Stellaris Dev Diary #215 - Gameplay themes & Balancing considerations

Hello everyone!

First I want to thank you for the overwhelming support that you’ve shown us with announcing the Custodians initiative. It’s been really fun and motivating to see so many positive responses, and for that we’re truly thankful. At the same time, I must admit that it is also a bit scary in the sense that we shouldn’t have the expectation that this will suddenly resolve any issues you might have with the game, or that we’ll be able to deliver large amounts of significant changes with every update. Let’s appreciate this opportunity and make the best of it :)

Species Pack Gameplay Themes
Last week we already talked about what the Lem Update (honoring the author Stanislaw Lem) would focus on, but I’d also like to go into more detail regarding some things.

We mentioned that we would be adding gameplay to the Humanoids Species Pack and the Plantoids Species Pack, and although I won’t talk about the exact details yet, I do want to talk a little about how we approached it, and the themes we chose.

Plantoids was a bit easier, because there are some obvious fantasies. Going around the themes of growth and plants we’re adding some new traits, civics and origin. We felt like it made sense to open up these gameplay additions to both Plantoid portraits as well as for Fungoids.

Humanoids was a bit trickier, because there are no direct fantasies that apply to them in general, so we instead chose to focus on fantasies that align with things like dwarves, elves, orcs or humans. The Civic we showcased last week was an example of how we made something inspired by a traditionally dwarven fantasy.

Let us know about any ideas or thoughts you have regarding those :)

We will be talking more about these in much greater detail later, but that may possibly be in August.

Game Balance
We’re going to take a look at reworking some of the major outstanding balance issues that we’re having.

One example that I want to talk about is the issue with Research Booming, where power players can essentially outpace other empires due to focusing a lot on research. What enables this is usually Districts that provide Researcher Jobs, which is relatively easy to gain access to early on through Origins such as Shattered Ring or Void Dwellers (the latter not being nearly as strong).

For Shattered Ring we are looking into changing the start from a pure “end-game” Ring World, to be more of an actual “Shattered Ring” that you need to repair before you gain access to the powerful Districts of the Ring World. Putting additional emphasis on the fantasy of restoring this ancient megastructure to its former glory can be a fun addition to the Origin itself. Although we haven’t decided exactly what we’re doing, changing the start to be a Shattered Ring that you can restore with the Mega-Engineering technology is a likely route.

Unity & Empire Sprawl
Beyond Lem, we are also going to take a look at Empire Sprawl and Unity. The design for Admin Capacity was never really something that I felt worked out, and we never finished the design that was intended for it. Continuing to use Admin Cap as a mechanic also feels a bit like a dead end due to multiple reasons (ranging from design to technical), so we’re instead going to look into another solution.

I have a design for doubling down on using Unity as the resource for internal management, removing Admin Cap entirely, and to make Empire Sprawl something that you can never mitigate anymore. More sprawling empires will always suffer harsher penalties from Empire Sprawl, and we’ll instead focus on how Unity can be used internally to mitigate some of those penalties. Examples could be Edicts that have a Unity Upkeep Cost, and perhaps reduce the Research Cost Penalty induced by Empire Sprawl. Angry Pops could potentially also have a Unity Upkeep Cost, to represent the drain on your society.

Note that these ideas are very much in their infancy and very prone to change. We will probably start talking a bit more about that once Lem has been released, but I wanted to share some thoughts with you so that we could gather some initial feedback.

------

That’s all for this week folks! We’re in the middle of reviewing our dev diary schedule, so we’re hoping to be back with 2 more dev diaries before we take a summer break. We’ll keep you in the loop as we go.
 
  • 247Like
  • 60Love
  • 27
  • 19
  • 8
Reactions:

Kiwibaum

Second Lieutenant
43 Badges
May 17, 2016
184
131
  • Dungeonland
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Tyranny - Tales from the Tiers
  • King Arthur II
  • Magicka
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Magicka 2: Ice, Death and Fury
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • War of the Roses
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Divine Wind
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Majesty 2 Collection
  • Semper Fi
  • Magicka 2
  • Cities in Motion 2
I think humanoids could lean into similar stuff as mamalians and be grouped together with them similar to fungoids and plantoids. This is probably much to late for such changes, but maybe you'll find a fit for that.

