My apologies for the length of this post.
So, the rundown...
DL gets...the shaft
DA gets...Espionage Tweaks
TA gets...Espionage, Planetary Governors, Starbase Managers, External Shipyard, new Galaxy Setup options, Negotiation tweaks, new ship style, and more!
Which, IMHO, is better than...
DL gets...Starbase Manager
DA gets...Espionage Tweaks, SB Manager
TA gets...Espionage Tweaks, SB Manager
Minimally quoting relevant portions because multiquoting is still FUBAR'd and I can't be bothered to go through and make it look pretty when my edit button doesn't work. (Goes back to last post in thread even within 30 seconds, let alone 10 minutes.) *sigh*
I've said this once or twice before on these forums, and I'll say it again-I personally actually thought the spy system in DA was an improvement from DL. I won't say it couldn't have been done better, but I will say that I actually like it. That said, I know lots of people have complained about it and if you've managed to find a way to make them happy, you've probably managed to find a way to make me happy as well.
I take it the random events galaxy setting is for normal, not mega? Fine either way, as far as I'm concerned-just checking.
From a mechanics perspective, the espionage upgrade is mostly the only thing, so far, of significance here-which is not a bad thing-so I could live with that being the only thing that got backported to DA, although the planetary governors would make things late game much less time consuming.
I know TA is the "latest and greatest", and I like it, but I'm not in love with it like I am with DA. I made a post on this subject a few days ago, and didn't really get much of a response-mostly people telling me to "play the races as the developers intended them to be played".
Admittedly, I felt roughly the same way when going from DL to DA, but the super abilities finally sold me on it-and, oddly enough, spies were a factor as well. Initially I hated them, but it became one of the reasons I played DA over DL.
But my primary issue with TA is that there does not seem to be a sufficient benefit to choosing a tech tree OTHER than the Terran (if you're going custom-if not, then you find the closest mix of tech tree and SA that suits you). In other words, it's too good. To put it yet another way: It looks like essentially a copy and paste job from DA, except for the layout. I can understand why it was done that way, both for flavor reasons and to help people adjust to TA, but it still feels to me that TA is substantially less balanced than DA is/was.
Of course, I could go mod the files, and since I have yet to even play an MV game, that appears to be a valid solution-but then I'm not playing the same game as everyone else; and I'd be tempted to "fix" some things while I was there-such as the omega research center (which leads one to believe it is civ-wide, yet it is planet only) and hyper computers (which is at the end of the missile defense tree, well beyond what any rational person would "pay" for 20% more research), for instance.
In closing, I know your time on GC2 is devoted almost entirely to TA, and I understand the how and why of giving TA new things that DL and DA don't get, but it saddens me nevertheless.
Incidentally, could someone check to see that the fix for the social and military rounding bug that was in TA (I don't remember exactly when-I could look it up but you guys would probably find it first) makes it into DL and DA? Because having 39 industry when you should have 40 is annoying (not actual values, just an example)-waiting an extra turn for a ship because you're 1 military shy when the math says you're on the money is painful. I believe this was intended to be backported for 2.0, but I'm not 100% positive.
And because I'll probably be playing DA until GC3 launches.