I've finally gotten multiple games under my belt (much to the detriment of my sleeping habits) and I wanted to write out some of my impressions about something that's near and dear to my heart - terraforming. My favorite approach to empire building is the economic or tech rush; I love squeezing every last bit of performance out of my colonies and infrastructure. Eventually this leads to a wave of disposable troops crushing my foes, which warms my blackened heart every time I see it. As such a huge part of that is planning ahead and figuring out what I can expect from my colonies at certain points in time.
Right now, I find the terraforming technologies a bit ... odd. I see in the various descriptions that different technologies are supposed to impact specific 'qualities' of a tile - but there's no feedback on what tiles can be impacted by a particular technology until you choose to build the improvement. I would find it far easier to understand - and plan for my colony's development - if all of the tiles were visible, but color-coded to indicate their 'quality'. If tiles had a progression - green was something you could develop, but then tiles that need terraforming would be colored yellow, orange, red, gray, black (or whatever color progression makes sense). Each technology then indicates what 'color' of tile that it impacts. A planet with only a few green tiles at start - but lots of yellow - would be a prime candidate to fight over. Whereas a planet with mostly black would be only desirable at the end-tier of terraforming.
In a similar vein, only being able to terraform a single tile (for most techs) seems a bit odd. I suspect this is a mechanism that is intended to prevent small planets from blossoming into large ones from terraforming - but it seems that there's already a restriction on the number of total tiles in place as well (judging from my exposure to some of the top-tier terraforming technologies). I would personally find it more rewarding if I could terraform a swath of land at once, rather than getting one hex per planet for most of the technologies. Based on the tooltips and other feedbacks in place in the game, I have to suspect that this is the intent of some technologies already - they just may not be working as expected.
I get that this is a beta - so I'm more than patient and willing to wait. I just know that these are particular pain points that I'd be strongly tempted to mod in the final game if unchanged. The only part that concerns me is the visibility of tiles by type - which I suspect would be difficult to change.
Now if you'll excuse me I need to finish just one more technology before bedtime...... and it's 1:30 AM. Oh well, I can sleep when I've taken control of the galaxy!