Stellaris Dev Diary #166 - Federation Q&A

Stellaris Dev Diary #166 - Federation Q&A

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Pellaken

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this kind of post/threat is awesome and I hope it is done more!
 

Pellaken

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I’m just summarizing the DD.
the DD is full of questions posed by the players and answers given by the developers. This is a good, healthy development that we, as players, should be encouraging, not insulting/discouraging. Stellaris' dev team has always given me the impression that they care about their players. If you want to see what happens when a pdx dev team does not care about their players just take a look at HoI4
 

Methone

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I mean they can't actually form a federation since they never get the tradition that allow's forming federations.
... oh that's right, I'm thinking of Exterminator federations.
 

Pellaken

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I love this Q&A format, it's refreshing to see devs being so open and honest about the game.
This. All the people ranting about how they are disappointed with the answers are NOT going to end up changing the answers next time, they are going to end up not having their questions answered next time. It's not about cool stuff vs no cool stuff, its about an open dev team vs a closed dev team, and I like the dev team open.
 

Skyhunteren

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Two things that I really wanted

There is three that I am really sad not to see here.

First, it seems like there is very little in-federation diplomacy.

Second, it could have been really cool with a few unique federation building. Maybe something that you competed against other members about. Like were is the headquarter placed, where is the main research lab placed etc. Just like in real life we have the UN in New York. The buildings could also give numbers of jobs depending on federation size and tradittion.

Third, unique tech. Tech were researching one disallow you to research others, but you can gain access to it through federations.
 

Abakus

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I for one would love to see more details on the changes to Traditions and some more previews of the Federation perks.

People are really, really fast to jump on the "underbaked" criticisms, even though this forum and others have been up in arms about how the Devs need to be devoting a lot more time to performance rather than content. If Federations gets released with the features they've discussed, better AI (including Crises) and improved performance, I will be a very happy gamer.

I'm also surprised people are upset that "Federations are better than single empires." Well, yeah. That's the point of having allies. If you want to stand up to a Federation, you have to make sure you have the resources to take on all comers, and that's the point of a lone wolf empire game.
 

Fjolsvid

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I for one would love to see more details on the changes to Traditions and some more previews of the Federation perks.

People are really, really fast to jump on the "underbaked" criticisms, even though this forum and others have been up in arms about how the Devs need to be devoting a lot more time to performance rather than content. If Federations gets released with the features they've discussed, better AI (including Crises) and improved performance, I will be a very happy gamer.

I'm also surprised people are upset that "Federations are better than single empires." Well, yeah. That's the point of having allies. If you want to stand up to a Federation, you have to make sure you have the resources to take on all comers, and that's the point of a lone wolf empire game.

Do you realize that if alliances are significantly better than normal empires even in very early period since founding, it leads to a gameplay of expand or die or ally or die. Stellaris has a significant problem with opportunity costs.
Or to put it simply, we don't pay enough for stuff we get and a lot of bonuses just appear out of thin air, leading to heavy snowballing by the player.
and then there is something like trade alliances bonus which makes technically triples your trade value by allowing to get all the trade bonuses: 1ec, 0.25 unity and 0.5 consumer goods per 1 trade value point. And by the way, trade value's opportunity cost is only feeding the pops that produce it. Something that you'd need to do anyway.
 

DimensionalHorror

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You're going overboard with the "Federations will be way too hard to counter" stuff.

Everyone has been complaining for years that the game has no difficulty and you will just curbstomp the AI.

But every time possibilities for more challenging gameplay, such as powerful AI Federations come up, they need to be nerfed to the ground with hard counters?
 

CassCD

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Hmmm... this all feels kinda...vanilla?
You have created a complex system for Federation and Galactic Union, but absolutely none of cool ideas (mutual investments, subterfuge, federation fusing, spread of ethics, cool federation-only events...) have gotten in. It's improvement over existing Federation system, but the existing Federation system was only good in "Well, it will be improved someday!" way. Federations should be means of opening doors to cooler diplomatic interactions between Empires, not just a fluffy military alliance with some minor bonuses.

