...the game set-up, because I just got mugged by Darth Vader in my last game !
I'm still new to the game (DL), but learning fast. In my last game, I was finally having some success at getting through the "middle game" to the point of creating some impressive fleets (or so I thought) with some very advanced ship designs, and getting set for a showdown with a Torian/Altarian/Iconian Alliance (me playing the Terrans).
I swear the AI set me up for this, as earlier at a UP conference, I thought it strange that most members there voted for the Terrans to host the "Galactic Prison". I was too busy drooling over the 50% manufacturing bonus for the host planet to notice the warning of possible prisoner riots...which finally occured some time later in the form of a pirate fleet that appeared right next to said planet.
When I first saw it, I thought it wasn't going to cost me too much to take them out...two heavy frigates and a battleship. I had no capital ships in my fleet yet, preferring to have heavy cruisers that pack quite a punch, and with a logistics number close to 50, so I could put a dozen or so into a single fleet. With support from an interlocking system of maxed-out military star-bases, I figured I'd lose several ships and the problem would be taken care of. Not so.
Vader proceeds to trash four...count 'em....four full fleets of my best cruisers and my entire array of star-bases and suffered only four or five HP's lost on one of the frigates........ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?! I was going to continue the game so long as he meandered into enemy territory and proceeded to do the same to them. But the fleet reaches the border and just stays there....and never moved again while the enemy poured across my now nearly defenseless borders.
Needless to say, I quit in frustration, and many hours of gameplay lost to a whim, IMHO. Has anyone ever run into this? An invincible pirate fleet?
Several other observations. The diplomacy funtion in this game is......very strange. In the above game, I had a diplomacy skill aproaching 150 with the GA structure (I've forgotten the name) that makes your trade items appear to be 50% higher in value. And yet, time after time, I would have to offer far more than I was getting (and staying away from military techs, for the most part) to get anyone to trade. And noone wanted an alliance even with the "close" relationship, and of same alignment.
Even stranger was the fact that AI allied partners could stay allied even though one of the partners was at war with the others ally. Now I don't have a PhD in history, but it seems to me that the way it usually works is that one of the members of the alliance has to either choose sides or go neutral. Never seen anything like this in any game I've played with a functioning diplomacy feature.
All of this is not to say I am not enjoying this game...which I am...but there are some strange occurances.....