I have 2 ideas I think would make the game better. I love NP1 and NP2 and regularly create a big game for my family and friends but in our games I find that once tech has advanced to a certain level it gets ridiculous. I don’t want to limit tech but it would be cool if you could build something that would block scanning on certain stars. It would have to be expensive but it would be worth it at higher levels of scanning.
Another thing is that in the late game it gets tedious unless you are one of the top dogs. Little guys can only hope to survive on the good graces of one of the top dogs. What about an alternative win condition? Perhaps, there is one planet in the middle of the galaxy that is inhabited by neutral ships. If you conquer this planet and can hold it for a certain period of time, you win. That could give little guys a reason to stay in the game, a hope, a chance to win. Or maybe some sort of political/diplomatic victory.