I have played 0.9 and was able to work with much of the diplomacy content.
I managed to work up my relationship with one AI, made several mission and was able even to set up many of the pacts, beyond the plain agreements.
Kudos to devs for so much improvement in the game.
Since you are tweaking the game, especially the AI, I have to report:
AI still sucks at working up the defenses. It have found *no* repair bays on any AI gravwell, even in late game.
I played in a leisure pace with the intent of checking out the Diplomacy skills, not just plain winning. This should give plenty of time for the enemys to work up their defences.
Advent using that shield increasing resonance of their platforms? Forget about it. Ringing defences around the planet to make bombing harder? Not. No more that 3 hangars in one or two gravwells at the max. The'porcupine defense*' (my favorite)? Hah! in your dreams.
It doesn't matter that the gravwell is attacked repeatedly, they just don't develop it.
I also have found hull-maxed Advent starbases, but no meteor shower against me.
The AI does not properly lay up their defenses, and does not learn from the game history. IMO, each time a gravwell is *attacked* - not when a scout flies by, but when a bunch of combat ships attacks it, the AI should put working up the gravwell defenses on top priority. Even if the attack is from the pirates. speaking of which, when an AI is targete for pirate attack,it should preemptively start laying defenses on planets most likely to be hit by them, while also having a higher propensity of putting the flees in a more defensive mode, even bringing them to their owned gravwells.
The AI should gear up their fleets too, if they are being attacked.
I think the AI should be smart enough to assess the incoming fleet attack power, and compare with the gravwell defending power. It should try to minimize losses by trying to lure the enemy into repair bay forests, know that missile cruisers are death to structures and jump on them like there is no tomorrow, and also discern that if there is little chance to prevent the gravwell from being wiped out, try to delay the enemy while it works a counter attack on another gravwell.
Like e.g building 2 or 3 frigate factories on a near (1-2 jumps) gravwell to create a fleet, and instead of trickling ships to be smashed one by one, build a fleet and jump in as a block.
A a minor nitpick, the AI still boasts about how I will 'say goodbye to planet X' when they are jumping in with a scout - or an envoy cruiser (if I at war with the AI)
Diplomacy is definitely in the right track, congrats.
*porcupine defense - consists of placing a few turrets at one side of the planet to protect from bombing, and the starbase at the other side, also close to the planet. The starbase is then surrounded with repair bays and hangars, making it a bitch to attack and destroy it.