I recall when I first stumbled into DG some 19 years ago and how confused and totally unaware of everything I was - I started with a smallish planet in the middle of some likewise smallish players and had no idea ho this all works, until I first met FSC and later RD, first teaching me the game the hard way and the 2nd ones teaching me the easy way.
Soon after I met RD I joined DE for the first time, soon afterwards Skute and Chronus, Ishamael and some others turned to being less active and I just admired the giant fleets of DarkSide and alike, who had been like 2000 turns ahead of me and each of the giants had some 800+ planets to handle. Which bothered me not the slightest bit, as I was still busy learning the game and was somewhat protected by being in DE.
Imho that somewhat shows the way for the newbie into the game and in later rounds as far as I’m aware, every alliance, major or minor, was eager to take in some ambitious newbies who had shown to be active and communicative, tought them the game and made sure to make them as addicted as we all are by showing how the game is played inside a fun alliance.
Therefore, I never quite understood, why DG always wanted to be “newbie”-friendlier or tried to limit the greedy ■■■■■■■■ taking tons of planets and killing half the galaxies. Thats how it always had been: You get less active and fall behind, you get eaten. You lose. Thats the game. On the other hand: Somewhat the powers also was in the numbers, larger alliances could afford to lose some minor members far out in the galaxy, those hopefully learned a lot and returned on the secondary server to leave their mark.
There always had been the call for an unlimitted Dark Galaxy and probably its a chance and a call to return to something similar. In the end, DG once had nearly 20k players and 20 VERGs at the same time (sorry, I won’t drop that, the orphanage-meme is well earned).
Right now the galaxy is too small, even for the roughly 350 players who are there now. It had been an early rush to get to 10-12 planets each and already now some people are preferring to colonize in the outer rings instead of making those expensive invasions in Gal1 - furthermore the endless time of researching PL somewhat makes wars an early exchange of planets not yet having enough pop on them.
Lets start thinking bigger. I want to lay out the following suggestion:
In the start, make it one giant Galaxy with lots of sectors and systems as it has been in the old code on Mars and Pluto, Jupiter. the 10-systems with 3-planets fpr each sectors worked quite fine, I think, 2 planets always had been a bit lower in size and with worse abundancees and their was a “drop planet” option, which came in handy from time to time.
After e.g. 500 people signed up, start the next Galaxy, similar in lineup. Make it so, that you can go from Gal 2 to the earlier Galaxy only, not vice versa, until the 2nd Galaxy has reached a certain percentage of the average score of the first galaxy. Proceed with galaxies afterwards as well. Make travelling from an earlier galaxy to a later one a ■■■■■■ long travel time, probably something like 2 weeks, cutting the traveltime by lets say some 5% per week the new galaxy is alive until they match in score and number of planets not uninhabted anymore. This gives later signups enough time to grow and prevents the fat guys in the earlier galaxy from going on a colonization spree in a later galaxy. <<
We need more space to unfold, the galaxy is currently to cramped. If you haven’t been on some fast colonising BL, you had to be somewhat lucky with an early invasion list to still grab some balls. Make PL research cheaper and faster - if you lose the active and greedy players just because you limit them too much, you’ll lose the core of the community - and I bet these are also the people, to spread out the word again and make new recruits to DG.