I've been doing a lot of thinking and researching trying to find a reasonable ship design system without making major mechanics changes to Final Frontier (because I'm not willing to learn how to design a real ship creation system). Here's my ideas so far: 1. Use buildings to give automatic upgrades. In Moo2 the shields, computer, armor, and drive were automatically upgraded when designing a ship. I'd want to add buildings that you build on a star so every ship produced there will automatically get the latest shields, computer, armor, and drive "part upgrade" (aka promotion). Pros: -It would give the player more customization power because more picks would be able to be used for equipment. Cons: -It might get complicated to maintain, I know buildings can give free promotions, but how would you upgrade the buildings as new techs become available? Should they be given as free buildings in every star? Should the player worry about manually upgrading these buildings? 2. Get rid of the "promotion tree" Currently new tech promotions require the older tech to be used. (eg a new ship needs to have Nuclear Bombs, then Fusion, then Anti-matter to be able to get Neutronium bombs.) I want to get rid of the requirements for new part upgrades so as soon as you research it you can use it, and you can skip over older part upgrades. Pros: -You can use the new tech right away. -You can skip technologies. Cons: -You can double up on part upgrades. (Eg use fusion beams and lasers to get a bigger bonus, but reducing part upgrade bonuses in general will help this from actually being a problem) -The list of promotions could get huge for each new ship (With a good icon system I don't think it will be too confusing though.) 3. Use penalties to simulate ship space usage. In Moo2 if you choose to use bombs you have less room for beams or missiles, etc. I wonder if it would help to have part upgrades give penalties to other areas. Examples: -Nuclear bombs give +10% star attack and -5% strength. -Missiles give +1 first strike, +5% withdraw and -2% strength because they don't do as much damage as beams but have longer range. -Beams give +10% strength and -5% star attack because they don't hit buildings on planets well. Pros: -Would make the part upgrade choosing more important and interesting -Would encourage players to specialize ships like they did in Moo2 Cons: -Might be hard to balance everything -Might get a little complicated for the player -Would increase the learning curve. 4. Give ship sizes sizes specific bonuses, and get rid of the Final Frontier Specializations. The ships should basically start as empty hulls. Adding troops, fighters, or missiles needs to be a promotion. Smaller ship sizes were harder to hit, so they'd start with a small evasion bonus. Also the smaller ships shouldn't get the bigger equipment (no stellar converter for frigates!) 5. Use the gold for disbanding mod to encourage rebuilding ships http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=349770 I see no way to make refitting possible, but if we use this mod to at least give the players money for deleting a unit it could help. I've not tested the mod, but just noticed it while browsing the forums.