Originally Posted by Shadow
One of things I'm testing out currently is not letting monsters attack planets. It makes planets grow more normally, but anything you put in orbit is in danger.
I don't think that'll help that much with the problem he's experiencing: the monsters follow their growth curve, including getting the multipliers at the difficulty boundaries, but the NPCs don't (as far as I remember), and get weaker and weaker relative to the monsters. I think NPCs should probably get the same difficulty bonuses.