Major Problems of Modular Armor:1. In order to use night-vision goggles (which are cheap), I *have to* have modular armor with batteries (which require chemical production).
IMO this is unbalanced: ability to see at night shouldn't be bundled with advanced protection or advanced energy management.
Similar thing happens with exoskeletons - I know of no reason why an increase in walking speed should be coupled with an increase in armor protection.
2. The User Interface for managing carry-on items is very cumbersome. De facto, it is an interface of an item (modular armor), not a stand-alone interface of the game.
3. It harms New Player Experience.
When I started Factorio, I created night-vision goggles early-on, but I couldn't figure out where to put them to make them work.
Nothing in the game explained that I needed another item (modular armor) to use those goggles.
How Factorio could fix it:I propose that instead of modular armor a player is given a number of slots for carry-on items.
UI may be similar to player's inventory, possibly located on the next tab to it.
Modular armor and upgrades can increase the number of slots later in the game.
It provides several advantages:
1. You can use any carry-on item right away. No need to wait for upgraded armor.
2. The interface reminds of personal inventory and thus is familiar.
3. While night-vision goggles would still require placing them in a certain spot to work, it is one step simpler now because this spot is *not* inside another item.
4. Armor upgrades can be simplified now. Instead of making a better armor and throwing the old one away, Factorio could provide "armor plates" that would be added in the same pockets as carry-on items, thus making the player balance armor protection and exoskeletons / personal laser defenses.