Most important thing about this thread is that I think a lot about what I suggest, potential problems in my suggestions and their solutions and/or alternative implementations and I never suggest something because of realism, I suggest what I think leads to better or more interesting gameplay. I update this post very often since it takes me a long time to write everything down and if I have some new thoughts I'll also update it. I've also already done multiple passes for formating so it's better to read, but that's an ongoing process with all the updates. If someone has questions or anything be free to ask I'm happy to answer and get feedback from others.
More coming soon... now not now, but whenever I have time.
Update: Spoilers as anti-great-wall-of-text-messure. Btw spoilers are a bitch to use in html based forums.
Update: Denial of Area Section added
Update: Energy Systems Section added
Update: Started to add the different fast travel suggestions and a new addition to EEE.
Intel Sytems Expansion
Basic Concepts: [Show][Hide]
Split Sensors into two Systems: Vision and Radar
Vision work similar to Sensors now, but with slightly reduced range and certain countermeasures, see Cloaking, but is uneffected by Radar-Disruption, see Stealth and False Signatures as well as Jamming.
Radar will be capable of larger ranges than Vision but only provides reduced/partial intel/information, Visualisation via new Iconset containing: Unidentified Planet for planets, Unidentified Resource for Durantium/Thulium/Promethium/Antimatter/Elerium, Unidentified Starbase for starbases and shipyards and artifacts and Unidentified Signatures for Ships and fleets with the Signature Size Indicator. Radar can be disrupted by Jamming.
Signiture Size Indicator The Unidentified Signatures Icon gains one arrow ^ for each 5 Signature Size (rounded up), the Signature of a ship is decided by the default logistic size of its ship class. The Signature Size Indicator can be manipulated by Stealth and False Signatures. Can be improved via research also show the amount of ships show the amount of ships in the categories tiny/small, medium/cargo, large/huge show the amount for every ship size. This would still be skewed by False Signatures.
Stealth and False Signatures manipulate the Signature Size Indicator, Stealth will decrease it, while False Signatures are used to increase it. Note that stealth cannot remove the Indicator just reduce it to the minimum of a single arrow ^.
Cloaking prevents visual scouting of ships or even whole fleets. If a fleet is completly cloaked it will only show its Signature Indicator even when in vision range, If there is only some cloaked ships in a fleet, it's displayed the same as now but the display is extended by the Signature Indicator and the cloaked ships wont show in the display.
Visual Distortion Replaces the the numbers for the stats with X for enemies. So a ship with 8 Movement, 10 Beamdmg, 90 Missiledmg, 100 Kineticdmg and 999 Shields 0 Missiledef 0 Kineticdef and a Visual Distortion module will look like this to the enemy: X Movement, XX Beamdmg, XX Missiledmg, XXX Kineticdmg and XXX Shields X Missiledef X Kineticdef.
Jamming creates a static noise field that's visible on the map, even outside your radar range but blocks radar completly, the origin of the jamming field is also displayed. Ships and Starbases inside a jamming field have 50% radar range penalty regardless of owner. The owner is not affected by the noise field but still the radar penalty.
Interference Penetration has 10% of Radar range, works like radar but is not affected by jamming.
Ship Modules: [Show][Hide]
Multiple stacking Vision Modules with increasing ranges, either just like the sensors now or with slightly reduced range.
Multiple stacking Radar Modules with increasing ranges, roughly 2x the ranges compared to the Vision modules otherwise similar to Vision modules.
Survey Modules(standart/prototype), nonstacking, give both Vision and Radar.
Stealth Module, nonstacking, halves the signature of a ship and should idealy scale with the ship sizes so it takes an equal % of (default)capacity for each ship class. If the scalled capacity cost doesn't work it will be a flatt -1 reduce of the signature instead and low cap cost.
Fleet Stealth Module, nonstacking, halves the signature of the whole fleet(is applied after the Signature Reduction of Ship Stealth Modules), very large 75 Capacity(default capacity of a medium).
5 False Signature Modules, stackable, smallest one increases the Signature by 2(equal to a tiny),scalling up to the largest increasing the Signature by 10(equal to a huge), with a capacity cost formula of Signature*7.5/4
Cloaking Module, nonstacking, big and expensive, hides the ship it's on completly, see Cloaking for effects.
Fleet Cloaking Module, nonstacking, very big with >100 Capacity Cost, hides the whole fleet.
