Some random wish list things. Some are mutually exclusive! Some I have suggested before.
Repair modules could have infinite resources, but the repair rate is determined by the excess power on the ship.
Justification: It bothers me that hull damage is catastrophic and impairs the ship almost immediately.
Additionally: All ships should have a basic repair included in their profile, so they can infinitely, but slowly, self-repair.
Additionally: Auto-repairs can’t rebuild destroyed modules while the ship is under fire.
– Triage goes like this: People who are in urgent need of medical attention have priority treatment over those who cannot be saved.
Additionally: Excess power that is not being used to repair hull sections can be used to recharge shields/repair the flux capacitor to bring shields back up.
– The ‘cautious’ order will cause a ship to favor recharging it’s shields/repair rather than overcharging guns/speed.
Additionally: Excess power that is not being used to repair shields is diverted to the engines to increase ship speed.
– meaning at the start of the battle, ships don’t take 15 minutes to get in to range of each other.
– meaning the ‘keep moving’ order will cause a ship to favor powering its engines over repairs and overcharged weapons.
Additionally: Excess power that is not being used to repair shields/increase ship speed can be used to overcharge energy based weapons.
– meaning once your ship is in it’s happy optimum range, it hits much harder than one that is trying to move around.
Additionally: If speed of the vessel is determined by the excess energy on the ship, engine components are no longer necessary, or can be repurposed.
– the ship construction panel can be simplified, no more ‘ships must have engines!’ issues.
– players can choose to deliberately overpower their ships for greater tactical flexibility.
Additionally: Cruisers and frigates that move faster would look really, really cool.
– faster moving capital ships causes greater emphasis on accuracy boosting modules.
Additionally: Opens up the door for types of weapons that temporarily reduce power on the ship.
– a different option for EMP rather than knocking out all weapons, for example.
Result: Faster, aggressive ships that can shrug off incidental damage, recover from significant damage if given a chance to breathe (such as with a cloak), and noticeably more extreme survival/killing/manouver behaviour.
Shields should not go down until all shield modules are destroyed.
Justification: Because it’s cooler and more nerve wracking this way.
Additionally: Shields that are reduced to 0% continue to operate, and will block their normal amount of incoming damage, however the shield modules themselves will take damage in proportion to this.
– meaning a ship that momentarily suffers a heavy bombardment is not instantly doomed.
– meaning a ship that momentarily suffers heavy shield disruption is not instantly doomed.
– meaning that a ship with multiple shield units will have a noticeably different shield life span/recovery to others that do not.
Additionally: Shield modules that were destroyed but repaired can bring the shields back up.
– meaning a ship that gets a chance to recover CAN recover.
Result: Even a frigate has a chance to get back into the fray if it’s been heavily damaged. It’s just more fun!
Fighters have a maximum flight time, and if they cannot return to refuel, they fly on solar wind at a fraction of their normal speed.
Justification: Because it’s boring watching a squad of fighters destroy everything on their own.
Additionally: Allows for the use of support frigates/cruisers carrying refueling modules.
– meaning if you can’t catch the fighters, you can just blow away their support.
– meaning fighters would need a viable flight time (e.g 5-10 minutes).
– meaning fighter squadrons that are refeuling can also have their casualties replaced over time.
– meaning fighters aren’t lost through attrition/bad luck, and must actually be deliberately destroyed.
– meaning you can catch fighters with their pants down and destroy the ship carrying them.
– meaning even the best fighters still need support.
Additionally: Additional engines/power plants can increase the flight time of the fighter.
– meaning there is use to putting excess power on a fighter.
Additionally: Increase the number of defensive options on the fighter, eg shields, armor, point defense, many more (at least 4 modules and 1 hard point per fighter).
– meaning players can select armaments for their fighters based on what they think would be fun to field, rather than what they are forced to choose due to the very tight restrictions on modules/spaces.
– meaning players can have great variety in fighters, from great lumbering juggernaught bombers, through to super fast unarmored interceptors, through to more moderate gunboats.
Additionally: Allow the number of craft to be decided by the player.
– meaning players have a more finite control over specific squad roles.
Additionally: Allow players to craft squads by assembling individual fighters, rather than x of the same type.
– meaning players can have greater variety in their squadrons, making out some really tough squad leaders, or sneak in a few anti-cruiser bombers with those interceptors.
Additionally: The refuelling method may take the form of a simple module that fires a tractor-beam like attack on to friendly fighters that repairs/refuels one fighter every second or so.
– meaning Cliffski doesn’t need to code docking procedures.
– meaning fighters can refuel from any ship with a reflight module and aren’t bound to a specific ship.
– meaning fighters escorting a ship with a reflight module will be continually topped up without having to abandon their position.
Result: Fighters are a lot more fun, have greater variety, and players can spend as much effort tailoring them as they do their frigates and cruisers, without having to create a whole lot more module types.
Have the number of crew available impact on the repair rate/fire rate/armor and shield stability recovery of ship components.
Justification: Because what else are they doing?
– meaning that extra crew aren’t just dead weight.
– meaning that players can choose to take bigger crew compartments for ship performance on their main fighting ships, and min max on others.
Additionally: Update the repair rate/fire rate as crew suffer casualties.
– meaning that if crew compartments blow up, it’s really bad.
– meaning that a ship that is reduced to 0 crew doesn’t repair or fire anymore. (It could spontaneously combust.)
– Crew compartments that are damaged have less crew.
– Crew compartments that are repaired should have their crew reapper - they ‘got better’. Preferable to having ships totally crippled from lucky chain hits on a single crew compartment.
Result: Allows for even greater variety in ships, and makes crew ‘do something’ instead of just taking up seats in my ships. Lazy buggers.
Edit: Added some variety for ease of reading.