This is interesting to me. I have long been a fan of the idea of having a slot for warp cores, or I suppose more accurately, engine cores if we're talking about employing different types of engines. Why not have an armor/hull plating slot?
It would be cool if starships had fore, aft, starboard, and rear hull plating slots.*
If you have a matching plating set then it would gives a slight extra bonus.*
Or you could set up your ship to be resistant to phasers on the left and polarons on the right, then show your stronger side to opponents based on their weapon type.*
For every 10,000 hull a ship has, it should accomodate an extra layer of hull plating per slot. *For the largest cruisers this would allow a stack of up to four hull platings per slot.*
Each plating layer would give a small turn rate reduction.*
Instead of acting as a damage reduction amount that can be debuffed, instead, hull plating would add a new, third pool of HP (to go along with shields and main hull) that represents the plating itself.
So if a cruiser with all Pha/Dis plating gets hit by polarons, it would not affect the plating, only direct hull. But if it gets hit by phasers, some % of the damage would initially get taken out of the plating HP pool instead of the main hull pool.
Crit percentage*against hull plating would be proportional to its remaining HP percentage. So for example, an undamaged all-kinetic plating would prevent 100% of crits from torps, but once it's been exploded down to 50% plating HP, it would only reduce crit percentage by 50% against kinetic.
Also to get the max effect of plating, all layers would have to be in use. So for an Escort with one layer of Pha/Dis plating, the initial effective crit reduction of the plating would be the highest possible. Meanwhile a Cruiser would need all 4 slots full to get the max.*However the Escort's plating would burn off 4x faster and it's effective crit reduction against phasers would diminish 4x faster.*
To rephrase: for a 40k+ hull cruiser to receive the full 100% crit reduction, it would need 4 undamaged, identical layers on a given side.*
Hull repair abilities could not restore plating HP beyond the same percentage as the existing main hull HP level. So therefore if your hull is 20% then your plating would not be repairable beyond 20%.
Ship damage could disable certain hull plating slots.
Currently I think it's a bit unfair to Cruisers that if they want any DR they have to give up their EPS consoles, SIF generators, etc. for some crappy plating that is no better than it would be on an escort, and can be magically rendered totally useless by debuffs that take no time or skill to use.*
Meanwhile we Tac capt.s don't have to put weapons in our Tac console slots.