Are deep space territories supposed to be colonizable?
One type is, maybe two. The reason is because of the neutral capturable trade port. The Vasari and Advent can lay mines in any gravity well of their choosing, the TEC need a builder unit. So by making it colonizable, albeit, a single point of health, a builder unit is spawned so all three factions can mine up around the neutral port.
Also, the pirates are wreaking havoc on everything again as if I were back in the bad 'ole days of the super pirates from Entrenchment [I shutter to think of the terrible slaughter and countless empires lost to those super pirate hordes]. With their capital ships pirate starbases, its nearly impossible for me to take out the system to stop them from causing problems. Lol, I saw a level 2 Pirate Battleship only halfway through my last game that had over 12k Health and over 300 damage for each of its three attacks. Are the pirates gonna be nerfed down a bit by any chance?
In one of the latest patches to the core game, the pirate system was reworked to take into account several factors like target planet strength, bounty put up on the raid, fleet strength of their target empire, as well as their own fleet supply. This has made the pirate raids more dynamic in the sense that if everyone is just outright ignoring them, not funding them with missions, no bounties being put on anyone, you will only see weak raids even if you're 5 hours into the game, unlike in the past where it was a steady increase in raid strength until they maxed out. The unfortunate part about this is that for some reason, the first spawned raid is just out of control. Every raid following behaves relatively within their designed parameters. A lot of effort has gone into trying to control this for the 1.00 release from a few people.
In the meantime, now that I've figured out how to modify entity files on my own, what files are responsible for the pirates receiving the uber upgrades to weapons and hp?
Look for the pirate research entity files. They'll say RESEARCHSUBJECT_PIRATE_************.entity The stars being the name of the specific research subject, of course.
Alternatively, you may want to check out the PlayerPirate.entity file and in the ResearchInfo section, just remove the lines of the research items you don't want them to have (not leaving any gaps) and reduce the count from 22 to 18 if you removed 4 items for example. It'd be simpler to use this method if your end goal is to just keep the final numbers down rather then trying to mess with the per level value adjustments in each research subject. Then if you decide to put them back in later because maybe you end up like me and think the pirates suck because you've learned how to manipulate and deal with them far too easily, it's as simple as re adding the research lines back in rather then messing with multiple files trying to remember the original numbers.