Combat should be a fun part of the game, and when you have built combat ships you should be able to really get some use out of them, not have them immediately ruined when they start taking hits. The multiplayer PvP element of the game would be significantly more fun if fighting other players was more about the fighting and less about just ruining hours of work. Having full fledged combat gameplay that doesn't require constant repairing and replacing will also attract a lot of people to the game that are more interested in piloting spaceships than in building them, which would enrich the online gameplay by having more of a sense of space-civilization with different jobs being done by different people, rather than just everyone being an engineer. I think there are a few areas where this game could use major overhauls to allow a more fun implementation of combat gameplay that really lets you do something with your ship and makes designing complex combat vessels more rewarding, since they will be less disposable. There are two main areas that I think need improvement: 1. Easier Repairing 2. Armor and Structure 3. Weapons 1. Easier Repairing I think this is one of the biggest problems in the game currently. Building ships and repairing ships uses exactly the same resources and systems, which leads to a big problem: If your main motivation for playing the game is building ships then designing a whole new ship is a lot more fun than simply trying to re-assemble one. If your main motivation for playing the game is piloting ships the slightest bit of damage dumps you right back into the building side of the game. Ultimately that means that making people repair ships by replacing the blocks completely doesn't really serve either kind of player. Having repairs be incredibly time and resource consuming also means that in order for ships to be usable without worrying too much they have to be designed to be disposable, which especially in a multiplayer environment really discourages building anything particularly big or impressive, because there is simply no way of easily rebuilding something that took 30 hours to build in the first place. The biggest culprit in what breaks the current system is that blocks simply disappear when they hit 0 hitpoints. There is usually nothing to recover. If the ship breaks into pieces as a result you tend to lose entire sections of it and more often than not it's better to just grind the whole thing down than to try and rebuild it. My proposed solution: I think one of the most important things that should be done is to have some kind of "Vehicle Core" block that works as a vehicles internal projector. The game already has the capability of having a grid for a complete vehicle that only partially exists as physical blocks in the form of projections. You can already project a vehicle into itself, but it comes with a significant hit to game performance, because it basically doubles the number of blocks in the ship. It also causes problems on public servers that don't allow projections. How the vehicle core would work: A vehicle core is a relatively large block, 3x3 at least, and not cheap to build. It has several conveyor hookups and a small internal cargo space. Vehicle cores require a substantial amount of energy, making redundancy possible, but not cheap. It's first function is to scan the grid it is attached to and store it as the ships "Repaired" state. It's second function is to automatically attempt to store all the materials of any block that is destroyed in that grid in the ships cargo system. (It will not give you materials if a block is detached or destroyed by a grinder) It's third function is to perform a full reconstruction of the ship back to the repaired state. Activating this repair function ties up 100% of the ships energy and takes about a minute. It uses materials from the ships cargo system to perform the reconstruction, meaning if part of the ship was destroyed while the cargo system and vehicle core stayed intact it can rebuild the blocks using the materials it stored when they were destroyed. (It can't restore blocks that are obstructed) The rationale behind adding this type of block would make a lot of smaller repairs basically free. When a block gets destroyed the materials are stored, and can then be used to recreate the block the moment the ship is out of combat and can power down to run the repair program. A ship can still be destroyed or require additional materials for repair when portions of it are severed from the main grid, if the cargo system was destroyed and the vehicle core had no place to store the materials, or if the vehicle core itself was taken out. A ship needs to take really catastrophic damage before it is a total loss though with this system. Having the game store the materials of destroyed blocks is IMO also somewhat more realistic than having them simply disappear. Matter never simply disappears, the only reason it has to mechanically disappear in the game is because the deformation system can't handle having parts of the ship crushed down and compressed far outside of the confines of their original location. Having some way of safeguarding the materials in your ship just lets the game work around having a really hard time to have meaningful conservation of mass when things go boom. 2. Armor and Structure Currently there is no difference between different armor and structure blocks other than just how much HP they have. This is very limiting to actually doing anything clever with the design of your armor blocks and structure. Different blocks need to have different qualities so you can really think about how to layer and arrange them to create the most durable ships. My proposed solution: Different armor blocks should protect you from different kinds of attacks, giving you a reason to really think through effective arrangement for armor and structure of your ships. I would have four kinds of armor/structure blocks instead of just the two we currently have: Light Armor block (Vulnerable to light damage, armor piercing damage passes through) This block would be easily damaged by machine guns and explosions that rip apart the light armor, however, armor piercing munitions from heavier weapons simply pass through light armor, doing no or very little damage. A ship that has only light armor can have its internal systems shot out by armor piercing shells (Like a light skinned vehicle in real life) Heavy