So first and foremost, we must address the fact that destruction is healthy for the economy. The isk must flow.
That said… it would be very interesting to me, especially with the conquerable stations being converted into forts, to have a different third timer. To do this, the third timer would be more of a fork than a linear progression. Imagine the strategic significance of capturing a keepstar in the middle of hostile space? Instant heavily fitted super staging right where your enemy found it most advantageous.
How I see it working:
- Shield/armor timers as normal
- When hull timer comes out, NPC troops can be “delivered” to the structure by both attackers and defenders (defenders could of course garrison them before that timer as well).
The NPC troops don’t really do anything, but the server basically starts doing attrition ticks on both sides, until only one side is left. Said attrition ticks can be affected in many different ways, the exact formula used can be whatever they want (we’re basically just talking about the concept at this point).
Strategically speaking from a player perspective, players would need to defend the ships they use for hostile transport. It adds a new dynamic aspect.
Maybe then when the defenders realize that they can’t keep the attackers from capturing their structure, they’ll try to scuttle it instead.
OR, players simply keep shooting the structure. When the hull disappears, the structure blows up as normal.
Now… I had mentioned destruction and isk. That destruction is healthy for the game, but the impact to the economy of structures being captured rather than destroyed can be offset through the production of said troops.
Raising an army is expensive. Producing troops would be no different. For the sake of simplicity, they’d be constructed (we’ll pretend they’re robot soldiers) via blueprints in mfg facilities.
I’d make the volume of an individual troop 100m3.
Structures would have unlimited space for garrisoned defenders, but a ship scanner would tell you how many are garrisoned.