Rework NPC spawning.
Over the course of Space Engineers development, we've seen a lot of progress and features added. However, little work has been done to revamp non-player ship spawning. Currently spawning is controlled by minimum and maximum spawn time variables weighted by the user-defined probability of a spawn group being selected. NPC spawning falls into the following categories: cargo ships, encounter ships, pirate antennas, cargo pods, NPC characters (spiders, wolves).
The first rework should be the unification of NPC, non-character spawning. Cargo ships can have randomized inventories. This feature should be consistent among all ship spawns. Encounter ships and pirate spawns cannot have randomized cargo inventories.
Player influence: actions and achievements of players in the game has no bearing on how often or what kind of spawns are created. In the game world, there are several variables that could be made available to spawning to influence which spawn groups are released near specific players. The game world keeps track of how much time a player has been alive in a world. This is accessible for respawn ship cooldown periods. The game world can also keep track of how many specific block types have been built or possessed by a player. These statistics can be used to regulate or balance what kind of or how many ships are spawned in relation to the player's progress. In setting up the game world, they should accessible to the game engine to make spawning decisions.
Finally, these processes should be reprogrammed in such a way that the spawning engine itself can be MODDED. The algorithms should be moddable in C# and the ability to override them from the workshop or local mods should be available. The algorithm set by Keen is great as a simple example of how NPC ships can be triggered. More complex or targeted methods should be executable. Being able to control this aspect of the game can significantly change the outcome of a game and the level of play and enjoyment from players, especially in multiplayer situations.
By making spawning an "open" system, alternative set-ups can be implemented and even best-of-breed solutions can organically bubble up from the community rather than Keen investigating and investing man-power to rework one possible solution, Keen can create a tool-set that enables content creators to do what they do best, challenge/change the system.