Armor block (Vulnerable to armor piercing damage, immune to light damage) This block would resist machine guns and explosions that simply don't have the penetrating power to inflict any kind of meaningful damage to this type of armor. Armor piercing munitions inflict full damage to heavy armor however, since they don't pass through but instead impart their full impact force to the armor. Ceramic Armor (Vulnerable to armor piercing and light damage, immune to thermal damage) This ceramic armor block would be constructed from rocks, and be extremely cheap as a result. It takes full damage from all physical impacts, since it breaks apart, however it is extremely heat resistant, making it virtually immune to things like thruster exhaust. Since it's an extremely cheap material it would also be good for building walls that don't really need to hold up particularly well. Structural Girder (light and armor piercing damage pass through, extremely resistant to ramming) This is a block that looks like a beefed up version of the scaffold block. Weapons fire from light or armor piercing weapons passes through it, inflicting no, or minimal damage. Thermal damage can melt/cut this type of block. This type of block is incredibly tough against slow impacts however. A ship that is reinforced with girders would not easily break apart when struck by another ship or rammed into an asteroid, however, the girders provide no protection from having its internals destroyed by weapons-fire. With those four armor types there would be a lot more thinking about how to provide optimal protection to a ship, since it would be extremely ineffective to try and build a ship that has every type of armor all the way around. 3. Weapons Along with the proposed armor changes there obviously need to be weapons changes. Something like "Armor piercing" doesn't even exist right now. So the weapons changes and new weapons I would propose: Machine gun (Light damage) This doesn't need any big changes, it works for what it is. It would simply be defined as "light damage", so it inflicts damage to light armor, ceramic armor and internals, but bounces off heavy armor. Basically this is a really good weapon for destroying surface equipment on enemy ships and ripping up light armor and personnel, but they can no longer slice through battleships. Rockets (light damage) Exploding rockets are classified as "light damage", and are ineffective against heavy armor. Torpedos (Armor piercing damage) Torpedoes work a lot like rockets, but inflict "armor piercing damage". They are slower and small launchers only hold one torpedo each, however they are the only weapon that can inflict area-damage to heavy armor. Railgun (Armor piercing damage) This is a new type of weapon that only inflict "armor piercing damage". It uses steel slugs as ammunition, which makes it's ammo very cheap, however, in order to fire it needs to charge up first, which costs a lot of energy. Since railguns are armor piercing weapons their primary function is to destroy heavy armor plates and destroy the internals of ships that are only lightly armored. Laser (Thermal damage) This is a directed energy weapon that is classified as "thermal damage", it is somewhat effective against both light and heavy armor, but extremely ineffective against ceramic armor. Lasers require immense amounts of energy to fire, making their operation not exactly free, despite the fact that they don't use ammo. Warhead (All damage) Warheads do a huge amount of all types of damage, the defense against them is shooting them down. Weapon Systems like Railguns and Lasers should be fairly large on small ships, comparable in size to a drill or grinder, and small lasers would be significantly less powerful than large lasers, since small ships produce so much less energy. Armor / Weapon System A quick breakdown of the proposed strengths and weaknesses of the armor/weapons types: There are four types of damage: Light, Armor Piercing, Thermal, Impact. There are five types of weapons: Machine guns, rockets, torpedoes, railguns, lasers. There are four types of armor: Light Armor, Heavy Armor, Ceramic Armor, Structural Girders. Machineguns do light damage. Rockets do light damage with AoE. Torpedoes do armor piercing damage with AoE. Railguns do armor piercing damage. Lasers do thermal damage. Warheads do all types of damage. Collisions with mass objects do impact damage. Light damage inflicts damage to Systems, Light Armor and Ceramic Armor. It passes through Structural Girders. It inflicts no damage to heavy armor. Armor Piercing damage inflicts damage to Systems, Heavy Armor and Ceramic Armor. It passes through Structural Girders and Light Armor. Thermal damage inflicts damage to Systems, Heavy Armor, Light Armor and Structural Girders. It inflicts no damage to Ceramic Armor. Impact damage inflicts damage to Systems, Heavy Armor, Light Armmor and Ceramic Armor, It inflicts no damage to Structural Girders. With all these changes I think the game would overall be a lot more fertile ground for space battles. With the armor and weapon types there will be a lot more of a reason to equip a ship with a variety of weapons rather than being able to simply melt enemy ships with mass machine gun fire. Fighting will be a lot more about unraveling the enemy ships defense systems and finding weak spots than simply about who can afford the most guns and ammo. Having a system that allows ship damage to be relatively benign as long as your ship didn't get cut in half or had it's internals demolished also allows fights to be won a lot more decisively. You no longer experience an almost guaranteed Phyrric victory when going up against an equally matched opponent. These changes would give combat oriented players a lot more room to actually enjoy the game, while at the same time giving building oriented players a lot more ways to create clever designs and spend more time building ships and less time repairing ships. It will also finally create a situation in multiplayer servers where selling a ship to a player becomes a worthwhile endeavor, because you no longer need to have the industrial capabilities to build the ship yourself to maintain it as long as you don't abuse it too badly. That really let's us start building real space-societies where different people do different things in multiplayer games, rather than having a system where self sufficiency is the only way to thrive, so nobody ever trades with anyone.