I tossed this idea out in general chat, and it garnered some support, so I thought I’d post here.
Basic idea is to allow ships to dock onto surfaces in game. To dock, the ship must be at 0 m/s and a distance of <100 m from the surface. There is a 5 second deployment period, at which time the ship is still “on.” Once the 5 seconds are up, and the ship has landed on the surface, and the ship is switched off. During ship inactive time, the ship disappears from all enemy radars (except captains), its standard modules recharge at normal rates but are disabled from use (though I think multipurpose modules should be usable and have decreased cooldown), but its shields and weapon systems are rendered inactive. However, since shields go off with the ship, it makes sense to me that they are regenerating at 100% of normal rates. Ships that are disengaged from combat can still take damage (if a stray shot hits a disengaged ship, the enemy pilot will receive damage notifications, but this would be rare unless the ship was spotted beforehand). To re-engage in combat, the pilot must wait 1-2 seconds before the ship can undock from its position and be switched back on. Once re-engaged, the ship will reappear on enemy scanners and will have regenerated its shield at 100% speed and have access to them again. Basically, it sacrificed temporary shield durability for double the regeneration.
Tactically, this would be extremely useful for coordinated defenses of objectives. If a squad of 4 were to disengage from combat, waiting for the enemy to arrive at a point in space, they could ambush the enemy in an effective way without anyone being spotted beforehand.
Of course, this tactic has its weaknesses and bugs (which I hope to iron out with the community), which are important to note. First, ships must fully decelerate in order to dock, meaning that adpative shield builds take the biggest hit for this. Secondly, some jericho ships utilize high shield regen, so they might be overly tanky from the doubled rate. Of course, they are practically dead if they’re discovered, so maybe it’s not all that bad. Third, the delay for the docking procedure was created to avoid overuse and spam. You’d have to wait for the perfect or preferred time to use it. Someone mentioned having a dedicated module with a set recharge rate to avoid spam, but I’m unsure of which would be better.
**Also, I’d like to mention that games are too short in general. If this is implemented, I’d like to see longer games so we can have other strategies develop**