For example, NPCs ships within BR could feature a lot of living space like crew quarters, command bridge, engineering rooms ...etc adding to mass and cost, most likely to make scavenging interesting. With death-cubes ignoring these aesthetic features, they could equal the performances of an NPCs' ships for a fraction of the cost and weight. ...
But if the cube is approaching the limit of BR's ship-size, no other ship can be larger
. Which is what my point is - the ships that are a problem
are those near the upper limit. Smaller ships that are significantly
more expensive than small cubes are either A) Significantly more massive than the cube, and thus probably more than an even match, or B) Significantly more massive and
devoid of useful bits, better serving as museum pieces than actual in-game ships.
The key is the "significantly" bit - some extra hull shouldn't be so expensive as to be crazy to add. So a ship with 5% more hull is 5% stronger but maybe only 1% more expensive - a reasonable return that makes it attractive to build over a cube. If you're significantly more expensive and don't have the same 'core' parts, you're probably way
more massive - hull is bound to be much
cheaper than engines, weapons, shields, reactors, and etc. block-for-block.
The trouble is that any
ship with the exact
same blocks as a cube won't be as all-around effective (barring exploding chain-reaction bits) - the cube is higher density, and can mount it's equipment all around more effectively than some other shape. But, with the potential for modular weapons or reactors or whatever ends up in-game, you might build your ship differently. The cube might have 6 guns, one on each face, and engines on each face. Your ship might have all the engines on the back and guns on the front, giving you more firepower in one direction. You might have one big gun instead of 6 smaller ones, giving you more penetration (of shields or armor - you've got the same DPS but higher damage-per-shot); shoot, that might make it so that your ship is immune
to the cube's weapons, while you can insta-kill him!