Stellaris Dev Diary #220 - Additions to Humanoids Species Pack

Hello everyone, it is Thursday and that means it is time for your weekly dev diary. Today, we will talk a bit more in-depth about the upcoming additions to the Humanoids species pack.

First, let us take a look at the civics that will be added.

Masterful Crafters

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The Masterful Crafters Civic, previously teased in Dev Diary 214, will replace your Artisans with a new job type called Artificiers. They will fulfil the same basic production needs as Artisans, Consumer Goods that is, while also producing some extra Trade Value and Engineering Research. As you might expect, since they focus on Consumer Goods, this civic will not be available for gestalt empires.

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To facilitate you focusing your empire more on the industrial branch, this civic will also make industrial districts grant building slots.

Our hope is to allow you a bit more leeway in how you want to play your empire, whether you go hard into artificers to capitalize on their bonus production or use their superior production to cut back on how much you have to build up your consumer goods industry.

And of course, before anyone can ask, let me assure you, yes, it's dwarfs, it's most definitely dwarfs.

For the more materialistic among us, megacorporations will have their own mirror version of this civic.

Pleasure Seekers

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Now let us talk about our second new civic, Pleasure Seekers. This new civic grants you access to the Decadent Lifestyle Living Standard, which increases happiness and consumer goods upkeep for all affected pops.

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In addition, the Entertainer job will now also grant +1% pop growth and Servants jobs will produce an additional 5 Amenities.

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Quite a potent mix of happiness and the means of keeping it up. Of course, if you are interested in an experiment or two, you could fill entire worlds with entertainers for the pop growth bonus, one might call it a planet-wide shore leave on Risa.

Now with both of these civics covered, it is time to talk about our biggest addition to the Humanoids DLC, the topic of this week's spoiler tweet, and our new origin.

As with the civic above, Pleasure Seekers also have a mirror-version for megacorporations.

Clone Army

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What do you do when you outlive your usefulness/your creators? That is the question you can dive into with the Clone Army origin.

As Clone Soldiers, your empire will be perfectly suited for warfare, even though you may not currently have any enemies. Your lives and continued existence will depend on your Ancient Clone Vat buildings, which support your population.

image (4).png

Did we mention that there is a limit to how many Ancient Clone Vats you can have in your empire at the same time? There is, it is 5.

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Now, you could be a good little clone-soldier and simply wage war as you were designed to, or, you could dive into the secrets of your own history, that choice will be left to you for every playthrough.

Oh, you can also combine Clone Army with both Masterful Crafters and Pleasure Seekers.

One more thing worth mentioning, all 3 of those additions are NOT portrait-locked. Some have ethic or competing civic restrictions though.

----

And with that, I shall leave you be for this week and I hope to see you for the next dev diary.
 
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Objulen

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No, TV doesn't work like that. Most "bonuses to jobs" don't work on TV. Stability does because it only specifically works on a planet's TV. And there simply aren't that many TV bonuses compared to energy bonuses, "resources from jobs" bonuses, etc.

+50% from "traditions/ethics"? What are you talking about? Fanatic Xenophile is 20%. Diplomacy has 10%. Nobody is getting +50% from "traditions/ethics", and hardly anybody is getting more than 10%.

Fanatic Xenophile gives you 20%. Mercantile Traditions will give you 20% after they're implemented. Free Traders (Mega Corps) gives you 10%. Mercantile Diplomacy gives you 10%. A Trade League gives you 5% per level. Later on, Galactic Stock Exchanges gives you an additional 20%. Realistically, you can start an empire with a 30%-40% TV bonus and quickly build up to 50%-60%, and get even more with a Trade League. Overall, getting 80%-100% TV + Stability by the late game is easily achievable for a mercantile build.

