Played a medium (or the next one up) map, loose clusters with all players, occasional everything as the Krynn.
I realize this is beta, blah, blah. Just giving my feedback.
1) What is with the scoring system? Everyone I met was double my score or more without much to show for it. I suspect area of influence, even if it is dead space, counts for too much. Also ships seem to be valued in the scoring way too much. It should be based on colonies, population, manufacturing, research and money making ability with only military ships counting. Starbases shouldn't count for much, constructors nothing.
2) Why can't non-aggression pacts be broken? or any treaty really.
3) Please de-clutter the treaties screen to only show treaties and how many turns are left for it.
4) If there is a way to see the other factions ideology, it is news to me. Also I would like to see what treaties they have with others. A screen where I can see all factions, their number of colonies, total military value, research, etc. would be awesome.
5) (reiterated from a previous post) What happened to the ship screen? Showing me all variations of ships and obsolete ships is a nightmare! I can't even multi-select and obsolete them. No, I have to do it one at a time! This didn't happen before. Flog the programmer who did this! (ok, as a programmer myself who made plenty of mistakes, just fix it asap)
6) Diplomacy still would show factions I eliminated! They could even vote! I took out the Yor, they had nothing, no ships even, but they were still there. I defeated the Drengin and they both went away. Then when I loaded up the save the next day BOTH were back! Also, after I defeated them they kept coming back begging for peace when there wasn't anything for them to live on! What is this, the ghost of Jacob Marley?!?!?
7) The influence calculation is just plan broken. It says 76% for victory. As I got closer to it, the screen said I needed 10% more when I was at 73ish (which given the map, I don't think I had more than 60 or so. To get the final victory I had to take over 93%! Again, that number seemed high, but whatever.
8) I made treaties with the Terrans like free trade and they accepted, only to have free trade treaty immediately show up as an option in the diplomacy screen! No matter how many times I got them to agree, it popped up again. This happened with culture as well with the Altarians where we did a one sided trade, so I gave the others trying to get the alliance choice to popup. Nope. In fact, only the Irridium had an alliance as a choice. Despite being massively bigger than the Alarians and larger than the Terrans, no alliance was ever to show up. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Also, what is with them saying it is good to see me walking upright when I have more techs, power, ships, etc. and they are overjoyed with me?
9) The start of the game is sloooooooooow. After you research up a bit, then it is a chore as you spit out techs even couple of turns and then have to run around playing whack a mole as your building crank out in no time flat. Ships are popping every couple of turns as well.
10) Starbases are too cheap. These are supposed to me massive things. Since I couldn't declare war and couldn't get an alliance with the Altarians and the Terrans, I went for influence. Cranking out constructors every 2-3 turns on several planets, fly them to the edges of their territory, build culture improvements, when it flips a planet, build more constructors, more starbases with culture improvements, when that flips, do it again, over and over. Not my idea of fun. However, at this point I had something like 50000+ in the bank and making tons a turn despite having something like 15+ starbases with 6 modules for culture and sphere of influence each. I wasn't even TRYING to make money. The sliders were for manufacturing and science with some gold. I rarely put money building on planets. I stop bothering with trade routes. Still made oodles of cash.
11) <Edited> apparently I missed building the missonary center and other ideology building only give 5 points when built, not per turn. My bad. What is to keep a player from abusing this by building it, destroying it and building it again?
12) Can you give us a visual on tiles that are other factions buildings? They seem to give you the benefits, but won't upgrade to yours. So you have to destroy them and build yours. Why can't it just auto-upgrade to mine if it is better? Also, if for some reason it won't give me any benefits, why wouldn't it be auto-destroyed?
13) The research tree is a mess. You get out of the age of exploration too fast, I think you said it was to allow invasions quicker. Just make invasions a late first age tech please. Actually, I am not a fan of restrictions on research by ages. I smells a lot like "gimp the player to help the ai" vs a real game mechanic.
14) (Suggestion) the ai should give large diplomatic penalties for putting starbases and fleets just outside their range. Especially if they are influence starbases that are stealing their territory! Building a starbase in someone else's sphere of influence should be an act of war. Imagine if China decided to come into US waters and build an oil rig, much less trying to annex coastal cities.
15) This has been brought up, but it drives me nuts. I can only buy one building a turn. Fine. Why can't I buy multiple building at once instead and they at least queue up? Having to go back every turn to buy a building is the height of micromanagement.
I won't get into the ai as that will be a constant that you are working on. I see some improvement on it though, so keep up the good work. The warning screen loading the game is correct, at least for me. I basically forced myself to finish this game and am in no hurry to start a new one until the next beta patch. It felt like a chore more than a game. This coming from someone who loves GalCiv2, FELH and other games you made. I applaud pushing it back to May. It will take at least a month just on polishing screens and cleaning up text. So take your time to do it right and I look forward to future updates.