I really like your ideals but the thought of an Invincible ship bothers me. What about an escape pod that is "Too small" to target with its "Guardian" jamming signal? Something three people could fit in for that boarding kill.... may even allow for an Iron Man update in the future.Currently, when a ship has 0% hull, it blows up instantly.
But what if the ship is just Hulled: - the hull integrity can no longer contain the ships air pressure.
Until repaired this ship has neither
If left alone the defending player can whip out their tool-kit, patch up their hull and get main-power back online, and limp back to the nearest star-port.
- No life support and
- no power
The Glory of instancing
Don't forget the very idea that each ship and their "internal layout", must exist in the same "instance" as the other players.
Think of it as if it's a networked game and your computer is "Hosting" a Gaming-Map (of your internal ship layout) that can be joined and played on by other players.
This gives two cases in the result of the current "death" mechanics.
Option 1) The Player and their Ship is removed from the Instance.
So current instancing dictates, that pvp pirates could board your ship, you could "quit" the game, (or your connection drops out).
effectively you stop hosting the instance and your ship (the game level ) magically "disappears" from underneath their feet.
This would now force the attacking players to respawn back in their cockpits.
Now make sense if we telepresence into boarding-robots, but not if physical players are on another players ship.
Option 2) The Player's ship PERSISTS in the instance.
So imagine, instead, that your ship and you the player can exist in different instances. It's peer to peer, you are "sharing" the instances between you.
Meaning if you "stop hosting", the shared instance (your ship) continues to exist in that instance until the other players leave the instance your ship is being the host for.
This means Gankers can Hull a ship and then mass-board the powerless commander's vessel.
And if you the player decided to rage-quit or combat log, your ship would remain in the other player's instance so they can have their way with your unprotected ship.
Now, this on the outset seems anti-gaming.
But it actually works in favour of some much needed "fixes" to the game.
Combat loggers effectively get to the escape pod and their ship and goods are forfeit and property of the other players.
Combat logging becomes self-harming and rewards the attackers.
(But what about gankers)
Conversely, Gankers now have no power over the player.
They can damage the ship until it stops moving, but they can't destroy the ship, nor kill the player or the destroy cargo.
They have to come onboard to finish the job. But this is a very risky proposition and may backfire
I-War: Defiance style, (when the protagonist's rebel ship got damaged and then the authorities docked with them to capture the pirate scum, so the protagonists, detach their command-module after they got boarded, and then boarded the authorities own vessel since they were not there defending it. (Boarding the borders).
Similarly poping on your EVA suit and leaving the ship via an air-lock, pretending that you died or you had combat logged (an episode of serenity).
Boarding - The Second chance of combat.
For pirating players this is ideal, they can attack and hull the other vessel and then extract the cargo by limpets or boarding.
Do the pirates Kill or spare the crew? oh the role-playering-choices.
The beauty here is - after a pirate attack, the defending player can just patch up their ship and limp back to the nearest star-port after a pvp-pirate attack.
But for gankers who wish to humiliate the players with their mighty ships.
Don't get to ruin the players night, as the defending players can just patch up their ship and limp back to the nearest star-port.
To finish the job, gankers would have to get onboard and kill the player.
Killing another player "outright" might become really laborious and time-consuming, and it's not easy either.
Consider what if the defending player kills the boarding players?
What happens then? will they respawn back at base, without their ships? A police holding cell?
Like combat logging, their pilot free vessels would be floating undefended in an instance somewhere to be salvaged.
Will they respawn back on their ships and in Solo with a cool down period before they are allowed in open.
Would a group of gankers toy with a player and attack their ship, but then the risk all trying to board and kill off said player. There is a risk that the very decision to do so, might ruin "their" night.
because if they came on board, the player could wind up killing "them" by being a pro-gamer or better equipped to repel the borders.
Or what if the defending player hits the self destruct button taking out ALL the attacking players onboard.
A whole wing of Gankers just got their night ruined by a single player they thought they could toy with.