However, it does mean that you'll need to focus on Trade to really get much out of it, especially once getting Unity or CG out of TV will be tradition gated, or sneak into a Trade League. Most empires will get less and less out of TV as the game progresses, though they might get some decent Unity or CG returns later on if they take Mercantile Traditions later in the game - anyone can get those and a Galactic Stock Exchange, netting a 40% bonus + Stability. When/if Unity becomes more central to the game, using TV for Unity generation may become very useful.
 
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zZander56

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No, TV doesn't work like that. Most "bonuses to jobs" don't work on TV. Stability does because it only specifically works on a planet's TV. And there simply aren't that many TV bonuses compared to energy bonuses, "resources from jobs" bonuses, etc.

+50% from "traditions/ethics"? What are you talking about? Fanatic Xenophile is 20%. Diplomacy has 10%. Nobody is getting +50% from "traditions/ethics", and hardly anybody is getting more than 10%.
I didn't mention any bonuses to jobs outside of Thrifty, which specifically *does* increase TV. You may not see it in the breakdown when hovering over a job's production because it increase the *base* production, unlike other modifiers. Look at a Metallurgist job the next time you have an upgraded alloy forge. In the breakdown it doesn't list "+1 alloys", the base just increases from 3 to 4. It's the same with Thrifty. Right now a clerk will go from producing 4 TV to producing 5 before other bonuses.

It's true that other bonuses to jobs in general don't apply, which is a little disappointing.

Also, as far as bonuses outside of Thrifty, this is what I had in mind when mentioning a reasonable bonus:
+10% from Xenophile
+10% from Mercantile
+10% from Open Markets (swap this for +20% after the patch)
+(around)12% from stability
+10% from Free Traders

There's a ton of other modifiers in the game, but not everyone will have them. Swap Free Traders for the bonuses from a 2nd level Trade League and a resolution if you want. In addition to this, if you're playing Void Dweller, it's pretty reasonable to get an additional +20% from the trade designation on your trade habitat. Keep in mind that I was talking about a trade build, not a regular build. A regular build can expect something around +20%, maybe a little more from miscellaneous modifiers.

In terms of TV bonuses not comparing to Technician bonuses, I absolutely agree. The thing about TV though is that it produces consumer goods alongside energy at a rate that isn't maintainable if one is just buying from the market. This saves the user pops due to the lack of artisan jobs, which also means the user needs less miner jobs. In addition, if the user is in a Trade League, TV can completely negate the need for any unity jobs, thereby saving consumer goods while also getting through traditions very quickly. You also have to remember that 10% of all of this goes to your allies due to commercial pacts, which can actually become quite substantial later in the game. I've had multiplayer lobbies in which simply breaking a commercial pact would crash another's economy due to the 100 effective trade value the lost, which came from my 1000. That's 50 energy and 25 consumer goods that were appearing from nothing.
 
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Lorenerd11

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As for the pop growth bonus from the Entertainer with Pleasure Seekers civic, I feel like it would make more sense if they added +2% pop growth instead. +1% is basically nothing.
 

Dragatus

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So I can have fungus Clone Armies.
I must misunderstand the purpose of a species pack then, since said addition to that species pack is not bound to the species in that species pack?

We already have the precedent of Necroids that add various civic and an origin that are thematically related to the portraits but do not actually require them. The idea behind species packs is that the content is thematically related, but it will only be portrait locked in specific cases where it would feel illogical if it wasn't.

Chemical Bliss is acceptable with GG 4 and 5. It wouldn't be much different than that.

Chemical Bliss is a fully equal standard. It has the same CG upkeep for rulers, specialists, workers, and slaves. Decadent Lifestyle on the other hand is still stratified, with specialists getting only half as much as rulers and workers only half as much as specialists..

The GG logic currently is that at stage 4 living standards are allowed if the workers get as much as specialists and at stage 5 only fully equal living standards under which everyone has the same CG upkeep are allowed. Following that logic GG4 should outlaw Decadent Lifestyle.

But this costs a Civic slot, and is thematically similar.

The civic also adds bonuses to Entertainers and Servants. IMO those should be the primary benefit of the civic (and buffed if necessary) while the living standard should be made balanced.

