Hey all! I have just past 110h playing this game in the last 3 weeks so I have many suggestions that are more in line with an early to mid-game perspective which I feel should apply to a large number of users.
First and foremost, amazing game, can't understate that enough, this is my favorite 4x game ever and I'm a builder at heart and I can finally build capital ships and fleets in a way that other games never could give me.
However, despite all the good, there are some bad, and I think that the game in its state is not far from solving many of the issues I personally found with the game. Mostly around captained ships AI and how using the AI could be miles ahead with just a few changes but also many UI improvements that would go a long way. Here is my list of suggestions that would (at least for me) make the game much better.
[glow=red,2,300]Have the ability to see a history of transactions for the player and alliance[/glow]
Right now, I hate "missing out" on the money a sale made from a captained ship (or really any other player, and even myself), or how much ore a ship hauled in, I find great satisfaction in seeing the numbers so to speak so Id love to be able to open a timestamped log with a description of all the money/resource changes like so:
[12:45pm 03/04/20] Your ship the M.K.S masterminer has collected 274,152 trinium from processing resources at a depot in -190,40
[glow=red,2,300]Better ship status messages overall[/glow]
I love knowing what's happening, but knowing that a ship ran out of cargo isn't helping when the name of the ship is missing, some warnings have this detail, some don't. More details would help me know what is going on with my AI ships.
[glow=red,2,300]Setting AI ship default behaviors[/glow]
So this is a big one in my opinion that could alleviate some headaches, it would be nice for a combat ship without any orders to actually defend itself or the system without being repeatedly ordered to do so. I love to hop between ships but hate having to re-issue a patrol or escort order afterward just to make sure they don't sit still and do nothing once a fight breaks out. It would be nice to add a simple rule of engagement (Aggressive, Defensive, Passive)
- Aggressive = shoot on sight of all enemies, regardless of current orders (resumes last order when all enemies dead or gone)
- Defensive = shoot when attacked or fired upon by hostile, otherwise keep current orders and ignore enemies (resumes last order when no longer attacked)
- Passive = default AI behavior we have now, do nothing or carry out current orders as normal
[glow=red,2,300]Being able to manufacture torpedoes[/glow]
I love and hate torps, they are cool to use and look up but SUCKS to buy them. Always a random kitchen sink amount of random types, easy to clear out a station's stock. I think the game would benefit greatly from torpedo manufacturing just like fighters are right now. Maybe make the blueprints only obtainable from merchants at high prices then allow assemblies to make more for the same cash value equivalent in various ores depending on the tech level. I would love for my torpedo boats to automatically refill their ammo instead of scouring the universe for torps to reload anything more than a ship or two.
[glow=red,2,300]Have a toggle for AI to be able to use torps or not[/glow]
The AI loves to fire your torps on anything, including the weakest pirates... I would LOVE to be able to tell my AI to not use torps.
Maybe if the torp weapon group isn't selected/enabled then they don't use that bay? Something like that would go a long way to make torps a more interesting choice when commanding AI fleets.
[glow=red,2,300]Better Fighter Commands / Fighter squadron grouping[/glow]
Currently, the controls for 10 fighter squads get very tedious. It would be nice to be able to (like weapons) assign fighters squads to groups, and command the entire group like if it was one squad. Simple and would make flying carriers less of a keyboard mash fest.
Also, I would love to have a way to always see the brackets on my fighters, I hate that issuing a command dismisses the squad selection and then I cant see my fighters doing the command I just ordered. I think it's worth the clutter.
[glow=red,2,300]Let AI captains work while flying[/glow]
I mean, really, why not? When I right-click on the map for a captained ship to jump it does, but if I'm flying it won't work... Why not? It seems counterintuitive to control a fleet but cant order your own craft like an AI in either the map or the F9 view. I want to delegate flying to the AI without always leaving my ship into a drone (we all do that let's face it, the AI does a lot of things better than we can and this is a sandbox, we want to let it!) Maybe once you make any meaningful input, say fire or press movement keys then the AI stops and you're back in control.
[glow=red,2,300]F9 strategic view is lacking[/glow]
Took me hours to learn you could PAN the screen with arrow keys and edge panning... When when I did I smiled, starting using it and get frustrated even more. Its an amazing feature but in my opinion lacks the following
- Rotation! Oh my lord that would be amazing
- Zooming in more, I hate that zoom controls getting in and out of the view, I want a top-down of the action I get too close and *beh* back to my ship in normal view, it breaks momentum and immersion abruptly
- Again, also let your own ship AI work while you are in F9 see previous suggestions about just letting that happen.
- Being able to control fighters from the F9 menu visually. That would just be the icing on the cake, however knowing that the games with squadrons on not individual fighters, I'm not sure how the best way would be.
[glow=red,2,300]Switching to vessel from the galaxy map[/glow]
There's a way right now to jump into a specific craft but it's just too many clicks, let me double click or press T while selecting a ship's portrait and jump in immediately!
[glow=red,2,300]Add list of ships in sytem (from F9 view) to regular view[/glow]
The list is amazing to find the stations you are looking for, I would be nice to have a toggleable list in to see in regular view as well!
Anyhow those are my suggestions that you make the game better in my opinion without adding large features or changing things too much.
I hope others also agree that these would make for a better game overall.
Thanks for reading!