Just finished a game playing Klingons on immense map, tight clusters, with tech trading turned off, 0.3h Patch 1.1, here are some observations no specific order:
1. Without tech trading the Federation is by far the strongest race, their influence is overwhelming. I see patch 1.2 addressed this
2. The Klingons are about just right, not sure what the latest tweaks do but they play well, those Polaron missiles are absolutely deadly
3. The AI does not build fleets well, the federation kept coming at me with vast amounts of single dreadnoughts, they were impressive but I was able to cut them down with Cruiser fleets since I could use all my logistic points. Towards the end of the game the Feds built larger fleets but never to the full extent possible, game bug?
4. The BORG are well designed and OP on purpose but without tech trading they seem to fall a bit behind, they lasted but where no threat to the Federation or the Klingons once I was able to build up. They were somewhat isolated which helped a lot too.
5. Diplomacy seems to work well with the latest tweaks, I was universally hated in the end due to the infinite "War Monger" penalty but that was to be expected
6. It was quite a surprise to see the minor races colonize 2 or 3 planets, they did not build up fleets or thry to conquer planets but it is going in the right direction, beefing up their ability to defend themselves would be cool. Having an old minor race develop into a major due to some kind of game event would be cool.
7. The base game bugs about the multiple "one of" buildings is definitely there, all AI planets had multiple versions of capital buildings and precursor buildings, in the end I must have had 15 tech capitals Had 211 planets though.
8. Precursor anomalies are still OP for the human player, AI did not touch them
9. For some reason the AI likes to station overwhelming numbers of ships in shipyards and planets instead of using them to ravage their enemy. Kind of a waste actually.
10. The AI concentrates too much on asteroid fields, if you build them strategically you can use them as an early detection system and stop the AI from doing real damage before your fleets can come to the rescue, helps defeat cloaking too . Should be a priority assigned where higher lever targets are taken out first.
11. Related to the above, the AI will make a couple attacks in one turn but never to the full extent of its capacity and usually only against asteroid fields.
12. The Romulans seem a bit weak in this game maybe due to tech trading being turned off, They should be a turtle type of race with heavy fortifications but inside their territory they should be very strong. I found them quite easy to overtake.
13. The Ferengi need work, right now they feel like a minor race. Not sure what to do there since they should be money oriented and in a game where only military domination counts they are at a very big disadvantage. maybe beef up their ability to form alliances?
14. Still hate the starbase mechanics with a a passion. In the end I had over 150 starbases and every time I researched a new component I had to click 450 times to put it on all of them. 3 clicks times 150, one to pick the starbase, double to tell it to build. That's insane and I am getting repetitive stress injuries from it Hopefully that gets fixed soon.
15. Minor races have to stop threatening me when they have a score of 100 and I have a score of 57000, That feels wrong especially when the diplomacy screen shows them as saying "Please don't hurt me"
Overall the game feels good, might be time to go to 0.4 LOL