Here is an compilation of a bunch of suggestions that I posted in the past.
Construction ships should fire at enemy ships that are attacking whatever they are working on. Furthermore, they should use Area Shields on their current project to prevent damage.
Debris fields and the like shouldn't be located in storm clouds, because they would take damage and eventually disappear. That, or need some level of power, shielding, or armor to compensate.
When constructing space stations over a world, I think that having the AI focusing on morale-boosting components first during construction would help prevent colonies from changing loyalties, for both the player and NPC empires.
It is kind of odd that ships have to stay still to absorb sunlight - either the light is hitting the panels or it is not, I would think.
I would like to see an option to cap how many of each ship class the player and NPC empires could create during game setup, including their Private sector. This could help with performance and making each ship more valuable.
The ability to disable orbital drift as an performance option would be good, in my opinion.
Being able to specify if a port/starbase/construction can be used for Open/Private/Military construction would be nice. It is awful when you can't build the military ships you need when the shipyards are clogged up.
I have noticed that event markers are prone to be inaccurate due to orbital drift. Moving them in accordance to orbital changes of their subject matter would be good, I think.
Space stations and other objects that loom over worlds can potentially overshadow planets. I feel that however impressive this may look, it makes it difficult or even impossible to click on the planet. Capping their size relative to the planet/moon to about 80% or 60% would be good, I think.
Having additional controls for the automation and disbanding of certain soldiers by race/type/max strength would be helpful for pruning the ranks.
The colony manager should have a tab dedicated to the space stations that exist around planets, and an small picture in the colony list to show what kind of primary space station a world has at a glance.
Having a button in the expansion planner for "assign to invade" would be good for making it easier to set up the conquest of independent planets.
In the case of Lost Colonies, a button to send the closest and available ship to investigate would be nice.
Adding the maximum amount of weight a ship can have while actually designing them would be helpful. This would be especially important if future versions or expansions of the game places hard limits on each ship class.
The ship designer should have an indicator for how much Ion Protection the ship has.
Being able to see if a transport is "Delivering X" or "Retrieving X", would be nice.
The ability to add +10 or -10 components while holding down "Shift" would be good. Be nice if holding down "Ctrl" when clicking would allow a player to specify the number.
The addition of trade via Solar Freighters, which are of a size between Fighters and Escorts. They use a Solar Jumpdrive, which grants a speed and range sufficient for travel within a solar system, but is far slower than Galactic Jumpdrives. However, they are also small enough to fit on these Solar Freighters.
The idea is to have planets, stations, passenger vessels, and constructors within a solar system to ship goods to each other through Solar Freighters, while the Galactic Freighters (player designed) move very large amounts of resources from one solar system to another, working on a galactic scale.
Perhaps one planet in each solar system could be considered the Solar Capital, which acts as a primary distribution point of galactic resource shipments to the other, less developed worlds in the system? This would could potentially help with simplifying the transport of goods on the galactic scale.
I have a couple of thoughts on how to represent the shipment of goods in the Solar System. The easiest but most boring way would be to add "sparkles" by each planet, station, or constructor location. They are jumpdrives initiating, thus each sparkle is a transport that is headed to another place. The more ships that are transporting goods, the more sparkles. A blockaded world has no sparkles, or maybe some of them are turned into explosions instead, with the number increasing as the world is more blockaded.
However, I think it would look more interesting and has more future potential if instead we have convoys of small ships headed to other planets in the solar system. These ships could be attacked by pirates or other empires to destroy them and get resources, but each convoy has a number of ships that reflects how tough the group is and how many goods are being transported. Each transport has one Weapon, one piece of armor, one engine, one cargo bay, and one Jumpdrive.
Considering that each world can have up to 5 different resources, plus they can move people to other locations for migration or tourism, I think we can have 7 ships per convoy. Something like this:
Earth to Pluto convoy
Earth has Iron, Lead, Gold, Dilithium, and Loros. The Earth is overpopulated, and Pluto has scenic ruins. As such, the convoy consists of:
1 ship for Iron
1 ship for Lead
1 ship for Gold
1 ship for Dilithium
1 ship for Loros
1 ship for Migrants
1 ship for Tourists
Pluto is also sending ships back to Earth. Pluto has Iridium and Chronium, and is sending tourists to Earth which is the homeworld, thus has a history behind it.
The convoy is...
3 ships moving Iridium, because Earth needs more Iridium
2 ships dedicated to Chronium
2 ships moving tourists
7 ships, but a different allotment of cargo to compensate for needs and what resources a world can produce. In the case of Pluto's tourists, there isn't anyone who wants to migrate away, so the spare ship is used for tourism.
