I those ideas. From the Depths has a pretty balanced system, with design quality reigning supreme over weapon spamming. This is partially because of ammo and countermeasures. Sure you *can* build gunbeds, but they're expensive explosion hazards that get countered by specialized defence systems easily. Missiles do ridiculous damage from small launchers (like Terra Tech,) but require lots of ammunition and are easily countered, (unlike Terra Tech.) If we had missile countermeasures like IR flares, radar decoys, and anti-missile cannons, missiles wouldn't be such an everything-destroying instant win.
I'd love to add ammo, but not for TerraTech. It would help solve many of the balancing issues with more powerful weapons being a no-brainer choice, but at this point, it would be too much of a change to the game.
Perhaps if we get the chance to make TT2 (not confirming or alluding to, just talking), I'd like to introduce things like this to consider when attempting to build your Tech.
I'd like to handle it in a way that still allows most people to build whatever they want, but if advanced players take notice of the deeper systems, they might take advantage of buffs if they consider things like, ammunition, electric supply, overheating, structural stress, wind resistance, armouring weak spots, like fuel and ammo reserves etc.
So, everything would still work at a basic level if you build with no regard for any of that stuff, but you would have other things to consider when refining your Tech to make it as good as it can possibly be.
I have suggested a similar ammo system in the past but a bit less complex. Here's a not-so-brief rundown since I can't find my old post:
Most weapons would still produce their own ammo but their rates of fire (ROF) would be cut by about 30%. This represents the fact that the weapons need to contain a small generator, capacitor and, for those that use projectiles, a fabricator to create their own ammo. A new family of capacitor (or "cap") blocks would be added to the game:
GSO Small Weapon Capacitor (GSWC): 1x1x1 block with a connector on each face. Allows all weapons connected to it to access tech's energy storage for increased ROF. In the case of projectile weapons this means they produce their ammo quicker.
Venture Medium Weapon Capacitor (VMWC): 2x2x1 block with a connector on each face. Works like Small Weapon Capacitor but provides three times the transfer of stored power to weapon systems compared to GSWC. Slightly explosive if destroyed.
Hawkeye heavy weapon capacitor (HHWC): 2x2x2 block with a connector on each face. Expensive and fairly well armored but it goes up like a cruise missile blast if destroyed. Provides four times the transfer of power compared to a VMWC.
Factors such as the actual amount of power drawn while weapons are firing or regenerating ammo (i.e. missiles and rockets) can be balanced by the devs. There are several possible approaches: each weapon draws the same amount of power with smaller weapons getting a bigger boost than heavier ones; all attached weapons could get the same ROF boost with bigger guns drawing more power; weapons might require a cap booster that matches their size; weapons might only get boosted by caps made by the same corp - there is a lot of flexibility for balancing here. Obviously, the more weapons you boost on a tech the bigger your energy reserve will need to be so as to not quickly deplete power. As you can imagine this system makes energy production and storage even more tactically important. The weight of batteries also becomes even more of an issue in tech design. The whole concept, IMO, forces the player to make critical choices about tech design and encourages specialization, something that was largely tossed out with 0.7 and beyond. It also makes armor more attractive for defense because it doesn't burn power. AI techs will need to be adjusted as well, perhaps with a lot more variation in designs which makes for a greater variety of missions. Gun pyramids without capacitors will now fire a good bit slower and need to rely more on pure defense or tracking weapons to fend off fast, well-armed player techs.
I also proposed capacitors that provide the same kind of power-tapping boosts but for shield and repair bubbles instead of weapons. GC's was the biggest, of course. Now that we have BF in the fold I'll include them as well:
GSC defense capacitor (GDC): 1x1x1 block that accesses tech's energy storage to boost the effectiveness of repair and shield blocks attached to the GDC.
Venture Defense Capacitor (VDC): 1x1x1 block that accesses tech's energy storage to boost the effectiveness of repair and shield blocks attached to the VDC. Lighter but slightly less transfer power than GSC version.
Geocorp Heavy Defense Capacitor (GHDC): 2x2x2 block that accesses tech's energy storage to boost the effectiveness of repair and shield blocks attached to the GHDC.
Better Future Medium Capacitor (BFMC): 2x2x1 block similar in capability to VMWC but provides boosts to both weapons and bubbles. More expensive and slightly heavier than Venture's. Suggested: only boosts BF blocks.
Better Future Large Capacitor (BFLC): 2x2x3 block that works like BFMRC but provides 2.5 times the energy transfer. Suggested: only boosts BF blocks.
Note: HE doesn't get a defense capacitor because their shield and repair tech are arguably superior already.
I had considered suggesting blocks that altered other weapon characteristics like effectiveness vs shields or armor at the expense of the other. However, that could get really tricky to balance and maybe even affect game performance. I'm not completely opposed to the idea of really powerful weapons requiring a separate ammo production block but I really think the two should need be directly attached. Logically, this should allow those big guns to get a size and weight reduction but that could create new balance issues. If any weapon needed a separate block to produce ammo I would say its the cruise missiles. Whether or not that ever happens I would love to some kind of visual effect to show that rockets and missiles don't just magically appear: either a tiny wormhole as they reload or maybe a "nanolathe" effect while their being produced.
I really have to disagree. The original argument proceeds from the idea that in the real world, combat vehicles made entirely of chassis and weapon are unrealistic.
It's just not true, such things do exist IRL, they're called field artillery, and are by a huge margin the most effective non-missile weapons in history. It's commonly thought today that half of all combat losses ever, were caused by artillery of some form. They do generally keep a small stock of ammo on/with the guns, but not much. There are dedicated systems and vehicles to bring ammo from stockpiles to the guns as it's needed. Real world artillery has a massive group of people in the background making it all work, from forward observers to paralegals, to meteorologists with weather balloons. Excluding everything except the ammo pallet trucks, modeling that in TT would just create another vulnerable tech with comically unhelpful AI for the 3 seconds before it becomes one with the block carpet.
Real world combat systems render most of the fun, wacky thing we do in TT either unusable or ineffective. The game clearly needs some form of balance added between small/huge techs, armor/shield/guns/missiles, speed, range, tracking & traversal, etc. The problem is in the interaction between the game mechanics, the solution must come from the same place; bringing in real world ideas won't help.