How do you play void dwellers?

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fourteenfour

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Apr 27, 2018
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I have tried two different void dwellers and currently am trying a Hive Void Dweller whom I named Grays - yeah those little dudes who seem to love to come to Earth but never pose for people with good camera.

Right off the start it appears it is bugged as I was short housing for four pops. That isn't too difficult to overcome but it does pretty much govern where I was spending my minerals.

To be up front I am not comfortable with habitat game play and have found my play so far to be mineral starved even when trying to focus my new habitats in mineral reach areas.

So my questions are
  • How often do you build new habitats?
    • say by decade how many are you trying to have?
  • Do you put much effort towards getting the tier 4 habitat expansion technology?
  • Is it normal to have nearly half the districts as housing?
  • What is the minimum number of major and minor orbitals space for you to build in a system?
    • Right now I tend to ignore anywhere I am cannot get some combination of six in total
 
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I wouldn't say that I'm outright an expert, but in my recent plays with Void Dwellers (primarily playing gestalt so my economy is a bit easier than usual), I'm staring out with as much alloy production as i can support out of my starting habitat, and my 2-3 first habitats is in mineral rich systems (ideally 3+, but if that's not possible, at least 2), and afterwards building my primary reseach hub, and trying to find a system with a ton of planets for major orbitals, for a ton of industry districts.

As i was also playing Guardian Cluster I didn't care about building breeding planets, but your milage may wary if you don't have that.
 
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- Build out the two guaranteed juicy systems
- Acquire a planet-compatible species
- Take Arcology Project
- Build out some Ecus
- Take Synthetic Ascension to get rid of habitability traits entirely
 
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I have tried two different void dwellers and currently am trying a Hive Void Dweller whom I named Grays - yeah those little dudes who seem to love to come to Earth but never pose for people with good camera.

Right off the start it appears it is bugged as I was short housing for four pops. That isn't too difficult to overcome but it does pretty much govern where I was spending my minerals.

To be up front I am not comfortable with habitat game play and have found my play so far to be mineral starved even when trying to focus my new habitats in mineral reach areas.

So my questions are
  • How often do you build new habitats?
    • say by decade how many are you trying to have?
  • Do you put much effort towards getting the tier 4 habitat expansion technology?
  • Is it normal to have nearly half the districts as housing?
  • What is the minimum number of major and minor orbitals space for you to build in a system?
    • Right now I tend to ignore anywhere I am cannot get some combination of six in total

I play a Megacorp 'Pirate Haven" Lithoid spec of Void Dweller so there are additional considerations above and beyond that pull on me but...

1. I usually try to fill my core sector at a 1 every 5 years clip. This gets to be 1 a decade after initial burst to a half dozen but game circumstances influence it - more planets and neighbors to take planets from, the less hab building to do.

The reasoning and the experience of 1 every 5 years is mostly contingency for not having planets and neighbors to take from. Its kinda easy to get stuck if you overestimate how much you will take and then dont, and then are way behind in Domestic Economy because you stopped building Habs after 6 of them.

2. Wider less so, taller more so. More planets than habs less so.

3. Depends on the function of the Hab but yes, for Building Slot oriented ones, absolutely. Most my Habs are either Trade Alloy or Trade Research oriented which have districts in their own right and have housing, so they might be 3/3/3 Housing/Purpose/Minerals after a Major Orbital built on Minerals. A really annoying fortress for naval cap and chokepoint...half housing at least and full fortress upgrades.

Worry about running out of housing when its actually a problem, dont prebuild anything you dont expect to fill like 3 months after, you do have to be more vigilant about this creep with 12 habs moreso than 6 planets. Its a growth problem planetlubbers dont really experience the same way as it turns out, most pops arent down to live in habs until later and most habbos dont like living on planets.

4. Lol I never thought about a bare min, but basically I always seek out Mineral w/ at least 1 other Mineral major orbital, and similar with research, and if I cant find that, too bad, hab has to go somewhere.

