I have an idea. I really like the concept of the alien artifacts... but I have always thought there was more potential with them.
When you capture an Alien Carrier or Battleship and click on the ship, there is an icon in the ships menu that says "Alien Artifact" with the description "An alien artifact containing unknown secrets yet to be discovered"
What if this "secret" was one of the following (i'm not even sure if these are possible in the game mechanics):
- Like the shield artifact, adds a new weapon to the selected ship i.e. high powered beam weapon (could this work as an additional bank target?)... or a Wave Cannon, like the Vasari tech
- Existing weapons are augmented with new alien tech, increasing damage of all weapons by 5%
or ... any other ideas?