Thanks for the continuing support of sins of a solar empire, I instantly bought the DLC when it came out: can't wait to see the strategic depth it adds. I play competitive 5v5 games a lot, and have over 1000 hours logged on sins rebellion multiplayer. I often play the competitive maps, because they give more balanced starting positions, and I regret not being able to take the risk/reward of artifacts on those maps. Perhaps you guys could make it an option to enable/disable artifacts, just like you can disable/enable pirates. This way, balance is not compromised, and additional game customization options are unlocked.
I like the changes you and your team have made so far. The only suggestion I, as a seasoned multiplayer veteran, would offer, is to slightly de-emphasize titans, because they are too powerful in my opinion, and they remove strategic depth from the game by being able to crush trough delicate fleet composition with ease, and to slightly nerf light frigates, because the early games often revolves around spamming up to 100 light frigates, because the main counter, lrm, is not easily used, because corvettes dominate lrm, and are easier to get, faster to spam and cheaper than lrm.
One thing I just thought of: make it an option for the lobby host to enable/disable titans. Would be a nice option for ultra-competitive games, because let's face it: Titans are extremely hard to balance right.
Thanks for all the hard work, keep it up!