I will try to focus on the negatives. When all works as intended, I do not see a problem. After some time, you get used to new good mechanics, but the negatives start popping up.
I will start with the UI. You are reworking it, the alpha preview thing is like in half-working, missing features, so I will just say that I miss some things.
I asked on Steam years ago, why do logistics work in x4 format. No Civilian building takes 1,2,3,5 slots. All take 4. Sure it takes serious brainpower, calculating how many slots you have when it says 24, or why does a planet get +10 logistics slots research (development mandate I believe) when you will have unused 2 in terran or desert planets.
Impossibility to deconstruct planet buildings like space buildings. Just like space builds, you should be able to either queue/scuttle previous slot, while having queued the new one. Seems a bit much if you cant abandon planet like capital.
UI when selecting planet does not show the number of empty slots, so it needs manual checking, a feature in the old. Queued stuff seems a bit invisible, that construction is in progress.
Repair/Refit stations either seem not not have auto-cast repair for non-capitals. On buildings it seems it works though.
Nondescription of armor and mitigation mechanics. DPS statistic and pen is nice, but it says nowhere - like in the old game, how does it work. Shield mitigation, 1-4, 8-12 Or future 16. How does it work. Is damage per shot important for armor / damage calculation, and so on. I am actually very interested because I was proposing some of those fancy ideas years ago At least I figured back then it was not something very simple to look and feel realistic. If single damage is important, then dps is nice,but damage per damage throw would be a good thing imo. Yes, I do not know how it works and I do not want to propose any changes if I do not understand it tbh. Because it might be working well, except my impression wasnt right.
Music, I like the style so far, perhaps too fast action, a few more loops before the main part is delivered. This is not a fast paced game by any means, so the loud and fast should not come within first 20 seconds imo, the drumming is nice and all, I do love professional military music, so it is not something like the newest and coolest, newest and coolest is largely 70-150 years old
Unit design, Cobalt seems to have gone through a pretty large change. Meaning no trace of the old, except for 2 points from which it looses its guns, changed from lasers.
In the meantime, I think it is good, that you have changed weaponry to focus more on fewer, but of generally the same theme. Logistics make sense.
Garda seems pretty good, with those 4 turnable turrets. And that Mk 2 makes cobalt pretty much worthless in supply, survivability, except for the huge cost difference.
Kodiak T-34-76 Into Harka T-80 hull with those turrets on multiple axis does look great Driver periscopes remind me of that tank series. (72 is straight) I think the design of this one is really great. I'm quite sure that fire effects and bullet sizes will be changed, so point defense, light auto and 'medium' autocannon do look different. I do not mean that I want to kill performance on my pc. Bigger gun, lower visible rate of fire, larger caliber, smaller one higher visual density.
I was thinking if it would not be cooler, to have a Kol with single barrel Gauss cannons. To more signify that it is big. With titans, you can make even a Triple like on an Iowa Battleship.
While you are at it, do fix cap ship exp system. Soase:R, it take 7800 Exp to max out a Lv1 ship. Because 200 Exp was to lv 2, Not sure about other levels. But it was TOTAL 7800 exp.(currently, 7800 exp from lv 9 to 10) Due to now previous exp disappearing when reaching a new level, you are required to reach all previous exp plus the required on top of that to reach next. That means, currently it takes much more exp to level up a capship than a titan in the old game. The exp grind is huge. Yes, I could just as well build 40 capships and not bother with levels currently. Except when I met Kol lv 7 and it Finest Hour-ed my large kobalt group. And suddenly the ship was hard to take down, though previously capships felt like paper.
I didnt use hochikos, carriers, but I did LRM cruisers and the Ogrov as well. Also, I was sorta forced to use Krosovs, not that I ever did previously in Soase:R. (I wanted to level up, not distrubute it too much) LRM feels great with saturation attack, overkill is extra easy, and if you select the missiles and control them, push to attack another target, it says it lacks a weapon. Intended for a manual retarget ?
200 pen and 300 pen on the ogrov implies that fortresses might have much more armor, while ogrov with some proper support might work as an anti-titan ship even though the 270 damage might not look too great at 12 pop cost. Damage per salvo on the LRM cruiser was over 200 as well. There is a Dps stat but itis not the whole story. So, while showing all stats might take away from a bit of say immersion, I would propose something like a detailed tech tree that shows all stats like in the main menu, akin to an AoE 2. That would contain those armor and mitigation and damage per hit and so on.
Bombers and the missiles in general being interceptable, also having a bit of the proportional nagigation, not following, but meeting a target, bleeding energy while not really, is a good tough It looks awesome, if it its the target, sure no guarantee, but that is fine imo.
There are some problems with akkan firing arc, sometimes it faces the target just wont fire. Not sure why or when but it does happen.
Gauss turret, double barreled says it is 1 weapon, while 4-barreled autocannon defense 4x a weapon. Defenses should be able to be turned in a direction or a slow engine with weapon turned off, to move/based on changed travel lanes.
I would like the option to turn any face of any person faction or anything off, because those things look unpleasing to the eyes. It was similar in the first game, but the faces including the minor factions ... to me they are just ... 'omg', why do I have to see/look at that. I do not want to.
Planet development and planets having something on surface is something I wanted and you added something, so while not much, there is already a sort of specialization, no planetary ion cannons or anything, hypervelocity guns, perhaps antinuke defense that would try to make them boom in the space.
These are so far my impressions, looks very good apart from some issues.