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Stellaris Dev Diary #206: Directing Nemesis

Hello everyone!

Today I thought I would talk more about the process of directing an expansion such as Nemesis.

As we’ve talked about in the past, finding a strong theme is one of the most important things that we do. Whenever we’ve had ideas (and there are many) we usually categorize them in a “box”. Each of our expansions has picked features from different “boxes”; Utopia was about internal politics and customization, Apocalypse was about warfare, Megacorp was about economy, and Federations was about diplomacy.

Along the way there’s usually more ideas in a box than we can fit into an expansion, so many of the ideas we’ve had for previous expansions get moved to a new expansion. For example, the “diplomacy box” contained too many good ideas that we wanted to work with, so Federations focused more on “good” diplomacy, whereas Nemesis focuses more on “evil” diplomacy.

Maintaining a strong theme for an expansion is very important, as it makes it easier for the players to forge strong fantasies and to build up excitement for those ideas. A more focused expansion also has more opportunities for features to interact, so it's also possible to have those deeper interactions in the game that we know many of you appreciate.

Although it is important to maintain a strong theme for a DLC, we also want to make sure that any expansion we create also contains something that caters to different types of players. For example, if Federations has a lot of focus on cooperation and diplomacy, it was a good idea to add the Juggernaut so that players who enjoy the more belligerent side of the game also get some new toys to play with.

Nemesis
Becoming the Crisis, and forming a Galactic Imperium through the Galactic Community, are both examples of ideas we had that were related to diplomacy is some fashion. With the Galactic Community in place, it made sense to allow players to play “the baddies” which aims to destroy the galaxy, and by continuation it made a lot of sense to add a feature that aims to be the counterforce to such threats.

Where Federations focused on cooperation and more friendly diplomacy, the goal of Nemesis was to focus more on building up conflicts between opposing forces. We really wanted to underline how a crisis can threaten the galaxy, and then a champion (the custodian) can rise to attempt to stop it.

We also wanted to create more opportunities for a balance of power to shift, so we wanted to continue with the idea of the custodian and how power can corrupt. By allowing the custodian to turn the galactic community into the galactic imperium, we were able to continue the trend of different types of crises that can occur in the galaxy. Although not perhaps a threat to all life in the galaxy, the Galactic Imperium (and a possible rebellion) was still intended to very much be considered a diplomatic crisis of sorts.

From my perspective I’m very happy with how we’ve managed to take these ideas from earlier and really bind them together in a very thematic sense in Nemesis. It’s not often that we can take so many powerful fantasies and put them together in such a way, so it's very fun to have been able to take this holistic approach.

Espionage
I’ve wanted to make an espionage system for quite some time, as it's been a goal for me as a designer. I don’t like when espionage systems are too deterministic, or when you just sit and wait on a progress bar, after which you’ll either succeed or fail.

I wanted our espionage system to contain more storytelling and the archaeology system that I originally designed for Ancient Relics really allows for that. I like that the system plays out in phases, similar to a siege in EU4, but allows for a lot more storytelling by inserting random events and stories in the “main story” of the content itself.

With the learnings from the archaeology system, I wanted to make our espionage system work similarly. As a game director, I’m not only responsible for the creation vision of the game, but also for scope (how large a feature can be, and where we spend our development time). I knew that by basing the system on what we did with archaeology, we would be able to save time that could be better spent elsewhere. Implementing UI is actually quite time consuming with the tech Stellaris uses, so any time we can save by not having to make UIs from scratch is a good idea in my opinion. By reusing certain parts, you can also reduce the amount of risk because we already have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the system or feature. Any time we spend reusing parts can be spent on polish, bug fixing or implementing cool new UIs for other features. It doesn’t come entirely free though, and you need to make sure you make enough adaptations where it's needed.

When it comes to what the espionage system itself should achieve, I wanted information gathering to be a large part of it. Espionage systems are hard to get right, because they can feel too predictive or boring, and you also have to constantly be considering the experience of the one being targeted by espionage.

Something we also have to consider when adding a new system like this is that the player only has so much capacity to interact with existing systems. We need to create a system that is fun and engaging when you choose to use it, and be aware that it's quite risky to add new systems that the player is forced to interact with. Cognitive load is definitely something that is tricky when designing for GSG games. I feel like the espionage system has hit a good mark with not being mandatory to play the game, but also being fun and interesting when you want to use it.

We couldn’t achieve everything I could have dreamed of, and although I would very much liked to have seen a more interactive counter-espionage part of the system, I’m very happy overall with how espionage turned out. Although not perfect, the content we have there and the way it works feels very good.

