From: Southern CA
I totally agree that the design screen needs to be able to be set up so the AI will leave our designs alone. The idea onomastikon suggests, to have a toggle on tech items so we can select which ones are "available" to upgrading, would make the process much friendlier. As it is I don't do any automatic upgrading for that very reason. (With the exception of civilian ships, which I let the Ai default to whatever it likes)
The ability to look at segments of the total number of ships is good, but when we manually adjust something, the AI will make a new design, often reverting to inferior tech, which the game will automatically use in building new ships. Also the AI turns those inferiorated designs back to white type so that it looks like they are the oeriginal unmodified designs, fooling you into assuming they are obsolete, but actually the game selects them for new shipbuilding. The colored font for manually modified ships is an idea that does not add much except confusion to the game.
Great game -- could benefit from some ship design improvements!