Another option could be to have it slightly boost the max. allegiance of the planet in the grav. well; quite easy to mod in (I did it for mine, back when I was a wee noob) and given the ability descriptions, makes some sense.
While that would be kind of cool, I don't really want starbases to help defend against culture. I just wanted to make fully protecting oneself against Novaliths not quite as hard to do on a limited budget.
Yeah, my thought was just that it would sort of make sense from the ability's description, and would give the upgrade a bit of extra utility behind the front lines, even without a superweapon. An extra percent or so of max allegiance in a system that was at some point highly contested and is probably super-important by itself isn't too big of a deal; it isn't really too much extra culture protection (especially with the buffs) and if the planet's going to fall to culture it might stave off the end for, what, a minute or so? That little bit of extra protection at a rather hefty price tag of a SB and an upgrade slot isn't really too unbalanced.
It adds just a bit extra income (and if the world is a big tax/resource center- which would certainly also be a prime target if it's near the frontier) then that extra allegiance is pretty useful over the long run.
Of course, slightly reducing the cost of the upgrade certainly wouldn't hurt. In fact, why not do both? It would take some fine tuning of numbers, but in the end it would be a relatively modest change and quite balanced IMO.
I generally tried to expand the roles/capabilities of structures and units through additional abilities rather than altering costs/stats
Well there's no doubt I'm an ability addict as well, the ship upgrade system I'm working on is already running at over 100 additional buffs. But I also try to ensure any content I add also solves a particular problem, and for things like Axillary Government, it already does its job quite well, it's just not always worthwhile to get it for the cost.
Same here, though I was far more aggressive in changing things.
Actually, here's the mod I was talking about. It's wayyy outdated, completely unbalanced and far from stable even then (total N00B back then, slightly less now, IE I could probably make a model now given enough time to work with)
Yeah, I might have to look and Cleansing Brilliance too.
The beam blast ability can be tweaked to have a conic firing arc and (I think) a broader beam, i.e. even twice the size of the Radiance; I was considering an ability "Dragon's Breath" for a new race mod, basically being a much wider and shorter cone of insta-damage.
Speaking of which, there's an unused passive capital ability "Phase Missile Boost" with description,
Yeah, I noticed the entity modifier it used. It's used on Overlord Nihovalus' ultimate ability, even though its main affect is to prevent any ships in the AoE from getting disabled. A handful of unused Icons are used for other things as well, though I'm not sure which is the one you're talking about.
Actually it was present back in Entrenchment (Diplomacy?) just give it to a cap. ship (might need to update the manifest, can't remember if it's in there) and there you go. Note that it's only three levels, so you'd have to tweak it for Rebellion. Nonetheless I played around with the roster for the Marauder and Jarrasul (?) to try and make them equally useful, i.e. I nerfed the Nano-disassembler a bit, greatly buffed Phase Out, gave the Marauder Gravity Bomb and the Jarrasul the Phase boost (I also tried giving that to the Marauder, keeping the Gravity bomb on the Jarrasul, as the Marauder has Phase Missiles and the Jarrasul's already powerful enough with the Assailant-Evacuator anti-cap fleet)
Indeed they are. While the upcoming merger with Infinite Space will add cosmetic moons, I am tempted to go the route Zombie did as well, given how similar his moons are to my ancient structures in practice. I would probably make them normal structures, not starbases though, as I don't want them to count against the Starbase limit.
Yeah, that's a bit of a problem.... though I'd rather have the moons as star bases, both for ability tweaking (lots of abilities that apply to structures don't work for SBs), the sheer size of things, teh potential for upgrading meshes and the fact that IIRC things like the population upgrade don't work for structures.
One way of looking at it is that a moon takes up quite a lot of space and is basically an uber-star base; alternatively if there's a way to control what types of planets it can appear over then you could make duplicates of existing planets that you want to have moons (and they'd spawn with these moons automatically) and give them one more SB slot than normal, or perhaps two if you want a Mars type planet with multiple moons. Or you could just increase the SB cap for all planets; or just take the potential loss. Ultimately, I think they work better as SBs, especially if you want to make them like pseudo-planets with populations, "Auxiliary governments" trade ports, culture centers etc and/or have abilities apply to them separately... for instance you could have a separate "capture moon" ability that only works on star bases (i.e. moons) and with separate filters, like, say, "Shields must be down" or something. Then you could, I dunno, give it insane hull points/armor (is there a way to prevent any damage to the hull or at least preventing a ship from dying without making it invincible outright?).
Perhaps.. making the hull all but invincible (20000 HP, 100 Armor, repair-center level hull healing, so on) and/or a passive that reduces physical damage, Phase Missile penetration, and/or repairs insane hull points when the shields fail.. but perhaps if it drops below a certain HP level (half?) then it becomes invincible and disabled, i.e. won't attack or repair itself. The goal being that when the shields fail a colony frigate could invade it, and if it takes enough damage to the hull (or perhaps when the shield fail?) then it stops fighting and doesn't do anything else, effectively "disabling" it.