Stellaris Dev Diary #198: Provocations

Stellaris Dev Diary #198: Provocations

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Foxosaur

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Can we add this as an optional galaxy setting rather than part just of the game if you own the DLC? A few posts by people has got me thinking that it could be "intrusive" to the main game loop when the player is already having difficulty managing a lot of "micro" (Of course we're expecting some of that micro to go away - granted).

At least I'm hoping you'll play a few whole game through to the end with this enabled to make a reasonable judgement on it anyway that it warrants being optional.
 
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Eladrin

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Are we going to be able to scrap an operation before it concludes or once it's been kicked off it concludes for better or worse?

You can abort operations before the final "kick-off", and it may also be an option during some events. (Invest more resources in different ways, keep going on as-is and hope for the best, or abort the mission, for example.)
 
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Eladrin

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Can we add this as an optional galaxy setting rather than part just of the game if you own the DLC? A few posts by people has got me thinking that it could be "intrusive" to the main game loop when the player is already having difficulty managing a lot of "micro" (Of course we're expecting some of that micro to go away - granted).

At least I'm hoping you'll play a few whole game through to the end with this enabled to make a reasonable judgement on it anyway that it warrants being optional.

Defense against espionage is almost entirely passive, so the burden shouldn't be increased by too much if you don't want to engage with the system. (I say "almost entirely" because you do have a couple of options to strengthen your defenses, like picking certain edicts or focusing on certain technologies.)

You can also park an Envoy in a rival empire to build a Spy Network simply for the Intel insights, without running many, or any, operations. (Though, to be fair, a few Gather Information ops might be useful to speed up that Intel growth.)
 
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SeraphAscending

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Something I’ve felt missing from the crises are solutions other than war. If you’ve wanted to play a peaceful, smaller empire then you’re fucked. If you want to play anything that doesn’t give you a huge fleet you’re fucked.

There should be paths to counter, or at least mitigate, the crises using any other of the pillars. A megastructure that shuts down Unbidden portals, a multi-stage archeology effort that reveals turns up a contingency IFF beacon making them neutral to you, a high cost and high risk operation to assassinate the Prethorian queen.

Stellaris has done a good job fleshing out other pillars of gameplay over the years like the economy and diplomacy. It would be good if there were more direct ways to leverage these against the crises. We’ve had small steps, like the GC focus, but it’s too slow and ineffective to be fun or useful.
I can imagine, that in multiplayer you can be a still interesting if you're the economic powerhouse of a federation and instead of actively controlling the war effort, you're funding it.

But ultimately, i agree. I would like to see some alternative approaches to Crises. Maybe even compounded solutions.

For example:
  • Building Crisis-specific Megastructures with a limited range that significantly weaken Crisis fleets ("<Crisis> Inhibitor")
    • Combined with the crisis growing in strength over time
    • Fields of this (repeatable) megastructure can overlap to increase debuffs
    • It would allow the empires to destroy crisis fleets without giant fleets
    • Maybe range can be configurable
      • Longer range -> lower Effect
      • Balanced
      • Strenghened Effect -> only short range
      • Complete Block (for Crisis outposts -> not fleets) -> only the range of 1 Hyperlane Jump
        • This would allow to slowly drive the crisis area away without any combat (except for defensive against significantly weakened fleets)
    • This would allow for economic empires to turn the tide of battle
    • These megastructures should not primarily be built with alloys - after all militarists have lots of that, usually
      • potentially a huge investment of rare resources and energy, thus being more accessible to economic powerhouses
  • An Anti-Crisis Burst Megastructure that consumes an entire system but within a certain range destroys all crisis fleets/planets/portals
    • Very long Build time
    • Requirement for the sacrifice of a whole system
      • Maybe even a specific one (Black hole, Neutron Star, ...)
    • Massive resource investment
    • The activated "Burst" could be over a 10-20 year span progressively damaging everything crisis-related
      • Driving all fleets either towards the structure to deactivate it or away from it to save themselves (depending on the situation)
  • Added Repeatable, SHAREABLE Technologies (with steeper cost increase) to deal bonus damage to crisis
    • maybe unique weapon systems with very low overall damage, but an extremely high crisis-damage bonus
      • very high rare resource cost
  • Utilising unique Empire strengths
    • Variations
      • Allowing for Synthetic Empires to learn to hack the contingency
      • Allowing for Psionic Empires to Infiltrate the Unbidden
      • Allowing for Biologically Ascended Empires to create a plague disrupting the Scourge
    • Repeatable, but high investment (with risks). Examples:
      • Contigency hack could fail and robot pops could randomly be modified to rogue pops that can and will only destabilize planets until purged
        • Controlled pops for the Unbidden
      • Scourge could get temporarily get stronger / more aggressive when quickly adapting to and learning from the plague
    • Potential Effects
      • Weaken all fleets
      • Cause random devastation on core worlds (if fast and often enough, actually having a chance of destroying a core world)
      • Make Crisis lose territory to impede spread
    • Could even use the new Espionage System (Although you wouldn't get regular assets, but potential pioneer scientists from your own realm that investigate, no need to "burn" them, but they could suffer damage or die in the process)
Those things should have to come with an increased crisis strength, but more importantly an increase in strength over time (more fleets, more used worlds/portals, etc.)

