Well your ideas are very intriguing, but I want to make sure the mod is enjoyable by as many people as possible, not just Einstein and chemistry geniuses. :)
To that end I have done what you suggested in an earlier post, I've combined a lot of things together under banner resources... steel for example is used in all things requiring a structural metal component (or aluminium in light weight structural items... or often a combination of the two). Copper is used in electrical stuff, sometimes gold for higher-tech electrical components, and so on.
Below is a list of facilities and/or "facility-focus research" planned for the stand-alone game, and some ideas of how they can be incorporated into this mod. (Note: a lot of the stand-alone facilities and upgrades haven't been listed as I don't believe they would be able to be modded effectively).
Atmospheric Converter - Alters a planet's atmosphere to bring it into line with our people's colonisation requirements
Suggested usage in mod: allows the colonisation of hostile-environment planets in-line with the player's species' home planet (race-dependant tech).
Biolab - A laboratory that grows artificial tissues and organs.
Suggested usage in mod: Probably simply unlocks a particular type of component (like organic weaponry or similar, for a race that doesn't normally have this tech). It'd be nice to use it as an actual facility, but I can't yet think of a use for it that DWU caters for.
Biological Assembly - A facility that constructs creatures from artificial tissues, organs, and biofilm.
Suggested usage in mod: Similar to Biolab above, but it'd be nice to differentiate it... most likely with more advanced tech being unlocked... things like living space hulks etc.
Commsat - Communications satellite increases communication on this world, which boosts its research contributions greatly by increasing speed and decreasing cost of research. Multiple Commsats have a compound effect, to the world's limit.
Suggested usage in mod: I need to investigate whether you can build more than one instance of a facility on a planet in DWU, otherwise obviously no compound effect is possible. I think that the research boost should be possible to achieve. Otherwise I'm considering making this not a planet facility but a mod-shipped design for a research lab, but using really cheap ultra-basic level components perhaps.
Cluster Space Station - A growing cluster of orbiting infrastructures that allow this world to effectively command its local space.
Basically a very simple first-stage space station. I would like to have this as the first allowed buildable space-station, one which the player starts with. Almost defenseless but that's ok because at the same time other races don't have offensive weapons. The concept is that players in Sea Of Stars can start off pre-warp at an even earlier stage than DWU currently caters for... JUST BARELY space borne.
Dockyard - Makes Light Fighter, Heavy Fighter, Gunship, Corvette
Dockyard II - Makes Frigate, Destroyer, Super Destroyer
Dockyard III - Makes Cruiser, Battleship, Carrier, Dreadnaught, Bohemoth
I'm thinking that these are done in the mod by having a research tech for each, and at the same time increases build sizes of ships. The first one is easy, since the research tree system has a native portion that unlocks particular fighter types. DY II and DY III I think will just simply increase build size of vessels and bases allowed.
Greenhouse Effect - Heats a planet to bring it into line with our people's colonisation requirements
Similar to the Atmospheric Converter, except perhaps this one is aimed specifically at unlocking ice planets as colonisation targets.
Solar Deflector - Cools a planet to bring it into line with our people's colonisation requirements
This (and a few others) are originally designed because planets in the stand-alone will have a range of factors affecting their habitability for player races, including temperature, acidity, etc, not just whether they're ice, ocean, volcanic, etc. For the sake of this mod, I think this particular one would be able to convert volcanic planets to colonisable, or possibly be used for races whose home planet type is ice... to convert other planets to be colonisable. Therefore potentially a race-dependant research type... rather than a facility.
I would also like to investigate building designs, components, and research that cater for the development of ships of the below types:
(Some of the ships like mine-layers would perhaps not be possible to do in DWU... although perhaps could be simulated with really slow missiles or something. Another method of seeing minelayers happen in the mod might be to make mines actually a type of fighter, slow moving with a very close-range area weapon damage effect with extremely long recharge rate.)
Light Fighter - A dedicated fighter craft armed with low caliber cannon and a small armament of missiles.
Heavy Fighter - A more heavilly armoured and armed fighter craft.
