you misunderstood again. think of ship classes this way: classes = size in your proposal, except the only difference is that classes doesn't necessary mean bigger ship = bigger size, though it could mean that. a class just means a set of measures, which one of the measure could be size. "classes" is inclusive your "size." classes have less restrictions than your size.
That doesnt make any sense. Stop mixing sizes and roles. These things are clearly seperate. By mixing them you confuse everyone.
ke sense now?
read geoff's proposal again. look how he uses the word "size," then tell me i use my terminology poorly. small ships are combat ineffective, but good at scouting because of faster speed. large size ships do the heavy battle role. his "size" = "role."
i know what you mean utilae, that size just means more hull space to common understanding, but that's not how geoff is using that word. hence, why i suggested to use the word "class" instead of "size."
Perhaps if you gave some examples of various different classes and how they are not just another name for ships built to do a predefined role, it would be clear how you envision this to work. With a system of sizes such as I've proposed, any variations within a size would be a function of what components you put into a ship. I expect the same effect as what you want could be had by keeping "size" as a separate choice, which may or may not be clearer and more intuitive than what you propose; I can't tell because you haven't explained it well enough (since it apparently didn't mean what I thought)
ok, once more. you can fit whatever you want into different ship class, just as you could with ship size. in your proposal, you have large ship = more space but slower, small ships = less space but faster. ship class is the same exact thing.
following are examples: lets say ship A has following measures: small hull, long range, better fuel econ and ship B has: large hull, short range, bad fuel economy, can mount weapons. in your proposal, you would probably call ship A, a small sized ship, and ship B, a large sized ship. I recommending you call ship A, explorer class, and ship B, battleship class. the difference between your "size" and my "class" is just naming scheme. however, "class" doesn't just have to mean size is changing, measures like mounting ability could be changing. ei. a small hull, but have a good mounting capability could be a set of measures that you want could be a torpedo class ship, which is good at combat but doesn't have a large hull.
50 scouts + 50 death stars fleet looks really weird: 50 dust specs and 50 giant planets flying around is awkward. however, you could have 50 explorer class ships + 50 battlecruiser class ships flying around and suddenly it's more intuitive. performance-wise, your "size" = my "class." the battlecruiser does same thing functionally as death stars and likewise with explorer. the difference is the graphics don't have to be much different. instead of ships getting bigger as you progress with tech, we can take advantage that FO is sci-fi, and up some point in your progression, the ships turn into a small blob that phases in-and-out of the screen. the "blob" class of ship is same as your big "size" ship. the measure of the blob class would say hull size is the same as previous class, but the "multi-dimensionality of the blob takes energy from n-dimension so it uses power more efficiently" the effect is anything component in the blob is reduce by half; compare to your large ship has twice the hull space as previous size. the gameplay didn't change, however the former has better immersion.
The following is my parllelism idea (still in progress). see, the problem with traditional games is that big ship is better, because they are more advanced in tech. that leads to boring battles seeing who can pack the most guns into there ships, as i said before. instead, we would like a mixture of different ships, which I call classes, to help synergy with other game features and have a mixture of different looking ships. as you advanced in tech, there are different classes of ships that you can research, something like:
---> progression of tech tree to more advanced
a,b,c,d,f are different classes of ships. each class of ships are particular set of characteristics or measures, if you like. as you go from a->e, your ships generally have more hull size, but slower and less stealthier. the numbers 1,2,3 are same ship class, but improved versions of the class. more advanced ships generally are superior than more primitive ships, obvious. so as the numbers increases, the strategic significants is better.
Furthermore, to ensure that all ship classes would be used, there could be a strategic rps so that a>e>d>c>b>a. for example, a1 could be explorer class. at start of the game, you want fast ships to scout so you might want to invest in explorer class ships that are cheap and faster than scout ship. later on, once the map has been exploered and as engine tech gets better, the speed advantage disappers. however, explorer class ships can be upgraded into mini stealth bomber class that has a unit ability to drop a large payload onto a distant target very quickly. maybe even a intersystem bomb that self-destructs and destroys a heavy starebase or a star class ship (e1) that can be fired from distant starsystems.