Just played through a solo round as the New Republic against the Empire on the Corellian 3-player recommended map. The Empire fought tenaciously, but lost in the end. I loved it; the game is beautiful and plays like a dream.
Now for the feedback!
First, the fixes to the Golan defense stations and the addition of planetary shields made for much more defensible borders. Once I had a nice choke point, I just built up defensive stations, placed a fleet in orbit, and had a grand time farming capital ship XP as the Empire launched wave after wave of attacking ships at me. It got hairy once when I forgot to upgrade my fleet capacity and they showed up with damn near the game's maximum number of ships, but their assaults weren't lightning-quick bombing runs to deny me planetary control this time; they were actual assaults. Stripping control of a planet takes a lot of time and effort, regardless of how well defended it is, which I like. So, thanks!
One odd thing about Golans, though: even playing as the Republic, I was building TIE fighters and TIE bombers on my Golan IIIs. Was that intentional?
Also, when the MC80 colonized a planet with a ranked-up Colonize ability, it would spawn an extra constructor (as intended), except that instead of a tug, it spawned a Vasari construction vehicle. On the plus side, tugs spawned properly after the first colonization (ie, with appropriate planetary upgrades), and the Vasari constructors would eventually just disappear.
There were several ships and technologies available to the New Republic BEFORE their research in the tech tree. Assault Frigates start out constructable, despite not being researched. Force Pull and Force Push both have research points in the tech tree, but both abilities are available without doing the research, and neither research seems to unlock anything. Are these researches simply to improve the ships or abilities in question, or are they supposed to be unlocking things?
I liked the split between civil and military stations. One thing, though: When playing multiplayer, will teamed players with disgusting amounts of money will be able to construct stations over each others' planets, as in base Sins? If so, it's still possible to get all the station benefits on one planet: simply build civilian stations over your own planet (for the government-in-orbit, max-allegiance-increase, and trade), and military stations over your ally's planets (to actually blow stuff up). If you trust your ally (or have locked teams), then you get all the station benefits over your most important planets.
I'm sure you know this part: The Viscount Star Defender still only has one ability to select at levelup, which is sad. I had 4 points just sitting there, unused, taunting me every time I looked at my fleet composition.
I turned the Galaxy Gun off for my playthrough, as I hate racing to destroy them just to preserve my planets. How does the Galaxy Gun interact with planetary shields and health upgrades? Is it an instant destruction, or does the projectile have a damage value that can be mitigated?
One last thing, an issue I ran into during a playthrough just before this patch: My roommate and I were playing NR on a galaxy-spanning map, with a team of enemy NR computer factions and a team of enemy IR computer factions. The IR factions were building Galaxy Guns like crazy, but neither of us could get a fleet out there to destroy them: the enemy NR had us hemmed in, and trying to trek through their territory to destroy the Guns was a great way to lose fleets. Our ships were defecting left and right to the enemy NR factions, which kinda sucked.
Don't get me wrong, I love that passive (10% chance for ships to defect when they leave your gravity well), as it forces the enemy to engage you one planet at a time. But when strategy demands a lightning strike deep in enemy territory, it's just too damn powerful a defense to overcome. Even three planets in and it can strip an invader of half their fleet. Great when they're defecting to me; awful when my ships defect to someone else.
Can Fleet Commander auras be made to lessen the defection chance?
Again, many thanks!