How can it be 'all offense' when it can't even destroy a shieldless AI ship— I mean... ALL
ships in vanilla can do it, even the one without any gun whatsoever... That's embarrassing
Well since it has 0 defense, it has to be all offense by default
And both ships have only non-hull damaging weapons, which is why they can't destroy AI ships. They can still be dealt some punishment (ions+breach missile; burst sysdamage cannon) to avoid taking damage, but you have to leave them be and take no prize scrap. Basilisk becomes a super-strong ship eventually but early on it can't even damage AI ships (unless you have a lvl2 tele and then you have to stop the FTL recharge while your Mantis are meleeing the enemy weapons bay), and is utterly screwed against a Zoltan supershield. So advantage Magma in that one case.
I would not say it's super-duper strong except in cases where the enemy has no effective way of dealing with fires (no Engi, no Rocks, no repair drones). Such enemies are weak because they will focus on putting out fires in the shields rather than weapons, and there's you targeting multiple rooms on each strike giving them a real hell without any fear of retaliation.
Magma is my 2nd attempt at designing a playable shieldless ship and 3rd attemp at a ship with limited weapon slots. The older ones are the Imperial Interdictor which has 2 weapons but 4 drones (and shields mind you), and the other one is the ancient dreadnaught mod, which i will paint and release some day... That one has only 1 weapon slot (a superweapon), virtually no systems at all and needs 250 scrap before a shield can be powered up. It does have 90 HP though, and if the player manages to turn things around and repair back to at least half health, the end game is pretty much a guaranteed win but early on it's very hit and miss. So much hit n miss that you can actually lose after one jump. Sadly it's a bit boring to play because it's very limited.
From my experience, fire weapons are useless against AI and the Zoltan supershield, and are very poor against Engi crews and repair drones. They only work well if the fires can spread out of control, which is very hard to balance. I have to say that i did not aim to create a balanced fire ship
, but a ship with strong starting weapons that have to be discarded because they have downsides (no hull damage being the main reason). In addition to that, Magma is a gimped, utterly shieldless ship prone to fires (ironically), asteroids, boarding, beams!!, drones... actually pretty much everything is extra dangerous. It really badly needs several weapons and especially augs before it can even break even on the balance scale. So you're limited both by slots and the rng.
I'm glad to have your thoughts and rants. I'm slightly worried that i'm defending my mod too much.
One thing that i find slightly bizzare is that i completely suck at playing the IceLord, yet have no problem kicking asses in the early sectors when playing the Magma. To me it feels realy strong in the beginning, despite the numerous disadvantages. What gets me are those damn AI ships with massive evasion that appear in later sectors. Or damage accumulates to the point where it's impossible to survive a fight and no stores are in sight.