Part of the issue comes down to how I'm attempting to make the OXP work. I am trying to do an escape pod sequence as the very last thing, when the "shipTakingDamage" event is triggered, and the amount of energy damage being passed to the ship is greater than the current energy reserves - essentially, the ship is about the die in the next frame or so. It's only in this scenario that the issue really appears.
If it's felt desirable, an option - in the event of a probably "realistically" fatal Escape Pod ejection - might be to script in a mission screen which tells the player that their Escape Pod was badly damaged in the explosion, and to wind the game clock on by a significantly larger margin.
The difficulty here is that, by the time the "failure" of the escape pod is apparent, the "Game Over" screen is being displayed ... which is probably too late to tell the player about it!
Coding a potentially "random" failure, and making it believable to the player, would be simpler if I could rely on the
function working 100% of the time for the player. As it stands, the randomness of the failure has no explanation, other than, "Well, I guess it didn't work that time".
another_commander wrote:it's effect on game mechanics is less trivial
Well, I don't think the impact on core game mechanics would be particularly large. At the moment, in the core game, the only way to launch the escape pod is manually. You have to do this with some energy left in your energy banks, otherwise you'd already be dead. Because of this, the scenario where multiple energy damage events arriving at the same instant while transitioning to the escape pod is extremely remote. You would have to double-press the escape key with almost no energy left, just as two damage events (say two missiles striking) arrive for the player ship. Possible, but highly unlikely. I'd go so far as to say, I think by now someone would have reported an issue where they launched the escape pod in normal space and got the Game Over screen instead.
I can certainly understand the desire for realism. Having escape pods destroyed by shockwaves makes some sense, but on the other hand, surely escape pod manufacturers would have taken that fact into consideration when designing their pods, knowing that their first taste of space would likely be right beside the exploding hulk of a large ship. Throwing some hand-wavium into the mix, you could say escape pods are launched inside a short-term energy field, designed to protect them from any immediate danger outside the ship, but this shield can only operate for a second or two due to the limited energy reserves of the pod, which is why escape pods are so fragile afterwards.