Been playing beta against AI.
Customization has been streamlined a lot. It's no longer on a per ship basis, you get upgrades and abilities for your whole fleet, and the upgrades you get don't necessarily apply to every ship.
On one hand, yeah, less customization, but on the other, you no longer need to keep track of a bunch of special abilities for each ship. I do wish there was a bit more to customize in terms of upgrades, but it's a good change overall. Feels better to play. Less overwhelming.
I've only really played Imperial Navy, and they get a bunch of new toys to play with. 1 new escort, 3 new light cruisers, 1 new battlecruiser, 3 grand cruisers (basically specialized pocket battleships), and 2 new battleships.
Tyranids are a pain in the ass to fight. They're pretty stealthy, very maneuverable, and they will butcher you up close. Downside is that their long-range firepower sucks and their ships are slow.
My biggest complaint so far is that comparing ships and their weapons is a chore, especially across different factions. Wish we could have a unit viewer like Wargame Red Dragon.
Also, Apocalypse-class battleship owns. Slap on the flagship range upgrade, lock on ability, and watch your perfectly accurate lance batteries reach out to extreme range.