Methone

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Primitives are not a... terribly underdeveloped area in Stellaris.

You can by voyeurs watching from the space-bushes with binoculars, you can do unspeakable things with your probes, you can tell them that Materialism is totally in this year and won't they abandon that spiritualist nonsense before they ascend as Fanatic Purifiers, you can wear their skin like suits as you take their place. And then you can just go in and shoot them with lasers.

There's a variety of events. There's knockoff X-Com, knockoff Avatar, knockoff Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. There's the option to save them from a meteor (Which was never updated to work with the new starbases in 2.0...) or from smugglers or from the Worm's loving embrace or... you get the idea.

But despite all this, there's still something missing from Primitives. And given that they're on Mr. Moregard's list of things to flesh out, here's my stab at it.

The crux of it all is knowledge. How aware are the primitives of your giant observation station floating in the sky?

If the primitives are not aware of you, then primitive interaction is mostly the same as today. You set your Observation Station's mode in accordance to how much of a bad guy you are, then sit back and watch the Society/Slaves roll in.

But if they are aware of you, things change in that you can actually open up a diplomatic screen with the aliens.

They'll function mostly the same as a normal empire in that regards, though with obvious restrictions on your options to engage with them - No, Machine Age mammalians, we appreciate you wanting to use your primitive tanks to protect us in a defensive pact but let's be real here. We'll happily sign a nonaggression pact saying we won't blow you up with a Colossus, though!

Egalitarian primitives will be upset with Authoritarian Tyrant FTL aliens, most of them will find a Hive Mind FTL creepy, and so on. If you're actively probing them, they'll have an opinion penalty and a Trust Loss over time, with a few exceptions like Authoritarian primitives that don't particularly care if you abduct the lower class rabble. Maybe you came and conquered the previous owners of the system and the primitives Love you for chasing away their old oppressors, or Hate you for beating up their good friends. Etc.
So first and foremost, there's ways for primitives to learn about the FTL in orbit of them.

Sometimes they can find out about you on their own in a randomly triggered event and contact you, though only really advanced Primitives can both use their telescopes to find your observation post and then translate your language. The Stone Age people will just have to keep wondering what that new star in the sky is.

Another way, however, is for observation events to go wrong. Already there are events for Passive and Aggressive observation and such where the aliens find your people. A simple tweak to these events where, say, a piloted ship crashes and they demand technology in return for science can result in an opinion penalty if refused.

And finally, you might just choose to talk to them directly. The Uplift button is gone, and instead a Make Contact button is in its place, and Uplifting is now a diplomatic option with primitives who are aware of you in place of where a Research Agreement would normally be. Indoctrination is also moved into primitive diplomacy, and Infiltration requires them not to know about you. And you better believe if that knockoff Avatar guy succeeds in thwarting you, they'll learn about you, and hate you with every inch of primitiveness in their bodies!

You can even send them envoys! Not sure why you'd want to, though. Plus, given their primitive-ness, they can't learn about other empires through you.

Conversely, once they do know about you, Make Contact is replaced by End Contact. Once pressed, this opens a progress bar that slowly ticks up, where your empire engages in practices to make the primitives forget about you. Stone Age forgetting progresses quickly - just bomb the few tribes that know about you. Or simply bribe them to keep quiet, pacifist coward. Early Space Agers would be a little bit harder, since you're trying to scrub your existence off their internet. Good luck with that.
Who cares about primitives, though? Like, even all the more advanced ones can make are nukes. Pfft, you've got Tier 1 Missiles that are better than that garbage!

You can trade with the Primitives, however the options are different when compared to trade with normal empires. Some things they'll not care about at all - Stone Age primitives don't give two rocks about your 'Energy Credits' without batteries to store them, nor will Early Space Agers care much for Dark Matter. But hey, even a modest gift of 200 food is enough to make that Renaissance Mollusc planet love you!

As for what you can ask for in return, other than their laughably small supply of resources, is access to their world. They have Rare Resource deposits? Yes, pretty please, we would like to build a special Rare Resource Extractor on your planet and send one of our pops there to live with you! Are you a Megacorp? Well, Steam Age arthropoids, I hope you like a branch office with Space McDonalds on your planet! Or maybe you're both slaving bastards and enact your own mini-Slave market where you buy slave pops from them in exchange for resources, at a massive discount compared to the actual FTL Slave market!

