The entire idea of "suing for peace" and the Casus Belli war claim system is complete garbage

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I wish they would implement a CB system similar to eu4, where you negotiate a peace treaty to end the war, and different CBs unlock different demands you can make.
I would in general agree that EU4 has the best system for resolving wars / negotiating and end to wars. The one thing it does lack, and this is a major downside, is the option to agree to an exchange, rather than a singular "I take stuff" or "I give stuff".

But I suspect that the reason that people like it is actually that it has no limiting factor to the length of war. Every later system has that point where peace is simply forced upon you - even if you are winning. Every single criticism of Stellaris war system eventually boils down to "war exhaustion is stupid, I want to fight on after reaching 100%". And yes, this might be a problem of communication, since War Exhaustion in EU4 is something entirely different. In Stellaris, it is the definite expiration date of a war. There can be no "choose to continue and take a penalty" for that. The penalty for extending the war past 100% war exhaustion (and the countdown to forced peace after that...) would need to be a forced game over. It would need to be your whole empire collapsing into civil war. Again - it is maybe badly communicated since you never feel the impact beforehand.

But this is a good system. It is not a perfect system, and it is a workaround to a larger problem where the game does not manage to properly portray the burden of empire when it comes to war. But it is far better than EU4 (in that aspect, not in general), where nothing stops the player from fighting every war until they have achieved total victory.
 
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I would in general agree that EU4 has the best system for resolving wars / negotiating and end to wars. The one thing it does lack, and this is a major downside, is the option to agree to an exchange, rather than a singular "I take stuff" or "I give stuff".

But I suspect that the reason that people like it is actually that it has no limiting factor to the length of war. Every later system has that point where peace is simply forced upon you - even if you are winning. Every single criticism of Stellaris war system eventually boils down to "war exhaustion is stupid, I want to fight on after reaching 100%". And yes, this might be a problem of communication, since War Exhaustion in EU4 is something entirely different. In Stellaris, it is the definite expiration date of a war. There can be no "choose to continue and take a penalty" for that. The penalty for extending the war past 100% war exhaustion (and the countdown to forced peace after that...) would need to be a forced game over. It would need to be your whole empire collapsing into civil war. Again - it is maybe badly communicated since you never feel the impact beforehand.

But this is a good system. It is not a perfect system, and it is a workaround to a larger problem where the game does not manage to properly portray the burden of empire when it comes to war. But it is far better than EU4 (in that aspect, not in general), where nothing stops the player from fighting every war until they have achieved total victory.
There is one major factor in eu4 that prevents the player from fighting every war until total victory: Manpower.

Yes, i agree that being able to exchange systems is a realistic feature that eu4 doesn't have, but you can do so many interesting things with the eu4 system: break alliances, break vassalage, force release tags, transfer trade power, demand military access, humiliate, change religion, return cores to other countries. Imagine if we had stuff like this in stellaris.
 
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There is one major factor in eu4 that prevents the player from fighting every war until total victory: Manpower.
That is not a limiting factor in the sense I describe.
First, if we go by that, there would be another, very obvious factor: if you are fully occupied, you get force-peaced eventually. What I mean is the scenario of "I do theoretically have the upper hand but have not been able to fully occupy the enemy". This is where Stellaris tells you "time has run out, forced peace". THAT is a great system.
Second, it is not truly a limiting factor in the other sense either: there is always another button to press to get manpower, mercenaries to hire, etc. There is no "you've reached 0 manpower, the war is over right now". That is what people desire: Total control over when to end the war on their terms. And I think that is bad for the health of the game.
 
Some thoughts, ideas and wishlist things which might be fun or might be terrible if implemented - I am not a game designer. I doubt many of these things should be implemented in Stellaris 1 even if they could be.
  • Empires should be able to attack freely, reactions from your own population, target and other empires would depend on multiple factors.
  • Truces, peace treties etc. can be broken at will, but would result in different reactions among other civilized empires. Break enough and soon you might be facing stationed fleets on every border because nobody trusts you.
  • Empires can fabricate propangda, misinformation etc. to justify attack to both their own populace and other empires.
  • Empires would react differently based on how attack was done, and against who.
    • "Civilized Empires" with established diplomacy would abhor unproved attacks against other civilized empires, including often unknown or newly discovered empires. This might lead to other empires to help the target either indirectly in form of sanctions, blockades or directly.
    • Your own population might be less than happy, too, if it was truly unproveked attack, especially against friendly empire. Exact reactions and effects would depend on internal politics.
    • Attacking after you were victim of an attacked would give different reactions.
    • Attacking know genocidal empire should not cause too much issues, especially if the genocidal empire has already attacked before.
  • Conflict during first contact war could escalate to a full scale war even if communications are established during the war.
  • Single attack or raid might not escalate to a full war - unless one or both sides desire war.
  • Maintaining active large scale combat operations should be expensive in resources, morale (if applicable) and other support elements. Currently in Stellaris it is very easy to maintain infinite state of war.
  • Mechanics to allow low intensity war, eg. border skirmishes, raids and so on. One side could decide to escalate it to a full scale war but it should have drawbacks (see point above about large scale war being expensive).
  • War could just.. stop. No official treaties. War is after all expensive and if one or both sides decide now is good idea to stop they might do. Eg. bottleneck system making further assaults too expensive, economy in shambles etc.
 
