Air Lord, Engineering Corps
So, because it feels like people like the simple route on suggestions as opposed to large paragraphs i will keep this super short!
Dead zones. Landmasses sometimes contain these, they are areas where too many suspendium crystals were in the same alignment and over hundreds of years created dead zones where either suspendium is very rare/does not exist or just did not exist in the first place.
Most dead zones are rare, barren and are riddled with cracks and holes (from the suspendium repelling), not much grows here either (since most life seems to have evolved around suspendium, dragons for example. not enough suspendium to sustain them).
Dead zones create areas of effect (sometimes an entire map during a battle) where all suspendium craft lose a large portion of lift (from 60-98% lift?)
above the dirt.
When attacking places with these zones one must consider the new limitations of airships (as opposed to land ships, which don't use suspendium, giving a great advantage over airships)!
These zones add a huge variety of threats and opportunities ranging from new airship designs (and maybe less efficient/highly explosive hydrogen or helicopter like lift chambers) to a significant reason landships can be better than airships.
Towns and cities can also utilize dead zones to their great advantage by limiting the amount of airships in an invading force (at the cost of having troubles creating their own suspendium airships and damages to trade)!
I will add more onto this subject tomorrow, think of this as a rough sketch for now but i think this would be a great improvement to combat as it provides an entire new prospective when doing combat!
-edit- also if your going to say "but my airships will just smash into the ground when they go into combat", there is already a reserves button in the game as well as spies!
No ship will crash... In this areas, Maximum Ceiling can be reduce by X percent instead of fixed value.
I think those type of area can be neutral at the beginning of the campaign, leaving the same chances for all the Empires to capture it (these places will become easier to defend than the other cities).
I like this idea, it adds a good challenge to some games while still keeping within the game's lore.
I quite like that idea and would like to see it added along with the landships.
So, no rebuttals? Everybody is in agreement this is good/can't be improved?
Wow i was not expecting people to like this idea as much..
An area where airships don't work as well due to lack of suspendium WOULD be pretty cool! However, I think you may need to re-examine the 'barren wasteland' aspect you seem to be going for with them. According to the established lore, suspendium is actuall -hazardous- to normal life forms, since it builds up in cells and causes them to push apart, and that farming can be difficult in areas with suspendium in them. So in fact, rather than being barren wastelands, these dead zones would in fact more likely be verdant farmland or forests.
Ah good point, so the zones pretty much just replace all suspendium using life (dragons/wurms, the strange turtle things seen in the background) and replaces them with more earth-like life i suppose (is the world still earth in this game?).
So maybe then, because suspendium is cancerous to humans (i completely forgot that...) all large (maxed out) cities would be on dead zones making landships more of a Siege vehicle?
Well, that would require having some way to remove vast amounts of suspendium out of the city limits, most of which would be trapped underground. And in any event, removing that suspendium probably wouldn't be wholly desirable, considering the economic benefits of airships. I think it's probably better if some areas are just naturally less rich in suspendium.
As for landship advantages, they'll likely be able to afford heavier weapons and armor, without the weight limit that applies to airships. That in and of itself is a pretty big advantage. They'll also probably be cheaper on average.
That said, I think different types of terrain would be pretty cool! Hey, maybe there could also be terrain that's the opposite of the dead zones? That is, abnormally rich in suspendium to the point of drastically increasing the service ceiling of suspendium airships? It could allow players to use heavier ships than they'd normally be able to get away with.
I think a city wont dig up its suspendium, more like when it was founded (as a small town) the citizens just thought "there's no suspendium here, less cancer yay!" (or if they weren't that educated: "Less floaty rocks, that means less off them diseases yay!") and it eventually came a big city with healthier people and just set up warning lines for airships and a port outside of the deadzone (or used helicopters)..
Also 'charged' areas sound really cool!
But maybe all cities already are dead zones and the equivalent of roving camps are floating villages D:
Maybe deadzones could be completely random on the map (not too random to avoid "oh I've invaded this deadzone city once but now its gone?") but with a few 'notable' landmarks like fortresses or something that are insanely hard to siege (because deadzones + well defended)..
-edit- I just had a somewhat-unrelated epiphany (so tempted to link an episode of the Simpsons on here right now..)!
Also I some highlighted keywords for people who like to skip paragraphs!
Anywho, Anyone think it would be cool to have the added challenge (maybe as an option because it effectively adds a "timed mode" to the game) where all zones start as 'suspendium charged' but over time, every turn, the areas lose some of their suspendium, and this spreads like a plague engulfing the entire globe until all of the suspendium recedes (to who knows where, lore help if you think this is a good idea, Zarkonnen?) and this starts an age of isolation
It's like the book Uglies where there was a virus that destroyed the fuel all vehicles used and started craziness because everybody thought that it was the other 'evil country were now at war with'.. The one thing everybody relies on goes away, what then? (Landships. that's what)
Sorry this was kinda off-topic but this was an idea for a gamemode i would LOVE to see in at-least a mod..
Also landships will be awesome late game in this mode..