Some musings on my behalf. Not FO canon. Ideas and thoughts I have or have had in the course of my time with FO that I don't want to necessarily put up for public discussion right at this very moment, but may still be of some interest to inquisitive individuals. Also, this wiki page helps keeps track of these ideas so I don't forget.
- Prettify (A highly technical art term ;) ) some of the meter icons. Generally prettify the whole game of course, but I'll start with meter icons for now...
In particular it occurred to me I wanted to tweak the meter icons for fuel and trade. I would prettify the fuel icon to look more like energy cells than oil barrels, which of course I was responsible for making them look that way in the first place. I'm convinced that trade icon could be made better "somehow". I'll wait until it's purpose is more well defined before taking action. For instance, I already prettified the mineral icon and I am happy with it.
Maybe it's just that I feel the icons need to look more "slick". They're not bad, but I feel they need to be better looking if the rest of FO's graphics are also going to be more slick. The quality of each needs to match the other, in other words.
- Shotgun spray of ideas: Unique Ship Models: Should each race have them? Does that mean minor races too? What exactly comprises a minor race? What about precursors? I know both have been discussed, as well as space monsters. Maybe it's worth putting up an image thread for space monsters.
- For ammunition: right now it's meant to keep long range weapons in check, in order to prevent the phenomena of "shoot & scoot" and acts as a subset of the supply mechanic of FO. I was wondering if it's definition could be expanded to include all weapons or all vessels actually, so that waging war for extended periods would cause fleets to naturally suffer from attrition. I believe that's what is desired effect of the supply mechanic is? Renaming planet supply to command & control and renaming ammo to supply might help... The kinds of language we use to describe what supply does helps us think about it differently, similarly to why "trade" isn't just called "money" or "credits"; Whatever name is given is both aesthetically and conceptually important.
- Special weapons traits. I don't know what level of combat complexity is actually desired for FO, but it seems to me there are a few items which happen to be near and dear to the hearts of FO gamers. These are damage, range (as per FO design), and Cost & Mass
Notice I didn't put something like accuracy there. That's not to say that I think accuracy should never be added, but I believe there are other qualities that are more desired and interesting to have in weapons that should be considered first before additional complexity is tacked on, and this is what I would call special traits. Notice I didn't say special abilities either, because it's conceivable that weapons could be made to possess either negative or positive abilities. To say 'abilities' would lead to mean something exclusively positive, and is not a fair presentation of the idea that I'm trying to convey.
There seems to be a tacit agreement in the community that quite a bit of depth in FO's combat engine is desired, but also some technologies and ship armaments in particular should NOT be made obsolescent by every new technology an empire churns out (which would make the combat engine rather shallow).
The most straightforward way to do this seems to be to assign unique, special values or rules to certain weapons that other weapons are entirely incapable of replicating. This ensures all devices get equal face-time in FO or in fact may never go out of favor at all. I also predict the inclusion of such a system will be a significant programming hurtle that might preclude the addition of more complex elements to the combat system.
Perhaps this is a trite concern.
What would constitute such a trait however could be discussed, and as I have previously posited these don't have to be good traits, and if it was desired, traits could be a device used to help simulate limited, imperfect weapons as well.