1) AI cannot conduct seaborne invasions!! Pretty important in the "Age of Sail"
I don't know how long it has been since you played but that was fixed in the last patch. And I am positive that it works (Curse the French!!)
2) AI's usual tactic in any battle is to creep army forward piecemeal, unless of course he has cavalry which he will dash forward to within range, and then have them stand still while being cut down by muskets
True the AI still does that the majority of the time. However when playing online with other people, that now longer becomes an issue. And Total War series has always excelled at Multi player rather then single player I think.
3) AI cannot work out how to assault in multiple areas at once in sieges, preferring to send his entire army up ONE ladder
I have yet to be seiged, so I haven't experienced this at all...However that is how I usually attack a fort. I bombard that crap out of one wall side and then enter from there.
4) Agents have become next to useless
The ninjas where always the best
5) No matter how powerful you are, minor nations will declare war, refuse peace (in an experiment, I even offered Portugal the ENTIRE Spanish Empire if they accepted peace. They of course refused.) and are then crushed next turn.
This too was fixed in the last patch I believe.
6) AI will declare war, then have his armies sit in his cities while I burn his land, and then destroy his capital in swift time.
They must have fixed this. I had the Persians declare war on me an then they swiftly invaded.
[/quote]7) The general shoddiness of design[/quote]
I am not sure I know what you mean...my main complaint is that the made the text so small as barely ledgable even on highest settings
8) The SHOCKING load times
Hmm, I never noticed it being that long *shrug*
My only complaint really is the lack of tactics you can use in the sea battles. There is no terrain, no islands, no shorelines nothing, it is always in the middle of the ocean when confronting another navy. In fact I hate the naval fighting....it is long and tedious at best.
But other wise I think the game is good. I do miss the massive smoke screens of the muskets from Shogun Total War though. Over all, I think it is best when played against live opponents.