So I've barely played Crusade past 20 turns... I've instead been entrenched modding/shipbuilding/faction building.
What would I like to see more of?
1) I love the citizens. Whilst their effect on gameplay I can't judge, I love that they add to the immersion, and major kudos for making them editable/customizable for each faction. That is the sort of thoroughness I want to see more of.
2) The fleet builder is a step in the right direction, but it falls painfully too short. It would be a MVP if it at least had all of the appropriate blueprints added (fighters, awarded ships, etc.). Kudos for adding in Starbase and Shipyard customization, that went a big way towards completing this daunting task.
3) I love the idea of Admirals allowing tactical controls of some sort... but frankly regardless of that, I think the battle-viewer could really use a complete rework. I think a less realistic and more abstracted battle-space would be a better aesthetic at this point... the biggest sticking point for me being the clumsiness of the camera controls. If roles haven't been significantly updated in Crusade, they need it badly.
4) Minor races and diplomacy. I'd love to see Minor Races be more akin to how they were in Stark Trek: Birth of the Federation... I expect to be able to assimilate or conquer them with unique benefits and drawbacks for each method, unique to each Minor Race. Basically some races should provide a unique tech or component or such if conquered, and others, only if assimilated peacefully.
5) Borders, war, and limited warfare. "Its influence nor borders!" Yes I know. I think you should distinguish both. Show the influence, but also show strict borders (that are smaller) and by default, allow races to attack each other's ships without a clear war declaration if outside of borders, with significant diplomacy penalties depending on the ship/etc.
That colony ship you sent into the neutral zone... yes... I blew it up. Its an atrocity, and you should be very angry.... that warship hovering too close to my borders... mmm I should be able to blow that up with less of a diplomatic penalty.
My 2 Cents.