And seeing how long Federations DLC has been in development, that's pretty underwhelming. If only one or two of mentioned cool features gotten in, I'd feel more satisfied.
I feel the same way about the system. One thing I will say, though, is that even though the system is not really bedazzling anyone, it's going to be a GREAT platform for modders to mess with. Which is honestly kinda fine with me, considering how good the Stellaris mod community is.
 

TheDarkMaster

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New mechanics are only good mechanics if they also allow for fun counter play. The federations strongly look like they do not offer this and I fear that the game will only be getting worse in some respects after this update lands. The alliance gridlock problem is already quite significant even with pacifists having a 50% spawn rate penalty. If this update encourages more alliance making, especially empires that previously wouldn't do it, then that's just going to lead to a galaxy that's even more static and locked down.
 

Duuk

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You're going overboard with the "Federations will be way too hard to counter" stuff.

Everyone has been complaining for years that the game has no difficulty and you will just curbstomp the AI.

But every time possibilities for more challenging gameplay, such as powerful AI Federations come up, they need to be nerfed to the ground with hard counters?
The problem is that the game has basically two difficulties: I can curbstomp any individual, or I get boxed in by UberFederations that form far too early and can't expand at all and then they curbstomp me.

Essentially, there is no "midgame" where federations appear. They can literally appear as the 2nd tradition chosen. So if you've got 1 (because it only takes 1 neighbor with the federation-forming tradition to start the show) neighbor that forms a federation and 3 of your neighbors join (especially on smaller maps that don't suffer from crippling endgame lag) then BAM, your game is now stuck in a boring 200 year cycle where there is no actual diplomacy (because I'm probably strong enough that they won't attack me) but I'm probably not strong enough yet to take on 6 empires at once, and if I *am* that strong it's probably almost crisis time or the game is probably over anyway or I've been sitting here micromanaging my tiny little baby empire so long that I'm bored out of my skull because I'm boxed in.
 

DimensionalHorror

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The problem is that the game has basically two difficulties: I can curbstomp any individual, or I get boxed in by UberFederations that form far too early and can't expand at all and then they curbstomp me.

Essentially, there is no "midgame" where federations appear. They can literally appear as the 2nd tradition chosen. So if you've got 1 (because it only takes 1 neighbor with the federation-forming tradition to start the show) neighbor that forms a federation and 3 of your neighbors join (especially on smaller maps that don't suffer from crippling endgame lag) then BAM, your game is now stuck in a boring 200 year cycle where there is no actual diplomacy (because I'm probably strong enough that they won't attack me) but I'm probably not strong enough yet to take on 6 empires at once, and if I *am* that strong it's probably almost crisis time or the game is probably over anyway or I've been sitting here micromanaging my tiny little baby empire so long that I'm bored out of my skull because I'm boxed in.

I've been thinking that maybe Federations could just be straight up removed as a Tradition, and instead made a midgame Society technology.
 

hangry

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This was disappointing. I don't want to sound harsh, but it was obvious that the answer to most questions would be 'no'. Why do people assume there is more to federations than what was shown in the dev diary? Am I the only one that's disappointed how the new dlc is presented? We got the last meaty dev diary on december 5th and now we get several weeks of Q&A with basically no new information, only people getting their dreams crushed about stuff they want in the dlc and won't get. They should return to the old way of presenting a dlc... meaty dev diaries and streaming. Showing of the features in a stream like they did in the past was way more informative than reading about it, because you can actually see the new features in action. I'm worried that they don't stream anymore, because the performance is still horrible.
 

Mitchz95

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Q: Can you pass federation laws regulating member policies? For instance, decree that all primary species must have full citizenship throughout all federation empires? Or just outlaw slavery altogether? Because I hate seeing my own species enslaved by allies I have a migration treaty with.
A: There are currently no laws to influence other empires like that within the federation, but we’re certainly open to the idea. Once Federations is released we’ll be gathering your feedback as always :)

Disappointing. I really hope you'll consider adding this post-2.6.
 

Sigma 582

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They can, so long as those fellow purifiers are of the same species!

I mean they can't actually form a federation since they never get the tradition that allow's forming federations. If there was a non purifer offshoot of their speices, they would be able to form a fed inviting the purifiers theoretically. But still not really since purifier ai will auto leave federations when taking over from a player.

