From: California, USA
Speaking of which, one more rant worthy of note: In 1.03, empires were mostly inclusive, and this fit well with the behavior of population: Having a population in an empire never hurt you and could eventually benefit you, so there was no particular reason to consider any group undesirable outright.
In 1.04, this is very different: There is now a strong motivation to encourage racial purity and strictly controlled population. With 1.03, having 2 billion of a race in your empire gave you their percentile bonii. In 1.04, this is done by percentage in a "first past the post" system. So in order to unlock a bonus, at some point, a race had to be 50% of your population. Therefore, ANY ADDITIONAL RACES detracts from your ability to achieve this goal, and those other-aliens are actually counterproductive. Making it percentage-based sets a very strict limitation on how many races you can have without it being a drag: 2! It's also not entirely realistic, since you'd think you'd gain, say, the full Research Bonus if you had enough Quamenos to fill out your researcher caste, rather than a need to have half your empire consist of them. Obviously half the population cannot all be researchers! A return to some variation of the older rules would help to eliminate the problem where the automated systems are now acting against the interests of the players. Perhaps make it 10B, rather than 2, but some sort of fixed goalpost would avoid this problem. As it stands, the current rule results in a moving goalpost that your automated systems shoot in the foot.
Yep. I think the best approach would be a gradually increasing racial bonus, starting at 1% and increasing by 1% as a particular race population grows in your empire. Why wasn't this done to start? Is it difficult to implement?
Wish list:population centers beyond planetary(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Culture):Ships,Ring Orbitals,Sphere Orbitals,Ringworlds,Sphereworlds;ability to create & destroy planets,population centers,stars;AI competently using all advances & features.