The point is, people want to be Captains, nobody wants to be an engineer. It's either EVE Online with Voxels, or it's a sandbox game.
And let's be real here, nobody is gonna add randoms on their ship. If the concept of a role call is unheard of some people, then they'll never crew a ship efficiently.
And since it's not EVE, let's also be real here, ships in DU have fuel, and fuel COSTS. Nobody is gonna fly a ship unless in oeprational hours or in a strategic operataion (ala EVE) or in a Call to Arms situation in home defense. So no, you won't have to scrougne for members o na wednseday to crew a battleship.
You gotta see a battleship crew as an organisation or a corporation from EVE, only with a GOOD AND VITAL difference. You don't bulk recruit. A spy in EVE can rob you of billions of ISK, in DU a spy can blow your precious battleship with C4 charges on your fuel tank.
Your organisation starts small, like a 5 man org. Crew a moderate corvette or a frigate. You move in numbers by recruiting more people? Buy a new ship for your org's size. You may never be able to crew a whole battleship, so you'll stick to a Heavy Cruiser. You may join an alliance, who will buy your ship and field you one of their own, doctrine, Heavy Cruisers, becuase you got the nubmers to crew it and you proven yourself loyal for XYZ reasons.
That's called "Ergonomics", greek for "how things should work".
Average Joe MacNobody, who plays the games Solo (and not the Han kind of solo, that actually had crew i nthe past), will get the Burn Jita treatment. You play an MMO single-shard as a singleplayer? You'll die. A lot.
It's like saying "Freighters in EVE should have guns, they are carrier sized ships, so they should have figheers on them, 8000 DPS tank and at least 1 Billion GigaJoules of energy reservers on capacitor". No, that's not how this works. You put guns on a freighter in DU? Get crew to crew them. you put gusn on a battleship? Get crew to crew them.
You don't have the numbers to get into freightering in space? Good, be a courier on a planet. You know, them plnaets. You can't expect people to have factories right next to veins of mineral. Someone has to haul it. And planets will be far safer than space. You find other people who like the sandboxy element of Trucking on a planet? Good, form an org, go and start a Space Freighter enterprise on your own small number, again, starting small, going big.
The problem with the above, is that Ripper on his posts, wants AUTOMATED TARGETING AND FIRING.
It's not a "have a super-jacked Starfighter with 4 nose guns that target at the same direction you look at and firing at them".
No, Ripper wants "turrets turn and fire autoamtically at a target, while pilot does a seizure inducing flying maneuver".
The superjacked-up starfighter, is something I approve. It's one pilot, controlling four guns at once, aiming at the same direction. Heck, it can also be tied to a missile launcher that the pilot can acces that way. But they are not automated.
It's neither "Turret faces a certain direction, if target's are detected at 10000 meters down the range, the turret fires" which is a dumb-firing mechanism.
No, Ripper asks for turrets that TURN and FIRE on their own will. That's the problem.
Decide, either you'll have a moron of an automation that's as simple as heat-switches for yardlights, or you'll crew a ship on your own. Anythign other than that kind of automation, is EVE 2.0 only 1000 times worse due to depleting resources and rampart alt-frenzy being what made GSF in EVE big. One guy, 10 accounts , then battleships fielded, firing on theiro wn.
Move battleships to a location, go afk, you come back, everything's dead. That's what Ripper and everyone else who keeps asking for automation, single-man battleships, wants.
And yes, having automation in the game will just make it like the good old "Guy has 10 Dominix batteshlips on a stargate, camps said stargate solo with his frigate, wtih slaved drones to the frigate, locking a ship that enters a system in 2.1 seconds and blowing it up with 50 Sentry Drones striking at once". Mhmmmm, I bet Goonswarm people reading this had their jimmies rustled. They'll know they found their game if you were to allow it. I mean, depleting resources, blowing up a ship is just 1000 times more painful for a person in DU than in EVE. You may have striken a good vein and mined that Titanium you needed for you ship and you built it very cheap cause of that. But now? Johnny with 10 Accounts blew your ship up cause he has the money to field 10 accounts on his own.
I bet you don't really want that in DU, right good sir? Cause it will be there if automation is allowed. NQ knows it as well, it's why they ditched automation from the get-go. It's very not balanced to have automation. It can be exploited to a ridiculous extreme. But people are naive enough to tihnk "it will be great! We will all be captains of ships without crews", then they will just whine on the forums about how GSF, or Test, or Palnedmic Legion / Horde members blew up their ships on a gatecamp of 10 accounts being multiboxed by one guy.
Yeah, if you can't see the issues of automated turrets on ships and how they'd make an excellent multiboxing cancer, no matter how many facts I throw your way it will ever change that.
No matter how you spin it, progress in an MMO should not be rewarded for solo players. You shouldn't be able to do what a 100 people org can do by yourself. If people can't be teamplayers, they should find themselves flying single-seater crafts.