I am new to this sector of the web
but did spend some hours in Avorion yet (19h in 3 days so far... *trying to not fall asleep while writing this*) and came along with an idea, that kind of combines loads of other suggestions I have read about in this forum or elsewhere.
I have spent so many hours with minecraft in the past. months! and it was great, and still can be of course, but avorion now combines other great aspects with the open world and creativity-part of minecraft. Such as the trading system, the 3D-environment, storytelling, ...
Some of you might have also played one (or more) of the Anno-Games. I did play nearly any Anno game, at least for some time, and love the trading-aspect of that game, where you have to deliver goods to where they are needed to make population prosper. Another game I loved was "Star Trek Bridge Commander", highly underrated in my opinion but founding the base for todays games like Avorion and others alike. Whereas you mostly were flying around and spacebattling in Bridge Commander, trading was no issue. Now Avorion combines the minecraft-flaire with aspects of Anno (trading between places, carrying stuff through space) and Bridge Commander (3D spaceworld battling and flying).
As of now - of course, it's still early access - there are some things I think would improve it beyond expectation for any minecraft-player that is openminded for space-stuff, for any Anno-player that is open for something where he does not like to build cities but ships and stations instead, and for any Bridge-Commander-player that waits to throw himself (or others) into pulsating spacebattles. I have not read any developer-statement yet so it might even be planned all along, but anyways, here is my suggestion that might combine a few others of those I have read here or elsewhere on the web.Planets!
They even made it into the FAQ of the avorion-website where our dear developers tell us, that there will not be any landing on the planets as they want to focus on the space part of the game. I agree.
That is the most spectacular part of it.side-idea: the landing part could be handled like an Anno-game, but would result in a completely own game, so this will most probably not be the way for Avorion. Maybe for "Avorion Settlement" or somewhat
Nevertheless I think planets should become a major part of the game. Not for constructing sites or mines or whatever on any surface but as an interactive part of the spacemap.
The sectors seem to be areas of about 200 x 200 x 200 km³ at the moment, maybe even more. In many sectors we see a planet or something similar in the background (which looks gorgeous!). What about being able to acutally interact with that planet? But first things first...Systems
To not have millions of planets to be able to interact with, I would suggest to implemet something like "systems", that contain a bunch of sectors (depending on the size of the sun for example). So there would be systems with a sun in the centre (or even more suns), surrounds by a grid of ... say 30 x 30 sectors (or even more), that can contain planets (which can be surrounded by asteroid fields) or even moons (in other sectors)The "Empty Space"
The space between systems is empty space, offering pirates, smugglers and outposts enough place to exist. Of course there could be planetoids, too (without sun, though), that could be boring or - in some cases - really exciting to explore, as we could find hidden stashes, beacons or very rare raw materials there.
The empty space between systems should of course not be boring at all, as nebulas and "encounters of the fifth kind" could happen in that vast area of the map.
That "empty space" would be more dangerous to explore, as there is much lower population and a higher propability for pirates to lay out traps or just hyperspace in and attack you by surprise without anyone near to help you out. As rewards for this higher danger those spoken of planetoids or nebulas could be worth it, as the propability to find wreckage that contains salvageble materials or items is higher in the outer space (more likely as in the vicinity of a system)Source for Raw Materials
Systems contain planets, asteroid belts and offer unending sources for raw materials (due to the planets) and therefore would be a best place to errupt a bunch of stations, factories and stuff, as the ways would not be far to gather the raw stuff. of course you even could build all your factories in the planetary sector, but why not outsourcing it to a sector that lays in between two needed sources or a source and a gate? Traderoutes are to come, I've read, so this could be managed perfectly even when building intersector facility-plants. Like in Anno where you get stuff from isle to isle to construct other stuff (to either use or reconstruct to something even more valuable)Specialization
The planets do offer materials. A desert-planet with a lot of sand would make it easy to gather silicium, an oceanary planet would serve water and a lava-planet could offer special kinds of stones and metals. You could even use the sector containing the sun for energy production (energy cells or raw energy, that could be transformed to whatever else and sent to other sectors to fire engines and factories without the expense of vast amounts of generators)Populations!
Now comes another important part of my suggestion:
Those planets could be inhabited! A population in needs of goods.
Say there is a population that has barely reached spacetravelling capabilities. What would they need? Steel, Trinium, Iron, Aluminium, energy cells, hyperdrive parts, to build ships on their own to take part in intersystem spacetravel.
What about a vast population in need of high tech to fit the needs of their own producing industry. Or a population of farmers, that are interested in seeds, fertilizers, maybe water if their own planet does not support the needed amount? Spacetraveling would become important for those populations to even exist.
So far there are factions, kind of "inhabiting" a bunch of sectors and building stuff they sell to... whom? Other factions, that do stuff on their behalf. Implementing societies on planets all over the galaxy would localize the need for certain stuff into those sectors, that are inhabited, making traderoutes and those spacegates very important.Interaction with planets
How do I think we could interact with the planets?
Not by flying as close as 0,2km towards it!
In a sector that contains a planet it could be achieved by a global button "interact with planet" or a menu that shows information about the planet (about population status, potential raw materials, mooncount, asteroid information and lore (which could be really interesting for the upcoming story mode!)
For the time being we are building mines on asteroids. So far so good, but they would be rather fast exhausted. Why not replace the possibility to gather raw material by planets? But as we are not able to build on the planet itself, the according sector would be the place to found factories / mines, that offer quarters, cargo space and energy for the mining operation. The size of your crew and the fullfilled technical requirement for production onboard that factory or mine would determine the amount of produced goods per timeframe. Those workers would get down to the planet to salvage whatever they are specialized for and come back to sleep, eat, do stuff. To actually get the materials you had to dock with that mine or factory. Automatic trade routes could gather stuff from mines and factories all over the system (or of course even from other systems) to produce more valuable materials or items.
Populated planets should be rare as it would be highly populated around that too, as factions (and players) would want to interact with the population. Buy their stuff and sell them what they need. The demand would never expire, an unlimited income!Possible playstyles
• You could search for a populated system, see what they need and settle down in another one (or in the empty space) to produce it and sell it to them.
• You could trade with factions in systems that already have a chain of production for certain stuff, buy it, upgrade it (making raw gold to jewelery, silicium to microchips or whatever) and sell the higher value materials to either factions that need them because of reasons or to any populated area in need of that goods.
• You could hide in the dark between systems, build up your pirate fleet and raid systems and factions, take over production chains, raise prices for needed goods, ...
• As there are most likely loads of quests to come, it could be highly interesting to know certain systems with certain advantages which makes it a goal to explore as many systems as possible
• possibilities are unlimited!
They are even now loads of chances to have fun in the game, but with those planets it would become even better I think and a bit more realistic. Why would you build a water-mine on an asteroid that is max. 2km in diameter?
Now you would found a waterfacility in the vicinity of a planet with water. A silicium-mine in the sector of a desert-planet. A solar power plant in the sector of a sun. A shipyard in a sector where a planet offers loads of metal...
I think you got my point.
Now: discuss! Let me know what you think. Be contradictionary if you must!
I am already excited about the release but would think my suggestion would improve the game even more.