I'm not sure if you're talking about introducing other shield piercing weapons besides fighters (which would be a separate discussion) or shield piercing fighters here, but for the basic concept of shield piercing weapons that's probably irrelevant.Morlic wrote:If we go with shield-piercing weapons, I guess that is a concept which might be worth pursuing. We could introduce some empire meter determining which shields can be pierced and have techs dedicated for that purpose.
While we probably should avoid all-or-nothing mechanics, an idea would be to reduce the damage by some percentage.
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Damage = floor(FighterDamage * min(1, ShieldPiercing/ShieldStrength))
So anyway, very similar ideas regarding shield piercing weapons have been brought up before, and been rejected because the suggested mechanics have been too complicated without adding a sufficiently interesting dynamic. I'd say, before we think about opening that can of worms (several levels of shields/shield piercing weapons), we should implement the far simpler concept we've now, where we have only one type of shield and one special type of weapon (fighters) that can pierce shields. We just need to make sure that the shield piercing fighters have a distinct and clear disadvantage compared to direct fire weapons that balances their powerful advantage of being able to bypass shields.
The simplest approach would be to make them significantly less cost effective in terms of raw damage output. That would mean that against unshielded opponents direct fire weapons would be much more effective, because the shield piercing bonus is useless in this case. Meaning, against enemies who field heavily shielded ships, fighters would be the weapon of choice, against enemies who field unshielded ships (which have the advantage of being cheaper after all) direct fire weapons are the way to go. That, and their vulnerability against cheap PD-yish weapons (which capships with heavy direct fire weapons are immune against) should balance them nicely.
How well that is going to work out in reality remains to be seen, but to get there we'll have to go ahead and implement the thing.