Inspired by the game ‘FTL: Faster Than Light’.
So at the moment, all of the sectors on the starmap are nearly all exactly the same. The only differences between them being the occasional wormhole or asteroid. I think this could be improved upon and made so that certain sectors may be more desirable to travel to, or potentially more dangerous. In summary, certain sectors at round start will be giving a random ‘space weather’ effect. This effect could have helpful or harmful effects on ships in it, or potentially effect the crew itself. These effects would apply to both player controlled ships and AI controlled ships as to keep it balanced.
Some of these sector hazards may not be immediately apparent to the ship or it’s crew. The ways to properly discover these effects would be to either do a sector scan, visit the sector, or launch a probe into the sector’s star. After identifying the effect, the sectors with these effects will be marked on the FTL map and their information shown on the sector info. Best take a look at it before FTLing.
Here’s a list of potential space weather effects.
Nebula - This sector is home to a large collection of space gas. The interference makes it difficult for the ship’s radar to detect targets, effectively giving every ship in the sector stealth, including the player’s ship.
Shadow - This sector is lightyears away from the nearest star, effectively making the whole sector pitch black. This will make the overmap very dark, requiring much more use of the DRAIDIS to navigate and fight. Enemy ships will have their accuracy reduced while in this sector.
Asteroid Field - This sector is home to a lot of asteroids. There will be many additional asteroids spawned into the sector, sometimes making it difficult to fly and could block weapon fire. However, there’s also a higher chance of exotic asteroids for mining ships to take advantage of.
Radiation - If a ship enters a radioactive sector, there will be constant low level radiation, which will cause hallucinations among the crew. This can be nullified by the crew wearing radiation suits, or raising a ship’s shield to protect the crew at the cost of constant shield damage. AI ships will act more erratically while in this sector, randomly breaking off their attack, firing at nothing, or even just coming to a complete stop randomly.
Electromagnetic Storm - Clouds of highly charged particulates are present in this sector. Ships here will experience powernet issues, causing APCs to have their fuses triggered and require a reset, similar to the grid check event. For AI ships, this will cause them to occasionally loose the functionality of their weapons, aiming, propulsion, or any special abilities they have like stealth. On the plus side, the charged environment will cause all power sources to be 50% more efficient in power production.
Black Hole - Ships in sectors with a black hole need to be careful of its gravitational pull. All ships will fly at half speed, as a portion of their propulsion need to be dedicated to resisting the black hole’s pull. In addition, FTL charge speed will be halved due to having to take into effect the black hole’s gravity when calculating vectors. However, these systems offer great scientific potential, and ships in this sector will see a 50% boost to research point generation. Launch a probe in for potentially more rewards.
Solar Flare - This sector is experiencing frequent solar flares from the nearby star. Ship will take constant slow ticking armor damage while in this sector. In addition, anyone outside the ship will burn up instead of freeze, so best hope your suit has heat resistance. Shields will take damage occasionally, but will help protect the hull.
Paranormal - A dimensional rending event occurred in this sector at some point which has altered the very fabric of reality here. While in this sector, there will be wizard random events enabled (Some being disabled that might prove to be too destructive). AI ships in this sector will struggle just as much as the players’ ship. They’ll fly around randomly, shoot randomly, and will usually try to FTL out of the system. On the plus side, there’s a chance of the crew getting magic items randomly, and launching a probe into an anomaly here may unlock a special, paranormal related tech node.
Supernova - The star in this sector is nearing the end of its lifespan and could go supernova any minute. After a certain amount of time passes from round start, an emergency alert will be sent to any ship in the sector that the star’s core has gone critical, and that the star will detonate in two minutes. This is accompanied by a unique alarm that will persist as a constant reminder that the ship needs to leave the sector ASAP. There will be an additional warning at the one minute mark, thirty second mark, and ten second mark. Ships in adjoining sectors will be sent a warning not to enter the sector. Any ship still in the sector when the star detonates effectively gets nuked to hell, potentially killing everyone on board and effectively destroying the ships armor and hull. AI ships will try to flee the sector as soon as the alarm goes off, though they will rarely stay and continue to hunt any player ships in the sector (Leaving the potential to bait a fleet into staying in the sector until it’s too late, and FTLing to leave them behind). After detonation, the sector becomes a solar flare sector. If the crew manages to launch a probe into the star before it goes supernova, this would not only give them a massive amount of science research, but could potentially unlock a new tech node for the crew (Ship-to-ship BSA perhaps)