I just got back into GSB after a long, long time apart from it. I am very disappointed in the game balance, which I was hoping would improve by leaps and bounds.
As it stands, the most effective fighter designs make use of a single engine, a single weapon, and a single power plant. It’s impossible to make a design that’s even somewhat average that uses two weapons, or two engines - I know this solves the old problem with ridiculously fast Atlantis Bombers, but now there’s almost no incentive whatsoever to tweak fighter designs. (And, in fact, I cannot come up with a viable way to use fighter torpedoes at all!)
A lot of the weapons are too similar to each other in terms of value - frigate small beam lasers and regular beam lasers differ by so little that very, very little is being sacrificed. If you look at the three big capital ship lasers - Beam, Proton and Fusion - the only difference I can ascertain is that the Proton beam will penetrate anything other than reflective cruiser shields, wheras the others won’t penetrate anything but standard cruiser shields… however I can’t see a situation in which one would use small or standard shields due to their costs.
The new campaign element, parrticularly making crew ‘valuable’ by making cruisers eat up a lot of crew and small ships almost none, is great. But the droid crew module for cruisers, which is a bit finicky to fit into a design well, still eats up crew resource points…
In general, I feel like there is a LOT of wasted scope for awesomely varied designs and the like. Please rebalance things!