There are exceptions, things that can improve the entire empire dramatically and immediately, (Supportive Population can transform my struggling early empires.), but keeping them rare makes them feel like accomplishments.
Indeed. I think this point applies to Precursor Relics as well. Early in a game, 5 or 10 percent boosts to morale, research, or income can make a big difference. Even in later games, I can get a real sense of a Big Thing Happening when I roll out a new precursor research tech to existing starbases.
Regarding starbases consuming one module per turn..... I suppose that would work well in conjunction with the new system where starbases call their own constructors.... that would also serve to level the playing field with the AI on starbases as well.
I'd much rather see the AIs get with the starbase program than to have them nerfed more. Getting the logistics together to pile ten (or twenty!) constructor modules on a single spot is not the same as simply throwing around BC to rush-build a super planet. This would be even 'more true' if they would let us spend constructors to add HP to a base.
But then I'm in some weird fringe group (possibly 1-member strong) and want to see an expansion that supports an entirely space-based culture and tech paths for those spawned in gravity wells to grow up and out of that soupy old star system scene. Massive constructor investment should enable the creation of planet-analogs that hold large populations and improvements to their production, health, et cetera. But I digress with an old saw...