These are just a few ideas that may be obvious things that bast has already decided he will implement, but hopefully some of these ideas may help. And Before you start blasting me about how bast won't ever put a pvp element into my colony, you should check the updates and announcements page under update 75, since bast includes the possibility of a pvp element with federations.
The ideas below represent an entire concept when applied together. This is how I would implement pvp between federations in my colony, but like all of my other concept ideas, it's mainly here to present new thoughts to the developer on how certain concepts could come together, and I don't expect him to just take this entire concept and put it in the game.
First off, I think that any pvp feature should be optional, just as bast said. But I do think that there should be some risk involved with enabling pvp and joining in federation wars/rivalries. I don't think that the risk should be catastrophic, but being attacked by someone else should come with some major disadvantages.
I think that in order for a rivalry/war between two federations to continue, a certain percentage of the federation should be regularly and actively involved. This way, people have to be actively participating in the rivalry in order for it to continue, so time and effort would need to be put in. While a rivalry is going on, all colonies in those federations are given buffs that increase income and production speeds of certain resources, so a rivalry would be good for business, as it also is in real life.
However, those that chose not to participate in a rivalry will not benefit at all from any benefits that come about by attacking enemy colonies, only active colonies do. This way there will be no freeloaders. I also think that there should be a cooldown timer that forces players to remain pvp active for a while after they've attacked another colony. This way colonies can't attack other colonies and then quickly disable pvp mode to avoid retaliation. However, if you accidentally enable pvp and haven't attacked anyone, you can immediately disable pvp. I also think that each colony should only be able to have one debuff affecting them at a time, but they could have multiple buffs in effect. Any further attempts to double-debuff an enemy would result in the attacker wasting a debuff chance and using resources that they could have used on another target.
Now, here comes a system of buffs and debuffs that I think would fit the pvp feature nicely. With these status effects, each colony could specialize in a certain kind of attack, or take on a certain support role in a rivalry, thus adding a bit of an rpg element to this system, but shouldn't need to get too in depth or complex with it. Below is a system of classes, point systems, and buffs and debuffs that a player can cast on other friendly or enemy colonies. Bear in mind that in order to receive a buff or debuff, you need to be in pvp mode. All buffs and debuffs require certain buildings in order to be unlocked and improved, and the best status effects require more complex buildings.
There would also be four different scores attributed to each colony that tell what kind of contribution that colony makes to the war effort and what their specialty/class is. Each class would be specified by a certain building, and only one of six of these buildings can be constructed at once in a colony. Whichever building is built determines the war class of the colony and what it specializes in. The buildings can be upgraded in tiers, giving more and more unique advantages for each tier, but also becoming more expensive. The classes are as follows:
A vanguard heads straight in and attacks the enemy headlong, splitting their focus between offense and defense. They can be capable attackers and defenders, but would more often than not pose as a distraction to the enemy, spreading their attacks and defenses onto multiple colonies at once with the splitter cast, and protecting themselves with the feedback loop cast. They focus on collecting offense and defense points.
Unique advantages: the vanguard's unique advantages focus on reducing the durations of all debuffs that they are targeted with, reducing buff/debuff cooldowns, increasing the amount of targets that a vanguarde can hit with the splitter cast, and on the highest tier, enabling the vanguard to attack an enemy and "taunt" them, thus forcing them to target the vanguard for their next attack. The taunt can also be used in combination with splitter to affect multiple enemies, forcing them all to wait on each other to take turns attacking the same vanguard before they can target another colony.
An empowerer is good at preparing their allies for an initial attack on an unsuspecting enemy. The buff their allies to strengthen them for the battle to come, and they join the ranks of vanguards in attacking and distracting the enemy. The Empowerer can counter some debuffs with buffs, but it proves to be a very inefficient counterer and can easily be picked out by an assassin if it causes too much bother in the heat of battle. It's best for this class to do all of it's buffs before battle and save the debuffs until the heat of battle. An empowerer will rack up offense and utility points, with relatively few defense points.
