So, I've just "completed" my first play-through. I haven't actually won-won, but it's just grinding from here if I want to win. It's a good game, but can use a little more polish.
I particularly like the "undo" function.
No DLC, latest version.
Quite a few thoughts, lots of quirks and a few bugs:
* The Automate function has a lot of limitations:
** Doesn't seem to build defences
** [bug] If the planet gets a new improvement slot from research, it won't use it if it has already "completed" everything and is on research say.
** Builds lots of factories on all planets. I guess that's a "balanced" build, but a specialised build makes more sense to me. One factory is sufficient on most planets except the production hotspots.
** Ability to choose the automation profile (research, markets, mining, production), or at least have it intelligently decide on one.
** Doesn't do terraforming
** Doesn't do colonisation
** Doesn't automatically scrap all labs when you've reached the end of the tech tree. Although it does stop all research and change it to trade which is neat.
* Ship Designing is something of a pain:
** [bug] Quantum Reactor stays appearing at end-game when you have BH reactor
** [bug] That "only show latest tech" button should stay on by default rather than reset to off all the time.
** Even with the "show latest tech" button, there seem to be a lot of weapons that are dated remain showing.
** It keeps wanting to build missile builds when I have other techs that don't have missiles limits (munitions).
** There is no "upgrade base components" button, i.e. to upgrade armour from tritanium to duranium. Have to do it manually or select the auto-design which then changes everything.
** What is the point of asteroid station / space station and the defaults like transport etc being on ship design? Upgrading their reactor will only cost more money and nothing else on them needs to change.
* Refitting ships is painful in all ways:
** If you want to do it the non-instant way, it seems you have to manually upgrade each ship via lots of clicks. This is a big chore.
** It's not obvious which ones have been upgraded, at least, not from the space view.
* What are the actual victory conditions? I'm guessing conquest and maybe political are the two I've seen.
* There's no research victory.
* There's the political victory, but I'm at end-game with one other empire and neither of us is voting for the other one. In fact, I don't think I ever saw anyone vote for anyone other than themselves.
Techs / questions:
* What's the "Ansible" tech for? Doesn't seem to do anything other than generic blurb about instantaneous comms.
* The warp distortions question never got answered (DLC?).
* Turns can take a long time to process - 5-10s late game. (I have 8 cores and 16 threads, it's only using one of them). Medium universe size.
* Interface can get a little laggy (CPU bound again). It's not the frame-rate
Stellaris is a MUCH more complex game but runs much more smoothly.
* I'd love to be able to fast-forward over enemy turns. They're ridiculously slow with large fleets (and yes, I have "fast tactical animations" checked). Missile and fighter launching in particular.
* It's not always intuitive which weapons will fire at any given time.
* Using fighters isn't always intuitive either.
* Quite early on I got some sort of red box appear in the game about starvation messages. I saved, quit the application, restarted, but it came back on load. So I just pressed "ignore" and it went away. I didn't pay much attention because I was still new to the game.
* Harpies have a crew of -65536 - integer overflow!
* They're very fixed in their politics. I played one on Easy and another on Normal, and in both cases the first major faction I discovered declared war on me in short order. Even after setting up treaties etc in both cases. It seems that the politics stuff is "these two pre-designed races will always be antagonists and you picked one of them".
* They Never ask for peace, even if they've never attacked you and/or the "war" has been going on for 100+ turns and someone else is annihilating them.
* Some of them simply don't attack you despite declaring war.
General interface things:
* When you click on a system it shows the planets at the bottom, but not their names. This makes it hard to know which planet is which without clicking on them.
* I came across a native race that's "good at mining" in the description - except there is no "mining ability" icon indicator anywhere so I don't know how good and if it's worth transporting them to my mining worlds.
* It would be nice if there were icons over planets on the galaxy screen. Ideally the ability to flag certain planets as being production planets for instance. Or to indicate that terraforming is an option
* I have some planets where I've terraformed to the "best" type, but then I can terraform down to a more "comfortable" type for my own species (who aren't even on the planet!). This confused me for a while because I didn't read it and I did the terraforming back and forth a few times! Because it's there it means I can't simply select the "best" terraforming automatically, I have to read them all.
* It took me quite a while to figure out the move-colonists process.
* I'm still trying to reliably figure out the troop-transport loading/unloading thing and the different between transports and troop transports.
* Maybe it's just me, but if a troopship comes with troops, how come it's much cheaper than the troops it contains?
* It's not clear how I can put troops onto a "military transport" when it doesn't have a transport section.
But again, overall it's a nifty game. Hopefully some of the above can be fixed - it'll make the next playthrough even better.