It would be cool if in the long run every group would have a few unique things to them.
 
  • 12Like
  • 1
Reactions:

Me_

Myself
76 Badges
Jan 14, 2011
8.906
8.930
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV
Plantoids was a bit easier, because there are some obvious fantasies. Going around the themes of growth and plants we’re adding some new traits, civics and origin. We felt like it made sense to open up these gameplay additions to both Plantoid portraits as well as for Fungoids.
Interesting about new stuff affecting Fungoids as well. Any plans for also perhaps in the future adding something unique to the various other base species types, e.g. something unique to Arthropoids or Molluscoids?
 
  • 8Like
Reactions:

InvisibleBison

General
34 Badges
Oct 14, 2012
1.757
4.745
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • BATTLETECH
  • Surviving Mars
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
Plantoids was a bit easier, because there are some obvious fantasies. Going around the themes of growth and plants we’re adding some new traits, civics and origin. We felt like it made sense to open up these gameplay additions to both Plantoid portraits as well as for Fungoids.
Please don't make these new gameplay options be tied to the plantoid portraits. One of the greatest parts of Stellaris is the enormous amount of freedom we have in creating custom nations and species. Making mandatory links between portraits and mechanics, or restricting certain mechanics to certain portraits, needlessly inhibits that freedom. I see no reason why we shouldn't be able to make plant species that don't look like plants, or non-plant species that do look like plants.
 
  • 31
  • 13Like
  • 5
Reactions:

SeraphAscending

Second Lieutenant
27 Badges
Jan 14, 2021
197
623
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Cities: Skylines - Campus
  • Prison Architect
  • Cities: Skylines Industries
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Magicka 2: Ice, Death and Fury
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Magicka 2
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Cities: Skylines
  • War of the Roses
  • Victoria 2
  • Magicka
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Dungeonland
I like literally all of what you said in this DevDiary.
I have a design for doubling down on using Unity as the resource for internal management, removing Admin Cap entirely, and to make Empire Sprawl something that you can never mitigate anymore. More sprawling empires will always suffer harsher penalties from Empire Sprawl, and we’ll instead focus on how Unity can be used internally to mitigate some of those penalties. Examples could be Edicts that have a Unity Upkeep Cost, and perhaps reduce the Research Cost Penalty induced by Empire Sprawl. Angry Pops could potentially also have a Unity Upkeep Cost, to represent the drain on your society.
But especially I like this.
Making both unity more useful as well as modelling your empire better (in terms of simulation) is a great idea.

To reference @Pancakelord 's suggestion of Unity V Influence, i like the idea of Unity exclusively being for internal management and influence exclusively for external campaigns.
It sounds like that is roughly the direction you're going for and it is certainly nice to hear as i think it would mop up several of the smaller inconsistencies and inconveniences that have piled up around the whole admin cap / empire sprawl / unity / influence area.
 
  • 15
  • 5Like
Reactions:

Spaceception

Lt. General
13 Badges
Jan 25, 2018
1.448
839
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Necroids
I think I'm definitely going to get the other species packs after this. The new civics is something I'm looking forward to having. Will there be any species specific civics, or just ones that are more tailored to a species type, but not locked to any one? Like the Necrophage civics.

I'm very much looking forward to the unity/tradition reworks. I've liked the idea of using unity for internal stuff, and influence externally, and I'm glad to see that the game is going in that general direction. Especially the idea of angry pops draining unity. Will unity production be tied to factions as well (maybe in the future)? Unhappy ones will drain unity and have lower influence gain, and vice versa. Then you can have a policy that determines the balance between internal and external management/expansion. And reworked issues that impact one resource or the other.
 
