Balances and Improvements for Combat, Turret AI
This suggestion is not about implementing new blocks to the game but altering the ones that are already present. SE's combat system, in my opinion, is dull since turret AI not only allows for little player involvement but is so pinpoint accurate that even evasive maneuvers are pointless against them. Below is a list of revisions to combat so that turrets would be less powerful but still useful and players could be more involved during battles.
Turrets (General) - All turrets are unable to target powered blocks and players behind armor blocks. This is meant to prevent turrets from instantly identifying targets that players are normally unable to see. Turrets are also unable to target warheads that are not attached to powered grids.
Turrets of the same type can be grouped together into a single number slot so that players can aim and fire them in unison. It would also help if players could switch between the turrets' cameras with a press of a key, and cockpits could be assigned a "free-look" option which allows players to look around freely by default but be able to use the ship's gyroscopes by holding down the alt key.
While turrets cannot detect targets outside of 600m or 800m, they would be able to detect the firing of weapons towards them and try to estimate the target's location and return fire.
Gatling turrets - From 401m-800m (for small gatling turrets this is 301m-600m), gatling turrets are unable to identify "specific" targets on ships, such as antennae, turrets, engines, and hydrogen tanks and the like. Instead, they will aim at a random of the targeted ship. They will still, of course, be able to target decoy blocks inside the targeted ship at any point within their range. Within ranges 0m-400m (for small turrets, this is 0m-300m), the gatling turret's ability to identify specific targets gradually increases as the range decreases. Parts attached to small grids are even more difficult for gatling turrets to target.
When firing, the gatling turret's maximum rotation speed is limited by 15%. While it makes no difference when the turret is firing at distant targets, the decrease in speed is apparent when the turret tries to turn swiftly and aim at nearby moving targets.
Missile turrets - Missile turrets fire seeking rockets that only follow a target if the target has been within the turret's line of sight for 3 seconds. Otherwise, the rockets will travel in a straight line like they do now. The missile turret's behavior is similar to the gatling turret's, however there is no nerf to rotation during firing and the seeking missiles are able to specifically identify targets on the outside of ships when they are close enough.
Missile turrets are unaffected by decoys, however their seeking missiles will be distracted by them. Missiles also have an extended range of 2km, provided that they stay within a 1km distance from the ship that fired them. If a missile loses its target, it will travel in a straight line unless it detects another target.
Missile launchers (General) - A ship with missile launchers can lock onto a target if it stays within the ship's crosshairs for 3 seconds. Missile turrets and missile launchers can be grouped together so that the turrets can be used to lock on while the launchers do most of the firing. Cameras can also be used to lock missiles onto targets.
Cockpits and "Pinging" - Because zero gravity combat can often be confusing, and targets can sometimes hide simply by turning their antennae off, maintaining a visual on a target is difficult. I would suggest a method of "pinging" targets, meaning that they would be highlighted similar to if they had an antenna or beacon, but regardless if they have either. Only one target can be pinged at a time by one single ship (attached grids cannot help in pinging more targets). This would be done by moving a target into the crosshairs of a cockpit or camera, or manually using a turret to do so. Turret AI cannot ping targets, and players cannot be pinged.
When a target is pinged, two boxes appear; one around the target's center of mass, and another that indicates where the player should fire to hit the target in relation to the velocity of the target and the player. The velocity box also adjusts depending on whether the player is using gatling guns or missiles, and has difficulty predicting the target's velocity if the target takes sudden turns. Pinging also reveals the name of the target, its contents, and the amount of players onboard. The target will then continue to be pinged unless a large object gets between the player and the target, or the target moves outside a 1km range from the player.
Players are able to ping targets regardless of whether their own ship has an antennae, however the antennae can be used to broadcast the "ping" to allied ships and players.
Please let me know if a missed any details and I will try my best to respond swiftly.