The basic system of espionage, just like the archaeology system, is a part of the free update to the base game, which makes it easier for us - or modders - to add more content later down the line. Trying to make the systems themselves a part of the free update has helped us a lot in the past, and sometimes we’ve even changed systems that were entirely a part of a DLC to become free. Ascension Perks (introduced in Utopia) were originally exclusive to Utopia, but we really wanted to use the system so we made it a part of the free game and changed it so that only some of the Ascension Perks themselves (like biological ascension) were a part of Utopia. We really like this approach, and hopefully you do too. Everyone wins!

Intel
Because we wanted information-gathering to be such an important part of the espionage system, we also thought a new Intel system would be necessary to make that a really good experience for the player.

I never liked how you’d find out so much about another alien empire as soon as you established communication with them. I wanted alien empires to feel more mysterious, and just as you explore the galaxy, you have to “explore” these alien empires to learn more about them.

The focus of the Intel system was very much to enhance the early- and mid game by focusing on this new angle of “exploration”. Even if you are not a warlike or diplomatic player, it should still be fun to learn more about the galaxy and its inhabitants. Because of all the things that the Intel system touches, and how it interacts with other features, it needs to be a free update to the game. The entire Intel system is a part of the free update and should be quite moddable.

From a scoping aspect, Intel definitely ended up being way more expensive than we had originally thought due to all the edgecases and all the small places in the game where the new system would interact with current existing features. Reworking UIs to sometimes hide information is not as easy as it may sound, especially in a game as large as Stellaris.

As a game director I also need to consider where I spend my development time, and if I put too much development time on working on a free feature like Intel, then the DLC features may become too thin and that players may consider the value of the DLC to be low. It’s a careful balance between adding enough new features in the free update vs. adding new features to a DLC, because both are important for different reasons.

In the end though, I think it was definitely worth spending the extra time to make the Intel system as it currently is.

Become the Crisis
The idea to allow players to become the crisis is not a new one, but it's one that has been with us for quite some time. It’s not until now that we’ve finally been able to give it a go, and I can’t think of a better expansion for it than with Nemesis.

The goal with the “BtC” feature was to allow the player to perform “evil” deeds and unlock more powerful rewards along the way to galactic domination.

The system went through a couple of different iterations, but it wasn’t until we added a more clear progression path with “crisis levels” that I felt like we were truly on the right track.

The new UI for BtC feels very awesome and with a very visible progression path it also feels better as a more explicit challenge. Within game design, explicit challenges are those that are posed directly to the player (like a quest), while implicit challenges are those that the player can make up themselves (like befriending all other empires as the Blorg).

An inherent weakness with many of our GSG games is that we do not have a lot of explicit challenges, which can make it hard for new players to figure out what they are supposed to do. If you are entirely new to the game, it can be hard to come up with implicit challenges yourself. National Focuses in HOI4, Missions in EU4 or Imperator are examples of features where we’ve successfully added more explicit challenges to our games. Implicit challenges go hand in hand with replayability, and they can also be more powerful experiences to the player, because the player is the sole reason behind it.

With the BtC feature, we’ve added objectives to help lead the player in becoming more menacing and an increasing threat to the galaxy. Although not as direct as perhaps a quest or a mission, they should help a lot and hopefully motivate the player.

We originally had ideas for the BtC feature to come in multiple shapes (ranging from a destructive force like an end-game crisis, to a subjugating force like the marauder, or a manipulative force that preys in the shadows), but due to time constraints we had to make the choice of either making one fantasy stronger and more engaging, or to have multiple versions that felt more watered-down. I had to make the choice, and focusing on the destructive fantasy made the most sense to me, due to multiple reasons, but simply put it's also the fantasy that makes the most sense.

After the dust has settled I’m very happy with where the Become the Crisis feature is, and I hope you will all enjoy deploying your Star-Eaters to consume the galaxy, going from one star to the next.

Custodian & Galactic Imperium
With the risk of sounding like a broken record, I want to highlight how much I enjoy the cycle of electing a custodian to fight a crisis, and then for the custodian to take power and become a new, diplomatic crisis. It’s very thematic, and it's a fantasy that we’re very aware of from popular culture (and to some degree, history).

I don’t have as many insights to share for these two features, as they were largely handled by one of our trusted and senior content designers. The idea and rough design for the Galactic Imperium was borne in association with the Galactic Community, and we’re very happy for the chance to add it to the game in Nemesis.

