Before launching into a large number of ideas and suggestions, I think it is important to restate how strong the PA engine is, and that at this point adding and refining unit designs and mechanics is likely to be considerably less work than the outstanding Uber devs have done to create this engine for the community. That being said, I think I am not alone in my belief that many battles in PA feel... vacant. The future of PA needs to channel Total Annihilation, and Zero K, to focus on delivering compelling gameplay and land battles with strategic importance and weight, rather than bombastic explosions, smashing planets, and gimmicky enormous super units. There are other threads that are principally focused on "expansions" or terrain or maps or lobby options or other features, and that's fine. But I think PA's engine is already vastly more than good enough to implement a system of units and mechanics as robust as Zero K's. It is simply a question of gameplay design, unit roles, and the design niches that units are intended to exhibit. PA's system need not be in any way similar to Zero K's, but a similar design process of building and growing out subtle and distinct unit roles and behaviors is called for. Fundamentals Returning to fundamentals- the land war in PA should be the centerpiece of the game, not super units and not planet smashing. The goal should be that a battle on a single planet be an interesting game. If a battle on a single planet is boring, adding more planets will not help. Major fundamental points; bigger planets, slower unit movement, reduced access to "strong" vision such as advanced radar, and less spastic, slower economic progression. If there are performance issues with huge planets then unit speed and distances should just be reduced to make maps bigger in terms of time and granularity. Simple experiment; slow down unit movement, shrink most vision and weapon ranges, and abolish Advanced Radar (especially the enormous space variant). Huge radar ranges in particular are a really bad feature that should be either completely removed, or severely changed. My preference is to have radar only work on air and space units, in which case it can keep its range, as long as it doesn't give you actionable targeting information about every land unit and structure for long-range targeting. I cannot be the only player who finds PA's economy to be... hyperactive. I don't have an easy fix for this, but it is a significant problem. The best solution I can think of is to just crib notes from Zero K about the economy progression. A \choice like constructing a huge energy generator should be an expensive, intentional strategic choice with short-term weakness and long-term booming. PA's economy is so hyperactive even constructing energy and factories are APM sinks rather than a considered choice. Unit & Weapon Interactions Complex interactions between units and compositions of units is something Zero K does very well, and I think PA needs to think hard about how to introduce that kind of emergent complexity of battles. I think it is important to reiterate that the point is categorically not to focus on micromanagement of a small number of units, but rather that a battle is many small pieces interacting in ways that are somewhat deterministic but too complex to be predictable in advance. For example, auto-skirm AI in Zero K results in a high amount of emergent complexity; a very simplistic automatic behavior used by both sides makes for a complicated and interesting battle. There are many types of "combat" units in PA but for the most part they do not feel strategically different from one another. Seldom does an X lose, but if only you had made Y, or used X with maneuver Z, with the same circumstances, you would have won. Doxes and Ants are fundamentally quite similar, and even if some units have more hitpoints or have longer range, they don't fundamentally behave that differently from each other or have a clear battlefield role as distinct from other roles. There are any number of ways to differentiate units, but as one hypothetical, suppose the tank-class units such as the Ant had their weight class increased; several times higher cost, several times more firepower and armor. Suppose further tanks had high top speed but slow turn rate and slow turret turn rate. Tank cannons with greater range and damage, with small splash and shot dispersion, but quite slow rate of fire. In battle a unit like the Ant would want to be supported by a more maneuverable and more versatile fighter like the Dox as a front line combatant, and avoid being surrounded by enemy Dox. Or, alternatively, a large group of tanks on the charge would be ideal for cracking a fortified position due to packing a high amount of strength in a small space. In brief, in Zero K a mixture of almost any two unit types will function and play radically differently if you swap out one of the types. In PA you will be hard-pressed to find a ground army composition that materially changes how that force is used. Scouting and Artillery Reduced access to strategic vision / huge area-of-effect detection will mean you need to place actual forces in key locations to detect enemies and keep those areas clear. Scouts or very small combat forces are most effective for this job. Indirect fire weapons such as artillery should have tremendous, strategic range, but significant drawbacks that make them unusable as direct combat weapon. Currently, weapons like Pelters are astonishingly accurate, and do not really have strategic range. That, plus the ease of access to radar detection at distance means despite their description and visual appearance, they don't really behave like true artillery, but more like a turret. Suppose for the sake of argument Pelters and other artillery had its range doubled, and its shot dispersion increased so dramatically that it cannot even consistently hit a specific building. Against a large group of units or structures, you should hit something. Weapon inaccuracy in general should be pretty common, to a greater or lesser extent for different units, and I know for a fact the engine can already implement inaccurate fire. In general artillery should be an aggressive weapon, requiring scouting and offensive target selection, and not just accurately fire at anything in range until it is gone like a base defense turret with extended range. Granted, certain types of artillery like cruise missiles might be very accurate, and pay for the privilege with resource cost or other drawbacks. But typical shell artillery like Pelters should be very inaccurate, intended to splash rounds against large forces and bases from extreme distances. Space Mechanics I think space as a whole and space units should be completely overhauled. As it now stands, space units are essentially just a second air layer. Spacecraft are small, speedy, numerous, and annoying to manage. Space management is mostly a means to an end of facilitating or blocking planet smashing or interplanetary missiles/artillery, rather than a primary mode of gameplay. I propose that the entire orbital layer be redesigned to be space ships, more in line with naval vessels than aircraft. Spaceships should be huge, expensive, powerful assets, and it makes more sense for these to be major investments due to their strategic importance of traveling between planets, than surface super units. Further, airplanes should all be made into "suborbital" planes; essentially they should be able to fight in both the surface and space environments. A plane launched from the surface can fly up into space and fight a spaceship, and conversely a plane launched from a spaceship can fly down to the surface and bomb something. Early game orbital is restricted to a T1 poor unit cannon; one-way and does not create an additional controllable orbital unit in space like a single-unit transport. The obvious move is to send a constructor and build on-site, resulting in a surface war. Midgame, space ships should be constructed in orbit at an orbital shipyard. Ships are the only units that can travel independently between planet orbits, and can never land. They are extremely large, expensive, and tough individual units, but are vulnerable to anti-ship missiles fired from the surface, other ships (i.e. destroyers / battleships), or aircraft. Space carriers (aircraft) and assault ships (land units) are integral for staging surface warfare from orbit, but are vulnerable to more combat-oriented ships and should be escorted as part of a fleet. And late game the players are using celestial bodies themselves as weapons, including using Halleys and massed interplanetary missiles and artillery. When an enemy world is too heavily defended for any conventional attack to be practical, hit it with a planet. It's the only way to be sure. Conclusion I feel like Zero K has done the most to advance the Total Annihilation gameplay of any of TA's family of games, and that PA has the best engine ever for creating a TA-style game. However the current selection of PA units and mechanics and the way they interact feels like Total Annihilation with a hyperactive economy, poor unit diversity, and great emphasis placed on Krogoths and superweapons (i.e. planet smashing). Those aren't the things that made TA great, and virtually all matches in any TA-style game are decided long before those things can ever be constructed. Would it be possible to take a step back, and revisit some fundamental features of PA like radar? How space combat is basically the same as air combat, but for some reason on a different layer? Or how the combat units are just not that different from one another? If it would be possible to fuse the gameplay and mechanics innovation of Zero K with the engine of PA, that truly would be the greatest TA-style game ever created.