Warrant Officer, Engineering Corps
So, version 5 is bringing external modules. What are your ideas for some interesting ones?
Here are some of mine:
That's all for now :)
Yay, suggestions! :D Something like helium balloons is coming in the form of external Suspendium tanks. What would spikes do? Deter boarders? Act as tiny ramming prows?
Side-mounted helium balloons/suspendium baloons sounds good actually. I didn't think any balloons would be useful because suspendium exists, but if they just alleviate some of the weight- they could make airships take less damage when falling, or make them lift a bit faster. They would have to be carefully balanced though, because suspendium chambers are a big part of ship design.
Maybe spikes could be a bit like ramming armor. When you run into things/things run into you they take some damage, and your spikes take damage?
External ladders sound pretty cool, you could add hatches as external modules, and connect ladders to them. In the future if crew members are able to ground and ditch their airship, they could leave through those hatches. External ladders would make crewmembers the ultimate sitting ducks though, thats what might balance it, since covering your ship with ladders would otherwise make ship layout obsolete. Maybe crewmembers could use external ladders when there are no other routes due to fire/exploded modules.
Crows-nest could be the same thing as a telescope module, except they would hang off the ship somewhere.
I think external lanterns would look good, especially when dynamic lighting is implemented. Maybe there could be a chain external module that you could attach lanterns and things to. Imagine: Lanterns on chains swinging under an airship. Maybe you could attach big spiked balls to the chains. That would either look really awesome or really stupid. I could also use chains in my "Longshot" ship design to attach the top deck to the bottom one. making it look sturdier.
Maybe there could be rigging just to look aesthetic. It could work a bit like Garry's Mod rope: you would select two areas on the ship grid, and a rope of rigging would appear between them.
I wish you could hang flags over the bottom of modules, so the top is attached and the bottom is just waving freely. It might look silly unless flags wave in the breeze though.
An anchor could be another external module. It would just come down when a ship is close to the ground, so they stay put instead of blowing away. It wouldn't actually affect gameplay though.
So whenever the word "side-mounted" is used I am liable to nix the idea, sorry, because I don't want to weaken layouting constraints.
OTOH, crow's nests would be cool, and so would lanterns and flags. Aesthetic addons are definitely planned in the decals section to allow you to greeble your ship. :D
Now hatches are an interesting one. I'm currently working on boarding and thinking of making hatch modules mandatory, in fact, to answer the otherwise ill-defined question of how one gets in and out of a ship! This could provide some extra layouting fun, as hatches would have a maximum range at which they can service a ship, so you need your hatches to be central-ish but well defended against invaders.
I feel like my aesthetic rigging idea is more relevant now that suspendium dust chambers are a thing.
Another aesthetic idea: smokestacks. These already exist as pipes on the sides of ships, but there could be large, paint-able, decorative versions to tack on the top of airships to spew smoke everywhere.
Although, when combined with my fog idea, all that smoke could easily give you away.