1) FP don't have a federation tradition, hence they can't form a federation themselves
2) Same-species non-purifier empire has -1000 malus towards FP empires of their species (even if FP don't hate them back), so they'll never invite FP in their federation

Ergo, FP can't be in a federation.

However, there might be some wiggle room if you employ ethic shift shenanigans to disable/enable FP civic, I need to test that.
 

Methone

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Same-species non-purifier empire has -1000 malus towards FP empires of their species (even if FP don't hate them back), so they'll never invite FP in their federation
Ah, but what if that same-species non-purifier is controlled by the player?
 

pliznobn

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It's refreshing to see Paradox respond openly and honestly when the answer is "no", rather than deliberately ignore those questions.

It's a shame how many there are.
 

Matthew Gooding

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Those hidden attraction bonuses are annoying. You either go xenophile or not use diplomacy at all.



What's the point? Being in any federation boosts xenophile. That single attraction boost is enough to spawn that faction and after a couple of decades, third of my empire pops will most likely join it.

Dude. Just do what I do and hunt down the Egalitarian pops, move them to a single planet or habitat, then just transfer it over to a vassal of your own species and let them deal with them instead. That or sell all the pops with Egalitarian. You have more options available to you than whining. If you can't rule without ethic drift, then you don't have the Mandate of Heaven and are unfit for absolute rule. Also don't use any standard of living other than Stratified, good living makes the people want more.
 

Shark7

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New mechanics are only good mechanics if they also allow for fun counter play. The federations strongly look like they do not offer this and I fear that the game will only be getting worse in some respects after this update lands. The alliance gridlock problem is already quite significant even with pacifists having a 50% spawn rate penalty. If this update encourages more alliance making, especially empires that previously wouldn't do it, then that's just going to lead to a galaxy that's even more static and locked down.

This is the thing I have seen in most of my games. You join an alliance/federation, and the alliance/federation is so reluctant to go to war that you are effectively stuck just playing an economy simulator. So I have just gotten to where I never join an alliance so I can at least make some non-peaceful territory expansions. For me, 4X games are all about conquest, and the way alliances/federations are currently working, the whole conquest thing just isn't happening.

I will say this, until the AI battle management is strengthened, there is absolutely no reason to join a Federation. I can conquer the galaxy solo as it stands, because the AI lacks coordination of its forces.
 

methegrate

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Jun 20, 2016
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I felt from the beginning that diplomacy should have removed, root and stem, and recreated from scratch. It's derivation of civ 4's system, which was just ok like 18 years ago. The whole 4x thing is ok as a starting point, but the devs needs to take a fresh grand strategy approach to most of this game to grow, not just update flawed and dated design.

This. We've been waiting literally years for the big diplomacy update. To discover that it's just a revamp of federations along with a galactic senate feature is more than a little disappointing.

The diplomacy update needed to be a full rework. Instead we get new features pushed on top of a system that doesn't work in the first place, with a new mechanic for spamming likes. In particular, people have spent years complaining about:

- There's no way to diplomatically interfere with alliances and federations. Once they form they're set in stone, which often freezes the board into a bunch of mega-alliances by the middle of the game.

- There's nothing to actually talk to other empires about, aside from a handful of perfunctory treaties that they'll only sign if they already love you.

- There's little you can do to shift or change diplomacy over time. It's almost always driven entirely by whether you share the same ethics.

- Politics and internal ethics have no relationship with diplomacy, other than your empire ethics setting the initial overwhelming opinion modifier.

Of these, it looks like all we're getting is the new envoys system, which seems to add little more than the gifts system does. Do they dislike you? Click this button to change that. Otherwise, nothing. In fact this DD seems to specifically say that they're intentionally not adding some of the flexibility the system so badly needs. There's no way to interfere with an existing federation/alliance or otherwise use diplomacy to push back. And there's no way to extend trade past your borders. Those are literally the two things that diplomacy most badly needed.

I'm not trying to be unkind, but this is overwhelmingly underwhelming. In my own line of work, if a junior associate spent this kind of time on a project just to hand me something with so little substance, we would need to have a very difficult conversation.
 
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