Though I'd go a step further and not have the new living standard at all. Instead I'd rather have increased CG consumption and a happiness bonus be part of the civic itself. This would allow for combining it with various existing living standards to create different flavors of hedonism, from a decadent stratified society to a hedonistic utopian abundance.
 
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Ferrus Animus

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While this is technically true, it can also be taken to a reductive extreme. Technically, you don't want researchers or mettalurgists either, but you need them to get more alloys and research. While CGs are more of a means to an end, you'll need them. So the real question is - opportunity cost.

Yes and no.
Research and alloys (and minerals and energy to a lesser degree) are resources you consume to do stuff. Build things and get new techs respectively. Even if they are also used for maintenance.
CG are a resource that is used for maintenance primarily (and the luxury planetary decision). Getting a million research gives you more techs equal to that value, getting a million alloys gets you fleets and space statiosn equal to that value. Getting a million CG gives you....the lack fo need to produce them until they're used up.

The difference is that more researchers and metallurgists are always good, they have the lowest opportunity cost, whereas Artisans have a natural soft cap, beyond which there is little use for them. That's why boosting them is a bit of a meh effect for a civic.
Because the effect is that you shift a few artisans to metallurgists as a result, whereas a bonus to alloys means you get to do more space stuff.

The direct cmpetition here is Meritocracy. Master Crtafters gives you a lot of things, like extra building slots, small amounts of trade adn engineering and +16% cumulative to CG production. Meritocracy gives you an additive bonus of +10%, which is less, but to CG, alloys and research. The latter two will sum up to much more than shifting ~30 artisans into the respective jobs especially late game.
 
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grisamentum

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While this is technically true, it can also be taken to a reductive extreme. Technically, you don't want researchers or mettalurgists either, but you need them to get more alloys and research. While CGs are more of a means to an end, you'll need them. So the real question is - opportunity cost.
This is just such a deep misunderstanding of what's being discussed, I'm not sure how to continue this conversation.
 
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Critical Ethics

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While this is technically true, it can also be taken to a reductive extreme. Technically, you don't want researchers or mettalurgists either, but you need them to get more alloys and research. While CGs are more of a means to an end, you'll need them. So the real question is - opportunity cost.
It's not that reductive. Look at it this way: You can never have "excess" research, because there's always something to research. You can never have "excess" alloys, because you will always have something important to feed alloys into. Alloys and research are entirely "Supply" based because "Demand" is practically infinite. For CG and food though it's quite possible for supply to outstrip demand, meaning there's a point where the benefit of employing another crafter drops off a cliff.

That said, this doesn't necessarily mean it's underpowered, just that it's niche. If you drop Master Crafters into a random empire it will probably perform considerably worse than something more broadly useful, but if you take play into options that increase demand like the wasteful trait, high living standards, lots of CG-costing jobs etc. then you can offset the usual cost of these choices with Masterful Crafters' improved efficiency and non-CG side benefits. The question is if it will be possible under the Lem economy to boost demand high enough such that it's comparable to or better than just getting +10% to all those alloy and researcher jobs.
 
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Tannhäuser Cake

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The Pleasure Seekers civic has GLORIOUS potential, but some things in the design seem counter-productive to the concept. For instance, one might expect a pleasure-seeking society to be built on a foundation with a large servant class (whether enslaved, employed or something in-between) with entertainers as the heart of its culture. However, the massive amenities bonus to servants would practically make them equals of entertainers in amenity production (4+5 from servants, 10 from entertainers), meaning that empires with the civic would need fewer servants and entertainers than other empires. At the same time, servants are unavailable for non-enslaving empires, partially neutering the civic unless the empire is either non-xenophilic authoritarian or xenophobic. Additionally, with the Slaver Guilds civic being excluded, Decadent Lifestyle empires will always start the game without a single servant unless those specific ethics are combined with certain origins that require other DLCs (Syncretic Evolution from Utopia, Necrophage from Necroids).

