What I am about to propose here is a fairly radical change to the game’s code and the style of play that most are used to nowadays. However, it is also a nod to the earlier days of the game when fun was being had and strategies were evolving on a weekly basis.
In two words: MAP FOG.
Create a galaxy where all the advanced mapping features are disabled and blocked entirely.
In its place, a family will have a zone of vision within say 5 ticks of any system they occupy. Within that zone of vision, they can see whom owns each planet in those systems.
Outside of that zone, players will be able to only see if a planet is unexplored, or if it is owned (but not by whom).
One variation is the zone of vision could be player based, in which case the distance of visible systems could be tied into a player’s speed bonus.
Why do this? To make the game a bit more chaotic and unpredictable once again. To curtail the core strategy just a touch and encourage wide deployment of exploration ships once again.