Ragnarok Ascendant

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Based off an earlier discussion about nomads. Cleaning it up a bit.


Origin: Nomadic Wayfarers

Desc:
Fleeing the destruction of their home planet, these survivors have adapted to a life among the stars and the void.

Requirements: Is not Xenopobe/Fanatic Xenophobe.

Special:
  • Starts with a unique 'Arkship' vessel that, while unarmed, is equipped with T2 sensors (to avoid jumping into enemies), and can carry pops, act as a shipyard, and can harvest resources.
  • Starts with a 'Harvester Ship' instead of a Construction Ship. This ship can harvest local resources, at a significantly increased rate compared to a normal mining station (so 2 minerals becomes 10, etc), but with diminishing returns over time that regenerate only when not used by a Harvest Ship. It costs 50 alloys. It can build two things via the same menu used for megastructures: another Arkship (requires Star Fortress and Habitat techs) and a Space Station (requires Citadel and Advanced Habitat techs) similar to those used by Enclaves.
  • Have massively increased resource storage.
  • Start with the Hydroponics Farm Technology.
  • Cannot build colony ships.
  • Cannot build defense platforms.
  • Species starts with Habitat Habitability.
  • Treaties have unique effects.
  • Treaties are not affected by distance (exception, vassalization)
The Arkship is upgraded on the 'planet' part of it by your various colony management techs, and can have its defenses upgraded to become a powerful force by researching what would be your starbase techs.

The Space Stations you build are basically the closest thing to 'normal' planets you have, acting like armed habitats. They passively collect resources and generate Trade Value for the system they're in, but they don't make pops. The similarity to a habitat is primarily that they're constructed like one, look like one, and need to be defended like one.

Commercial pacts allow you to access resources from host mining stations whenever you enter a system with your Arkships at the same rate you would for a Harvest Ship setting up there, in return for some of that boosted output going to the host. Migration treaties allow you to passively gain growth of host empire pops whenever you enter an inhabited system, as well as giving you the ability to build Space Stations in the empire's territory. Defensive Pacts are basically unchanged, but for obvious reasons are more meaningful given how you might be halfway across the galaxy, or be in the middle of what is now enemy territory. The Close Borders decision, when used against you, instead of Emergency FTLing away your ships for an indeterminate period of time, instantly deposits them in the closest non-closed star that is linked to at least one other non-closed-to-you star (this is to prevent your Arkships from being inaccessible). Vassalizing mostly just means a passive general resource buff, but comes with a problem - if you're too far away from the empire you've vassalized, they might rebel. Research agreements are unchanged.

Nomadic Wayfarers are going to, by necessity, operate on a boom-bust economy as the game progresses - siphoning resources from local systems at high rates, then running off that stock until they reach a new resource vein. Minerals are going to be your biggest downfall as you will have no way to produce them locally (generators and hydroponics can cover for your other two 'main' resources, but minerals are gonna hurt you). Similarly, strategic resources will be a pain. This can be alleviated by building Space Stations, but it still won't be enough to run an entire economy on at the point at which you get Space Stations.

You're going to be reliant on diplomacy and keeping empires tolerating you in order to stay relevant in the late game, due to needing their resources and their space. Overall, this would play a lot like a megacorp (and could maybe be done as a megacorp overall). However, your fleet assets are going to be pretty darn ridiculous, and I would personally balance the Arkship after achieving maximum techs (Citadel, all the weapon tiers, etc) somewhere around Titans for sheer firepower.
You're going to need all of that, as despite your relative power, you lack the survivability of other empires. If you lose your fleet, you will have a lot of trouble replacing it on your own, and your ships will be vulnerable.

Interactions with other Nomadic Wayfarers get interesting. Between the two of you, Migration and Commercial Pacts have different effects. A Migration Pact between two Wayfarers works more like traditional Migration Pacts between normal empires, allowing the other species to grow on your Arkships (as your two sides can send ships whenever, wherever). Commercial Pacts, on the other hand, boost both of your resource-gathering efforts: your partner will get a little boost to whatever you're currently harvesting, and vice-versa, to represent you sending a cut of your stuff to them and vice-versa.

