After playing through a couple of long games, I'm comfortable saying the mechanics of SR2 are already strong and interesting. I am enamored with the diplomacy system and the focus on large strategic decisions, rather than micro-managment. However, I've realized what I really want are a few quality of life improvements.
- Improve the visualization on the research screen. It should be easier to tell what has and hasn't been researched at all levels of zoom. One idea I had that would keep the current feel, but I think be visually easier to decipher would be to "shrink" each of the research hexes so they are spaced away from each other. Then, once you've researched a tech the hex "grows" to its full size (the way things look now). This way continuous, unbroken tiles show you what you've researched, while smaller tiles that have empty space around them show you what you haven't completed yet.
- Make the customizable bars on the right-hand side permanent even when they show an empty list. It's annoying to know what I want, click on the correct list, but not have it show up because there aren't any items that fit in it at that moment. I want a simpler way to know which lists I have active, so make them permanent even if they are currently empty. Or add tick boxes to the drop down menu, anything that gives me some feedback that I have actually selected what I want.
- I'll put this one out there with the caveat that I realized I wanted it after I played last night, but I haven't checked to make sure it isn't currently available. I want an easy way to see what planets I've discovered but haven't colonized. So when I'm hunting for a food or tier 1 resource to level up my homeworld, I don't have to scour each of 30 different star systems to make sure I didn't miss a planet that can help me now.
- Give me a clear visualization in the planets tab that separates my planets based on the trading territory they occupy. Admittedly, I don't know how trading territory is determined (it seems to be voodoo as far as I can tell), but when I colonize outside of my current trading territory I don't want to have to fight the UI trying to figure out which planets can actually trade resources with each other. I want to be able to make my planet leveling decisions simply and quickly. So add another overlay to the planets tab that separates the planets based on the trading territory they occupy (or make it part of the default behavior of that tab).