Based on these premises, I would like to propose some small tweaks to the "Pleasure Seekers" civic and the "Decadent Lifestyle" living standard.
  • The living standard substantially increases the base amenity upkeep per free pop, while it stays at 0.75 for slaves (and -25% for free non-citizen residents).
    • This ensures that the Pleasure Seekers empire will have a proper incentive to have more servants and entertainers than other empires.
      https://stellaris.paradoxwikis.com/Population#Amenities
    • An unsatisfied elite (or unsatisfied free populace) is always bad news for stability. With greater expectations come greater demands and, as far as societies are concerned, the sense of entitlement is strong with this one...
  • The civic swaps clerk jobs for servant jobs,
    and does not give servants +5 amenities production,
    but instead gives servants +2 trade production
    .
    • A servant would produce 4 amenities and 2 trade; a clerk produces 2 amenities and 4 trade.
      https://stellaris.paradoxwikis.com/Jobs#Servant
      https://stellaris.paradoxwikis.com/Jobs#Clerk
    • Swapping clerk jobs for servant jobs allows egalitarian xenophile Pleasure Seekers empires to use servants, although in a more limited and costly fashion than what slavery allows, thereby allowing the civic to work properly for empires of all ethics - even fanatic purifiers. Socioeconomically, being a non-enslaved servant would be just like being employed in any other worker-level job.
    • It would also be possible for Pleasure Seekers empires to start a game with servants without needing the Utopia or Necroid DLCs.
    • Swapping clerks for servants will go a fair way towards satisfying the living standard's demand for amenities. The trade bonus helps make the job swap less dramatic, while also reflecting how servants have a more integral role in the economy and transactions of this society, regardless of whether they are free or enslaved. The servants that less pleasant empires gain from Domestic Servitude are mostly domestic in scope, while this civic goes above and beyond that.
    • Besides the fact that a massive amenity bonus would equally massively reduce the number of servants and entertainers any given planet would need, thereby making those jobs less frequent, it can also be argued that if a society favours consumption of something, and therefore also the production of that thing, it does not necessarily mean that it gets more efficient at it (could be the opposite). What we can be sure of is only that it would make up a bigger portion of the economy.
  • The civic gives entertainers and servants +1 unity production.
    • The civic essentially says that these two jobs embody the core of what this society and culture is about. The civic should therefore give both of them +1 unity, similar to how Police State gives enforcers +1 unity, Citizen Service gives soldiers +2 unity, Exalted Priesthood gives priests +1 unity, Technocracy gives researchers +1 unity, Merchant Guilds gives merchants +2 unity, and Byzantine Bureaucracy gives bureaucrats +1 unity.
  • The civic swaps culture worker jobs for entertainer jobs, and gives entertainers +1 society research production (and the unity bonus above).
    • An entertainer would produce 10 amenities, 3 unity and 1 society research; a culture worker produces 3 unity and 3 society research.
      https://stellaris.paradoxwikis.com/Jobs#Entertainer
      https://stellaris.paradoxwikis.com/Jobs#Culture_Worker
    • This would be done to reflect that the entertainers are the beating heart of this culture. The boundary between culture and entertainment is blurry even in contemporary human society, and in a pleasure-seeking society the boundaries would be eroded so hard from both sides that the roles end up truly indistinguishable; entertainment is culture and culture must be entertaining.
    • The culture buildings would remain as they are, rather than being blocked completely.
      • Visually, this further drives home the point that in this society, culture = entertainment.
      • This would also give this society a unique amenities advantage as the tier III culture building would effectively function as a tier III amenities building, something no other empire can achieve. Spiritualist pleasure seekers would be blocked from this, however, as they replace culture buildings with temple buildings (but they could be compensated with the pleasure priests suggestion below).
      • This would also easen the transition to meeting the amenity demands whenever new populations get decadent living standards forced upon them; their cultural sites would just get repurposed for more entertaining purposes as their culture workers learn how to be less bookwormish and more entertaining.

