Ignition is awesome.
The massive amount of industry that is required to assemble our ships really makes them feel… Epic. I actually feel like I am assembling a starship of the future. It takes great concerted effort and has revitalized high tier industries by creating a strong demand for techs, engineers, and scientists.
All of this, however, really shines a light on the bases that lay forgotten in the corner, available at a dime a dozen.
Problem: How to make bases feel like a monumental achievement and an actual assemblage of parts that requires purposeful planning and resources without screwing up the entire early game during a reset?
Solution: Offer multiple versions of Core Modules
Players start with a core module mk0 - which is a base exactly as it is today but this module does not trade on CX and is not tradable via LM. The only way to acquire this module is to start a new corp to get one in the starting package. This base upgrades to a mk3.
Core modules can be upgraded to the next tier via a button where “repair” would normally be (since repair makes no sense for CMs) - cost would be displayed where repair costs would normally be.
Starting a new base can be accomplished with any core module - IE you don’t have to start with the basic one and upgrade it. You can just build a better one and take it to the site.
A word on balance - I barely attempted to find it here. Suggestion needs improvement - I tried mostly to just use existing materials I could think of and find with a few minutes of searching
Core module mk1 - “Frontier Base”
Built in: PP2
Cost: 4 LSE, 4 LDE, 4 LTA, 8 TRU, 12 PSL (today’s base cost)
Base Area: 400
Base Storage: 1500 m^3/t
Colonizing Population: 200 PIO
This module is what will allow early game expansion in a new universe. It has costs like bases today, but the reduced area and efficiency make it desirable to upgrade ASAP for more area and to remove the efficiency penalty.
Core module mk2 - “Colony”
Built in: UPF
Cost: Approximately 2-5M worth of: R-fabs, HAB, SP, POW, MFK, UTS, NCS, TRA, RAD, TRU, DEC, FC, FLP, GC, MHL, PSL, DCL, PSM, DCM
Base Area: 500
Base Storage: 3500 m^3/t
Colonizing Population: 300 PIO, 100 SET
Core module mk3 - “Automated AI Colony”
Built in: UPF
Cost: Approximately 12-20M worth of: A-fabs, CC, COM, AAR, LIS, WR, LOG, FIR, HAB, SU, TCU, DOU, FUN, WAI, HCC, DEC, TRU, LIT, SRD, SUD, NR and a new set of base structural components that use the ASM materials
Base Area: 600
Base Storage: 7500 m^3/t
Colonizing Population: 400 PIO, 200 SET, 100 TECH
Special effect: Building degradation rate reduced by 33% (takes 25% longer to degrade to the same point as normal - gives 30 extra days before hitting that magical 90 day mark where repair starts to become necessary)
What this all hopes to accomplish:
Keep bases attainable as a realistic goal in the first 3-6 months of gameplay for any player regardless of playstyle.
Make the starter base good enough, but also with a daily reminder that it isn’t perfect to encourage growth to bigger bases (that -5% efficiency WILL drive people crazy in their search for maximum efficiency… but it really isn’t that big of a hit. 375 base area after core module still creates a good sized base)
Make the average base we see today an actual investment of resources (2-5M)
Offer a super-base that takes ship-like levels of investment and planning to accomplish