This is a multi part question so bear with me.
1)Do planets just keep producing population indefinitely? This is getting kind of annoying to manage because I have nothing to give these populations.
2) How do I balance jobs properly without being forced to waste a bunch of building slots on just 1 gas/crystal/mote plant? I need to upgrade my alloy/consumer/research to deal with the unemployment, but that requires these extra materials. This is necessarily a problem is except the fact that I still end up with unemployed populations because I can't put enough jobs on the planet. The amount of plants I need to make just to offset the extra cost of the upgraded buildings eventually eats up too many building slots because they only offer 1 job.
3) Why does it take so long to get to the research for the plants and upgraded buildings? It feels like every early game of mine is waiting for more building slots to open because I can't make enough jobs with these level 1 production facilities. Then I get the upgraded buildings and suddenly I'm overwhelmed with open slots because I don't have to spam the buildings just to get enough jobs. I don't know how to keep filling them without tanking my economy, but I don't get how I'm supposed to get enough jobs to actually support my population.
4) I see pop growth being labeled as "king", but how? How is it possible to take advantage of faster growth if faster growth is creating a bottleneck with jobs before the proper research shows up?
5) What is the point of the "random" versus "clustered" empire spawn locations? I always choose random, but that just seems to mean "randomly clustered". If I wanted to spawn between 4 other empires I would have picked clustered. I am forced to play "tall" virtually every game because of this stupid spawn mechanic. The other races always build directly towards me locking me in. This wouldn't necessarily mind if I actually was using the clustered feature, but then what is the point of "random" if it effectively does the same thing?
6) Why am I required to micro manage planets that are already built up and finished? How do I just "stop" these planets so I don't have to look at them any more and will just produce the stuff I've already set up on it? If I've spent years developing these planets, making them productive and stable, why do I need to keep looking at them when nothing changes?
7) Also I'm really still struggling to figure out what exactly I'm supposed to do after early game. I enjoy building up my borders and creating my empire, but I really don't know what else to do beside indiscriminately attacking my neighbors. I'm just sitting around watching my research bar fill up and staring at these damned unemployment symbols that I can't solve. I really want to like this game, but I just can't find anything to do.
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