Although the Galactic Imperium is perhaps not the most ubiquitous and common feature to come across while playing, it's very evocative and fits like a glove when it comes to player fantasy.

Rounding up
In the end I don’t think you can ever really create a perfect expansion, and it takes a lot of experience to know what gives you the best chance with the resources you have. There’s a lot more detail that goes into all of the things I talked about, but I hope this dev diary was somewhat interesting to you, as I tried to give some more insights into how to direct an expansion and some of the thoughts one may come across while doing so.

I also want to thank my team for doing such fantastic work with Nemesis. Without them, none of this would have materialized.

----

That’s it for this week, folks! We’ll be back next week on April 1st, the day most famous for being exactly 2 weeks before the release of 3.0 ‘Dick’ and Nemesis.
 
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Primarch Victus

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Clone pops and Rival Empires (in the style of the Narn/Centauri rivalry/hate) would make interesting Origins.
 
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Verx90

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could we get an option to choose starting difficulty WITH scaling?

if we go there, can we actualy have a way to custom the bonuses to the AI ?

like, i know there are mods that do that, and you could possibily make a custommod for how you like it.

but its nice to have it in the game.
 
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then , all i've to say , is that you will get a new chance to look for playable build with this new expansion .


i get the feeling of some build not having the same " military potential " , since even with all the addition to the game , a PVP game with the idea of fighting it out like a competitive conterpart of RTS ( real time strategy) soffocate the concept of most build.

having alot of diplomats may give you the chance to make alot of friends , that alow for treaty , etc . but if you try to use such system in a game where evryone want to "win by war " you are simply going to have non-viable build.




i suggest you ( in general i guess) to look for a way to have a competitive game at stellaris , not by " lets make war till only one stand " , but to follow the victory points ; war would still be part of the game OFC , mainly because war can solve most problems . but if you play to reach victory by points , you may free server laws of federations limits or similar, killing off by group those players that are forcing military conquest as theyr way of victory .

that said, economy and diplomacy have some deep now , thx to the GC and the rework of economy , but they are still rudimental . with the new expansion we will be able to actualy hide some information , so the players will not know most of our actions \ state of power .


i think if you stop thinking of stellaris as a war game, and instead more similar to a gestional game , you can find new builds that may work .

ofc this need other players to have the will to play differently , and have a diplmatic elastic way of playing the game .

with the knowledge that there is still too few internal politics , so some ethos and civics are quite "weak" in comparison to other in theyr efficency ( spiritualism would be a strong position for internal politics , but its useless at the current state of the game to have a strenght in this)

i think that if you go away from the idea of SET PVP status to a FFA with no limitation ( diplomatic mainly, but i think players should still be proibited to play totalwar empires) , as the game was intended to be played ( and with the possibility to rejoin as a "freed" empire in case someone manage to "bring freedom" to you) you may find new way to force diplomatic way inside the game.

THAT said, ofc the simple PVP WAR focus make the game much faster , and easyer to be played . but if you pick this way of playing the game , OFC you have to leave most build behind . because what matter is war. authoritarian are the best at using conquered populations , militarist have the best fleets and materialist have tech and the possibility of extra pops build up .


some of those things will change with the new expansion.

So all i can say at the end is... try the new expansion. maybe there will be 2-3 more build open to be used over the previous 3 , but i doubt that , because there will still be a BEST META because there is always a MIN-MAX and MIN-MAX does not share the power.
Again, I understand the arguments. And I partly agree.
But you put your finger on the heart of the problem.
At the moment the materialists/authoritarians are the best in every field.
Whether the game is full PvP oriented or the players are looking for Horizontal or the galaxy is calmer and allows vertical, these civs are the strongest.
We have played with them banned, but the gameplay that comes out is still the same, just less effective. And the only valid ascension remains the synthetic one ( I hope that the double pop line of the biologicals can change things partly, but I doubt it ).

Beyond the fact that these civics are the strongest, it's the linearity of the gameplay that bothers me fundamentally.
The first in science will always be the strongest, which is not illogical in itself, but that the scientific snowball can have a rival would be for me a real advance in the search for balance.

It's important to understand that I'm not castigating devs for their work, I just wish that other ways were possible.

It is necessary to understand that after X games in grand admiral, aggressiveness high crisis x25 in 2275, without encountering any difficulty, the only thing I have left is the multiplayer.
And to notice that all the games it resembles to know bunker full tech synthetic in 2260.
Or rush destroyers 2230 12k fleet power take the neighbor, then full tech ... in the long run it's not really fun, I would like to be able to leave on the shroud, I would like to have to do terraforming, so many things that are completely useless now.

