But why is it only sensor boats are some people want to get hit with the neft stick right now? Why not complain about Infinity-move ships? After all, it is trivial to be able to get ships that can move 20 or 30 tiles and still be able to mess people up real good.
Is there going to be a call to nerf that next?
And what about life support? Again, it is trivial to be able to design ships that can travel all across the map. Why design starbases if one can just stack up the life support? Why not just get rid of range altogether? Well, I guess those should be hit with a nerf stick too.
In fact, why should ships be able to stack so much defense (or offense) that they can never be touched by early opponents? Again, one can bee line relatively early to create ships that can't be touched by pirates or other opponents who aren't keeping up on the tech race. Especially on lower difficulty settings.
These are ALL strategic choices. All are exploitable to one degree or another. Yet I don't see people clamoring to nerf engines (though I'm sure they are out there). I don't see (many) people clamoring to nerf life support. And I certainly don't see people clamoring to nerf Death Ships.
Yet for some reason the sensor boats are the topic du jour. Beats me why, as there are just as many other things presently in the game that operate the same way.
It's all about choice.
Besides, say we nerf sensor boats. All that's gonna do is get people to spam out mini-sensor boats in response. Which can lead to complaints about tedious micromanagement.
In a way, nerfing sensor boats will lead to MORE problems.
Why? Because the brake on the sensor boat is.... cost. That is, I just can't crank out sensor boats from any ol' starbase. I need a relatively up to speed one if I want to crank them out. But if some sort of limit is put on them, I'm much more likely to just crank out a huge amount of tiny hulled ships with one or two sensors on them. And those would be able to be built even by the rawest of of starbases.
Don't believe me? Well, take a look at this screenshot of one of my GC II games (in tactical mode):
See all those dots ALL OVER THE MAP? Those are my tiny hulled sensor boats that I had scattered around the map. I made sure I got the "Eyes of the Universe" GA before anyone else could (free 12 range sensors on all ships). Then I cranked out tiny hull ships EVERYWHERE and dotted the map so I could see everything everywhere. Now there is no EotU in GC III. Yet. So it would be a little more expensive to do the above. But not nearly as much as people think. Getting a 10 tile sensor tiny hulled ship with absolutely nothing else on it would take around, what, 46 manufacturing points? Less depending on techs?
You'd better believe that if sensor boats get nerfed to any great degree I am going back to spamming out low cost tiny hulled ships.
So, really, it comes down to: Few Long Range Sensors or Spamming Out Low Cost Sensors. Depending on how much one hates micromanagment and spamming, it's six of one, half dozen of another. The only place it really hurts is actual honest to goodness exploration ships. Which, if one recalls, are the ones which are SUPPOSED to be able to see far.