I whole heartedly agree with your proposed direction for 2.6. (General gameplay + QoL)
Comments on your proposed changes
1. As a pure substrate player, I love your proposed changes to the air production.
2. Happy with your proposed changes to healing, but we will need the slow health regeneration. Otherwise, why would we care if they are destroyed @ low health? If we know we could have re-healed and re-used those units it'll have more impact.
A couple of changes that I think are a must for 2.6:
1. Make the interface more intuitive interface: There is no indication what the resource symbols are in an ordinary game. At minimum, you should at least add the labels in the tooltip when hovering over the icons. As a relatively new player, it took me ages to figure out which was which.) Small things like this do really help. The more frustrations we can eliminate for new players, the higher the adoption rate.
2. Bug fix: If you are hosting a multiplayer match, if the host has a starting location set, you can't assign that location to any other player. So lets say I'm the host. I am on starting location 1. I change my location to random. I can't than assign anyone else to location 1.
3. Feature: Alert system for when resources are being taken. Shouldn't be hard to detect when a resource point you own is getting drained. (Limit the number of notifications per point to 1 per minute or something so users are not spammed with alerts) Expanding it further, it would be cool it said something the lines of: "Resource point in sector 17 is under attack".
4. Feature: If you die in a multiplayer game, allow that user to continue watching. Just hide the menu dialog, add full visibility, and add a count down so the game is a minute delayed or something.
Have you guys thought about adding some sort of "Donate for accelerated feature development" model? I am sure there would be many players, myself included, who would love the donate to accelerate development. Example on how it could work:
For every $1 you donate you get 1 vote. There is a prescribed list of items in which can be voted on. Once a predefined donation amount has been reached, the highest voted option is accelerated. I am a full stack developer and I would be happy to develop a system to handle this for you, if you're interested let's get in contact and talk details.