I think that we need to have each world sending at least one convoy to every other planet in the system, but I am not sure if that should be the maximum or the minimum number of convoys. Furthermore, the thought occurs to me that maybe the number and size of convoys should gradually increase according to what population a world has. A newly born colony could only send one convoy, and that convoy starts out with one ship. As those convoys make a successful trip, they each gain one more ship, gradually filling out to 7 ships.
A solar jumpdrives allows a ship to move at relatively high speeds throughout a solar system, but is insufficient for practical use to travel to other solar systems. Solar Jumpdrives are relatively small, so they can be fitted on small vessels and fighters. Allowing fighters to be equipped with Solar Jumpdrives would allow them to take on hostile forces located within the solar system, and would help carriers to be similar to terrestrial ones, in that they stay away from the frontline and send fighters. This would also allow a spacestation equipped with fighters to protect a solar system. Solar Jumpdrives are important for implementing solar commerce and making fighters have more reach.
DIPLOMACY & CIRCUMSTANCES
Diplomacy has an flaw, I feel: It doesn't take into consideration of the position that races are in. For example, an race is reduced to only their homeworld and are currently at war with a race with many more planets. I ask them for a protectorate treaty, but they refuse. This doesn't make sense, in that they have their backs to the wall, with enemies closing in. I think that having additional factors that affect each type of relationship/treaty should be added and used to fine-tune what a race would want to do, in accordance to their personality traits.
For example, a race that has Loros fruit and is willing to trade it with another race should positively influence an offer to make a Free Trade treaty. However, the race that can be traded with is very aggressive, so in their viewpoint they should conquer the world that has the fruit - an negative influence on Free Trade and positively influences the desire to make war over that resource. However, both races already make an considerable amount of trade, which increases the desirability for Free Trade.
Essentially we have the general +/- modifiers for diplomacy, then specific ones for each different treaty.
SHIP & BASE CAPTURING
Maybe all ships can come with Crew, Passengers, and Troops depending on their size and components, and be populated with one or more races, with their ability to resist invasion reflecting the species aboard? Pirate vessels and over factions intent on taking over ships could assess what size and empire a ship is from, and decide if they want to attempt a takeover based on that. It would be cool if we could place troops on abandoned vessels that need repair, so that other empires would have to use troops of their own to assert control over the ship(s).
- Low strength (compared to racial strengths)
- Consists of immigrants and tourists, caps out according to passenger capacity.
- Tends to be multi-racial, thus there are many different racial strengths for passenger makeup.
- Mild strength (compared to racial strengths)
- Largely made up of the Empire's race, of the races that add an bonus to the ship's performance.
- Cap is based on ship's number of habitat and living modules.
- Full strength (compared to racial strengths)
- Cap is derived from troop compartments
Come to think of it, there probably ought to be multiple ways of getting troops onto hostile vessels and planets, according to what technology you equip the ship with. I got four ideas off the top of my head, and what is involved. Naturally, it is composed of 100% unnatural theorycraft!
Docking: The aggressor forcibly docks with the victim. This has a huge downside, in that you have to mutually disable shields, and the vessel with greater size/speed/maneuvering will be able to move around. This means that small vessels with weak thrusters will be basically a cowboy riding a bronco. On the plus side, this ensures that your entire complement of troops and crew will be fighting it out with the enemy. Downside: the entire enemy force can fight back. Researching grappling technology will allow a ship to not have to dock directly with enemy vessels, but they will have to stay in the vicinity of the enemy while boarding with grappling space elevators.
Landing: A vessel without advanced options may have to land on a planet in order to drop off the troops. This involves dropping through a planet's atmosphere, which may take some time. Furthermore, the ship could take some damage due to atmospheric conditions and heat. As such, a vessel landing has to take a considerable amount of time in order to do it's business, leaving ample opportunity to get shot full of holes by nearby opposition. (Say, 30 seconds to offload troops at minimum?) Loading troops from a planet also requires landing, which in turn requires some extra time to do.
Dropships: The vessel releases a number of dropships containing troops, which promptly will attach onto an enemy ship. These dropships are vulnerable to enemy fire and can only carry a limited number of troops for each dropship, which basically makes their impact bite-size individually. However, this means you don't have to dock with the enemy vessel or land on the planet for your troops to be delivered. Just fire and forget. Once researched, Dropships will automatically launch from friendly planets to be loaded onto nearby troop vessels when they need to be stocked.
