Its already been 2+ years since i made more than a small post regarding a feature in the game, so in the hopes that the community mangers indeed forward ideas and posts to the devs i will try it once more, because its something quite important and adresses one of the (in my opinion) core issues of DU. So..
Currently there are three main purposes of building static constructs, as platform for industry, as showroom/store and non functional art/rp. While i don't see a large issue with the latter two purposes, it feels quite lacking, that the only function of a static construct, that is backed by an ingame mechanic, is as industry platform (and it does that pretty badly). So i want to suggest some a little bit more complex mechanics for base building regarding industry.
The only things necessary to build a factory in DU is a platform to place the industry units on. Thats pretty much all of the interaction between static cores and industry units, which makes it extremely unsatisfying and also leads to densely packed mega-factories, which seem to be disliked by NQ. There are several mechanics that can prevent mega-factories and at the same time make base building a bit more fun.
1) Electric power and computational power
We know, that NQ plans to implement a system that involves power management for static and dynamic constructs. I would go a little bit further and incluce a second variable, the computational power. Each functional element placed on a core would require a certain amount of both powers. Electric power would depends on the type and sie of an element (metalworks would obviously require more electrical power than a door, similar as a gate XL would require more electrical power then a gate S) while computational power would depend on the type and tier of an element (advanced metalworks need more computational power than uncommon metalworks)
1.1) computational power
Computational power is a resource that is provided mainly by the core. The larger the core the more computational power is available. The main purpose of computational power is to restrict the amount of high-tiered elements on a core, so it would be possible to build rather large t1 factories (if only computational power is regarded), but you wont be able to build mega.factories for high tier items like an ammunition factory that produces several types of ammo in high amounts. Of course there should be elements that increase the available computing power in a core, but at a cost of high electrical power, thus making it possible to balance those two powers depending on what you require. Having not enough computational power for all the elements on your core would limit their functionality, for industry units it would be a slower cycle time, or for weapons it could be the rate of fire.
1.2) electrical power
Electrical power is not provided by the core, but needs certain elements to produce it. Those can include fuel-less elements like solar panels/geothermy/ wind power or one-time use batteries as well as fuel-requiring methods like generators working with nitron/kergon, as well as nuclear or anti-matter elements. Electrical power mainly limits the number of large elements as well as the number of low-computing power elements. Having a lack of power would mean that some of the elements on the core would stop working completely (until the amount of power required by the active elements is below the provided power level)
As third balancing mechanism i want to suggest to introduce heat to the game. Every elements produces a set amount of heat depending on its power consumption. Then the heat that every element experiences is summed up to calculate the total temperature for each element (the heat of other elements would influence each other with a 1/r² relation). At the same time, elements can only work under a certain heat threshold, that means if its to hot, the units shut down. Similarily to computational power and electrical power there will be elements like heat sinks that can reduce the temperature in their surroundings.
The main influence of heat on factories would be a tradeoff between density of industry units and power required to use temperature reducing elements, which would incentivice building modular factories, like dividing single lines on different levels, and prevent the endless stacking of industry units.
A second, quite interesting, interaction with the heat mechanic would be the temperature of the environment. Industries built on cold planets or cold regions of planets could deal with more produced heat, than building in high temperature regions (which could be a tradeoff with power generation, because you probably wont have as much power generated by cheap solar panels in cold regions as in , for example, deserts)
3) AOE effects and unique XL element types
The last mechanic i want to suggest impacts the size of bases. Certain XL elements should have AOE effects, that influence the cores in a certain distance to them, which then serve as enablers or provide ressources. A few specific examples would be XL power generators (which require a huge amount of computational power but are able to provide an absolute amount of power to the cores in their surroundings, so that they either dont need their own power generation or have an additional amount of power on top of them) XL quantum processors etc. (which are equivalent to power generators in their function), water pumps (which enable the surrounding cores to build water cooling systems) etc. Those XL elements should be unique types, that means you can't place an XL power generator and a water pump on the same core.
This mechanic would not only increase the amount of specialized buildings (and with that the amount of functional buildings in a base), but would also incentivice ppl to cluster together so that they can benefit from the expensive power station etc. that other players built.
Further suggestions and improvements are always welcome, base building is one of the most important parts in DU and it would be just sad not give it the love(and mechanics) it needs to become worthy of the possibilities that slumber in DU.