First and foremost, thank you for bringing us Galactic Civilizations 4. It is great to be given the opportunity to continue expanding the Terran Republic.
I am actually not a big fan of Early Access games, but decided to throw caution to the wind and bought Gal Civ 4 as soon as it was available on Epic Games.
I tried out Gal Civ 4 for a few days before revisiting Gal Civ 3 to see how much Gal Civ 4 has improved from Gal Civ 3. So, please allow me to pen down my thoughts on some of the areas that you might want to review as you move forward to making an epic game more epic.
1) Civilizations Spawning Area
This is something that has been commented about by other players, but I feel that it is important to bring it up again as it is proving to be a bit of a bugbear for me.
The current spawning areas of civilizations are just too close to one another. Even in a Gigantic map, I will encounter another civilization in the solar system around the corner. On the one hand, I can understand the benefit of having civilizations spawning close to each other as it helps to push the diplomacy and tactical aspects of the game. However, it makes the galaxy feel small and crowded. It also limits the exploration aspect of Gal Civ, which is one of the things that I consider to be the most important feature of Gal Civ.
I hope that you will review the way civilizations spawn in the randomly generated galaxy so that they would be more evenly spread around.
2) Colonies and Governors
I actually like the idea of appointing colonial governors. However, I find it very strange that we can only micro manage a colony after a governor has been appointed.
Realistically speaking, it should be the other way round. When a governor is appointed to a colony, it means that the colony becomes more autonomous in handling its own affairs. Thus, when a colony is first established, it would make more sense that the civilization capital will have full control of the colony. So, I would rather have a situation whereby a colony can be micro-managed before a governor is appointed than after a governor is appointed.
I know that doing this may lead to a situation whereby players who love to micro manage (like me) will not appoint governors at all. But, such a situation can easily be mitigated by limiting the number of colonies that the capital can directly control. If the player goes above the limit, an approval penalty can be imposed on the whole civilization. That will then force players to appoint colonial governors in older more developed systems before they colonize newer systems.
Each civilization can also be ascribed a different way of handling governors. For example, a very militaristic civilization like the Drengin will have a higher limit of colonies they can directly control because that is how an empire normally works. Governors in the Drengin will also have less autonomy since an empire is always ruled from the centre. On the other hand, the Terran Republic may have a lower limit since it is after all supposed to be a republic. Terran governors may then be ascribed more autonomy as a republic tends to be more decentralized.
I really hope that the concept of colonies and governors will be reviewed to make it a bit more realistic. The way it is shaped now just feels weird.
That's all for now. I will add in more of my thoughts and opinions as I get more into the game. Overall, Gal Civ 4 is a good improvement to Gal Civ 3. But, I believe it can be more epic, and I am glad that Stardock is giving us players the opportunity to help make it more epic.