I just modded existing abilities to things like, increase hull by 10%, increase the tec maneuver skill by 10%, etc.
Changed the research trees and deleted most of the standard abilities.
So when you research you can go for hull or armor or the other main categories you allow and then when you upgrade your cap ship skills, you use the limited choices there to boost armor etc.
So there is an Armor I, Armor II, Armor III, etc. and same for the other ship stats. I didn't actually mod caps to spawn with already filled abilities--way over my head there for that.
To clarify, what Goa said at the end above there.
I made a map some time back where the Vasari player was on an isolated dead asteroid with a fixed fleet and only mil and only maxed out labs. I then created 9 AI/Player and planet centers with key stars set to be crossroads for trade fleets between them.
I'd play solo with them all on the max settings and try to poach their trade/refinery fleets to build my combat tech up and eventually amass a fleet with "Returning Armada" so i could move on to victory. The stars would be packed with trade and refinery ships as well as ever growing enemy fleets and at start my lone Jarasul with 0 credits and 0 resources would hit and run.
It was like being in Battelstar Galactica when they were running for their lives. Was actually a lot of fun.
I made a similar 'ability" concept in an online game concept I aplha'd and moderated years ago. I wanted everyone to have unique ships but they had to be simple for me to manage them So I Gave everyone an equal amount of "build points" and they bought the specific categories/levels for their ship. An example:
You get 20 points and the categories available are:
There has to be at least one in each category, so a ship might end up with:
- Damage- 12
I thought for a fast version of sins, simplifying abilities and ship hit points would make the game run smoothly and play faster.
Another way to go is to percent reduce the hulls, damage and the like. I'm not sure how that would work. I like the idea of player designed ships better myself but that's just me.
I love the idea of a Speed version of Sins.
FYI--I just am finishing repairing a map with "fixed resources" for a single player versus up to 8 human and one AI. I'm finishing it up now (stupid GF ate part of it). It's just for fun and will be up today as Prey Alone.