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Empires should be able to attack freely, reactions from your own population, target and other empires would depend on multiple factors.
Isn’t this (supposed to be) represented by what CBs you have access to?
Empires can fabricate propangda, misinformation etc. to justify attack to both their own populace and other empires.
I think harm relations and claims are intended to represent this.
Conflict during first contact war could escalate to a full scale war even if communications are established during the war.
singling this out, it’s frankly criminal that this isn’t already the case.
War could just.. stop. No official treaties. War is after all expensive and if one or both sides decide now is good idea to stop they might do. Eg. bottleneck system making further assaults too expensive, economy in shambles etc.
I think Status Quo Peace is meant to represent this, at least partially. Especially in the case of Total War.

Agree though, if/when we get Stellaris 2 I’m hoping stuff like this will either be added or given the groundwork to implement later.
 
This is also not a great post.
One night argue your post is the least constructive of all.

As to OP, I'm not sure how exactly you might improve the war resolution mechanic in a way that both functions well mechanically (e.g, doesn't have stupid cheese, allows for dynamic options for both sides of the way) and Roleplay wise (e.g, not something pure mechanics based like the Menace system)

If you have any suggestions I'm all ears but I'd hesitate to call it "garbage and bad" until I see another system that demonstrably superior both for mechanics and RP purposes.
 
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Isn’t this (supposed to be) represented by what CBs you have access to?

I think harm relations and claims are intended to represent this.

Not really, currently the war in Stellaris is always full scale war or peace - there is nothing in between. Granted, CBs can limit the goals somewhat but they often require a total defeat of the AI before they give up. I don't really like warfare in Stellaris and I often try to limit it - especially if there is a risk that it turns into cat and mouse game where I have to micro fleets to prevent enemy from getting through. As a result especially in the early/mid-game wars I fight have very limited objectives: from conquering just single bottleneck or even destroying a constructor ship or science ship before I can build outpost on the system. In either case the AI empire will respond with full force which results in considerable losses for both sides. Obviously AI should have option to respond like that but I feel there should be more nuance between "minor border skirmish" vs "full scale invasion".

Status Quo has similar issue because both sides have to agree to it: the conflict can't just peter out even if the original goal is no longer relevant to either empire. Basically the game rules in Stellaris are too inflexible.

The harm/improve relations are just used to manipulate relationship between the empires, not really give "excuses" for possible war or demands in the future. Obviously Stellaris currently lacks game mechanics to handle things like "I am a bigger, and I really really want this system, give it us or we go to war". I haven't played much of the modern titles mentioned in the thread (eg. EU4), but Victoria 2 had fairly interesting Crisis system build to simulate tensions leading to WW1. I believe Vic3 has something similar, though I haven't played it yet due to the fairly lukewarm reception and it not being available on Game Pass.
 
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Not really, currently the war in Stellaris is always full scale war or peace - there is nothing in between. Granted, CBs can limit the goals somewhat but they often require a total defeat of the AI before they give up. I don't really like warfare in Stellaris and I often try to limit it - especially if there is a risk that it turns into cat and mouse game where I have to micro fleets to prevent enemy from getting through. As a result especially in the early/mid-game wars I fight have very limited objectives: from conquering just single bottleneck or even destroying a constructor ship or science ship before I can build outpost on the system. In either case the AI empire will respond with full force which results in considerable losses for both sides. Obviously AI should have option to respond like that but I feel there should be more nuance between "minor border skirmish" vs "full scale invasion".

Status Quo has similar issue because both sides have to agree to it: the conflict can't just peter out even if the original goal is no longer relevant to either empire. Basically the game rules in Stellaris are too inflexible.

The harm/improve relations are just used to manipulate relationship between the empires, not really give "excuses" for possible war or demands in the future. Obviously Stellaris currently lacks game mechanics to handle things like "I am a bigger, and I really really want this system, give it us or we go to war". I haven't played much of the modern titles mentioned in the thread (eg. EU4), but Victoria 2 had fairly interesting Crisis system build to simulate tensions leading to WW1. I believe Vic3 has something similar, though I haven't played it yet due to the fairly lukewarm reception and it not being available on Game Pass.

