Just played an exciting game and had some thoughts on future ideas.
Seems odd to me that I have to start out a Empire before I can be a Republic then a Federation. Why not make that a decision tree with bonuses for each. It would also likely influence your interactions with others.
Why do ships fight to the death? Seems like fleets that realize its over might fall back and regroup. You could order them to fight to the death but to just do it seems odd.
Also miss some of the little things we could do with custom factions, like setting a rival and working on ships outside the game. I would love to see a non-mod ability to create custom ships and ship styles that could be assigned to custom factions outside of a game.