You ideas are all good, it is indeed what one should implement. By playing Rebirth again I see the details. Ego had good ideas on XR, a petty that so much hate was put on that game.
As I told, some more rpg elements and a better general conception of the "on foot" part, in the form of Mass Effect (not the shooter part), it'd had made of it a very solid game.
Problem is only the time it'd require to add all those things. Yes I've seen the videos by Weasley, I even think I can replicate what he did but it is beyond my time and energy. Such a project would require a team.
Importing XR sectors is quite easy, I even did it for test (and btw I am using some assets to improve the skybox in X4) but the real magic is done at the level of general design, i.e. the layout of regions and placement of zones. If I can replicate Rebirth's regions (I am testing, some are not applied) well that can be done. Backgrounds are already there, I mean MY backgrounds for Rebirth, which I've redone and can be used in X4 too.
Stations are a lot more work, if Weasley's files were at least available..
As for now, I've done a "more playable" version of REM for X4. It reduces top speeds at the half, by leaving accelerations the same (so quite high). This should help the AI more.
This will be then used in a eventual version of XRSGE with sectors redone in the way I discussed above. But is also good now if using highways.
REM 5.0 https://www.nexusmods.com/x4foundations/mods/848