PvP in DU is a complicated topic that has to be split into smaller chunks if we want to discuss it properly. I don't want to discuss it for too long because I have the feeling that no one from NQ reads that anyway. But in case I'm wrong I'll just add my minimized Feedback for them here.
Basic principles of combat mechanics in DU
It's not an arcade type of the gameplay, instead we have a slow paced tactical approach where a cold blood and wise decisions are much more valuable then players skill and reflexes.
You can like it or not but I love it. In my opinion this is something that positively distinguishes DU from other games (just my personal preference here).
Much of the combat is focused on handling your ship. Building mode and repairs during combat, venting shields, patching the hull, refilling the rocket taks and so on.
This is also fantastic for me. Unfortunately after introducing shields, allowing remote controller and makeing honeycomb weaker this part of the gameplay almost dissapeared. I think that this could be brought back by better balancing stuff.
Quality of the delivery
It's so bad that I don't know where to start. Very poor balance, memory leaks, ship acceleration related to game session time, No RPS mechanics, the ship stopping still while the player switch view and so for, and so on...
It is very shallow right now in terms of interesting combat mechanics. Lacks stuff like aiming at something specific, systems countering systems, electronic warfare etc.
...fortunately it is partially saved by the ship building mechanics that allows players to create a bit different strategies based on their designs. However poor balance and no RPS makes this part quite flat as well.
For me Meaningful PvP means giving players a good reason to have it in game.
In my opinion DU delivers it really well. This whole asteroid thing really do the job here.
I would like to see more missions in space that are well paid and not boring as package carring that gives players high reward but take place in the pvp zone.
Why the hell you can putt only 3 railguns when you max your skills ?! (I'm gonna add this to all my posts Carthage style )
To sum up. For me it's one of the best space PvP i ever played even though it's delivered in quality so bad thatyou coul write a book about it. Personally I would never change the basic principles here, just elaborate and polish until it shines.