This Herc 3 model, meanwhile, has no contrast at all: every single surface is greebled to the max. The whole model ends up looking flat and jumbled: there's no structure to the detail for the eye to read.
I disagree with this, there's defintely areas of higher and lower detail and structure to the lines on the herc3. Certainly, there's room to go further with those qualities, and it's certainly more pronounced on the higher resolution textures in the render than in the game screenshots, but they are not absent in the game model and I think it's over blowing things to say they are.
Personally, the flow of some of the herc's broad shapes and details both aren't entirely my cup of tea. The slightly forward swept 'ribbing' details near the middle of the wings I think in particular breaks the shape up in a way that's harmful. But presenting that feedback in absolutes and in a way that implies Nyx doesn't understand some of the basics of visual design is unfair and unhelpful, IMO
I think the heightmap changes alluded to already could do wonders for the ingame version of the ship. For instance, check this out. The insets are wings from the F3 lab, and behind is the posted render.
The upper game wing has a much more unified visual to it already than the lower, because it's angled differently and isn't lighting as dramatic as the lower, while the lower's grooves are being highlighted so strongly it does start to look 'detailed to the max'. These grooves stand out more strongly here than the 'ribbing' details do, in fact, and they break up the shape a ton. A lot of them also do generally follow the shape, so it's not a completely chaotic unreadable mess, but it is busy enough that I find it a bit tiring to look at.
Now look at the same areas on the render. Those same panel lines are visible, and a bit more-so on the lower more dramatically lit wing there, but it's rather light and overall the wing is a relatively cohesive surface, broken up by a few notable features. The ribbing is very prominent in all angles compared to the panel lines. It still could be MORE cohesive, more smooth, and I'd probably prefer that, but I hope if you look at that render you can't say Nyx doesn't understand or apply these principles, they're quite clearly on display.
I'm all for being able to express negative opinions about people's art even if it's not refined artistically useful feedback, but let's try not to poison the well with hyperbole, please?