Having some success with overcoming few issues in TA that are discussed above. Here is a short list of the changes I made and reasons. I also gave alot of thought to the tech slowdown and came up with what I believe is an intriquing possible solution but it needs testing.
I prefer long drawn out games, this is my playstyle. My usual setup: Terran, industrialist, 7 customization points, 9 races, crippling, gigantic map, abundant hab planets, uncommon planets, occasional stars, scattered density, anomalies rare, asteroids uncommon, very slow tech rate, 8 minor races, extreme planets rare, occasional random events. I use cntl-N until I get a map which seems to give everyone a fair chance or maybe I am at a disadvantage.
Please note changes below were only tested on the above setup.
-reduced galactic resource mining from 4 & 5 to 1 for subsequent mining station upgrades. The first starbase gives you 5 and I just felt getting 4 or 5 each time thereafter is too destablizing. Makes for more interesting game and less chance for race who gets lucky having alot to dominate. But they are still worth grabbing. This was one of my first changes and made a huge difference in itself.
-reduced top weapons to 70% of original damage value. Just a tweak I prefer and makes it more interesting in late stages.
-added +10 to propulsion speed every other propulsion tech starting with impulse. This helps to speed up the ai on very large maps and makes them more competitive in battles. I probably need to work on aivalues for these so they go after the techs more decisively. But I did notice ai's seem to have faster fleets which is a plus.
-reduced arcean war rooms creative ability boost to 5. Felt 10 was just too much but see below.
-lowered luck from 25 to 10.
-lowered creative from 25 to 15 and eliminated it as an additional game start bonus. (see next)
-gave all races (including minor) creative ability to help offset tech inflation slowdown.
-thinking of putting in incremental creativity boost of say +5 then +10? for every other propulsion tech. This would be for all races and might help to overcome the tech inflation slowdown issue! Of course I need to determine what value it should increment. So this will go up gradually but I don't want it going up too much or it will destabilize everything.
-made all races get 7 logistics to start game. Felt previous values were unfair to some. This also helps to facilitate decent fleets for all in the early stages and I see its working very well in recent games.
-customization points to 7 for all races. I may adjust this a bit but seems ok for now.
-made arcean propulsion tech identical to other races. This is just temp until I can figure out how to get their unique tech back in but since I made so many other changes with propulsion it was not fair to them. But believe I can work navigation centers back in but its not high priority right now. Too many other things to work on.
I made alot of changes to raceconfigs but tried to keep the overall theme of the original setup. So the evil races will still have those hitpoints, weapons, etc but I also lessened up the diplomacy penalties. All races received 50 points to work with and I only used 10, 20, etc, not 5's. The aipersonalities were adjusted, I feel that 7 is definitely broken so drengin and yor became 10, korath became 8 and korx remains 11. Aggression was also adjusted somewhat but remains similar to what it was before, just tweaked a bit. Well Drengin is up to 85 and terrans are 55, etc. I also beefed up the minor races to make them tougher and help resist invasion longer. Took away a few Thalan starting techs, imo they seem to have way too many. This is still a work in progress bit gives a general idea of where I am at.
Some rules I made up on the fly for my play style...
-I pause for 7 turns before moving any ships. This is my choice to make game more competitive.
-no building innovative complex until turn ? (need to determine) I was cranking out transports with +1 speed from earth and it was just too destabilizing.
-max major race treaties with me: 2 economic and 2 research until turn ? (need to determine) I was just doing too well with so may treaties.
Quite frankly, the recent games I have been playing are much better with these changes. But I still notice things slow down later due of course to that tech inflation kicking in. I am hopeful the incremental creative ability boost might help. I am not ready to make this a mod but wanted to get the info out and see what others have to say. Maybe get some feedback that could help further. Thanks.
Any comments, suggestions welcome.