OK, I've just finished a "core worlds" game as the Empire. It does seem that turbolasers are extremly weak - in one battle, I had a Star Destroyer and 2 Acclamators shooting at a MC80, and it survived with shields strength varying between 60 and 100% for about 5-10 minutes until it finally died from the Acclamator torpedos - seems a bit ... weird..?
The second thing.. Immortal but no Executor? Cmon! IMO Vader should have his famed SSD, even if it costs his Praetor-class upgrade.
I'd highly recommend not having Imperial/MC80 and Praetor/MC120 as starting technologies. It seems odd to have huge dreadnoughts available (and used by the AI) at the very beginning of the game... also, this would encourage research of the Tector/ Reef home, which ATM IMO just aren't different enough from their normal counterparts to invest so much money into researching them.
Another thing.. it might be nice if there was some way to speed up build times ... perhaps the XQ 7 could speed up build time? (just some way to be able to invest money to further shorten build times)
I do know that hero ships come fully upgraded, but that IMO still doesn't make it worth it ... perhaps 1,5 times the normal price minus
the price of the previous upgrade... ATM one pays about 60.000 credits and I don't know how much build time to get Darth Vader in the Immortal, which is a very powerful ship, but not powerful enough to justify thrice (about) the price and build time of a normal Praetor.
I believe the solution to heroes being so expensive compared to normal commanders should really not be making the latter more expensive themselves. Hero bonuses may be useful, but under any normal circumstances they just won't be as useful as 15.000 credits invested into regular units. I'd suggest that weaker heroes (e.g. Tagge, Madine, Leia) should cost maybe 1500-2000 credits and stronger ones (e.g. Wedge, the Falcon) perhaps 3000(commander hero)-5000 (elite unit + commander bonus). Roughly estimated a hero bonus will improve the performance of perhaps 10-20 pop cap with a factor of 1,5 (perhaps less), so IMO something below 5000 credits is relatively reasonable.
I'd still say that tech is too expensive and takes too long. Picture the following scenario: Two Imperial players facing off against each other, each has 4 planets and 2 lvl 5 space stations. One player techs to star Destroyers level 2, occupying his level 5 space station for quite some time and spending about twice the price of a regular ISD. Even if the other player waits until say the first player has built 2 level 2 ISDs (which is normally not very likely), it will still be perhaps 4 regular and 2 slightly improved ISDs vs 8 regular ones (very roughly); the first player would most likely be overrun.
I know that these scenarios are often not very informative about a real game; however you could also consider that in a normal game one does rarely build more than about 20 ISDs; even if the ISD level 2 upgrade would be the first thing researched, it would hardly pay off until very late in the game (the improvement just isn't very drastic (perhaps 20 or 25% more health?).
This is more or less a shot in the dark, but I'd suggest lowering upgrade prices and/or research time to perhaps 60-70% of the original ones or
make the upgrades more significant (perhaps 2-3 of the original upgrades in one).
EDIT: Another thing that I'm not how to fix.. it seems to me that the size of Imperial hangars doesn't make investing into regular TIEs attractive anymore ... why invest thousands of credits into canon fodder that one gets mostly for free anyways? I believe that most people in the current situation will prefer to research and build only the "advanced" Imperial fighers (Gunboat, Avenger, Defender) while using the free fighters from hangars for cannon fodder.
I do by the way hope that this doesn't seem too
whiney. I enjoyed playing the scenario a lot and I'm also very glad that you respond so regularly and promptly...
EDIT2: One last thing ... no death star? That's just a bit...
IMO you can kick out any EU vessel for the good ol' spheres any time of the day!
I mean, while it's nice if a game is inherently logical and technically accurate, the three most important things about a SW game are IMO still that they are a) fun to play , and what contributes greatly to this that they b) capture the spirit of the movies and c) are somewhat balanced.