I love the concept of this game, it is breathtakingly beautiful! My main criticism is I have noticed the AI is pretty easy to overcome. Here are some ideas I would like to offer up to make the AI more difficult:
1). I have noticed that seedling production on a given asteroid seems to "cap-off" at a maximum (determined by the number of dyson trees) and stop producing new seedlings UNLESS these seedlings are moved to a different asteroid. This seems to be true for both the AI and the player. I think this is what causes the AI to stagnate and allow the player to outproduce the AI given enough time. The AI should logic for muster points and gradually seive them over to promote seedling production, perhaps to an asteroid that produces weaker seedlings, or perhaps to a planet where there is a greater risk of attack to. Either way, the AI should favor seedling production on stronger asteroids (just like a player would)
Now that the AI is managing seedlings better this should allow for the AI to be able to better expenditure for assualts. With enough action and seedlings being removed from the game through conflict this should counterbalance the potential of overpopulation causing detrimental performance. This, I think would solve a lot of the "lack of action" criticisms. The player needs to feel a greater risk in leaving asteroids undefended that are reachable by enemy influence
....but for this to work both sides need a better form of defense, bringing me to point 2:
2.) The optimal tree composition for an asteroid changes througout the course of a game. For example, a newly caputred asteroid could have many dyson trees, but having more defense trees would be more desireable since it is much more prone to attack by enemies. Or, an asteroid that used to be on your borders but is now more of a "core world" would actually be more beneficial if used for cheap seedling production. I think it would add a greater depth of strategy if we could alter the tree composition on an asteroid (perhaps for a high seedling cost, or maybe make it the function of another type of flower). This would allow for the AI (and the player) to be better at defense. I think the better management of defenses would have a balancing effect on the increased assualt potential for changes in point #1.
This has the benefit of giving the player more to do (changing tree types) as well as a method of removing seedlings (through the cost of seedlings on changing tree types).
**sidenote - This also leaves the benefit of leaving more mature dyson and defense trees in tact for the possibility of more flowers and laser mines. In either case, this is another cost/benefit that the player gets to weigh- making it more fun.
NON AI RELATED SUGGESTION:
Asteroid alteration trees (energy/strength/speed). Takes up a tree slot and increases the attributes of the asteroid accordingly. This gives the player a little more customization of their forces, as well as allowing for more decision making when it comes to seedling production vs. seedling quality (and so you can feel like you can do something about only having bum asteroids, lol). Though possibly redundant to flowers.... Maybe I just would like to see more varieties of trees.
Let me know what you guys think!