This is very rudamentary, but here’s how I see it
you’ve got essentially 9 factors going into a weapon which determine it’s balace:
Cost (amout of honor it takes to field each individual item)
Range (how far the weapon fires at)
Damage (how powerful it is)
fire interval (how long it takes before it can fire again)
Power (how much power it takes to use it)
Crew requirement (how much crew it takes to use it)
Weight (how much each unit slows the ship down)
Armor/shield penetration (how effective it is against defenses)
Tracking speed (how well it targets other craft)
Just from the few days I’ve been playing around with modding the game and making effectively new stuff from the stock here’s at least how I determine the numbers
a weapons cost is more or less 10X the damage it does, call that the “Base cost”
now the other 7 factors can either raise or lower that base cost
Fire interval: multiply the damage by 50. for every 100 points faster or slower add/subtract 100 from the cost
Power: a weapon uses power equal to it’s damage output. for every point more power used reduce the cost by 100, for every point less power used increase the cost by the same amound.
crew: use a base of 10 crew to man a weapon for every 1 crew member more or less the weapon requires add/subtract 10 from the cost.
weight: this plays much less of a factor IMO but the base weight should be 10 X the damage, for every 50 points more/less weight the cost will go down or up by 10
Armor/shield penetration: I group these two, but in truth shield penetration plays a BIG roll. Use a baseline shield penetration = to the damage the weapon does…for every additional point of penetration increase the cost by 100, and for every point less penetration decrease the cost by the same amount.
Range: this is a little tricky, but I tend to determine the range by multilying the damage number by 10 for the MINIMUM range, increase that number by 50% for the optimum range and increase the second number by 50% for the maximum range…I’m still perfecting this but for every 200 points more range I add 10 to the cost and subtract 10 for every 200 points less range the weapon has.
bear in mind this is just how I’ve been approaching things and I may well be totally wrong about it…afterall I’ve only been playing the game for about a week and have been modding it for a mere 3 days.