While I love this game and everything it has going for it, one thing still kinda bugs me. How easy it is to get around.
Even playing with the largest number of sectors, your starting scouts can travel over a third of the galaxies' width/length before running out of fuel. While the 15 sector map is big, granted, it feels much less so because of this.
I typically find myself playing varied cluster maps these days and like the idea of starting off small, facing those challenges isolated in your little cluster with whomever else started there, then eventually expanding your technology to open up these new clusters with all the joys and chaos that can bring. Sorta like the Terra maps in Civ4, it adds kind of a 'colonization' phase to the mid game, and it's interesting to see how each cluster developed in isolation.
However, the problem is it's way too easy to travel far distances in open space as it is. Ideally I would like to see basic fuel containers only allowing for a travel distance of about 3/4 a sector, take that difference from current starting range and apply it across the board to all fuel techs. Cutting the jump speeds by about half or less would be necessary too to make it feel right.
Though cutting this may cause problems for combat and inter-system movement, so maybe bumping up the HyperDrive consumption would be a better idea.
"that's insane!" you might be wondering, "refueling is annoying as hell as it is, why would I want shorter ranges!?". Well, while I'll agree refueling can be annoying when you have lots of fleets, It wouldn't be any different here, ideally the only thing that will change is your perception of what portion of the map is reasonably within your range at any given time. Essentially, it would just, indirectly, make the map bigger.
The benefit would be seen all over. Aside from the Cluster galaxy type becoming more unique in the sense that these vast distances aren't just an annoying after thought to grumble about as you watch your ships cross them, but real vast oceans that take time, planning, and investment to navigate.
Setting up fuel bases and having a supply line will become essential for invading or exerting any kind of presence at these distances. Making said bases actually mean something worth defending, not just something you're slightly annoyed when destroyed, and just build another. further, should you decide to invade someone so far, not only will you need to maintain this 'beachfront' colony or base you have near their cluster, but also, committing forces to that theater will actually be a commitment. None of this 'oh well, I'll just send everything, if I need to defend or they need reinforcements, they're not that far out anyhow.
Soooo I guess what I'm getting at is, how would one go about changing:
-Fuel capacity of fuel storage
-Energy consumption of HyperDrives
-Speed of HyperDrives
Also, on a side note, if a slider were implemented to scale the "effective distance" of travel, that would be cool
In the mean time though, anyone have any ideas for how to MacGyver this?
< Message edited by Abraxis -- 4/19/2012 4:26:27 AM >