Unique advantages: The empowerer's unique abilities focus on buff potency, the amount of targets that splitter can reach, duration reduction to any debuffs that it experiences. And on the highest tier buildings, Empowerers gain a 1 in 5 chance to apply a buff to themselves automatically if they cast that same buff onto an ally without negating a debuff or being negated by a debuff. This allows the Empowerer to easily empower themselves while they are empowering other colonies in preparation for a battle, but doesn't help the empowerer during the heat of battle.
An assassin makes calculated strikes. Their attacks are very potent and can be made even more potent thanks to the charge cast. They are often supported by vanguards that strike before the assassins to get the initial attention from the enemies. They need not worry about protecting themselves in battle because of this. Even if they are attacked, they can retaliate quickly by using the dimensional reflection buff, thus giving their enemy a taste of their own medicine. An assassin can be good at countering buffs with debuffs, but not as effectively as they can attack an unprotected enemy. This class will have mostly offense points, with a little bit of silencer points as well.
Unique advantages: the Assassin's unique advantages focus on debuff potency and cooldown, dimensional mirror cooldown and cost reduction, increased potency and decreased cooldown on a buff affected by the charge cast, and on the highest tier, giving the assassin the ability to attack an enemy with an "evasive" attack, thus forcing the enemy to not be able to retaliate against the assassin for a certain amount of time. The enemy can target other colonies during that time though, just not that particular assassin.
The counterer focuses on offense and defense. They use their casts to negate a buff or debuff. They use the splitter and feedback loop buffs to cast negating buffs and debuffs onto themselves and other allies. The assassin might target a counterer with a potent attack at just the right time, during the counterer's cooldown time, if the counterer becomes a bother to it's enemies. So learning when to take action to help your allies and when let up for a while to lose attention from enemy colonies is a must for this class. The counterer gains equal amounts of defense and silencer points.
Unique advantages:The counterer's unique advantages focus on cooldown and resource cost reduction to all buffs and debuffs, increasing the amount of extra targets that splitter can give you, and on the highest tier, a counterer can "silence" an enemy, preventing them from attacking or defending any target for a duration, if they successfully negate that enemy's debuff or buff. The silence effect has a 1 in 5 chance of happening for each successful counter.
The healer is solely a supporter and defender, defending colonists by negating debuffs with their buffs and using buffs on allies just as utilities to boost their performance. The healer gives potent buffs and defenses to other players and is the pillar that holds up the federation in the war. They can use the charge cast to further increase the potency of a buff, which they would use to further strengthen allies. Assassins will target these the most to slow them down so the enemy will be without support, and counterers can also silence Healers by negating their buffs with debuffs. But healers are really good at empowering all of the other classes, which in turn will retaliate if one of their healers is attacked. The healer focuses on collecting defense and utility points.
Unique advantages: The healer's advantages focus on buff potency and cooldown, increased potency and decreased cooldown effects of the charge buff on all buffs, and on the highest tier, if they successfully counter a debuff with a buff, that buff's cooldown is reduced by 75%, allowing them to deal large amounts of counters in rapid succession as long as their buffs aren't re-countered/negated by an enemy.
The Commando is like an empowerer in that it buffs allies in preparation for battle, but instead of joining in the frontline assault like empowerers, commandos hide under cover of distraction and take out enemy defenses with tactical casts. They are extremely efficient with countering buffs with debuffs, yet they can't defend allies against debuffs. The commando is the hardest class to play as their position on the battlefield is an awkward one. And while they are really good at ripping enemy defenses away and preparing allies for battle, they themselves can't directly attack or defend anyone. Only choose this class if you're experienced with the pvp feature and your federation needs people of this class, otherwise you'll find yourself having a really bad experience with the pvp element.
