I'm not necessarily saying that it's a bad thing, but what was the rationale behind reducing the pop growth so far? This isn't some minor tweak, its another massive whipsaw of economic change to the system.
I'm not terribly far into my first game using Retribution but I don't seem to have any focus whatsoever and at least part of it stems from the extremely low pop growth. There used to be a push to get planets up to secure food and build cities to grow the pop but at current growth it's going to be 100s of turns before I have to care about that. Yes there are tech after tech that give +10% or +25% growth but after researching quite a few I'm up to .02 on most worlds. That 50 turns for 1 pop. To reach the low limit of 4, will be closer to 150 turns. And one city on a planet will make it unfillable.
The odd thing is that I'm still researching techs super fast (almost too fast) and I can build all of the ships of my tech level in about 2 turns. So I'm just spamming out low tech ships (not sure why) and sort of thrashing around. I didn't even need to rush-buy colony ships because the homeworld quickly runs out of pop anyway so building more colony ships isn't accomplishing much.
I'm about even with most of the AIs (on Gifted) and I have 5 total colonies (Medium Galaxy size). But I don't have any push to do anything at this point (that I can see).
FWIW, I like the new gates and the artifacts seem interesting (although I haven't researched one yet). I'm just at a loss as to what my focus should be since growth/expansion seems so severely curtailed. My planets pop up needing new buildings and I don't have any push for what. Same with ships. I'm building them, but not sure why. Conquest seems unnecessary since I'm already building and teching at a quick pace.
Am I missing something (clone vats or somesuch)? What should I be needing to do? What was the overall goal of this change to the way the fundamental econ works (again)?
Thanks in advance for any input!