0.9 sneak peak:
* Hives now give +50% food and +50% approval.
* Mother Hive is now empire-unique; gives +100% food and +100% approval to the planet it's on.
* All manufacturing, wealth and research hub buildings now give flat bonuses rather than modifiers.
* Removed preclusions from tourism buildings so they can be repeat-built
* Massively increased impact of tourism buildings.
* Trade routes gain value faster, cap out higher.
* Fixed Ranger and BattleshipD blueprints.
* Treasury no longer gives power rating.
* Fixed shipyard and Starbase repair.
* Re-added the small empire-wide Approval bonus to tourism buildings (no idea where they ended up). Stacking tourism buildings can permit you to create 'holiday planets' that improve approval on other planets, but do not replace approval buildings completely.
* Krynn temple line are now approval buildings rather than influence; now reduce maintenance.
* Fixed Yor power martix line giving global approval bonuses.
* Terraforming improvements made much cheaper.
* Nerfed upper-tier factory and research bonuses a lot (since by the time they come into play most people are already doing 1-turn-for-everything). Progression now goes 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50.
* Reduced prices to match.
* Altarian unique buildings converted to flat bonuses.
Likely to be released Wednesday or Thursday; I'm out of town this weekend.
I'm having a pretty damn awesome game with it atm.
Me - 56 planets, score 4k, 200 ships.
The Geth - 67 planets, score 3.6k, 285 ships.
The Iconians - 57 planets, score 1.7k, 141 ships.
The Altarians - 39 colonies, score 1492, 92 ships ( have suffered appalling losses recently).
The Yor - 35 colonies, score 1450, 137 ships
The Krynn - 57 colonies, score 1372, 110 ships
The Quarian Conclave - 46 colonies, 1347 score, 113 ships
The Burran - 41 colonies, 1319 score, 128 ships
The Elcor Courts - 46 colonies, 1305 score, 131 ships
Odair Enclave - 42 colonies, 1276 score 145 ships
It's now turn 250ish and I've pretty much outpaced the AI now, mostly because they can never, ever match planet specialization. But there's actually a Great Power system evolving in the galaxy atm, with multiple heavily armed, highly populated industrial powerhouses, any one of which cannot seriously try to take on two of the others at once.
The Geth from the Mass Effect Race pack are positively terrifying. They're within spitting distance of my score, have a larger population than I do, own 20% more planets and have a gigantic navy. I'm mostly staying ahead of them based on technologies; I've got all the governance techs which are allowing me to remain slightly ahead on raw production. Once they start picking those up, I may actually be in trouble, though I suspect I have enough of a tech lead now not to have to worry.
The Iconians are a bit of a dark horse. Their empire is one of the biggest numerically, and they're no slouches militarily; they're also involved in a lot of trade and have a powerful economy. They're just at the very edge of my field of view presently, beyond the Altarians and the Geth, and I've had no real interactions with them as yet; I do know they have a fair number of techs that I don't.
I enjoyed a lengthy arms race with the Altarians, who pushed me into two bloody wars (including a number of planetary invasion attempts, one of which even got through to the surface. It failed, but killed 10 million of my people at a stroke), and made me max-out my economy; I had to sell techs to one of the other AIs (who swindled me blind) in order to keep up with them. The Altarians even beat me to large ships, and started lobbing huge death-fleets at my colonies that left me scrambling to defend. At one stage, I was even kinda worried that the Altarians would beat me; they had more, bigger ships, they had planetary invasion (I hadn't even picked up the preceding tech); and their economy seemed to be bearing up better than mine. Thankfully, they went to war with two other neighbours (the middle-ranking Thalans and the terrifying Geth) at the same time, allowing me to put a proper defense into position. Their economy eventually began to collapse from 60+ turns at war, and the Geth are now pummeling them with a pair of massive 19-strong fleets of experimental tiny ships; their navy is close to annihilation. Their score was previously near 3k.
The Yor are doing well, in the top 5; while they couldn't take on me or the Geth alone, they could be a serious threat to any of the various weak empires around them (the Volus, Snathi and Mauraders all share borders with them, all small empires of around 20 colonies with militaries of <50 ships). This is all the more impressive because they started more or less at the dead end of one of the unfashionable spiral arms. They're now starting to press into my Eastern border, though we have good relations.
The Krynn are presently trying to build up their planets, but have over-extended for what their economy can handle. They have powerful influence, and a large, rapidly-growing population, but are trapped in a painfully unproductive recession while their population grows on all those planets. They might be at risk, given that they reside in the galactic core and are surrounded by other large territorial units (the Terrans and the Drengin with 40 planets each both border them, and only just missed top ten spots themselves, while the even more powerful Iconians are just to the south and appear to be engaged in a furious influence struggle over the few remaining colonized worlds between them), many of which are now finished expanding and have been busy teching up and arming themselves.
All in all, it's been a pretty gripping game thus far, and it continues to be even this far in. I'm wondering if it can keep it up past turn 300, when the 'victory condition' AIs kick in.