How about allowing us to have 1 special component at level 10 for these buildings:
Increases fleet weight limit by 2%,4%,6%,8%,10% - Increases Bay repair time
by 60%, 120%, 180%, 240%, 300% Collateral damage by 50%, 100%, 150%, 250%, 300%
Decreases build time by 2%,4%,6%,8%,10% - Increases Factory repair time by 460%, 120%, 180%, 240%, 300% Collateral damage by 50%, 100%, 150%, 250%, 300%
You can also have similar mods for the labs, but those may not be as in-balance.
You basically can field more ships (with dreads etc this is beneficial) , build new ones, adapt to new patches, try new builds faster, but you take on increased risk if your base is attacked. You can be shut out of repairing your fleets for quite a while if you decided to go to the 10% more capacity/speed.
Currently base hits are quite meaningless. The repair times are short, you get a free bubble, and only lose meaningless medals that people who are poor at fvf like to brag about hitting stationary targets that are not player controlled. I see medals no different than if they were awarded for hitting Vegas.
This would give those of us who don't give a **** about our medals or resources (they are abundant and free everywhere) something worth caring about on defense.
It would also set out a different set of base layout priorities depending on if you value your fvf capacity or your medals and resources. You defend different buildings and may have a different base layout as a result.