Preface; Yes, this idea is ridiculous and will never be done. It’s just a description of an ideal system I’d like to see in some game, some day.
Additional disclaimer: Yes, this would require a re-write of many other systems including combat and inventory.
However hard it would be to implement this idea is easy to describe; Use the vehicle system to construct power armor and character anatomy including CBMs and mutations.
How it would look:
When player examines his anatomy a UI similar to vehicle-making appears. There the player sees a couple of tiles in a shape of a human. When selecting the head tile the player sees a list of organs present on that tile: Skull, brain, eyes, ears, nose, lips, teeth, tongue, jaw. Just like a list of vehicle parts on a vehicle tile.
Through that list the player can:
See the status of his organs. Maybe his eyes are shredded. Maybe his nose is bleeding. Maybe his heart is missing after a Hulk punched his chest.
See the mutations of his organs and body parts. Maybe that human shape isn’t very human anymore. Maybe his head has a dozen eyes instead of two. Maybe his [nose] turned into a [snout]. Maybe his skin got an extension of [scales].
See and manage his CBMs, which act just like organs and may require organs to be amputated before/during installation. Tho I must add I don’t get this… Why use CBMs to replace organs specifically if they can be additions instead? Why such limitation that cyborgs have to look human on the surface?
Upon examining a power armor the player likewise sees a humanoid shape made up of tiles in the same UI similar to vehicle construction and there the player also sees all the currently attached parts of that power armor in much the same manner. This would obviously require inclusion of joints or attachment points to determine where new limbs can be added both for power armor and anatomy UI.
For that I’ll add another disclaimer because while researching pre-existence of similar threads I’ve come across a comment by Kevingrenade where he expressed that Fallout 4 went too far in regards to what the player could possibly construct… To which I say that I don’t understand what’s so hard in bolting in prefabricated parts specifically designed for a modular system by engineers for ease of repairs in the field for military operations. Or you know… self-surgery. Sorry if I misunderstood that comment.
Mostly because FO4 did not restrict itself to using prefabricated parts. You had to find the base parts, but then there was an upgrade system to take “Class A” parts and upgrade them to “Class F” parts as well as add modules to them: Fallout 4 armor mods | Fallout Wiki | Fandom Other than the upgrade system and the silly paint job system, it works roughly as I intend dda’s power armor to work.
I’m strongly in favor of a modular power armor system, but the majority of the parts (frame, motors, power systems, optics, HUDs, stabilization systems and many accessories) would be un-craftable and likely un-repairable.
What you would be able to do is swap compatible parts between different power armor sets or add them if found.
Additionally you should be able to craft simpler add-ons, like attaching pre-existing guns, bolting/welding on armor plates, adding cargo carriers etc.
I like it, if nothing more it would be a much nicer and possibly easier to use UI for mutations and power armor. A good UI enhances atmosphere and immersion. I could see it making the CBM limitation system much easier to swallow too.
i am actually in favor of power armor having split parts. right now it’s too “have or have not”. as in, i opened a bank safe and it had a full suit of heavy power armor. which is pure luck. but being able to go for particular enemies to gather bits that can be screwed together into power armor would have it be an actual goal instead of a thing you just stumble upon sometimes. and you can tier it as well. like kill riot bots and such for their basic servos and control systems to make a low-tier power armor, aka a big heavy frame with sheets of steel just welded to it. it’s heavier, less protective, and more encumbering then real power armor but it’s better then heavy survivor armor, which can let you then move on to fighting more advanced robots and enemies to get higher quality parts, like leg servos from chicken walkers, a control system from a tank drone, etc. things that would have been top-grade military hardware before the cataclysm, so you are not building this advanced death suit out of metal harvested by smashing a car.
The current power armor system can already support modular armor.
For example, the hauling frame can only be worn while wearing power armor. It therefore stands to reason that one could wear a power armor frame, which would permit wearing power armor plating (head, torso, arms, hands, legs, feet) on each body part, as well as permit wearing additional gear on each body part (hauling frame, makeshift hauling frame, heavy machine gun, rocket launcher, point defense, extra reactor, jet pack, etc.)
This would complicate things by needing to put on each “piece” of the power armor separately, but would permit swapping out individual plates of armor / optional gear.