Visual Distortion Module, nonstacking, is a step down from Cloaking, smaller and less expensive and only obfuscates the stats of the ship so they only show the magnitude.
Fleet Visual Distortion Module, nonstacking, above effect for the whole fleet, big and expensive.
3 Jamming Modules, nonstacking, very big and expensive because very powerfull: 1 Hex Jamming, 1 Hex Radius Jamming, 2 Hex Radius Jamming, Cap Costs tbd.
Interference Filtering Module, nonstacking, reduces the penalty on radar for being inside a jamming field to -30% instead of -50%.
Starbase Modules: [Show][Hide]
Multiple Vision Modules with increasing ranges, either just like the sensors now or with slightly reduced range.
Multiple Radar Modules with increasing ranges, roughly 2x the ranges compared to the Vision modules otherwise similar to Vision modules.
Cloaking Module, cloaks the starbase. strong>Extended Cloaking Field Module, also cloaks all ships stationed there, Military Starbases only.
Visual Distortion Module, obfuscates the stats of the starbase so they only show the magnitude, Military Starbases only.
Extended Visual Distortion Field Module, also obfuscates the stats of all ships stationed there, Military Starbases only.
Jamming Module(s), for lagre area Jamming >3 Hex radius, Military Starbases only.
The Treaties: [Show][Hide]
Share Vision, like exploration treaty but only shares vision, if they don't have radar in your vision they wont see cloaked ships at all.
Share Radar, only shares radar, jamming of any faction still affects this even from the treaty partner.
Radar Identification, the ships of the treaty partner will have an faction symble next to their signature indicator when they enter your radar, so you don't need vision on them to see which faction they are from.
Share Jamming Frequencies, treaty partner is unaffected by your jamming.
I'll leave this one for later as it's difficult to explain without pictures.
The Scenarios: [Show][Hide]
You invested a lot into radar coverage or negotiated a Share Radar Treaty from your ally and it covers a large portion of your neighbors ZOC, so you could notice large movement in enemy territory long before they enter your vision, so you can prepare for an invasion but can't just assemble a perfect counter to whatever they're throwing at you(besides rough size of fleets) before they enter your vision.
But you could also be fooled about the fleet sizes if the enemy uses Stealth and/or False Signatures.
Or he invests into Wide Area Jamming Starbases to prevent you to get good radar coverage on his ZOC.
Or he fouls you by sending multiple ships with jamming to different parts of your border but only one of those hides a large fleet while the others are decoys.
Or the large movement is caused by an ally moving through other factions ZOCs on his way to his enemy and you could see that if you had a radar identification treaty.
Or you decide that radar is too unreliable and focus more on vision, but then someone could goes for cloaking, slips past your defences and invades some important planets.
Or destroy your long range vision emplacements so he can move in with non cloaked troops afterwards.
The shorter range vision and jamming could make scouts more important for visual scouting or at least get close enough to penetrate the jamming with out risking a way more expensive sensor ship.
Problems and Solutions: [Show][Hide]
Problem 1: Jamming and Tilestacking
Being able to stack unlimited ships on a single tile causes my proposed implementation of jamming to be immensely power full even when only jamming a single tile with a ship module.
Solution 1: See Tile Logistics Section, should be right below.
Problem 2: Area Jamming and CloakingCloaked ships are only shown via the Signature Indicator but that one is hiden when inside a Jamming Field which only shows the origin of the jamming signal.
Fixed, see Interference Penetration.
Alternative Solution: Since problems are caused by jamming, not implementing it in the first place is the easiest and the system works fine without it as well. I would rather not choose this one.
Vast Space Rework:
The Vast Space Rework is composed of three main components:
Solarsystems and Vast Space:
The new Flow system for sensors and lifesupport:
and a Lifesupport overhaul:
Tile Logistics: [Show][Hide]
As mentioned before infinite stacking of ships is a bit problematic when it comes to my implementation of Jamming in the Intel Systems Expansion but before you start complaining, I'm not proposing a 1 ship/fleet per tile limit but something similar to the fleet logistic limit. One tile with 100 fleets feels like nothing at first glance while 100 tiles occupied by one fleet each that feels like a real invasion. Besides that when the fleets have the same compostion it's hard to tell how many there really are due to the great fleet ids maybe they should change that to whatever system the fleet was formed in + a number or something similar.
