Originally Posted by Chumpy
Well, a "light reactor" already exists. If you mean a power load item for smaller slots, that's a solar panel or tesla coil. If you mean a weaker reactor, that's basically just a weak reactor (since there's no "cost" for power plants other than the slot). Stuff like medium laser or heavy shield generator could be interesting, although we don't want weapons to feel less special.
What could also be interesting would be some "neutral" modifiers that mess around with costs — items with a lower-than-usual power load but a higher energy cost, or the other way around. Or items with lower equip requirements but higher energy and/or power load costs (or the other way around).
I think "budget" and "cheap" items might work like this already, but if that's the case then maybe we could go more extreme?
Well, the issue I've come across is that to play around with different equipment, I need to have equipment that's weaker but that uses less power, and which can substitute for stronger stuff. So I might want to try out a flak system, which I've never tried before. I'll need something to replace another critical component. It's ok if the filler component is weaker so long as it consumes less power. But that goes against the grain of what you do in ARPGs: I'm constantly upgrading all item types for the best and strongest, which means I don't have weak items to substitute into my ship. I certainly don't have cargo room to carry mediocre stuff, and the item I need is probably not even available for sale anymore -- all comparable items have very high power costs. Having small versions of items, especially ones that can fit into light slots, could really help with this issue.