Okay, so a minor theory I have with Habs is that its always better to expand them outward first, then build them up as you absolutely have to, and to stop building them outward when you can do anything more cost effective to get another type of Production Center, through war, through megastructure, whatever. Their flexibility at expense is why theyre so cool and fun to me, but theyre not thaaaaaat great and too many habs is just annoying after a point administratively. Mineral woes is kinda weird but I admit I routinely go mineral and alloy heavy and damn research to hell until i have to...Pirate Haven talking though. Mineral woes do exist without Vassals and soing it all yourself but not early, like after youre into refining and upgrades and conquests of incredibly specific planets
 
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- Build out the two guaranteed juicy systems
- Acquire a planet-compatible species
- Take Arcology Project
- Build out some Ecus
- Take Synthetic Ascension to get rid of habitability traits entirely

I think its absolutely ridiculous to start in space as an origin and wind up doing the rote thing any other empire can do and often is the rote thing a lot of allegedly different playstyle empires always have with Ecus being The Thing Actually.

Ive tried various macro styles out, and the idea that you can main habs and aux planets is true and how it actually goes but theres a very real 'why even bother with habs' point if you beeline to ecus as a planetlubber and can aux habs when you need to? Why a whole origin for that?
 
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Another question on habitats, do you add the majors and minors immediately or focus more on getting the base habitat created? Now I understand there may be resources that demand an immediate orbital to be built.

One issue that caught me off guard is that it seems capital building improvements just happen once that tech is researched, I think that it is called Galactic Administration - it lets you upgrade the capital on size 10 planets. At least it seemed to happen as my deviancy immediately went to zero when I had the tech and it had been rising

As for finding some other specie for planets as a Gestalt that is pretty much mid game or later isn't it? either genetic or cybernetic ascension ?
 
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Another question on habitats, do you add the majors and minors immediately or focus more on getting the base habitat created? Now I understand there may be resources that demand an immediate orbital to be built.

One issue that caught me off guard is that it seems capital building improvements just happen once that tech is researched, I think that it is called Galactic Administration - it lets you upgrade the capital on size 10 planets. At least it seemed to happen as my deviancy immediately went to zero when I had the tech and it had been rising

As for finding some other specie for planets as a Gestalt that is pretty much mid game or later isn't it? either genetic or cybernetic ascension ?
Focus more on base hab because I dont have to pay in more time and alloys to start using them on top of mineral purchase of district. Situationally mineral habs will add a major immedietely but with a plan to resettle and crack those rocks pronto as circumstance requires
 
Essential mod: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=3144659471

  • How often do you build new habitats?
    • say by decade how many are you trying to have?

How many habs to create is really up to your strategy. Its entirely legitimate to make only a few and spend most of your influence on rushing AIs. Or mass produce alloys and spend all your influence on a hab in every system

  • Do you put much effort towards getting the tier 4 habitat expansion technology?
Not really. It's not worth rushing way ahead in your tech tiers and spending 20 years of research to get it. Bigger habitats are not needed so long as you are able to create more habitats to offload population to. Obviously get it when you can because its useful.

Is it normal to have nearly half the districts as housing?
Obviously depends a lot on what you are trying to make the habitat do, but that seems high to me. Building the extra housing does improve your pop growth though so if you can supply the jobs elsewhere its a good idea.

What is the minimum number of major and minor orbitals space for you to build in a system?
  • Right now I tend to ignore anywhere I am cannot get some combination of six in total
Habs are always useful, industrial districts are unlimited and you can always stuff a few research labs in even if you don't have research districts
 
Another question on habitats, do you add the majors and minors immediately or focus more on getting the base habitat created? Now I understand there may be resources that demand an immediate orbital to be built.

One issue that caught me off guard is that it seems capital building improvements just happen once that tech is researched, I think that it is called Galactic Administration - it lets you upgrade the capital on size 10 planets. At least it seemed to happen as my deviancy immediately went to zero when I had the tech and it had been rising

As for finding some other specie for planets as a Gestalt that is pretty much mid game or later isn't it? either genetic or cybernetic ascension ?

The trade-off here is between quality of life vs. in-game resources.

QoL you want to shift-click to build all your Orbitals because the UX for doing them incrementally is just so annoying. So if I have the alloys, it's a no-brainer to build them out ASAP.

But from the perspective of efficiently using in-game resources, you just want one (major or minor) orbital of whatever specialty you intend for the habitat's districts -- which you might have gotten for free if it's the major orbital that you get with the central hub.

And if you're building a Fortress Habitat (one of the two Habitat types which I regularly build) then you don't want any additional orbitals.
 
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I have tried two different void dwellers and currently am trying a Hive Void Dweller whom I named Grays - yeah those little dudes who seem to love to come to Earth but never pose for people with good camera.

