Delphi and Sleeper got me thinking about a couple things, lets see if I can remember...
Delphi said the Improved Internal AI should be able to talk to AI ships, but only for the Engi ship. Engi Med-Bot Dispersal, as well as Internal AI have become more useful with Engineering and Med-Bots was already a very useful augment for Blue options. However, this is still an interesting idea, although it shouldn't be unique to just the Engi. Perhaps this augment could be used in place of an AI crew member when blue options for them are added to talk to an Ai ship. It would also be neat if defeated AI ships could become the Internal AI augment upon surrender instead of a hologram sometimes, or maybe they could become smaller drones? Because not all AI ships are intelligent enough to retain a hologram form.
Sleeper's idea of creating Crystal weapons out of the Crystal Vengeance augment is excellent and really cool.
It would further make Crystal Vengeance more worth keeping. Crystal Vengeance could probably be given some pretty good blue options for engineering and, perhaps to explain it's necessity in these blue options, it could be renamed, right now it has kind of a silly name anyway. It would of course have to be balanced by the additional scrap cost (for creating non-crystal components
) and the amount of hull damage it does to your ship. Another interesting possibility would be the ability to manufacture upgrades to your current Crystal weapons, producing MkII and MkIII variants. One engineering option could be to produce a random low tier crystal weapon with Crystal Vengeance and then you could upgrade the Crystal weapons you want to make a permanent part of your loadout while selling the other ones. This gives Crystal ships almost exclusive access to all the crystal weapons. I think the whole system could use some discussion and testing to be refined, but I think it could work really well.
One additional possibility is making some (or all?) crystal weapons use "missiles" even if they're not necessarily "missile" weapons. The lockdown weapons for example. You could manufacture "missiles"/crystal projectiles from your ship's own hull at any empty beacon (For cheap, but then this may not be balanced with other missile weapons, although I suppose the projectiles could technically be shot by other weapons too. Maybe the Crystal projectiles aren't all Crystal, they have some conventional missile parts too...) and this would further keep you damaged all the time. To offset all this damage I originally thought turning the Repair arm aug into a Regenerative Crystals aug would work, but you could just use the Crystal Vengeance itself to repair your ship at empty beacons as a trade off to taking all that damage similar to the hull repair kit. Perhaps having multiple Crystal Vengeance augs could also give you an even greater added benefit somehow by making repairs/manufacturing cheaper, but I'm not sure if that's possible... I think all this would make Crystal Vengeance way worth keeping. You would either have a tank ship that can easily repair itself at empty beacons or a ship that could pack a punch, but for a cost, or a balance. I thought about having a playstyle like this for the Crystal ship a long time ago, but wasn't sure how it would work, with Sleeper's idea I think it would work well.
Other things to consider:
---Creating weapons should never be economically beneficial, the price for repairing your hull and the scrap cost should be equal to the cost of what the weapon could be bought for at a store.
---Perhaps it could be possible to choose what kind of weapon you want to manufacture, but I think a randomly generated weapon would be better because it adds risk of getting something you don't want and/or if you get something that is good, but you didn't expect you may have to change your play style up a bit, making each run with the crystal ship different. (Hey, on that note maybe the game's start event could give you enough scrap to engineer a random Crystal weapon if you have Crystal Vengeance and the crystal ships could start with 1 less or no weapons that would be very interesting)
---Perhaps when creating a weapon you could choose what color you want it to be...
---Creating or upgrading different weapons should maybe do a different range of damage to your ship. A warning for this even would be necessary because if it does 5-10 damage it would be possible to kill yourself when generating the weapon...
Blue options for other ships like the federation ship would be interesting, but it's kind of difficult to implement. I think if it could work the federation would have the reverse effect of all the other ships. When doing any deceitful or treacherous activities you would always get a negative outcome or not be allowed to do it. The same thing could go for the Zoltan ship. These ships instead would get benefits like the diplomacy options or the possibility of recruiting wingmen.
But implementing negative outcomes for the slavery, piracy, and betrayal are difficult because, as someone proposed this would require the player to choose that blue option all the time and no one will choose a blue option that will be bad... There are only couple alternatives to the current system... The current system in CE works the best.