Gunship - Heavilly armed with low mobility, these craft are designed to take down fighters and other small targets from range and with superior firepower.
Corvette - Equiped with heavy engines, armour, and sophisticated weapons, corvettes are designed to clean the skies of all smaller craft and are the smallest craft capable of independent travel between systems.
Assault Frigate - Guardians of capital ships, and crusher of all smaller vessels, Assault Frigate are bristling with close-quarters weapons, huge main turrets, and rapid tracking systems.
Marine Frigate - While these frigates do have several small caliber close-quarter cannons to help defend against fighters and smaller craft, their primary weapon is their compliment of Marines; highly trained armed boarding parties whose primary task is to quickly capture and bring under our control any vessel or structure that they target. Especially useful against large capital ships, and can often turn the tide of a battle in our favour.
Shield Frigate - These large vessels have no firepower of their own, but instead house a massive shield generator that is able to house many smaller craft or one or two other frigates, greatly increasing their resistance to enemy energy, kinetic, and ballistic weapons.
Ion Frigate - Armed with a devastatingly long-ranged Ion Cannon, this frigate can utterly fry an enemy vessel's on board computers and electrical systems, rendering them completely useless for the duration of the battle. Several Ion Frigates can rapidly bring down even a Cruiser and allow it to be boarded and captured with ease.
Drone Frigate - Especially nasty versus smaller craft such as fighters and gunships, Drone Frigate boast a compliment of robotic drones that target and shred an
enemy craft with astonishing speed and accuracy.
Missile Frigate - This frigate is armed with tactical missiles (small nuclear missiles with complicated targeting and maneuvering systems) that can cause massive damage on impact, but are reasonably easy to stop with both shields and on-board anti-missile defense turrets. For this reason Missile Frigates are best used in large numbers or versus frigates or capital ships that lack these defenses.
Support Frigate - Re-arming and re-supplying a fleet both during combat and afterwards is important to keep a fleet operating efficiently and with maximum strength. Support Frigates ensure that ammunition is maintained at peak levels and that all required spares and supplies are provided rapidly, keeping a fleet operating at 100% at all times. One Support Frigate can support many other ships simultaneously.
Hospital Frigate - These frigates maintain the health of our citizens and keep morale high in a fleet. They ensure that a fleet can return to peak fighting condition rapidly after a battle.
Covert Ops Frigate - These frigates help hide the energy signatures that would otherwise give away a fleet's position quickly, minimising the range at which an enemy can detect our fleet, and aiding in the element of surprise.
Repair Frigate - Quickly repairs damaged vessels and nearby structures after a battle, ensuring we are at peak performance. These frigates negate the need for a fleet to return to a drydock after a battle to repair battle damage.
Minelayer Frigate - These vessels use smaller craft to lay vast mine fields at points of our choosing, inhibiting enemy movement for months while our mines lay dormant. These can be very effective weapons for blockading an enemy world, bringing it under our control much more quickly than it otherwise might.
Silent Runner - A specialised stealth ship designed to sneak past all but the most sophisticated sensors as a reconnoisance craft and for Special Task missions.
Destroyer - Destroyers are the smallest of the capital class ships, and are a fearsome enemy for all smaller craft.
Super Destroyer - Larger, more sophisticated, and armed to the gills, super destroyers are not to be taken lightly by any fleet.
Cruiser - Cruisers serve as a hub for most medium and large assault fleets, and often serve as a system guardian. They can hold their own against almost any target, but are vulnerable to large fleets of fighters, gunships, and corvettes.
Battleship - Battleships are destroyer-killers. They are huge battlestations armed with extremely powerful weapons, but are very vulnerable to smaller crafts in large numbers due to their relative lack of anti-fighter systems.
Super Battleship - Housing a small fleet of fighters, super battleships are a hybrid between a battleship and a carrier, offering some protection against large fleets of smaller craft without sacrificing the awesome firepower of a battleship.
Carrier - Almost defenseless itself, a carrier relies instead on it's large on-board fleet of smaller craft (up to and including corvettes), and serves as a staging ground for these craft, and the only practical way to transport large quantities of these smaller craft the vast distances between stars.
