- Starlanes are created at gamestart (and not by building something on a planet)
- Each System has 1-4 Starlanes
- Offroad Speed is 25% of Starlane Speed, regardless of technology
- Starlanes can be turned on or off. Turning them off may unbalance the game but that's nothing we would worry about.
What I would like to see in a game: A starlane is just a pretraveled route. No starlanes exist before you or the NPC travel to a new system. Access to new systems is limited by fuel and tech based on distance. There should not be a penalty for not using starlanes. Or if there is it should be an option in the game Startup Options.
Using starlanes trends to limit the NPCs to only using them... and that gives the human player a distinct advantage.
Also we should also have the option to have a no-offroad game, just because sometimes its fun to play as a bastard who find the perfect choke point in the universe and exploits it.
If you do this then the NPCs have to use it as a strategy too. Which implies the NPCs will be spending a lot of effort building up fortifications in systems with three or more starlanes even when they are deep within their area of control. < Actually, in any game where there are starlanes, the NPCs should be using "Choke Point Protection Techniques" any time they meet a new race. >
On the other hand if there are no starlanes then there are no choke points and all systems will be built up and protected evenly as they grow and progress. < This also promotes a "Be nice to your neighbor" policy until you think you have the necessary strength to go gallyvanting around with a conquering war fleet while still leaving enough ships in-system to protect them. >
Note: I personally have never liked starlanes in a space game. IMO they impose an artifical restriction on the players.
Worm Holes are a different subject... I like the concept and systems with WHs are the places that I'd be building my main defense structures.
And while on WHs... they should have a huge income modifier, giving the controlling empire a huge incentive to control both ends of them.