And the solution of banning synthetic ascension: materialist; robot is just frustrating.
 
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I am looking foward to this expansion.
As to the Galactic Imperium and the following rebellion:
Will other empires experience rebellions on their planets more often? I would like to see more empires falling apart like in Crusader Kings II or Europa Universalis IV.
A possible scenario could be that you conquere a planet with 100% foreign grown xenos which were obviously at war with you before.
You could add culture and maybe even religion (for spiritualist) which would give Civics and maybe even traits an exta touch.
If I were born in (for example) 1850s Africa, I assure you that I would probably not like the idea of foreigners coming in and ruling over me and my people.
 
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Mímisbrunnr

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So it seems weird to me that a galactic republic would suddently switch to being a stratified society just because they want to unite the galaxy.

Interestingly, Stellaris Authoritarians are allowed to run Social Welfare, even though it is bad for them in the sense that it promotes Egalitarian attraction and doesn't leverage their strengths. Likewise, while they can enslave aliens, they don't HAVE to and can in fact choose to ban the practice. So while you'd betray your former democratic principles to have a Galactic Emperor, you could still end up with a fairly progressive nation (social welfare living standards for everyone, citizen rights and free migration for all regardless of species or origin, slavery and purges are banned) excepting that **itty bitty detail** of your people's lack of political self-determination.
 
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I think this is a dev about game making, very good! Maybe I'll make a game someday.
It is sad to hear that Espionage doesn't have a rich-interactive counter-espionage, please tell me we can achieve it through mods.

BTW, speaking of free-update, do you guys plan to deal with the problem between Titan and Judgement? Obviously Judgement is bigger and more difficult to built than Titan(and in stellaris, the bigger the ship is, the higher tech it needs), for the player who have Apocalypse, it may cause confusion by the order of tech of Titan and Judgement. And if you want to introduce some other big ship, the problem will occur again.
 

Lorenerd11

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Question: Can you say something more in detail about espionage, especially in case of it's offensive power? Can we proceed with the next operation if the first is done but keep the final step of the first one on hold for a simultanious use?

No, that is currently not possible, but I can't think of any case where that would be necessary with the Operations we have either. A good idea to keep in mind for the future tho.
I don't know how much I like the fact that we can't run multiple operation simultaneously as long as the size of the spy network allows for it. Seems like unnecessarily restrictive decision that reduces the system to just another novelty that keeps running in the background until it's time for the next one.
 
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Again, I understand the arguments. And I partly agree.
But you put your finger on the heart of the problem.
At the moment the materialists/authoritarians are the best in every field.
Whether the game is full PvP oriented or the players are looking for Horizontal or the galaxy is calmer and allows vertical, these civs are the strongest.
We have played with them banned, but the gameplay that comes out is still the same, just less effective. And the only valid ascension remains the synthetic one ( I hope that the double pop line of the biologicals can change things partly, but I doubt it ).

Beyond the fact that these civics are the strongest, it's the linearity of the gameplay that bothers me fundamentally.
The first in science will always be the strongest, which is not illogical in itself, but that the scientific snowball can have a rival would be for me a real advance in the search for balance.

It's important to understand that I'm not castigating devs for their work, I just wish that other ways were possible.

It is necessary to understand that after X games in grand admiral, aggressiveness high crisis x25 in 2275, without encountering any difficulty, the only thing I have left is the multiplayer.
And to notice that all the games it resembles to know bunker full tech synthetic in 2260.
Or rush destroyers 2230 12k fleet power take the neighbor, then full tech ... in the long run it's not really fun, I would like to be able to leave on the shroud, I would like to have to do terraforming, so many things that are completely useless now.

And the solution of banning synthetic ascension: materialist; robot is just frustrating.


The problem is that the more you write about it , the more I hear SC2 probuild .

The min-max will be there .

Maybe increase tech-cost , materialist will still get the tech faster , but they will be more dilueted , and the economy will have more chance to growh before the techsnowballing . Opening the game to empires that take more lowtier economy -wide ( but I guess they are still authoritarians ethics + maybe xenophobe ?) And hive .

I dont know , but of how you talk about it , it seems like you have all those preset-start that follow a definite strat . So all the dev could do is nerfing those civ or buffing other civs to give similar possibilities , but this would destroy the whole point . Diversification .