Dreadnaught - A massively powerful capital ship capable of handling itself against any enemy. Dreadnaughts have powerful damage absorbing capacity as well as a powerful arsenal of weapons, but are extremely cumbersome and difficult to manuever.
Bohemoth - Generally useless versus any but the larger capital ships, a Bohemoth is usually a mobile base of operation from which to launch an attacking fleet or commence construction or fortification projects under the protection of the Bohemoth. An excellent weapon to capture and fortify a heavily dug in enemy system, but not a very useful weapon for pursuing a mobile or fragmented enemy.
Dark Moon - This is almost a mobile and entirely artificial world, completely self-contained and with all the facilities to create and maintain any fleet. Empires employing the services of Dark Moons are usually very wealthy and very powerful, and should be treated with extreme diplomacy.
Fleet Core - Consuming massive quantities of resources a Fleet Core is thousands of Kilometers in diameter and while protected by a fleet is basically an invulnerable battle station able to fend off the most determined and powerful attacking fleet. Equipped with sensors and weapons second-to-none, a Fleet Core is for all intents and purposes a heavilly armed mobile planet, complete with its own natural gravity well (though weak). If an enemy Fleet Core is lumbering its way to your empire, you should consider meeting it en route or relocating your empire...
Allows: Global Network Node, Robot Servants, Unmanned Weapons, AI Autopilots, AI Security
Prerequisite: TO BE DECIDED
Description: Processor speed, memory capacity, neural network technology and data libraries have advanced to a point where a true artificially intelligent computer can be created.
Prerequisite: Attack Satellite
Description: A formidable heavily armed satellite capable of destroying global targets rapidly and with impunity. Assault platforms are built in orbit around a world and have no propulsion of their own. They serve primarilly to target and destroy specific facilities on the world below, or to protect the world from incoming enemy vessels.
I expect this could best be achieved simply with a defensive star base design. Perhaps a research tech that unlocks it... either a build size or key component type or similar. Will investigate what the modding capabilities of DWU allows.
Allows: Terraform Atmosphere
Prerequisite: Colonial Drone
Description: This facility allows the conversion of the atmosphere into a more breathable one at a given rate (additional facilities increase this rate), allowing further development once the atmosphere has become closer to that which our race requires.
ATTACK SATELLITE (ATTACK SAT)
Allows: Assault Platform, Planetary Domination, Remote Assault Probe, Nuclear Sentinel
Description: Attack satellites are armed with high capacity lasers and are used to track and destroy ground threats on the world which they orbit.
I don't think I'll implement this in the mod.
Allows: Massive Cargo Haulers, Dedicated Supply Lines
Prerequisite: Ferry Service
Description: Large towing craft designed to move large amounts of materials between Space Stations.
Either won't be implemented, or it will be one of the first techs that allow for example a standard-size cargo hold. Before this is researched only a really simple cargo hold is possible to fit on a ship, making resource hauling a very slow process. If so, this tech would be bypassed by setting the game to Post-Warp settings.
CIVILIAN POLICE FORCE
Allows: Underground Resistance, Sophisticated Security
Prerequisite: Fighter Craft
Description: Removing the military from police duties enables them to be used elsewhere more effectively, while allowing our space-borne community to grow in relative safety.
I'm thinking that this increases growth rate, while at the same time reducing military maintenance costs. (Fighters only, if possible.)
Allows: Spaceport, Open Cut Mine, Subsurface Mine, Atmospheric Converter, Nuclear Reactor, Gas Mine, Fluid Mine, Habitation Outpost, Biomass Harvest
Prerequisite: Dispatched ManfacDrone
Description: Colonial Drones are sent to remote worlds to prepare them for colonisation by our population, or to inexpensively setup robotic mining operations, geo-engineering operations, and planetary defences in preparation for our citizens moving in and further advancing our hold on the new world or simply as outposts. A colonial drone can only carry enough resources to setup one project, and so is spent once that project is completed.