Unique advantages: The commando looses the ability to buff people that are already affected with a debuff and the ability to debuff an enemy that's not protected by a buff, and debuff potency and duration is set to 0 so that if a commando successfully negates a buff, the debuff doesn't affect the enemy as an attack like it regularly would. This forces the commando into it's role turns debuffs solely into a means of breaking defenses instead of attacking directly. The commando also gets cooldown reduction to all debuffs, buff potency, increased splitter targets, and on the highest tier structure, the commando has a 1 in 5 chance of completely removing a buff or debuff's cooldown after casting it successfully. This means that the commando can hit many more targets than any other class in a period of time, allowing it to somewhat carpet-bomb enemy defenses or empower massive amounts of allies before the battle.
Major Benefits in participating in PVP: As factions war against each other, the colonies contributing to the war effect will share in the spoils of war. In order for Federations to start a war, both Federations must fromt a certain amount of money, and then each week after that start of the war, that same amount of money must be paid by each federation. Each week, a tally would be taken of how many successful attacks and counters were dealt by each federation. Both numbers are added together to get the Federation's battle score, and the federation with the highest score wins all of the money from all participating federations for that week. This can be used in a free-for-all war that includes multple federations as well as just a regular rivalry between two federations, and the war can continue as long as the federations want it to continue, provided they have enough money to put forward. The winning federation is required to split the winnings among it's participating colonies, but how much a percentage of the win that it keeps to itself is optional. Just bear in mind that nobody will participate if there is not a big enough reward.
Benefits of debuffing enemies: When you debuff an enemy that doesn't currently have any status effects without being negated, you permanently gain a small amount of potency towards the debuff you casted and you get offense points that go to your offense score, which can be seen by other members of your federation. If you successfully negate a buffed enemy with a debuff, you gain silencer points towards your silencer score that other members can see and you permanenty gain a very small percentage chance of not being negated each time you cast a debuff or buff, even if your buff or debuff was countered correctly by a defending enemy(this also applies to buffs/debuffs casted with feedback loop). Finally, if you successfully negated a buff or debuff that negated your original buff/debuff on the same enemy, you will gain 2x silencer points and you get 2x more percentage added to your negation-block chance.
Brownout: Forcefully syphon energy from your enemy to temporarily add to your power capacity. Is negated by the Syphon buff but can negate the repair nanites buff. Casting this debuff successfully without having it negated will permanently add a 2% increase to the caster's power capacity that scales with their power capacity.
EMP Blast: Blast your enemy with EMP waves that temporarily damage power producing buildings, causing a complete power blackout. the effects of the emp blast are shorter in duration than the brownout, but cannot be countered by simply increasing power production like brownout could. Negates the Syphon Buff but is negated by the repair nanites buff. Successfully casting this debuff without negation would award the caster with a permanent 2% faster build speed on all power producing buildings.
Plague: Inflict an enemy with a nasty plague that lowers the health of it's colonists over time. By treating the population of that colony like guinea pigs, you gain a boost towards research production. A plague will never kill a colonist directly, the lowest that a plague would bring a colonist would be 5%. This is avoid any colony from dying out because of warfare. Negated by the healing nanites buff but negates the probiotic bursts buff. Successfully casting this buff without negation will grant the caster a 2% increase in build speed of hospitals and scientific structures.
Famine: Target your enemy's food supply and reduce the amount of food they produce for a time. Negated by the probiotic bursts buff but negates the healing nanites buff since people can't heal without eating food. Successfully casting this buff without negation will grant the caster a permanent 2% increase in food storage.
World eater: You release a rare silicon-based life form that eats stone and metal into your enemy's colony. The creature quickly reproduces and infests all of the enemy's ore mines, viciously attacking the miners.. The enemy suffers a substantial reduction in production rates from any structure that relies on holes in the ground, including excavation sites, core mines, regolith extraction co.s, fracking plants, etc. The world eaters are trained to build storehouses for the ore they collect and share it with their masters. Successfully casting this debuff without having it negated will permanent multiply the attacker's total storage capacity for raw resources by 1.02, thus adding an extra 2% capacity in relation to the capacity they already have. This scales with resource capacity and applies to all resources that come from the ground, including alien arts, ore, gold, ura, alu, rego,
Tectonic disruption: Pummel your enemy with earthquakes that make working in tall buildings extremely hard. The target suffers reduced work productivity depending on how potent your attack is and can't build or destroy any buildings during the duration of the debuff. Successfully casting this buff without negation will grant the caster 2% faster construction of any structure that classifies as a tall building.
