Cornflakes_91 wrote:it would still remove the possibility for the "underdog" to harm the much bigger faction.
Not necessarily. As I write, they could use support from another powerful faction. And even without that it should be possible, just very difficult. Which is how I believe it should be. When I've established a powerful faction, I don't want the Zubats of the universe to be serious threats to me - I want those only slightly less powerful than me to be the major threats, along with equally powerful competitors.
Cornflakes_91 wrote:say you have an really big faction, monopolising everything and fortifying the research system you could actually not do anything against them without major military forces.
which they would crush when they start to emerge in their sphere of influence.
Factions will need to carry about blueprint modules frequently in my proposal. The more tech they develop, the more blueprint modules they will need to carry around, and the more they will need to dilute their forces, unless they manage to increase their military assets sufficiently, which will increase their upkeep costs, making it an overall harder system to sustain. But yes, in general you will need major military forces to steal technology from powerful factions.
Cornflakes_91 wrote:this violates the very idea that you can be sneaky and damage the enemy without going head-first on him.
I'm talking about ambushes here. There's still scope for sneaky gameplay to be involved in other ways that damages the enemy - such as stealthily obtaining blueprints from a facility that isn't terribly well-defended. Or using stealthed vessels to shut down or deceive the enemy's intel stations within a system to allow you to get your ambush setup in the first place. Or hacking enemy vessels with viruses to make it easier to destroy them with your ambush later on. And so on.
Cornflakes_91 wrote: JoshParnell wrote:
Since they're consumed by production, blueprints are now a ubiquitous commodity throughout the universe, just like raw materials. Therein lies substantial opportunity
Blueprint theft is now a very real and potentially-lucrative gameplay element. Like any commodity, blueprints can be pirated to resell. But even more interestingly, they can be pirated to use for yourself. Out-teched by a greedy enemy that won't put their tech on the market? Then don't go at them head-on. Be smart about it.
Find the transportation link that connects their research plant to their production factory. Scope it out. See that the security isn't what it should be. Plan a hit-and-run to nab the blueprints. Now you've got the key to building weapons of equal power (well, at least a few batches of them)
But even better: prototype theft is now possible. This is huge. Unlike blueprint theft, prototype theft (or destruction) actually damages the 'tech tree' of a faction. Prototypes are unique and non-copyable, so if you manage to steal or destroy one, you cripple the owning faction's technology. Technology can literally be destroyed. And that, my friends, is the most critical piece of all of this. Sure, you can get big. But the bigger you get, the more valuable those prototypes that you're cranking out become. Like a massive box of diamonds just sitting around in your ship / station, they're going to attract attention.
But you're not going at them head on. That's the entire point of an ambush - using a few large military vessels instead of one or two spies to steal technology does not equate to manufacturing thousands or tens of thousands of support vessels, frigates, cruisers, destroyers, battleships and capital vessels to launch a 3 month war against another faction, which is the true definition of "head on".
Cornflakes wrote:also: with research modules being so big that you
a: need an station
b: need an shipyard to mount them
you would remove research from any smaller faction which cannot affort such heavy facilities.
otherwise they could buy an small module, plug it into an old freighter and do some field research.
bringing more variety into the system
This is already a part of my proposal. Research modules and production modules come in all shapes and all sizes...just like lollipops. Smaller factions can buy smaller research modules and fit them on small vessels, but they likely won't develop any huge revolutionary technology any time soon with it.