Sorry, but I bit my tongue on this for the last 24 hours and it just kept making me madder and madder. So at the risk of getting myself banned, I'm going to reply to this post, with my honest reaction:
I doubt it makes much of a different one way or the other (I have thousands of hours in it and never noticed it).
LOL! I haven't touched this game in many months, and yet it's stupidly obvious to me just from reading this thread that of course this bug would make a huge difference, given that Freighters are used for scouting now. Maybe it's not quite game-breaking, but combined with everything else on the first page of the GC3 Support forum right now, I would never even consider firing GC3 up again any time soon. I wish I could - I would LOVE for it to be playable. But I doubt it ever will be, in part due to *attitudes exactly like this* from the person who's supposed to be in charge of it.
How's that possible? Literally 100% of every game I've played, my first contact has been with freighters from across the galaxy.
Keep in mind this is the same person (Frogboy) who insisted for months that Food, and AI use of Food, in Crusade was perfectly fine, despite tons of forum posts to the contrary. I was actually quite stunned and shocked when I read an Intrigue preview article a couple months ago where he stated the opposite, so I guess I should give him some credit for that, but it doesn't, in my opinion, change the underlying problems of stubborness and a, to me, disturbing level of being oblivious.
Then there's the thing where Frogboy said he wanted a better version of preview numbers in the Ship Designer, that account for something they don't currently account for, or something - I forget exactly. But he said he'd asked the GC3 team to work on this specific item several times in the past, and... apparently that was just that? There was nothing more he could do? I have never understood that, and never will. If I were CEO, and I wanted something specific like that improved, I would order the team to do it, and it would get done in a matter of days. Period. I would never found, setup, or join a company in the first place where a project's lead designer (and AI programmer) couldn't issue that order. Sorry for this random extra paragraph, but it's yet another thing about Frogboy that bothered me and I just remembered it while writing this post.