I’ve usually put it on large/huge but also end up regretting it one way or the other. It makes no difference to the early game, really, but I feel it drags out the boring bits toward the end for little real gain. Medium seems to work a lot better, overall, and not just in terms of performance.
I wrapped up my MegaCorp playthrough, which ended on a whimper. The dimensional invaders arrived but bugged out and never left the starting system. They did however keep spawning and stacked up to well over a million in fleet power. Fortunately I had a federation fleet which registered over 500k just on its own. Seems like allowing your federation allies to contribute ships can give you a fleet that goes waaaaaay over the 230ish pip limit you hit with your own fleets. I think it got up to 600 pips, which was kinda crazy. Not sure if this was a bug or a feature.
AI seems better at managing its fleets these days and assembles doomstacks and manoeuvres them with at least some skill now. There was an organic hive mind in my game that was getting unmanageable toward the end game, without the federal fleet plus the fact that they still never seem to jump drive, I may well have lost that one.
Diplomacy still sucks though. The UI for the council is poor, way too much going on in too small a space. Little things grate. For example, repeals in the vote queue not having tooltips to see the effect of the policy they’re trying to remove. Plus it didn’t really ever seem to add up to much. I guess its possible that a law passes that sees you constantly in violation but the only one that ever really applied to me was dipping below 50% fleet power and that was generally quick/easy for me to resolve.
I like the envoy stuff but it’s a bit shallow - your envoys are totally faceless to the point I have to wonder why the game bothers telling you when they die of old age. They’re replaced automatically anyway, and have no perks.
Away from the council, unless I’m missing something I still can’t see any way to coordinate with AI federation members during wars which makes them somewhat useless. They always seem overly passive/defensive until I’m way into enemy territory with most of the enemy fleet burning in the void behind me.
I do really like the new origin options for empires, gives 'em all even more flavour. They’re totally imbalanced and, hence, a lot of fun. I’ve not explored this too much, though I enjoyed being able to start my new empire of hedonistic sexbots on a ring world named CircleJerk.
All hail the Dildonic Rampagers, and their sublimely wobbly attachments.