Thanks for the explanations.
Ho hardheads at all seems a bit too radical to me . .
You're probably right...
When I was prepping v 0.2 I briefly added hardheads (including a hardheaded torpedo) until I remembered the Thargoids.
These ships are extremely fast for their size and invariably have ECM Systems (this was originally a Thargoid invention to counter Navy missiles, subsequently copied by the Navy from captured Thargoid ships).
In elite there were no hardheads of course, and one of the things that made Thargoids so tough was that they always had ECM.
The hardheads I was thinking of would have been very high tech level (14) but the player just needs one such system on their route (there aren't very many to be fair) and they can stock up indiscriminitely. I also find the ECM spamming
required versus the hardheads a bit annoying.
Maybe there's a better way to do it. Suppose hardheads were tech level 13, higher than the ECM they counter (now at TL12) as it's supposed to be based on captured Thargoid tech. However, being very dangerous weapons (potentially able to bypass police and even station defences) they are only available at multi-governments or higher (effectively black market) and perhaps also high tech worlds plagued by civil war. Charge a grand each for the privilage and, like the ECM itself, they are now much less common.
If a thousand credits seems a bit steep then remember that they were 350 each and now only approx 1/3 of ships that had ECM before still have it (ECM having some ability vs hardheads, if not much).
I could probably cook up a script to make Thargoids immune to hardheads (easy enough to do if the firer is the player but otherwise I'd need to think about it...)
Meanwhile there are issues around making standard missiles more expensive.
Suppose standard missiles cost twice as much. If the starting player sells all missiles then he or she now has (30 x 2 x 3 + 100) 280, rather than 190 credits (actually, that's not so terrible).
I'll think some more before updating but what is likely to be coming is smaller ships will use the weaker defence missiles while the big freighters favour the torpedos.
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