Geoff the Medio wrote:
...option to mark one of the parts as the "Primary System" for the ship. This would have the effect of giving a bonus to the performance of that system, and perhaps a penalty to all other systems.
That's just more complex. Davey's suggestion is better.
How is that more complex? You either pick a hull that gives some bonuses, or you pick a part. In either case, bonuses or penalties are applied to various parts or the ship's overal performance in some way.
What if, after making a design in whatever way is done, the game looks at the components and ship makeup and decides that based on X components, this ship is Role X.
That's just not having role-specific hulls, except we need an algorithm to analyze and label any design, which is probably impossible to do meaningfully in borderline cases.
It could also be done the reverse way, I want role X, then the game puts in the components.
That would be more complex, in that we'd have to write a bunch of algorithms to autogenerate ship designs. It's also already been suggested,
We may have the options to auto-fill designs that you can then modify, or just use blank slates - this can be discussed later.
but is really irrelivant to the discussion of whether to have role-specific hulls. Unless there is some additional bonus / penalty related to the role, it would just be role-neutral hulls with an autodesign option.
A hull that give 50% more space for LR weapons is really just the same as taking a hull and putting in mostly LR weapons.
So perhaps we need another way to make role-specific hulls than giving space bonuses? (Davey suggested cost savings.) Don't reject a general idea based on a single potentially flawed implementation. And regardless, it's still "mostly", not "only", and there are choices about how many of the emphasized part to include, and what to put in the remaining space in either option.
Maybe design a ship that creates a shield over the entire fleet. Would we have thought of that role specific hull for the player. No, the player thought of it. So roll neutral hulls encourage Creativity.
Again, consider my "pick a primary part" suggestion... the player can "creatively" pick any part to emphasize, and there doesn't need to be a predefined role-specific hull for any possible idea.
That said, yes; we probably would have thought of that role-specific hull... Or more likely, there would be a more generic "in-battle effects projection support ship" hull, which could be used for shield-generating puroses, or similar functions.
In the end, with the role specific system, the hulls dictate the ships design. Why would the player ever bother trying to think of how to design their ship when they can choose the PD hull, LR hull, Carrier etc and then just fill that hull with the hulls favourite weapon.
And it would be good to still be able to be creative. Eg if I want to create a stealth carrier, etc.
Is there any reason you couldn't put stealth equipment into a cruiser-specific hull? It would still be more cruiser-ish than if the design was in a generic hull, but that doesn't mean there's only space for weapons an engines in the hull. The "creative" part of the designing would be how many weapons and engines to put in, and what else to put in besides weapons and engines. It would probably be silly not to put good weapons or engines in such a cruiser hull, but that doesnt' mean there are no other choices.