Right off the start it appears it is bugged as I was short housing for four pops. That isn't too difficult to overcome but it does pretty much govern where I was spending my minerals.

To be up front I am not comfortable with habitat game play and have found my play so far to be mineral starved even when trying to focus my new habitats in mineral reach areas.

So my questions are
  • How often do you build new habitats?
    • say by decade how many are you trying to have?
  • Do you put much effort towards getting the tier 4 habitat expansion technology?
  • Is it normal to have nearly half the districts as housing?
  • What is the minimum number of major and minor orbitals space for you to build in a system?
    • Right now I tend to ignore anywhere I am cannot get some combination of six in total
I've dabbled in Void Dwellers, but it's important to figure out three characteristics

1) Is this a Hive Mind or a normal Empire? Hive Minds have a much easier time managing both their economy (no CGs mean more alloys or habitat construction, etc), but normal empires gain quite a bit from void dwelling.

2) Is this a Lithoid or non-Lithoid empire (and if the latter, does it immigrate food based pops or not?). Lithoids have a mix of features that both help and hurt habitat play (minimum habitability on planets is awesome, but low pop growth and eating the same matierial you research with and make alloys with kinda sucks), while non-Lithoids have to contend with Hydroponics being their only food source.

3) Are you rushing Tech (helps a lot with habitat expansion and other stuff) or Alloys (military rush for vassalization)? Void Dwellers can do both, but not both at once effectively early on.

Let me know which set of characteristics you fill and I'll give you real advice.
 
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I used to build out a habitat on every planet in my home system, then maybe one or two in a neighboring system and that was all I needed for the whole playthrough.

Obviously this is no longer viable.
 
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For a void hive you want catalytic as void dweller has huge mineral rng and catalytic just removes it

Also void dweller and hive have huge mineral needs compared to all other game builds which is why catalytic is mandatory

You will still need minerals for construction and research.

Avoid lithoid always for hive unless you are going for a terravore hive, that is the only time lithoid is okay for hive.

Build out with hive habitats not up remember you can have hundreds of habitats as a hive and they will cost you 0 empire size other empire will be paying at minimum of 2.5 empire size
 
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I've dabbled in Void Dwellers, but it's important to figure out three characteristics

1) Is this a Hive Mind or a normal Empire? Hive Minds have a much easier time managing both their economy (no CGs mean more alloys or habitat construction, etc), but normal empires gain quite a bit from void dwelling.

2) Is this a Lithoid or non-Lithoid empire (and if the latter, does it immigrate food based pops or not?). Lithoids have a mix of features that both help and hurt habitat play (minimum habitability on planets is awesome, but low pop growth and eating the same matierial you research with and make alloys with kinda sucks), while non-Lithoids have to contend with Hydroponics being their only food source.

3) Are you rushing Tech (helps a lot with habitat expansion and other stuff) or Alloys (military rush for vassalization)? Void Dwellers can do both, but not both at once effectively early on.

Let me know which set of characteristics you fill and I'll give you real advice.

On point 2, the most comeplling facet for Lithooooooids in Spaaaaaaaace! For me after a few Food Eater runs with Void Dweller, was that it simplified the allocation of building slots, districts, resource management, research choices, and this was under old system with the 3 hab start. Not having a bunk slot with hydroponics just to fill my pop bellies on one hab at start made sense. No food management, more focus for me.


It still is true, its more of a burden on actual minerals as resource but you can basically ignore food until you start getting Food Eaters, and starbase hydroponics themselves can carry their burden until Galactic Market ezpz, and then you might need a handful of dedicated food production if youre going nuts wide and the share of your empire is mostly food eaters, through conquering, kidnap, buy, immigration, clone vat building, etc etc

I hedge with radiotropic where half mineral eats is actually energy eats, and thats covered by megacorp and trade focus most times. Its the enormous fleets going over cap that press my ECs, not eats. Vassals also basically make mockery of some of this strain if you fancy them.
 
