I apologize for the book but I thought id get some thoughts off my mind.
Found a glitch where the game wont let me colonize a planet that it tells me needs extreme colonization for even though i researched it ages ago. Also, when I saved a game as the same name as another save file to overwrite it, it made a save file with a ~ in front of the name and exited the game after i tried to load it to check if it saved properly. It did however load properly after re initializing the game and the name was fixed.
**disclaimer: i love the gal civ series in general and where this one is headed and i know its in beta but its hard for me to tell what is being worked on and noticed so its best for me to just list everything I've noticed, if you read though this all i applaud you**
Haven't tried it yet but if this multiplayer system works the way i think it will then you guys made an excellent choice adding multiplayer this time around.
AI refuses to attack anyone but me, which is annoying as it tends to break the 4th wall for me, though i heard the AI is still under development so this might not be a real issue. Also, some explanations as to how the diplomatic system works might help. How does the bar on the right in the diplomacy screen relate to the pluses and minuses on the diplomatic report? I kinda get it an intuitive level but it seems janky atm. I dont like that I cant see any indication of the benefits of diplomatic deal (traded a bunch of techs at a favorable rate to a weaker power and their opinion jumped like 3 ranks, but neither the +/- or the bar thing showed any evidence of this boost. Maybe this is just due to in-completion of the system. atm it seems super easy for other races to hate you for random things like trading or having other ideologies but having something as simple as an open borders treaty suddenly makes them all go away despite the fact that the treaty seems nearly completely pointless because no one really cares about your ship except for the temporary minus the game is scripted to give you and it has no effect otherwise and is super easy to implement though a diplomatic deal.
(tldr; too many random minuses, open border too much plus for what its worth)
I also think an AI cooperation or coalition system would be very cool to see in this game. Everyone hits that point in this game where they realize the rest of the game will be just a bunch of steamrolling and tedium to get to their inevitable victory. Id love to see a system where the AIs can recognize players (or other AIs!) that are coming dangerously close to various victory conditions (ex. are clearly militarily dominant with higher tech and conquering planets, culture snowballing planets like crazy, way too far ahead in research, etc) and form coalitions (temporary alliances, maybe UP political factions???, if so take notes from crusader kings 2) to take down or actively resist those players. They could do things like trade or gift technologies that might help against culture (for instance if someone is culture steamrolling) along with taking more active culture countermeasures like building more culture buildings, attempting to stop or repeal culture bonuses that might help that player, or taking other measures like trying to militarily take back planets etc
(tldr; more intelligent AI cooperation vs strong players=good, dumb mid-late game feeders=bad)
I feel like culture is a little too strong at the moment. There are all these influence perks and buffs for technologies, special events, ideology, etc. that make it really difficult to defend against (particularly for AI, but also for player) depending on your situation. It seems to be all about attack and there's no defense really unless you invested in the malevolent perk, but in that case you're just instantly immune to a certain type of victory. The malevolent immune to culture flip is cool and all and prevents other players from culture victory-ing you but is totally pointless when you have a couple special influence tiles (which seem to be everywhere, btw) and just build a few consulates and end up flipping planets you didn't even know exist anyways. Maybe its just me but I feel like it sometimes grows (snowballs?) too fast, or that there should be better ways to counter it defensively rather than aggressively like you are doing when you add culture buildings that isn't necessarily dependent on being malevolent and having insta-invulnerability, kinda like in gal civ 2. It could be that the AI is just dumb but it seems really easy to beat AIs this way unless the AI happens to be spamming culture buildings (that recently released Iconian faction can be brutal lol), in which case you basically have to get involved in a long and protracted war (due to losing captured planets to culture) or create a UP resolution (assuming you activated it, which i hadn't thanks to a random roll) if you're not malevolent.
(tldr; influence system needs tweaking)
Also this is kinda random, but when I think about the malevolent production bonuses versus pragmatic star base/constructor bonuses the 1 ship per turn cap (330 production on a 97 production cost ship just seems like a waste) seems limiting when compared to the bonus constructor use (165 production on what is basically 2 constructors seems like a lot less of a waste). Not sure if its really an issue, just thought id bring it up in case you guys wanted to do some number crunching to check the balance on that.
Malevolent Aggression seems incredibly weak compared to its other branches. Maybe its just me but I hardly see the point in it when you could double your military production and improve income Very few long term benefits and a waste of points when you compare it to pragmatic vigilant 2-4. particularly when, as i understand, the stats of the ships are dependent on your military tech.
Pragmatic favored races declaring war on me for no reason and then just sitting there doing next to nothing while thinking hes winning really hurts morale.
It seems like custom factions in this game are a lot easier to min-max than in the previous gal civ games in terms of the traits (there are traits that are definitively less important that you can min to max more of the most important traits)
but the special racial abilities seem incredibly useless except for a certain few like engineers, star-faring, and entrepreneurs. Synthetic seems like a burden because it takes up an ability point slot... unless having to manufacture citizens has some benefit im unaware of, which it could. Though in some cases this may be dependent on things like the fact that the invasion system seems incomplete still. (ie. for drengin free invasions, why bother with other costly options when through 95% of the game when it actually might matter no one has the tech or invested in the like 2 defense boosting buildings in the game which seems to do next to nothing anyways against invasions that always have 100% victory chances?)
Im not sure if this could be done in gal civ 2 without that one special sensor wonder or not but i love being able to spam sensors on a ship or 2 and be able to see my whole territory plus bordering territories (depending on map size) and use them as Early Warning System ships. Not sure if you guys are planning on keeping this feature or not or how the AI works exactly but having AIs create EWS ships in that fashion to better know their surroundings would be useful i would think. Could add to AI game-play or to anti AI strategy. EWS space stations could be cool too if the ship sensor module spam gets nerfed.
Still have NO idea what they do exactly and I cant find anyone who can tell me precisely how they work other than "well this stuff is for laz0rs" etc. And I really only mine them on impulse rather than integrating it into any form of strategy.