Why there is no "megastructure rush" but its always about war ?

The more contenent they build , the more vuild will be viable ( spy stuff will open up civics that give envois as viable )
 
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What a lot of people seem to forget a lot on here:
the free updates and continued development are funded by the sales of the DLCs. One of the major reasons I decided to buy a buttload of DLC after getting the base game and a few major ones a year ago was because I wanted to support the project while also unlocking a few new things for myself.

Nemesis is a good example of that. I do like the features and want to try them, but just buy a cost/benefit evaluation I would probably not buy it.
The free update is stuff I am really, really looking forward to, because it improves upon several things that are important to me.

At this point I've probably spent like 200-300 hours in the game. The time enjoyed per € spent is a really great ratio for me. And paying full price for this DLC now is not going to ruin that statistic. (Although I did get most dlc and the base game on sale on gog)
So I do not mind supporting the continued development of this game, even if just the paywalled DLC content on its own does not give me all the excitement you'd expect for the price.

I am looking forward to probably a few more hundreds of hours of enjoyment over the next few years.

You deeply misunderstand my intent here. I fully endorse the idea that buying DLCs is how you fund continuous development of the game, and I've repeatedly defended the DLC model of Paradox, because it allows for stuff like CKII being supported for nearly ten years of additional contents and improvements. I have absolutely no problem paying a bit more for content if that means we keep getting more in the future.

However, I'm not made out of money, and I have a problem with buying content that will decrease my enjoyment of the game, exactly because it discourages me from financing said development. This is not me saying "booo Paradox for forcing me to pay for stuff", it's me saying "guys, I'd like to give you my money, but there's part of the content that's actively driving me away". There's a difference between paying a little bit more than what you think something's worth, and paying for something you genuinely don't want on top of something you do. It's not even a question of price, if I had to chose between paying 8€ (or 10, or 12) to get the espionage, or 8€ (or 10, or 12) to get the espionage + Nemesis, I'd still pick the former, because the Nemesis stuff is something I'd like to avoid. To make a (very subjective) parallel, it feels to me like if Sunset Invasion and Legacy of Rome were a single DLC. And it's not even a new phenomenon, the devs themselves added an in-game toggle for Xeno-Compatibility and the Caravaneers, because they realised that some features could actually be an annoyance for some people.

I'm not chastising the devs, who are just trying to add content they find fun to the game. I'm just pointing out that people have different focuses and preferences and views on how the game should be, and when you bundle wildly different stuff together, you run the risk that some people might be driven away instead of encouraged. Having DLCs with a narrower focus prevents that.
 
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You deeply misunderstand my intent here. I fully endorse the idea that buying DLCs is how you fund continuous development of the game, and I've repeatedly defended the DLC model of Paradox, because it allows for stuff like CKII being supported for nearly ten years of additional contents and improvements. I have absolutely no problem paying a bit more for content if that means we keep getting more in the future.

However, I'm not made out of money, and I have a problem with buying content that will decrease my enjoyment of the game, exactly because it discourages me from financing said development. This is not me saying "booo Paradox for forcing me to pay for stuff", it's me saying "guys, I'd like to give you my money, but there's part of the content that's actively driving me away". There's a difference between paying a little bit more than what you think something's worth, and paying for something you genuinely don't want on top of something you do. It's not even a question of price, if I had to chose between paying 8€ (or 10, or 12) to get the espionage, or 8€ (or 10, or 12) to get the espionage + Nemesis, I'd still pick the former, because the Nemesis stuff is something I'd like to avoid. To make a (very subjective) parallel, it feels to me like if Sunset Invasion and Legacy of Rome were a single DLC. And it's not even a new phenomenon, the devs themselves added an in-game toggle for Xeno-Compatibility and the Caravaneers, because they realised that some features could actually be an annoyance for some people.

I'm not chastising the devs, who are just trying to add content they find fun to the game. I'm just pointing out that people have different focuses and preferences and views on how the game should be, and when you bundle wildly different stuff together, you run the risk that some people might be driven away instead of encouraged. Having DLCs with a narrower focus prevents that.
The reason they lump features together is so that players only interested in one thing still have a reason to buy the DLC. If the issue is you actively not wanting mechanics and features, I think the solution is just modding: it's much easier to delete or set AI weight = 0 for existing features then code in new ones, so you should be able to disable stuff like the Become the Crisis AP very easily.
 
