Most ship design threads devolve into people posting their roleplaying designs and everybody nodding along, as there isn't much to say about other peoples' roleplaying.
I tend to design and use one main combat ship. I used to design one for each weapon, but only for fun. Chooses escort, frigate or destroyer, as I can call them Name Mk and it will show up on screen neatly lined up as Name Mk 048, so I can easily create fleets. Fleet countermeasures and targetting are also added to each ship, as I can't be bothered to carefully allocate a specific amount of ships which are near identical in every respect but the tiny amount of space devoted to fleet ecm and targetting. Depending on my mood, either every ship after a certain size has troop transport, or I just design a dedicated troop transport with greater shields and speed and thrust vectors.
My design philosophy for a ship intended for combat is to design for a single main weapon type, be it beams, phasors, torpedoes or missles or whatever. This is becaase I think that having one gun means that there is a definate range where you can place your ships where they can do the maximum amount of damage, compared with any other ship weapon design.
Of course, it also means that there is an area of definate weakness, but that usually isn't a problem since in return the AI doesn't design for single weapon ships, and you are usually fighting over something.
I design for enough reactors to sprint and shoot all weapons as designing for being able to cruise and shoot all weapons, usually only gains a very small increase in space available for weapons or defence and hence combat power, whilst being able to sprint is a great boost to tactical capability.
I usually start the design with adding miscellaneous stuff like sensors and ecm and command centres and life support and proximity sensors and scanners, then add an appropriate and small amount of that anti fighter weapon, and ion defence. I take a good estimation of how much power I need for sprint and firing all weapons. The remaining space is subdivided equally into weapons, shields and engines. I sometimes design for less engines if I find I need the extra combat power against other ship designs, but space allocated to weapons and shields are the same, with a little juggling for weapon space already devoted to energy production.
The reason for equal space devoted to main weapons and shields is that is how to devote the space for highest combat ability.
I don't allocate much armour because in the original Distant Worlds it was near useless and got used to not assigning much, and also that they use up the vital carbon fibre resources.
Generally speaking, I aim to use up as much space as possible unless the energy needs cannot be met by adding more space, which sometimes occurs at the lower size limits, but rarely at the larger ones. The larger, the better, as certain important components such as hyperspace don't get any bigger, the larger the ship is, so a larger ship is naturally more efficient, as well as that 1 ships twice the size and cost of 2 ship destroys and survives against those 2 ships.
< Message edited by Plant -- 7/20/2013 4:55:30 PM >