Most fun on MP in a while. Small changes to Safe Zone may cause more.
I've been playing on the keen official servers for a while. I get to space, build a base, get bored.
This changed recently when I encountered a consortium of player factions that took complete control of the moon. The experience of building a fleet with my friends strong enough to go toe to toe with their combined might was great! It gave a purpose to all the hours we spent. The encounter culminated in a huge show of force from our faction leading to peace talks.
The feature that allowed this was safe zones. Normally you can't build a planetary base in MP as no amount of turrets can protect you from determined raiders so the only option is to hide in deep space. If our enemy hadn't been able to build multiple permanent visible stations on the moon, none of this would have happened.
I suggest the following changes to Safe Zones and Zone Chips to encourage the building of elaborate planetary bases where other players may eventually see them:
- Reduce power consumption of Safe Zones on planets.
- Add Zone Chips to the assembler with a 5hr+ assembly time and High-ish cost.
Lower power consumption on planets would reduce/remove the Ur cost of running a Safe Zone allowing a faction to keep one powered near indefinitely. To counteract this players would be forced to either regularly visit stations or make mining trips to space to obtain the resources needed. This should also increase player retention as unshielded unhidden planetary bases are highly likely to be raided.
These changes would increase the concentration of endgame bases on moons.
More bases closer together will creating more player interactions.
More interactions will create more fights, more friends, more fun.
- Consider only reducing the power cost of safe zone on moons. This would further increase the concentration factor of endgame players and reduce any increase in the greifing of fresh spawns on planets. Moons are already desirable locations for their easy resources, low gravity, and trade stations, so why not make them the un official hub of servers.
- Also building and running assembler farms to produce zone chips to sell sounds like a good business and would lend nicely to the economy side. (also significantly increasing the volume of goods that can be purchased/sold a trade stations is a good idea. nobody trades Ur or ingots by the 100s, only the 1k's or 10k's)