Planet Outposts and Exploration
Wilderness-style procedural maps on planets, with numerous points of interest based on environment type, random events, etc. These ideas could also apply to things in space, too!
Built to house colonists/drones, able to send out exploration parties with costs based on distance, time spent out, etc.
Possible site for planet-side factories and refineries
Player housing - Want a big, sprawling mansion in the corner of some random backwards planet? Go for it!
PVE content - Your outpost is under attack! Oh no! Some planets would be very hostile, with angry wildlife or dangerous machines - Outposts on these planets would have to be heavily defended, but would produce resources based on killing the attacking NPCs. Similarly, exploring these dangerous places could focus on wiping out drones, etc and plundering loot.
PVP content - Don't like that Dave built a big compound in a pristine location? Mess with it.
Buildup would be slow, with variance. Want to cheap out, and take a risk? Build an ill-defended outpost that might get devoured by hungry alien rabbit monsters. Less a fan of risk? Pick a safer planet, but deal with more competition and lower possible payouts. Alternately, spend more marks and resources, build a heavily defended outpost and benefit from the resulting piles of alien parts, loot from marauding drones, etc.
Tie in to other systems:
- Good use for vehicles. Zoom about the planet BigFlatPlace on your shiny bike.
- Hack ancient terminals in ruined cities! Maybe your scavengers drag these back to the outpost for you. Unlock it, and oh look! Out comes a datashard of something, or coordinates for something else to dig up.
- Bashing! Uncover places to bash that only last a while, or use lures to tempt in giant, irritable hamster-creatures.
- PVP - Derelict ship crashed on the planet UhOh! Go and fight over it, deploying outposts, drones and straight up murdering each other both in space AND on the ground.
- Resource generation - Another way to generate gas/metal etc, or maybe even intermediary products. Find some paristeel from some ruins or a wreck, maybe dig up some old repair kits! production of intermediate and finished products would be unreliable, such that it didn't compete too directly with manufacturing them.
- Grow things to sell! Tubers. So, so many tubers. Maybe farm Leesa, or other unusual substances.
- Tourism? Build things that attract tourist NPCs who then buy the random alien tat you've dug up. That lump of rock with weird graffiti on it? Boom, sell it to Dave the Human for some marks! And he'll need some food whilst he's there, maybe a place to stay! (Yes, this would be like Themepark: Space Tourist attraction)
- Group PVE! "Hey, guys, I built an outpost on that funny little jungle planet because the fruit is an amusing shape, but now I'm attracting a worrying number of five metre tall alien lemur-analogues and I think we need to get rid of them before they get any ideas!"
- Don't want to do it all yourself? Ask a buddy to build a farm to provide food to be sold!
- Expandable - Add new outpost options, buildings etc, have new sites of interest generated by events like space ships crashing!
Potential rewards could include things like unusual racial customisations, ship mods from crashed wrecks, unusual styles of weapons and armour from defunct/unknown makers, weapon and armour mods scavenged from battlefields, loot plundered from ruined cities ranging from recent stuff to old, weird items that eccentric collectors might buy.
Would outposts be mobile? like a giant vehicle you upgrade, tweak, drop on a planet and deploy? This might make the system more flexible. Resources/sites of interest could move about, be added, depleted, etc. Could be used for planets, asteroids, big wrecks etc. Cost to moving, in that you'd either have to have a huge ship to move stuff around, or you'd have to pay someone (Hint: He's a little crazy, and his name begins with J) to pack up and haul your outpost.
Planet has some giant hives of horrifying pink monsters? All attempts to PVE bash the place result in death and hilarity? Build a big cannon or tank in the outpost and use it to smash the hive/lair/thing, making it bashable for a while. Or engage in explosive archaeology, that is, using big bombs to uncover ancient ruins to pillage! Quicker than digging, but could lead to faster rewards. Plus, explosions are fun!
Planets would likely have resources based on environments.
- ruins, ruined cities that generate old weapons, mods, etc.
- Ship wrecks with weird datashards, mods, metals and the like
- Jungles, either as food producers or obstacles because they're filled with godzilla style marmot monsters or packs of roving squirrel-beasts that swarm nearby outposts.
- Machine hives, rich in resources but also rich in angry machines that fight back
- Animal/creature hives, that hoard resources and provide a big PVE challenge. You'd need to call in support from an outpost, too! Plus, the outpost could provide a place to respawn.
- vary the kinds of ruins. Recent, ancient, unknown, everything from ancient cyclopean cities through to failed recent colonies, with drop tables styled to match.
- Ancient roads, paths, etc. Connects ruins, or just criss-crosses planets.
- Natural resources, caves, etc.