It was asked a few times about what would improve or reduce the playability of Shadow Empire. I feel like this is something everyone should weigh in on. For me personally, I want more control on the planet design. This can simply be a choice by the player and not something that everyone has to utilize or abide by. Options can exist during the generation to either statically change planet variables (gravity, air pressure, asset deposits, temperature, rainfall, population, amount of majors/minors present etc.) or at least push the random generation of those values in the direction of the player's choice. Far too often I find myself generating a planet and wanting to play under certain parameters but the RNG is just not allowing me to do so. You may get a lot of things how you want in the beginning and then have to constantly reroll a screen because it is trying to either give you 3 zones or 60. I almost picture Shadow Empire with a mode that leans towards roleplaying the planet the game decided to create for you (current state) and then a new mode that let's the player have more control of what they generate. Again, change nothing of the present system and add ways to appease player's that might want something different.
I've put a ton of time into aircraft. I didn't realize Vic hasn't gotten much feedback on it yet. I think it is fantastic....when it works. There really needs to be an indicator that at a minimum, tells us if planetary conditions are going to make aircraft perform better/worse than what the player would likely anticipate. Now, I know that the gravity and (even more so) air pressure play a huge role in the ranges. I just didn't have a baseline for comparison when designing aircraft. So, if my design got range 8, was it working as intended? Did I not design it properly? Is the gravity/air pressure being a larger factor that I expected? No idea, there was little to go by other than a massive amount of trial and error.
I really want to see this. It is likely in the works but if I could offer some feedback on what I would like to see with it, all the better. I already try to juggle sliders and BP in ways to avoid getting cards I don't want. Getting a ton of cards is just unavoidable. What would be nice to see is that when I grind them away, I get a card in return that does something to balance out things when the RNG decides to not play nice. So, using the scrap/purchase mechanic that Vic mentioned, I could dispose of a bunch of cards and exchange them for a card that is perhaps equally (or more) as powerful as fate cards. Maybe we discover a deposit of the player's choice. It would be hard to abuse this in early game because of the volume of cards you would have to scrap in order to obtain this. Perhaps you exchange the scrap for a leader that actually has a more predictable and focused set of skills/stats. Exchanging the scrap for player chosen artifacts would be cool as well.
Opaque statistics/unknown leader and unit stats:
Fascinating idea! Please don't do this unless it is an option that can be disabled. It makes it nearly impossible to identify or know when something is wrong with your game. Did I design something wrong because I don't understand the UI/rules or is it because the game logic made it a poor design? Don't know, the FoW will obscure that. Why is X showing Y? Could be a hundred different causes and without data, I won't be able to figure it out.
Oceans and Navies:
I'm having a hard time with this one. Unit counters and attacks made like ground troops just does not feel right for ocean combat. The zone based approach might be the best option. Orders set to port and carried out in an abstract manner would probably work, it just doesn't sound as exciting as the aircraft are. The impact of zone control needs to feel weighty as a result. Otherwise, I think I would just largely ignore it all together.
Leader and abundance changes:
This needs to happen I think. Right now, it is far to easy to just build a relationship with the majors and sit back (non MP games) and build. Nothing really forces my hand. It's like I can just satisfy everyone enough to just coast through at my own pace. There is no sense of urgency. If there was an 'ultimate decision' event storyline to throw at me, I would then have to make some tough and permanent choices. The profile extremism sounds like a good way to approach that problem.
In closing, I mentioned this in the beginning but can't stress enough that I would like to see additional planet generation options added. In takes a bit of time in total FoW to know how the majors are going to shape up. Perhaps I am tired of getting games with Republicans all the time. I can start a game but I'll never know if they are going to be present. If I had options to change these things in generation, I could have a better experience overall. Think about how much more balanced MP could be if you could level the playing field at the start a little better. Picture your opponent surrounded by farmers and you are surrounded by slavers and spiders. You'll immediately wish you could change a lot of the RNG elements to balance things out better.