If balanced well (a.k.a. the hard part i don't envy the devs for) then a mixed approach would be most successful. Economic Empires weakening the crises and militarist ones destroying it - while still making both pure brute force or pure economy/development strategies valid, even if harder to pull off.

EDIT:
I realised as i was writing this, that i kinda got off-topic for this Dev-Diary. I will make a thread with a collection of my suggestions and put it in my signature, soon.
Also, I am aware that this would be quite an additional feature pack and might not be within the scope of the Espionage DLC and accompanying patch. Just to clarify.
 
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adil3tr

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HoI also is completely differently designed. The espionage system ties in other mechanics that in some way previously existed and the game was designed around. Being able to destroy factories with espionage isn’t that much of a problem if you could previously do it with bombers and they get auto repaired by other factories. Having to deal with increased resistance isn’t a problem if securing conquered territory was necessary anyway.

Stellaris espionage has no previously built systems and designs it can built upon, so I guess it will end up like in most games were espionage is an annoying afterthought.
It's also not good in Hoi4, where you could just spend a quarter of the time and just bomb the factories, and you have endless spamy spy rescues if you send them anywhere. I consider espionage in Hoi4 a total loss, honestly the intelligence system too, and I hope it isn't here as well.
 

kwheeler

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Four different AIs could focus on your governors and bribe or blackmail them to... :D

(If you're OK with that, then fine, but we have to agree to differ :) )
Yeah, I'm okay with that--but I understand why many players would hate it.
 

M@ni@c

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Ooh, could we have an action to increase the attraction of a certain ethic within another empire? Could be both used to cause havoc for a rival empire, or try to switch the ethic of a federation member, so you have less cohesion decay due to conflicting ethics.
 
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manjiare

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Hello I have a little doubt regarding mods, because there are times when the launcher recognizes me mods but the next day I miss an error that the game does not shortcut the mods folder when it has it, all downloaded from the steam workshop.
 

kwheeler

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Hello I have a little doubt regarding mods, because there are times when the launcher recognizes me mods but the next day I miss an error that the game does not shortcut the mods folder when it has it, all downloaded from the steam workshop.
Wrong discussion thread, good lad or lass.
 
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Tamwin5

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99% it will be Spying dlc coinciding with 2.9 version of game

Considering the new Intel mechanics, and how Espionage is a key part of their balance, I am 100% sure that espionage is base game. Making espionage a DLC would also limit further development of the system, as Stellaris has a policy to not have features which requires two separate DLCs to use. They might lock all the fun systems and cool operations behind the DLC, but the system will be base game.
 
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RELee

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We've got a number of DS9 fans on the team, after all it is the best Star Trek series.
Wow. Taking this whole Provocations thing too seriously, are we? :)
spock-brows.jpg
 
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Koopa

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oh yes. DS9 is best! fun thing that the slightly controversial discussion about discovery and picard is nothing new. i read an old news article (the ones on paper!) in which people proclaimed next generation to be an abomination of the star trek franchise. new trek, old discussion (not that i really like discovery but its fine enough)