Finally had the chance to really put the new starbase system to a test on on the whole it's a massive improvement. There are a couple of cosmetic changes that would be nice (being able to cycle through starbases from the Sponsor screen being the most urgent), but on the whole it's very welcome news.
There is one thing about the new system that irks, however.
One of the new innovations of 1.7 is being able to "auto idle" shipyards. Great! Wonderful!! Hallelujah!!! Problem is, if a shipyard is sponsoring a starbase the starbase will not auto update if the shipyard is in idle mode. Near as I can tell, it's because the starbase thinks the shipyard isn't there. Or something. At the very least I can't figure out how to get idled shipyards to wake up automatically when a starbase wants a module.
Similarly, if a shipyard is on auto-idle and sponsoring a starbase, one can't manually select modules for that starbase without waking the shipyard up first.
If it could be possible for a starbase to "wake up" a shipyard when it needs to get a module that would be great. Otherwise I have to manually go in and deselect the auto-idle option for my shipyards manually, which can be annoying when one has a lot of them.
Again, on the whole, a huge improvement from the previous system. But a couple of tweaks would make it even better.