So yeah, yet another spaceship suggestion. You can leave right now, or stay and hate me for all this.
First of all, I need to suggest a hardpoint mountable item: Special weapon selector
It isn’t new the fact that we would love to be able to select our desired special weapon for when we need it. Having to waste two missiles to finally use a dimensional warp, for example, is something just bad.
So, my idea is to have an item mounted on one of spaceship’s hardpoint, to (with a new keybind that would be wheel up/down on mouse) select our desired special weapon. I feel it makes more sense as a ship’s mountable rather than a perishable, also perishables are kind of overloaded while hardpoints don’t have much use.
Combat Fighter family- the ships
This already clashes with the preset family system where ships only differ from each other on stats. But, their shape and wing configuration is what gave them the names so I had to go this way. I first made ‘Kilibri’ and then I thought on the three different ships resembling different animals
Combat fighters - their physics
Figther’s movement differs from both movemets systems we already have. They do have speed limit, but it’s instead tackled as lesser sensibility factor instead of just speed cap. This is affected positively by engine thrust and a ship’s own factor. Ship mass, has a direct impact on ship’s inertia. So that is, it affects negatively on ship’s acceleration and desacceleration. I came to this thought on the CI4 days, how different would it be to have some inertia to the ship. Given that Universe has a lot of stats on the ships, they can work together with this idea.
Combat fighters - their general capabilities
Here’s the sweet part of it. They can carry two different weapons with two independant heatsinks slots for weapon slot #1 and #2. They are not compatible with the previously mentioned special weapon selector, as this keybind is used to select weapons instead. The two weapons have a totally independant power level, and the present/atomic power-up collected is assigned to the currently selected weapon.
Having two heatsinks brings a quite high energy consumption and also a very large mass increase, so this is somewhat balancing the ship. Also, rarer ships would have less mass instead of more mass like rarer ships we have now do. This is to make rarer ships actually worth having it.
As there would be three renders of different ships instead of just one, they will be quite limited on paintjobs options, having the lesser options.
Stingray is the entry tier ship. It has the lesser mass, the lesser sensibility penalty, but it can host only two satellites behind the wings. It is the only combat fighter to have only one heatsink slot, so you have to manage between changing and using weapons if the heat is high enough, as switching weapons won’t inmediatly clear the heat bar as if it was a power-up (pretty obvious). But having two weapons is already a very good thing, since it allows you to use a spread weapon on asteroids and suchs, but quicky change to a focused fire weapon; so this ship isn’t useless. A side note, as the weapon pods are all 4 in front position, the projectiles come from front end of the ship instead of the usual back. It has two hardpoints.
The mid tier ship is heavier, so it has a bigger inertia factor, but it still keeps a low enough sensibility penalty. This ship can host 4 satellites in straight line configuration to provide a wider surface of attack, and is the first one to have two heatsinks slots. The reasoning on this is simple, as each weapon slot will have a dedicated heat bar, one for each heatsink of course. Having just one heatsink will behave exactly as in the Stingray, so you would be sacrificing movility for two extra satellites slots. Also, now projectiles from weapon slot #1 come from the back end of the ship, since two of the pods are located there. It has 3 hardpoints.
This is the high end ship, the heaviest of them and therefore the slowest. It has the highest inertia and the highest sensibility penalty, but in overall it will still be faster than a BX-9 bomber. This ship will host 3 satellite spots, one on each side and one on front. But, it is the only ship that allows to simultaneously fire both weapons. Having the two heatsinks mounted is not mandatory but highly recomended for this, as otherwise the heat would rapidly exceed any heatsink’s capabilities. Again, projectiles from weapon #1 comes from the back, while projectiles from weapon #2 comes from the front. If a present is collected while having both weapons selected, it will be assigned to weapon #1; if an atomic power-up is collected, it will be assigned to the weaker weapon. It has 4 hardpoints.
So, another family, another gameplay. Kind of a more natural feeling on the movement limitations than bombers and fasters on light load conditions, but lesser total damage output (well, Kolibri can be a hard challenge for it to balance, but for reaching this point you would have to get both weapons at level 20 unlike BX’s 26) and can get actually slower than BX9 when fully loaded with really heavy heatsinks, reactors and engines, while you have to also closely manage your heat levels if you prefer instead the higher movility of a ligther ship with just one heatsink; so I don’t think it can be considered a broken ship type.
Of course that things can be adjusted if they actually are, but anyway this is just a suggestion plan and we most probably would not ever see something like this in the game.