TAKE NOTE THAT THESE CALCULATION DO NOT FACTOR INT HE TIME TO GET A VOLCANIC OR TRADE PORTS. AND THAT WHEN YOU FACTOR IN TIME IT EVEN EVEN MORE GLARINGLY APPARENT THAT IT'S VERY UNBALANCED. aND THAT TEH RESORCES YOU ARE INVESTING IN MATCHING HIS GAIN FROM NEUTRALS HE IS INVESTING IN OTHER THINGS TO FURTHER GET A GLARING ADVANTAGE, THING LIKE A FLEET LARGER THEN YOURS. aND IF YOU DON'T MATCH HIM HE'LL STILL BE STRONGER THEN YOU.
Annatar in thsi tread here i don'T think no one cares about the AI i for one don'T if the AI learns to use them fine but i don't give a squat.
That being said i fail to see why you justy something that can cost you only a small early investment early game to be so strong that you instanly produce more income then your ennmy. Because if you do the math the guy that takes over 3 neutral extractors gets a superior income bost from those then someone who colonises a 3 extractor volcanic of ice world. Wich he to get needed to get 2 civil labs, research colonisation, clear the world, buy 2 lvls of civil infrastructure and then speed 750 more credits to build the 3 extractors. With 4 extractors you bearly produce more.
1 scout cost 225/20/0 conver sesorces to credits by standard x5 multiplier the scount cost is 325 credits. This scoutn quickly captures 3 neutral extractor producing each .61 resorces x3 x5 makes it to me 9.15 credits
Now taking over a Volcanic:
750/60/80 x2 for 2 civil labs end up costing 2900 credits
600/50/100 for volcanic research cost 1350
Now to upgrade yoru world so it doesnt drain credits:
Total cost for planet: 3625
3 mines 750 producing at .41
Grand total: 8625 credits for 8.2
So 3 neutral cost 325 credits and produce 9.15 credit per second. 3 mine Volcanic cost 8625 and produces only 8.2 credits per second when population reaches 70/70. If you ahve 4 mine the cost is 8875 for 10 credits per second once population at 70/70. Conclusion 8625/325=26.5384 thus those 3 neutral were 27 times cheaper to get thent he volcanic and produce more.
Now trade ports can they match 3 neutral mine? Hell no they cant.
750/60/80 x2 for 2 civil labs cost: 2900
600/50/100 for trade port research cost :1350
750/100/125 per trade port you build cost: 1875
So lets concider your lucky and the guy with the 3 neutral lets you get 4 wordls ina line and build trade ports there
How much incoem will your 4 trade ports make you? Intotal the trade ports will make you only 5.6 credits per second as TEC. And already this venture has costed us roughtly 20% more then taking a volcanic planet.
In fact with trade ports you need to have 7 ports in a 4 world chain to out make what hes making. And you only make 9.8 credits per second. so the new cost for this sinc eyou also now need to purchase 1 logistical upgrade at best this will cost you the huge ammount of 18480 credit versu the 325 for the scount. That make the neutral 18480/325=56.8615 so a stuningly 57 times cheaper.
Now if we set neutral back to .43 which si equal to the ammoutn mined from worlds 3 jumps away from you HW w/o culture 3 neutral extractors will gain you 6.45 credits per second. That'S still a huge amount, it's still more then 4 trade ports you need 5 to surpase this. And the volcanic is still only producing you roughtly 25% more income for a much pricier price tag. So the reduction proprosed is far from making neutrals useless it just tries to balance them more then what they currently are.