maturation evolves evolutions
the idea is to get rid of as many buttons as possible, as example:
you place a shift, after 2minutes it has matured, then you click the upgrade button to get echo.
why do i have to click that button, its allready matured, it doesnt get bigger or grows 10 more arms.
making the "upgrade" unlock at full maturation is much more natural.
to compensate, the maturing times have to be much higher and mist again increase maturation.
what you get is a gardener expirience, watering(misting) your plants to get them mature. and as mist does cost res now, it can be balanced to cost=time to the current time to mature+cost for upgrade.
i had this idea when i saw hugh talking about the "galactic gardener" at dreamhack. i realiced that the alien com doesnt feel like a gardener anymore, its gotten closer to the marine commander in the last 3 patches.
PS: of corse this includes whips, veils, and all that other stuff that matures towards something.
PPS: which brings me to hives and the 2nd and 3rd tier abilities. in cohesion with the upper system, the hive matures at a very slow rate and unlocks abilities in the process. im talking about every x% of maturation a 2nd tier ability and/or every (x+y)% a 3rd tier ability.(i would suggest to limit the amount of abilities matured on 1 hive) the order in which the abilitys are evolved can be predetermined by the com.(also a standard order could be present from the start of the game to aid new commanders)
recap: planting, growing, misting, spreading