I just wrote down what came up in my head while I was writing it so I hope it can yield something useful for someone. Let me now if it helped you and in what way because I'd really love to know how this could've helped anyone with anything . Have fun reading!
I have to be honest, it was indeed a pain to generate a propper starting area to learn a beginning player play the game. I have this world that was rendered quite some time ago on some settings I kind of forgot but the map was fine. Uranium was added and it was rendered in not all too big patches until the new renderer arrived
. Oceans became swampland, mainland became swampland, all the outer zones of the map became swampland and we suddenly found a huge uranium ore deposit like 3M uranium and soon another of 9M which kind of was ridiculously large. the base drained 2,3M uranium ore in 400+ hours and since we are expanding rapidly (the base eats through ore (copper and iron) deposits like a toddler through candy) the Uranium ore deposits will keep on increasing and just sitting there (like coal and stone sadly enough).
In regard of water and all that stuff I'd say that it may be nice for old maps to be able to prompt the user (when upgrading to the new version) whether they want oceans or swamps or maybe even a mix of both. This would then also become a new setting in the renderer.
I'd drastically reduce the uranium ore deposit size, richness is fine but the size is ridiculous even in starting worlds.
In regards of expansion/exploration I say the game is good. It's a pain to have to explore from the moment the biters can stop tanks so no way that feature isn't going to be annoying people who got past the big biters. Expanding is a must though because your base will eventually require you to expand fast and conquer loads of ore deposits each time. This event happens a lot sooner in the game than 400hours in, it's just that this is not a very efficiently build base since it was rebuild not just one but two times and each rebuild cost dozens of hours. so I think if you stick with your first base then you'll have your joy with expanding very quickly.
I do get that adding the feature of swamps and or preventing it isn't easy, I've worked with PCG's and they're, at least a lot of the time, big and hard to edit. Definitely if you want it to function within margins that are hard to define. For that reason I always use a top level noise map that influences itself while it renders and a lower level that maps details depending on it's predefined interpreter of the noise for that type of layer. Worked like a charm for me but maybe it will not work for a game like this. Probably not, because you want to allow mods to easily add items to your biomes without spending a lot of time on defining a rendering method and or priority system for each item in the mod. But hey it's just what's going through my head right now at 2am.
some comments talk about the biters and they are fine, they eat through 3thick walls with behind that 3thick turrets with 300% damage, 220% shooting speed and a more than sufficient power supply. and aren't too numerous to stop expanding at all. There is although one thing about the biters that annoys me and that is that they are stupid, like as stupid as a rock
. The bot could keep many more things into account at maybe a higher evolution factor and make them even more lethal. The groups that attack my base are really big and I'm pretty sure they have the potential to break through those walls even faster than they do now.