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The reason they lump features together is so that players only interested in one thing still have a reason to buy the DLC.
That's a fair argument, and part of why I previously conceded that it's not a black and white situation. There's probably a lot of thought put into how DLCs are built, but for that to be done well, Paradox also needs the input of players and how they feel about how they do things. Obviously, from the number of Disagrees I got for my posts (seriously, I went from 0 to 25 in an afternoon, if I keep it up I can maybe surpass my positive votes before the end of the day :p), that feedback is not representative of the rest of the people's opinions in this thread, but I don't think that the idea of sharing it in the first place is unwarranted.

If the issue is you actively not wanting mechanics and features, I think the solution is just modding: it's much easier to delete or set AI weight = 0 for existing features then code in new ones, so you should be able to disable stuff like the Become the Crisis AP very easily.
If that proves to be easily doable, I might consider buying the DLC if it hits a satisfying discount (as I pointed out, not made out of money, especially in our current... situation). But ideally this shouldn't become a habit, it could get silly fast, and there are other possibilities worth exploring to minimise the risk of this kind of things happening.
 
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When playing Xenophile I have this strong fantasy of having my allies not murder each other and be a peacemaker.
The good diplomacy DLC Federations did not add this.
The evil dimplomacy DLC Nemesis does not add this.
People have been asking for it since release, literally.

Why?
 
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When playing Xenophile I have this strong fantasy of having my allies not murder each other and be a peacemaker.
Build a Federation, then, instead of relying purely on Defensive Pacts.
 
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When playing Xenophile I have this strong fantasy of having my allies not murder each other and be a peacemaker.
The good diplomacy DLC Federations did not add this.
The evil dimplomacy DLC Nemesis does not add this.
People have been asking for it since release, literally.

Why?

federation is the only way to achive this.

but they will never accept to join a federation with someone they hate.
and for now the spy network seems to work only to reduce diplomacy between 2 targets.

i guess we can ask for a little plus of being able to INCREASE the diplomacy between 2 targets? maybe a simple mod can add it too .
 
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Build a Federation, then, instead of relying purely on Defensive Pacts.
This doesn't work if you want to have two enemies in your fed.

i guess we can ask for a little plus of being able to INCREASE the diplomacy between 2 targets? maybe a simple mod can add it too
I tried to build a mod like this, but it was impossible up to now. With espionage, there is most likely an option. You can decrease the realations between two targets. In the same way, it's most likely possible (at least i hope so) to mod a operation that increases it instead. That's one of the first things i'll try as soon i start modding Nemesis. Right behind the try to get parallel operations back...
 
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National Focuses in HOI4, Missions in EU4 or Imperator are examples of features where we’ve successfully added more explicit challenges to our games.
Are you considering implementing more explicit challenges along that line in Stellaris, for non-crisis-becoming nations? For instance a progression where your xenophile democracy "levels up" from acting like a xenophile democracy, or your Fanatic Purifiers earn points based on how well they're fanatically purifying.

One thing I dislike about governments in Stellaris is that they tend to feel pretty static over the course of the game - aside from external threats and the odd question of "can I afford this edict/living condition right now?" there isn't that much growth and change over time. Similar to the GC and federation rework, something to change and develop your empire from within would be a great addition, and the become-the-crisis mechanic feels like a clear and flexible way to implement it.
 
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We've had pretty generic "filler" DDs for a month or more, and now we have a DD that makes a point of pre-apologizing in advance for the DLC not being everything it could be. Every paragraph mentions how the team wanted to do more... but couldn't. Couple this with the fact that the entire DLC is about endgame crises and it becomes very noticeable that nobody from the team has answered a very simple question:

Has the Crisis AI been fixed?

Based on this DD, I'm going to say no.
 
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We've had pretty generic "filler" DDs for a month or more, and now we have a DD that makes a point of pre-apologizing in advance for the DLC not being everything it could be. Every paragraph mentions how the team wanted to do more... but couldn't. Couple this with the fact that the entire DLC is about endgame crises and it becomes very noticeable that nobody from the team has answered a very simple question:

Has the Crisis AI been fixed?

Based on this DD, I'm going to say no.

well ... it is possible. they did something similar with 2.2 .

BUT, if they actualy fixed the lategame lagg like they are announcing , there are mods that can work out the endgame crysis .
the true problem atm is that when the endgame come, usualy the game is so slow it takes 10 min for a fleet to go from 1 system to another .

if the base AI is capable of economy and there is no more lagg.. the mods just need to "fix" fleet management, starbase management and endgame crysis .
is much less work , from making the basic AI actualy working .