OK I'm a huge fan of game. Have been since the G2. I usually play on largest map possible for the longest game possible. I want to see my empire as we'll as other empires expand as the game progresses. I'm not sure what happened since a few patches ago but I've noticed a huge pattern on the enemy players. I usually try and start my games where I'm in my little corner of the galaxy far from enemy so I can grow my empire before I'm ready to meet the other races. I noticed that after a long term game the other races usually leave really nice planets right on their back door uncolonized like the computer only has a set number of turns to find planets and after that it stops looking for them. These are usually the best planets they leave behind which I usually end up taking but they shouldn't have been available to me along with resources that should have been gobbled up in early or mid game play. Also the computer hardly ever goes to war against another race and I just notice them stockpiling up and just waiting for me to come and take there planets. This is very frustrating as I want the game to feel alive like it was in G2. The original AI for game before these patches didn't have that issue or I just never noticed it.
I would also really really like for the AI on minor races turned back on. I'm begging to feel the AI for the major races has almost the same coding. Why not have a feature like in G2 where they would gobble up the resources but not be able to colonize planets. This would put a little road block on growing your empire and I usually like the long drawn out games anyways. Also I would like to be able to actually speak to them again. Why not have it to where instead of conquering them which you end up doing anyway but have it where they might want to actually eventually join your empire and then you control the planet.
Trade really needs to be improved. I usually am the only empire usually trading and hardly see any of the other empire trading especially with me. My typical game it usually to trade with the minor races as they never go to war with you so you have a long term trade partner instead of with a major race your trade routes all end. I think a good idea would be that once a trade route is established there should be a special dialog about the terms of the trade to either increase or decrease profits instead of just having it based on how far way the trade route is. Also it might not be a bad idea to either have a empire or even the pirates be able to actually disrupt the trade and either be able to steal credit from a blockade using bribery.
These are just some items that I think would make the game seem more alive. Looking forward to hopefully seeing some changes before I start my next long game. Thanks