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System missionsWith currently limited set of planets and furher ones in progress I suggest not to just 'drop' them in system with server downtime but... Alter Aphelia to actually contain wallet... all taxes end here. Out of this wallet, system missions are funded (ie. when Aphelia gets broke she can't issue next mission till more tax is collected) - this is to scale with power of game economy Create set of missions under one 'epic'... let's say "Ion Voyage" - these epic missions need to take long enough time for developers to keep up the pace Discovery - set of missions that in the end reveal bare celestial body - needs some timing and scheduling between progress of epic and development speed Bring ores (missions like 'bring 1000/10k/100k/1M hematite" to destination) - flat buyout price per unit so small/new players can participate just as much as big ones Haul the ores (the one actually delivered in previous missions) to various places across system. Decent pay, collateral higher than ore cost. Also of various volumes to allow various players participate (losing mission leads to issuing of new 'bring ore mission') Once respective volume of materials is on the location, issue crafting missions to produce elements (issue previously delivered ores - respective to what untrained industrialist would need allowing some savings for the trained ones, high collateral above market cost of product, low profit for untrained, decent profit for trained industrialist. Requested products are delivered on same place (this is to stretch industry across known system) Hauler mission to fly them to Alioth Ark. Once whole list of components, elements, voxels, fuel is delivered, building of observatory inside market circle starts (this gives some small headroom in case devs need to catch up - once finished, after next downtime planet appears on map. At this point, planet contains hexes that are not claimable, surface ore that is not claimable, no markets, no atmosphere Ideally in this phase conquest should come... planet should be settled by hostile NPCs... 1+ per planet hex (ie. enough for everyone who wants to shoot)... bounties for PvE, kill missions etc. to give fighter pilots some fun - this phase ends with last alien wiped out. Once completed, surface ore is harvestable, hexes are not possible to claim nor scan Settle in - At this point, planet needs Planetary office and terraforming Planetary office provides set of similar missions to Discovery. Once planetary office is built, hexes are claimable, but not mine-able/scannable (except unclaimable ones scheduled for featured locations like markets) Terraforming - basically bring in large volumes of oxygen/hydrogen - once completed, planet gets atmosphere, hexes become mine-able and scannable Reach the civilization - Currently planet has no markets nor public warp point Build markets - set of missions similar to "Discovery", at the end of the set new market appears on predetermined location (n markets = n rounds) Build warp beacon - set of missions similar to "Discovery", at the end possibility to warp to the planet is enabled Once game gets into implementing more systems similar set of progress can be implemented for it. Possible smaller scoped repeatable epic missions for ore belts (org/individual ? scaled where reward is a claim of ore belt hex) more similar in playstyle to removed planetary mining (bear in mind main epics need to require very massive volumes of everything so extra ore from belts turns in necessity rather than surplus) - lifetime of such belt is reasonably long but limited. The goal here is to add something to do for every tier of players, feeling of progress and participation, while trying to add as little dev work as possible (which couldn't be done in all cases, sorry). While we wait for next planet pop in, it can be utilized as an economy engine. The downsides in design are that some parts are sequential (you can't really fight vs aliens above planet that wasn't discovered yet) which puts part of player crowd on the bench while other part plays on progress. Overall, there is lack of content for fighter pilots or gated behind high dev effort (plus I have come with only one place where it could fluently fit in the epic progress).The biggest downside is the necessity of NPCs to provide something to do for fighter pilots, but I fail to see how provide fighting content without it. And it lacks PvP content entirely, for that I don't see much other reasonable options than planetary warfare though. Just a mind excersise with many loose ends so feel free to brainstorm folks.