"Now that I think about things like tech trading... or ground combat... I think perhaps there is a core missed SotS concept that is causing these things to come up and create debate so let me digress into general design philosophy for a moment...
"While there are many elements of SotS that are an evolution of some tried and true aspect of the genre, it is a mistake to look at it as a process where we included what we could carte blanche and the things you consider to be missing are things that were beyond us or we 'didn't get.' The better way of looking at things is that each feature of the 4X genre had to EARN its way into SotS.
"Everything, from exploration to ship building, was questioned down to its roots. And don't take this the wrong way, but these questions were asked by old timers. Gamers whose bloom is long enough off the rose that we don't just say 'Fighters!! Why? Cause they are in every game!!!! Yayyyyy!'. We say 'Why fighters? Do they make any sense at the physical scale and tech of this game? Do we like games where they function like tiny capital ships?'
"You can agree or disagree with our conclusions, that's fine. But before you throw yourself into it, try and think in the same terms we did. Question everything. SotS has always been a 'restart' for the genre. Everything that made it into this game passed 2 criteria 'Is it fun?' and 'Does it have some reason to exist other than it is in every other game.' If you can wrap your head around this basic premise then you will figure out this isn't really a debate. Questions can be asked and explanations made but thats really about it. All choices were made for a reason.
"Does that make us right all the time? Nope. Do we make our living by being right most of the time? Yep."
From the Forum:
Realistic space flight would have the engine wake to be stretching many kilometres from the back of the craft (in itself a dangerous weapon. high velocity high temperature particle weapon style). Especially if they used something like an antimatter drive, which would have a wake of high energy focused electromagnetic radiation. Sortof like a laser for an engine.
So including it would force your ships to be off centre from each other. and would not be able to turn across the path of another ship, limiting the dramatic maneveurs and strategy available.
So the realism to fun scale is a bit skewed, and therefore it would be unwise to include it. it isn't a "small" thing, but rather a major annoyance. – The_Red_Man
We were very much thinking about drive flame as a weapon but abandoned it in testing for very much these reasons. – Mecron