Currently each upgrade for passive ship modules improves some feature of the ship by “X” amount. Modules that do significant boosts are sometimes accompanied by a ‘malus’ or drawback. Such an example would be the Galvanized Hull module, which negatively affects rotation speed.
There is, however, a problem. The drawbacks of a module do not scale along with the benefit as the module is upgraded.
I would suggest that ALL modules be given some form of Malus to balance their use, and that this Malus scale with each upgrade so that each level of upgrade is not strictly “better” than another, but rather finer tuning of a ship’s capabilities to suit the pilot. At Mk1, there is no Malus, but the benefits of the module are very slight. At Mk2, Malus in introduced to the module, but only slightly. Mk3, 4, and 5 are evenly balanced between Malus and Benefit. As the Benefit increases, so does the Drawback.
The problem with our current system is that a ship with all Mk4 and 5 gear is superior in every single way to a ship with all Mk1 gear. Thus, there is a very small meta-game where players must reach Mk4 level to stand a chance at competing. As such, new players to the game, or even a tier are instantly at a huge disadvantage. (Consider that this is on top of ships with little-to-no synergy, and you have one heck of a power curve).
Thank you for your time.