I had a sequence of events in Beta 0.77a that made me feel really positive about the direction of this game. Crazy things can happen when you play a good 4X game and that's part of the fun. Here's what happened to me.
My starting position wasn't so great (only 3 available habitable planets in the sector) but I finally get extreme colonization and find another habitable world one sector over. It's got no food but I'm desperate at this point so I colonize it and turn it into a core world. This world could really use some colonies so I use a "plant a Yor" artifact to give the planet a second citizen. I go ahead and rush the shipyard and a colony ship and send the non-Yor citizen to a nearby colony. The ship gets one hex away from its destination and a space queen appears right there. Boom.
I have a second Yor-pod artifact so I figure I'll try again. I use the artifact, rush a colony ship, put a Yor on it, and this time carefully position it so that it is eight hexes away and there are no baddies in sight. That was my newbie mistake. I didn't think that space monsters would siege and capture a colony planet but they do. I had no offensive technology at this time and my flagships were in my own sector dealing with pirates so I couldn't do anything before someone else came along and grabbed it. Since this sector is hotly contested, I went ahead and built the Beacon of Babylon in my core planet in the hope that I can spread my influence that way. TBD.
Oh well, we can make do with a single Yor citizen for now. Some time later there's an event and I picked the option that gave me two cloned citizens. I'm not sure if the UI told me where they were going but I figure the more the merrier. Well, they go on the Yor planet (yea!) and uh oh, they're very unhappy. It turns out they are Iconians who hate the Yor (-25% for sharing a planet with Yor in addition to -20% for starving). I've got to get those people off of there before they rebel or something.
I finally get some more visibility into this sector and find two potential colony worlds. First colony, no problem. Second colony...it gets one-turned by the Hive, who are currently in first place. Argh! Now what? I park the colony ship in the colony world for the time being and forget about it for a while. Some turns later, I get a notification that it was destroyed. Yep, a barbarian of some sort just came by and shot it. Sorry Iconian person! Fortunately, by this time I was strong enough to defend my colony.
Any game that can put me through a scenario like this while it is still in Beta is headed in the right direction.