Careful, I have a 2000 word sermon on Raid CB for all 4 players in the cosmos that actually take it religiously. Preaching to the choir? Not a large enough congregation for a choir, moot point.

Meta diplomilitarily, this is pretty much correct, but it affords some amount of opportunity to those who reasonably wait for others to step in it before they declare their move. Warfare itself probably should have players and AI alike not throwing the kitchen sink into one war since it exposes them to a 3rd party potentially, but the entire CB system kind of prevents war without stakes bar the Raid CB which is minimal stakes and no marker pushed in for the move. The 'I expose my butt to smack another's butt' is moderated through the CB system itself, not through applied forces game theory.
 
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If you have any suggestions I'm all ears but I'd hesitate to call it "garbage and bad" until I see another system that demonstrably superior both for mechanics and RP purposes.
My intent wasn't to trigger you into responses, but I do realize people take game insults personally. Sorry for that. I truly appreciate the time everyone took to respond.

I've enjoyed reading the responses so far.

Clearly this is a topic many of you have had time to debate, and flesh out (quite) a bit more, but seemingly without coming to a consensus as of yet.

I think I'll take a cue from the beloved by some, and bedraggled by others Stellaris War system and say; Time is up! The war is over for me on the forums. And as in most wars I don't have a suggestion that anyone would be happy with; luckily it's just a game in this case and nobody has to perish while waiting for the magic bullet.
 
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So wars should just be a free-for-all?
honestly in a sense i kind of agree with him there. Logically speaking until the galactic community is formed, there is no international law regulating warfare. So the idea that we have to make claims in order to "justify" our war against some random alien we've encountered before that point seems unrealistic.

It might have been better to use a war support system instead of a claim system for stellaris, where the only limiting factor is your own population. This could tie in well with internal politics even, where instead of making claims you make use of propaganda, media campaigns, or other methods to convince your population that this enemy needs to be dealt with. This could come in the form of a multi-stage special project event chain where you need to spend various resources to start militarizing your economy and building war support. Then after you've completed it, you can start a war that's only limited in scale by your populations support for it. Things like taking planets or losing planets, winning/losing battles, could all contribute to war support. So unless you're fighting an enemy that never stood a chance anyways, wars should still be pretty balanced. Imo this makes way more sense for the setting of stellaris.
 
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honestly in a sense i kind of agree with him there. Logically speaking until the galactic community is formed, there is no international law regulating warfare. So the idea that we have to make claims in order to "justify" our war against some random alien we've encountered before that point seems unrealistic.

It might have been better to use a war support system instead of a claim system for stellaris, where the only limiting factor is your own population. This could tie in well with internal politics even, where instead of making claims you make use of propaganda, media campaigns, or other methods to convince your population that this enemy needs to be dealt with. This could come in the form of a multi-stage special project event chain where you need to spend various resources to start militarizing your economy and building war support. Then after you've completed it, you can start a war that's only limited in scale by your populations support for it. Things like taking planets or losing planets, winning/losing battles, could all contribute to war support. So unless you're fighting an enemy that never stood a chance anyways, wars should still be pretty balanced. Imo this makes way more sense for the setting of stellaris.

Even if it makes some really keen thematic sense that the rules of war and galactic recognition doesn't kick in until there's some kind of body, I don't think everyone bar a handful of fighty xenos would actually enjoy the system at all up until that point, and I don't think 'well everyone should be a warlord until there are rules' is what most are asking for, although I'll sell you a phaser if you think it'll help. How does a diplomatic xeno actually solicit help with a free for all until a body?

I mean, I'm not saying the CB system works well, but when you start probing into why that and not something else, it's not hard to see the why of teh status quo, shabby as it is.

Current playthrough, Galactic Community didnt form until 2280ish...that's a long time to be without an official capacity to rely on an ally if its just an ongoing border skirmish you keep losing more and more to.
 
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Even if it makes some really keen thematic sense that the rules of war and galactic recognition doesn't kick in until there's some kind of body, I don't think everyone bar a handful of fighty xenos would actually enjoy the system at all up until that point, and I don't think 'well everyone should be a warlord until there are rules' is what most are asking for, although I'll sell you a phaser if you think it'll help. How does a diplomatic xeno actually solicit help with a free for all until a body?

I mean, I'm not saying the CB system works well, but when you start probing into why that and not something else, it's not hard to see the why of teh status quo, shabby as it is.

Current playthrough, Galactic Community didnt form until 2280ish...that's a long time to be without an official capacity to rely on an ally if its just an ongoing border skirmish you keep losing more and more to.
I see no reason you cant just have both. Diplomatic agreements between individual nations could still exist if we removed casus bellis in favor of my suggestion (or any other) Diplomatic empires would seek to form alliances the same as always.


