Personnally, i'm not this eager for modding ability.
IMHO, mods are divided in 3:
- numerous small mods each used by a handful of people
- a handful of great mods used by a bit more of people
- the vast majority of uncompleted, unbalanced and buggy mods
And even for great mods, there is usually only a minority of players who use them.
Great games are great before being moddable and they usually don't get this much greater by using mods. And poor games or ok games never become great because of mods.
Some may disagree with me but that's my opinion for games like civ5, skyrim, the small shadowrun game, galciv 2 and i don't remember how much more.
The only mod i ever remember that renewed the game for me was the Floris mod for Mount & Blade Warband.
So if DW2 is to be born, i don't want it because of modding.
I think DW2 must be developped because as great as DW1 is, it still is getting old. I'm playing it for several years now. I still enjoy it a lot, but i don't play it anymore for its concepts or deepness or whatever, i play it because when i want to play a good game, i think "aah yes, DW is very nice, i want to try to feel like it was like when i first played".
I'm starting to play DW because of nostalgia, like i'm still playing sometimes Moo2.
And nostalgia is also the reason why I bought Universe: because it's one of my favorite games for several years now. I buy Rammstein albums the same way: i don't know what there is inside but it doesn't matter because it's my favorite band.
But even if i'm the first one to recommend it to a new player, it still doesn't change the fact that DW is getting old and, for me, Universe feels more like a Last Stand for a declining game.
I don't mean that DW is dead, this forum proves all days that it is not. It is a fine old geezer, telling the same tales from the past, but no more a fresh young man.
So DW2 project must be started now, before the decline of DW1 become too obvious and the players get tired of it.
I'd like it to be done by the same people for the core mechanics: economy, research and empire management but i'd also think they could benefit from new guys when it comes to user interface, graphics and ergonomy.
I know graphics aren't really the main point of this type of game, but still it counts. Fleet battles in Sins of a Solar Empire where great for example.
And being a small team doesn't prevent to achieve nice graphics, as in Lords of the Black Sun or the Mandate, both currently in development.
I don't really think of any specific part of the game i want to be implemented, but i would like the mechanics not to be too close to those of DW1. Galciv 3 seems to take that path and looks like it will be galciv 2 improved. I fear i'll be bored rapidly because i won't have to learn the game, i'll just have to start the game of hard or higher, learn the new UI, new artefacts and that's it, game beaten.
I don't think however that DW2 would benefit from an improved story mode. The "sandbox" way of playing is better for a 4X game IMHO.
I don't think it should be done to handle galaxy of 10 000 stars or whatever, the scale of the game is fine as it is. Anymore would be overkill and would only appeal to a handful of players.