Alignment is a factor because evil nullifies the cost of all SB modules. So they wouldn't be affected by this extreme situation. I've reduced the cost down from 500 to 100 in most instances, but that was done a month ago so it's already included in the latest full release.
In FW I've gotten rid of most <ModuleRequirement>-specifications so it's possible, once a decent amount of technologies has been gathered, to build starbases and start by installing the latest, most strong modules and afterwards, decide whether the old, weaker ones are still attractive enough to reward the loss of buildcosts of a constructor.
Is it possible to do ship assist modules that give a % bonus instead of a fixed factor?
Absolutely not. There's not a single instance in the game where this can be done. At least not from the .xml-files...
But I agree what you're having in mind here would be a PERFECT solution to place starbase-power in line with the strength of ship-weapon progression.
But that is sadly not possible, so I went to take other measures to cause this. For example, I distributed more than 30% of all these SB modules (from tech-branches "Starbase Fortification" and "Starbase Militarization - Conquest Strategy") directly into the weapons or defenses tree.
And attributed a requirement of these modules to be the "Battle Stations 1-3" pod which gets unlocked by different techs (mostly the hull branch) so one needs to research, at least, into 3 to 4 different types of branches on the complete techtree to be able to install all the mods. This prevents exploitive specialization on hands of the player and also gives the AI the opportunity to install other available modules. It averages alot of of generic desicisions to the point where it won't appear anymore to do silly things in some situations.
BTW I've just found another small bug and therefore, a new patch is in order.
My current work is also included mainly involving:
- The 'Omega Defense System' now acts as an upgrade to the Planetary Defense-improvement. The power to increase shiphitpoints has been reduced drastically but you can now build it on all your planets.
- The Altarian & Drath Techtree saw some massive changes mainly concerning their own unique "Way Of The Arnor/Dread Lord"-branches, also involving more unique improvements. (Precursor Crypt, Adv. Breeding Grounds, Shrines, Healing Pools-line). This is an ongoing endeavour.
Basically I'm currently working on some trees to further diversify them, especially the Drath & Altarian ones.
With the Altarians I had the idea to give them the Shrines exclusively and also, give them another crypt. And let them build the old ones as a 1pp on all planets. Otherwise their planets will look very similar to the standard generic terran one.
The Drath now got a few buildings to fight their inherent starting penalty of having a bad population growth. Their "Hatchling Mounds" serve as un upgrade to the Fertility Clinics. This is even a two-fold unique approach setting FW apart from all other mods. In the CU the Fertility Clinics firstly were thrown out because "the AI can't use them properly" in other words, they didn't overbuild that once planets were fully populated simply because there was no other available building following in line which would do that. So not only can the Drath increase the strength of their FCs from 20% to 30% - later upgrades will subsequently add economic bonuses and the final stage of the line will be a building that incorporates both bonuses from either Banking Center and Fertility Clinic, since it wasn't possible to let the FC being simply overbuild by Banks instead that solution is now even more powerful. 2 consecutive techlines which end up in 1 (the same) building is the second completely unique feature of this approach!
However, it will need some time of doing proper research until the Drath can put these concepts to good use, but that's completely in line with my intention of them being weak early on and much stronger in endgame.
and before I forget it, this:
[NEW] Stuff you'll get from Minors:
-Weather Control & Biosphere Modulator.
-All Trade Goods: Minors won't build the improvement themselves but they can still research the technology (which holds some minor bonus for them) and trade that technology away to Major Civs which, in turn, may erect the Trade Good.
is also new. I'm currently thinking about ways to make the Minor-races more interesting/helpful to give reasons to keep them alive. I've already made them resistant enough to the point where a non-experienced player will not be able to defeat them for a certain passage of time. For this I've also slightly restructured their tree so that certain techs, ie. FleetWarpBubbles, Tier4-6 Asteroid Mining Bases will be accessably more early, because these items are feature that most likely, only the player wants to exploit for his game.