A) Offer everybody their place in the universe.
While “main rule” over a sector could be kept in timezones, up to three corporations could have a hold in a sector, so basicly, the whole map is conquerable in all 3 timezones separately, maybe we could get rid of timezones entirely, i don’t know.
Having “holdings” in other timezones gives you similarly daily rewards; If keeping the timezone, holding sectors for that timezone additionally gives you epeen by showing up on the map by default.
find a way to increase number of sectors without washing out the game into no-play. Kinda hard to decide since it has to be a balance between “playing games” and “owning stuff” and of course it needs to create competition.
B) Expansion and Rule
To have optimal gameplay, I think the first goal should be a for a corp to fight for one of the more contested sectors, while expanding to multiple sectors should be a secondary power game played by anybody with power to do so. The map should be big enough to have space for both.
It should be fairly easy to hold one sector, but become increasingly hard to have an empire of sectors. Some mechanics already try to achieve that, why not revamp the whole sector game around it?
Also, fortifying the sector with infrastructure would be awesome, to allow corporations to really hold on to a sector while increasing it’s output with some effort, or instead choose to expand over many to show the flag. Both should work in tandem (so balanced against each other) and offer choices, to play it safe, or be risky and get lots of stuffz.
B.2) Maybe it is time to think about more corporation interaction and possibilities, like corp2corp trade for specific items, especially blueprints, and also the ability to hold a few blueprints in the corp hangar, so that invasion can be better integrated, and corporations can offer players some form of interaction with this. Open Space without any form of trade leads to similar abuses of fake accounts which are not playing. I am not against secondary accounts or management accounts, since at the moment it is the only way to coordinate things, and everybody should have the right to play the game again, so instead of targeting the abuse, you should use the abuse to expand features, so that abuse becomes irrelevant!
C) Sending out wings.
Instead of paying the sending, pay the battle, if they would have had the spot; If all spots are full, attackers should still be able to send fleets, and finally, all showing wings should be counted. You get into this stage, you either show with wing, or bots will or randoms, but you definitely will have to pay for it, while anybody who cancels it’s attack will give the next corp in queue the space. This should help to eleviate any tries to block off with fake attacks.
So basicly, I queue up a few attacks, and get informed which spots I could take. I can still cancel for a short period, so others can participate, if I do not own enough wings anyway (but pay).
Also, do this with a good UI, which shows your corporation assets, and the planned attacks.
There should be limits how many wings i can send by controlled sectors so that expansion becomes more hard and tactical. Taking over sector control or fighting for the posession of the sector could also be a cumulative effect of some solution, that allows to return to queue-up-every-few-hours dread battles, with some score system, entirely aimed at being used by a corp to try to get into the finals. There are other threads discussing this.
D) Mercs and Loot
Instead of switching corporations, attack wings should be able to buy other people to support the attack, for additional costs. Part of these costs should go as iridium to the mercenaries corp, but always balanced in a way, so that abusing this would just cost you more than you gain.
Having a corporation of mercenaries maybe also means, you support other corps in their conquests, without actually competing for the sectors, and still earn your wages to build your dreadnought.
This should support the development of corporations being big things, but limited enough to force multiple corps to form.
E) Multiple Dreads.
Corps should be able to build dreads of other factions extra, but only be able to use one at a time. While using one, the others remain in their docks, so they can be upgraded.
F) Custom Games
Allow Dread battles to be simulated in customs. Including customization of the dread setups. People should be free to experiment and learn to use this system.
You could make it needed to have a certain player amount to do this, so that the servers do not lag out on 50 2v2 dread customs of course.
G) Allow Officers to launch attacks, or include a new role between VP and officer to handle this. The rights management is currently too flaky and needs too much organisation, while giving away a lot of power to create possible griefing damage.
H) Fix the time display of when sector battles are at least. It is really not that hard, to translate the timezones to the local clients timezone, or at least show an information of how many hours there are left, if you hover, just add information instead of shrinking it to one confusing value. More information is better.
This is a space game.
edit: adding points
I) Show players in corp member list (or even friendslist) who are already in a wing; instead of “In hangar”, it should say “In wing”. Optionally, same could be done for groups.
To prevent sync problems, trying inviting to group should still work, no matter the status displayed.
Discussions welcome. Show me the path.