Game is in great shape. It plays very well and is FAR challenging then previous updates. If you used the planetary wheel to beat ai, well your crutch is gone. Now you are pretty much on even footing with the AI.
I found another way to make AI more challenging! Forbid players from changing ships parts templates - allow only cosmetic changes. So you'll be on the same level as AI. Yet another crutch is gone. Yay!
On a serious note, i have nothing against Governors in general - it's critical for huge galaxies with hundreds of habitable planets, even with wheel i rarely min\maxes and specialized all my planets, i tried to build them balanced with some differences based on planetary resources\tile bonuses . But you know, when i first launched GC3, planetary wheel, even if it was not very comfortable from UI standpoint, felt very "natural" (or i should say "in organic") with all other planetary changes like adj. bonuses and buildings bonuses. I thought that effective specialization was intended as main element for winning against high level AI - the game supposed to be played with at least a handful of ultra-specilized planets. Yeah, you could have too much of them, but i thought it was just a quirk of not yet tuned economical system (together with approval, tourism, influence and more) - remember GC2, you too, could have super specialized planets (but in different way) but they could easily murder you economy, so you had to play smart to avoid it. Now, everything is boring for me - why try to squeeze additional % from building placement if it's murdered by wasted production? And what's left if you give planets to Governors to manage?
- Combat? Sorry, but it's boring and ship roles system don't work well, allowing of heavy AI abusing.
- Space Stations? Boring and too generic.
- Diplomacy? Well... Also Not quite working.
In short, after 6 month we have a better AI that was promoted as superb from the start (hint - it wasn't) and a bunch of controversial core gameplay changes. A lot of game aspect are quite bad and un-tuned at all (see approval and economy). And "future vision" posted for GC3, looks like something for complete different game. To me, it feels like Elemental all over, again.
Sorry for negative post. I really wish GC3 to turn out great in the end, but current result is just sub-par and inconsistent for me. IMO.