I am wondering if the AI is going to be sorted out in patches which are close?
I've played a number of test games against hard AI where their ability to build fleets seemed entirely broken. I watched some replays and specified different AI types to find different results.
Economy AI - these are fun to play against. They consistently build fleets with a decent mix of frigates and capital ships. I end up fighting against them first as they have provided a half decent challenge.
Defensive AI - they do what they say on the tin. No fun to play against, they don't attack or pretty much do anything all game except research and build a shed load of defenses that do not stand up to a fleet. If they are going to play so defensively, they need a decent fleet in there to keep things interesting.
Research AI - very frustrating. They seem to think they can play without frigates and wont attack until they have 16 Capital ships and a Titan. They play the same as Defensive effectively.
Aggressive AI - bizarrely, they play the same as Research AI. No frigates past very early game and wont attack until they have many Capital ships and a titan. Fodder.
Looking at replays, nearly every AI seems to research the 4 titan levels as the highest priority. They completely ignore some of the most important early techs. Most AI seem to research higher level ships very early on and don't priorities building early level ships. If I was aggressive enough, I could end every game early (but that's no fun as I want to play with the toys later on and see how they work).
This is how I think the AI should play:
Economy AI - best mix of low and medium level techs/ships, expansion should be level and never leave them over stretched. They should play like me basically!
Aggressive AI - they need frigates, and lots of them. I don't want to see highly upgrade Star-bases at the expense of actual fleets that are harassing and trying to expand quickly.
Defensive AI - focus on getting out Star-bases quickly at key choke points while mining the heck out of their systems is fine. They need to focus on getting defensive fleets in place though. Without ships to protect their defenses, there is no point.
Research AI - it is okay for them to tech up quickly like they do now. They do need to get a decent quantity of ships out though. I would expect these guys to try and get a Titan out quicker as that is the 'pinnacle' of ship design.
Sorry if this has been covered in depth elsewhere but I haven't read the forums as extensively as I would like. Hopefully the feedback will be helpful.