This is mostly a collection of ideas I have for new ship systems and weapons that could be added to increase the variety available with both ship design and munitions/engineering/science projects.
Mine Layer: A silo like structure that ejects IFF equipped magnetic mines out the rear of the ship. When an enemy ship approaches, the mine will activate and slowly home in on the target vessel. Upon contact, it explodes. If the ship flies out of range, the mine goes dormant till activated again. Mines can be shot down like torpedoes, but can be very dangerous for the unaware pilot that likes to use the turbo jet on cooldown. This could be used by player ships to deal with pursuing ships or for area denial.
Beam Projector: An energy weapon that fires a long lasting beam that does more damage the longer it strikes the enemy ship. It’s a power hungry weapon, requiring more overcharge in order to fire it for longer periods without recharging. Keep it fixed on the enemy ship for as long as possible to maximize damage.
Fighter Drone Fabricator: This device ejects and controls automated drones that essentially act like mini interceptors. They only do light damage, and don’t have much armor, and self destruct after they run out of fuel, but a steady stream or a large swarm can cause havoc. A person can take manual control of a drone if they wish to pilot one. Could be an alternative to public Gauss for munition support or something for fighter pilots to do if all the fighters are destroyed.
Bluespace Artillery: The most feared energy weapon ever developed, rivaling the destructive power of a nuke. The station goal has now been repurposed to act as a ship mounted laser cannon. It has a VERY long cooldown, but when fired, can punch holes straight through ships, potentially taking out light carriers in one shot. Better make that one shot count.
Cloaking Projector: Stolen syndicate tech repurposed to function aboard Nanotrasen ships. This device, when powered, hides the ship from hostile scanners. AI ships won’t target the player ship nor will enemy player ships see the vessel on DRADIS until within close range.
Armor Mender: This machine deploys nanites to repair ship armor. It draws from the ships ore silo for repair materials, so it’s not a cheap solution. However, it can be of great use to ships that lack repair squads or engineers.
DRADIS/TAC/HLM Upgrade Disk: A simple upgrade that increases the radar range of the DRADIS, and increases the maximum view range of the TAC and HLM. Being able to see farther is itself a big buff.
Weapon Autoloader: As it says, this system automatically loaded ship weapons. Of course, this one will need some balance and consideration of which weapons should and should not have auto-loading. My candidates would be the gauss guns, due to their rapid ammo consumption and cumbersome reloading method with the loading racks, and the rail gun, due to their frequency of use require almost constant manning that could be better spent on torpedoes or manning the gauss guns. It would be especially helpful for low pop crews.
Distress Beacon: A device that sends an emergency signal to all ships in the current or neighboring sectors. On fighters, it only alerts ships in the sector, and shows up on the DRADIS as a flashing white dot. Good for signaling the main ship you need help. On the main ship. It will send a distress signal to nearby sectors. This can be good and bad. The good being that friendly fleets and ships will come to your aid. The bad being that enemy fleets will also receive the signal, and may capitalize on the opportunity and jump sectors to attack. There’s a long cooldown on it so it can’t be abused, and abuse of the system could result in it being locked by CC.