I think Stellaris would greatly benefit from a "Game Rules" set like Crusader Kings 2 already has.

I think Stellaris would greatly benefit from a "Game Rules" set like Crusader Kings 2 already has.

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Urloc the Great

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Not only to have save slots for multiple Game Rule sets, but also to have better control of which content you will encounter in the game, here some examples for potential game rules:
- (randomly generated) Hiveminds, on/off
- (randomly generated) Machine Empires, on/off
- (randomly generated) Megacorps, on/off
- (randomly generated) regular Empires, on/off
- Preset Empires, on/off
- Minor Anomalies, on/off
- Major Anomalies of X DLC, on/off
- Leviathans (huge space creatures), all/regular/none
- War in Heaven, guaranteed/regular/off
- Khan, guaranteed/regular/off
- End of the cycle, highly likely/regular/off

Those are just few of the possible game rules that could be implemented with a "Game Rules" set similar to the one Crusader Kings 2 already has.

With these the days of complaying players about imbalances with map generation/DLC content/etc. will become a problem of the past, as every player would be able to create the game that they like.
 

Aurelius789

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Agreed. I usually do some of these through self modding my game, but it would save me some time at least.

But for people who dont have time or dont know how, it would really help them to tailor their galaxy to their prefferences.
 

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Having one, two, or even all three crises emerge would also be a neat rule.
 

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@Obidobi just want to bring this to your attention.

This is a good idea!
 

Paradoxon

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Big yes for me. It also opens the door for a lot of unique settings, like forcespawning every empire as a Fanatic Purifier, disabling the manufacturing of rare resources so that natural deposits become crucially important, perhaps even selecting a crisis at game start for the people who are sad because they're getting the Contingency for the 14th time in a row... Those are just random examples, obviously, but opening the possibility for more tweaking at the beginning of a game would be a great addition.
 

Monturiol

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No. It made CK2 worse and it would make Stellaris worse.

Three reasons:
  1. The Stellaris game setup menu is already a cluttered mess, I have 2000 hours and I have no understanding of how half the options affect the meta, idk how anyone else manages
  2. Each supported ruleset increases the number of interactions the devs have to balance exponentially. Even just having 3 on/off options means there are now 2^3 = 8 game modes to police. Something as prosaic as "Hiveminds on/off" would require a radical overhaul of the local enemy seeding for Pacifist empires because Hives and Machines are the one neighbor they are actually allowed to expand into. The devs already can't balance one game-mode properly, I am not in a hurry to increase their burden by an exponent
  3. The main one: Related to 2; I don't want Stellaris to be a game where I need a PhD in game design myself to be able to calibrate the galaxy setup in order to produce a satisfying emergent narrative. That's what I pay Paradox for. Every time there's a menu option for the player, that constitutes and abdication of responsibility for the devs to make the game, y'know, right the first time. "Oh, you didn't enjoy that playthrough? It's your fault because you didn't calibrate the galaxy settings correctly :^)" is a cop-out and I don't want to pour more fuel on its fire. I'm the player, not the dev; these settings should have been tested and optimised and hardcoded in 2016, not left as some sort of esoteric cryptic puzzle for me to have to complete through a hundred hours of iterative testing before I'm allowed to have fun.
"Player choice is a good thing" is a meme, an excuse for poor design. Do not be tricked into enabling this behavior.
 

Monturiol

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How about we remove the habiitable planets slider, crisis end year and end other sliders while we are at as you seem to despise options so much?
This but unironically.
All of those were bad ideas.

Specifically with respect to the habitable planets slider: now it is impossible to balance the early game because the devs don't know how many planets you'll have, 1 or 3. A threefold spread in difference in player strength is impossible to correctly calibrate enemy aggression for.

As for the Crisis end year slider, the only reason that was put in was that everyone was complaining that the endgame was too easy and the Devs should make the Crisis expand more aggressively + enemy empires react more responsively to it. But what actually happened? Rather than fix the Prethoryn movement bug that's been here since v1.0, rather than fix the Unbidden portal bug, rather than fix the generally dopey Crisis AI, what did they do? "Lol now there's a year slider, if you don't think the Crisis is hard enough that's your fault for not setting endgame to 2250". Didn't actually fix the problem: just waved a magic wand slider bar over it and *pow*, now people can claim it's the player's fault, not the shoddy code's fault.
The Crisis slider is a diversion, a smokescreen, a bandaid on a problem that needs invasive surgery.

You been hoodwinked, son.
 

Paradoxon

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The Stellaris game setup menu is already a cluttered mess, I have 2000 hours and I have no understanding of how half the options affect the meta, idk how anyone else manages
No offense intended, but that is very much on you. Apart from reshuffling the options in another order (not sure it needs to), there's really not much that could be made clearer there. Unless by "meta", you mean knowing that the AI has an additional -10% reduction on ship upkeep from Captain to Commodore, which... Is really not something I need to know precisely, at all.

