Hey and thanks for all the feedback.
Here's my thoughts:
1. I haven't considered reverting back to classic, coz I am liking maintance the way it is now. About Barren, if you say there is no atmosphere there, then I'd say that should increase maintance, for all the checks needed and repairs done to keep the infrastructure airtight. A costly affair imo.
2. What sets Tundra apart from a Desert is that it gives a substantial advantage to Aquatic races.
3. Idea of giving both barracks separate morale boni has been floating around at some point. But it's not a big ticket item. Rather, if any modding done in this department, I'd go for making possible some form of Tank Transport instead of regular Troop Transport ship if the colony has Armor Barracks.
4. The intention of removing MIRV from nukes was to make make this weapon less potent. And to make it harder to take down monsters, without buffing monsters further themselves. Taking the Guardian with EMG is a known way to beat it early*. In some earlier versions of ICE, EMG was placed higher in the tech tree and the Guardian had WAJ instead of MW ECM Jammer, but these changes have been reverted since I didnt want to close this funky road to victory. Btw, afaik MIRV was not intended to be enveloping.
: since you need at least Pulson missile to beat the Guardian in ICE, it's markedly less 'early' than in classic.
5. Such modding was done in the "Defensive Anti-Blitz mod", which can be found on moo2mod.
In ICE, planet defenses hits have been increased by 20%.
6. Depth386 mod (available on civfanatics forum) and VDC mod (included in 1.50) have very different approaches to ship size class stats. Perhaps it's interesting for you to check out how those modes handle it.
Allright, just a few notes back from my side, again thanks for all your feedbacks, it's inspiring to know that people are still playing this old gem and thinking about improvements and changes to the game!
1., 2. True but then on the other hand toxic has a... toxic atmosphere anyways that you would want to keep out anyways, and afaik barren has a lower pop limit than tundra and desert anyways, so it has a drawback already, which you could imagine is related to the lack of an atmosphere and how they have to keep all the facilities airtight.
Regarding tundra and desert, yea I guess it's a matter of if you want to make aquatic more or less useful. On the other hand tundra is still
more useful even for non-aquatic races.
4. Well that's funny since I did manage to kill the guardian in ICE-X with emg or mirv+emg merculite missiles, I just sacrificed a battleship by self destructing it next to the guardian on one side, depleting its shield on that side, and then parking another battleship in the same spot and destroying it with it alone. So at least I didn't need pulson missiles there.
On the other hand the very fact that you allow "funky" ways to get ahead in the game, and take advantage of these "imbalances" in the game, is one of the things that isn't my cup of tea but I understand.
5. I'd be interested to hear if there's like a rundown of the stat changes in that mod compared to original/1.50/ICE
6. Wasn't able to find depth386 and VDC has some good ideas, but there are some things that I kind of dislike about it.
Again it's hard to get a big picture or some kind of list as to how each patch differs from the original/1.50/ICE stats-wise, and also the other thing is that it's a lot more chaotic than your patches when it comes to minor details (ingame text formatting, lack of up-to-date or relevant info in text boxes) and the difficulty in figuring out just what kind of elements and what kinds of settings are in use in the different VDC modes or mods and maps.
Some examples are:
-The antarans would literally attack somebody every 2 or 3 turns.
-I would get phasor from a random event (crashed alien ship tech retrieval GNN news thing) in like the turn 70 (!)
-I would be unable to use the report function on other races. What's up with that? :D (though that brings me to a point about an idea I had regarding that, I will talk about it later on in the post.) I would also not be able to demand tech or exchange tech when I'm the one to initiate the request. They would be able to ask for tech from me in exchange for some of theirs as usual.
Some other things I kind of disliked are just some of the changes like an AI's rock-eating humans (lithovore), which might have been just a custom race thing, though I did play that game on average so I dunno if that's possible...
Another thing is the fact, understandable, but kind of unimmersive is how the different techs are all over the place in different fields (buildings that have more to do with biology in power etc.) and there is no believable lore-related naming of the different tech levels or whatever they're called.
Some changes I did like, like Meklars that can benefit more from their +2 production by being tolerant but on the other hand having -0.5 tax, and thus being more suited for a race that doesn't build lots of planetary buildings that help with fp/pp/rp or defense but instead has to rely on a bigger or better fleet and aggression compared to a typical race.
Anyways I've been thinking about whether it's possible to mod the game in such a way that there would be two drastic gameplay-affecting changes to the game that would get rid of two core elements from the management-side of the game entirely.
The changes would be that population growth would be flat regardless of the amount of population on a planet, and the other that production stockpiling wouldn't be a thing at all.
With these two changes to dumb-down the management (at least the micromanagement) of the game, the game would probably become more strategic, for example if you couldn't just suddenly switch what you're building into something totally different such as a battleship, 1 turn before it would be too late to get the finished battleship to intercept an enemy attacking a system of yours for example. Instead you would have to figure out and anticipate how strong of a ship you need at a given moment in time into the future
At the same time, the dumbing-down of population growth and removal of production stockpiling would make turns faster and less about micromanagement for optimal performance, which is exactly what I would like, and would again make the game more about strategy rather than management. It is a bit like choosing between the two sometimes, and this is what I would prefer.
Edit: I guess I could also add that you should be able to cancel building one thing and start building another, so switching would be allowed but you would not be able to transfer the pp stockpile into that new thing that you're building from what you were building prior to the switch and thus losing the pp's (the stockpile) that you gained so far building the previous thing, unless perhaps you switch back to building the thing you were building prior to the switch during
the same turn.
Also since it seems to be possible to disable the report function in the races screen, like I mentioned before, it would be pretty cool if instead you would need a certain amount of spies (espionage, sabotage or hide) in an enemy empire to be able to get a report from them. I also remember reading in the report screen's info (by right clicking) perhaps when using ICE mod, that there was supposed to be a date
or age of the report item of some sort on the report window. Maybe that thing could be activated, and the number of spies you have in said empire determines how often you get a new report (every 10 turns for 1 spy, 5 for 2 or every turn for 3 spies for example.) I think there is one unused text box on the left side of that screen anyways that was probably intended for showing the date of the report anyways, who knows. Maybe you can request tech exchange or demand tech that you can see in the report. So for example if the report is 10 turns old, you can only request tech that they had at that point. I'm not sure how this could be done for the AI if one wanted (well I want to make AI opponents as human-like as possible), maybe it could be made the same for AI, that they could only request tech that they know you have based on the date of the report, so for example if they have 2 spies (espionage, sabotage or hide) in your empire, they would be able request a tech exchange/demand a tech that they know you have had for 5 turns at least.
Damn I just spent a long time writing a long ass post and sent it and it just didnt appear here... .................................................. Maybe I'll rewrite it sometime again but thanks for the reply anyways.
Always copy your meaningful text somewhere till you see it appear in thread, GOG forum engine is shit and disaster.
On a brighter side: you can already introduce most of your ideas posted here into some mode of your, using 1.50's capabilities. Thought it will be technically a waste of time, regarding changes per se
; it could be a good learning practice for Config managing.