This is absolutely true for a single player game. It gets more complicated when you choose to host a session for other people. Here's the thing. Right now there's no shields, so everyone builds ships without shields in mind. Many of these ships are on the Workshop. You can take one of those Workshop ships into any server and you should be able to hold your own. If you go on a server that has shields, you can bet that the server's "regulars" have installed the necessary firepower to deal with shields. Your unshielded ship will be at risk, but it may still hold it's own because it was built tough. Now, imagine shields were vanilla. The average player will more likely forego armor for looks and spiffy performance because there are shields. It's the main reason people want shields. Looks are a major component of SE ship design. Scary maneuverability (i.e. lots of thrusters and gyros) is also desirable. Shields let you have that so let's not kid ourselves about whether or not most ships will have them. Shield generators will be on every ship right next to the gas generators. If I'm running a server that has turned off vanilla shields, I'm just not going to attract as many players. What's the point of running a server if I'm the only person there? Sure, it's my server and I can do what I want, as long as I don't care if anyone will join me or not. I do care, so if shields were vanilla I'd pretty much have to enable them. As you so often say, they're a highly requested feature I don't care what other people put on the workshop. I'm just saying that if shields are vanilla, most people will builds ships with shields, and those ships will populate the workshop. They won't all have shields, but most of them will. Because the shields would be vanilla. I don't equate having shields with jumping off a cliff. Jumping off a cliff is not smart. In a game where everyone can have shields, having shields yourself is smart. Like not taking a knife to a gunfight. Even if you're really good with a knife. You probably don't remember Windows Messenger. It's Xbox Live's dad. For most people it was an instant messaging app, but it had a video chat function. That was like Windows 3.1 My son was just a baby. Since then we got Skype and Google Hangouts. Probably some other stuff I never heard of. Cell phones have just about always had cameras. Most come with a video chat app installed. Now you're telling me that 30 years after it was totally possible people are just now discovering an app that just came out. This is the true pace of things. This is why even if there was a "breakthrough" on shields today we still wouldn't have them by 2077. Someone would find a completely stupid use for the technology that has nothing to do with shielding anything but it's something cool and all the money and attention would go into that and years later, probably around 2130, someone will wonder why we never used the tech to make shields. Then we'll get shields. I play SE because 60 years ago I thought going to space would be a thing I could be doing by now but instead SE is as close as I'll ever get. I did actually get a chance to make a video call about fifteen years ago. My big brother was living in Detroit and I talked him into installing Skype and I called him and we talked for about an hour. Then he lost his laptop and apparently never bought another one and I guess he just forgot about Skype cause no one else he knew was using it. Yeah we're swimming in technology but we tend to stay in the shallow end of the pool. I noticed the other day that apparently if you buy a ship from an NPC store it just appears out of thin air. NPCs have the technology to instantly transmit an entire ship to a store from who knows where, but even with jump drives it takes forever to go from earthlike to marslike. Something else to overlook for the sake of gameplay. It's all good, though, if it gets people to play.