The Massive Terran Science Vessel... remember StarCraft? The awesome great unique design... It's ability to reward you for your micro. I see massive potential for a Science Vessel ship in this game and hopefully for TEC, they'll incorporate the original design of the ship in Starcraft into this game, you just gotta love that ship design! It's like a mobile space station and "really" looks and feels like a science station/vessel. I posted this idea in another thread, but I felt this idea deserved it own thread!
The Science Vessel will be a mobile Civic OR Military Lab (you get to choose, and it will count towards your total lab count) costing moderately more than a regular immobile science lab 900 credits, 150 metal, 300 crystal (it'll be quite expensive making this thing quite an investment, and hence non-spammable). It will have to be researched in the prototype tech tree but it should be made availiable relatively early (requirements 1 labs of any kind to research Science Vessels) It should have decent shields and hull points considering this thing is massive, it should get more shields and hull than the protev colony ship, but it does not have any weapons and has an antimatter capacity of 170.
All Science Vessels (regardless of Civic or Military) will get:
1 - Sensor Outpost. An small station able to be constructed, 1 per max system, regardless of any logistics, thus allowing it to be made in uncolonizable asteriod belts or nebulas allowing permanent line of sight in the entire gravity well and letting you see what ships are jumping in and out of that gravity well. (Cost 50 credits, 25 metal, 25 crystal) with about the same hp as a obital mine. Cost 70 Antimatter.
2 - Sensor Eye. Like the Advent Relevalation BC's Far Sight ability, it would let you see target planet (max range of 4 planets away, unlike Far Sight) for 40 seconds. Costs 90 antimatter.
In addition, the science vessel becomes specialized depending on which type you chose to construct, this can be a very strategic choice as teching/eco player would prefer the Civic while militant players would choose the military science vessel. The Civic Science Lab Vessel would get: (Note all abilities would cost anti-matter)
1 - Ability called: "Colonization Efforts" identical to the Advent Progenitor Mothership's ability without the ability to actually colonize. It reduces all planetary development costs by 20% for a duration of 60 seconds. Costs 170 Antimatter. (max) This can be a huge economic boost by making all your obital construction and planet upgrades cheaper, and is reason enough to get the civic version of the Science Vessel.
2 - An ability named "Planetary Exploration" that can get the "Explore Planet lv. 1" (still need to get the planet upgrade for lv. 2) on your planets to find artifacts/planet bonuses with its special ability. There will be a time duration for it to complete its analysis of 70 seconds (it is stationary during this time). Costs 125 Antimatter.
3 - a special ability "Detailed Planetary Anaylsis" costing credits (125 credits, 25 crystal) each time you use it to allow a volcanic/ice planet to be able to be colonized without having the civic research. The cost each time would still make getting the civic research better in the long run. Costs 100 Antimatter, duration to complete analysis 40 secs.
LOGIC for this : Every planet is very unique, and each planet will have their differences from others, what this ability represents is the ability of cartographers and terraformers to tailor create their colonization techiques for each individual planet by doing a "detailed analysis" of a particular planet letting them colonize that particular planet due to them having studied it extensively over a period of time. In game purposes, this would allow some that made a military lab initially to get a Civic Science Vessel (which will count as a Civic Science Lab) and circumvent temporarily the research requirements to colonize a Ice World. He however still does want the real civic research eventually to max out his Civilain infrastructure and get planet-type wide benefits.
4 - Ability:"Trade Route Analysis" that costs credits (125 credits, 25 crystal) allowing the planet to build 1 Trade port despite having it logistics slot maxed out already. This means a trade port can even be created in uncolonizable asteroid belts, dead roids, and nebulas, solving that trade route connecting problem! Obital Commerce must have already been researched to unlock this ability. The each-time cost, and being limited to only building the Trade Port makes logistics slot purchase more attractive in the long run. Costs 100 Antimatter, duration to complete 40 secs to complete.
LOGIC for this : Quite often players run out of logistics slots for a trade port, or want to make a trade port at a dead roid to extend their trade routes. This makes it possible thru the same reasoning that Detailed Planetary Analysis makes : a intensive survey this time by trade analysts and logisticians on constructing a trade port in what otherwise would be an un-constructable location. This ability would be very helpful in fixing trade routes and temporary extending the logistics point by 1 for a trade port (as often all you want is a extra trade port in obit)
5 - Ability: "Deep-Space Mining Survey" that costs (100 credits, 75 crystal) allowing a Orbital Refinery to be made regardless of logistics slots available, even in uncolonizable asteriod belts with metal/crystal mines. Can be repeated again and again each time with its one-use cost to build the max of 4 obital refinaries at a sector with no logistics points. Costs 100 Antimatter, duration of 40 secs to complete (while remaining stationary)
6 - Ability: "Rapid Manufacturing" which only costs antimatter, increases all construction within its radius by 25% cooldown will be 170 (max) seconds, cost 160 antimatter lasting 45 seconds. This is like the Sova's utimate ability with the same name but has a longer cooldown, shorter duration, and costs more antimatter.
The Military Lab Science Vessels would get:
1. - "EMP Burst" Drains the anti-matter (-50%) and a portion of the shields (a flat -100) of all enemy ships inside the targetted radius. Devastating against Advent and Vasari whose Shields are high and advanced. Only costs Anti-matter. Targetted ships that were hit in the shockwave radius cannot phase jump for 25 seconds. Costs 170 Antimatter. (max)
2. - "Projected Defense Shields" Targetted friendly ship will receive -75% less dmg to its shields and hull points for 55 seconds. This is very similar to the Kol battleship's Adaptive forcefield and can complement the Dunov's Shield Restore ability. Costs 170 Antimatter (max)
3. - Magnetize, Same as the Dunov's ability, and it makes much more sense for a Science Vessel to be able to do this. Causes all enemy strike craft to inside a radius (smaller than the Dunov) to violently crash into the Science vessel with strike craft causing 15 points of dmg upon impact. Costs 70 Antimatter.
4. - Anti-matter Restore, same as the Dunov's ability for Anti-matter instead of shields. It restores 110 points of Anti-matter to 1 targetted ship. Costs 70 Antimatter.
5. - Planetary Assault Coordination, costs 125 antimatter. Speeds up dmg to planet by ships in its radius thru planetary bombardment by 20% in a duration of 50 seconds. Should be awesome to help speed up taking of enemy planets.
Due to the prohibitive cost and fact it is unarmed, they will be limited to a small number. Also all their abilities take micro-management rewarding good science vessel management!the military SV will be very very useful in a battle complementing other capital ships, while I know I want a Civic one as well. SV will be a support ship fan's dreamboat.
This idea would rock major. I'd appreciate feedback and additional ideas to improve the GOAL of getting this ship into the 2nd expansion! Who is with me? Hopefully the people at Ironclad will read this! Ironclad feel free to individualize each science vessel for each faction. I designed the above abilities with the TEC style and feel in mind!
NOTE: I'd already posted this in the general discussion forums, but I wanted the developers to take a look at it here in the beta forum for the next expasions.