Features I'd like to see:
- Mines take ship logistics slots so mines have to be considered as a real strategy and not as a tack on.
- Have 5 types of mines starting with weak scout killers at the low end and up to capital ship cripplers at the top end.
- A single mine unit would have an area coverage as opposed to laying "a field" and have abilities as weapons do.
- Each Faction have a dedicated mine layer.
- All mines to be able to toggle on or off and be autocast or manually detonated at will.
- Mine research to fully use mine capabilities.
Possibly a way to make specific mines select scouts would be to create a passive ability-buff on scouts that multiplies mine damage/range versus them. This would keep scouts from automatically clearing all mines--there could always be a scout killer in amongst them.
The "Top Tier" Mines I'd like:
[Phase] "Collapsar mine", generates a strong attraction field that can pull ships, fighters, frigates and civilian vessels towards it for a set period and then detonates for area damage. Would affect friend and foe.
[Tech] "Cluster mine", spawn a burst of multiple mines that target and hit multiple enemy ships and generate splash and explosive damage.
[Psi] "Domination mine", an area effect that would capture by domination ability multiple frigates within range and with a second ability that at very close range could also capture a capital ship.
Supporting Mines I'd like:
For all factions, I'd have persistent Spy mines that simply allow the owner to view the system they are planted in and a cheap, large area effect Anti-Scout mine that could be planted to protect the more important mines near it.
Nanite mines, doing area nanite damage to enemy,
Gravity mines, as exist already.
Anti-Shield mines, that cripple shield damage mitigation levels of enemy ships.
Projectile mines, that function as directed charges and hit a single frigate at range with explosive and splash damage.
Anti-strike mines, that hit all enemy strike craft within a radius.
Blockade mines, persistent mines that "freeze" trade and refinery ships that pass within their range.
Anima Projector mines, with additional research levels that spawn frigates, strike craft or cruisers (depending on level and ability selected) when enemy ships pass by.
Animosity-Vengeance mines, heavy armored mines that force enemy units to attack it and re-deals damage as per animosity and vengeance abilities.
Detonate Antimatter mines, mines that deplete antimatter of enemy ships within range.
These sorts of strategically tiered effect mines would make mine scouting and clearance a priority and also make it a risky venture. Mines could cripple fleets, strangle trade and provide spy reports--they would have to be dealt with, not just "flown past". The logistics requirements would make spamming them less attractive and they could still be limited to a total number within a single grave well. In fact, adding mine research could determine how many mines per grav well was allowed as well as be required to open up the more powerful mines. This makes seriously using mines an actual strategic commitment and decision.
In real life mines are used for perimeter defense, logistics and tactical movement interdiction, as a area denial weapons and as a nuisance/morale threat.
Also, any chance you guys could throw a better description our way of how to mod mines in the meanwhile?