I've been playing since the game went gold. Here's my opinions on the game.
(Using 1.02 opt in atm)
I'm a little disappointed overall - I feel like I'm playing a beta.
All the game site reviews gave it excellent marks, but I see TONS of things they need to improve. I only purchased it when it came out because of the "NEVER AVAILABLE via DLC" ship parts pack, and honestly, I'm not even sure which ship parts those are. I only mess around in the designer long enough to make a sensor boat or a forger that can go really really fast to the other end of the map.
UI elements need a lot of improvement. I find myself using auto-hotkey so I can tell the game to do things like purchase the rush option (which is something you really need to do a lot of if you're specializing planets)
You can't easily select "next idle ship", next idle colony, next colony almost done with construction, etc - there should be options for things like this.
When telling my ships to survey or explore, it'd be really nice if I could tell them to STAY OUT OF ENEMY SPACE unless we have an open borders treay.
Constructors - holy hell, these suck. I've crashed the game numerous times just trying to get these guys to come out to my starbases. Had some starbases really amped up I thought for defense and such and the AI just swoops in and kills them - totally made me ignore starbases for my next couple of games.
Scrolling in the planet list - if I scroll where there is text, it takes forever, but if I scroll where the planets are it's tolerable.
Sound is buggy as hell. It works fine for a while, then it doesn't. I've never finished a game and heard the sound on the victory 'movie'. I might as well just turn off the sound for this game.
Crashes - oh.. the crashes.. This game likes to crash a lot. Especially after I've spent 20 minutes in the diplomacy screens working out deals for the AI's starbases or colonies. CTD after CTD. Save early, save often. Most of the crashes aren't reproducible, and I don't feel like making support tickets (besides they'd just say take out your custom race mod, etc)
Typos. 1.01 and 1.02 did fix a lot of these, but I still see some. It's just discouraging that the game went gold and they didn't go and fix the stupid typos.
"Enter" on the Shipyard screen does not equal "Done" like it does everywhere else
Desperately in need of more / customizable hotkeys.
BUG - You can queue upgrades for all your ships even if you don't have the money. This will make you go negative, and then the game will modify all your sliders for money. You know -those sliders I meticulously set for each planet because they are all specialized.
Map Icon / color should not be locked into the race settings. If I want to change it each game, I have to copy my custom race and change it.
Now, some good points
The game is VERY Mod Friendly. I've made a custom race that gives me a head start on the map.
I've practically eliminated constructors by having 1000 of them built into starbases once they're built (yes, the AI gets to use this too). Now the only constructors floating around are the initial builders. (there's enough stuff floating around late game we don't need 50 constructors confusing it more)
I've made starbases a LOT harder to kill (again, for the AI as well) by ramping up their initial Hit Points.
Even with all the crashes, I still keep playing the game. I'm always thinking "Oh what thing can I tweak next to make it behave the way I want it to?".. I've finished with conquest, peace, research, and ascension victories. I can't seem to win with an influence victory.
I'll think of more - is this constructive? I want to give my feedback where it will make a difference, but I don't feel like making numerous tickets.