I’m sorry that you are disappointed, let me clarify things a bit and see if it makes you feel better.
It may have been misleading when I said the AI will get bonuses at higher difficulties. While this is true, it is not as simple as +100% to shields credits per turn or anything like that. In fact the cruder bonuses of that type will really only be used in Godlike, where we want even very advanced players to feel like they are threatened.
The primary way the AI will be differentiated by difficulty, is by something we call AI Strategies. AI strategies are had crafted, by us to make sure the AI is playing to win. Each difficulty will have its own set of AI strategies
On normal, these strategies will help the AI play a rational, realistic game, they will not necessarily be out to crush you right away, and will in general be easier to deal with. If you wrong them they will try their best to kill you, without any extra help from us.
Beginner AI strategies will make the AI a bit less aggressive, and easier to push around by experienced players. We may in fact give them a bit of a -% bonus to production if needed, because we don’t really want to make the AI stupid, timid is fine, but stupid is unacceptable.
As you go up in difficulty, the primarily difference will be the strategies, they will become more aggressive and more clever. And by aggressive I do not mean, just motivated to win, in their preferred way. As an example the Krynn will try harder for an influence victory, or the Drengin will try harder for a Conquest victory. This is done by make more advanced AI Strategies. These are kind a blueprint for victory that the AI works with. They are created by us, so we can update them as players get more advanced, or figure out strategies that we have not accounted for.
At the highest level, Godlike, we will give some bonuses, but we are trying to keep them simple, things like making the AI more efficient builders, or slightly more accurate. But once again the real difference will be the AI strategies.
I hope allays your concerns a bit. We are very proud of how the AI is advancing and we do not want you to think we are just toughing bonuses at the AI player, we have done a lot of work to make sure these strategies are flexible, and smart, and can be updated as the game matures.