So to help my first try at Extreme along, I finally realized I could save/load (with a backup because it did corrupt once) cheat with my spies on 1-month missions.
By 4 years in I have size 500 (600 cause Ackdarian) ship limit, loaded with Velocity Shard, Mk 1 Turbothruster and of course with size 900 carriers. I robbed the pirates blind and stopped caring about being detected once I had a second spy since at 16-25% success (25% by the end) each I only demanded at least 1 success per detection per cycle. IF I hadn't relaxed the demands, it would take me FOREVER to get this far. As a side note, by the time I could steal hyperdrive techs it only took my spies 3 successes to get Warp Field Precursors and I think 5 to get Hyperdrive tech, due to their Concealment and Espionage stats by then. I am still stuck in my home system at present due to lacking the budget to expand my navy enough to push out for now, as I can't afford to keep all the pirates on my payroll due to many of them being Furious at me.
I have Diabolical reputation somehow due to stealing techs from PIRATES (how the hell should empires care about my stealing from PIRATES?) and less than (bigger number) -150 reputation with the Ancient Guardians just due to reputation. I am also continually robbing the AGs by this point. HOWEVER, I noticed something important.
My spies are no longer levelling up in Concealment and Espionage. Sure, one's at 50% Concealment and the other, who has less traits and less stats where he has % points distributed, at 67%, but I noticed that the total number of points they can obtain appears limited. The result is that 1-month missions to the AGs (who have total over -400 opinion of me by this point)
What the hell, Matrix? Is this just to slow down this sort of absurd cheating?
< Message edited by Guardian54 -- 1/16/2016 5:07:05 PM >