First of all, thank you for a great game. But even great games can be better. After playing SR2020 for some time, there are some major things that I believe needs some rework, and that is first and foremost the way military units are acquired. How this works today doesn't on any level feel realistic. Basically it's to easy to acquire units. Even the smallest an most primitive nation can suddenly be producing the worlds most advanced weapons in a heartbeat (well, not exactly the truth, but it's not that far away).
So, what I think needs to be done, is a total rework in how this is done. Today, you just research or buy blueprints, and you have the most modern army the world has ever seen, if you just have some money to spare. As said, this is not very realistic. So my suggestions are as follow:
1 - Implementation of an open world arms marked.
An implementation of an open world arms marked would make the game more realistic compared as the world it is today in the real world. So the weapon producing nations offer their weapons on this marked, but only the weapon they want to sell and with restrictions to whom they want to sell weapons to and of what quality they weapons are. For example if you play as USA, you can select filters there you only offer the F-35 only to countries that you are allies with, while you offer the F-16 to other countries your at good terms with. Countries that you are not on very good terms on, but not exactly hostile to, you can offer even more primitive fighter planes, for example the F-4 or the F-5. The same goes of course for the AI countries.
So if a country wants to buy a unit from you, you get a dialogue where the terms of the contract is negotiated. Here the price set, which units and how many units they want to buy, and how fast you can deliver the units. If you agree to deliver the units immediately, you offer them units form your existing reserve pool. Else, you have to produce these units just as you would produce these units normally for your self. When the units are produced, the buyer gets a note that the units are ready to be delivered, and after a week or two, the buyer have their units as they do if they buy units in SR2020 today (units are not fully fit).
2 - Restrictions of the weapons tech trade
As said before, it's way to easy to acquire weapons technology in SR2020. The "Show me the money"-mentality is really boring, at least in my opinion. So I think this should be much more restricted then it's today. For example the worlds leading weapon producing power, the United States, they don't offer their most advanced weapon systems on the open marked (for example the F-22A Raptor), not even to their closest allies. The reason is clear, the US don't want to be confronted with their own finest weapons. So therefore, there should be even more difficult to acquire weapons technology then to acquire the weapons itself. So a country may for example buy F-35B's, but the technology (the blueprint) for the F-35B is not for sale.
3 - Implementation of a new fabrication system
Another big "problem" is how you produce units today. It's related to the other points I mention, technology. Today, you only have to have a fabrication plant, and you can build everything from Sopwith Camel to a B2 Spirit in the same fabrication plant. Not very realistic. So my suggestions here is that you implement a "generation system". For example, if you want to produce a 4th generation fighter plane, you need a 4th generation air fabrication plant. If you research weapons technology that allow you to build 5th generation fighter planes, you can't start producing them before you have a 5th air fabrication plant. And a 5th generation fabrication plant is of course much more expensive then a 4th generation fabrication plant both to build and maintain. The fabrications plants of course works backward, so that you can produce a 2nd or 3rd generation plane in a 4th generation fabrication plant and so on. And there should also be bonuses to produce older generation planes in a more modern fabrication plant, both to the prices of the units and how fast the units are fabricated, since the efficiency of a modern fabrication plant is higher then in an older fabrication plant. So not to let this being exploited, the prices of more modern fabrication plant, should be massively more expensive then prior generation production plant.
So while a nation easily can build them self a fabrication plant for, lets say, 1st generations planes and build large quantities of Mig-17's or F-86-Sabre's, it's not that easy for the same nation to suddenly produce 4th generation planes. Not only is the 4th generation planes more expensive both in building and in maintenance, but the biggest cost is the fabrication plant itself. And therefore smaller nations, as in real life, is better of buying military units form bigger and military producing powers, then producing these units them self. For the bigger nations, the sales of the weapons is a way to finance new technology and more modern fabrication facilities.
4 - Buying production licenses
An other mean of obtaining units can be to buy production licenses where you buy the right to produce, in your own fabrication plants, units you don't have the blueprints for (you still need the fabrication plants requirements when it comes to the "generation system". This will not give you the blueprints per say, but only the right to produce the unit for either a defined period or a predefined number of units. Of course you can "steal" the blueprints and start producing these unites outside the agreement, but this would give the country that you bought the license from, a great casus belli against you.
5 - Handling damage to units and "spoils of war".
I Also think that there should be implemented a modification to the damage system. In todays armies, large quantities of their military units are not usable because of maintenance related reasons. If an army can keep 2/3 of their military units operational, the army is in good shape. In 2020, you always have 100% of your units operational unless theres direct battle damage. So I think that there should be to stats when it's comes to units. One, as today, which represent the total number of objects in the unit, but also one that represent the shape of this unit. The better maintained the units are, the better the shape the units are, even if the unit have taken some losses in battle.
But while the shape of the units can be improved basically by repairing it, either buy increasing the maintenance or select repair, the number of objects in the unit has to either be produced or bought. This way you not only makes it harder to replace losses, but it also opens up an option of embargo towards a country at war. For example, I country allied to you (you as the US) is attacked by a country that has a lot of US-equipment, you have the option to force an embargo against this aggressor. With that action, the aggressor can't replace the lost objects in units based on US-technology (unless the aggressor have the means to produce these them self or can acquire these from other nation with the same technology and production capacity).
Also, I believe that there should be possibles to salvage unites on the battlefield. After an engagement, the victory gets a few battle trophies that may be repaired and used against their former owners. I also think that when you produce units, you should be able to choose if you want to produce a complete unit of planes or tanks, as you do today, or just one single plane or tank (for example to replace lost units).
Other things that I want to see from your future projects, is games like SR2020, but with more focus on intelligence. I also would love that the SR2020 grew in size (the timeline) but not by increasing the timeline towards the future, but more towards recent past. Think SR1950 which goes from 1950 and continuous into todays SR2020.
Talk about on-going development of Supreme Ruler 2020 here. What would you like to see in updates or in a future Supreme Ruler title?
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