…And I thought my Civ IV - Realism Invictus mod addiction was bad. 3 Nights in a row where I was up playing until morning, exploring, doing bounties and finally getting the system I have 5 colonies in up to profitability.
All because the combat gameplay loop is fluffing fun, the map and system exploration is stupidly fun and now there’s the added loop of building a functioning colony. Which adds more gameplay due to having to deal with pirates, Luddic Pather terrorists and defending your worlds from expeditions sent out by the AI to mess with your colony’s industries that encroach on the AI’s share of the market vis the goods the colony is selling.
Doesn’t trigger war with the factions that send them, but you will take a -3 hit to relations each time you kill one of their fleets. Although once your colony’s are producing decent defensive fleets the salvage that results makes for excellent fleet building opportunities. Or if they only have 1 or 2 D-mods, and are cruiser sized or bigger, sold off for profit. Which has lead to me gaining a Paragon battleship and an Astral carrier :3
Of course though, to make ships and weapons, you need blueprints. Which now adds in a new gameplay loop where you end up hunting down blueprints. Done by exploring, since weapons caches, ruins and research stations can all have them as loot, fighting Remnant stations for the stuff they’re hoarding or raiding the AI faction’s worlds and stations for blueprints. Though that last one can wind up decivilising a world, allowing you to colonise it yourself or explore the ruins for potential blueprints.