This is my first impression from the alpha, and this will be hard for me to put into words, but here goes.
I don't understand the life / hp / hull values in this game. First of all, I feel that they are way too low for all ships. If this is Dreadnought then these ships should be able to take more than a few shots. Keep in mind I have only flown the first 3 ships, (I do not know what the first one is), a sniper, and one that can go invisible. I found it easiest to get kills with the invisible ship.
Back, to my main point. I feel that the "hull" should not regenerate. If anything all ships should have shields (which would mean you have 2 HP bars). If you want to regen your shields that makes sense. If you want an engineer ship to "heal" you then it should replenish your shields. Your hull can regen a little bit but it should be extremely slow and negligible. I suppose the engineer ship could be given a "dispatch hull repair drones" to fix hull because that would make sense.
I feel that the ships should keep their current hull values. In addition, they should be given a second HP bar. This bar would serve as the "shield" indicator. Obviously, the bigger the ship the bigger the shield given. Or it could be modified based on perks etc, too.
So, making this change changes a bunch of things from how the game is now, but I think to get the "dreadnought" feel then this is what needs to happen. So basically, you would probably lose your shields during a fight, but they would come back. However, if you took hull damage then you are not getting that back. Make the battles longer / more important. Also, the shield ability on the wheel would now recharge your shields.
Also, the shield ability on your ship looks odd. I would much prefer an oval bubble offset a distance away from your ship instead of a green slime that is on the shell of your ship.
---a shield HP bar needs added adding more health to ships while keeping weapon damage where it is (don't undo this by increasing weapon damage)
---diverting power recharges shields
---hulls need to not regenerate unless a skill is used from healer ship
---Laser based weapons would do more damage to shields instead of missiles
I might post this in 'alpha' forum, wasn't sure to post here or there. Mods please delete one or the other thanks.