The Aaru is a great example of the ideas of bottom-up design that I'd like to explore further in BWO. In the past, we only applied a top-down design approach to our asset development. That is, the designers would say "we want a ship that is X, serves Y story purpose, and serves Z mission\gameplay purpose", and then the artists would work it out, without a lot of creative input outside of the visual realm of design.
In the case of the Aaru HTL version, I took another approach: The low poly model was basically a huge missile, shielded, and with evasive capabilities. It was used in a single mission, and served a very specific purpose. So all I told Dagger was "we have this low poly model, it is used in X way in a certain mission... Go wild with it, carte blanche. If you do something that can potentially be used in other missions, we'll find a way to use it in an interesting way".
And he came up with this. A drone that not only can deploy that shielded "intelligent" missile that we need, but can also fulfill other roles. It will probably have an interesting lore application as well, and being a drone, it also opens up other interesting gameplay possibilities (destroy their control ship. Hack them and turn them against your enemies. Etc) that we intend to explore in mission design.
Personally, I enjoyed seeing how this asset development progressed, since I did my best to take a hands off approach to it, and just allow myself to be surprised by the results.
So I hope you guys enjoy the final result