Hello there,For this discussion it will be addressed things that are desired for game play, not necessarily viable at the moment.
These are some features for discussion:
1 - Trade off:
An issue that intrigues me is that the current early game probe could have an optimization process. If you launch it near your base, it gives you full details, like the number of ships and TO icons.After a certain point, it gives you only dots. In the other hand, this would allow the distant probes to be less detectable to the enemy. In late game a better probe could arrive, but although providing better intelligence at greater distances, they should more detectable to the opponent systems. I know in ship file gotta have some of theses issues, I'll take a look;
2 - Homework:
I haven't checked yet how the probe family works. For example, how the distort probes works actually, what does it distort? Or in case of the probe, how is it detected - just invasion of a space or can it be tweaked to include signature?
3 - Probes and ships:
I am planning to enable destroyers and some frigates to launch probes. They would be weak in terms of performance compared to the current one. Also, cheaper and with instant built: instead of waiting it to be built, it would work like the MOVE command.You press a button or key and you choose where to deploy it, the ship launches directly to the spot.In case of the Destroyers and torpedo frigates, it would launch via torpedo tubes.These probes would have a short range of deployment and a short range of scanning, it wouldn't cross all map. Maybe smaller ships will launch only the (forgotten) proximity sensor and the larger structures and ships, all the probe family;
4 - Map size:
It would be interesting that probes would have different ranges for different map sizes. In HW2 stock maps, with 4 probes you cover half of the map, so they could have less range in this case.I'll see if I can create an equation relating those, but not necessarily linear distribution. I have one distribution in mind, but I'll wait for your comments, my math is rusty.
5 - GEO probes:
I haven't tried yet, but some time in the future I'll try a skirmish game starting with an empty map.The idea is the creation of geological probes - It only sees resources. If you know any map configured like that let me know, I think I have seen one, but it was a long time ago. Also, a game play feature could be that you have to evaluate (using a probe) the resource site before it is enabled to collectors. Your geo probe could "dock" to one of the asteroids, enabling the amount of RUs nearby.
6 - HACKER - A new probe/weapon:
When it is built you target a ship and it could work like a marine frigate, it bonds to the hull. The difference is that there is no bar to tell you what's going on. Slowly the ship detach from formation and if you wanna get back your ship, you have to attack and destroy the probe.It would be a probe to use in the middle of a battle, without warning, you just notice a drifting ship going to the unknown.
7 - Error factor:
It would be cool if, when you send the probe, although you select a spot, it would not deploy perfectly. The probe could have an error factor of 2% to 5%.
Your thoughts on these matters are welcome.Greetings