Interactions with the Caravaneers are largely unchanged despite losing out on some of the 'put resource extractor on X planet' events and instead getting things like 'we will provide you maps to a new system' or 'here's an engine booster for Arkship B here'.

BTW, killing the Ether Drake and putting a Space Station in its system counts towards the triggers for the Dragonscale Armor and Baby Ether Drake events.
 
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zZander56

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Would love to see some sort of nomadic authority or origin in the future, though it does seem like a difficult thing to implement. It would synergize very well with Megacorps, as the massive price bump of branches from distance would be easily avoidable.
 

Reedstilt

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I've always wanted a Nomadic civilization option (and really want the old Nomads to return to the game). Would these Nomads be able to build regular outposts or would they be completely unable to claim territory for themselves? Since you mention that they're dependent on other people's territory, I'd assume not, but if that's the case I see room for additional overhauls. Without outposts, they shouldn't get the Starbase or Habitats Techs at all. Those should be completely swapped out for a chain of Techs buffing their Arkships and Space Station. I'm a little confused on the intent of the Space Stations as well, since you mention them filling the niche like planets and essentially being armed habitats, but they also don't produce Pops. Do they have Pops living on them, but they don't grow? I'm kind of picturing dropping a handful of Pops off on a Station, but having their happiness decay overtime after the Arkship departs the system, representing their growing wanderlust. They'd get a big boost of happiness when the Arkship returns, representing a new batch of nomads taking for over for those on board the station while the prior Pops there rejoin the Arkship. No Pops would actually move, of course; the Happiness modifier on the Station would just get refreshed and the tooltip would explain the lore reason for it.

I could also see, if you've allowed unrest on your Station going on too long and a rebellion happens, those pops could break away and turn the station in to a new Arkship, becoming a rival band of Nomads. But if there's no actual Pops on the station, this becomes irrelevant.
 
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Incompetent

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I think a truly nomadic playable empire would be a huge amount of work to implement in Stellaris, but what I would like to see is the option of mobile habitats, possibly granted by an ascension perk or as part of the Void Dwellers origin. In terms of how it would work in-game, you take a decision on your colonized Habitat to "unanchor" it, turning it into an FTL-capable ship, but the features of that habitat including its pops are stored. (For simplicity, the colony would probably be simply taken out of the economy while in transit; a more sophisticated model might let the colony continue to produce and consume goods, but that would get extremely complicated.) The ship can then be "anchored" at a suitable planet, which re-establishes the colony as it was before, except that some of the resource districts may be lost (e.g. if you moved from a mineral deposit to an energy deposit, obviously your astro-mining bays are no longer functional). This would allow you to do things like redeploy fortress habitats to adjust for border changes, evacuate a system that is about to be conquered, or just take all your habitats and relocate everyone to the L-Cluster in the mid-game for the memes. You could even have refugee habitats arriving in your territory from empires that got destroyed.
 
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Ragnarok Ascendant

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I've always wanted a Nomadic civilization option (and really want the old Nomads to return to the game). Would these Nomads be able to build regular outposts or would they be completely unable to claim territory for themselves? Since you mention that they're dependent on other people's territory, I'd assume not, but if that's the case I see room for additional overhauls. Without outposts, they shouldn't get the Starbase or Habitats Techs at all. Those should be completely swapped out for a chain of Techs buffing their Arkships and Space Station. I'm a little confused on the intent of the Space Stations as well, since you mention them filling the niche like planets and essentially being armed habitats, but they also don't produce Pops. Do they have Pops living on them, but they don't grow? I'm kind of picturing dropping a handful of Pops off on a Station, but having their happiness decay overtime after the Arkship departs the system, representing their growing wanderlust. They'd get a big boost of happiness when the Arkship returns, representing a new batch of nomads taking for over for those on board the station while the prior Pops there rejoin the Arkship. No Pops would actually move, of course; the Happiness modifier on the Station would just get refreshed and the tooltip would explain the lore reason for it.