Splitter: A very costly and high tech buff that allows you to direct your buffs and debuffs toward two targets at once. In order to successfully target two allies/enemies with a particular status effect, you need to cast splitter on both targets in rapid succession(casts are no more than 5 minutes apart), otherwise the splitter buff/debuff would be wasted on only one target and the caster would have to wait the long cooldown in order to cast it again.
Category: Offensive Warfare
Malicious Sanctioning campaign: you target an enemy with a campaign to invite it's population to immigrate to your colony, thus leaching population away from them. Requires tons of civics to cast and a colony would have to be well established in order to have access to this attack and would need to have tons of space for new colonists. Negated by the repopulate buff but negates the Friendly sanctioning buff. Once a caster's housing space is filled up, the campaign will be ended, thus avoiding any homeless people. Successfully casting this debuff without running out of housing space or being negated will grant the caster a 2% increase in build speeds on all housing structures.
Category: Political Warfare
Purge: Purge your colony of any overly complacent colonists, forcing them to immigrate to your enemy. These colonists will immigrate to the enemy regardless of whether they have housing room or not. If the enemy doesn't have housing room, the immigrants because homeless and detract from their happiness score. This buff requires a lot of civics and would have a huge cooldown. Successfully casting this debuff would grant the caster a 2% increase in build speeds for all tourism structures.
Category: Political warfare
Blockade: Block and enemy's trade via gbt and all import/export/immigration buildings other than the Stargate. is negated by the subspace detour buff but negates the hyperspace transport buff. Requires starships to cast. During the blockade, the prices of all of the import/export stuctures besides your highest tier import/export building(stargate for humans) are reduced by 20% and the rewards gain from the exports are increased by 20%
Category: Economic Warfare
Subspace disruption: Disruption your enemy's Stargate connection, rendering their most advanced immigration and trade building useless. Negates the subspace detour buff but is negated by the hyperspace transport buff. During a disruption, your highest tier import/export building gains a 20% import price reduction and a 20% export reward increase.
Category: Economic Warfare
Benefits of buffing allies: There are good benefits to turning your colony unto a support colony that buffs it's allies. When you successfully negate a debuff, you permanently gain a small amount of resistance to the debuff that you negated, and you get defense points that go to your overall defense score that other members can see. When you cast a buff onto an ally while they aren't affected by any status affects, then you gain points towards your utility score, which other members can see as well, and you gain a potency increase to that buff.
Syphon: You temporarily sacrifice a portion of your power to add to an ally colony's power levels. Designed to negate the brownout debuff as long as the caster has enough extra power to successfully supplement that colony's needs as well as the extra demand for power that the brownout debuff adds. Unfortunately, the emp burst debuff negates this buff.
Repair nanites: sends a swarm of nanites to repair any damage in an ally's technology caused by an EMP blast, immidiately negating the debuff. The brownout debuff destroys these nanites as the high electric demand causes electronics to overheat, vaporizing the nanites as they try to fix the damage. One side effect of getting hit with this buff is that they repair damage caused by other means, thereby repairing building infrastructure by a significant percentage.
Healing nanites: you send a swarm of healing nanites to an ally colony to heal it's occupants. Completely negates the plague debuff, but is negated by the dyson sphere debuff. Hospitals also heal sick colonists faster depending on buff potency.
Probiotic bursts: gives an ally colony rapid food production for some time. This buff requires a large amount of food and water to charge, but when casted onto an ally colony, it releases massive clouds of genetically modified probiotics in the atmosphere, which help crops grow fast. negates the dyson sphere debuff, but is negated by the plague debuff.
