Lasewrs could do fixed damage at every range and another type of weapon would have reduced effect over range. This kind of thing would make the different kind of weapons much more interesting.
Right, and I think one interesting point here is that laser, the level 1 weapon, should also have a pro. If laser is the base model and all other weapons have cool features, laser will be forgotten. I want a doom star deck out with super-refined lasers!
Technology which adds to mining for instance should be a refinement of an application which allows a planet to focus on Mining (which everyone should start with). A Technology which allows mining on asteroids would be a new application. Another example of mining boosting application, rather than refinement, would be something which adds to mining production on a world not focused on mining.
The first sentence is fine, except that we need a mechanism that stops a player from obtaining % boosting refinement in rapid succession. We could do so by having theory-prerequisites for each level of refinement (which I think is better than having a mandatory cooldown period).
The applications described in the second and third sentences do not seem to have viable refinement options.
I still think that Applications should be able to have other prerequisties, so that it takes longer to research them. Maybe they should all have a long number of minimum turns, so that they don't come immediately after the refinement.
I agree with this, with the caveat that the number of such cross-linked should be rather limited. When you have a prerequesite theory, obviously you need to have researched all theories in the same field leading up to that prerequisite theory, which dramatically increases the RP investment you need to obtain such an application.
Also, when an Application's all prerequisites are satisfied, there should be a sitrep alerting the player about this.
Having multiple refinements for a single technology is good, but they should if possible not just be +10%, +25%, +50% and so on.
I think the role of refinement is satisfied with simple number boosts - application should open up new and interesting strategic options.