Malice got nerffed because it was freely scaling to infinity.
meaning if you got 30 illuminators, while enemy got 90 assilants, the illus will do Colossal damage to all of them.
it got multiplyed by the 90 assilants and illus 3x gun mounts to Stupid-o-proportions.
It got ridiculos to a point where you culd not play anything else expet advent if you wantd to compeet early game.
And while barrage is LOL POWERFUL, its not even close to LOL OVERPOWERED the malice was.
PS: ive killed 40+ fleets of vasari cruisers with malice + cleansing combo, too. It did more damage the more units there were, but it was dificult to use against good players and you needet 2 caps... anyhow...