Why cant you build a star point for a station or a ship?I think what your talking about is balance which I agree it needs balance. My solution is to make import and export docks much more expensive,much larger size ,and crew dependent. It makes No sense I can spam export docks everywhere but not import. Planets are already obsolete mid game anyway.Only used for research pretty much.Import and export docks should be a rather large operation for a ship or station.Maybe should be a minimum size they can be used on as well.If I build a dock on a station then the same rules apply for a trade port on the planet(civilian ships being built,ect).
That's not enough balance. See the thing you are missing here is that planet slots are a limiter, they can only achieve a certain import rate (note import only, i'll discuss why in a second) and so that sets the overall cap for the economy. Now we are only worried about import rate because no matter how fast you can export, export does not allow you ship building capability, import on planets dedicated as ship factories is what limits the game. For this reason both BMS and ourselves have decided unlimited export via ship systems is acceptable but unlimited import is not because it makes the economics of the game completely obsolete.
Now how to introduce a ship system that will not completely replace planets? It has to be tied to something that can be limited, this either needs to be based on some intangible effect of some random aspect of your empire or we decided to base it upon planets and more specifically the mainstay of the economy the space port. The lore reason I gave for this on the dev forums (as we tend to do for realism sakes
) was that a spaceport can only land and maintain so many trader vessels, most of these are dedicated to the overall economy but some have no trade runs, now when you build an import station these traders with no jobs now have the task of running too and from that import dock wherever it may be, and so those spare pilots are now no longer available to service any other import station so you can only build so many.
Now limiting by cost and crew requirements is no limitation because those things are effectively unlimited, its a self propagating system which will grow exponentially and have no limit apart from the one we don't control of your pc's memory amount.
The reason its unbalanced is because of the population requirements. I think if we could decide what scale of a subsystem would need to be dedicated to 'civilian population' to be the equivalent of one planetary city it would help. Add food storage to ships after that (and probably farming) and the rest would be able to be figured out.
Again refer to the above, that still has no limitations (unless I'm on the wrong track from this for which I apologise.)
Yes but what your saying would apply to both import and export in space would it not?Right now you can do that with miners in different systems with no planets.They can mine asteroids from anywhere at an incredible rate directly into the bank.
Not from our point of view, in our point of view export docks use the local craft of the vessel to dump it at the local branch Space Vendor's R Us which then holds it till the traders come around ready to move it to where it needs to go. Import is waiting for a specific vessel to go to the nearest resource location, get the resources which are specifically needed and offload them.
My balancing suggestion would nerf space docks to where its not an issue.They would still be useful but there would also be a need for freighters.You could still solely rely on pure docks at the cost of most of your ship space(cost and space simulating the necessary infrastructure needed to operate the dock).So trade from ships and stations would be limited.
No it really wouldn't because player built freighters are flawed, they cannot cross gravity wells. There is no way we can improve upon them without well... doing something I'm not keen on doing and not even sure if its possible as it might clash with the AI scripts for AI based empires.
Also automation orders on freighters, that's not a problem our end that's a problem with how you are setting them up if they only unload a certain amount.
To sum it all up docks are the main stay of the economy, we introduced import docks as a way of allowing players to build remote construction ships and stations and to supplement orbital economy since freighters are not cross system. Whether export docks should have the same kind of limitation as import docks is something we might look at, but as it stands this is the best balance method we have found out of two or three we have tried under previous releases.