Pirate improvment suggestions for next patch:
1) Assimilate/Enslave/Resettle/Exterminate needs to be made to actually work for pirate factions, please.
2) Can we make it so that we can still add pirate bases/fortresses to planets after they've be conquered? Because sitting around for years waiting for the AI to drop a colony ship on a prime spot so I can properly take it is a pain. As it is now, building your own colonies as a pirate is counter-productive.
3) Why does building a Regional Capitol lower my income? Oh, because it reduces corruption, and corruption is how I make my money. Well... crap.
4) Can we fix the absurd income cliff-dive that takes place when a planet is actually conquered? Income 80,000cr/year... conquer one planet... income now -20,000cr/year. WTF?! And I know this isn't just me being crazy, either. I've seen AI planets at 20% tax raking in 30K of income. I conquer it and, at that same tax level, the income instantly drops to less than 2K.
5) I am of the opinion that Resorts should be considered Private Sector. After all, passenger ships are, and I'm having trouble picturing a government that doesn't directly control the mining operations that make their very existence possible... yet decides to micromanage slot machines.
6) Differentiate, visually, the corruption that is caused by your pirate faction (read: income gained) versus corruption caused by other factors (read: income lost).
7) Is it me or does that AI never deliver goods to space stations? Alright, how about a new station type, then: "Supply Depot." Works like a space station except that the freigher AI gives it a high priority for cargo deliveries.
8) New component "Microwave Power Collector" - works like a regular Energy Collector, but only produces half the power. The upside is that it does not need to be placed in proximity to a star in order to work. Good for those nebula mines and super-secret locations in the middle of nowhere.
9) Is it just me, or do assault pods tend to bug out after a while? As in, they stop regenerating and your left with no recourse but to scrap your ship and build a new one. When playing pirate, this particular problem can range from "frustrating" to "game breaking."
10) Please un-nerf Raiders. Egads, they suck. Penalty to state ships, civilian ships, base cost and base defense? And for what, a singular raid bonus? I can get the same perks playing Mercenary and get base bonuses as well.
11) Here's a thought: Let playstyle affect Influence gain. Raiders would get a big bonus for raiding and capturing things, obviously. Mercenaries would get a bonus every time they blow up something in that planet's system and for completing military contracts. Smugglers get an influence bonus to smuggling and fullfilling smuggling contracts.
So a Raider can move into a system and start taking over stations, capturing freighters, and raiding the planet. All of these activities generate influence, with a bonus for planetary raids. While a Mercenary would move into a system and just start blasting everything in sight to generate fear, gaining influence that way... or gain influence when completing contracts for an Empire. Defense contract for a planet? Gain influence over that planet when it completes. Smugglers would get a bonus to influence for their smuggling ships, and an extra bonus if under contract. The idea being that it would actually be possible for a Smuggler to gain control over a planet through the sheer power of their illicit goods flooding the planet.
I know that some of this is already in game. My point is to make it specialized.
12) Tourists who visit Pirate owned Resorts should carry back a small amount of corrupting Influence back to their homeworld with them. Illegal drugs, contraband, loosened morals, etc. This would let players try the "Las Vegas Mob Boss" angle.
13) Speaking of contraband... how about specific resources (read: illegal stuff) that only Pirates can see & extract from planets? These could then be used to increase the profits and Influence gained during Smuggling, as these goods gets snuck in with the legitimate cargo. Later they can be used to increase Happiness (and Corruption) on worlds that you control outright.
14) When boarding and capturing a ship with a named NPC on board, you should get a chance of capturing that officer. Said officer can either be kept prisoner, ransomed, or you can try to recruit them yourself.