First, I appreciate the increased - and meaningful - communication. It's encouraging even to hear that you have heard us, and are thinking about a thing.
Personally I could take or leave the PvP - why would humanity venture out in an Arkship for thousands of years just to land and start the same petty resource squabbles? But it's a game, I get that, the emergent gameplay around PvP can drive things.
One of my thoughts on building a civilization is that structures on earth are typically shaped by needs and physics. Skycrapers don't go up until we have elevators. Civilizations grow along water sources. Aircraft carriers must have spaces both for the planes they carry and the crew that live on them. Right now in DU, there's not much in the way of needs to dictate a structure. You don't need to sleep. You don't need to eat. You don't need to have storage for anything but your building materials or sellable items. One person can operate a massive battleship-sized construct, and it doesn't actually need to have any voxels, it can all just be "floating" elements. I'm not suggesting voxel/element evaluation the way Space Engineers does it, but at the moment the only reason to build buildings is to be cool, and because we can. Cities don't need roads because we hover. Planets don't need cities, actually, because you can live and do everything from one ship.
I know we don't want the game to feel like going to work, but I feel like as long as there aren't more requirements put on players and structures, everything is always going to be ornamental. What's the point of putting up an tower with rooms when no one would need a room for anything? There's no clever problem solving. No one making a cool ship design that manages to fit living space for 8 people into a small area. Routing power conduits in a certain way that saves space or weight. Things like that; boundaries that help define the engineering and visual language of the civilization. Now maybe the game was never going to be that, but if nothing more is ever going to be required of structures, then if we have cities, they will be empty buildings that are essentially nothing more than statues.
Just my thoughts as I play through and visit things like the city on Teoma, which is both very cool and very ghostly.