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Realistic nebula and gas giants and galaxies I'm pretty sure the general public would find extremely interesting next to realistic planets.
Nebulas are beautiful and gas giants even more, I didn't express myself correctly: Compared to planet surfaces, people don't find them as interesting.
Also, it's vital to understand that the game needs polish and nice features before being presented to the mainstream public. We all know crashes on SE are common and inoffensive, but most gamers don't know that, and if a big youtuber shows "oops, the game crashed again", they will respond in a negative way, bugs and such on the view of the public represent something "bad and broken" instead of something "crazy and cool".
We need to address the problem with "mainstream". A lot of folks will be looking at pretty stuff, not reading info or playing with spaceships (they will learn from the game tho), and the controls and UI needs clearing up, a tutorial is being made, but is it being made correctly? Is it addressing all the units and their meaning? What the classification means? Is it a natural more organic tutorial, or something text heavy and not user friendly? About realism, planets should be the main priority after nebulas. Right now, people get screwed by the scale, everything feels "to big", from far away it looks nice, with excellent dunes and mountain ranges, but up close it is hard to tell if "it is bigger than a human" than "is that Mount Everest?", rocks would give a basic notion, and more rugdness on the terrain would be appreciated. Some tectonic plates texture to tell if here is supposed to have mountains and volcanoes would give a more realistic vibe than random mountain clusters, a simple weather model telling if it supposed to be 'hot' or 'cold' not just by altitude should be enough for now, and of course, the meme of the forums since forever, 3D water. All those features would be more than nescessary to hook up people, and in general, would be nice additions to the game, making it more varied than we have now. Don't get me wrong, the game looks good and we all lose hours in one system, but sometimes it looks all the same. Selenas with brownish-orangeish tints and (as far as iv'e ever seen), nothing like our moon, gas giants that have different colors and patterns, instead of different cloud types, and life planets not being the most interesting to explore, just to look at.