I'm excited to have a turn based strategy game on a 4th gen engine ... the 64 bits means we can have much larger galaxies and fleets, but us "bit size queens" if you'll pardon the vulgar innuendo I think can agree the interface for managing larger empires and fleets could use a revamp. EDIT: I've decided to append my micromanagement reduction/easing suggestions in one thread here instead of creating new ones following the general theme of easing micromanagement headaches, and will add new ones as replies as I think of them. This first post is in regard to upgrading ships, which is frustrating.
With upgrading ships ... there doesn't seem to be a way to upgrade a group of ships anymore, and ship upgrades are incredibly expensive. I have a few hundred old ships running around, and quite a lot of scavenged ships and several allies have given up the ghost and given me their fleets, so I really have an oddball hodge-podge of ships. I make my designs to incorporate fleet support modules, but all the AI-designed ships seem to follow the "one weapon type and one defense type to match that weapon type" mentality.
I really wish there were a way to upgrade multiple ships at once (of chaotically random different initial designs). While that would seem to lend to a simple UI enhancement, I wonder if an in-game macromanagement system might be worth considering?
My rough idea would involve two components: A galactic bank, maybe run by the Bazaar mercenaries, could enable the player to divert a portion of their income to a fund that would fund large projects, such as an empire wide ship upgrade/modernization. I seem to remember GalCiv 2 used to allow you to upgrade a group of ships, but allow you to stretch out payments so you didn't have to have it all instantly ... maybe GC3 could bring back the "make payments" option that works through an interstellar bank of some sort. The bank could also have other features, like investments, and buying or selling commodities or resources unless that'd trudge too much into Sins of a Solar Empire turf. Being able to take out loans to pay for large upgrade projects would be nice, though.
Another component of this could be a mid-game advent, maybe a shipyard upgrade called a Fleet yard, or maybe modules for Military starbases (could call it, hey, a Star Dock ) that let them coordinate multiple shipyards, which could allow fleets to be planned out, and multiple shipyards would then automatically start building the ships to make the fleet (would be helpful it if automatically assigned the more expensive battleships in a fleet to the higher-production shipyards, letting the lower-production shipyards work on the less-expensive ships for the fleet), and they could also provide an in-game mechanism to upgrade ships (instead of paying cash to upgrade a ship on-the-spot, a ship designated for refit would automatically go to the nearest available shipyard, or maybe fleet yard or Star Dock for the upgrade).