I have played several games. Ok, more like 30. I am sick and tired of overzealous rush to colonize planets in my influence and starbases for resources. One thing I realized is that the AI for some reason gets to tell you dismantle starbase x or else, but the player cannot tell the AI the same thing. Because I would shove a blaster up their arse sideways and fire it. That kind of stuff pisses me off. Even on freaking beginner difficulty. Damn AI.
Other thing is the AI is too hypersensitive on buildup. Just because I have the unpleasantness of a minor the next star over from my home system, grouping ships into a fleet is "threatening". Bullpuckey. I would goto war over repeated harassment. Majors are very sensitive also.
I understand that others want harder difficulties. However, I feel greatly intimidated and insulted that even on beginner and "normal" the deck is already stacked against the player. Too hard.
Victory conditions other than outright conquest seem to take forever, and by then the military imbalance is so defined you might as well conquer them instead of wasting another evening of your life.
Also, map script or star formations need to be moddable if Stardock is not going to do anything different in the future. Same old crap gets old. Also I would put in some helpful functions, like a minimum star distance, way to prevent stuff from spawning to close to player starts, guarantee at least x habitable worlds.