Arioch wrote:Iceball and Ocean worlds are kind of in a different classification...
For this it might be worth considering how the game will 'flow' in play and what the player is likely expecting to see, and then
rationalising the in-lore process behind it. Rather than starting with the process and trying to make the gameplay fit around it.
For instance, having an ocean world change into an island world is not 'realistic'. But it's also something the average player will expect to be able to do because it lines up with the expectation of being able to change worlds from one type to another in a 'logical' progression.
If oceans are left as an oddball classification which the player can't really do much with, it is likely that players could become frustrated with this aspect of the game because it's not behaving consistently to them.
If I were doing this, my approach would be to ignore the hard 'realism' in this instance in favour of looking at what kind of hab zones these worlds had.
And then linking them to the next closest type so there are no isolated 'special cases' that the player can't really do anything with.
So iceball I would link to glacier (vents + airless -> vents + ice) via some means of generating an atmosphere.
And ocean links to island (vents + ocean -> vents + ocean + reef) via some means of tectonic manipulation.
The former being more 'realistic' than the latter.
The endpoint being, that given a full tech tree the player can eventually
make use of and develop all worlds, regardless of which race they use.
It is still quicker and more efficient to secure different population types and use those, but it's possible
to do it alone simply to provide those toys (and a reason to use them) for the terraforming enthusiasts.