I'm thinking this would be the most basic form of colonisation, taking over a planet with a starting population of saying 1 Million (less, if the game allows it). It represents a tiny little foothold on a world, and the player would want to rapidly upgrade to larger forms of colonisation.
Allows: Gunship, Frigate, Silent Runner
Prerequisite: Fighter, Plasmic Propulsion
Description: The designs for an armoured hull to house more powerful rockets and more sophisticated weapons and targetting system, to tackle fighters before they are able to come within striking distance. A single Corvette is no easy target for even a squandron of fighters.
DEEP SPACE MONITOR
Prerequisite: Long Range Sensor Sat
Description: The most advanced sensor platform available - complete with on-board defenses to stop small craft posing a threat. This platform can sense even Silent Runners within a small radius, and other craft at far greater distances. An empire with an array of DSMS's at its frontline will always be warned early of any enemy activity.
Unlocks the components and design (if possible) for a long-range scanner platform.
EMPIRICAL DATA NETWORK
Allows: Hive Mind
Prerequisite: System Network Node
Description: Linking all of our System Network Nodes together across the entire Empire gives us an Empirical Data Network, where every single citizen and artificial intelligence entity can contact all others instantly and with almost no cost. The information and communication repurcussions are astonishing - our entire Empire is one massive cohesive data network, a true wonder of technology.
Unlocks advanced research components, and also base research rates on all three tiers.
Allows: Assault Frigate, Marine Frigate, Shield Frigate, Ion Frigate, Drone Frigate, Missile Frigate, Support Frigate, Hospital Frigate, Covert Ops Frigate, Repair Frigate, Minelayer Frigate
Description: The designs for a large versatile chassis that allows large format weapons and systems to be mounted for a range of work-horse fleet tasks. Frigates are the backbone of any fleet, and have a range of roles, from offence to defence, special tactics, and sensory roles.
Allows: Heavy Fighters, Corvettes, Civilian Police Force
Description: A small mobile and lightly armed craft that can be used for offense and defense of intersystem space, these craft are excellent for controlling local civil disturbances and maintaining order, for quickly bolstering a fleet when an incoming attack is detected, or for spreading our Empire's control efficiently throughout a system with minimal expense.
LONG RANGE SENSOR SAT
Allows: Deep Space Monitor
Prerequisite: Sensor Sat
Description: A sophisticated platform bristling with sensors that will detect all but the most sophisticated cloaking devices from a very long distance, forming an effective early-warning system.
As with Deep Space Monitor, but a tier before it.
Allows: System Sentinel
Prerequisite: Attack Satellite, Nuclear Barrage, Long Range Sensors
Description: A massive armored station designed to be a stand-alone outpost capable of detecting incoming enemy, and engaging them at extreme range.
Unlocks components and/or design for a deep-space-buildable star base (minus docking and refueling capacity).
Allows: Global Network Node
Prerequisite: Communications Satellite
Description: By linking our satellites up into a true broadband network we are able to vastly improve communications and data transfer.
Increases research speeds.
Allows: Communications Satellite, Attack Satellite, Sensor Satellite, Manufacturing Drone
Prerequisite: Basic Rocket
Description: Satellites orbit a planet and allow a range of sensors and other equipment to improve our knowledge and use of space.
A gateway tech that would have a minimal effect itself... maybe a slight increase in growth and/or research speed.
SENSOR SATELLITE (SENSOR SAT)
Allows: Long Range Sensor Platform
Description: A long-range satellite capable of mapping all worlds and belts within a system, and identify long-range incoming enemies that other sensors detect.
Unlocks tech that allows decent sensor range, and designs for deep-space-buildable sensor stations.
SYSTEM NETWORK NODE
Allows: Empirical Data Network
Prerequisite: Global Network Node
Description: As more and more Global Network Nodes come online, we are able to use subspace communication to link them together with undelayed communication, creating a Network Node from every communications satellite in the System, giving us tremendous communication and computational power.
A greatly increased research output.
LINEAGE FOR FREEFALL
LONG RANGE SENSORS
LONG TERM SPACE HABITATION
MASSIVE CARGO HAULERS
There's a bunch of others but I just don't think they'd be suitable for this mod.