Obviously you can't get too much from primitives. They're primitives! But it's better than peanuts worth of society research.
Some of the existing events would be remade to accommodate this new system. The rogue scientist goes down and stirs up trouble? Surprise! They know about you, he's their God Emperor ruler, and with a hefty opinion malus. Even when you, ahem, get rid of the rogue scientist they still have minus Opinion for taking away their savior.

However, there would also be new events to take advantage of this new system. Did you try to conquer them with ground armies but for some reason only sent a single half-dead Slave Army and got beaten back? Guess who knows about you now.

Maybe the primitives will discover a relic of the First League and offer it to you, for the astronomical price of 100 Minerals.

Or maybe the Early Space primitives you've had good relations with for decades, with your people working on their world to funnel you Rare Crystals, finally gets to FTL and you get a choice of events to let your people remain there and let the primitives reap the rewards of the Rare Resource Extractor, or maybe take your people back but welcome them to the galactic stage, or more, some locked by ethic and gestalt-ness.

Or, maybe an Atomic Primitive is determined to blow itself up, so you plead with them to send you a pop so they won't go extinct, or insist on stepping on their toes to prevent nuclear war, or take any of your people on their world out of there before they get caught in the crossfire. (Or maybe you totally don't infect the silos with a virus and make them launch missiles on their own).
A long requested feature has, of course, been Hive Primitives and Machine Primitives. I see no reason these shouldn't be implemented, without requiring Utopia or Synthetic Dawn much the same way you don't need Megacorp for the Materialist FE to have a cityworld.
Hive Primitives have access to the full range of tech levels, from Stone Age to Early Space, however their buildings would be slightly different, as would their primitive jobs to match, as well as their primitive civics and primitive government types. They even have a chance of generating with the Devouring Swarm civic, for fun times ahead! Though with such a pathetic defense, who's to say you won't get a Special Project to forcibly gene-mod the Devouring Swarm's hunger away and get an eternally grateful Former Swarm?

They'd have the restrictions on normal diplomacy that you'd expect from a Gestalt. You'll still be able to send a pop down there to work the Volatile Mote fields, though, because they're living on a part of the world separate from the Gestalt and therefore don't need to be enslaved.
Machine Primitives would come from two sources. One, they're already there, but only able to spawn as Machine Age or higher level primitives. Two, an event on a sufficiently advanced Primitive causes them to rise. Either the primitives nuke themselves and the Machines are the only ones hardy enough to survive, or there's just a straight up robot uprising in a variety of flavors, which you can help squash down in a special project or sit back and relax.

Either way, you get a Machine Primitive that's either normal, Exterminator, Assimilator, or Servitor, with similar swaps as the Hive Primitive. So early in their developments, the Machines may be... malleable. Give the Exterminator therapy so it gives up on its still-nascent -1000 opinion, or as an Exterminator convince the Assimilators and Servitors that meatbags are more trouble than they're worth.

This is the general outline of what I think a Primitives Storypack would look like. Please do let me know what you think!
 
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G S Palmer

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It would be fun to make contact with a pre-atomic civilization, then ghost them and watch them freak out. :p
 
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Unendingfear

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I definitely agree with all of this here; I also think there’s a way to expand robots and primitives in general. Without requiring Synthetic Dawn, there could be a slim chance for Machine Age primitives to spawn with a robot pop on the planet (probably weighted with a higher chance for Materialist primitives). Allowing them to advance uninterrupted could allow for Mechanist empires once they reach ftl. If you have Synthetic Dawn then machine revolutions of all stripes could be a possibility like you mentioned. I think that having small event chains like if you try to indoctrinate a species that has a non-gestalt robot pop to Spiritualist and they start dismantling their robots it could set off a determined exterminator revolt. It would add a lot of emergent storylines to the game. I also would love to see a one off super rare event where a Renaissance age primitive managed to create a da Vinci style robot (either as a planetary modifier or even better a clockwork style robot portrait).

