The fact that this thread has gotten to 7 pages shows that it's something that really needs to be addressed.
There's a lot of really good ideas here - from a new system of losing some XP - or taking longer to re-build and more resources, to various new tech trees...
What puzzles me is that no one here is really making a big noise about the Vasari rebel star bases. I love playing them but now I just don't play as any other race because the strategic advantages of jumping star bases are just too great. They aren't over powered they're simply unfair.
a. Firstly, you can build an Orky star base very early on, and upgrade it twice without any additional research for a total cost of around 6000 credits. This might seem like a lot but consider that this very minimally upgraded star base can take on 2 capital ships and a 20 frigate fleet which basically amounts to everything another player can throw at you within the first 15 minutes of the game.
b. AND while they are doing that - you don't have to spend a penny on fleet upkeep upgrades and running costs - you can cover all your fronts (usually 2 - max 3) with starbases while using your free capital ship to grab more territory. Let's look at it like this - your opponent would need about 3 capital ships and 20-30 frigates to take out your minimally upgraded starbase. He'll have to spend 3 points on capital ships and 2 on fleet supply. On an average early game economy of say 35 credits a second over 15 minutes (just a rough conservative average) - you've saved over 7k on your opponent's expenditure even if we take the cost of his fleet vs your starbase as equal which it generally isn't.
No doubt he'll try to take our your starbase a couple of times before succeeding - each time spending more cash than you.
c. By midgame you'll have upgraded your starbases to 15k life and 2 tiers of weapons - but at this point you'll be able to phase jump them as well and expand your fronts with what are for all intents and purposes 3 or more Titans! Remember - each one will be able to take on a fleet all by itself or flatten planetary defences. In fact the only thing that will give them any pause would be other star bases. You won't need to spend a penny on fleets apart from seige frigates to take planets.
None of this costs anywhere near the cost of a REAL Titan. You'll pack more punch, be able to dish out and absorb a hell of a lot more punishment than any Titan you'll meet in the same timeframe (30 minutes - 1 hour). You'll be able to keep this advantage with reliable PAID upgrades right up until the late game stage at which point you can roll out your own Titan to support your starbases when they come up against properly organised fleets.
All this time you've been saving HUGE amounts of cash compared to your opponents.
By endgame a maxed our Orky can dish out more than 600 points of damage and will have over 30 armour, 25K hit points of 11k shields. Plus a frontal deflector shield or the garbage self repair. It takes over 5 capital ships and 50 frigates to even come close to hurting something like this and unlike Titans you can build AS MANY AS YOU LIKE! With the only limit that you can't have more than 1 in a system at once.
I usually have about 10-15 starbases stomping around causing major havok. The best thing is to just charge them into the rear areas and wipe out Titan foundries, trade ports and orbital refineries. A maxed out Orky is to all intents and purposes invulnerable. You can march it right through a very heavily defended planet where it will kill almost everything it runs past and you just keep jumping it on some big tour of death and destruction. I set 5 of them on a big loop around all the planets like big fat scouts.
Forget trying to counter Titans... 15 rampaging starbases is just impossible to stop.