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Space habitats become Void Dwellers exclusive. Instead, other empires get planetary habitats (like with Planetary Diversity - Planetary Habitats mod by Gatekeeper but with a bit more restrictions. IE: only one type per system, cannot put them on terraforming candidates, cannot put them in systems with planets or terraforming candidates in them, must have a resource of some type on them, some sort of dynamic hard cap, etc.)
If you conquer/annex an occupied planet, they forcefully migrate to your habitats, and both an orbital and a central complex are automatically built in the system if it doesn't already have it.
  • Pops on said planets get -100% resource output and pop growth/assembly
These feel like weirdly gamey restrictions. Why would an empire of people that started out on a planet be incapable of building space stations, why would the existence of a terraforming candidate invalidate the colonization of other worlds and why would people living on planets suddenly have mass amnesia and turn into vegetables if a Void Dweller conquers them, further, how and why would they all move onto Habitats? Your Void Dwelling species is adapted to artificial environments, everyone else isn't, so why wouldn't they stay where they are? And how would you force potentially billions of people to casually abandon their homes? I realize that you can already do that in a sense with Resettlement, but here you could argue that any sort of strife is arbitrarily represented with the token Unity cost (and this feels closer to Displacement anyhow and should probably come with the same penalties if you do it). This feels like something that shouldn't be an absolute thing that always happens but should rather be up to player choice (say, by roleplaying as an empire that dogmatically believes that artificial habitats are superior or something).
 
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My last test run with Habitats was in the Beta phase. And boi i did not like the playstyle at all(anymore). The micro intensive parts of building every. single. orbital. was just too tedious and should have been more streamlined. And that was my main feedback from then.
Also they felt really bad to play compared to other empires as the expansion requires so many alloys+influence in addition to surveying and the colonie ship costs that it did not feel viable.

I will give it another shot some time with a hefty focus on alloys at the start and see how far i get.
 
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Personally I think they should rework habitats/void dwellers in particular to be like this:

  1. Space habitats become Void Dwellers exclusive. Instead, other empires get planetary habitats (like with Planetary Diversity - Planetary Habitats mod by Gatekeeper but with a bit more restrictions. IE: only one type per system, cannot put them on terraforming candidates, cannot put them in systems with planets or terraforming candidates in them, must have a resource of some type on them, some sort of dynamic hard cap, etc.)
  2. Void Dweller species don't have a preference anymore. Instead, it's an empire effect.
    • You cannot build colony ships (habitats auto-colonize after construction).
    • If you conquer/annex an occupied planet, they forcefully migrate to your habitats, and both an orbital and a central complex are automatically built in the system if it doesn't already have it.
      • Pops on said planets get -100% resource output and pop growth/assembly
    • Orbitals on habitable worlds give increased effects, especially for gaia and ecus (but you can't take world shaper or arcology project anymore).
    • The sole exception to all of this is ringworlds as those are considered very big habitats. They don't get any void dweller bonuses however. Ringworlds built by you auto-colonize the same way habitats now do.
  3. Since it's no longer necessary to do so, machines are no longer barred from taking void dwellers.
  4. Your guaranteed habitables are replaced with systems with ruined habitats and a few ruined orbitals in system which you can repair for a reduced cost. They also come with an archeo chain which helps explain how you got to this point in the first place.
  5. Just like with the Clone Army origin, at the end of the archeo chain you are given a choice. You can either abandon your void dweller ways, or double down on them.
    • Doing the former removes the 'void dweller empire' effect, but also removes any void dweller bonuses. This allows you to build colony ships, colonize planets, etc. Just like a normal empire. However, you cannot build any more habitats. Only orbitals for existing ones. You also get the ex-void dweller trait which gives you +25% habitability on all worlds to get you started.
    • Doing the latter will give you void dweller bonuses, namely the ones that the voidborne ascention perk gives you, since that AP would be removed from the game entirely since it wouldn't have a function for non void dweller empires.

So wait, your idea is that when I'm playing Void Dweller and I conquer a planet...

- I pay full upkeep and sprawl for new pops, but
- I get -100% productivity from these new pops whose upkeep and sprawl I'm paying
- I have to relocate them to Habitats which cost influence and then abandon the planets which costs more influence

This sounds less fun than any other form of conquest.

And some empires don't have a convenient resettlement option, so it might be no fun AND outside player control.

This is not a good game mechanic idea.
 
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No, it does it automatically free of charge, at a rate of 3-6 pops a month.
Sorry if I wasn't clear enough on that. I'll edit it to avoid any further confusion.

Ah that's better than the default but it's still going to be a lot of time with a lot of unproductive pops if you conquer a homeworld or Ecu.

And it's going to feel pretty bad to not get use from that Ecu.


From a personal angle, I'm not a fan of such a heavy enforced "purist" mechanic. If I decide to play pure Void Dwellers, that can be fun, but I don't like the idea of being forced to play only that way.
 
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