Empty Space Tile: Has a limit of the maximum achievable fleet logistic, that means if you have all the logistic increasing boni you can park 1 max logistic fleet per tile.
Shipyard: Has slightly above 2xmax Logistic (Based on the thought 1 fleet for defense, 1 fleet that is being assembled and a little bit to squeze in some parked constuctors and a sensor ship.)
Starbase: slightly above 1x max Logistic, with an option to increase the docking space via a researchable module.
Asteroids: here things get interesting, they'll have 1/2 of max logistic
Maybe allow for ignoring the limit but at the cost of a serve movement speed penalty and and hull damage per turn, both increase based on how far over the limit the fleet is and merging fleets over the limit also takes all movement points for the turn.
Moving over a full tile costs twice the mp and is possible when you have enough movement points to reach a tile with enough free logistic else you either stop infront of the full tiles or if above mechanic is implemented you get a popup that asks you if you want to merge with the fleet on the tile that you would stop on.
Enhanced Environmental Effects: [Show][Hide]
To make the maps more interesting and less bland:
Nebulas gain the ability to hide what's inside of them from sensors or radar and vision as I explained in the Intel System Expansion. This would work similar to Jamming Fields and Interference Penetration but with seperate values for Nebula Radar Penetration and Nebula Vision Peneration.
There could be different kinds of nebulas that either hide something from radar (Ionstorm) or vision (Gas Cloud) or both (Ionised Gas Cloud).
Additionally to the small astroidbelts we could also have astroidfields the size of nebulas.
Being on an astroid tile could also cause hull damage per turn maybe based on the logistic size of the fleet.
Blackholes could get a movement speed penalty that increases the closer you get to it.
Update: I just had an interisting idea when I started to write down my first fast travel suggestion:
A way to make maps feel bigger without making them bigger.
When a map is generated solar system related objects spawn only in a certain radius around a star. My suggestion would be to mark the system radius and apply a, on map generation addjustable, speed penalty to all tiles outside of systems. The distances are already out of proportion when you look a the diameter of systems and the distance to other systems. This would help (for those who want it) to make the distances between systems feel greater.
Improved Terraforming: [Show][Hide]
Besides the usual suggestions about terraforming: e.g. different building limits instead of 1 or infinite(at least until all tiles of the specified quality are terraformed) or I think naselus suggested being able to terraform to a certain planet class, I want to bring up a different point:
Instead of making a terraformed tile identical to a normal tile, after the terraformer is done building you have something like a building in hex form. On which you can build on like a normal tile but you can also click it and destroy it like a building and are able to build it somewhere else.
This counteracts a problem I've run into many times, hoarding the terraforming techs until you have them all and only then terraforming the planets. So you don't missplace them and run into situations where you're like: "damn if I didn't terraformed that tile over there I could have gotten such great adjecentcy over here."
With this you could reconsider your terraforming placement like you do your building placement.
If it's intended to be a permanten decision then you could show the tile qualities so we could at least plan what tiles to terraform without ugly suprises later.
Tile Destruction from invasions: Currently if a tile gets destroyed by invasion it's gone forever.
Instead they should get a new texture like Cracks in the earth or a giant crater and there should be a new teraforming tech that unlock a tile recovery building that you can only build on destroyed tiles and has infinite uses similar to the old ultra terraformer since recovering a tile shouldn't be as hard as terraforming it in the first place.
Custom AI Difficulty: [Show][Hide]
The new game screen gets a new tab called Custom AI and the Ai difficulty dropdown menu gets the new option Custom.
In the tab you have a bunch of sliders for all the different ways you can handicap the ai. There would also be the options to set all the sliders to the default difficulties.
1. Unhide all the handicaps for non normal ai
2. Enable all those "Godlike is too easy" players to increase the difficulty to whatever ludicrous difficulty they want.
3. Enable fine-tunning of difficulties for any player: Don't like AI maphacks but normal is too easy? Set Custom to a higher difficulty, uncheck the maphacks and be happy.
Denial of Area:
fixed Sentry, Interception and Gravitywells
Reaffirm move on enemy reveal: [Show][Hide]
To fix accidential moves that leave your ships out of position and out of movement points: If the problem is moving a ship that then reveals an enemy and then you don't have enough mp to get away I have an entirely different solution that doesn't involve a special retreat mechanic. Simply make a gameplay option that makes ships stop their movement when they reveal an enemy, so you have to reaffirm the movement order.
Sentry Fix: [Show][Hide]
At the moment ships in sentry mode wake up as soon as any ship that doesn't belong to the player enters their sensor range regardless if it's allied, neutral or hostile. To fix this, you could, after clicking the sentry button, be presented with a new set of four buttons. Three of them you can click to highlight then or grey them out, they say allied, neutral and hostile (at best they should even be coloured in green, yellow/grey and red) and a confirm/start sentry button to confirm your selection.
The only thing that would provide more uttility would be faction specific wake-up but that would consume to much ui space, while only rarely providing additional benefit.
Alternatively for an even easier solution simply make sentry wake-up on hostile only and leave the ui as is.
Add an Interception button to the ship command menu next to guard and sentry. If activated an area of hexes around the ship will be marked, this will be visable to all players: blue for your ships, green for allied ships and red if it's an enemy ship. The range is either the sensor range or half of the remaining movement points, whichever is smaller. Why half? So the ship can move to an enemy that entered the range, attack and return to it's position. If the ship still has leftover mp after an interception it reenters interception mode.
New modules for starbases and ships that create a gravitywell which would work like a reverse interception instead of moving to the enemy if he enters the range, the enemy is moved to the origin of the gravityfield and forced to attack. In contrary to the interception this would work even if the ship it's mounted on has no leftover movement points. It would also be marke on the map in the same way as interception(except maybe a fancy animation underneath to show it's a gravitywell instead of interception).
Research Branch: [Show][Hide]
There could be a new tech branch for this stuff that goes:
Automated Interception Algorithm (unlocks interception for all ships) -> Starbase Gravitywell Generators (unlocks module with 5 hexes range for starbases) -> branches into Extended Starbase Gravitywell Generators (unlocks module that adds another 3 range) and Mobile Gravitywell Generators (unlocks shipmodule with 3 range nonstack) and after those maybe some more techs in both branches that extend the range further.
Reactors/Energy Systems: [Show][Hide]
Currently when people try to nerf stacking or just balance modules what do they suggest or change?
Stacking modules should have diminishing returns in any way? That problematic since it's difficult to convey over the ui.
Other than that? Changing capacity/production cost or changing the benefit, which is fine but it's difficult to find a good balance with just those.
So I propose adding a new stat to all ship modules: Energy Consumption and add a new line of ship modules: Energy Generators.
The generators would be costly in capacity early in the game and get a better energy per capacity ratio with higher tech levels.
In the early game ships would be roughly 50% generators which would reduce over the curse of the game.
People like to stack engines or sensors give them a high energy consumption so that stacking them would be not so viable because the generators would take so much space on the ships. It would also help balancing other stuff because you have one more stat. Beams have to many benefits over kinetics? Give them the highest energy consumption of the weapons and kinetics the lowest.
And as a cool addition on top there could be a precursor tech that unlocks a module that increases capacity for a very high amount of energy.
I propose a two part improvement consisting of:
Modular Trade, Treaties and Threats:
Coming sometime...hopefully soon
A Matter of Trust:
Coming sometime...hopefully soon
Stargates/Warpgates/Hyperspace routes/Wormholes/Somesort of fast travel
Okay as there are a lot of different ways for this I'll just post multiple versions but that doesn't mean all of them should be in the game at the same time.
Most of them draw inspiration from different scifi universes and not the actual GalCiv universe.
The first one originates from a novel or rather a trilogy called "Der Antares Krieg": [Show][Hide]
It's based on gravity folds that connect adjacent star systems and black holes. So they are generated with the rest of the map. The number of connections from a star systems is random but there should be a new setting in the map generation to change the the rarity. That the are map depended might not be to everybody liking but it work nicely with my efforts in Enanced Enviromental Effects. At the start of the game all the fold and their enrty points are hidden and you need a special survey module to reval them. This module would reval the entry points in the sensor range of the survey ship and mark them on your map, the connections will only be shown after you traveled through the fold in question. But beware if there are other ships or starbases on the exit point both the ship that traveled through the fold and whatever blocked the exit will be destroyed. Additionally to the survey module there would also be a starbase module that would allow all ships to use jump points in the starbases range and a ship module that allows the ships that have it to use discoverd jump points. I'll add some pictures for better understanding soon.
The next suggestion is based on the fast travel routs from freelancer, the X series and all similar games:
Being continued sometime...hopefully soon
Something about SpaceBattles
Maybe some thoughts about Improvement and Population...