Each supported ruleset increases the number of interactions the devs have to balance exponentially.
Not for everything, though. While I strongly disagree with the proponents of "no balance at all" (like in the case of MEs being OP), no, Stellaris isn't a perfectly balanced game and shouldn't be. Especially since the whole purpose of allowing more options at game start is to unbalance things up (see my example of "no rare resource manufacturing", the whole point is to shake things up hard).

Something as prosaic as "Hiveminds on/off" would require a radical overhaul of the local enemy seeding for Pacifist empires because Hives and Machines are the one neighbor they are actually allowed to expand into.
... Which they already need to do for the people who don't own the relevant DLCs (reminder that you need Utopia to have Hive Minds, and Synthetic Dawn for Machine Empires). And it's also a bad example in that "spawning near a HM/ME" is too situational to be relevant to the actual balance of the ethics. Pacifists aren't designed with the idea of military expansion in mind, them being able to invade gestalts is just a fringe case with no major, reliable impact on their efficiency.

The main one: Related to 2; I don't want Stellaris to be a game where I need a PhD in game design myself to be able to calibrate the galaxy setup in order to produce a satisfying emergent narrative. That's what I pay Paradox for. Every time there's a menu option for the player, that constitutes and abdication of responsibility for the devs to make the game, y'know, right the first time. "Oh, you didn't enjoy that playthrough? It's your fault because you didn't calibrate the galaxy settings correctly :^)" is a cop-out and I don't want to pour more fuel on its fire. I'm the player, not the dev; these settings should have been tested and optimised and hardcoded in 2016, not left as some sort of esoteric cryptic puzzle for me to have to complete through a hundred hours of iterative testing before I'm allowed to have fun.
If you dislike player choice so much, you might want to avoid a game whose first thing you do as a new player is having to chose how to design your own empire. Unless giving that choice to the players (a choice that is relatively more complicated and impactful than "do I want my galaxy to be ovoid or do I want it to have four arms?") is also a cop-out and an abdication of responsability from the devs ? I'm sorry, but I just don't understand that argument, at all. Stellaris' entire appeal is player choice. Most of the development of the game since 1.0 has been focused on giving the player more choices, in the form of more authorities, more mechanics (traditions, civics, etc.), more events... And yes, sometimes it's a bit chaotic, and with a certain kind of learning curve. But it's also sort of the point ? It's not really a game of competitiveness, for that you might want to look for other games that are more tailored to this use.
 
Last edited:

Cat_Fuzz

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No. It made CK2 worse and it would make Stellaris worse.

Three reasons:
  1. The Stellaris game setup menu is already a cluttered mess, I have 2000 hours and I have no understanding of how half the options affect the meta, idk how anyone else manages
  2. Each supported ruleset increases the number of interactions the devs have to balance exponentially. Even just having 3 on/off options means there are now 2^3 = 8 game modes to police. Something as prosaic as "Hiveminds on/off" would require a radical overhaul of the local enemy seeding for Pacifist empires because Hives and Machines are the one neighbor they are actually allowed to expand into. The devs already can't balance one game-mode properly, I am not in a hurry to increase their burden by an exponent
  3. The main one: Related to 2; I don't want Stellaris to be a game where I need a PhD in game design myself to be able to calibrate the galaxy setup in order to produce a satisfying emergent narrative. That's what I pay Paradox for. Every time there's a menu option for the player, that constitutes and abdication of responsibility for the devs to make the game, y'know, right the first time. "Oh, you didn't enjoy that playthrough? It's your fault because you didn't calibrate the galaxy settings correctly :^)" is a cop-out and I don't want to pour more fuel on its fire. I'm the player, not the dev; these settings should have been tested and optimised and hardcoded in 2016, not left as some sort of esoteric cryptic puzzle for me to have to complete through a hundred hours of iterative testing before I'm allowed to have fun.
"Player choice is a good thing" is a meme, an excuse for poor design. Do not be tricked into enabling this behavior.
1. Keeping Galaxy size, number of empires and difficulty on the galaxy menu, then sidelining the remaining options, plus the others mentioned in this thread into another window to customise, would actually make this cleaner. There would be a default setting that you could use if you don't want to dabble in customisation, but for others, they could save their settings, name them, and then have a drop down menu in the galaxy setup screen to change as they see fit.

2 & 3: Having the option to tweak gameplay elements is a must for me, as it allows me to balance the game as I see fit, not how the devs tell me to play. For example, I always have slower unity and tech, as I want tech progress to take longer to research. It makes tech more valuable as research bonuses mean more here. I also always set the end game later to allow for this slower research time, plus I also always play with 2.75x hyperlanes, 2x wormholes and .75 gateways, so that movement is fluid in the galaxy, but gateways are a rarity to discover.

This is my preferred way to play the game, and having the option to set it up this way enhances my experience. Having more ways to play the game and keep it fresh is something I find hard to argue with.
 