  • 5Like
Reactions:

Zoomy

Second Lieutenant
74 Badges
Nov 20, 2017
185
537
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Magicka 2
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Stellaris
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Surviving Mars
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • BATTLETECH
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Cities: Skylines - Campus
  • Prison Architect
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Cities: Skylines Industries
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
I don't understand this

I don't understand the issue of "Research Booming." I would expect that an empire that spends more resources towards tech and focuses on it should outpace one that does not. Why is that a problem? Or are you referring to an exploit that provides benefits beyond that of just merely making it a focus for your empire?

The problem is, either you focus on tech spam or you get punk'd. There's no middle ground, and nor is there really a downside to spamming research. Take Civ as an example: you can choose to spam out research, but doing so effectively requires you to adopt a tall strat and only have like 4 cities due to size penalties and your army will remain skeletal for ages since building a library stops you building units until it's done. Meamwhile in Stellaris spamming labs doesn't stop you also building ships since they have vastly different construction requirements and you can paint the galaxy as wide as you want as long as you throw down a few admin buildings.
 
  • 20
  • 3Like
  • 2
Reactions:

FuzzyLogic

First Lieutenant
24 Badges
Feb 5, 2017
268
547
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
Awww. I feel like the boat for the perfect Humanoid trait has already sailed.

Humans/humanoids in pop fiction tend to be portrayed as ingenious and adaptable creatures WITH MASSIVE SEX DRIVES AND ZERO MORAL QUALMS OR FETHS GIVEN WHATSOEVER. So perhaps Xeno-Compatibility should have been built as a trait instead of an ascension perk. Species with the xeno-compatible trait can generate hybrids in the planets they live on, which themselves inherit the traits of their parent species (except, perhaps, the xeno-compatible trait itself).

Anyways, just tossing a random idea that probably overlaps with content that already exists.
 
  • 14
  • 5Like
  • 5Haha
Reactions:

fodazd

Colonel
37 Badges
Feb 21, 2018
909
2.447
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Prison Architect
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Revelations
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
  • Island Bound
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Surviving Mars
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
My personal opinion: Shattered ring isn't even really the strongest origin. It is really powerful with the amount of researchers you can get early, but since 3.0, you can unlock buildings slots pretty quickly, so a "normal" start as necroids or scions isn't that far behind, and also usually has much greater potential for expansion.

I agree that empire sprawl is currently a bit pointless, and I am always excited for unity becoming actually relevant. If bureaucrats are allowed to stay, I would like them to function a bit more like what is currently announced for victoria 3: Bureaucracy would not just be a thing you need to build in order to expand, but also to maintain your internal institutions (if these ever become an actual thing in Stellaris).
 
Last edited:
  • 3
  • 2
Reactions:

grekulf

Stellaris Game Director
34 Badges
Aug 13, 2012
553
9.849
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Magicka
  • Paradox Order
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Starvoid
  • IPO Investor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • A Game of Dwarves
I hope, however, that you'll keep bureaucrats around for generating unity. It would be a great shame to lose the idea of a dystopian hell in which whole planets are dedicated to nothing but bureaucracy!
Oh yes! If its a worker that goes, its the Culture Worker since its so generic. Bureaucrats would be the Unity producing job. That would mean shifting around some job-swaps (like managers for megacorps) to be swaps of the bureaucrat instead.

We absolutely need to maintain the idea of Trantor.
 
  • 95Like
  • 12
  • 8
  • 4
  • 2Love
Reactions:

Asiak

Lt. General
81 Badges
Nov 27, 2014
1.276
2.789
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • BATTLETECH
  • Surviving Mars
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Deluxe edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Prison Architect
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • BATTLETECH - Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Empire of Sin
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
One example that I want to talk about is the issue with Research Booming, where power players can essentially outpace other empires due to focusing a lot on research. What enables this is usually Districts that provide Researcher Jobs, which is relatively easy to gain access to early on through Origins such as Shattered Ring or Void Dwellers (the latter not being nearly as strong).