Teleportation: A very useful technology, you can quickly send troops to important enemy locations without involving much risk during transport, and with fair range. However, teleportation requires a fair bit of energy to do, and the dropping of shields for your own ship and the enemy's. However, the period needed for the shields to be down is very brief. Loading of troops from a planet is very quick, since there is no need for docking.
PASSENGER, CREW, and SOLDIERS
I think it would be good to making the means of boarding a ship different from how much force could be mustered. That is, a boarding component is "how much you can move, and what method", with their own benefits and risks, while the amount of passengers/crew/soldiers is related to the appropriate compartments, such the hab/life support modules, passenger compartments, and troop containers. I think it would be important to make important distinctions between the Passengers, Crew, and Soldiers in terms of what they do on a ship.
Passengers: minimal strength, can't invade other ships, and offers no benefit beyond getting transported to a location for stuff. The death of passengers and their capture by pirates would degrade empire morale, because civilians are not supposed to die in a shooting war. They will be attacked in combat last when compared to Crew and Soldiers, since the latter pose more danger, but civilians will inevitably be lost in a conflict, just because they get in the way.
Crew Members: Medium strength, and each crew member contributes to the overall performance of the vessel they occupy. The loss of crew members on a ship would make a ship move more slowly, be weaker in a fight, and consume more resources. Most ships overstock on Crew as an result, especially since some would be used to man captured vessels. These are often take 2nd priority, while Soldiers are first in a conflict. They will not board an enemy vessel until it is secured. It is recommended to move an captured vessel out of the fight, since it probably would have damage and most likely would have a skeleton crew, considering the original crew is dead, vaporized, gibbed, or otherwise out of the game of life.
Soldiers: These possess the full military strength of their race, and will put up the most fight in a boarding scenario. Furthermore, they can board enemy ships to take them over, and gain experience/strength, unlike civilians and crew. However, there is a price to be paid - soldiers require troop compartments, and have an upkeep cost. As a general rule, soldiers on a ship cost more to maintain than their ground-based brethren, due to requiring equipment needed for the hazards of boarding vessels in space. They also need boarding components in order to get onto an enemy ship, unless their own ship is physically boarded. (An enemy using teleporters to move troops can't get counter-boarded unless the opposition docks or has their own teleporters.)
When it comes to the loss of people aboard a ship, I think that the system should be "leaky", in that all three groups are likely to receive losses, but are considered for attack in this order, with some dice rolling for mixing it up a little. These are just demonstration numbers to communicate the concept, since I don't have a decent sense of balance. :(
5 out of 10 attacks against soldiers.
3 out of 10 attacks against the crew.
2 out of 10 attacks against the passengers.
I would like it if troops can be garrisoned aboard damaged derelict ships, so that the enemy would have to attack with troops of their own to take over the ship(s).
PLANETARY WARFARE & OCCUPATION
Strength should also affect the amount of time it takes for troops to be lost to a lack of morale, I feel. A troop of soldiers with 30,000 Strength and at full readiness ought to take quite a bit of time to be entirely defect to the ally over time, but a division of troops with heavy losses and low maximum strength ought to give up easily in comparison, just because they are not surrounded by a horde of like-minded people.
What is weird to me is how just about how most weapons could be used in space and still be able to affect planets in real life. For example, a "rod of god" is basically a shaft of metal with rockets. Just throw it at a planet, let it get up to a fairly high speed, and momentum will take care of the rest. Using a combination of mass and speed generally results in sizable explosions, such as what annihilated the dinosaurs and those many craters on the moon. Heck, Mars might have lost the ability to be a life-sustaining world due to such an impact. Here is a list of weapons and how they might affect planets in my opinion. To me, Bombard Weapons shouldn't be if weapons can destroy planets, but about removing resistance without ruining the planet in the process.
Rod of God
A metal shaft with rockets, it just runs into things at high speed to make them go boom. Very destructive, messy, but simple and cheap.
Unlike a Rod of God, these contain explosive, chemical, radioactive, or some other kind of attribute in the form of warheads. They usually can perform evasive manuevering and can be precisely guided to a location, and be armed with 'the right stuff' to take out a target. This translates doing more damage to the people of a planet, but less ecological damage depending on the type of warhead, provided the missile is detonated before impacting something at extreme speeds.
