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Hello, I would like to suggest the idea of Primitive Species using two separate messurements for their development: the technological progress the game currently has, and Ethos/Social development.

These two paths would normally move at similar rates, but sometimes one will move faster or slower then the other, and there can be events where progress is lost in one or both categories. and on some planets technological progress might be halted due to limitations of their planet(most examples being suck in the stone or bronze ages due to lack of [easily accessible] metals, and Tomb World Primitives occasionally never being able to enter the nuclear age due to previous civilizations having used up the pre-apocalyptic civilization) but their society would still advance, all be it much slower and likely never reaching more than 2 or 3 levels higher then normal for their tech level.

now to explain by idea for this Social Development; this would be most clearly seem in POPs having different Ethos then the 6 used by the player and other star fairing Species, though as they develop they will start converting to those Ethos.

these Primitive Ethos would be what causes "Galactic Culture Shock"(or at least makes it worse), and if these primitives become an independent space empire or convert an existing empire to their way of thinking from within these Ethos will give them different buffs/malices, and maybe different Civic options as well.(this could open up cool game play options with starter/origin Civics were moved into their own slot, so players could choose to play with such Ethos and Civics)

I'm not entirely sure about some of these names, but so far I've got:

Tribalistic for Xenophobe(with slim chance of becoming Militaristic)

Superstitious for Spiritualist(with slim chance of Xenophobe or Xenophile)

Inquisitive for Materialist(with slim chance for Xenophile?)

Imperialistic for Authoritarian(with slim chance of Militaristic)

Diplomatic for Egalitarian(with slim chance of Pacifist)
 

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But for what purpose?
to expand on interactions with Primitives, like I said in the first Post the biggest way this would effect them is when they are brought into the galactic scene; if they aren't "ready" they may be a danger to themselves and/or others, and the point where they're ready for contact might not line up with any sort of technological progress(some may be ready as early as their 'renascence' period, while others may remain unprepared up to the beginning of the early space age), hence my suggestion for them being separate meters.

this can tie in with changes to Primitive observation or manipulation, as well as give a bit of uniqueness to the different primitives you encounter.