I like that GC3 expanded max map size to keep pace with the ever-expanding RAM and other computer capacities. I really enjoy playing big maps, as I enjoy exploration and expansion that smaller maps don't offer. However, some elements of GC3 deterred from the enjoyment of playing larger maps for me that I hope might get improved in GC4:
- Spammy lists requiring lots of scrolling, in general.
- Selecting a ship was the biggest headache for me with this.
Each game would have different component loadouts on my ships due to such variables as the enemy loadouts I was facing and the net sum mass efficiency I would get which would include random events; almost never would a previous game's "min maxxed" ship be as optimally min maxxed for the current game, but all those previous game's min-maxed designs would populate into the current game as I research certain techs, creating spammy lists of ship designs not optimal for the current game and I would either have to scroll through, or spend time weeding out with obsoleting or deleting. Every time I'd research something (whether a new or improved component, or capacity optimizer allowing me to perhaps add more components), I'd need to enhance the design which generated a new ship design. This added a lot of unnecessary grind and necessitate a gameplay-interrupting list item management to delete or mark as obsolete old designs.
- Could ship designs perhaps get more streamlined in terms of updating and managing lists? Maybe when updating a current ship, instead of it adding to the scroll-spammy list, it could replace the previous version of the ship so the old, obsolete version won't remain until the player takes the extra step to delete or mark it as obsolete.
- Better search/sort/filter tools for each scrollable would also help, in general.
- I would occasionally find myself crunched on a particular strategic resource becoming a bottleneck (Duranium almost always the worst, as it would be rare to have more than one in mining range of a single starbase), research improved strategic resource mining tech, and then having to scroll through each starbase (a list that can get quite long with larger maps) to find those with that particular resource getting mined to build the improved mining upgrades. Would be less grindy if I could filter the list of starbases to find those that a) are mining that particular resource and have not yet had the latest mining upgrades.
- Planetary resources/Precursor artifacts were similar. Would be really nice to have some way of highlighting planets on the gameplay map (colonized or not) possessing a specific resource/artifact.
- "Don't blink, you'll miss it"
- While I know there are a lot of different mindsets that attract player to a TBS versus a RTS, I imagine a good chunk of us just don't produce enough or aren't interested in the APM = win. Important things that happen on the TBS play map shouldn't be easy-but-devastating-to-miss, then. High among this in GC3 (and in GC2 and GC1), especially on larger maps that would require you to spend time every turn observing your border every turn, are invading fleets of enemies you are at war with. Being able to highlight enemy (specifically at war with) ships and even maybe to track their observed movements could really help.