Right now it's kind of a theoretical problem that we can't solve without actually testing deathcube designs in-game against more streamlined designs.
Been a few vehicular voxel games to try it out on... Space Engineers, Star-Made, Robocraft... and the boat one, I forget its name now. In Star-Made as I recall death cubes just got stupid strong. I haven't tried a death cube in Space Engineers, but then the combat in SE is only rudimentary at the moment.
Personally, I think it's a stylistic boogeyman that we really shouldn't feel too worried about, but we'll see in time.
Quite right, but the 'Death Cube' is always the best test to run when you think you've come up with a brilliant way to calculate the efficiency of a ship component or some such. Usually it goes something like this:
"Oh, hey! We could just do <X genius> and <Y calculus> to easily calculate <Z strength>!"
"What about death cubes?"
"Right. Back to square one."
A death cube often draws attention to flaws in code logic that would be open to abuse.
The big deal preventing deathcube 'abuse' is going to be heat management
Not so certain on that one... if we were to do voxel-to-voxel heat, sure, but as it stands it's likely to be chunk-by-chunk, which would allow a death cube to escape any real consequence for having a thick hull (since there would be no distinguishing barrier).
Your are seriously going to add aerodynamics into a SPACE game that is based on VOXELS ?!
Just for entering and exiting warp, and maybe fuel consumption during transit - if it feels like it would be a fun mechanic to do so. I feel again though we'd be limiting people's designs for the sake of W1NN!NG teh gaem.
For all intents and purposes I see the ship's outer hull as terrain in an RTS game. It's the landscape that the battle takes place. With that in mind, a player who armors-up with a death cube would be the RTS equivalent of "turtleing". The best way to break a turtle is usually to use abilities/weapons that are AOE (area of effect) that will cause larger collateral damage with the build-up of defenses all in one spot.