> Maximum shield capacity is increased overall, reaching a value of (number of joined ships) * (highest shield capacity from among joined ships).
Clarification: you mean maximum shield capacity of the matrix itself.
> R&D has also explained that having the matrix active while docked, effectively recharging the entire group’s shield quickly, is not possible in real life. We could only do it in the test due to a simulation bug.
Correct. R&D informs me that Prototype MkII already includes a safety feature guarding against a resonant cascade scenario, in which station shields fall into resonant frequency with the docked ship, which would be catastrofic.
The whole crux of this N’Tani technology is in managing the shield frequencies of matrix members and not letting them fall into resonance with each other.
Station shields have much higher “mass” and are out of safety margines for what the ship-borne defense matrix can effectively dampen.
Ships which are docked, or were docked in the last 15 seconds, will automatically temporarily disable the local shield matrix generators. No human input required. If the joint shield matrix was ARMed and shields were up during the duration of docking, the matrix will automatically reconnect at earliest possible moment deemed safe by the computer.
> The activation of the joint shield matrix is probably a bit too complex to make it useful in emergency situations (such as protecting a tractored ship).
On the contrary, R&D sees some potential of the defense matrix for rescue operations. However, crew training may be required to know how to effectively act in a “panic” scenario.
Be advised that shield generators being destroyed and/or shields being “at 0” does does not affect the ability to join the shield matrix – only the fact that shields are enabled matters.