I could also see, if you've allowed unrest on your Station going on too long and a rebellion happens, those pops could break away and turn the station in to a new Arkship, becoming a rival band of Nomads. But if there's no actual Pops on the station, this becomes irrelevant.

Unable to build new ones.

Space Stations are basically a player version of the various enclave and trader stations already in the game - they are heavily armed, fight hostiles, and don't really have a huge pop investment. You cost 1 pop (sounds like not much but it actually is since your pop count with this origin will be very small) to build, plus of course a good chunk of alloys. Their building chains are all non-job-producing and they basically act as resource makers depending on what planet you plunk them on, with the solitary pop representing the large crew that keeps the station running.

I like your idea of happiness mechanics.
 

OnyxAbussos

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1. YES to the general idea. The following points are just about details, but I say Yes to the larger concept and mechanics.

2. I'd have the Ark ships / Craftworlds be unarmed. That's what the Fleet is for. Make the Ark be mostly just like a Habitat, but sloooooowly mobile. You're kinda dealing with a giant cruise ship with a big construction / industrial bay.

3. I don't see why it would be banned for xenophobes. Yes, it would make for a difficult time, but flavor and logic would work fine with it. "Xenos blew up our homeworld and banished us to live in these arcs, so dont trust any of them." Or if you think about the Eldar, while they dont really hate xenos, they would really rather never deal with them. Kind of a Nomadic Inward Perfection thing, kinda sorta. Likewise, the Quarians really dont trust outsiders, and and the BSG humans definitely demonstrate some xenophobia, and it takes them 5 seasons to switch to xenophilia (kinda sorta you know what I'm pointing towards).

4. BANDIT KINGDOM that goes around Raiding your resources and stealing your pops to live and toil on its giant industrial cruise ship of misery.

5. DEVOURING SWARM that moves TO the food of other people's planets with all those juicy pops. Om nom nom nom. Real mega locusts... (insert every sci fi reference ever). And if they were Terravores, they could even eat the planets themselves too and seriously leave like 0 resources behind. If they were DE"s, you could name them Gray Goo (nvmnd, that's what the Tempest is).
 
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Ragnarok Ascendant

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I don't see why it would be banned for xenophobes. Yes, it would make for a difficult time, but flavor and logic would work fine with it. "Xenos blew up our homeworld and banished us to live in these arcs, so dont trust any of them." Or if you think about the Eldar, while they dont really hate xenos, they would really rather never deal with them. Kind of a Nomadic Inward Perfection thing, kinda sorta. Likewise, the Quarians really dont trust outsiders, and and the BSG humans definitely demonstrate some xenophobia, and it takes them 5 seasons to switch to xenophilia (kinda sorta you know what I'm pointing towards).
Given that a large portion of your economy is probably going to be dependent on good diplomatic relations with other empires, it seemed a poor idea to run with Xenophobes - in addition, the Nomads are defined by exploration and discovery, which, well, aren't very xenophobe ideas. A xenophobic empire is going to probably end up losing out in the long run as other empires occupy space and close off borders.
 

OnyxAbussos

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Given that a large portion of your economy is probably going to be dependent on good diplomatic relations with other empires, it seemed a poor idea to run with Xenophobes - in addition, the Nomads are defined by exploration and discovery, which, well, aren't very xenophobe ideas. A xenophobic empire is going to probably end up losing out in the long run as other empires occupy space and close off borders.
Totes.
I meant more like, just because it's a bad idea doesn't mean it should be not allowed. Like you can play a Lithoid Ringworld if you wanna. Or you can make your founder species Repugnsnt, Nonadaptive, Unruly, AND Slow Breeders as your starting traits if you damn well please. Or Repugnant Hivemind. It's a bad idea, but you can try it you wanna. It's not conceptually contradictory, just HARD.

But for real, this is just a tiny implementation issue. I freaking love your overall set-up. LOVE IT.
 
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Would love to see some sort of nomadic authority or origin in the future, though it does seem like a difficult thing to implement. It would synergize very well with Megacorps, as the massive price bump of branches from distance would be easily avoidable.
[[EDIT: Ok, so this starts off saying "here's why No," but as it progresses I end up convincing myself and building a case for "Yes, and we could make it go like this for maximum boobs." So bear with it.]]

