So after my days of playing this game near non stop and with little rest, I've compiled a decent list of things that could be improved to help with the experience.
I'll start with order of appearance as the game commences.
- While the ability to edit the names of colonies and the size of their population is good, the thing I want to be able to change the most is resources. I would love to start off with some zantabia fluid on my homeworld, and who wouldn't? This could be added as a button under the displayed resources, with a list of resources that can be added to a given planet ( ie: marshy worlds won't be able to have hydrogen resources, etc. )
- For ease of use, instead of having to select "erase" for removing planets, asteroids and ships etc. , could you please just let us use the delete key? I feel like a sucker for having to ask for this, it seems so simple that I should be able to change this myself.
- On a side note, my editing experience in this game is sadly small. Every time i use the editor my game will crash. So I stopped using it.
- Ships and fleets
- There have been many suggestions for adding vectors to fleets, and i feel like this can't be said enough. There are so many brightly coloured dots on my galaxy map mid - end game that I hardly remember what fleet was doing what, or where it was going to do it. The system I would recommend would be to show vectors for fleets only . Depending on the mission, a different colour vector is shown. Green - move , Blue - refuel , Red - attack, Yellow - blockade, Etc. And due to the immense size that this game can carry in larger games, ( taking a page out of supreme commander ) show queued vectors as well, with the terminus of one leading into the other.
- Somewhat along the same token, an ETA with the terminus of each vector would be a nice addition. Or if this would be too difficult to implement, at least show on the fleet card an ETA by the mission.
- Somebody suggested that when ships finish missions that the pop-up should say what mission that ship finished. Seconded.
- Fleets should also have pop-up messages for when they complete missions. Too often I'm distracted and micromanaging some system with retrofits ( or some other equally tedious aspect ), and I completely forget about that fleet of landing ships that i sent to wait while that other fleet cleared out that colony, and then the d*mn transports run out of fuel and i have to wait an extra five minutes for them to actually reach the colonly they were landing on.
- Fleets need the option to "load troops in system". Having to go to every ship that I want troops to be loaded into and telling it to load troops at nearest colony is a pain mid - end game. ( especially if there isn't enough troops at a given colony and you have to find those transports again and tell them to load up again )
- Fleet Automation - Allowing a fleet to do what you want it to do, without telling it what to do. Could be along the lines of " Patrol own systems - Engage Nearby pirate bases - Engage nearby targets of opportunity - Assault " I believe Sarissofoi made the best suggestion I've seen yet for the implementation.
- ROE - This is an option that is mainly to counteract the Ai. I find around endgame that I get a pretty bad reputation with my neighbours, not because I'm sending pirates at them or shooting their freighters, but because my Ai ships seem to like going for strolls into their systems. A simple ROE screen for automated ships would be appreciated, where you can tell automated ships and fleets to "only patrol own systems -> patrol own and trading independent systems -> enter only defense pact systems -> enter any systems ". Of course the Ai can also enter enemy systems as well.
- When a diplomatic offer is shown, please implement a way for us to see what that offer is. Ie: ( if they are offering tech, let us bring that tech up and compare it with what we currently have. ) , ( For asking us to declare war, let us look at the current state of our relations with other empires before we have to decide. At least let us go back to the galaxy map to look at the tactical situation before we answer. For implementing this, we can't "play" until we have decided what our answer is, we can't order new ships or bases or whatnot, but we can look around, select and mouse over information. ) Or if they demand a colony, let us look at that colony before we decide if its worth it or not to succeed to their wishes.
One way to implement the above situation would be to move the diplomatic screen to a top corner, and center at the planet with the planet selected in the left hand card. I see what they want, the stuff around what they want, and the tactical situation of what they want all at once.
- Match offer button for diplomatic screen. Yes, i could press the 10k button three hundred times for that novacor NX-700, but I'm trying to avoid getting carpel tunnel anytime soon.
- For the little button to let you trade resources with others, break it into multiple buttons for multiple resources. That way i can spare some of the lorros fruit for the Ackdarians and the zantabia fluid for those Shandars, and still have enough to go around for the rest of my empire.
- A breakdown screen should be availible for your reputation. I know I'm an evil empire, but i want to know why so I can a) do more of those evil things, or b) do less of them. On it, it could show the last twenty events to effect your reputation, Ie: ( Destroyed " **faction** " pirates base, +5 ) or ( military ship " **ship** " entered " **factions**" "**system**" , -5 )
- Ships being fired upon will fire back at their attacker, or flee if they have no weapons.
- Detailed economic breakdown. Include pirate treaties, Ai expenditures, etc.
- Enable mouse over for Diplomatic, Expansion, Ship building and Colony screens. This includes things like races, colony resources, fleets, etc.
- Allow us to order ships from the ship menu. This keeps us from having to open and close the d*mn thing every freaking time. This could be as simple as including an orders tab, with drop-down menus. Ie: ( " Move " to " System" ) , ("Refuel" at "System" ) Include all system names, but also Nearest system, Nearest starport.
- A right click should always bring up a contextual menu. Even if you right click on a spaceport or a planet, options should include things like "retrofit here" or "move to and patrol" or "load troops here"
- An option for transports in the contextual menu, "queue and load troops".
- An option for spaceports to sent ships to " **places** ". This could include fleets, systems, or simply set it so that all military ships built at this spaceport are automated. If implemented, include a toggle on the star-base card.
- For some ships and large fleets, there's too much information, and their card is cut off. Not quite sure what there could be done to fix this, maybe include a scroll on the ship card?
- While playing, every time you double left click something, it will bring up that items detail. Ie: double clicking a military ship will bring up the ship menu with that ship selected, under the filter "military ships". A star-port would bring up that star port under the filter "star-ports" . A colony would bring up that colony in the colony menu.
- To make queueing missions easier, holding the shift key while selecting a mission would queue it. That shortens the time required to queue multiple missions.
- Allow the creation of your own "General" designs for ships. So, I could create a ship that has x reactors, y pieces of armor, z shields, etc. and is no larger than *** - points. Call this design "**name**". Then, with the Ai taking care of the rest, just updating each new iteration of this design with the most powerful components and a new suffix. This way i can have overarching control over how my ships are built ( fast or slow, armoured or not, with an energy collecter, etc. ) without having to micromanage updating those ships every time I research an update. Which, near end-game, can be an exercise in futility with a new component every five minutes of game time.
- More mouse-overs in the colony and ship card. Ie: happiness for colonies "content" -> "satisfactory" -> "unhappy" -> "riotous"
This seems to be it for now, but chances are my nit-pickiness will ferret out some more things I think could be improved. And by the by, KUDOS Code Force and Matrix games. Not only for this fantastic ( if not a little... unpolished ) game, and the patience and support that you are giving this community. We appreciate it.