I came to the conclusion that the word "superweapon" is honestly something extremely vague.
Yes, this is intentional. We are not barring a specific kind of weapon, like a superlaser or galaxy gun, but rather the concept of a weapon which is so severely overpowered that it has been labeled under the category of 'Superweapon'.
To give you perspective on why certain specific examples you've provided are, indeed, superweapons, I'll list out the specific features that are combined together in their respective articles that have earned them that categorization.
Metal-Crystal Phase Shifter, given it's merely a shield-penetrating weapon like the already legal Solar Ionization Cannon
- This weapon bypasses shields.
- This weapon changes the molecular composition of the section of the hull immediately around the affected/struck area into powder.
Every strike from this weapon does both of the two prior bullet points, which means that in as little as one or two strikes the entire craft, ranging from behemoth-sized dreadnoughts to minuscule corvettes, could be collapsed upon themselves simply because the structural integrity was compromised by turning the hull of the ship into powder. I needn't explain how this would translate if the weapon was made into rifle or turret, and utilized on individuals. Wookieepedia Article Here.
To describe this as a renamed or reskinned Solar Ionization Cannon is a grossly oversimplified description.
the Ascendant Spear is below the maximum hyperdrive limit allowed by the rules
From the Wookieepedia Article:
This ship was not classified as a superweapon solely for having a 0.5 class hyperdrive, it was equipped with a "megalaser", which is, based on the description of this weapon, a superlaser. A single shot from this weapon destroyed entire capital ships, and it, alone, could destroy entire star fleets.
what actually constitutes a superweapon? Is there a destructive limit that defines what is a superweapon? Is there a metagame aspect relating to the definition?
- Is the weapon vastly overpowered?
- Does this weapon's use cause other writers to be unable to reasonably react to the weapon's use and potentially force damage upon their character, or otherwise pressure them into forcing damage upon their character?
- Does this weapon destroy any celestial objects? (See: Stars, Planets, Moons)
- Does this weapon force damage onto another writer, despite there being clearly stated rules on our site which prohibit such?
- Does this weapon "one-shot" the targets it is intended to be used on? i.e; A turbolaser which destroys capital ships in a single hit, or an ion cannon which disables an entire fleet in a single shot.
Questions, such as those above, are ones which you should ask yourself when determining whether something is or is not a superweapon. If you said yes to any of the questions above, and questions related to such, you are likely dealing with a superweapon. If you are still uncertain, you can pose the question in the Factory Discussion, or in the Factory Q&A thread, or simply PM either myself, Zef Halo, or Jamie Pyne, or ask any of our Factory Judges via PM.