I agree with naselus. It is not only time to begin putting up, it is time for Stardock to say what they intend. I think there is an understanding at Stardock that the AI (broadly used - I consider everything the AI 'player' does to fall under the category of 'AI') is not adequate, or at least an understanding that there are a lot of players who believe the AI is not adequate. Stardock would not be launching threads asking for improvements if they intended to ignore what people say - at least that's not my experience with the company. And at this point I think there is some consensus among the players - explained in deep and comprehensive detail - as to where the issues lie.
Second, while there are a lot of good suggestions (IMHO) here, Stardock has already pulled most of the labor off of a 'finished' game and is moving on other projects. This limits what they can do and there is no point in us debating whether that was a good decision or not - it is done, and was done for good and sufficient reasons, and we can't revisit it.
Third, opening up the AI by providing new variables (triggers) looks to me to be a win-win suggestion, satisfying the customer base while using minimal programmer resources. But I'm not a professional game-programmer or Stardock employee and there may be reasons they don't want to do that.
Fourth, the 3-D ship modeling was probably something a Stardockian developed because they were interested in it, and it was put out to the public as a 'this is really cool' way of separating the game from others of the genre. And it is extremely cool, and it probably did not soak up major time or resources, and we would not have gotten a better game without it, so criticism here is (I think) misplaced. This falls under the category of, 'the meal includes desserts one of which is ice cream, and perhaps you should not eat it if you don't like ice cream, but the restaurant should not remove it from the menu because you don't like it'.
Fifth. Brad, I understand this is your game, and I understand there are times when you can or can't talk to the public - and about what - and how. I think we've exhausted this topic and I sense some frustration that there hasn't been a substantive response from you. I don't take your previous comments on the subject as defensive - mostly attempts to explain the nature of the problem - but I can see how others would. I think - hope - that not saying anything means you guys are taking notes, mapping options and preparing to do whatever it is you want to do. And I can see that you don't want to make promises that you later find out you can't keep, and so would rather show than tell. Still...
I'm asking you - please - to take the time to give us a long-form answer. Tell us if you agree there are issues, lay out what you are looking at, and sketch out a proposal or two. Because a lot of us love this game too and are frustrated, and nothing will get better out of silence. I know that you don't want customers you want raving fans and you have them. But part of having fans is that you wind up with a lot of people who feel invested, who feel like they are your partners even though we aren't. Sometimes that's great, sometimes it sucks - but if you want the fan involvement this is the downside. Sometimes we need you to explain.
So I'm asking everyone to calm down, post on this only if you have something new and original to say, and give Brad and Stardock a little breathing room (say, 15-20 minutes - no, I kid - I kid - make it 30). I'm confident we will get communication from them. I'll surely be disappointed if we don't.