---One possibility is to make Rock, Slugs, and Mantis the only ones with the option of even choosing to force slaves to work for you, pirate innocent civilians, or betray someone after surrender in the first place.
The Downside: The non-race specific ships or someone playing with a specific ship and wanting to try these options would be unable to try those options at all. This also makes the rave specific ships way more buffed in that sense.
----Upon choosing the slavery, piracy, or betrayal options and choosing "See how your crew reacts" the player could be sent to a screen that generates only blue options, no Continue choice, forcing the player to choose the blue option for their ship.
The Downside: Every ship would need to have a way to distinguish the ship from others and get a blue option and all race specific ships would be forced to keep their unique augment. Otherwise the Continue... Option would be automatically generated and close the window without anything happening.
This would work only if we could distinguish each ship from others and currently there is no way to do that effectively. I thought about even giving each ship a unique system distinguishing the ship from others, but currently we can't add new systems.
This is kind of a shame because I think it is nice to have ships like the Kestral, which I think is more of a privateer ship with a diverse crew, have the option of choosing any action they want. This is kind of a good thing rather than bad. Other ships like the Engi Stealth Cruiser or main Engi ship will have Engi crew that choose the most "logical" rather than "moral" outcome.
But I wish that as a trade off other ships would have negative outcomes for certain things. For example, although Mantis ships can enslave people and pirate them breaking a surrender would always be prevented because of the Mantis' code off honor. Same with the Rock. Slavery could be against the a Slugs ideals like Sleeper said, or against the Rocks religion.
Perhaps instead the Federation ship give could give you occasional rewards for doing good things (carrot) rather than bad (stick), sort of the concept behind the Zoltan ship. Like maybe slaves if you free them could have a higher possibility of joining your crew, or civilians that you run into but don't pirate could occasionally help you out slightly, not sure how keeping surrenders would work thought I feel like the federation should not be able to break surrenders. The idea of making a surrendered Rebel ship also surrender one of their crew as collateral, taking Rebel POWs, is a good idea, though I'm not sure if you should benable to make them work for you, doesn't sound like a good idea to put them on weapons immediately... (Until the AE mind control system is implemented
) Although you could ransom them perhaps. Maybe even taking prisoners could be a potential option for other ships to...
Also, on a somewhat related note, since the bad mutiny outcomes with an AP drone are so satisfying perhaps it could be used when forcing a slave to work aboard your ship when they, even if you are a Mantis ship, rebel against you. They don't want to go from one slaver to another! You could either have to fight a boarder or they could die from your AP drone. (Again, until you get a combination of an Ion stunner drone to stun them and Mind Control drone to brainwash them
I also think occasionally forcing slaves to work for you could cause them to try and buy their freedom. They could either give you scrap then or give you a quest marker for someone to visit who will pay you. This quest could either give you scrap or have you get attacked by the prisoners' friends. Piracy could do a similar thing.
And I think I this is the last thing... Whew. Sorry everyone. I've noticed that some people have been reporting problems with systems not resetting properly after being hacked or by a hazard etc? I was thinking that maybe certain hazards or events could cause this to happen on purpose. This would make them extremely annoying. Like what if the Radiation kept your Life Support limited to 1 or an anomaly kept you shields/drones limited or whatever it does for a while. Since these things all get reset at empty beacons anyway you would have to wait until then to re-vent the entire ship or reset the shield generator etc... Which could be explained in the event where it happened. This would also further make certain augments or system upgrades to avoid the effect in the first place even more useful.
Potential problems: you wouldn't want this to have a chance of happening during the last stand or you couldn't b reset you systems.
Also, If you ran into another event that affected the same system it would override the lasting affect.
That's it. Thanks for reading.
P.S. Sleeper, did you see my Boss blueprints, I posted the here instead of PMing them to you in case others wanted to take a look. It should be on one of the previous 5-3 pages.
Also, how are you planning to implement the wingmen idea? Changing the artillery of the Fed Cruiser to be a targeting system or making the targeting an actual weapon that comes with the cruiser, in this case the lack of a 4th weapon wouldn't be a huge loss because of the extra beam weapon. A weapon could also be "upgraded" t flag mor targets and fire more "shots" as you acquire more wingmen for your squadron.