NPC station upgrades and cargo ship mechanics
So worlds feel kinda dead, even with cargo ships. The world doesn't really respond to anything you do - yeah, you make factions mad if you steal their cargo... but that's it? You get locked out of a few stations and pirating cargo becomes more difficult.
I propose more NPC interactions and consequences (both good and bad):
- NPC Station Upgrades - Completing certain contracts for NPC stations may materially affect the trade stations. It may be something as small as a gravity generator appearing when you complete a gravity component acquisition contract, or they may construct a new landing pad, or even offer a wider variety and/or larger quantity of stock.
- System Authority Ships - It's strange that there's no kind of defence force, not counting the drones that spawn around hostile cargo ships. I'd expect trade stations to have at least a couple of ships or platforms stationed nearby.
- More Random Encounters - As it stands, the only encounters we have are derelicts and active pirate ships (in my experience leaning heavily towards the latter). Adding the other factions to the mix and giving them random encounter outposts would make the world feel a lot more alive - imagine being able to see IMEX's mining operations first-hand. Perhaps make outposts more common around the aligned faction's trade stations.