The reason I partioned the game galaxy and linked them is because there isn't a machine on the planet that will update that large a world in a single space.
It can be done but the game would be unplayable. I have no intentions of changing the way the universe is created. That technology took years of R&D and a ton of money and time spent. It works.
The suggestion to make it all one world space is like saying, lets remove all the sides roads from Florida to New York because the I-95 conduit is good enough.
The plan for BC:3020AD is to have better personnel models with various animation states. There won't be any first person control but if the animated models are cool (crouching, running, jumping, running+firing, standing etc), then it should be ok. Besides, all objects are 3D entities anyway, therefore you can order them around just like ships (you can do that in the current version anyway). The difference in BC:3020AD will be that you will have special waypoint orders for ground troops. So if you drop a team of marines at a zone, you can pretty much give them waypoint orders to do certain things, just like ships.
Imagine watching from the external over-the-shoulder camera view of lead marine as he runs around wasting the opposition or planting mines around a site. Since you have control, you should pretty much be able to drop the whole crew at a safe distance and then, using waypoints, tell them where to go, what to do and how.
waypoint1 - approach with caution (crawl)
waypoint2 - attack
waypoint3 - move to
waypoint4 - deploy
waypoint5 - move to
You can then bring that person back using the
transporter or the shuttle, from waypoint5.
If you drop marines using a shuttle, you should see them running (running animation)
toward the first 'team' waypoint you set in tacOPS. If they are fired upon, then depending on their AI level, the animation will change to running+firing, prone+firing or crouch+firing. If you've played Rainbow6 or SpecOPS, then you know what I'm talking about. The models are being created in 3DStudio Character Studio because I can't afford motion capture technology.
[First person Battlecruiser]
This has been in my specs for the Strike Pak boarding module for quite a while. Doing that sort of thing requires an FP engine which I don't have. I have no intentions of developing one. I have been evaluating Eclipse3D (free) and will be looking into the Shogo engine ($250K) for this purpose. If I get the engine, then the Strike Pak should allow you to walk around a fully modeled ship as well as any other ship/station you board. I would have loved to put in FP for the bc only, in bc:3020ad but I don't have the technology nor do I have the time. I am considering it though. Imagine walking into engineering and seeing models of your engineers (fully animated models as described above) milling about or walk into the marine quarters and see them sleeping (when they should be working). Better yet, how about running down a corrider and come across marines running after intruders. Meanwhile, the 3D world is still going on outside so if you walk to the bridge, walk up to your console, press a key and hey presto, you are in the normal bridge view of your battlecruiser ready to fire. Won't it be cool to walk into an interceptor bay and see the ship model actually there? So perhaps from the bridge you schedule a launch for IC1, you warp to the launch bay and just in time to see the ship drop out into space? Way cool man!
The technology is there, the machines are becoming more and more powerful. It just takes a time, money and a kick ass design.