Dragatus

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@Monturiol The devs don't need to fully balance all combinations of game options. It's enough if they balance the default values and players are informed that only the default values have been balanced. It's then up to the players to decide whether to use the balanced default values or tweak things to suit their preference at risk of disrupting game balance.

More competitive multiplayer games can then always play default while those of us who play Stellaris as a singleplayer "story generator" can enjoy the wide range of options.
 

MrParadux

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No. It made CK2 worse and it would make Stellaris worse.

Three reasons:
  1. The Stellaris game setup menu is already a cluttered mess, I have 2000 hours and I have no understanding of how half the options affect the meta, idk how anyone else manages
  2. Each supported ruleset increases the number of interactions the devs have to balance exponentially. Even just having 3 on/off options means there are now 2^3 = 8 game modes to police. Something as prosaic as "Hiveminds on/off" would require a radical overhaul of the local enemy seeding for Pacifist empires because Hives and Machines are the one neighbor they are actually allowed to expand into. The devs already can't balance one game-mode properly, I am not in a hurry to increase their burden by an exponent
  3. The main one: Related to 2; I don't want Stellaris to be a game where I need a PhD in game design myself to be able to calibrate the galaxy setup in order to produce a satisfying emergent narrative. That's what I pay Paradox for. Every time there's a menu option for the player, that constitutes and abdication of responsibility for the devs to make the game, y'know, right the first time. "Oh, you didn't enjoy that playthrough? It's your fault because you didn't calibrate the galaxy settings correctly :^)" is a cop-out and I don't want to pour more fuel on its fire. I'm the player, not the dev; these settings should have been tested and optimised and hardcoded in 2016, not left as some sort of esoteric cryptic puzzle for me to have to complete through a hundred hours of iterative testing before I'm allowed to have fun.
"Player choice is a good thing" is a meme, an excuse for poor design. Do not be tricked into enabling this behavior.
I see your point and I agree that settings like these can be abused to offload the balancing work onto the player. However with Stellaris like with CK2 the developers work and should work off of default values for balancing. The game rules are for people who want to switch things up or who enjoy a different/easier/harder experience. Thusly the default settings should be the only thing Paradox should care about balancing wise. Anyone who is setting absurd events for everyone shouldn't complain about all the bears running around in ai courts.

The problem here is that for Stellaris the default settings are not as clear as they are in CK2 and should be made more appearent.

If the default is used for balancing, I am all for more game rules.
 

Cat_Fuzz

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To add to the OP, I would also like an option to force a universal origin onto empires, so games can start with every empire beginning with ringworlds, or to force every empire to start with a federation. Could make some interesting playthroughs for sure.
 

Xenrek

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This, but also just in general an expansion of existing sliders aswell. With perhaps warning that some settings too high or low can negatively impact gameplay/performance (Distant Worlds and Mount&Blade both do this, letting you make galaxy sizes or battles larger than the game officially supports, with a little warning underneath).

If only because I want there to be a lit of factions, but even on huge galaxies fill up quick, and itd also allow more space for DLC/event systems to actual spawn instead of competing for generation-space.

So wider sliders, and options to fine-tune inside of that, more/less HM/ME, more/less rare resources, maybe even if pre-sapients and pre-ftls should spawn in clusters, randomly, ir something else, and game rules to determine what age they start in, etc.


All told, theres a lot of fine-tuning customization I'd enjoy, especially for trying to introduce new players to the game with a multiplayer match, being able to better show what the DLCs have to offer, and preventing or forcing early game problems/choices for them to experience.
 

OnyxAbussos

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To add to the OP, I would also like an option to force a universal origin onto empires, so games can start with every empire beginning with ringworlds, or to force every empire to start with a federation. Could make some interesting playthroughs for sure.
Not gonna lie, I've been thinking of force-spawnning pure Hegemonies or pure Habitats just to see WTF happens.

Like the map and galactic geography would be so friggin weird with a pure Habitat forced start. No one can land on a planet, but we can all build new little ones wherever we damn well please...
 

eagletrekkie

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Not gonna lie, I've been thinking of force-spawnning pure Hegemonies or pure Habitats just to see WTF happens.

Like the map and galactic geography would be so friggin weird with a pure Habitat forced start. No one can land on a planet, but we can all build new little ones wherever we damn well please...
Do that habitat one on 5x habitable worlds for extra WTF factor, all these planets and nobody wants to live on them.
 

Playwars

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Not gonna lie, I've been thinking of force-spawnning pure Hegemonies or pure Habitats just to see WTF happens.

Like the map and galactic geography would be so friggin weird with a pure Habitat forced start. No one can land on a planet, but we can all build new little ones wherever we damn well please...
If primitives are on, they would become a litteral resource. If there are no primitives, it'd be hilarious to watch people invade the Fallen Empires, the only ones to have the secret to live on the spheres.
 

Yaskaleh

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Being able to force more primitives to spawn etc would be awesome.
 

Cat_Fuzz

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I'd love to see a 'scions' only start that basically creates an early game for a Cold War in heaven