Some additional tweaks that could also be considered:
  • The civic should also give priests a population growth bonus, now that they are pleasure priests.
    • Perhaps even +2% rather than +1%, since entertainers only offer a series of passing indulgences and inspirations while the pleasure priests encourage the vigilant pursuit of pleasure as a moral imperative, telling their flocks that their deities are watching them closely and don't want to be let down (in societies with slavery, population growth among the servants also affects the servants per priest ratio, but this is obviously only accidental and not an ulterior motive for the sermons).
  • The civic should not exclude the Slaver Guilds civic.
    • Conceptually, these two civics seem to fit together perfectly. It is not immediately apparent why they should be exclusive, why a Pleasure Seekers empire should not be able to use its own pops as enslaved servants.
    • Without this change, it remains impossible for Pleasure Seekers empires to start with enslaved servants unless you also have the Utopia and/or Necroid DLCs (as they enable origins that allow you to start with enslavable xeno pops). This unwritten requirement feels wrong for a Humanoids DLC feature civic.
  • The civic should result in the best resort worlds in the galaxy.
    • If clerks are swapped for servants, Pleasure Seekers resort worlds would fall behind in trade value.
    • The smaller change would be to just have resort worlds give "everyone" +2 trade production from servants, which would become 4 with this civic.
      • Resort worlds of empires with this civic would then produce the same amount of trade as with clerks, but with a superior amenity production.
    • The bigger change would be to make all resort worlds swap clerks for servants, and give everyone +2 trade production from servants (=4 with this civic).
      • Resort worlds would become "Pleasure Seeker" worlds for other empires, but Pleasure Seekers empires would make theirs better.
  • The civic could add servant jobs to Luxury Residences and Paradise Domes.
    • It would give Pleasure Seekers empires an additional incentive to build them, and provide an alternative source of servants.
    • (Perhaps these buildings should provide servant jobs for every empire, not just for Pleasure Seekers empires? It would seem thematically appropriate for what the buildings represent. It would also have significant implications for resort worlds, and could make the above resort world proposal pointless.)
      https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/threads/what-if-luxury-residences-created-servant-jobs.1488347/
  • The living standard should perhaps not require the civic.
    • Adding a civic-unique living standard does not really offer any gameplay value over just including the effects of the living standard in the civic to begin with.
    • It would mean a greater addition of gameplay value, as it would be used more frequently. It would be a bigger selling point for the Humanoids DLC. Rather than the update being "adds 2 civics and 1 origin", it would be "adds 2 civics, 1 origin and a new living standard".
    • A game design advantage of separating the living standard and the civic is that it becomes much easier to balance the living standard and ensure consistency versus other living standards.
    • With the main suggestions earlier in this post, the civic would still have an advantage when it comes to the living standard - it would be more capable of meeting the higher amenity requirements than most other empires.
  • The halved housing usage of servants should perhaps be reconsidered for non-enslaved servants, though there is real-world precedent for keeping it.
 
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Thetazytron

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Is the clone army compatible with the imperial government type? I think it makes sense for them to be mutually exclusive.
 

zZander56

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Jan 4, 2019
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Is the clone army compatible with the imperial government type? I think it makes sense for them to be mutually exclusive.
Eh, I could see it. One clone associates with certain clones and trains a protege he selects himself who is put in power once his time is up. My first thought was that a dynasty wouldn't be possible without children, but I could see it.
 
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DeanTheDull

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Eh, I could see it. One clone associates with certain clones and trains a protege he selects himself who is put in power once his time is up. My first thought was that a dynasty wouldn't be possible without children, but I could see it.
I mean, the principle is the same as any fight over a rightful heir- he who controls the means of reproduction controls the reproduced, and he who controls the reproduced controls the future. Children or clueless new clones just following orders, same thing.

