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Re: Exploring Planets

You might be able to get away with orbiting only with handwaving. If you say, buy an orbital satellite that is a gun platform, it would be easy to put it into a simple circular orbit around the planet. Let things like stations, docking rings, etc, be static, and only very few things orbit, or at least the capability to maneuver around a planet to help out.

The last thing I'd want is to put a gun platform in place to help protect a planet, but all the enemy had to do was approach from the other side, rendering my satellite useless. But if it could orbit, (or at least move around the planet) that would help.

Even if you do the handwaving on the physics and use a simple circular orbit, the idea brings a bit more to the table on logistics than how I'm explaining it.

However, if it is possible, I am completely for orbiting stations and rings. :)
Early Spring - 1055: Well, I made it to Boatmurdered, and my initial impressions can be set forth in three words: What. The. F*ck.

Re: Exploring Planets

I really do enjoy the idea of a planet having the feeling of being more than a large three-dimensional representation of a world. I'd like to feel each planet is something enormous with heaps of resources and intrigue that you could settle into orbit over for several days to study and exploit, or set up an outpost to rally a fleet at. There needs to be something to break up the potential jump-scan-click-leave patterns for exploring all these infinite planets.

Re: Exploring Planets

As mentioned in other threads, it would be good to be able to exploit planets for natural resources, e.g. set up a mining rig or other type of plant. I appreciate how these are not flyable worlds, but they could be handled a bit like space stations e.g. a functional component is added to the surface and accessible by menu. We could use automated scouts to explore and survey them, which again would be menu controlled. It may justify a simple minigame to reveal a planetary map with 'hot spots' of mineral concentrations. We would then be allowed to attach our drilling rigs to such hot spots, or even sell our maps to others.

The difficulty would be that we can attack space stations and damage them, including individual components. How would we do that for planet-based ones? Should we assume that we need planetary bombardment weapons to be able to do so? It seems to me that planets either have to be off-limits in terms of exploitation, or it needs a little bit of a kludge to implement it convincingly.

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