The big problem is that stealth is all or nothing, you can invest lots of RP and PP into building up a fleet of stealth strike ships, then your opponent researches the next detection tech and your fleet is dead in the water. Stealthed strike ships basically work like subs in naval games, and that's probably the way to go with them, hard to find, lethal until detected but when revealed fragile.
- We have stealth numbers go up to 200+, detection ratings go 10, 30, 50, 70 then 300. We need to agree a scale (0-100, 0-300) and use it widely
- Stealth granting parts, etc should be subject to refinement similar to weapons, with better parts getting better refinements (testing this currently in master with the Trans Spatial Hull, I like it)
- Detection parts should all have an in-system stealth reducing effect over time, if you stay in the same system as a detector it will, eventually, find you, unless you kill it (make fighting against Laenfa a bit less unfun)
- Detection techs should be split up, so that you improve your distance detection in one way and refine your detection strength a different way
- Planetary stealth should be rethought, and the space cloud monsters junked:
- I loath the current specials, especially the ugly ash cloud, and the clouds are simply more annoying than annoying things being very annoying
- I like the idea that a colony or a population can be hidden from orbit, but the idea that intelligent vines somehow hide their entire planet from detection if it's covered in clouds unless you're in system is weird
- Other parts, buildings and effects should be able to change things on an in system basis
- Different weapons or fighter launches should reduce the stealth of a firing ship by varied amounts, launching fighters shouldn't automatically get you detected, but it should be completely free as it is now. Weapons and fighters could thus be introduced with varying stealth reduction effects making player choices more important.
We keep the current "you're either visible or not" paradigm, but make that question location specific and do things that allow both players to affect it: the on/off bonus from the trans spatial drive could apply, all stealth parts could give an extra bonus if you're set to passive, etc. No random effects, but allow synergies within fleets and refinements, while improving detection by having optical scanner able to, eventually, notice that moving plant unless it gets dislodged, when the player would need to start again from scratch (ie -10 stealth to opponents per turn in system or similar).
Virtually all of this is doable entirely in FOCS, but would require AI work. Numbers would need working on, costing, then extensive testing with tweaks.