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After the rather poor reception of my propose sleep mechanic and more research into combat, I feel I can offer a unique spin on the idea of Food. First and foremost: Food should not be required to survive. This is not a Hard Core survival sim (though I wish it were, sometimes). My proposal is thus: Food will give bonuses/maluses to stats. These bonuses/maluses will be in the single digit percentage ranges and will cover a few skills at a time, with one primary. (+5% shooting, +2% reload, +1% crafting, +1% dodge) Food items can be combined to improve their "taste" and the bonuses given. (For example: Raw Wheat will give a small malus, raw flour will give a malus, but a cake will give a bonus.) All food items will have "taste" profiles and modifiers. The profile determines what "taste" is added when combined, while the modifiers alter the "taste" of the other ingredients. (This will probably be best displayed as a radar plot) All players will have a randomly generated "palate" that slowly and randomly evolves over time. This "palate" determines how much of a bonus is gained from the food. "Tasty" foods give bigger bonuses, "nasty" foods give maluses. It will take years before a "palate" noticeably changes. This will be shown in the UI when a food is selected. (General Bonuses * Palate modifier = Actual bonuses) Bonuses will last for 3-4 hours, with a slight increase during the first hour and then a steady drop off afterwards. Maluses will only last for 30 minutes and quickly decrease. Every food has a "satiety" value. You can only eat so much before you are full. Once you are full, further eating adds Maluses, rather than stacking Bonuses. The more you eat, the longer the bonuses last. Spices will exist that have small "satiety" levels and limited "taste" profiles, but they will have large "taste" modifiers. (Don't like savory foods? Add cayenne pepper! Make it spicy!) Finally, all plants will take months to grow and harvest, however between planting and harvest, the plants will require minimal supervision. They'll require more supervisor the less friendly the climate is to that plant. Harvests will produce a great quantity of food. (Farmer's should be able to explore the universe too!) The purpose here is many-fold: To encourage economic activity by creating an intuitive category of good. Most people understand food and how good eating is good for them. This idea is focused on organizations as the primary producers and consumers. A solo pilot isn't going to mind being a few percentages slower at mining, or reloading, or crafting. But on the industrial scale of large organizations, these foods will be very important to squeeze out every Quantum. Wars have been fought over spices and I see no reason DU can't be the same. I've always disliked games where plants grew very rapidly. To gather a large stockpile, you were constantly running from plot to plot, planting and then you only have a few hours before you need to go harvest everything. Plants take time and care. Insta-plants aren't fun. The random element to the food is because a) everyone likes different things, and b ) this way there will be no "best" plant. What's in demand will change with the seasons and the years. (P.S: Wooo! 100th Post!)
In order to support a varied market/economy, I think the dev should give players the tools to do agriculture as their primary specialty. The recipes need to be more involved than requiring only what we dig out of the ground. There are a lot of materials such as textiles, wood, fiber, medicines, oils, not to mention plant and animal based food than can come from this. Of course in order to make this specialty interesting, it should be as in depth as mining appears to be. For example, say you come across a particular plant on some alien planet and it is discovered that this plant can be used to repair genes. That makes the plant very valuable but maybe it is exceptionally particular as to its growing requirements. It would take a skilled farmer to figure out how to cultivate it. It has been said that there will be plenty to do for people who arn't aggressors and don't want to engage in combat. This could be one of those activities. Anyways, it would make for a more immersive environment for you PVPers to see patchwork farms while you fly over and away from the cities.
How about most planets will be barren/toxic/uninhabitable and you'd have to place biospheres, re-stabilize its magnetic force-field, and make transfer harmful materials? Lets say you landed on a harmful planet but full of materials. Your AI suggests that the soil is ready for growing planets and rich in nutrients. You place a biosphere and create a magnetic forcefield that blocks solarflares from damaging the plants inside. After you see that the planets are growing giantly, you call your alliance to suggest terraforming this planet. The alliance agrees and starts funding materials so the planet will be a giant "garden world". After a while, a rival alliance sees this planet and see show much you are benefitting from it, so they send a bunch of "dirty bombs" to "de-terraform" it. Plez, NQ. Moar Ideas: You just found a planet FULL of life, but all the plants/creatures are harmful to humans. You'd have to "de-terraform the planet, then re-terraform the planet". After being de-terraform, the planet loses stability after a few years without life. The planet becomes to unstable the planet basically implodes (because... that'd be cool). All constructs within about 1000km are heavily damaged. The resources will then recollect later to recreate the planet, albeit different.
Resources gathered from mining will deplete. Eventually, after enough people have scoured a planet, it will be devoid of its mineral bounty. One way to mitigate this is to have has some resources be renewable. The simplest example is trees. Having plantations of trees ensures that there will always be a supply of wood. When people think of farming, they think of crops and livestock. When people think of renewable power they think, solar and wind. Can we do better? What about mineral crystal farms? These might require the soil of a specific biome and through a process that requires quite a bit of time and power (with lazors!), constructs a mineral crystal which can be harvested. This mineral could be quite scarce if not rare to mine normally. Another renewable resource could come from collecting the atmosphere of a particular planet. This gas might be difficult to find otherwise. Creating the elements to collect the gas might be quite expensive to create and require power of their own to run. Renewable power could be thermal energy power collected by a specific element from heat deep inside a planet. Planets that do not have a hot core, will not be able to sustain these type of machines. Maybe a coolant would be required or the thermal power element overheats and shuts down. If these renewable resources/power are spread over different planet types, it encourages trade from those high density points to places where there is less. Can you think of more?