Just some general comments and obseravations
First of all-overall this is great mod. The fixes to the tech tree really make the game play much better than vanilla. It goes a long way to fixing a lot of the issues that plague vanilla that SD could never be bothered to fix. I always play immense 8-9 opponents at top 3 difficulty levels
Starbases! Can actually defend themselves now!, and fairly early on in the game. In Vanilla, even at max buildout-which took way too long, they were always sitting ducks, unless you send 2/3 of your fleet to watch over them. You still have to to defend them, but in Tols mod, they have at least stand a fighting chance and much much more durable. The improvements to Star-bases alone make this mod well worth it.
Like the new icons and the new, fixed up, SP, and GA, add more depth that has long been missing form the game.
The tech tree itself is much longer and involved. This makes the AI less able to zerg you with Doom Ray equipped, 250 hp warships 30 turned into the game, while your still struggle to put togther a Missle 1 orbital fighter. The AI still out-researches you early on, but not near as outrageously as vanilla. In vanilla it took no time at all, or effort to max the tech trees. Now, not so easy, or as fast.
Your fleet will change. No more 150-200 atk beam or missile cruisers, but the AI doesn't get them either so it balances surprisingly well all things considered. The new scale takes some getting used to if youve never modded or only played vanilla, but its superior over all. My strongest ships(base) with 3x shrinkers are bascically at the 70atk level. Though I have one design with 77. All more than capable of destroying the strongest AI ships with insulting ease.
Money seems a little harder to make, which is good. Too easy to make loads of cash in vanilla with relatively little commerical worlds. Not hard in Tols either, but you cant cruise quite along quite like you could in vanilla. More trade and commerce options in Mod assist in this regard. I find I build more economy buildings in Tols than I did in vanilla.
AI seems to prefer bee-lining to ethics-and they seem to prefer evil.-neither good or bad
AI worlds are much better filled out now -the AI is still pretty 'dumb' but its night and day compared to vanilla.
The AI seems overall to play a little better, though TBH, they can still be fairly dumb when it comes to grand strategy, even if various sub-aspects of its play have improved. I realize this is not really the Mods fault-any improvements small or large are always welcome.
Making all the ultimate weapons same weight and strength was probably a good idea.
Droping Stellar drive makes for more interesting games as the sense of vast scale on the large maps is somewhat restored. No more 37+base speed warships crossing the map in a few turns. Even with multiple shrinkers and max tech, it still takes a while to cross an immense map.
Not so good.
AI does not seem to really build influence like they do in vanilla, or when they do, still does nothing to build them up.
They build few other bases, economy or military and again, do not build them up or use them effectively from the games Ive run.
The AI seems to have a preference for research, which is fine, but they dont seem to make much progress beyond a certain point in the game, and of course, since there research seems to be ineffective, they dont switch over to production or commerce that well either.
If this makes any sense, the AI does not seem all that aggressive with invading my worlds, though to me, it looks like they attack each others worlds fine. What few invasions I do face, again are un-escorted trans easily shot down 99% of time.
Good tech tree does not really seem to offer much in the way of unique techs ,just like Vanilla. Evil really seems to be best way to go, even if good does have some interesting GA's. Im not clear how the defensive bonuses really help. Though to be fair, I still need to run thro one of my epic games as good. Neutral im not even sure if its worth pursueing? YMMV.
If I would change anything I might consider upping ultimates to 8 strength. I think that would be something to consider.
But if you find vanilla to be an exercise in frustration, and want a longer, more in-depth game, and a lot of annoying bug fixes addressed, this is a great mod.