With a game with no tactical combat I dont really understand the point of putting so many resources into a lego designer.It also means the ships never look that good compared to say ES2.
For a lot of us I think it boils down to that we have no satisfying conclusive agency to the entire ship design experience in either GalCiv II or GalCiv III. If you think about most 4x's games the ship loop is some form of research, some form of design (usually but not always) and then construction and, in the case of a warship, combat.
Now I'm a huge fan of tactical combat and, to echo what Ash said, I've never understood the point of the detailed cosmetic ship designer when the end of the loop (combat) for ships in GalCiv II/III was such a huge letdown. I know some people enjoy it as is, and can spend many MANY hours in the ship designer and that's great, to each his own.
To that end, I'm not advocating for tactical combat in GalCiv IV. I'd love it if there was some form of it but Brad has said it wont' be in there due to various reasons and one being the scope of the game. And honestly, that makes total sense.
What I do hope we see is something vastly superior to the combat system of GalCiv III. The concept of the ship roles was a step in the right direction but the final result ended up being a lukewarm halfway house that was poorly implemented, shallow, difficult to understand, inflexible and ultimately unsatisfying. I'm going to throw the battle viewer in with that as well because the visualization and ship placement was often poorly aligned with the actual battle results.
During the development of GalCiv III VERY early on in its development there was talk by the devs of having a simple pre-battle planning phase that would let the player set some battle options prior to the combat. I believe that later that took the form of requiring that you had certain ships in the fleet with a certain module that would let the player set certain options. Regardless, all of that was dropped.
I would really like to see something like that implemented for GalCiv IV, something that allows the player to alter combat behavior on an engagement-by-engagement basis that goes beyond the conventional methods of altering fleet composition or assigning leaders. I'm not talking about Dominons 5 level of setup but something that allows some general behaviors to be set. Perhaps allow more detailed behaviors to be unlocked with the presence of a fleet commander, just throwing out ideas here.
And let me also say I'm very excited about combat no longer being and all or nothing affair in many cases. This is a VERY welcome change and I hope it sets the stage for further combat enhancements that give the player more options besides smashing two fleets together. I really hope to see combat improved a great deal in GalCiv IV and if not full blown tactical, then something far superior to what we had in GalCiv III.