While 'clone army' implies order and discipline and uniformity, you could just as well have a barely-united hierarchy of factious warlords, cadres of commanders who vie for control of the most forces under their own command. Backstabbing, factionalism, rogue elements, the whole nine yards, just to get control of more men, and more reinforcements.

In that 'less than uniform' army that fights over who gets the biggest share of the new clones, whoever controls the clone machines themselves- and these are irreplaceable wonders- could control the entire society by simply directing the new reinforcements to their own faction and denying reinforcements to the enemy. It'd probably start as a oligarchy before being seized as a dictatorship, but when you standardize the hand-over in a system based around it, you have an Empire hierarchy in all-but-name, and a succession system akin to Roman Empire where (successful) Emperors passed down to adopted sons as much or more the blood-kin. (Not lest because their 'adopted' heirs were often already powerful leaders with their own power bases in alliance. The clone 'heir' being an heir chosen for alliance and personal agreeableness?)
 

Objulen

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Chemical Bliss is a fully equal standard. It has the same CG upkeep for rulers, specialists, workers, and slaves. Decadent Lifestyle on the other hand is still stratified, with specialists getting only half as much as rulers and workers only half as much as specialists..

The GG logic currently is that at stage 4 living standards are allowed if the workers get as much as specialists and at stage 5 only fully equal living standards under which everyone has the same CG upkeep are allowed. Following that logic GG4 should outlaw Decadent Lifestyle.
That's true, though I'm not sure that keeping your pops compliant by drugging them out is really in-line with the spirit of the resolution chain. Brave New World was a dystopia, not a worker's paradise.

On the other hand, Pleasure Seekers gives all your pops the same 20% happiness boost, so the workers are enjoying their largess as much as Utopian Abundance amd tjeor

The civic also adds bonuses to Entertainers and Servants. IMO those should be the primary benefit of the civic (and buffed if necessary) while the living standard should be made balanced.

Though I'd go a step further and not have the new living standard at all. Instead I'd rather have increased CG consumption and a happiness bonus be part of the civic itself. This would allow for combining it with various existing living standards to create different flavors of hedonism, from a decadent stratified society to a hedonistic utopian abundance.
I'm not sure how well that would work. You give some kind of pop-wide happiness bonus to Entertainers and Servants, but that's not a pleasure seeking civilization, but a civic about really effective entertainers and servants.

The difference is that more researchers and metallurgists are always good, they have the lowest opportunity cost, whereas Artisans have a natural soft cap, beyond which there is little use for them. That's why boosting them is a bit of a meh effect for a civic.
Because the effect is that you shift a few artisans to metallurgists as a result, whereas a bonus to alloys means you get to do more space stuff.

Except that researchers need CGs for pop upkeep and job upkeep. Unless you're floating your researcher's costs in trade, then you will need to continue getting more Artisans and you keep getting more researchers. There is no real soft cap other than the total pop soft cap, just improving CG production efficiency.

The direct cmpetition here is Meritocracy. Master Crtafters gives you a lot of things, like extra building slots, small amounts of trade adn engineering and +16% cumulative to CG production. Meritocracy gives you an additive bonus of +10%, which is less, but to CG, alloys and research. The latter two will sum up to much more than shifting ~30 artisans into the respective jobs especially late game.
Meritocracy is only competition for empires with Democratic/Oligarchical governments, and only then if you don't have a 2nd civic that is also a better option. And then there's the 3rd option later on.

I already mentioned that Meritocracy was a better option (and Technocracy) if your empire can get them, mostly because getting and extra 10% from ALL your researchers/artisans/metallurgists by 10%. Individually, the benefits are quite minimal, but an extra 0.8, 0.5, and 0.4/0.4/0.4 CGs/Alloys/Research per pop adds up across an empire.

So we're not really comparing them to Master Crafters - we're comparing all the other 3rd civics, or civics your empire could get if it doesn't qualify for either Technocracy or Meritocracy.

