I'm one of those people that just got this game via the discount offer. I've noticed two things about the game that I was wondering about (possible spoiler alert):
1. I was quite friendly with the ancient guardians, and when the shakturi came on the scene they seemed to like me a lot. In fact, so much, that I could trade with them and offer to do sanctions against another empire in exchange for amounts upwards of 80mil! I was able, via this method, to get quite a lot of tech off the ancient guardians, and it honestly felt too easy. Implement sanctions, get lots of tech in return, end sanctions when I feel like it. Is it meant to be this easy?
2. The game runs slow. I have 700 stars, and now when I'm in battles it seems to drag, and the map is slow. I have a 3.4 ghz cpu (i7 2600k), 16GB memory, sli 560 ti graphics cards (although I suspect this game does not use the graphics cards). I suspect that my computer is near the top end of gaming machines around (certainly not the best, though). And I'm thinking if it's slow for me, it must be very bad for quite a few other people. Is there something I'm "doing wrong", that's rendering the game so laggy? It's certainly playable, just irritating.
Otherwise, the game seems really good!