Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade is the future of Galactic Civilizations but we haven't forgotten about the hundreds of thousands of players who play the base game. We are busy working on version 2.3 which should be coming out soon as part of a major update to both the base game and Crusade. This article details some of the highlighted areas we're focusing on.
Some of the improvements to the diplomacy system in Crusade have been brought back to the base game. While it's not nearly as sophisticated as what's in Crusade (the whole underlying system in Crusade was rewritten to support the new economy) it is substantially better than 2.1. This means the AI is much better at bargaining with the player and makes much better trade offers.
The improved AI diplomacy features will likely be the most obvious improvement because the AI is much better at finding things to trade rather than begging for things.
We have done a balance pass on the planetary improvements to give them a bit more oomph but also make them cost quite a bit more. Similarly, we have also made it so that specialty ships like constructors and colony ships are much expensive. While expert players know just where to set the production wheel and what to buy and when, new players are often frustrated because it takes many turns to naturally construct a colony ship using the default values.
There are a lot more anomalies to explore early in the game than previous. And in fact, we have also substantially increased the number of planets, stars and habitable planets on the default settings.
You can't really take a screenshot of performance. While we couldn't bring over the core-neutral AI engine from Crusade, we were able to bring over some of the optimizations we made. The result is that the turn times, already quite fast, are better and the general framerate has been improved as well. When combined with the improved strategic AI, the galaxy definitely feels a lot more alive.
The AI got a major uplift as well in terms of how well it plays the game. While I wouldn't say it's as good as what is in Crusade, players should notice a pretty substantial improvement in how the AI plays the game during times of war.