(I’d be amazed if this has never been suggested before, but I couldn’t find it anywhere, so here goes…)
So I’m going to preface this idea by disclaiming that the quality of this idea is directly proportional to how feasible it is. I have been trying to consider ways to get a bit more multiplayer involvement out of our MMO here, and if adding this is as difficult as adding true multiplayer, then it’s futile. But given the impressively smooth client/server architecture, I thought it would at least be worth suggesting.
The idea is that you would click on a player (possibly limited to contacts list, or maybe anyone) - and, if they’re flying a mission, it would pop up with a “watch” button next to the other options. Clicking it would allow you to basically see them in-mission, at whatever stage of the mission they’re currently in. Once they finish, it would return you to the galaxy map automatically - although there would be a way to stop viewing at any stage by using the GUI (just like surrendering a mission, for example).
Depending on what the server/client relationship looks like under the hood, there may be some cosmetic things (like quips) that wouldn’t be shown, or maybe even minor inconsistencies here or there - but if it’s a more realistic alternative to actual multiplayer, I think it could be really cool and get a bit more community spirit involved in the game.
Because something - I don’t know what, but something - needs to be done about that. It is an MMO, after all - and right now having other players in the galaxy is kind of just an in-app version of the online leaderboards that games right back to CI2 have had.
But there is also the possibility that this is just as complex as multiplayer and not worth the effort as a result, so there’s that to consider.