, they received their email where it was revealed that they would not be getting their ships yet, but that it would be in a future update. It was becoming even more evident that hangar owners and their space flight businesses were in jeopardy, especially after learning that Motherships were capable of carrying 50 people, which is a considerable number more than the previous hangar owner ships that carried 5 people, including the pilot. Also, it was learned that the Motherships were multi-level and had a bay where smaller spacecraft could land, offering yet another service. In the meantime, the (L) Space Thrusters blueprint had become less expensive to craft, which meant more people were now given an opportunity to experience space without having to hire a space flight service. If this wasn't enough, it was soon learned that Motherships were also capable of summoning people from planets to the ship if they were on the guest list, without ever having to travel through space to get there. It was also announced on 22 June 2011 at Entropia Forum by Bjorn at MindArk that after the last Unlimited Mothership is purchased at auction (with no timetable as to when that would be), future Motherships introduced into the universe would be (L) items. On top of all of this, it was revealed in the space release that all of space would be lootable PvP, with the potential of further diminishing the prospect of business by scaring away customers who would not want to engage in unsafe travel, as well as risk loss of any lootable items in the course of transporting them from one destination to another. The plight of the hanger owners became even grimmer after a chat with MindArk Official Connor at Port Atlantis where it was further revealed that their ships when delivered in a future update would not have the capability of landing on planets until a later stage. They also learned that a function for the hangars other than storing their ship hadn't yet been decided, but was being looked into. The hangar owners feel that their investments are in jeopardy if there will be no viable service that will set them apart from what has already been made available with the introduction of space and the various means of space travel already presented. It was in this vein that some of the hangar owners got together to come up with an alternative plan for space travel that might still offer them hope for that lucrative business that Frank spoke of. A PROPOSAL ON THE TABLE After realizing that all of space is lootable PvP, some hangar owners are proposing that they be given the exclusive and unique ability to cloak. This unique ability would basically enable safe passage to all participants who have no desire to engage in lootable PvP and risk losing their goods. Details are as follows: every hangar ship will have a cloak generator as part of the ship, and not as an attachable device upon activation, it would make the ship invisible this feature could come with a reasonable amount of decay, or burn additional fuel as a result the expense should not be so great that it would cause them to charge their passengers a lot more PED for safe passage the ship will be uncloaked when (1) someone shoots one of the guns on board; (2) the ship lands on a planet or space station; or (3) the pilot turns off cloaking manually There are certain assumptions that come along with this part of the proposal: that warp drives when released don't end up being vehicle TP chips that instantly teleports a ship from planet to planet, but only necessary to access space, or travel faster within space that only hangar ships will get this cloaking ability even if (L) Privateer class ships come out There is also discussion going on that perhaps compensation from fees should continue as it relates to FOMA. Prior to VU10, there was no teleporter available from CND to Calypso, so it was a source of income for the pilots. Now that MindArk has added a teleporter from FOMA to Calypso, they have taken away that revenue from hangar owners. Some hangar owners also think that the entry and exit fees (2 PED each) should be included as well, but specific details haven't been defined as yet. Prior to the current cloaking proposal, hangar owners had submitted a more elaborate proposal to MindArk. It was added as an attachment to a support case, as well as sent directly to Kim at MindArk, and to date have had no responses. This was before the implementation of space, as well as learning that all of space was lootable PvP. The previous Space System Proposal is available for review if you have any interest in learning what it contained. Hangar Waiting Area The hangar owners are still in limbo at this point, other than receiving their Unlimited Space Thruster, but as indicated in posts by Kim at MindArk at the Entropia Forum, it is uncertain whether there will be an update prior to MindArk going on their Summer vacation the early part of July. This pertains to both space and/or content updates. The fate of the hangar owners is still uncertain, and with a ship being delivered in a future space update that won't allow them to land on planets except at a later stage, they are challenged to see a positive outcome for their businesses at this point in time. Will their investments be for naught, along with the seemingly fading lucrative business spoke of by Frank from MindArk at the E-for-All convention in October 2007? Will recent events cause potential future investors to think twice? One thing is for certain - our universe is dynamic!