Hawkeye wrote:Here's a few thoughts:
(a) Looking at the revised fuel consumption rates, and engine build costs, I really can't see any real difference between the tech 1 to 3 engines.
(b) I think the cost in MCs should be more logarithmic in nature, rather than what's proposed here
(c) The main aim here is to make more engines "attractive" to be built, so why not play around with adjusting the mineral requirements as well? You could make an engine tech 6, super-cheap to build, but it requires significantly more Tritanium to build for instance. Or why not make 3 tech 8 engines, one is heavy on cash, one is heavy on Dur and one is heavy on Tri etc etc
I've never really seen a point to most of the engines to be honest. It's true that yes, people don't always put Transwarp on a ship. Maybe if a freighter's supplying a tight cluster they'll use hyper drive 8s, or so mid-ranged engines on alchemy ships so they can get around.
But do we really need stardrives 1-4?
Do we need 5 AND 6?
Are 7 and 8 that much different?
To me there are maybe only 3-4 types of engines.
Station Keeping (1-4)
Slow Crap (5-6, maybe 7)
Not enough money for Top of the Line (8 and maybe 7)
Top of the Line (9)
Station Keeping - you don't intend to move the ship unless something else is towing it. You'd only use the engines in an emergency, or if it's a short planet hop and you've fuel to burn. Typically find these engines on warships that are towed (Virgos, Poppers), or Merlins, that sort of thing.
Slow Crap - Your ship will either be towed, or in planet orbit for most of its life. But if it has to move, it's not totally pathetic. People might put this on a warship when they want to tow it, but also want it to move if the tower gets taken out and this ship survives.
Not enough money - you want to build a ship, but can't afford transwarp, or the ship's intended operation can do okay without transwarp. So you throw crap engines on instead.
*Slow Crap and Not enough money can also be unregistered players. But, how many of these are still out there?
Top of the Line - Most all of your ships.
Point is, I don't think most of those engines are necessary. Really, we need maybe 1 station keeping and 1 Slow crap. That would free up 4 or so slots, so what's left?
What about engines that provide the SAME warp speed but at different efficiencies.
For example. What if there are two Transwarp drives (or two warp 9 drives), one is costly, requires more advanced minerals and is efficient. One is cheaper, requires less advanced minerals (and more crappy ones) but burns more fuel?
Same with Warp 8 drives. One is costlier, more efficient and go can Warp 9 with not too much waste. The other is cheaper, but going warp 9 burns absurd amount of fuels.
Can do the same with Warp 7 drives.
To make up for it, get rid of stardrives 2-4. Or maybe rather 2-3,5
Which would leave people with:
Super Stardrive 4
Heavy Nova Drive 6
Quantum Drive 7 (inefficient)
Quantum Drive 7 (efficient)
Hyper Drive 8 (inefficient)
Hyper Drive 8 (efficient)
Transwarp Drive (inefficient)
Transwarp Drive (efficient)
Inefficient ones as said earlier would be cheaper, and would require more "low tech" minerals (duranium and tritanium) while efficient ones would be require more money and more moly.
Obviously the engines would have different fancy names as well.
In summary, in my opinion if there is to be any changes in the engines to make some more appealing than others, the changes should be to make available more interesting choices at the higher end of the spectrum. The lower end drives are so similar in ability, if not cost as well to make them redundant. It doesn't matter that star drive 3 can go 8 more light years efficiently than star drive 1. They both move a pathetically small amount comparative to planetary distances so you'll be burning kilotons either way.
That's why I'd remove some of the lower end drives to make the gaps in the drives more significant and consistent. 16 light years is bigger than 1 light year, as is 36 over 16. Not by much of course, but it's better than 1,4,9,16,25,36. I've built star drive 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s and etcetera in different games at different times, but when I did so it was just for the hell of it not because I needed to.
Point being the lower drives are so similar and so ineffective (and similar in their ineffectiveness) that it doesn't matter how much the numbers are played around with, most people still won't build them.
As for tech levels, give the inefficient drives a bonus there too:
1. Star Drive 1
3. Super Star Drive 4
5. Heavy Nova 6
6. Quantum 7 (inefficient)
7. Quantum 7
8. Hyperdrive (inefficient)
9. Hyperdrive, Transwarp (inefficient)
The problem of course would be balancing to make most of the optionals as viable alternatives. As general rules I would say:
Inefficient drives - Burn more fuel, and are only really viable up to their established limits.
Efficient drives - Burn less fuel, and can be overburned but when they do, they should burn more fuel than the inefficient drives of the next higher engine.
(So using Crap Warp 9 to go warp 9 should cost less fuel than using Good Warp 8 to go warp 9, but Good Warp 8 going warp 9 should still be viable when necessary, while Crap Warp 8 would have a very hard time going warp 9).
Or to illustrate this in number form, keeping in mind I don't know engine efficiencies:
----------------------Warp 7-----Warp 8------Warp 9
Crap Warp 8 -------- 1.18 -------- 1.2 -------- 3.0
Good Warp 8 -------- 1.0 -------- 1.0 -------- 1.8
Crap Warp 9 -------- 1.15 -------- 1.18 -------- 1.2
Good Warp 9 -------- 1.0 -------- 1.0 -------- 1.0
Like I say, these numbers have nothing to do with the actual numbers used in engine efficiency but are just to illustrate how they might be reflected in the scale of things. The numbers themselves would have to be balanced against both the cost of the engines and so forth to try and make each engine appealing in different circumstances
Alternatively, a person could even do away with the Crappy Quantum 7 and instead add another more efficient warp 9. An engine that might be super expensive, but could be put on ships that need that extra efficiency (ie cloaking infiltrators) or if you have more money than fuel.
Anyway this is long and maybe this has already been suggested before but this is my two bits.