1) Having energy both simulate and play itself; abstraction is preferable to automation there.
2) Adding a lot of extra complexity; going from a galaxy-wide resource to a per-planet resource is almost inevitably a pretty big increase in complexity. A per-planet resource that partially transmits to neighboring planets is even moreso.
- More complexity isn't necessarily a no-go, but the "fun payoff" will have to be pretty high to justify it.
3) Lose the global-population-cap aspect of the mechanic.
4) Otherwise making things less fun.
Can you describe #1 there a bit more? I'm not quite sure I understood what you were trying to get at.
For #2 I'm personally not looking to make it a planetary resource any more/less than it already is (need planets to have it). Global as a starting point makes plenty of sense. What I'd like it more to do on that is use controlled vs. non-controlled planets as a limiter to depth-of-attack instead of the current deepstrike mechanic that's in place.
3) Ah, now, there's something I'd actually like to see modified. For FLEET (anything that moves through a wormhole) caps I agree with you, there definately needs to be some kind of capping there. I personally would love to pull Science vessels, command stations, turrets, and a host of other things out of the system entirely. This way it's a concentrated component to the fleet's continued usage, instead of a global currency... and is no longer directly involved in defense cascades. Though, with your fleet falling to pieces around you it's going to be hard to respond...
4) Agreed. If that happens we burn that with fire.
On the scientific realism thing... yea, cross-galaxy power seems weird. But so does cross-galaxy m+c.
Well, it just bugs me, but that's besides the point, it's the mechanic itself I'd like to see rewired in general. That it bugs me just got me off my duff to try to start a debate on it. M+C I always saw as shuttle pilots running stuff back to the construction centers. Heck, we have massive warpgates that transport huge starships around the galaxy. "Hey, boss, dumping another ton in the matter gate for homeworld building." Doesn't seem that far of a stretch at that point.
And from the other side I think energy is a pretty good word for "what makes it go" for just about everything with an energy cost (and things without it can be thought of as having onboard reactors, etc).
I just can't see building anything WITHOUT that onboard reactor, personally, particularly fleet units. Local units who aren't expected to 'cross swords' with AI units in non-friendly systems I could see using transmitted power. Anything that's expected to run around a world, hide on the other side of forcefields, or anything else... 'eh, just bugs me internally.
Whereas "control" or whatever doesn't quite fit for all of them. Ultimately, while I'm happy to move towards better immersion where it's an obvious benefit all around, it's heavily secondary to the gameplay itself.
Sold. No issues here with that.
I like Hearteater's idea earlier in this thread; not sure about all of it but I think it's something that could work and be more interesting. Out of curiosity, are there any strong objections to it? I imagine the hard-cap on possible energy production would be a problem for some.
Only my objections above. The difficulty of low planet (and thus low AIP games) should be nudged back towards normal anyway. That's not a horrible way of doing it... and might actually make the Z-Gennie worth its price... cause right now it's a piece of ... errr, dammit, dead horse.
To completely side-step the idea and go at this from out of the box... what if 'high energy' ships that were taken out of the energy system needed to use a new element. I dunno, for now I'll just steal from Mass Effect and call it Element Zero. If you could only setup one collector for this element at each planet, it would force a different form of build cap, one that forced you to take more worlds to try to absorb enough of it to build your fleets back up faster.
I'm not entirely sure that wouldn't end up LESS fun though because of the already long hauls during refleeting. There'd need to be some kind of balance point. Well, throwing it out there, maybe it'll spark up someone else's ideas.