There may be the opportunity to expand on an existing feature - the derelict ship exploration event.
As it stands, if disovered the player is presented with the option to gain either money or research. Nothing wrong with that, it's simple and easy to parse.
If there were a desire to expand on this, a third option could be added to a number of these events where the derelict is intact enough to be explored.
And this might result in a number of outcomes, such as the ship being intact enough to:
- be recycled into useful materials (Gives money and metal)
- allow your explorer to add partial credit towards a single technology (weighted toward any 'unknown' equipment still on the ship)
- be recovered and reparied for your own use (Gives an almost empty hull)
Not all options will always be available.
The ships could be drawn from the Ashdar, Gremak and Human types (to represent the previous war), and could be any class from destroyer up to heavy cruiser. Any of the larger ships might be 'too much'. Although the larger ships could be included in any 'rolls' which do not allow the recovery option.
The ships themselves would be mostly empty of equipment, with only a few equipment slots being occupied, and incapable of independant movement until they are repaired at a colony.
To this effect, choosing to recover a derelict would add that ship to the scout's fleet and automatically set course for the nearest owned colony at a reduced speed as the scout tows the ship home.
It could then be refitted manually as if it were a captured ship.
It may also be useful to consider flagging any such ships so they only ever produce generic research progress if reverse engineered if you wish to prevent the player circumventing the initial exploration choice.
Not really a super important thing, but may be useful to add some 'fluff and flavour' to the game once more vital tasks are completed.