Although I am retired now I was for a few years a professional game designer. That means I was paid for my work in design and have a modest number of published works to show for it. I have stated, over and over that an 'equality of forces means player skill is prime".
What do I mean by equality of forces? That means any player, especially new players, get a basic number of points for any fleet, including beginner fleet. The ships are basic stats with no upgrades except for 'Favor' player wishes for that fleet. One, and only one, upgrade is allowed to the Admiral aboard whichever ship (s)he uses as a Flagship. Basic costs of ships is evened out and no +2 or +5 or +7 is used to reduce number of ships available to player. Max number of ships is determined by ship point costs. ALL ships presently in game will be available for purchase by any player for their fleet. The choices made by players for SHIPS instead of all those upgrades and 'specials' will mean that it will be players choice of ships and how well they play (skill) that determines outcome.
This method gives an easy and fun way to learn the confounded game before the more highly complex upgrades etc...take over the ships and selections.
1) Any ship lost or destroyed will be replaced by the Faction authorities in Points Value. The Admiral can either rebuy that ship exactly or replace it with other ship(s) using those points. Thus they will still have a fleet that can be used.
2) Any ships damaged will be repaired by those port authorities. Admirals, even in space, are not required to pay for ships or repairs. Their Governments do that.
3) Renown is unnecessary in the game as no 'economy' is useful except for points costs. As players advance, they will get small additions to their points to allow for no more than one upgrade or special and those have variable point costs based on their usefulness to that factions ships.
4) ALL player ships in the game will have at least a 10% higher rating (Range, damage, speed etc...) over ANY AI controlled fleet. This is primarily for the Campaign and new players. It would have NO effect on the MP games as both sides will be the same.
5) A SHIPS OF THE BFG selection in the Main starting menu should exist in LARGE LETTERS! A full data on every ship in the game, all factions, with their BASIC stats and a short GENERAL review of that ships basic function based on TT data. The data can be found in threads like that of Caligar's , a resource right here on the forums. You will find just about all the players, especially new ones, will haunt that in game page(s) over and over again as they plan their fleets.
There is more but this is probably TL:DR already. This is the opinion of a professional game designer so take it for what it is worth to you. My own design work was based on what I liked to play and had fun playing. This is my general suggestion on what I think this game needs to expand and remain more than a niche for elite experts. If that is not a concern, then simply ignore my recommendations.
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