FO could have "metacelluar regeneration biovats", "stellar plasmatap" and "telepathic colony" that let you make the ship component types "organic armour", "plasma-based weapons and armour" and "telepathic armaments" respectively.
Obviously, our stuff should have creative names and do cool things. That goes for ships parts, techs, buildings, race picks, planet specials, etc. Seems like you have might have a talent for it, which will be useful in the coming weeks (tech tree and building design).
The main point here is that if you only have 3 orbital slots, then things get too restrictive. Defence vs. Production capacity / options is a nice tradeoff, but not worth it, imho.
I figured there'd be four or five slots on a planet. That should be plenty: players shouldn't be able to build every last single type of shipyard on a planet. Via limiting slots to a low number, the player is forced to pick and choose carefully.
Don't know if I like the orbital slots; actually pretty sure I don't. Half the idea of slots is that the player has to choose between sticking military production, defensive, or economic into the slot. Orbital slots "cheat"--the player can have it both ways.
I just figured that if you had limited building slots, you would probably need all of them in order to meet the requirements for a given ship type, so you would probably end up needing at least 1 shipyard (plus upgrades) for each ship type you wanted to build. Probably not a serious issue, but worth bearing in mind.
a) any shipyard would be able to build using basic parts
b) it's a feature, imho, not a bug, esp. if shipyards are uber-expensive to maintain (both in terms of PP locally and money from the empire). It would be foolish to build lots of different shipyard combinations, since it would sap away resources from actually building ships.
Example: The main Romulan shipyard world has a Cloak Fab on it, so their ships tend to have cloaks. The Romulans would be wise to research better cloaking tech and find strategic resources that grant bonuses to cloaks. Meanwhile, the Federation, through various means of intelligence, discovers the Romulan focus on Cloaking. They'd then know to target cloaking strategic resources and the Cloaking Fab. Wisely, the Feds held off from building in the final slot of their main shipyard planets. While they've so far produced crappier ships because of this, they are now in a good position to build Advanced Sensor facilities to counter the Cloaking devices.
I find that it's too easy to switch production to counter enemy tactics in many strat games. Locking players into a strat (making it expensive to change mid-course) should diversify the number of potential strats, as opposed to moo2 where you'd just research and build everything. Players would have to devote a lot more thought into ship/shipyard design, since esp. early to mid game they'd pretty much be stuck with whatever they have.