I rather enjoy playing Avorion and love the amazing creativity, effort, support, and love that can be, and is poured into the game, it's content and ship. What I think might be interesting, if it is doable, is the ability to attach smaller vessels to larger ones. Ships can dock at stations, sure... But, Let's say though your ship is in the middle of nowhere, and not near a docking station, or at least not a friendly and/or player built one, and unable to jump to a station as it is out of his jump range, or lacking in power or the capability due to combat... In such a scenario, you could in theory attach/link/dock the smaller vessel to the larger one, making it into a sort of Transport ship for those smaller Craft. Other uses for this could be for jumping larger collections of forces without relying on individual ship jump systems and wormholes. It could also give me incentive for designing ships for specific purposes and classes. For Example, a transport ship for ferrying those smaller vessels would not be a capable frontliner and could perhaps serve as a bit of a mobile refueling and repair station or something like that, with limited resource depending on it's cargo capabilities and such. Additionally a ship designed specifically for ship ferrying, could potentially free up upgrade slots in frontliners and allow for more capable frontline vessels with greater weaponry and firepower, and/or more defensive capability. Depending on your choice of design. I have a whole slew of ideas centered around this that could add a great possibilities and benefits. Thought I might throw this out there and see what others think.
I came to realize recently that I need further clarification on what I mean. Thank you to AvorionCraft, for bringing me around to that realization. When a ship is docked to another ship, all but the most basic systems needed to run that ship are shut down in a manner of speaking. It is, in some way attached or held in place by docking clamps on the exterior of the carrier ship, and all functions and controls are essentially handled by the transport ship. The carrier ship would only change in mass, and thereby the required energy needed to produce thrust and/or to make a jump, which could be supplied by the docked ship(s). It would have the capability to transfer crew, fighters, and any cargo (including torpedoes) and both ships would still be separate entities, but so long as the smaller ship is docked to that carrier transport, it's incapable of moving or acting on it's own. Shields are powered down or minimal (less than 25%) and all turrets are inactive. If the transport ship is attacked and destroyed while the ship(s) are still docked, all ships docked are also destroyed. In the case of needing an emergency undock due the carrier transport being nearly destroyed and under heavy fire, An emergency undocking procedure could be performed that undocks all attached ships by destroying/severing the carrier's docking clamps and it will be incapable of having any ships redock, or new ships dock until the ship has been fully restored and repaired at a repair dock. Additionally, in order to make a carrier transport/ferry for ships, maybe this could be something designated through specific equipment modules that must be permanently installed or even a new Artifact module, and any ship with the module(s) suffers a percentage reduction in current total Shield points, Hull Points, and Turret Slots and gains a number of docking hardpoints to determine how many ships it can ferry, and an increase in jump range, and an increase in cargo capacity. I believe doing it through an equipment in this manner would also reinforce the idea that the carrier transport is not meant to be on the frontlines and that this would be a support ship that can resupply and transport other space craft.
My reasoning for all this is a combination of thinking more realistically and strategically. This would allow one to dedicate a ship specifically to transporting other ships across the sectors but would provide a reason not to always have a ship docked to another, and it would give incentive not to just jump into a combat sector and deploy a massive fleet of ships. Instead, you would jump your carrier ship a few sectors out, ideally in a safe sector controlled by you or an ally, undock your ships, and then jump into combat. In this way there would be a combination of balance and utility.
P.S. Thanks again to AvorionCraft for the realization of how vaguely I described my idea, I hope this is more clarified, and possibly a greater understanding of my idea for Carrier Transports and ferrying vessels.
Feb 22 2021: Spelling and grammatical errors.
April 07, 2021: Clarification and more detailed break down