Combat Overhaul: Your gonna need tactics.
The weapons is space engineers are very lacking, and have very little interesting things about them that we can do with. Additionally, combat is un-thoughtful. there's really no way to win if they have more turrets and you don't. So here are my ideas for how to make the combat more thoughtful.
Damage is split up into different types, and different types of blocks can take damage from different sources. They are Collision, Thruster, light physical, heavy physical, light energy, heavy energy. Certain blocks are weak, strong or even immune to certain types of damage.
Collision and Thruster are obvious but, physical and energy damage are not, so let me clear that up.
light physical - bullets, basically.
heavy physical - missiles, warheads, explosives.
light energy - lasers, both beam and star wars type ‘pew pew’ lasers
heavy energy - plasma, nuclear, spinal beams, etc.
Now onto the weapons!
All should come in turret and fixed form, with fixed generally being better at its job.
Ideally these do not replace the current weapons, only expand upon them.
Gatling gun: like the minigun we have now, although increase fire rate by a lot, decrease accuracy and decrease damage.
Autocannon: a big gun, but not quite a heavy weapons. The rifle of spaceships. Higher accuracy, high damage, low fire rate, High range.
Flak cannon: high damage, low range and accuracy. Space shotgun! Can use components as ammo in a pinch. (toggleable in the control panel so we don't accidentally fire all our gravity generator parts and superconductors out into space)
Mini missile box: launches flurries of micro missiles that swerve around and deal higher damage to wide aeras.
Guided missile launcher: launches single guided missiles to home in on foes. it’s laser following (like half life’s missile launcher) very high damage and perfect accuracy (as long as you are accurate)
Grenade launcher: automatic grenade launcher that launches cheap, non propelled grenades that can be crafted with just tier 1 starting resources and magnesium. They react to gravity and aren't the best in space. Grenades can also be thrown by the player. Doesn’t do damage to voxels.
Beam projector: a continuous beam that does low damage, but is perfectly accurate and long range. A great point defense weapon against missiles.
Pulse laser: a versatile laser gun that can be fired semi-automatically or charged up (like the plasma pistol from halo)
Electron torpedo: a fire-and-forget missile (like halo’s SPNKR rocket launcher). It should be bright and actually dodgeable (limit its turning speed?) and do less than average damage. (this should go through a lot of testing because homing missiles ALWAYS feel like bullshit)
Plasma launcher: a low range, VERY high damage weapon that takes a crapload of power.
S.W.O.R.D. Beam: a big laser blade that can chop through ships. Extremely Low range (the blade could only be like 30m long), insanely high damage. (you should also be able to color the blade for funsies)
Railgun: a large railgun that fires high damage shells over long range. Also does a bit of heavy physical damage.
Shields act as armor that can regenerate. They can be “tuned” to either physical damage or energy damage. tuning to one type of damage will weaken it to the other.
Max tuning to a type also grants a special boost too.
Maxing out physical damage will make the shield take only 20% physical damage and 180% energy damage, as well as making the shield acts as a physical barrier against enemy grids.
Maxing out energy damage will make the shield take only 20% energy damage and 180% physical damage, as well as making some energy weapons reflect off.
you cant tune your shields if your in combat. no cheesing the shields!
Shields can be boosted with either shield generator capacitors with increase health but decrease charge rate, or shield converters which increase charge rate but decrease shield health. both have diminishing returns so more upgrade doesn't necessarily mean better shields.
(disclaimer: shields are not safe zones. You can’t have both a safe zone and a shield on the same grid.)
Armor comes in two types: steel and Ceramic. Ceramic armor absorbs energy damage better, while steel absorbs physical damage better. Ceramic armor should also have a heavy variant.