Larger ships will have multiple shield generators which can be targeted and will fail individually. This will add an extra level of skill where attackers can inflict hull damage by firing weapons at a single point and the prey navigates in a way that draws fire to working shields.
The operating shield radius on very large ships will also allow for very small fighters to be able to sneak under them and cause immediate damage to the hull.
Unlike previous Elite games where ships would simply explode once the hull integrity hit zero, the ship models will be divided in to sections so that damage will be localised to where weapon fire impacts. This means that, for example, the cargo hold can be exposed (shedding cargo) but thrusters, hyperdrives and weapons would not be affected.
Once a ship has been targeted, a subsystem can be specifically targeted, making it possible to attack specific modules to cause desired malfunctions. Frontier Developments have already hinted at future updates allowing for boarding of ships.