That mechanism could also be done with research, because i see a long-term goal in it.
Give different profiles, different already mastered researches and while writing this, Civilization came to my mind, where are different faction-specific bonuses and also different researches, with which you begin, IIRC.
I would also like to see more stuff in the next test, IMHO working FTL and role bonuses are just minor changes and i would be more excited to start from scratch, if there were more possibilties, otherwise it would feel very repetitive, so i wouldn’t mind to take a break and wait some weeks.
This way you could also start balancing the game as a whole, or at least a more developed state, than the rough skeleton that it is now.
If you start balancing the early phase and add content later, maybe it wouldn’t match with the already balanced state and you start over to balance it again.
And now i’m anticipating on my conclusion of the test, i’ve gone through all kind of emotions, from being frustrated, because of worthless consumables in relation to SS, to being pleased, after venturing into tech 2, with a Chem Plant and Hydroponics, to being bored, because of the lack of AL and unable to venture further into tech 3, to getting exhausted, because my brother and i extended our tech 1 buildings and now i operate 9 Farms and 7 FP to feed his (he also got about 8 Smelters, 3 PP1 and 3 extractors) and my people.
So, if that test hadn’t gone so long, you would have increased the food consumption, which will be a pain in the ass later. I still think the consumption of basic consumables is too low, but the consumption or maybe the production times of the more advanced consumables are too high.
But maybe it all depends on the UI, if you compare it with Airlinesim, you buy a plane (set up a building) and set up a flight schedule (set up a production schedule), the plane repeats the schedule, which isn’t the case with PU and leads to a lot of manual interaction, the 5 queue slots didn’t help either.
I’ve to do constant calculations, so that my buildings won’t run out of orders, when i’m not online, but maybe i’m doing it wrong, because most of the time i give single orders to assure an evenly stockpiling of goods.
Maybe it’s also a problem of the food processors and farms, because they can do so many things, i’m quite pleased with the Chem Plant for example, not so much with the hydroponics, because i’m stockpiling a lot of SPR, which i can’t process, even with 7 FP’s.
Which leads me further to my opinion, that research could be a long-term goal.
If production will stay this way, it would be insane to manage more than a handful of planets, even if you can set buildings on infinite production, you would still have to ship the goods and do other stuff manually.
To delay a fast expansion, you can connect the ability to establish a colony to some kind of building, like a communication array, with increasing costs, the higher you level that building up, but i think you won’t delay it too much, so what do people aim for, when they reached their 5th planet after some months?
That are my thoughts so far, and as they contain a lot of suggestions, i didn’t drifted too much in OT, as i was expecting it.