So...
1. Yes.
2. But then again two things that font sit right with me for having the Nomads be an MC.
A. Nomads wouldnt do a Branch Office. Like a branch office is the opposite of what a nomad would do. Probably same for the proposed Space Stations. Its antithetical to their nature.
B. Thinking conceptually, a Nomadic MC doesn't *really* make any sense. A business that is 100% mobile with no permanent assets. The closest earth equivalent would be a travelling circus. We can picture that, right? Going from place to place and providing entertainment to the location for cash and then leaving. But there's no Branch Office involved there. Sure, it's a mobile company, but it only does business right where it is.
C. Like even if we model it after the [cultural stereotype that is problematic] of a "band of gypsies," they're really not a corporation. They're a FAMILY. So the concept of branch offices doesn't really work.

3. Well... returning to the traveling circus... the Caravan IS it's own branch office. So it doesn't establish branches around the world. It is a single branch that moves itself to a new city... DUDE.
A. So you could literally do it that way. Ark = mobile branch. It has it's own normal buildings. It ALSO has it's own branch buildings. Those branch buildings only provide their bonus to the nomad when it is parked at a planet. [Again combined with the big initial bonus that drops over time]. The extra jobs that branch buildings provide are added to the PLANET the ark is parked over. But the building bonuses go to the ark. Or maybe to both?? Cuz, thinking about the Criminal buildings, the crime malus wouod also obviously go to the planet.
B. Ok yeah, so the building bonuses go to BOTH. Like when an Ark is parked at a planet, it acts like the Ark's branch is on both of them. REALLY good for business and trade for BOTH parties (unless criminal). But it diminishes, and when moving, the nomad gets no bonus.
C. So the Influence or Unity cost for branches would be a small amount paid each time th he nomad parks at a planet. To represent making deals and forming contacts with the locals. Once unparked, ,the nomad would have to pay again to park at the same planet. The connection is gone cuz they packed up and left.
D. Criminals not parked at a planet would have their crime maluses applied to themselves instead of to the planet. But at least they could park at any planet unless the host empire declares war. [I think the criminal ones couldn't be blocked by closing borders. Works great to accommodate with the "no commercial treaties but you can branch on any planet you aren't at war with" thing.] I actually ESPECIALLY like this idea. Travelling crime family. Always unwelcome, but also not worth / difficult to kick out, plus you know they'll leave before your fleet gets there anyway...
E. I'm KINDA thinking that with a criminal caravan, a war declaration while they're in your territory would NOT bounce them out of your turf, or if you're the caravan, declaring war wouldnt bounce you. It would either just start the war the caravan where it is (so BOTH sides would always be nervous), or it would be like... You declare it, but the war cant start for a year or two, so it's like giving them a chance to leave. So it's like giving an ultimatum: "If you're not gone by morning I'll hunt you down."
F. Maybe a new CB where the whole cb is "GET OFF MY LAWN." If all the caravan's stuff leaves or if what's in the borders is killed, then the war is over. Or if the caravan surrenders, either all their stuff bounces or is auto-set on the shortest course out of the territory. Would actually close the borders, even to the criminals.
G. OMGZ... That CB replaces and includes the Humiliate cb. Includes the influence and happiness malus/bonus. OR... replaces (cuz it includes) the "close all your branches" cb. I think its called expropriation.
H. So the equivalent CB for the nomads would be like... a forced commercial pact. "You WILL let us park around your planets and fo business for the next 10 years." [Or whatever time scale].
Works great for the militarist MCs.
J. And the Hostile Takeover cb would be only slightly modified. Only one branch per planet, right? So you're kicking out the other MC and parking in its place, or earning the right to do that fir all those branches, fir the next 10 years. So you could go park where their branch is/was, with no need to pay the influence or unity cost of setting up shop. Their buildings would be demolished, since their "place" would be occupied by the Nomad's buildings on their ark.

4. You might think "wouldnt that encourage the nomad to stay parked?" No, because of the diminishing returns thing. You gotta park to do awesome business, but each port gets stale pretty quickly.
 
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