“Shield resistance too high” is the current name of the game. I know we’re going for more combined tactics this time around, but there are a whole lot of weapons that can’t even do above the 17/20 shield resist that destroyers/frigs have. Granted, these are armor penetrators or hull perforators, but the select few antishield weapons are just going to become mandatory when there’s always a chance of high-resist shields in play. I think we need more options there - high-resist Frigates can only initially hurt each other with variants of the missile launcher, which is kind of silly as missiles are innately counterable. It’s easier to just give up and pull more cruisers, since at least those can be used against each other.
I think frigates - not destroyers, which already have a frightening amount of utility - should probably get something adjusted to let them attack destroyers/cruisers with a little more conviction. Otherwise I see most of us just using destroyers or cruisers instead.
Destroyer utility, on the other hand, is bordering on way too good. Painter/tractor/supportbeam/ecm/tractor are all seemingly not considered weapons, so you can build variants of destroyers that are almost completely ignored by the gunner AI unless they’re away from their escorts. I think the support beams might need to be reclassed as weapons.
There are so many antifighter options that fighters/gunships are getting wrecked left and right. Insane tracking boosts (modules/hull bonus/support beam), tractor beams, painted dogfighter missiles, limpets - there is way too much hate pointed at the poor little guys in light of how much they are hurt by the new shield mechanics.
Armor is still really unsatisfying to play with or against. I’d really like to see what a version of the game is like where the penetration chance was scaled against armor strength instead of the penetration value. You still only currently need a few token armor penetrators in your fleet before the inevitable defensive collapse into paper occurs.
I see my smaller ships as small fish hiding among the sharks, which is usually at odds with how I can order them. Medium ships are much faster this time around - escort and keep moving need to be compatible if agility as a defense is ever going to be an interesting option. Avoidance orders are desperately needed, too. It’s frustrating losing 8+ ships to an enemy dreadnought explosion while they’re all happily parked under it.
Additionally, with the new ‘depth’ look the game has, I’m not sure the current level of ship-on-ship ‘collision’ really is necessary for anything smaller than a cruiser. Ships look kind of strange bumping into each other at different elevations.