For Shattered Ring we are looking into changing the start from a pure “end-game” Ring World, to be more of an actual “Shattered Ring” that you need to repair before you gain access to the powerful Districts of the Ring World. Putting additional emphasis on the fantasy of restoring this ancient megastructure to its former glory can be a fun addition to the Origin itself. Although we haven’t decided exactly what we’re doing, changing the start to be a Shattered Ring that you can restore with the Mega-Engineering technology is a likely route.

Please leave shattered ring alone.

I thought these origins weren't necessarily meant to be balanced against each other? Both ends of the spectrum of challenging or not challenging are fun in this game. Sometimes I want to do Doomsday, or a life seeded start where I don't min-max my way out of it right away, sometimes I want challenge. But sometimes I just want to start on a shattered ring that blows all the rock dwellers away.

It is fun because it is unique and powerful. Taking it from a "powerful and ancient structure" and turning it more into a "precarious not-entirely functioning space station" just isn't compelling in my opinion.

People don't go to that origin for a "struggling hard story" that is literally the one start above Remnants and Void Dweller that the player turns to and thinks "oh yea let's have a kick ass game strong."

And for what? Multiplayer balance? Presumably.
 
  • 19
  • 12
Reactions:

Ffc

Galactic Emperor
65 Badges
Jan 27, 2016
374
806
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Cities: Skylines Industries
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Cities: Skylines - Campus
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
Merging Unity and Empire sprawl is surely an interesting idea and might be interesting to play but I think it could kinda be a step backward (or not).

I still think that Admin cap and bureaucrats could be well integrated in the game and be very interesting with several type of "administration" and way of mitigating penalties. Right now, it's not really fun because the optimal play is : have enough bureaucrats to have no penalties and not taking any boni related to admin cap because it's clearly unnecessary.

For example, one of my idea is :

It could be interesting if having more admin cap than sprawl gave you a bonus instead of doing nothing, this way you could very much focus on some sort of Huge bureaucratics empires.

Also, this way boni about having more admin cap would really make sense. (If the boni are balanced) It would truly be a choice for the player, do I take more bureaucrats to be more powerful about XXX or do I chose to have more scientist instead?
 
  • 4
  • 1
  • 1
Reactions:

Jman5

Major
16 Badges
Apr 3, 2017
729
1.254
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • BATTLETECH
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • BATTLETECH: Flashpoint
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
Regarding Unity and Research, I think one of the big problems is how they shake out in the late game. Research gets repeatables that you can just endlessly churn out which means that in practice you're always rewarded for increasing research.

Unity on the other hand has is a finite "tech tree". The Ambitions are great, but again there is a finite amount you need to keep them going (particularly if you only care about a handful of them).

Your ideas for unity sound promising, and I hope to hear more about it, however we're still left with the problem of research's endless repeatables incentivizing a very tech-heavy gameplay.

The second problem with Unity/Traditions is how much you gatekeep traditions behind technology. An empire that goes heavy down unity finds themselves stuck at points because they need to wait for their technology to catch up. On the flip side, you don't have as much of that dynamic on the tech-side. For example, why is Ascension Theory gatekeeped as a tech? Wouldn't it be better as something like the final tradition unlock?
 
Last edited:
  • 17Like
  • 9
  • 1
Reactions:

Ryika

Colonel
52 Badges
Apr 16, 2018
915
1.790
My personal opinion: Shattered ring isn't even really the strongest origion. It is really powerful with the amount of researchers you can get early, but since 3.0, you can unlock buildings slots pretty quickly, so a "normal" start as necroids or scions isn't that far behind, and also usually has much greater potential for expansion.
I think the main difference is that things like Necroids can easily be rebalanced with just a few number tweaks, while the Shattered Ring is so specific in what it does - giving you access to a lategame tool with a significant downside, practically forcing you into a focused rush of some kind - that a complete redesign is probably the best option. Especially when it goes hand in hand with increasing the flavor of the Origin.
 