I'm just saying the need for a casus belli before any type of galactic law has been established is nonsensical. After all whos going to say you cant violate that truce or say you cant just warmonger everyone before then?
 
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I see no reason you cant just have both. Diplomatic agreements between individual nations could still exist if we removed casus bellis in favor of my suggestion (or any other) Diplomatic empires would seek to form alliances the same as always.


I'm just saying the need for a casus belli before any type of galactic law has been established is nonsensical. After all whos going to say you cant violate that truce or say you cant just warmonger everyone before then?
I think it could work but I its like, the goofy clunky system has its reasons here and there. Early defensive pacts is a way of life for more than just me (and I admit I see nothing but stars once one of those is secured) and while I wouldnt mind picking on another without taking a full on bite of the apple...mechanical questions like 'how do you help a buddy with their problem without officialness' loom for me.
 
The CBs are to justify the war to your citizens, not the galactic community. Hence why despoilers and purifiers have automatic CBs against everyone.
Hence why some ethics cant pursue a war for claims but totally will lethally egalitarianaly insist upon another by force to prove egal is the true righteous path. Lethal Arc Emitter Discourse!
 
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The CBs are to justify the war to your citizens, not the galactic community. Hence why despoilers and purifiers have automatic CBs against everyone.
Eh yes but that's not really the point. In the game you're using the "Claim" casus belli in order to declare war. So sure the initial claim is your governments justification to its citizens. but I'm wanting to get rid of the tedious claiming mechanic for systems in favor of a semi total war situation where war support is the only limit to how much you can take based on how willing your population is to continue the fight. instead of having to wait 50 years to save up heaps of influence when you could have crushed the enemy years ago.

In practice it just makes the game more fluent and realistic. Small enemies who never stood a chance will be destroyed, as was their fate anyways. and large nations will fight each other till they're populations are exhausted and demand peace. instead of wasting 2-3 wars on a nation that never stood a chance against you anyways.
 
There are a ton of things that are wrong with Stellaris warfare system. Heck, even the devs agree on that.

As for claims, I kinda understand its implementation from a "gamey" point of view, but the whole war exhaustion is the one that stands out the most for me. The fact that it is just a war countdown and that it has zero economic penalties whatsoever makes it feel extremely artificial.

A gradual introduction of a global penalty to all resource production (which would last even after a period of peace) would be a much more fitting representation of tired populaces rather than an auto-suing for peace.

Let players fight a total war if they wish to do it but at the cost of cratering their economies. That would imply a risk VS reward calculation that would add a lot more tension to wars and make them feel more organic, IMHO.
 
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War is abstract and silly partly because the method of control over territory is silly. I'm building up blue mana so I can build a pathetically weak outpost with space metals that then claims a star system and somehow transports resources over empire-wide. If somebody shoots at the blighted thing it turns into their pathetically weak outpost that transports resources to them, and the ownership of the system if they spent blue mana for it. And indeed they must shoot at every outpost they want. It doesn't even stop piracy. What am I doing exactly and why?

Purifiers don't need blue mana for war though because they don't do diplomacy. So they'll sit at a maxed stack of it. I guess they're kind of rogue states? Unlike Legitimate Star Empire next door who comes to take all your stuff and spent their hard-earned influence to do so. And if they forget to convert some outpost to their side by shooting it before they kill the whole race they're fighting, the outpost vanishes and the system becomes unexplored.

I don't get it. It's not fun either. At least the old system didn't have you build hundreds of outposts just to establish borders.
 
Like it or not, war is still extremely powerful and the easiest way to play the game. Either through conquest of pops (more pops means more resources, means more war, means more resources, you get the idea) or through vassals (take all their stuff, create buffer zones, expanded influence on the galactic stage, etc.)

Even with all the adjustments they made to avoid steamrolling the game through a war dec (shows just how rewarding being aggressive truly is), it's still the easiest way to play/win the game.

And it sucks, because the whole point behind strategy games (especially 4X, in my opinion) is that there should be many viable playstyles. One playstyle should not completely overshadow everything else.

Personally, I believe war and its aftermath should come with higher restrictions and penalties. Not through the war system itself, but through logistics. It takes a herculean effort to wage war, you need supply lines, troops to pacify occupied territories, Intel on your enemies, dealing with factions that might oppose you, etc.

Stellaris has NONE of that. As of now, the only reason to ever resort to a White Peace is if the foe you're attacking has friends you have no claims on. You still achieve all your objectives (most of the time), there's 0 drawback to this except not getting a small Opinion buff from the Militant faction for actually winning a war.

War in this game is too easy. Something with such high rewards should come with its own share of problems. But it doesn't.

Also doesn't help that a LOT of the recent DLC since the war 2.0 rework have been focused all around expansion and war. When are we getting one that focuses on logistics and empire management?
 
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