This is because they could simply re-explore immediately.
This got me thinking about IC’s concept of “Exploration” and whether or not players insta-exploring inside of systems where they already have presence actually makes much sense.
On the surface, yeah, you should be able to quickly colonize a neighboring planet. That makes perfect sense. However, within the game’s context that really isn’t very exploratory.
I’m considering limiting this behavior by 2 simple rules. You can only explore a planet if:
- You don’t already have a planet in the system
- You don’t already have an e-ship on the way to the system
As a galaxy option, this could be further applied to your family as well so that these must also be true:
- Your family doesn’t already have a planet in the system
- Your family doesn’t already have an e-ship on the way to the system
We would likely only start with #1 and #2.
This would offer a few significant benefits:
- Reduce coring and therefore increase player distribution amongst the systems
- Set up for more share wars
- Give new and smaller players increased opportunity to expand well after the round starts
- Increased shares with other families would increase the need to consider diplomacy and NAPs. Coincidentally, the recent change to support unlimited naps makes good timing for this.
#3 is particularly interesting, because with these rules in place it would be possible that a family could run out of explorable territory even if there are explorable planets that aren’t owned by anybody. These would be indirectly reserved for any family who doesn’t already have presence in the system.
We could end up in a scenario where the only viable inhabitants for an unexplored planet are players from families who have barely expanded at all.
As another option for this, the restriction could be reflected as a chance of failure. The behavior described above would be a 100% chance of failure which would prevent exploration at all, but we could adjust this to be 50% for example and display this to players when they explore to let them make the call on whether or not it’s worth it.
Obviously, this would be a huge change to expansion strategy. However, with all changes, we should consider the negative impact and tradeoffs.
What do you guys think? Are there any risks or negatives in particular you would be concerned about? What do you think about the concept in general?