It's not that reductive. Look at it this way: You can never have "excess" research, because there's always something to research. You can never have "excess" alloys, because you will always have something important to feed alloys into. Alloys and research are entirely "Supply" based because "Demand" is practically infinite. For CG and food though it's quite possible for supply to outstrip demand, meaning there's a point where the benefit of employing another crafter drops off a cliff.

It can get reductive at a point, because, not wanting pops doesn't mean you don't need them. You still technically don't want researchers or metallurgists, but you have to have them. And so you need CGs to pay for research, and you need minerals to pay for CGs for research and for alloys. And you need food to feed them, energy to support buildings, and so on and so forth It becomes reductive when you're basically dismissing an entire segment of your economy that you can't actually do without unless you figure out a way to actually do without it - and that will only be an option for mercantile empires after the changes tradition changes are implemented. As it is, Artisans will always be needed because reserachers need CGs for pop consumption research production.

Because there is always something to buy, you can't have excess research. However, you can have excess alloys, but to be fair you probably won't reach the point of alloy obsolescence until very close to the end of the game, so it's not really noticeable.

That said, this doesn't necessarily mean it's underpowered, just that it's niche. If you drop Master Crafters into a random empire it will probably perform considerably worse than something more broadly useful, but if you take play into options that increase demand like the wasteful trait, high living standards, lots of CG-costing jobs etc. then you can offset the usual cost of these choices with Masterful Crafters' improved efficiency and non-CG side benefits. The question is if it will be possible under the Lem economy to boost demand high enough such that it's comparable to or better than just getting +10% to all those alloy and researcher jobs.
The real question is how generically useful it ends up. For example, you could pick Byzantine Bureaucracy, and get, say a 5% stability boost and 5 extra Unity per planet, roughly. That's going to be a ~3% empire wide productivity boost, assuming you don't have other ways of capping stability across your planets.

That's a small enough bonus that it probably won't have much of an effect, especially for a late-game empire that already has significantly larger bonuses from other empires. As you mentioned, pop requirements for CGs is one of the better benefits of Masterful Crafters, and with the pop-soft cap, getting 12% to 15% of your Artisans back for other jobs is actually quite good when you're either trying to get the most of every pop or you're obscondng with other empire's pops and slowing down natural growth even further. The engineering research bonus, even if it's relatively low, say 300 per moth, is still very tasty icing, since engineering has the most repeatable techs.

The TV probably won't matter too much, but a few extra power still helps with late-game pop optimization, even if its only a few extra technicians doing other work. The only counterintuitive part will be if mercantile empires can float enough of their CG on TV that Artisans don't end up being a major part of their economy, which in tern makes Masterful Crafters ineffective for them.
 

Objulen

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This is just such a deep misunderstanding of what's being discussed, I'm not sure how to continue this conversation.
I'm not sure how you don't get what I'm saying. It's about the practicalities of supply chain management. If you have specific questions, please ask and I will clarify.

To begin with, simply put, you'd want pop-free research and alloys, just like you'd want CG free research and mineral free alloys. Or mineral free CGs. But unless you can float your empire's CG costs on TV, you can't cut out the pops making CGs, and the more researchers you have the more CGs you need, so more Artisans. So pop optimization for CG production is a real question unless your entire empire is built to do something like, potentially, cutting out most Artisans with TV.
 

Darklight731

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I see clones cannot be genetically modified.

Does that mean the Genetic Ascension path is almost useless to them - aside from just more Clone Vats? Wouldn't mastering genetics allow them to either remove the Clone Soldier trait or add onto it to create better Gene Warriors? Not sure about the limitation.

This buffs Synthetic Ascension even further, since you can just assimilate the clones and other pops, while keeping the clone army trait on a warrior caste. Genetic Ascension pops wouldn't be able to do that at all.
Agreed. I hope that, if someone from the developers reads this, they will make it so that one of the levels of genetic ascension would allow you to modify the clone soldier species.
 
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Tannhäuser Cake

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I am thinking about adding the bullet point below to my suggestion list above, after reading many of the feedback posts (here and elsewhere) about potential issues with the Decadent Lifestyle living standard. Thoughts? Opinions? Feedback?

