Idea - phase jump range instead of phase lanes?

Published on Saturday, November 19, 2022 By Shadowhal In Sins II Feedback

A controversial (and maybe silly) idea: now that we have rotating planets, could it make sense to have the strategic choke points determined by proximity rather than the (slightly arbitrary) phase lanes?

What I mean is that each ship has a jump range around 1.5 - 2x the standard difference between planets in Sins thus far. And that ship can jump to any planet within that range. But not farther than that and it also bypass a planet if it comes too close. Like in Star Wars EU lore, the gravity well would pull ships out of phase space.

The attraction is that, with rotating planets, we don't have to worry so much about which phase lanes will end and which ones will start. It will purely be determined by proximity and you can get a good feel of your ships' range. It could also open some interesting research and faction differentiation options. For instance, the Vasari may have a starting advantage of higher phase jump range and could extend this further by research. That would sort-of override or partly obsolete their phase gates but would still be in line with their high-mobility theme.

The drawback is that it would be harder to form choke points and defend your empire effectively. But only to an extent. Enemies would still only be able to directly attack your fringe worlds and I think it's reasonable to expect players to protect those. This concept may also exacerbate the problem of planet bypassing. The enemy could reach your homeworld fairly easily by just passing through one or two planets on the way. Starbase destabelisation would hit them pretty hard though and you would have equal flexibility to move your forces to defense. Phase space inhibitors may also come in handy and could be available earlier in such a concept. So maybe not that massive a problem? Alternatively, one could increase the recharge time between phase jumps a bit to make this harder and introduce logistics structure to speed this up in own territory.

I probably didn't think of all the implications so happy to see it proven an impractical idea. But we are at the "crazy ideas" stage of development so I thought I might as well throw that idea into the ring.