Sounds like a good idea... but it (of necessity) eliminates planetary specials.
If planetary specials are fairly rare (most planets are just an EP and a size) then it is a useful thing. (ultimate in terraforming... make all the planets the ideal EP, and then combine all the sizes).
That would probably be a practical downside... no specials.. (so making a dyson out of a planet would require enough tech to remove all 'planetary negatives'.. ant then you would only do it with planets that didn't have any special 'planetary positives'.)
Yeah, most (all?) specials would be destroyed when you change the planets to a super-structure.
Should buildings also be destroyed? or just non-orbital buildings?
That would be part of the trade-off. I also think the population capacity should be greater for a superstructure than the constituent planets, but not as much better as would be realistic, say perhaps the max size would be the same as 10 huge planets, but the size would be 125% or 150% of the planets that made up the structure more or less. (Maybe the superstructures come in small through huge sizes as well)
I really don't want a system where it is optimum to turn *all* your planets into similar super-strucuctures
I agree on that.... I could see the
1. Slightly more pop (than combined planets terraformed to best level)
2. Consolidation (better defense)
1. Planetary specials lost
2. Production point cost
Cost #2, and Benefit #1 are the two big ones...
Population=> ongoing production
Production point=> one time production
[so in the Long term it might make sense to turn all your non-special Systems into Dyson Spheres... but it would be an investment that might not pay off in time for a win]
Well...I'd say it should keep buildings (as long as those buildings don't require a planetary special)
also.. it should consume ALL the planets in the system.
Size of Dyson Sphere (and its population) would be determined by the star.
Cost of the Dyson Sphere would be determined by the Size.... with a discount for the sizes of the planets that will be destroyed.
One problem is how this relates to meters... if the best possible planet has an output of 100... then how can a Dyson Sphere be better.
(perhaps a Dyson Sphere is just like a planet.... pop meter 0-100, production meter 0-100, research meter 0-100, etc. However, it gets a bonus of 10x when contributing to the Imperial pool for research or production.)