These are actually rather terrible when it comes to attacking some planets. A planet with an atmosphere has a significant level of resistance due to cloud cover and magnetism, which can really screw up a laser by changing it's general direction and making it lose cohesion. While a large amount of lasers would still do something to an atmospheric planet, they would be fairly inaccurate and less powerful. However, a planet without an atmosphere wouldn't pose such issues.
Possibly one of the most destructive and rare things in the universe, an anti-matter bomb uses a strong gravity field to contain an amount of anti-matter while ensuring that regular matter doesn't make contact. This bomb is directed towards a target, and simply has to touch something to begin an reaction. Matter and Anti-Matter are so compatible, that they basically try to run into each other at high speeds. Nuclear explosions basically have two atoms smashing into each other forcibly, but the speed at which it is done and the effectiveness pales to Matter. There is essentially a 100% conversion rate of Matter into energy once it meets Anti-Matter, compared to an Nuclear weapon's 2% or so. Probably the best way to reduce a planet, or any other physical object, into energy.
The combination of ionized gas and using a laser to superheat it, an plasma weapon can be used to create extreme heat, exceeding the skin of the sun. Furthermore, a plasma weapon could potentially be applied for anti-electronic usage, which may offer applications in non-lethal takeover of a planet. However, plasma weaponry tends to disappear rapidly, due to radiating light and generally exploding. Theoretically, finding means of magnetic confinement that extends beyond the gun barrel would significantly increase the range of plasma weaponry, due to keeping most of the energy in one place. A planet with a strong magnetic would probably disrupt plasma weaponry, due to damaging the "magnetic bottle" field that is likely to used for making plasma weaponry practical.
Using magnets, these guns will fire bullets at extreme speeds, causing an effect similar to that of an Rod of God in an smaller and unguided package.
I would like to see the Morale and Medical components removed from starbases and made into facilities. The only reason why they should continue to exist is if they can be placed on Passenger vessels or the like. To bring recreation and healing to worlds that doesn't have the structures built.
The following components seem to be weaker than regular ones, if judging by stats: PulseWave Blaster, Shaktur Firestorm, Novacore Engine.
Adding racial techs dedicated to an Omni-Fighter or the like might be good.
Omni-Scanner, which packs Long Range, Proximity, Trace, and Resource scanners into an single and effective package.
Stealth Armor, that provides some ECM, resistance against lasers, stealth, armor equal to your best (and this component's size), and Trace Jamming into one package. Only one applicable per ship.
Omni-Cargo component. Goes with UltraDense fuel cell tree?
AI - PRIORITIES, INCONSISTENCIES, and STUPIDITY
When asking about invading independent worlds (and presumably other empires), I am asked once...twice...three times, and more for the same planet. Pretty strange that my military can't conceive of asking permission and sticking with it.
There is no way to prioritize what worlds should be colonized, and the queue seems to be based on sending ships in order, like: "1 to A", "2 to B", and so on. They should be sending colonization vessels to worlds with ideal statistics first, instead of the queued order.
Large and friendly populations. The closer to your own race the better.
Worlds with many different resources or very high concentrations. Preferably resources that your empire will need excess stock for constructing ships.
Ultra-rare resource planets, with Zentabia, Korriban, and Loros.
Having constructors build their stations at places that are going to be colonized is really wasteful, in time and resources. Having them go to gas planets, barren worlds, gas clouds, and valuable asteroids would make much more sense.
AI empires should build small ports for new planets with entertainment and medical modules, so that they don't defect so easily.
Explorer ships are really bad at what they do, they are simply scatterbrained and slow. They go to a solar system, check one or two planets, then leave for another one, only to return years later to finish off the other planets. This really hurts the AI and players who are not interested in micromanaging them.
Resupply Ships are apparently too user-unfriendly, in that they need to be babied in order to get them to service your fleets. By extension, they are dead weight for the AI Empires.
Even when allowed to give ample amounts of money to other Empires, the player AI very rarely uses this function to patch up relations with other empires. Having it actually spend some of the excess wealth for improved relations would be nice.
The AI doesn't properly handle the taxation of worlds. Far too often it would place heavy taxation on worlds with low morale, causing them to rebel and eventually defect. Having it scale appropriately with the morale that a world has would be nice.
An construction ship won't defend a ship that it is repairing if that ship comes under attack. It just keeps on building it, without launching fighters or firing weapons at the enemy. Would be nifty if it used Area Shields to protect a ship that is working on.
10) based on a few reports already, we do still seem to have the problem with the fleets / ships going to the corners of the map.
< Message edited by Sabin Stargem -- 2/15/2011 8:41:59 AM >