*Edit*
Thinking more on the topic, I think there could be a fantastic opportunity with the primitives revamp to add a Colossus weapon that’s basically a system wide EMP that instead of destroying a planet, knocks a system back to an earlier tech level and isolates it from the rest of its empire. If recovered in a short enough time span most damage could be averted, but if an empire failed to do so, it would drop the planets in the system back to a random primitive state, possibly able to be effected by events to determine just how far back. Would be an interesting “open system” alternative to the more “closed system” Global Pacifier.
 
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Methone

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I definitely agree with all of this here; I also think there’s a way to expand robots and primitives in general. Without requiring Synthetic Dawn, there could be a slim chance for Machine Age primitives to spawn with a robot pop on the planet (probably weighted with a higher chance for Materialist primitives). Allowing them to advance uninterrupted could allow for Mechanist empires once they reach ftl. If you have Synthetic Dawn then machine revolutions of all stripes could be a possibility like you mentioned. I think that having small event chains like if you try to indoctrinate a species that has a non-gestalt robot pop to Spiritualist and they start dismantling their robots it could set off a determined exterminator revolt. It would add a lot of emergent storylines to the game. I also would love to see a one off super rare event where a Renaissance age primitive managed to create a da Vinci style robot (either as a planetary modifier or even better a clockwork style robot portrait).

*Edit*
Thinking more on the topic, I think there could be a fantastic opportunity with the primitives revamp to add a Colossus weapon that’s basically a system wide EMP that instead of destroying a planet, knocks a system back to an earlier tech level and isolates it from the rest of its empire. If recovered in a short enough time span most damage could be averted, but if an empire failed to do so, it would drop the planets in the system back to a random primitive state, possibly able to be effected by events to determine just how far back. Would be an interesting “open system” alternative to the more “closed system” Global Pacifier.
Or Syncretic primitives, or Doomsday primitives, etc. There's a lot of room for integration with the Origins system we'll be getting.
 
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Spaceception

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It's important if the ethics of Primitives matters too, so I like that you've included that. And could have a variety of events based on it, beyond just how they interact with you.

For example, Spiritualists insisting you're an angel or demon. Or different ethics affecting the chance of a nuclear war. Maybe Pacifists don't develop the nuke, and their Atomic age is more prosperous. This could speed up their development somewhat. A materialist on the other hand would be pushing boundaries, and while they would advance faster, it's also more likely they'll slip up without outside intervention.

Right now, primitive ethics don't do much except make it easier to conduct diplomacy once you've enlightened them. This storypack would give that reason.
 
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Methone

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For example, Spiritualists insisting you're an angel or demon.
Or affecting their willingness to let you extract rare resources from 'Holy sites'.
. Maybe Pacifists don't develop the nuke, and their Atomic age is more prosperous
"You monsters use nuclear power plants for WHAT?!"
 
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generalis Julius Caesar

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This seems like a great idea.
 

Purussaurus

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Very good. We also need Star Age primitives (with spaceships, but without FTL, se the links in my signature).
 
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klopkr

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I really love primitives. I always play with them on 5x! This thread is wonderful and I love every idea so far!

Unfortunately one of the places they're also lacking is when they do actually join the ftl stage their AI is literally broken and can't thrive or expand.

First I suggest that primitives that go ftl but already know about ftl aliens have an event to steal alien technology. If it goes well they'll get every tech from one of their neighbors, otherwise they'll start with the normal tech. Either way enlightened primitives should always have a 50% boost to technologies that 50% of other empires of the galaxy have. They'll never catch up and be relevant otherwise.

I'd also love to see hive, machine, and normal primitives occasionally pop up with advanced secret tech. Maybe they found ancient powerful tech, maybe they're a hive that evolves new techs at a massive pace, maybe it's a fallen empire masquerading as a primitive all this time, maybe they're a scourge being locked away under the planet all this time!

Primitives are the perfect place to mix things up mid game and bring in new empires to contend with.

Primitives going ftl with good relations with neighboring xenophile empires might ask for their local star systems. Maybe the galactic community can pass legislation to bring recently enlightened primitives to tech parity with their neighbours. Maybe another that uncolonized systems around a species capital planet must be handed over as 'their natural border' and any GC member can enforce it.
 