  • The living standard should be tweaked, to make it more consistent, more unique and more integrated with the rest of the living standards system.
    • Happines scales +40/+20/+0, instead of +20/+20/+20.
      • Ruler pops would be at Chemical Bliss levels, specialists at Utopian Abundance levels, and workers at Decent Conditions levels.
      • Alternatively, +30/+15/+0; ruler pops are then between Utopian Abundance and Chemical Bliss levels, and specialists are at Academic Privilege levels.
    • Consumer Goods upkeep scales 2.0/0.75/0.25, instead of 1.1/0.55/0.275 (or 1.0/0.5/0.1 under Stratified Economy).
      • Ruler pops would consume twice as much as under Utopian Abundance and other living standards, specialist pops would be halfway between Decent Conditions and Utopian Abundance levels, and worker pops (non-slaves) would be at Decent Conditions levels.
    • Political power scales +700/+100/+0.
      • Same as for Decent Conditions, to take into account that this society either a) uses many slaves, meaning that non-slave workers are also part of the privileged group, or b) has a more egalitarian, non-slaving foundation where workers have a less weak position. The ruler pops' relatively low power, when compared to Stratified Economy, can be explained as the ruler pops spending more time on hedonistic pursuits and less on stabilizing society.
    • Decadent Lifestyle is not locked behind the Pleasure Seekers civic, but rather available for all standard empires.
      • Pleasure Seekers have a much easier time meeting the high amenities upkeep, mentioned in my post above, because of the servant and entertainer job swaps. The living standard will still be strongly associated with the civic, especially for non-slavers wishing to embrace hedonism.
    • Design considerations for the above
      • The current lack of a happiness gradient in Decadent Lifestyle is inconsistent with other living standards. The norm in Stellaris is that different levels of income/consumption correlate with different levels of happiness; when there is a gradient in one, there is a gradient in the other.
        • https://stellaris.paradoxwikis.com/Species_rights#Living_standards
        • Whether the workers enjoy Decadent Lifestyle privileges due to society approaching post-scarcity, or due to exploitation of other species, the fact remains that this society encourages following your desires and feelings of entitlement to a significantly greater degree than other societies. Even though worker pops may know that they should be happy for their privileged position relative to the slaves / the past / the workers in other empires, they still see the extravagant excesses of the upper and ruling classes, feeling envy and a desire for more that goes unfulfilled.
      • Decadent Lifestyle could be to Stratified Economy what Utopian Abundance is to Social Welfare; a desirable and superior living standard, but also more demanding and potentially dangerous to adopt if you are unable to meet its requirements.
      • If the living standard is designed in such a way that Pleasure Seekers have a natural advantage in it, it does not need to be locked behind the civic - Decadent Lifestyle could instead be a new potential social advancement for (mostly) authoritarians, similar to what Utopian Abundance is for prosperous egalitarians, while the civic offers both a significant shortcut and a way for non-authoritarians to indulge themselves.
        • The egalitarian faction's Anti-Stratification disapproval (-25) is only triggered by the Stratified Economy living standard specifically, while the authoritarian faction's Stratified Society approval (+10/-20) can be satisfied through species slavery; the living standard is currently compatible with both ethics. It is the most compatible with authoritarian and/or xenophobe politics, but just like Meritocracy (authoritarian, stratified oligarchies) there are some gray areas where other empires could make it work as well.
          https://stellaris.paradoxwikis.com/Factions#Factions
 
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Kiwibaum

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I was thinking: What if pleasure seakers doubles the boni/mali from amenities instead of giving a lifestyle? This would reduce the consumer goods costs but would require a lot of amenities to get the 20% bonus. It would keep the gradient of uneven living standards and the even ones of even living standarts.

This would probably be a bit of a nerf to it as it is now and might require a different addition. Either a buff to the servant and entertainer boni or another bonus coming from high amenities.