OK, I played a full game and I like the changes.
Played huge galaxy, 9 random races, Common everything. And my custom race on tough.
Not getting over detailed. These are a few things I was surprised at.
1. The AI beat me in tech.
2. The AI had better attack ships.
3. The AI had stuck with weapon specialization.
4. The AI planets had much better production planets and specialized Tech planets.
5. The AI defended its planets better.
6. The AI beat me in building galactic wonders.
Why was I surprised? Because in the games I played before on the same level the AI did none of these things.
The only thing that saved me was I made an alliance with 3 races one turn before the Drengin, Iconians, and the yor (Whom I supplied ships to in order to keep them alive). All declared war one me. I knew they were coming I watched our relations die over a few turns.
All this was great, but I still think the AI has no clue on invading a human player’s planet. Even though I was beat in so many ways, I still never lost one planet, even the undefended ones. Though they did get one transport through that I missed, The invasion failed.
I will say it was much harder then earlier betas. And the diplomacy was much better. It was harder to get the AI’s to do what you wanted including paying them off to attack and trading tech. I also lost many more ships then in past games, including entire fleets of earlier generation ships.
Over all, I say great job. The game just keeps getting better.