Brad has suggested earlier that an administration resource will be introduced to limit the # of starbases for each faction.
This would certainly cut down on what has become the rather overwhelming task of optimising starbases but they do need to balance this against tech costs.
After a first iteration of 1.90 in which these became very low - much too cheap really - there's been another one (unless my file set up is faulty and the game is corrupted) in which they've gone the other way and (as I said in another thread) after I got about 100 techs in a huge galaxy at genius level and normal tech cost, the cost of the most expensive tech of all Beyond Mortality, had already inflated to over 200k.
This is certainly doable with unlimited starbases or some reasonable cost for them since you can get 16 or 18 round your top research planets but otherwise would be incredibly hard and so going for conquest - or at least to take a very large number of juicy research planets - would become forced if you wanted to play for a tech win.
Correspondingly, the reduction in culture has mitigated very strongly against going for a culture win and, incidentally, somewhat reduced the effectiveness of the Benevolent ideology tree since "Enticing" previously a potential game changer is now rather less effective (You can arrange to snag minor races but harder to get planets of the major ones).
And indeed the Builder line of the pragmatic tree will greatly reduce in value if you need far fewer constructors because you have far fewer bases.
The reduction in planet capital bonuses has also had an effect on the ideology trees since Malevolent with its early production bonuses is now relatively better than it was before.
Anyway, the point I'm making is that changes to one aspect of the game can affect balance in all sorts of ways and need to be thought about very carefully.
Any thoughts anybody,