  • 10Like
Reactions:

JdeFalconr

Sergeant
21 Badges
May 7, 2016
54
110
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Pillars of Eternity
The problem is, either you focus on tech spam or you get punk'd. There's no middle ground, and nor is there really a downside to spamming research. Take Civ as an example: you can choose to spam out research, but doing so effectively requires you to adopt a tall strat and only have like 4 cities due to size penalties and your army will remain skeletal for ages since building a library stops you building units until it's done. Meamwhile in Stellaris spamming labs doesn't stop you also building ships since they have vastly different construction requirements and you can paint the galaxy as wide as you want as long as you throw down a few admin buildings.
That's a really interesting way to look at it. I think I'd disagree there's no downside, especially as you progress technologically and the requirements for research buildings become heavier. You're absolutely right that there's an inherent dichotomy in how shipbuilding and military production takes different resources than building research and its supporting infrastructure. But the common cost to creating infrastructure to support either application (research vs military) is the amount of space you have for that infrastructure: building slots and pops to run them, not to mention production of the respective resources (consumer goods vs alloys, not to mention strategic resources). The simple act of allocating building slots and infrastructure towards supporting research means you are not allocating that infrastructure towards shipbuilding or other military ends and thus there should be a natural imbalance created; if you use your infrastructure to support your military you ought to be less advanced at research. Similarly "painting the galaxy as wide as you want" does take up admin buildings which in turn are buildings that you are not using for either military purposes or technological advancement, not to mention that the more you expand the more tech costs.

With all that in mind maybe the "balance changes" they are talking about take all of the aforementioned into account. Simply making tech have a higher base cost or reducing the productivity of researcher jobs would make it a much more expensive decision to use your infrastructure to build your military as opposed to creating infrastructure for research.
 
  • 7Like
  • 2
Reactions:

firenze419

The Moral High Ground is a mound of bodies
60 Badges
Feb 13, 2007
70
76
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Surviving Mars
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Cities in Motion
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
I think hive minds could use some minor balance tweaks.

1. Hive minds shouldn't have hive mind maluses against one another. When I play, I always try to make friends with the other hives. In fact, I've been dragged into multiple wars to protect my less competent hive neighbour in my current game

2. Hives could have access to bio ships or something to help deal with the excess food. In fact, this could be a more general thing, food could have a lot more uses.

3. Hives could have a mechanism for switching leaders or, if not, a mechanism for choosing leader abilities.

4. More civics for hives! We're a bit starved for choice on that front.

These are all mostly minor tweaks though. I love playing my peaceful plantoid hive. Kind of wish it was real
 
  • 13Like
  • 1
  • 1
Reactions:

Tamwin5

General
20 Badges
Dec 3, 2017
2.286
2.366
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
Oh yes! If its a worker that goes, its the Culture Worker since its so generic. Bureaucrats would be the Unity producing job. That would mean shifting around some job-swaps (like managers for megacorps) to be swaps of the bureaucrat instead.

We absolutely need to maintain the idea of Trantor.
Speaking of Trantor, how about you add a Bureaucrat district to Ecumenopoli? It'd be a massive win from both the flavor and gameplay sides of things, and Ecu's currently are "short" a district.

Personally I'd like to see the culture worker stick around, but significantly buffed and produced only in special situations.
 
  • 30
  • 6Like
Reactions:

rubert

Captain
71 Badges
Dec 31, 2010
447
477
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
Let us know about any ideas or thoughts you have regarding those

I hope it will still be possible to choose a purely cosmetic plantoid/humanoid portrait without any special traits. Necroids pack did this well by having the Necrophage as origin. I would really dislike if the patch changes Plantoids/Humanoids species to have a special traits with no option to just have "normal" pops.

Suggestion: Purely Cosmetic Lithoid would be great, too. Sometimes you just want to look like a rock and not be a rock.
 
  • 12Like
  • 6
  • 5
Reactions: