Since I was on here reading anyway, I figured I would post a few various ideas I would love to see added to the game. Some of these (I suppose possibly all?) have certainly been discussed in some form, but I do believe I still have different takes on these ideas. So, I suppose I will just jump in!
First up, is one that has been discussed, and one I am still eager to see: Cloaking. I had a few thoughts on implementation and balance.
- Using the new tech tree setup coming in Crusades, cloaking tech should be a unique tech tree (While cloak detection is not.) This allows races with a very different play style. Think Romulans / Klingons, with sneak attacks and sabotage, and heavy focus on espionage as well.
- Like weapons and defenses etc, the further you research the more effective devices you have access to. Same would be true with sensors, the more advanced / more of them a ship has, the easier to detect cloaked vessels. Special sensors that specialize in cloak detection should also be available.
- While moving on the galactic map, cloaked ships would just not be visible to anyone but the owner, unless detected. As for detection, I see 2 ways of handling it personally. One way would to have a distance decay, like culture. Say a ship had a cloak detection rating of 5, and a sensor range of 10, you could have the cloak detection fade the further out the cloaked ship is. However, I believe this may be adding more CPU demand.. so, I tend to lean towards option 2: Cloak detection is the same rating throughout the ships / fleets vision range. In either instance, detecting ships would come down to a simple formula of ships cloak rating minus other ships cloak detection rating. If they have a higher detection than the cloak rating, the vessels are made visible within the vision range.
- Someone suggested star bases (especially sensor bases) and planets should have a default non-zero detection, and I agree. Helps to balance early game cloak usage.
- The cloak tech tree should be a moderately slow tree. Not so slow as to be pointless, but not something you max out in a short time.
- Balance wise, ships using cloak devices could suffer some penalties, such as lower HP. Better cloaking devices could also lower the HP penalty. If you do not want a HP penalty for ships with cloak, cloaking devices should certainly be heavy.
- In addition, any cloaked ship / fleet that is detected and then gets engaged into a fight, could have a small penalty attached, where as if a cloaked ship / vessel attacks another ship / fleet that did NOT detect them, the cloaked vessels should get a small boost of some kind, perhaps something like getting off the first round of attacks, or a boost to their evasiveness making them harder to hit. I think during combat, whether detected or not, the ships should be visible.
- Given the limit of star base admins now, sensor star bases seem currently to be not a good option... adding in cloak and making sensor star bases very effective detectors would suddenly make this type of star base very useful going forward.
- I feel like factions that made heavy use of cloak would play different than others, which is always fun!
Next up, the idea of super weapons / "Titans"!
- I believe there could be another ship hull type that would essentially be a step up from Huge, but a bit different. Think of the Titan class in Sins of a Solar Empire.
- This hull type would support unique attachments that ONLY this hull could support. As an example, something like the Terror Star weapon would be a great one.
- All the unique attachments would be part of a separate tech path. Could have techs that limit you from gaining every attachment (As in, pick A and you cant access B / C).
- These vessels would be expensive, require either citizens or star base admin(s), and possibly different resources. The idea would be to limit your number of 'Titans' you could build, and also make it a decision of whether its worth it or not.
- Not all of the attachments need be combat based. Perhaps attachments to massively boost production, or one that gives the vessel a shield it can project to a nearby planet making it impossible to invade until the 'Titan' is removed, or perhaps a sensor array so powerful it reveals a massive block of the map and the planned movement of all enemy ships in its view (see the enemy movement lines), or any number of unique and powerful ideas.
- It would be possible to arm a 'Titan' like a standard vessel, but given the resources required to build this class of vessel, it would likely not be the best usage.
- Typically would be a late game option.
How about "warp gateway" structures?
- This is another idea, like cloak, that feels like it should be a unique tech tree only available to certain races.
- The core concept would be to allow the player to build structures on their planets that allowed for instant / near instant travel between any constructed gateways.
- The initial version researched would not be completely as effective as the final versions available: Perhaps early versions would take multiple turns to actually use them (Ships enter the gateway, but don't exit for X number of turns), or some type of usage limit (As in an example, a stage 1 gateway can only be used once every say, 20 turns, and further research / upgrades reduce it down further and further.) I tend to favor usage limits myself.
- This techs drawbacks would be that it isnt as useful for smaller map sizes, but the larger the map, the more powerful the tech would be. On small maps it could still allow ship designs to have less engines. In addition, each planet you want to travel to would need a gateway, taking up valuable planetary tiles. In addition, like the "titan" idea, these structures should cost some type of valuable resource, whether its a variety of the mined materials, administrators, or citizens, it would need to cost something to help limit over usage.
- Being a race-unique tech this once again would make another race with a unique playing ability.
- I believe this idea would be balanced mainly by the cost of the structures / structures taking space / the long research times.
Need a way to upgrade mercenaries in some form or another, in my opinion.
- As it stands, Mercenary ships eventually start to be very outdated tech wise, such as being unable to move as far as the rest of the fleet, but we have no way to address this problem.
- I don't necessarily believe we should be able to upgrade them in the same fashion as other ships, attaching things as we saw fit, though this is one possibility (Letting the merc ship retain its unique abilities of course).
- Instead, I think there could be purchasable upgrades as the game goes on. Similiar to purchasing new mercs, expensive upgrades that unlock at some point, whether its a research tech or perhaps based on their experience level etc.
- This would make some of the ships much more useful for a full game. As in example, there is the ship that boost movement speed for the whole fleet.. but the problem is its default speed is only 17, so late game if you have ships with speed 25+, having the merc in fleet would be pointless at it would hold the fleet back. This is just a small example mind you.
I had some other ideas but I am drawing a blank. Would love feedback! And would of course love to hear from a dev on the possibility of any of these happening!!