conflicts mod, race patrols, marine repair mod ( not needed..but it helps aton),and the combat mod makes everything feel more space combatish :P
conflict mod breaks the storyline due to ships having problems skipping godmoded stations / ships :P
you can set how many "conflict" ships are in play and adjust the force size with a modifier input pretty easily too, you can also claim sectors for yourself, but too many "player" sectors and the conflict AI will see YOU as a threat and decide to attack.(also..if you have the HUB..make sure you put ALOT of forces in there..or else someone else will claim it XD.)
the notoriety setup is pretty easy as well, you can adjust who is allied with who and who is at war with who, or you can just let the diplomacy AI handle that .