for 1, 2, 3: not talking about faster rates, talking about initial start credits, metal, crystal. Great to have 5 labs at your planet so you can immediately research wormhole travel... still gotta take the initial time to do it. Hate to say it, sometimes I want to stick the CD in the microwave for 6 seconds simply because I have about an hour to play and spend time getting all research to tier0, then 1, more for 2... F* THAT, I want Tier 2 stuff totally done. And if I had 5-6 hours to just go wild playing my old Freelancer map (tons of planets and militias) only to get nuked to hell and back because AI built 20 -yes 20!!! Kostura Cannons and volleyed the living hell out of my worlds. Stupid frakking game... So I'm asking for real damn options here instead of starting yet another map and having to take 20 minutes out micromanaging empire and research before being able to play.
so basically, being able to set start tech level and max tech level can get players right into fighting, eliminate super cannons from the game or prevent uberlag fleets. Having boosted credits, metal, crystal right off the bat gives all players -combined with start tech options, the resources to get building and have at. QuickStart was a baby-step in the right direction -get stuff going already, I wanna kill an empire; take it the next couple of miles is all I ask.
*Even pirates get ambitious and with the monotony of SOASE -lacking any campaign or even half-arsed "scenarios" through multiple maps strung together or even labeled, "TEC 1, 2, 3, 4, etc..." as a last resort... spice this bland meal up. I play this still because of the mods because the same old **** every map is just nuts.
To Z-Axis comments, yes horrible abuses, so better range limits to prevent them. Bleh on flat, this isn't Planet's Edge and if you've noticed, SOASE has about as much regard for 'natural' solar system formation as EVE Online has for Newtonian Physics -I mean to say, Zip. So greater player control of structure Z-axis placement, movement and even for mappers would be great. If other RTS that happen on land were made in the mold of SOASE, every battle would be on a flat plane with the occassional hill -pretty damn boring.