I think it degrades a bit too quickly. I’m not talking about crits - I understand the gameplay implications of unstoppable armor tanks - but the cascading value degradation from penetrating hits. The reason why this is important is that armor has a combined threshold value that determines it’s effectiveness. Correct me if I’m wrong with any math:
Right now the low penetration ion cannon /cruiser laser are my close range hull killing weapons of choice. They fire fast, they do great damage and strip down shields at an amazing pace. To me, armor should be a logical defense against these weapons due to their laughable penetration, but it is a difficult sell: Not only do you have the weight and price components of armor to worry about, but you also have to maintain the all important module ratio - adding a targeter module can actually kill you.
For the sake of argument, I’ve made a basic cruiser with 6 modules (two of which are weapons - not a terribly useful cruiser). Armor is divided among modules. Now add a plate of ultraheavy armor, which has 126 damage absorb and increases your module count. Divide over the now 7 modules and the craft now has an average of 18 armor, which is above the threshold for penetration for the ion cannon (12) and cruiser laser (15). This is great if opposing craft field no other weapons (and nothing crits!), but even the simplest fleets have something else.
A single hit from a frigate beam laser (49 penetration) does 26 damage to armor, dropping the average armor rating below 15. Subsequent cruiser laser hits will now damage the armor at 20 damage per hit, completely destroying the module within seconds and rendering the ship naked. This is that moment where something cracks the armor on the ship and the whole thing just lights up instantly as the average armor value passes threshold after threshold.
To me, this is a bit unintuitive. I can’t penetrate the front of a tank with a 9mm pistol, even after a giant space laser has melted the rear off of said tank. Would it make more sense for “average armor” to remain fixed, and have a percentile chance of complete armor bypass based off the condition of the armor?