Currently we have a few issues with regards to stations:
A. Static defenses are too weak to the point of being nearly meaningless.
B. AI does nothing to stop a player from sneaking in and destroying modules even solo as long as the place is not yet in combat.
C. Even when defended by players stations are vulnerable to people just ignoring the defense and suicide rushing to shoot modules.
I have some proposals to address these:
Make Static defenses actually hurt, maybe even give land bases torpedoes or something like that.
When players attack AI should spawn proportional amount of defensive units and if the attack is big enough, just straight up start a defensive battle.
Corvettes should be able to repair station modules and get rewards for it.
Modules should have some amount of regenerating shields that would prevent short term fire/glancing hits from doing damage to them but fail under sustained deliberate attack.
These changes should make bases harder to crack, although I do also suggest to maybe some sort of limited but regenerating respawn resource for a station so attackers could actually overwhelm the defenders(exhaust their ability to respawn there) and only then start destroying the station itself.
Station defences were at some point very dangerous to single capital ships. Those 6 platforms had that super powerful weapon with the big effect that did huge amounts of damage.
Wouldn’t work with the amount of players now but it did deter single ships or at least forced them to consider their approach.
Land bases never had those for some reason. Do land base defences even work currently? Weirdly I haven’t seen them fire in quite some time …
As for AI response. Back before the Early Access I myself was able to trigger Commander Response quite quickly and reliably. It wasn’t quick enough before I made my damage … yet not bad.
I guess about 3 to 5 minutes it took. Also, currently, battles have a countdown timer …
I am not sure the battle system should be touched now. It works quite alright and I am a bit afraid of it breaking.
I like the direction of the your station limit idea … yet I don’t like it being bound to some ticket system. As that requires player input for the match to progress. If the enemies fail for a certain amount of time then they should loose it nevertheless.
I think it should be more generic. Credits or resource based.
These things could cost the base resources:
Spawning ships on pads (not external reinforcements)
Recharching shields … as an alternative it could also just repair stuff. If shields are too confusing or hard to implement.
Maybe firing weapons or torpedoes, missiles.
Station module health seems good now. I strongly advise against changing that because the players need feedback as to how they are doing while destroying stuff. If health gets much higher, it becomes a grind to kill the stations.
Repair might look wonky but could work. If people keep bombing some spawn bays … so what? The station repairs it after a while. Allowing reinforcements to spawn.
It could decrease in battle progression now … with it always looking the same until suddenly the credits run out and the station then degrades … it just postpones the current situation.