If they eventually movement of the game is outward colonization, you have to make improving npc's lives lives really difficult, or have an endless wave of attacks
1. Maybe give the Bugs ships with fire-and-forget warp functions, so, they can warp extremely long distances once before the warp fails, kinda of like a solid fuel booster.This will server to get the ships in a close enough range to affect players and colonies, yet make it nigh impossible to attack the main area of these bugs and come back, dead or alive.
maybe have the warp drives behave like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmRV8wNJ ... ture=share
That rips you out of warp when the drive fails, so you warp a random distance depending on how long the drive holds. This makes the drives unrecoverable
2.Maybe, make the darkness natural phenomenon that just happen to be bad for a ship, such a black hole. Maybe some sort of nebula with a hard to see, hard to locate, gas that does not play well with technology. This would also allow for it to have a few clouds in a relative close area, and then have huge stretches with no clouds.
3.Cool, maybe they could have some interaction with the space bugs, possibly weaponizing them? The pirates would probably have to use small ships with big guns to make then not total pushovers, but with limited scavenging potential.
4. I'm thinking some cross between barnacles and water-bears for the parasites?