Just some potential balance issues that have caught my eye as I’ve been fiddling with designs.
ECM Beams - Are much better than every other form of point defense. I suspect this might be a bug, as their fire interval is listed at 1000 but their refire rate is very fast.
Nanobot Repair - Is so much better than the basic repair that it obsoletes it. You pay 30 more points and get more than twice the repair rate, improved repair supplies, and reduced crew requirements. It’s also suspiciously stronger than the Armor Repairs, though they at least have a role.
Cruiser Engines - I believe they favor the high end engines too much. Being as low end engines use more module slots (= less flexible, harder to armor) they should probably be more cost efficient then they are now. IE - Engine 1 is 132 points for 75 thrust. Engine 3 is 200 cost for 118 thrust. That’s a 57% increase in thrust for a 51% increase in cost. This is especially a concern since you need a lot of thrust to get useful speed on a cruiser. Granted there are other concerns like crew/power efficiency, but you don’t get a lot of that out of Engine Is given how much more module space you are using.
Cruiser Crew - Crew Module is 160 crew, Crew 3 is 290 (?), Crew 2 is 268. Even counting all the unlocked modules there are no crew modules which cater to the ‘in-between’ crew range. So you just use Crew 2, which is often waaay more than you need for a midrange cruiser. Shouldn’t crew 2 be around 220-240?
Armor at the Low End - The low end armor kind of sucks.
Take Cruiser Minimal Armor, which you have to unlock. It costs 89 points and gives 39 armor for 66 weight. Armor III costs 243 points and gives 105 armor for 120 weight. 2.28:1:1.69 vs 2.31:1:1.14. So you have a unnoticable cost advantage in exchange for crappy weight efficiency and horrendous slot efficiency. Armor I is 136:64:92, or 2.12:1:1.44. A slight cost advantage for cruddy weight and bad slot efficiency.
Given how important slot efficiency is for armor the low end armors should be pretty cheap. Much cheaper than they are now imo.
Decoy Launcher - Is kind of pointless compared to just stacking more missiles. It only refires twice as fast as a missile launcher anyway, and there isn’t a lot of cost savings in using it. Plus the range is terrible.
Turbo Shields - Losing resistance and recharge for strength is one thing, but costing more on top of that is another altogether. These either need to be stronger or be cheapened.
Phasor Cannon II - These need a little help. Ion Cannons are just so much better in most ways - aside from their much higher damage rate and better range, they also penetrate most cruiser shields.
Phasors do cost less power, but if you are looking for a low-rent Ion Cannon you’re better served by the Rapid Fire Laser.
The problem might be on the Ion Cannon side, though - those things are pretty brutal. Odd that they fire as quickly as the “Rapid Fire” laser.
Light/Super Light Shield Generators (frigate) - Basically the only point of these is the resistance, yet neither can resist fighter lasers. I think these should either have substantially less strength OR substantially less resistance - not both.
Frigate Beam Laser(s) - Basically your one stop shop for smearing frigates. I’m not sure if these are actually imbalanced, but it seems odd to me that frigates can mount a weapon that frigates cannot resist in any way. They have good tracking, even. On the Cruiser scale, you only get your shields pummeled by beams if you mount inferior generators. It seems inconsistent is all.
Reflective Shields - I like the concept but what is it that these resist that Shield IIs don’t? There arn’t many weapons with penetrations in the 25-27 range.
Assuming shield resistance stacks - which it seems to do to at least some extent; more info on this would be great - reflective shields could give a more meaningful edge when using multiple shields per ship. I haven’t experimented with them enough to tell, though.
Interesting stuff, I will take a look at all of these. I do actually quite like the inconvenient distribution of crew modules thoiugh, it forces you to make tough decisions as to whther or not to choose moduels that tip you over to the next tier.
One more addition:
Anti Fighter Missile Launcher: Completely pointless. Slow refire, so can’t be used properly in conjunction with tractor beams. Can’t hit normal speed fighters (2.5 speed). Build a fleet of anti fighter missile frigates (with tractor) and play against several fighter squads. Note the utter inefficiency vs defense lasers. Why is the missile speed so slow? Real life missiles need countermeasures to avoid or extreme flying. They fly at extreme speeds to catch speeding fighter jets. But the AA missiles in this game are incredibly slow.
I think missles should have really high shield penetration. There’s so many ways to foil them, the ones that get through should rip right through shields.
I can’t say I’ve had the game long, but Phazor Cannons seem extremely powerful to me, I’ve beaten most of the scenarios using nothing but fighters and fast moving phazor frigates.
I haven’t tried the Ion cannon yet though, I’ll give it a bash.