You can remove the complexity of ship creation/building by reworking the slot system. You should beable to pull metrics to see the average fittings of each ships. This will also double over the potential to improve class values (for ships like recons) as well as the overall balance.
You’ll probably have to start with doing somethings that i suggested in the past. For example, shifting a new “slot” (low,med,high) for ewar. Then reworking all eward to a general, across the board system where they apply 1 point of power, vs the counter anti-war point of power, much like we have with warp core/warp stab systems.
This will enable the modular slot for ewar to be generic, simplistic and “at first glance” understandable. From here you may have to create similar systems to other common aspects of the game, im sure you can figure it out (though im afraid if leaving it to your capability because of your lack of insight in design choices).
you may want to investigate shifting armor and shields into primary, and secondary defensive systems.
Examples of primary would be reps, and secondary would be extenders or hardeners, then shift the slot count accordingly to force build variance, where you will allow for customization which is where you will acquire some diversity in build performance.
Im sure the same concept could be applied to low slot upgrades for weapon systems.
The good thing about this is by shifting the system in this way you will help validate slots for specific roles, which will help diversity more, interestingly instead of harm it, but at the same time it will make such diversity lower, which will help remove larger amounts of complexity.
mandating specific slot types to specific module types will also remove complexity in the aspect that new players will see “ewar slot” or “weapon upgrade slot” and instantly know they need to put a specific module type there, which means that new recon pilots will always have ewar, and be geared toward that style of game play. this will help remove the aspects of a new recon pilot not having ewar, when vets depend on it.
With out putting much thought in it, I would imagine the major aspects of eve’s complexity comes from the ship building, and the ultra-ship game play (ie trajectory etc).
I know its crazy, but it might be work investigating removing the tracking concept out right from eve, and just making all damage be applied, and have a chance to crit, shifting the majority of that loss into larger alpha’s which will make the game less predictable, more simplistic (in the way that new players dont have to learn advanced concepts like spiraling).
Again, that should improve over all balance and remove a large amount of that skill based complex game play.
I think this principle can be adapted universally. For example, stations in high sec do not warn new players they have fighter capability, which old players take advantage of. If this was more evident, maybe by making the ai remind them, it would be resolved.
I’ll put some more thought into t he complex aspects of eve, but the majority is above and in base pvp engagement mechanics like suicide ganking rules in high sec, which could be streamlined (removed) to help make the experience more intuitive to playerbase.