Entities will become a problem in this game, I am not talking about derelict ships, I am talking about factories, refineries, as the game progress and more things are added another Machine Factory will be needed, a new ore will mean another Refinery. Each container is limited to 9 links, and as you build out it is quickly found that it becomes increasingly more difficult to consolidate things if not impossible. So as the Organizations grow the need for larger Refinery/Factory Bases will become a thing, the amount of links needed will increase exponentially and all of this causes stress on the server(s) which is already maintaining a gargantuan flow of data of terrain changes.
I purpose that there are several options to consider to reduce the amount of entities/links that are needed to maintain a function operation.
#1 Introduce levels of the industry machines being used already that are capable of running multiple recipes at the same time (even if it is the same recipe do not reduce the time it takes to make things)
- Example - Refinery (acts as it does) - Uncommon Refinery(the ability to run 2 recipes) - Advanced Refinery (The ability to run 3 Recipes) -
furthermore it would be my suggestion that the previous entity be used in the proceeding entity making it more likely for people to pick up their old machines and repurpose them. This solves two issues #1 it reduces base footprints that are needed and #2 it reduces the amount of links that the server must keep track off.
This would take a full 25 Refinery base and reduce it from 25 to 9 Refineries. This also means that the links go from 50 to 18. a significant reduction.
#2 Change the basics of the Transfer Node, Moving things from one crate to another is great except that your just adding links and entities, instead why not make different tiers of Transfer nodes and allow them to act like White/Black List. This has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of links in exchange for 2.
#2-1 Another potential change to the Transfer Node would to be to make it a "Upgrade" to containers, making so each type of Container can accept a certain amount of "Upgrades" xs = 0 S = 2 M = 4 L = 6 and simply allow the transfer node after instillation to increase the number of links the container has IE a L with 6 transfer nodes would have 15 Links.
#3. allow the Lua to Change recipes this would present more complicated coding efforts but in the end would reduce the amount of links and machines needed to run a production facility. (Not sure if people would use it but it would reduce the links)
#4. On the note of planetary terrain changes, this will become one of the largest issues the servers will face, having played multiple games with the ability to change all of the terrain as I see fit this game provides the ability to do it quickly and on a large scale. With that in mind people have referred to Alioth with the following "Alioth looks like a spaghetti monster underground" not really surprising here. Now I wouldn't take away the ability to alter the terrain and dig, but mining may need a review some of the ideas I have heard are.
#4-1 triangulation beacons and Drones. you would find a metal, drop a beacon go x distance in a direction and the radar would show you getting closer and when you start getting away from it you would drop another then find the other directions and each beacon would get you closer to the ore, then you would deploy a drone as you said that would "dig" down and start mining the ore. The idea would be it would take just as much time to do it by hand and the ore would be put into a "Drone Container" even add skills to increase the range so if the ore is too far down you would need more skill to get it.
#4-2 Weekly Tremors that slowly restore underground tunnels to their original state (minus the ores of course)
#4-2-1 a restore option on the digging tool that restores terrain to original #4-2-2 A Seismic unit that would restore a chunk to it's original state (minus the minerals)
Now I understand that these ideas are not perfect and welcome open and constructive criticism.