Aëron Dúrr

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This is a good summary of everything I wanted about Primitives myself.
Only thing I would also add in regards of Hive Primitives is the possiblity for them to start as "Singulars" but then evolving into a Hive Mind, either voluntarily (for example by a transhumanist cult taking over their society) or involutarily (for example through a Hive Mind parasitic plague #whatelsefor2020).
Also, if it is possible, it would be nice to witness certain events in the Primitives' society which shape their development and philosophy, which in turn could give you the opportunity to subtly influence those events, similar to the way you can already shape their mindset during uplifting.
 

Hogloo

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If I'm not mistaken, another issue to be solved with primitives would be their debut in another empire's space (on that point, I think it's great the idea that primitives can go through a pre-ftl phase, confined to their system, perhaps with the possibility of having galactic diplomacy with the ships they encounter in the system : it will help them to build their first spaceport and spaceships).
Indeed, when the primitives reach space, they seize their own system. This is normal, but if we have another colonized planet in the system (if I'm not mistaken: it's been a long time since I last checked), they also take it automatically.
Systems shared by several nations need to be put back in place (such as a place where only border restrictions, common to the different nations owning the system, would work).
 

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Systems shared by several nations need to be put back in place (such as a place where only border restrictions, common to the different nations owning the system, would work).

I think the problem is this becomes a bit of an issue with starbases. Who owns the starbase? If both do, if a war happens, who controls it? Does more than 1 starbase spawn? If so, wouldn't allies want to share systems to multiply their starbases for defence?
 
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Aëron Dúrr

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Systems shared by several nations need to be put back in place (such as a place where only border restrictions, common to the different nations owning the system, would work).

Like Janx14 said, I think it would be very difficult to do without reversing the starbase system, which I don't think will happen. I would rather suggest some sort of diplomatic crisis event, where the primitives on the verge of becoming an interplanetary/interstellar society would request ownership of their system and you can either comply or refuse. In the last case you would have to integrate them, either through diplomacy or conquest.
 
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Hogloo

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Yes, this is the biggest problem with shared systems. I don't think going back from the starbase system is a good solution. I think we just need to improve this system. Perhaps shared starbases would suffer a Civil War event if there was a war in a shared system (and, for example, it would be the local planets with the most defenses that would take control at the start of the war (and only at the beginning)). In the case of a highly shared system, the neutral planets in the conflict could continue to manage the base while their neighbors on opposite sides would accept it as a neutral zone.

For primitives, the event where they request possession of their starbase would indeed be a good idea (even if we applied my previous ideas).

There could also be a system of influence on the planets of shared systems no longer possessing their starbase (taken, for example, during the conflict: it would not necessarily be shared again). Planets in shared systems and whose starbase belong to a single owner would suffer a resource penalty (if the owner is an enemy, or rival) due to the blockade on their foreign trade. According to the population inhabiting these planets, they could decide to pass to the enemy after too long a period under this system (obviously a conscience of gesalt or xenophobic populations would hold out longer, maybe definitely).
 

mammonmachine

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In terms of system ownership, the idea of requesting system control is a good one. I actually think this element of the game could be made pretty interesting, with the chain of events influenced by the ethics of the new civilization. For instance:
  • Before making contact, a militarist civilization might launch a daring raid and cease control of the outpost (or that raid might fail), a materialist civilization might be able to hack it or shut it down. These aggressive approaches are more likely for xenophobes.
  • On contact, you could have the option to cede control, refuse, or as a compromise cede control in exchange for them becoming a protectorate. They are more likely to accept the latter if they have similar ethics to you, with xenophiles more trusting in general and xenophobes less.
  • On refusing, the above hijinks might be attempted on commencement of hostilities. In additions, xenophiles or pacifists might be able to make an appeal to the galactic community (who might pass a resolution on the matter.... eventually) or ask for support from a neighbouring power (granting them a casus belli on you).
In terms of the wider context:
  • The ability to colonise other planets in a system with a pre-FTL species could be dependent on a policy. Allowing such colonisation makes the Xenophile faction unhappy.
  • It might also be that colonising the system in particular, and having infrastructure there in general, increases the chances of events where your presence is discovered, accelerating the pre-FTL species towards space travel.
  • There could be a self-determination resolution chain in the Galactic Community, part of which deals with what happens when a species ascends to the stars. A resolution could be passed that makes it against galactic law to refuse to cede the system to the new civilization. (Other resolutions in this chain could limit control over vassals/tributaries for instance, and create frameworks for peaceful secessions from existing empires.)
 
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