TL;DR: Remove Entosis, Replace with Plantary Command Centers, add Capture/Destroy mechanics to PI, something something bring back Dust514 somehow, Buy my stockpiles of Orbital Ammo, PROFIT
For some reason people don’t like PI at all and I think that’s just sad. However, almost nobody enjoys entosis as-is, so I figure merging them into something people only find drudging that also alleviates some of the complaints of citadels, based on the debut post of this idea on the old forums, is a net plus for everyone concerned. Who’s with me?! Nobody? Aww… Anyways, to the meat of it.
P.S. my numbers are wrong on volume of a single person/livestock, standard is 1m3, not the 0.1~0.2m3 my figures concluded, though I’d argue that’s for berthing space and not raw drop-seat volume, code probably wouldn’t allow an item to take up different amounts of space depending on where it was stored, so just ignore that and focus on the general fluffy idea of the scale presented
Entosis Nodes no longer exist, instead Sovereignty is split between each planet in a system either evenly or based on the effective abundance of resources or the productivity of any established PI, there’s a lot of ways you can play with that alone to make the whole system interesting from an economics point of view. Whichever Alliance, Corporation, or even individual player holds at least a two-thirds majority of the “claimed SOV” in a given solar system is granted ownership and thereby sovereignty of it. There are three ways to alter the balance of power: claim any available SOV left and achieve super-majority control on merit alone; destroy the command centers of the system ruler, [sic] eliminating his control nodes; or unloading drop troops and assault shuttles from orbit (or from hangar PI based on your grid for that planet) to capture unfriendly PI and claiming the system by right of conquest.
As far as troop capture mechanics go it could range from a rehashed RTS mechanic with active control by the invader to a simple “land troops here, watch them fight security forces there, bomb that building way over there, wait until the little guys win or get eaten” ‘fishbowl simulator’. I’m in favor of the fishbowl method as it keeps players engaged in the potential orbital fight rather than staring at PI the whole time trying to keep up a decent APM against a professional in the korean e-sports circuits- that and fishbowls appeal to me on a personal level.
New PI buildings would include sidegrades to the command center or supplementary buildings to increase SOV bonuses or make capture more difficult (Capitol Center/Command Bunker/Solar Annex/SysAdmin Annex/Barracks); A sidegrade to the Launchpad to make using shuttles more effective and open up a drone-based surface-to-orbit/ots transfer mechanic, albeit a slow, low-volume one (more fishbowl stuff, for those of us who like it); and new PI that allows the construction of a larger powergrid to facilitate more expansive PI and surface defenses (Planetary Reactor, Capacitor Grid, Shield Generator, Counter-Orbital Battery S & XL variants, Ammo Dump).
Several Options for troop delivery systems, from drop pod swarms and decoy pods to several flavors of fighter-class shuttles and the slotted/rigged modules to base them off any ship, plus PI-SOV oriented industrials/freighters, open a wide variety of options for any level of player to engage in contests over SOV. Further it allows, and ideally promotes, even small raiders and mercenary forces to threaten the edges of an Alliance’s SOV zones and creates dynamic warzones with emergent depth to the both the grand strategy of a war and the local tactics employed in each system. With citadels acting as hard targets and redoubts while actual SOV is held in the weaker and more easily replaceable PI arrays, control of system might still drag on for a few days, especially clearing out every citadel, but tangible progress should be felt in both attack and defense.
I would further recommend that if a faction (alliance, corp, or player) does not have any PI in a system, and thus a claim on the SOV pool, while at war with another faction that holds sovereignty of that system, any Citadels they hold there are rendered vulnerable 24/7 until either SOV claimancy or war status changes. This conditional vulnerability would speed removal of enemy citadels from a fully secured system and place emphasis on the importance of the more nimble, and I would hope more engaging, orbital game; Citadels would become strategic emplacements instead of nigh-intractable dragon’s teeth and ought to be focused around the planets themselves to provide for their defense rather than making the gaining of new territory a purely fatal chore.
I’d think this not only promotes more meaningful war activities and makes it so more types of players can take part, but also makes it much more fun.
ED: ah, even after trimming and summarizing everything, it’s still a wall of text.