this would be nothing like vega conflict (hopefully no sorry unity isn't working right come back later messages)
the core of the game is you start out with a living ship, you only get 2-5 ships.it avoids many issues plaguing the other kixeye games. as opposed to new hulls every few months and retrofits and things like that. the hulls would be highly upgradeable. essentially start with a scout ship, and work your way up into any ship you want and beyond, with never changing hulls. meaning the hull is improved into a better hull. can add weapon slots, specials, armor, and add as many as you want with the limiting factor being capacity. having 50 weapons firing once doing 5 damage, is the same as 1 weapon with 50 salvos doing 250 damage.
and equipment is built, scavenged and looted. which you refit the ship to put on it. so would always have a ship being refitted.
as opposed to vega conflict and battle pirates. you don't have a base, you wander around, can dock at space stations, there can be player/alliance bases, can dock at planets. this would be more a FPS as opposed to strategy. seeing you use 1 ship at a time, this will draw in different player styles and types. for example traders, more FPS type players, while keeping the strategy player base, sure some RPG and fantasy players.
So what you do is have a dozen or so minerals, the harder to get, the more they cost. for example a trader of a high level and fighter of a high level wont want to go out and mine low level junk. they will get low end players to do trivial tasks. the game would have coins in it obviously, for repairs, speeding things up. as opposed to the other games where the people 30-50 levels above you farm you, they would seek your help to further there ambitions, folding you into there groups more as opposed to annihilating you. what would happen is the whales would not want to have whale only alliances, because that means they need to do the junk jobs. and for example if you make weapons in mass quantity to make money, if you have no one to buy them, what good is your weapons?
weapon design and the equipment should be like the ships, for example you take a regular missile launcher, change out the warhead to have uranium damage, switch out the electronics so that it seeks targets better. upgrade costs would go exponentially higher per upgrade. so for example when you upgrade capacity to take your 50 ton ship to 60 tons may cost 5k resources, to go from 60-70 tons might cost 50k, from 70 to 80 tons might cost 500k resources. so making a 15k capacity ship might take a few years and trillions of resources. one thing would be at a certain point keep the low end resources constant and upgrade the higher end resource cost.
capacity and cargo would be one in the same, its total ship tonnage whether cargo or equipment doesn't matter.
what this means is you can have a super battle ship, can have a carrier, can have a stealth ship (sub), can have a fast attack boat. each area alliances would carve up, have the asteroid belts were new players can hide and mine in, where density is to thick for big ships to follow. allow for cloaking bases, so you get pirates, and all sorts of people.
you could import many ideas possible even code from other games, or the ideas. trading would play a much larger part in the game. for example the new players would be able to get resources in the interior of asteroid belts not accessible to big ships, so a larger player may have 5 large ships and be unable to get them resources, but still need them. that is where alliances come in handy. players can make highly advanced low tonnage ships (sea wolves type ships or predator subs)
having highly specialized equipment you could have light weight equipment at very high levels, it would cost a lot, they may spend a billion resources per weapon. it would not be cheap or free. and tons of time for that ship in dock. so it wouldn't be the more resources the bigger the size, you could keep the same size and the efforts be spent making things more efficient. its cheaper and easier to make your ship bigger, but condensed your ship is harder to hit, likely faster. so benefits to small ships also that are a high level.
weapon accuracy would be determined by electronics level, speed of target and size of target. so 5 speed and 100 size is 100% hit rate for example if its 10 speed at 100 size, the rate may fall to 25% if your electronics suck. if the ship is 15 speed and 100 tons, your accuracy might only be .1%. on the other hand if its 10 speed and 1k tons your accuracy with that same weapon might be 80%. so accuracy would be based off your electronics, the enemies tonnage and speed. electronics would only go so far, for example if your launcher was unable to fire longer range missiles, nothing a electronics package can do about that.
as opposed to battle pirates, the specials would be more like tactical mods, seeing the specials are applied right on the weapons and armor.
when a ship is destroyed it regenerates itself at a base once it limps back home.
each ship would have thousands of upgrades (speed, turning, defense against certain weapons and specials, capacity, weapon slot additions, same with armor, tact mods, stealth, shield mods) and pretty much have no caps. you would only be able to have 1 ship repairing and refitting/upgrading at a time.
With this systems the players are in a real alliance, where if a base is destroyed that could mean 10-50 of your members are looted. it ties people together more, has ground to defend and protect. you have alliances which are friendly and let others trade, other closed off military alliances, some mercenaries, some dictators, all different groups would form based off what the players wanted to do in them groups. some alliances may be nomadic and have no bases, use planets and other alliances bases, basically would be a functioning system with a real economy and diplomatic relations. but in the end it keeps the kixeye style of game with some of the best pieces of all its game, made into something new and different.