Hi, I've got used to "Hexes" although i still don't really like them and I gave up commenting during the Founder's Beta stage.
I do like the change to the strategic resources needing to be harvested and used to build Ship Components or Improvements that came with V2.7.x which is more realistic than previously but it does tend to water-down my enjoyment levels because of the choice you have to make on using them on planet infrastructure or on starbases or your fleet of ships. My fix for this is my recent discovery of the Map Editor so that I can create a galaxy that has plenty of resources and add some more resources and especially add some high quality planets because map generation usually litters Dead planets everywhere even when High Quality planets and habitable planets should be abundant. I consider planets with tiles of 9 & <9 to be uninhabitable unless they have an urgently required rare resource.
Having read all the above, I now know why, when reloading my latest game, that my 2 fleets which had built up turn moves, through activating anomalies, to 15 per turn and 9 per turn, suddenly lost this ability with turns down to 9 and 7 moves; negative enjoyment achieved.
I had also edited the XML files that set the paramaters of the values of resources/anomalies (Goody-Hut spots) for Explorers before starting even the previously abandoned game, only to find that my more generous paramaters are being completely ignored [edited in the Crusade files section only]. You sure the XML files are modable [or just not like this] ?
So what has any of this to do with the AI of the game ? the short answer is nothing except to remember that the guy who wrote the rule book for this genre of games, Sid Mieir, said that the objective of the game should always be to provide rewards and that includes having an AI that doesn't detract from the gameplay and is still operative in the late game [= more rewards].
Other niggles include the fact that population growth is confusing because it seems to need both food and an improvement - a city, that will hopefully now be upgradeable for higher capacity rather than having to use another tile to provide a further improvement [whatever the larger city thing was called]. And it remains a bug that you cannot place tile resources that planets are allocated yourself, instead we still suffer the automatic clumping together of tile features so that the adjacencies contradict each other or just become unuseable.
I have still not managed to learn the ship customization possibilities at all, my first attempt failed and whereas GC2's ship designer worked, GC3's hard-point attachment spots don't. To summarize GC3 doesn't fullfill it's ambitions and at the moment doesn't have that elusive "just-1-more-turn" playability [I don't find difficulty Fun].