I will start a running total of feedback in this thread:
1) Performance: Nothing seems optimized to me, so far every aspect of gameplay seems slower. It takes a little longer to navigate the map, a bit longer to select anything, game loading seems to take as long if not longer: in general I feel the game is now slower than previously (note I haven't gone to any bigger maps or anything, generally stay on medium maps).
Update: As of turn 190, my performance is still pretty bad. Considering several others have noted performance improvements, definately seems odd that I would have a worse experience than the previous patch.
Update 2: It turns out I was wrong, my last game was on a large map. When I went down to a medium map again, the performance was very sharp. So the issue seems to be that I cannot run large map games.
2) Ship Designer:
a) Please provide me the manufacturing cost of each piece, instead of just maintenance.
b ) It would be nice to have a small area that tells me how many strategic resources I have, which helps when I am crafting prototype ships.
c) I would like the ability to create a ship template that auto updates itself to newer designs. For example, when I put on a missile module, put a checkbox that says "autoupdate". When I get the next missile tech, assuming I have the mass available for it, I want the template to update itself with the new missile type.
3) Weapon / Combat Design:
a) Please please please provide us an understanding of how weapons and defenses interact now. It makes it hard to give feedback on effectiveness.
b ) Kinetics seems to get the shaft right now. Kinetics are expensive, heavy,and low attack. Their prototype seems much worse than the elerium lasers and the antimatter missiles (half the damage, yet more mass).
c) The various base weapon bonuses (like the missile recharger) is basically a way to make capital ships stronger, as the effect is magnified by the number of weapons you have. But I already find capital ships to be very strong, so I think this mechanism is unnecessary.
d) What does tactical speed really do for me? I tried it out on a few ships, and I found it to be worthless compared to defenses (I was using the warp version).
e) I would like to offer the game Endless Space as a cautionary tale of combat mechanics. While that game had a lot of great things going for it, it had a ton of combat mechanics (range, accuracy, number of shots, damage, evasion from speed). But that not only made the game much more difficult to learn, and much more obscure to newer players....when you broke down the math most of those mechanics ultimately did not effect combat much, and were ignored.
A few solid combat mechanics that give me a meaty change when I alter them is preferable to a number of mechanics that are hard to understand and don't provide a lot of benefit, which is where I feel the game is heading right now.
Gal Civ 2 system's was straightforward and meaty, and I liked it. I saw a missile number on the other guy's ship, I knew what it meant, and I knew what he could do. Now...well are those missile charged to shoot faster? Do they have greater range? Does that really matter to my combat outcome?
I think your new support system (that relies on strategic resources to prevent abuse like you saw in Gal Civ 2) is already a great way to tailor combat, and its clear and it makes sense. You don't need speed and accuracy and range all thrown in their too.
f) The Iconian Interceptors run away from the starbase they protect to attack the enemy, which makes them practically worthless. I would rather they wait and engage the enemy alongside the starbase, so if nothing else they soak a few hits.
a) How do influence and trade starbases work now? In Gal Civ 2, they affect the area around them, meaning you would often put them in hostile territory away from your planets. Or do they now work like other starbases, magnifying a planet's yield?
b ) In terms of the game, right now I find the early game very exciting. I'm racing to get planets, racing to mine things, trying to ensure I have enough ships not to get crushed, lots of neat tech choices. Early Mid Game is still fun as I start to ramp up my infrastructure, and get my resources humming. Late Mid Game to Late Game....is a slog. The tech tree gets very stale, with the exception of a few support bonuses, and the ability for my starbases to extend range (thank you btw for that!), the game becomes "more lasers, cheaper lasers, stronger lasers! more engines, cheaper engines, stronger engines!"
I feel like I am playing the exact same game in the late game that I play in the mid one, and its boring.
c) I wonder if there are too many strategic resources right now, which dilutes their importance and makes them difficult to track. For example, perhaps thulium and promethium could be combined.
d) I would like to try out military starbases with an extended range built in. They are a decent early game buff, but it would be nice to cover more area with them, and also allow them to protect other starbases (they can't right now because of the 5 hex limit).
e) Possible exploit. When I select a project (birthing subsides as an example), as long as 1 resource is being put towards it, I get the full benefit. With 0 resources, I get nothing.
So what I will do is set my planet to 99 research, 1 manu and get that bonus....or set to 99 military 1 social to crank out ships and fast grow the planet. On the other hand, if I miss this 1% when I am specializing planets, I lose out on a strong bonus. I recommend just allowing the projects to work period, and then put in an alert when their is an empty queue (there would never be a need to have an empty queue with this system).
f) I miss in Gal Civ 2 that my social would dump into military when my social work was done. I hate having to change the slider everytime a new social improvement comes up for an upgrade.
a) In the planet list, it would be nice to have the population sizes highlight or show a different color when they are maxed.
b ) Birthing Subsides should not stay active when a planet is capped, I should get an alert at that point.
a) Hyperion Logistics System doesn't seem to be working. I have a 3 world starport, one of them has the system (on a +3 military spot no less). Tiny ships are still coming out as 2 logistics.
b ) Mining Modules show an escalating resource number (1,2,3,4, etc) in the tooltip. However, each module adds 1, which works differently than every other starbase module. The tooltip should be changed to show +1 each.
c) Request Constructor is building the constructors, but not sending them to the starbase. They are just sitting idle.
d) Going into regular ship combat commonly makes the monitor go to black and the game freezes up.
e) Colony Screen: Some of the icons are off by 1. The research icon is over income, income icon over production, and research has a blank spot.
f) Research Treaty Tech still says "Slave Brokering"
g) ***My number 1 bug, crashes when going into the combat screen. Because of this, I can't watch the battles to get a feel for the various combat mechanics and provide feedback.
h) When a mining starbase is destroyed, its lines to the resources often continues.
i) Blank planet icons.
j) Iridians Free Market does not reflect higher influence numbers for leveling the building. A level 3 free market was still providing only +1 influence.
a) I find I leave the Age of Exploration a but to quickly. On the other hand, I find that getting out of the Age of War takes a bit too long.
b ) It takes too many techs to get out of the Age of Ascension and go for the final techs, at least on a medium map. I feel like I could win the game in very other fashion long before I win by tech.
a) The late game food buildings provide some extra growth, but I don't find its enough. By late game, growth is weak because it has little time to pay for itself. I think the late game growth buildings (like the bio replicator) should provide a small base growth bonus.