From: California, USA
I'm not sure Carriers and Fighters would fit in with the overall scale of the universe, but that is my personal view. I never really cared for that sort of thing anyway, from a realism standpoint I was always skeptical that a spacefaring civilization would use this sort of tactic, and I always wondered just what sort of technology acted as an inertial stabilizer for fast ships to prevent them from skittering all over the place or shooting off into space.
Again, I don't want to keep hammering "scope" (sounds like a cheap way to get drunk) - but the limited types of weapons should be seen to represent more of a guns, long-range projectiles, AoE group than a smorgasbord of missiles, drones, guns, lasers, beamers, etc. It isn't like Sword of the Stars, where warships and intimate tactical battles are the main focus. You get huge numbers of ships in multiple fleets that simultaneously deploy across a large universe. Few people would want to be controlling fighters in the midst of all this (and while keeping an eye on you galaxy spanning economy).
That being said, you do get a pretty good amount of detail for each weapon component. Your next researched beam, for example, might be heavier and use more energy, but do more damage and have a greater range. The resources needed to build it might be different. So you might not always automatically upgrade as new weapons are researched. While the sheer number of weapon type options may be lower - the level of detail in the ship design doesn't necessarily suffer. Does that make sense?
Alright, Yeah, that all makes sense and answers questions. It brings things into perspective.
This, like many games of this type, has many abstractions.
Wish list:population centers beyond planetary(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Culture):Ships,Ring Orbitals,Sphere Orbitals,Ringworlds,Sphereworlds;ability to create & destroy planets,population centers,stars;AI competently using all advances & features.