I'm not a modder, so don't go thinking I'll be making this into a mod. However, it's a game idea that could end up adding a new and exciting layer to the game, and there's not really any other forum for it. So here goes:
You've seen it in the movies. The ship is under attack, everything is blowing up, and the battle is lost. The heroic captain broods over his regrets, things he should have done differently, and hesitates before issuing his final command: All hands abandon ship! Crewmen run along flaming corridors, strangely aflush with oxygen and well grounded by the impregnable artificial gravity system, as sectors begin to lock into quarantine, the men trapped behind doomed to icy vacuum. Ushered into their assigned pods, the more superstitious crew hold onto their icons and recite a quiet prayer as they are secured into place. Cramped, with far more men rushing to enter the overcrowded pod, the field promoted sargent struggles to kick away a paniced mass before shutting the hatch. The squeal of the warning sirens are drowned out in the chaos as the pod blasts off into space, only for the shipless crew to see that the battle has just begun...
Okay, so I'm not really a writer either. Sue me. Here's the good part:
Escape pods, in a nutshell, are the last gasp of breath from a dying ship. They are tiny, noncombatant units which have a chance to be automatically spawned from a dying ship. Escape pods typically sacrifice themselves to provide a minor, one use ability. These abilities, while they don't turn the battle, will provide some compensation for the loss of the ship. I will discuss two potential types of escape pods- one released from capital ships, and one released from typical frigates- along with some potential abilities.
Capital Ship Escape pods:
- Engine core: Not actually an escape pod, this volatile core is ejected directly into the enemy fleet, exploding into minor area damage. Consolation prize for a low level ship.
- Relief crew: A fresh rush of relatively healthy men are sent directly to battle stations. The ship gains a minor boost to combat power, or a refreshment of abilities, or restores a small amount of hull.
- "Relief" crew: A fresh rush of relatively healthy men are sent directly to the furnace. Can't have any witnesses, after all. Restores a small amount of antimatter.
- Elite trained crew: These are the few good crew that managed to escape from the blast. Sacrificing the pod will grant a level up to any nearby capital ship. Typically from a decently levelled ship.
- Ability pod: A heavily damaged(lower level) component for one of the capital ship's abilities, good for just one more use. Probably from a high level ship, as you will need the ability to use it.
Frigate escape pods:
- Relief crew: Same thing as above. Also good for "relief".
- Scrap salvage: Small chunks of ship that can be used in other ships. Provides a bonus to hull restore rates.
- Valuable Salvage: Not actually an escape pod, but rather a valuable chunk of space debris that can be collected for some resources.
- Colony crew: For a small fee, this ragtag team of survivors are still good for colonizing a well or an extractor. Typically from colony ships.
- Engine core: It's a small, volatile engine core, only good for dealing damage to one ship. Not an escape pod.
- Orbital wreckage: Aflaming of space debris aimed at into an orbital structure, dealing damage. not an escape pod.
- Meteor wreckage: A flaming ball of space debris in low orbit, aimed at a planet. Does some damage and injures population. Probably the only use for a siege ship. Not an escape pod.
Okay, that's all I got. Any ideas, comments, etc., remember that there's no such thing as too much spam.