There are certain game balance issues that I think are easily fixable, but require adjustments to everything. The Augmented Defenses Mod I posted up was an example of this – a total conversion that’s not really a conversion, but meant just to enhance the base game and fix balance issues. Unfortunately, the drawbacks of total conversion balance mods have recently been brought to my attention so there isn’t much point to simply modding a fix, but I felt I should mention my ideas here anyway in case anyone else has suggestions, ideas, or alternate viewpoints to share.
Armor. Multiply armor values by x5.
Armor is too weak right now, and kind of a joke as far as defense goes. As with most things about the game, my biggest problem with it is that it isn’t intuitive – armor just doesn’t really protect you the way you would think its supposed to. My solution is to multiply all armor values by x5. Of course, armor penetrations for all weapons would also have to be adjusted by a like amount. I tested this with a mod and had good results, except that it powers up fighters way too much, so I recommend that fighters have their armor and penetration multiplied only by x2 and that seems to work. i left the torpedo at x5 just to make it a little bit more awesome, because it needs it.
Speed. Ships are too slow.
Given the lack of firing arcs, defensive arcs, and position-oriented defenses, and the emphasis on concentration of fire, there’s really no reason to maneuver much in this game. Which is good, considering ships can’t really move much anyway. Fighters are where all the speeds at. To see ships actually move you gotta set the game on x4 or some such thing. I recommend increasing all thrust values of frigates and cruisers by x2 or x3, and raising the tracking speed in proportion. If this also makes weapons a little bit more effective against fighters, I don’t see much problem with that.
Frigates. The military version of a child’s cap gun.
There’s nothing wrong with frigates. The problem is with frigate modules. Frigates are smaller (and thus harder to hit) and hold less module space and weapons than cruisers. Why do they need additional advantages/disadvantages beyond that? Why do Frigate shields have to suck compared to cruiser shields? They can already hold less of them – disadvantaging them further seems pointless. They already cost less since they have less modules. I don’t mind having frigate-class modules in the game, but frigates suffer in their lack of access to cruiser gear. Even if they only have limited access – they should have it where it counts. Armor, shields, a couple of weapons (at least the smaller cruiser weapons and the basic cruiser modules). If Frigates had access to cruiser gear, they would still be smaller ships, a little more vulnerable, a little less firepower, and a little cheaper. Do we REALLY need to divide their hitpoints by a factor of 10, when they already have about half the modules anyway? Some people might opt for lighter (super-light?) frigate modules, and that’s okay – I think having superheavy modules that can only fit on cruiser hulls and superlight modules that can only fit on frigate hulls might be a good thing, but there needs to be much more overlap. Otherwise frigates are just a bad joke.
I have other ideas too, but they are minor in comparison and most of them can be found in my Augmented Defenses Mod. These are the three biggest “total conversions” that I think would enhance the game.