In my opinion the game is currently heavily biased towards Research and/or Production in comparison to Credits. I would like to make a few suggestions and would love to have some input on these from the community and the dev team.
- I suggest that credits will be used to accelerate and/or enhance any of the other “resources” or “outputs” in game: Production, Research, Influence, Growth and Food. For instance, one way to do it would to add under the planetary govern window a new rubric or a new matrix on the graphic control (the one in which you can shift the emphasis between Economy, Production and Research) that will be used to specify extra investment in Production Development/Food Production /Influence Growth etc….. The player could choose to invest extra funds in influence growth or food production, for instance, to receive a percentile based bonus. Another possibility is to integrate this under the central govern window, and there choose either an empire wide emphasis or a par planet emphasis.
- I dislike the existing “Rush” mechanic and find it a bit simplistic and crude. It forces the player to buy the building/ship at full price – even when a significant amount of production has already taken place. I suggest that this system be refined by making the price of “rushing” the building/ship directly related to the amount of production units remaining. Thus if I produced a ship that costs 200 production units for 3 turns, worth 90 production units, by choosing to outright buy this ship I will pay only for 110 production units rather than the full 200 price.
- Building on the two previous points, I suggest that credits could be used to accelerate the production of specific building projects directly on a scale system. If you want the creation of a new ship or building to be 200% faster you will pay x amount of credits, 300% faster y amount and so forth until you reach the point in which it will happen next turn, i.e. “rushing” as it is now. This will allow for a much greater versatility and make credits a lot more useful. If this is combined with a smart construction queue feature all the better (plan construction in advance, accelerate some projects and so forth).
- I would really love the possibility of outsourcing some projects to 3rd party corporations and/or minor races. For instance, if I want to order extra ships really fast but don’t have the capacity to produce them myself or if I want to buy ships that utilize techs that I don’t have or are perhaps unique (“proprietary” or “minor-race unique”) I could go to a new Market window and see what is on sale / make a new bid for the construction of x or y. This would add some interesting versatility and some unique items, techs and so forth.
- It would also be great to be able to hire mercenaries / pirates to disrupt enemy trade routes or harass ships, this could be a one-time contract or a continuous payment on an xx amount of turns clock.
I would also like to make a few other suggestions on the topic of starbases:
- I think starbases should be made a lot more versatile – they could potentially be used as center pieces of a player’s strategy and at present I think there are a few things that make this difficult. One of the key things is the area of operation of a starbase, I would really like to see some techs/modules and racial traits/abilities that allow a player to extend the effective radius of a starbase.
- Also, the limitation of a starbase to only specific kinds of activities is in my opinion highly problematic and doesn’t make any sense – why can’t a starbase be dedicated to both economy and mining activities? Why can’t a player build two starbases within the same zone, say one for mining and the other for culture? I understand why it would be wise to introduce some limitations in order to avoid absurdities and exploitation but I think the present system is rather limited and not particularly fun. I would like to suggest that starbases could in effect be continuously developed, becoming huge spacebound complexes of many interconnected stations and so forth, found especially in the vicinity of large planets or boundiful resources. **** regarding different ways of avoiding starbase spamming please see the discussion below.
- I think it would be strategically very helpful if a planetary defense module will be introduced. When this module is installed the starbase will host a squadron of fighters that will defend all planets within its area of operation. This will prohibit planetary invasion until the starbase is destroyed.
EDIT: here is are some additional suggestions:
- Listening posts- Starbases that are built within or nearby an enemy's/opponent's star system or zone of influence. This kind of starbase is equipped with extremely long range scanner and can be upgraded with advanced cryptographic facilities and such that give a chance to steal a technology and/or syphon some of its research production. Either way the more listening posts a player has in an opponents the better informed he/she is of that opponent’s fleet movements - regardless of direct radar. It is thus possible to see all of an enemy's movements by listening in to its communications. It is also possible to set up a mercenary base on this kind of starbase to disrupt trade routes that pass in the area of effect - suspending or even terminating these. Finally it might also be possible to upgrade this kind of base with stealth or camouflage modules which make their detection very difficult.
As I wrote above, all input welcome!