I recently came to a workable solution for a problem that annoys many. When other people deploy all their ships in a corner, combat starts with your fleet getting flanked. Which would mean our captains failed badly at engaging the enemy fleet.
What if battles would be centered automatically? The server figures out the center of mass (or hp?) of both fleets and aligns those. That way, you can still flank (but you need some solid ships in the center to draw the enemy’s attention), but corner-deployment is not as ridiculous anymore. Maps might need to be increased in size from what was specified if ships get “pushed out” due to different placing, but that should be possible to do on the fly when the game loads.
What say you?