Tyndaria, sorry about the late response, meant to get to it yesterday, but steam's browser ate my post (no more posting while feeding my empire total war addiction, I guess).
Ships die VERY fast. Now, I don't mean an über battle of a hundred plus ships. I mean, ten minutes into the game I have a cap ship and some frigates taking the nearby planets held by rebels and the like and the dinky frigates on both sides die within seconds. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if the armour and hit points and damage are to remain as they are, I feel weapon ranges might be reduced a bit. I could barely enjoy seeing my meagre yet impressive (visually) excuse for a fleet enter a system and open fire. Within seconds, all rebels are destroyed. And that's nearly halfway across the awesomely huge gravity wells. The huge range, in my opinion, defeats the new big gravity wells. But I love the large size. Now the porous core has a noticeable affect on gravity wells!
I'm almost definitely going to do something to make the ranges smaller proportionally, don't worry. I'm leaning towards making the ranges bigger so you can make the fleets a bit looser so the ships can support each other without ramming each other, but that's just my opinion. The amount I'm looking at is about a 50% increase in range, maybe a bit more so that only nova cannon can engage enemies next to the planet when they jump in. This should also give escorts the room to outflank enemies' fire arcs and make them more effective.
Either here or on your forums, I wouldn't be surprised if someone has brought this up already, but I will ask anyway: what about prices? With the short life spans of ships, should the costs be so high in both resources and population? It is... difficult to get a bunch of ships until you've taken a dozen planets or more. And even when you do, they die bloody fast, so it's hard to replenish them quickly. Again, might be intentional, but I wanted to ask nevertheless.
Yeah, I'm not sure on the pricing. On one hand it does preclude large battles early. On the other, it keeps the battles in a smaller range where they avoid the problems we're having with large battles being likely to kill ships very fast, and they tend to be more tactical at smaller sizes. However, I do think that frigates should be slightly cheaper (not too much, cobra spam is rather threatening if alarmingly vulnerable to bombers. Still, once you get to later in the game when cruisers are at risk, the attrition frigate squadrons'll take will be balanced by their quick construction and cheapish price compared to cruisers and the fact that the odd cruiser might get taken out. The prices also make rebuilding a bit slower so the winner can capitalize on his victory, at least until the transports run out of antimatter. Once the research is made, it could well make larger fleets work better, in which case I would make it easier to get them.
I would highly recommend using cruisers as the backbone of your fleet because they're pretty much the best choice to absorb damage with and let you pin down the enemy and outflank with your escorts to keep them safe. Well, experienced battleships are just nasty and can help a lot but deliberately risking them might not be the best idea. If you're doing that, I'm not sure what to advise other than if you're even with the enemy, luring them into range of your defences could work well (although they really need a price drop).
Also, I was looking at the diplomacy tab and seeing all TEC names got me thinking; maybe someone already thought of this, in which case this is pointless, but better safe than sorry: for names of computer, you could have the different Segmentum fleets, such as Segmentum Pacificus or Scarrus. Chaos would have legion names or corrupt fleet names perhaps, same for Marines (albiet with chapters), and so on down the list of different factions/races that you decide to include. As for markings, which could be a problem since my beloved Space Wolves do NOT use the same markings as those panzy "ultra"marines, just use the basic symbol for each race/faction: star of Chaos, Aquila for Imperials/Marines, some Eldar rune, the basic Tau symbol, and so on for whichever races make it into the mod. If you want to have such decorations on the ships, of course.
Yeah, I'm still thinking of fleet names, but the segmentum fleets might work, I'm not sure about that. Some generic naval unit designations might work as well, and full segmentum fleets duking it out would end the imperium so that's an issue. And yeah, I'm thinking about 5 or so markings for most races along these lines, Chaos star and the gods' symbols for chaos, Tau sept insigniae for tau, Eldar craftworld runes, Crons various glyphs, a dark eldar symbol or two, some marine chapter symbols for the most common ones (don't worry, I play templars, I love assaulty marines, so space wolves symbol is in and so is the blood angels one for sure), ork clan insigniae and I'm not entirely sure what for the imperium.
Maybe make the imperium insigniae those of the major organizations? So you have the =I= seal, the admech crest, the aquila, the navy crest and so on.
The imperial shipyards are wicked cool. I had to mention it. Perhaps there will be a research upgrade to allow the frigate factories the ability to make three ships at once, since they appear to have three docking berths or whatever? That would be cool
Wish we could, however I do think that I'll make the frigate shipyard able to repair multiple ships while the capital shipyward can repair one ship quite fast.
Made a mockish trailer. Sorta bad/ rushed since I'm going to Ireland tomorrow. I'll do a better one when I get back. HD should be up soon
And me I thought that it was pretty good/well done and good enough to stick on the main post. However, by the time you get back, I'll probably have released the patch thingy which among other things will make large mixed fleets act and look better and fixes the battleship exhaust. (There's a lot more, but those are the main aesthetic things).