Please do not merge or lock this thread due to the other thread dealing with tier-less progression. I did not wish to hijack the other thread, so I began a separate one.
I could be completely off my rocker, so feel free to disagree. Rather than matching ships up via the current tier system, I would like to suggest that ships be ranked according to their survivability rating.
First , the difference in survivability rating between Interceptors, Fighters, and Frigates would have to be mathematically evened out so super powerful Intys wouldn’t be matched up against weak Frigates because their scores differed based on size.
Second , as modules are installed on a ship and improve its survivability, the ship gains rank. As the ship gains rank and synergy, it is able to make use of more implants. Due to natural limitations on hardware hardpoints, ships would have a maximum range of +2/3 ranks above their stock variation as their survivability would not be able to be increased further.
I say +2/3* ranks because if a ship has all Experimental items, it should be able to gain an additional rank.
Pros : Transition between “tiers” would be more natural and gradual as a player upgrades their ship. The number of matches featuring a few powerful upper-end tier ships vs. more generic ships would be reduced. It would remove the “power-ceiling” that tiers create.
Cons : It would be a major change from what most players are used to. It would require some tweaking of the survivability rating system. It could cause players to feel like their upgrades are less powerful as their immediate effect would be much more subdued. New players who pay GS for a premium T1 ship and gear would instantly be out of their league.
*Any and all numerical values are purely theoretical
Clearly I didn’t do the best job explaining. Survivability was more or less just an example (partly because I wasn’t sure exactly what all it measured). What I’m suggesting is that the current ship tier system_ be scrapped for an “overall rating” system_.
This number would take into account the base value of the ship, plus whichever upgrades are applied, plus synergy rank, to ultimately determine the final rank of the ship. Again, theoretically (Base Value + Synergy Level x 10) x (Module Quality) = Overall Value
Let’s assign a value to different quality parts and upgrades that multiply your ship’s score as follows: Mk1=x1; Mk2=x1.5; Military=x2; Mk3=x2.5; Experimental=x3
The Math Part:
Your generic T1 Fighter has a primary and secondary weapon slot, a weapon ammunition slot, and two active modules.
If the fighters base rank is set at 100, then the lowest its overall ranking can be is 100 with Mk1 gear and no synergy.
The maximum overall rating the fighter could achieve would be with all Experimental and Mk3 gear (since ammunition only reaches Mk3 now) and full synergy.
So your typical basic T1 fighter could range between an overall score of 100 to 4655
If Ranks 1-3 required ships to possess an overall minimum score of 100, 2250, and 4000 respectively, then it would be possible for our starter ship to reach Rank 3 and use Rank 3 implant abilities before its potential was maxed out and buying a new ship was required.
As fighters get more complex, this overall range increases due to more module slots and more synergy levels; thus more overlap between ship ranks. It would be possible to see a fully synergized and experimental module Tier 3 ship in a fight with slightly modified T4 ships and stock T5 ships. Thus blurring the lines between tiers.
You might say, but that is already a terrible idea to put T3 and T5 ships together. Well, that’s why as a ship gains rank it would also gain access to the abilities from the implants at each rank. Not a fix-all, but it’s a start.
Also, if the tier system were removed, modules and weapons would become universal between all ships of a given role. So your T2 Experimental Hull Reinforcement would become a universal Experimental Fighter Hull Reinforcement.