I'm not too keen on this whole "pick a form of government" thing. Sins is different from Civ or Galciv in that you are not so much an emperor managing his empire over the course of many years, but more of a grand admiral directing the military effort to conquer a particular solar system or two. I think adding political options to the game removes the war-focus and takes the game in a very different direction.
I agree with you there 100%.
If we could set sins up so that we could have multiple wars over multiple maps that would be great.
What I would like is that players on the same teams shouldn't be on separate factions.
When a game starts up I think it would be interesting for there to be multiple leaders on the same team and faction, Allowing for the pooling of resources (which would speed the game up considerably) Which would in turn need an expanded tech tree.
I would call that a coalition gametype, where people who are of the same factions/races are on the same team.
The following would be a MASSIVE gametype similar to an MMO but not quite:
Another idea is a REAL multiplay with galaxies, starsystems etc with stuff you can choose to invade.
Like A person starts in their own system and as their little civilization gets bigger, the map (in real time) expands.
So if we were TEC we would start in an earth-like system and expand. When we expand that map as far as we go, we can 'launch' to, say alphacentauri, on another solar system. We first meet enemies in that system, (mostly neutrals) and are 'forced' to eliminate them or ally with them. Who we ally with will determine either our culture potency, military potency, or econ potency later in the game. (You are only allowed to ally one of those neutrals)
From that point you can choose to jump to 3 different star systems. One of them super active with military activity, another Econ and Diplo activity or Culture activity. (You get small pics of those systems from astronomers) Depending on which system you choose changes what enemy you will face at the very end. When you jump you only have small amounts of research allowed, but as you reach the next system you are allowed to research deeper into the tech tree. Bonuses applied based on which neutrals you had allied with in the previous system.
At this point, halfway through the map you picked, if you picked the one with the least info on it you're just colonizing and exploring, you find (as TEC) a planet of 'freaks' who had left humanity about 20 years before you left the original starsystem. Your job is to excise them from the system any means necessary. They were here first and therefore have outposts on nearby planets. Well you defeat them and they leave. One of your officers sends reports of the victory to the humans in the last system.
If you picked the one with military activity, you jump into a system just in time to see a rather large battle commencing, a... black... thing... Is eating away at one of the ships and proceeds to try and eat your ships but you manage to jump out of there before the black thing eats your small fleet. the other player that was getting eaten by the things. Proceed from there.
There's my idea. The game only gets bigger until the SP ends at which point they can choose to take it online, adding their system to the server's list which allows that player to leave and attack another Galaxy/Solar system. Then you can choose an option to allow another player to play as your civilization while gone - if so you can tell the required rep a person would need to play for you - Honour system. The +rep system would work as follows: A person plays, and if they do a good job, they get not only points for bringing fruition to your empire but if you liked their job you personally add a +1 rep.
The better score YOU have online, the more rep power you have. This not only stops smurfs but encourages people to try to play.
If you choose not to allow coalitions, as i call that then you play online guiding your empire to victory, if no enemy is in your solar system (other than an ai/neutral) when you log off people can't phase jump to your system unless you choose to. If people are in mid-phase jump to your system and you log off it replaces your system with another player's whom is online. To necessitate it such that people won't abuse that power there would be a (long range) cloaking ability in a heavily expanded tech tree that makes it so that person cannot see who is coming into their star system.
I have tons of other ideas that could take advantage of this but for now i'll leave it at that.
If you choose not to play online then you get to expand locally forever.