Excellent Suggestions from Sweatyboatman (Reply #5), and Zygwen (Reply #6) !
I am also one of the folks who has been annoyed by how difficult it was to find any *FUN* on the Beginner and Easy levels, since v0.913 and v0.914 have come out. The good news is, that of the two games I have completed (won) since v0.913, my second one went far better than the first one. This was partly because I also discovered (by painful experience) several of the suggestions made by Sweatyboatman and Zygwen above. A second reason, is that I really held out for a significantly better starting location in my second game -- something I previously never worried about. After loading a new game, I now suggest hitting [ctrl] [n] , as many times as it takes, to be confident that you have a solid starting point. Of course, even that recourse doesn't guarantee a great location (because you can only see so far), but still, this has now become almost a must-do action.
Two other thoughts: At present you really have to throw out any pre-conceptions that E:FE is a traditional 4X game. The first two X's have been seriously altered! EXpansion (city spamming, and even my prefered course: outpost spamming) has been drastically crippled; and even EXploration has been significantly hampered. You just have to pick and choose your early battles with extreme care; pretty much tip-toe around dangerous areas on the map; and expand only as fast as you can seriously protect your settlements, with garrisoning units. Also, try to use the concept of "interior lines" in so far as possible; by shuttleing a fast champion (or cavalry unit) back and forth between vulnerable settlements.
The second thought is a paraphrase of something I read a while back in another thread (sorry I can't acknowledge the person who said it!) That is: you really can't fall in love with any version of the Beta, during this process, because the very next update may remove/cripple/destroy the very features that you like best at a given point. E:FE is evolving rapidly during this process, and sometimes altering drastically; and your own strategies will have to evolve just as rapidly and drastically.
Whether or not you can find any *FUN* during this period is an open question. Frankly, just as Galahorn is suggesting, you may want to take a break from the Beta, during the "worst" periods. (I have done that once too!) Finally, if there are any features that you just love at this point, I would urge you to identify them in the Discussion thread I started: on Features/Improvements that you REALLY LIKE in Beta 3. Maybe, then, Stardock won't be as likely to ruin those aspects of the game, that you do enjoy ... I still have faith Stardock will get this (mostly) right, by the end; but it is going to be an ugly/nasty/bloody process, before they get to that end-point ...
Oh, yes, and Tuidjy's Discussion thread is excellent too! (See his Reply #2, above.)