Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Make starting conditions with smaller detection range than currently... I seem to be starting with 15+ systems in detection range.
There's actually a specific reason for that. I'd like to have planets generally have the same detection as a ship with the latest detection equipment, since it would be a bit odd for the player to want to have ships all over the place just to keep detection up. I'd also like starting ships to have a detection of 20 so that they can see minimally stealth ships from all the way across the battle map in combat.
However, I've implemented a different solution which might be satisfactory; now all planets start with a stealth of 15 so that the player can see systems before actually seeing into them, meaning you'll still actually have to go explore most of those 15+ systems to find out what's in them.
The trouble with this is that it's now confusing when and why players can or can't see planets in systems... The systems are visible, and there are no planets in them, so players will think they know there are no planets, but then when they get closer, they will be able to see that there are in fact planets. With the base game, planets and systems (and fleets) have very low (fraction of 1 above 0) stealth, so if one is seen, so is the other, and there are no issues with visible systems that contain invisible planets.
Maybe it's not a problem, but it seems risky to me...
Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Give techs some minimum turns to research above 1? This can be strategically interesting, and will work around a UI quirk that makes progress bars look bad if they have only one turn minimum research time.
** Make theories require 5 or 10 turns minimum, but lots of RP for their tier in the tree
** Make applications require moderate amounts of RP, but significantly more turns to research than theories... Perhaps 10 turns at low tiers, 20 turns a mid-tiers, and 30 turns at high tiers.
Many techs actually already have a minimum research time greater than 1.
Granted, but there are still quite a few that have a minimum time of 1 turn, which creates the UI problems.
Generally, Growth and Learning techs take longer than Construction and Industry techs, and theories take longer than applications. I'm dubious about making applications take much longer than theories - it seems like it would just be an unnecessary delay before the tech can be made available. Is there a specific reason you want Applications to have longer minimum research times?
I'd like to set up a choice in strategies between research-heavy and production-heavy (and later some other options, like trade-heavy or exploration-heavy, when there is support for them).
If there are some tier-1 production-boosting applications available, but research-boosting applications are available on tier-2, players would initially have a choice between researching production-boosting applications and no theories, or the theories leading to research boosts but no short-term production boosts. I'm thinking these two options can be made somewhat mutually exclusive, and self-perpetuating, with research further boosting research but being impractical to get if also getting production-boosting content, and likewise for production boosting production but not research. Things could work out so that progressing through content for a researcher would involve researching (somewhat like Civ games), and progressing through content for a producer would involve making various buildings (somewhat like Master of Magic or StarCraft).
So, generally high-RP but potentially fast-researching theories makes focusing on research useful: a high-research player can research theories in a reasonable time, and get up to higher tech tiers. Early on, a low-research player can't really afford to dump lots of RP into expensive theories, as they won't research quickly enough to be useful in the short-term, even though they have a low minimum research time, and the available RP need to go towards techs that unlock production-boosting buildings.
A research-focused player could probably spare some RP to get some low-cost applications as well as high-cost theories, though, so applications could have a relatively long minimum reserach time, so that even having lots of RP doesn't let a player get lots of different applications very fast. (And even then, not focusing on production will make it difficult to produce anything those applications unlock.)
To go along with this, there could be various production enabling (like shipyards and addons) and production output (industry and minerals) boosting buildings that take lots of PP to produce.
Possibly it's only necessary to make "Learning" category techs cost lots of RP? But still, having a somewhat-longer minimum research time for applications would probably be good to prevent research-heavy players from getting all the applications very fast.
Then again, these are your content files, so you don't need to go with that plan.
Also, why did you remove the human species, and if you're going to add the Trith, could you make up an icon, like I did (badly) for the gyisache? Without a species icon, there will be big red Xs for the Trith populatio icons and species picking droplist on the single player setup screen.