To those complaining about Morale
First, you have to build entertainment buildings. Yes they take up space, but think of the larger picture and let us say you have an entire planet full of factories. Would you be happy living in a hell hole, working non-stop with 0 entertainment?!?! The more workers, the more buildings you need. Imagine you are at an event and crammed in there like sardines…Having fun? Populations have needs.
Second, on larger maps pick and choose your planets more wisely!!! You do not need to colonize every single planet you find. The game is about having a strategic mindset, taking every 5-6 planet to start with is simply foolish! Where do you want to expand, go for the solid planets. Ensure you secure with some influence in case the aliens try to establish a colony. Once you have an established civilization, and then back fill planets if you really want them but do not expect to get much out of them. **Just because you can and are greedy wanting every piece of land because it is in our current human nature to devour everything, try to think on a more galactic scale for the better good of your civilization***
Devs – Any thoughts of being able setting up blockades? Being able to set up a ring of fighters to patrol planets that are not settled, that would require the other factions to have to attack to break through? Or even blocking trade routes going through your zone of influence? Would be interesting to be able to set up the ability to tax other factions for the ability to go through a blockade, as such would anger other races and have a diplomatic impact.
Other idea – say on an insane map, if I come across a planet that is a 5 and I do not want it, yet I do not want the other races to get it, maybe I can nuke it? Make it uninhabitable?