I like the trade between systems feature. Very useful, and reduces losses from star collisions. Hopefully it will not require the new-style ship designs, because I know absolutely nothing about Blender and I'm absolutely dreading trying to make a ship in the new designer.
I would suggest that wormhole connections play a role in shipping materials if that is possible.
One really big issue - FUEL. If officers do not auto-process orders, ships will fall out of the sky when they run out of fuel unless you babysit them. Either remove the fuel expenditure or allow auto-fueling
So no more officer empires, then.
Will officers still provide reports?
So, what I use officers for:
- Inter-system trade, naturally
- Running errands while I build a colony. I think this should be okay, as long as it is only being on the roster versus being onboard.
- Handling long distance travel. See the previous item, it should be okay if officer will act like they currently do while you are on the roster, even if you are offline.
- Harvesting. This should be ironed out so that it does not cause problems. It should be straightforward to place a harvester in orbit and have it function properly. This should include having fuel and any other standard maintenance tasks.
- Berth-a-porting. Not having this would ruin low-player-count empires or widespread empires. Have people ever considered building-based teleportation? Say a lower-tier building representing a train station for intra-planetary teleportation, and a stargate-style gateway for crossing between worlds. Just a thought.
- Loyalty Patrols / Showing the Flag. Currently we or our officers need to make regular visits to systems to maintain loyalty. This is usually accomplished with a patrol loop.These mechanics would need to be seriously reworked, otherwise they are just going to be pointless tedium of flying regularly to each system just to verify loyalty. I know some might disagree, but this is a game, and is supposed to be fun.
Just a side note, Haxus - the best way to get people to be Kirk is to give them Kirk-type things to do. The missions are a good start, but most tasks lack the kind of dynamism and sense of importance from a star trek like game. For example, in the classic game Starflight, you harvest minerals by driving around in an ATV looking for them and collecting them, kind of like how you do it in Star Control 2 / The Ur-Quan Masters. In Hazeron, you click a button and harvest. Collecting a load takes hours, not a few minutes. There are lots of NPCs to trade/talk with, as well as blow up. There are places to explore that are fun to explore.
Hazeron is very much written from the perspective of a 4X game based on resource management. It's an interesting take on the genre, and the person-level perspective is impressive, but all of those games move in favor of more autonomy and more delegation. We set the production of every building, tracking each can of beans that is eaten. Kirk would take one look at that and go make out with the green alien space babe. :p I like much of the resource management personally, but as it is we are more Khan building up his secret empire than Kirk.