Ultrasonic resonance: Blast your ally with ultrasonic waves that purify the earth of any world eaters. Obviously this counters the world eater debuff. The resonance shakes ores and minerals loose from the rocks for easier collection. This adds a significant boost to production in all buildings that rely on holes in the ground. However, this buff does nothing against the tectonic disruption debuff.
Cryonic infusion: calm an ally's planet down with the freezing power of cryo-science. Negates tectonic disruption, but world eaters are impervious to the extreme cold. The severe cold causes blue crystalline to grow on the surface of the planet, no matter what planet it is, and there is a percentage chance for each lava tile on a lava map to instantly turn into obsidian. Both of these benefits depend on buff potency.
Repopulate: you sacrifice a portion of your population to save an ally from dying off by repopulating their colony. No resource or tech requirements. Not designed to negate any debuff, but designed to prevent any colony from dying off. This is a very low tier buff, and would be the first buff to be unlocked, so it really shouldn't be possible to kill off an enemy colony to where they can't recover, since they could always get reinforcements from allies. In fact, I could see some colonies specializing in this buff by increasing their population size way beyond their population requirements. Negates the sanctioning campaign debuff but people won't want to move to that colony if it been afflicted by a purge from another colony.
Category: Political Warfare
Friendly Sanctioning campaign: Help your ally by welcoming all of their homeless into your colony. The buff only stops when either the caster runs out of housing or the target runs out of homeless. negates the Purge debuff but is negated by the Malicious sanctioning debuff.
Category: Political Warfare
Subspace detour: Allow your ally to connect to your gbt via their stargate, thus allowing them to make trades. This negates a blockade debuff, but is negated by the subspace disruption debuff. Side effects from this buff include a reduced cost in civics for each gbt transaction and the reduction of cost and increase of reward from importing/exporting from the stargate or highest tier import/export building, depending on buff potency.
Wormhole: You create a wormhole above your planet that links to a wormhole above your allie's planet. Because of this, allies can travel more effectively without the need of a stargate. Negates subspace disruption but is negated by blockade. Has the same effect on gbt as subspace detour, but applies the cost and benefit modifiers to every tier other than the top tier import/export building.
SOS: This buff can only be applied to the colony casting it. It's basically a cry for help. Other allies can see a list of SOS reports for their federation and see the colony being attacked and identify the attacker. Afterward they can proceed to buff their ally in danger, or retaliate against the attacker with a debilitating debuff. There is no requirement or cost to cast this buff, you just have to have a communications device, consulate, or capital.
Category: Defensive Warfare
Feedback loop: Can only be applied to the caster, casting requires large amounts of power and the tech required with be pretty high to unlock this buff. Once this buff is casted, the caster can target themselves once with any buff, essentially being able to defend themselves instead of having to rely on another colony for counters. The feedback loop would come with a large cooldown, so the caster would have to choose wisely on.
Category: Defensive Warfare
Dimensional reflection: Reflect a buff or debuff back onto an enemy or ally, thus negating any effect on the caster completely and immediately. A high tech and a lot of resources required to cast this buff and comes with a long cooldown. This buff doesn't prevent an attack, you have to cast this buff during when you are experiencing a buff or debuff.
Category: Defensive Warfare
Charge: cast this buff before casting another buff or debuff to multiply the potency by 5. This also increases the cooldown of the buff being affected by 5. The most expensive buff in the game and comes with the highest cooldown.
Now with all of that out of the way, I want to remind everyone that I'm not expecting this whole beast of a concept to be plopped into the game. I hope that bast at least takes a consideration of the concept and uses pieces and parts from it, but I mainly just want to see the game grow to become more popular and hopefully some of my ideas play a part in making that happen. I will be making changes to this post to constantly refine it based on what I learn about what is feasible to do and what bast's plans are, so stay tuned.