I've still been working on this over the past 6 months and wanted to post an update.
Thus far I haven't touched the templates.json file because I didn't think there was much to be done there but after trying to figure out how to get the AI to make the newly implemented Helicopter propulsion I got really detoured and now I'm working on making an AI.
WOW what a difference it makes when the AI makes the best units available... it's no wonder the AI plays so bad, they're currently making silly units. They're making viper flamer when they could be making cobra minipod... I didn't know telling the AI which units to make was as simple as listing them in the tmp array and adjusting the MAX_RANDOM_TEMPLATES as necessary. So I used the stats editor to make an additional 70 templates in templates.json and then ordered them from worst to best. It's now much easier to showcase changes to the stats when the AI can demonstrate them for you
I also created the sensorDroid event in Nexus.slo. I see someone created the array in the .vlo file but there wasn't a corresponding event in .slo. It has a 50/50 chance of picking from the two best sensor choices so that AI can make CB turret and wide sensor at same time.
So now I'm going off in this direction...
I also wasn't aware that non-fatal errors were being logged in the log files... I just assumed if WZ had a problem it would crash. I found that the map I was using to test was causing some infinite loops, I think from excessive research centers but I fixed all errors with this mod (not sure if it was throwing any before).
I just wanted to give an update because working on the AI I feel that someone may be working on similar things or might have advice.
This is where I'm currently at with .slo and .vlo files: