What if the CPU was supplied by the pilot(s), instead of by the ship's core/CPU extenders? Effectively using their brain as a form of 'wetware' plugged in to control the ship through the pilot seat. Why? This could allow/encourage: Ship's crew - To fly bigger / higher tier ships, recruit a crew! NPC (single player) or player crew (multiplayer) could be used. Each crew member in a seat supplies additional CPU. More social gameplay - Using a player crew encourages social gameplay, by rewarding teamwork with CPU. Bigger ships - without disturbing game balance or losing FPS. Why? Two small CVs = one big CV. Same total number of blocks, same number of pilots, (potentially) same number of guns or other stuff you can afford, because your ships halved when your CPU doubled. So you can build a huge ship that only flies when your whole faction cooperates. CPU armour modules - To have more personal CPU supply, upgrade a 'pilot module' that sits in your armour. Later, if the game introduces skill training, they can integrate with this too. Better game progression - Progression revolves around you rather than your ship. This encourages you to own more ships (and more specialised ships). It also doesn't set you back hours of gameplay if your rare CPU extender gets taken out when you lose a ship. CPU components would simply be used to build or upgrade pilot module instead of extenders. Hostile ship take-over - On servers that want it, get more people seated than the owner (NPC or player), take over the ship. You would offer server owners the ability to limit the maximum crew and tweak how much CPU each extra player added. Adding a little less CPU for each extra crew member could ensure small ships would still remain useful in late-game. I think you would also want to add more things for passengers to do to ensure crew have fun, such as scanning, navigation, communication with NPC etc. Moving to NPC crew also creates potential for some great story/quest dialog in single player too, such as crew that trigger missions, or faction-based crews you become captain of. In my opinion, you would still need to link the ship's abilities/weapons with its size. You should also need to achieve ship variety/specialization through a natural limitation. CPU doesn't really do any of this currently (it's more about progression). But you could use power/generators to do this: https://empyriononline.com/threads/...hats-scalable-balanced-and-specialised.92175/ In summary, make flying ships social and fun, give them a crew!