Hivemind Civics are Seriously Lacking

Hivemind Civics are Seriously Lacking

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Methone

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Why do you keep pushing a claim that's obviously and objectively false?
I don't think you understand what either of those words mean.

What makes an Assimilator similar to a Genocidal isn't that it assimilates. It's that it uses Total War to aggressively grab planets from other empires. Even if it DIDN'T have Total War, it's encouraged to aggressively war - encouraged so hard it's practically forced to - by the fact that A) Assimilating new pops gives it resources and B) Everyone and their mothers hates it for being a Dreaded Assimilator.

(This, mind you, is something that also happens with Barbaric Despoilers, whose civic is often insulted as being 'Purifier Lite')

And your suggestion is not meaningfully different from that. Even if I grant that it's not using Total War, you're forced - actually forced - to aggressively expand and takeover enemy worlds. Being able to "stop doing this in the lategame and just endlessly reterraform worlds" is no more an excuse than "Assimilators can stop in the lategame when they've snowballed enough that they don't need to care about other empires hating them". All your civic would be is 'Devouring Swarm Lite'.

Please learn the meaning of words and the basics of gameplay before you go insulting people.
 

Incompetent

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The way I see it, as a genocidal type (excluding Driven Assimilators for the moment) you're not forced to expand/conquer as such, although it is of course rewarding to do so. The mentality is more like that of a regular empire fighting the Endgame Crisis, except that for you, the first Crisis has already arrived in 2200 and consists of practically every other empire. It is your duty to destroy them, and they may be equally determined to destroy you, but they aren't really your 'prey' in the sense that you'd starve if they go extinct. Genocidal empires in Stellaris are not built on Raubwirtschaft to anything like the extent of, say, the Cravers from Endless Space 2, or even some real-life empires.

You could say that pops are the principal 'food' of empires in the current version of the game: they're the main thing you need to keep absorbing into your empire to keep getting stronger. I think in another thread, someone made the point that it's actually harder to beat the Endgame Crisis as a genocidal empire than as a non-genocidal empire: as a non-genocidal empire, you'll eventually conquer whoever you have to conquer and benefit from their centuries of population growth to bolster your own economy, whereas as a genocidal empire, you're very reliant on building up your own population (especially if you refrain from 'purge world' cheese and actually kill the pops you are supposed to purge). So in a sense, normal empires with boring civics are much more effective 'predators' at an empire scale than a Devouring Swarm ever could be.

One thing I find a little sad about Driven Assimilators (thematically speaking; I know that in 2.3, they are already monstrously OP in practice) is that they do eventually get upstaged in their trademark assimilation game: an empire with Synthetic Evolution and Colossus Project can effectively also play the game of converting every planet and its pops into their kind of place as soon as the army occupies it, except that instead of turning the organic population into rather makeshift cyborgs, they are converted into perfect mechanical incarnations of the empire's primary species (meaning they can never return to whatever organic species they belonged to before). It would be fun if some Machine Intelligences could eventually 'ascend' in a similar way, to achieve a more complete form of assimilation.