For me GB-12 playtesting is over i'll be playing PoM again now until GB-13
The new recruit system is far too slow to replenish. This massively limits the AIs forces, and consequently means i suffer much fewer losses and am therefore barely affected by it. There are ways players can overcome this (spreading units home cities around, storing up recruits in the form of workers etc - none of which i needed) but the AI doesnt seem to. The recruit regeneration rate needs to be increased, disbanding a unit should not replenish the recruit pool and perhaps the population cap should be restored, it worked perfectly in PoM.
The reduced siege ability of troops, the improvements to siege mechanics. The increased need for Catapults. All good improvements, making the player execute a classical siege. But the AI doesnt use catapults therefore the chances of one of your cities being captured, or recaptured, by the AI are pretty much nil.
The AI also seems much less aggressive, attacks on your empire are very few and far between. each faction pretty much just sits there and waits to be conquered.
the main reason i mention it is its severely limiting my ability and willingness to play the Beta more. I know the stacks of resource chips is a known issue and was always expected to cause lag, and that its intended to replace them with more efficient icons. perhaps they could also be scaled down so theyre not as obtrusive ie. if currently each chip represents 10 food maybe that could be changed to 100 food, so there would only be 10% of the current numbers on the display (the recruit chips could stay as they are).
When zoomed out beyond the chips display its even more laggy. i dont know if its still caused by the resource chips or something else, but its completely unplayable, the mouse pointer often warps across the screen once every 2-3 seconds as u try to position it.
A couple of suggestions, there seem to be an awful lot more generals which i mainly have just lying around, part of the reason is its such a pain to find them again if the units routed (a rare occurence as things stand but i sincerely hope thats only temporary). could it be possible to keep generals attached to their unit until deliberately detached by that function? Also amphibious warfare is very tedious (or i'm doing it wrong which wouldnt surprise me). At the moment u have to detach each of your units and load your army one by one, then detach each of your ships and unload them one by one at the other end. And if it was an excursion to capture an island state u then have to repeat the whole process to get back to the mainland. it would be much better if you could select your entire group of units and load them into your group of ships, and the same for unloading.
I'm sorry if i seem negative, but having loved PoM i was really looking forwards to trying the Gold Beta. I thought it would be basicaly the same but with added content and some enhancements. It does have enhancements and improvements. The smaller footprint for ships is much better, the ability to edit supply lines without being zoomed right in, lots of other small improvements that enhance the game. But there are also major differences. The whole feel of the game is different, the way it plays, the challenge it provides. In my opinion changes to its detriment.
Since you have very kindly given us a Gold serial in return for playtesting the Beta i thought it only fair i give my thorough, honest opinion. Id like to think ive given good value for money :) Keep up the good work.