The pop mechanism is quite terrible in 3.0

Abberon

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The s-curve per planet is a fine addition but the total empire cost increase is ridiculous. My ringworld, which I built as early as I could had about 12 pops per segment by the time I pushed the big red button.
If you purge all the xenos, as is right and proper, The only planets producing anything are your first core worlds.
Yeah the empire-wide cap is awful, and I think it came as a surprise to most of us. It's immersion breaking and mechanic breaking. It's not fun. It feels terrible. It needs to go.

This was not the only way to improve performance, but it was probably one of the worst.

As you say, purging all xenos is right and proper, but the game REALLY doesn't want to let you do that anymore.
 
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mial42

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Carrying capacity should already do most of the job. Let growth be per planet instead of empire wide. I get what they what they were going for, as nation's population increases birthrates fall across the board. But it's not based on pure population, but economy. Carrying capacity already achieves some of this. IMHO carrying capacity + S curve + immigration tweaks should be enough
I feel like I'm shouting into the void here: Carrying Capacity does nothing to reduce pop counts. In fact, Carrying Capacity massively increases pop counts by doubling organic pop growth (screwing over MEs in the process) and incentivizes weird gameplay like building huge numbers of houses and hardly any jobs. Carrying capacity does not solve any problems that the empire-wide malus is intended to address.
 
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mial42

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For me pop assembly is something hard to be balanced. In the past versions, the ascension perk "Synthetic Evolution" dominate the game because it provides a lot of assembly jobs. If pop assembly is not restricted by the planet, then it is hard to control the pop growth even with a S-curve nomal pop growth.
But how to reasonablly restrict pop assembly? Cut down the basic assembly speed? Or trigger some event like "people protest against more robots/cloned people assembly since they snatch their work"? It was hard to find a perfect plan to solve it.
Simplest solution: just cut down on the excess sources of it, which really just means the +2 roboticists/replicators synths/machines get at their highest level capital. Without that synths are still quite powerful (as they should be: they're the most expensive ascension by far), but don't have absolutely bonkers growth lategame, and machines are perfectly fine without their last 2 replicators, especially now that they get "default" growth.
 

Nebbie Zebbie

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Stefan Anon cheats - subtly, but he cheats. If you watch his videos, he often goes grows his pops between gaps in impossible ways.
I don't think he actually just like, uses console commands, but he uses really crazy strategies and likely outright exploits.
I tried to mod Stellaris to test out some ideas, and boy you are right. The system files are a convoluted nightmare, and every change I made completely broke the AI. I think the reason they slapped on new features instead of doing a real rework is because it's less of a headache in the short term. It makes the long-term problem of codebase unwieldiness worse, but at this point they probably don't care. They needed to get something done right now.
They're accruing technical debt. Also, something very telling is that all this started out as "2.9", and then suddenly it's "3.0 with Nemesis DLC". The move from 2.0 to 3.0 doesn't make any version numbering sense, as this is a much smaller jump even than 2.2 was, so I strongly suspect that it's a marketing play to make it look like it was a huge overhaul. I further suspect the higher-ups saw the devs trying to "waste time" fixing performance and reducing technical debt and jumped on them to put out the one major feature set players were begging for as a DLC ASAP for the summer (when kids come home from school to play games).
I feel like I'm shouting into the void here: Carrying Capacity does nothing to reduce pop counts. In fact, Carrying Capacity massively increases pop counts by doubling organic pop growth (screwing over MEs in the process) and incentivizes weird gameplay like building huge numbers of houses and hardly any jobs. Carrying capacity does not solve any problems that the empire-wide malus is intended to address.
Empire-wide carrying capacity just based on planet size could alleviate things. You'd need to make new worlds to prevent running out of growth fast as your planets fill up.
Per-planet feels a little more natural, but yeah, all it does is speed up early growth and mean that planets are ideally always sitting on empty districts with no remaining jobs.
I think they need to tone down the pop growth bonus of the S curve, make unemployeds with housing much less likely to migrate, nerf the ability to spam habitats (upkeep costs, not initial costs), and increase empre sprawl. Those all working in concert would probably make much saner empire growth without nearly as many cheesy mechanics.
 
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TSBasilisk

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Maybe have a planet-by-planet S-curve for pop growth cost with each unit grown moving you further along it? Start with units growing cheap during the initial colonization fever, becoming more expensive as the world becomes settled, and gradually leveling out at a higher cost? That way new colonies will still have fast growth while older colonies will mellow out over time. Feeder worlds will still get the buffed growth speed but they'll gradually become less effective as they use up the lower part of their S.

Robots would be exempt - they're being built at the same pace regardless of the colony's age.
 

Pvt_Numnutz

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What about sector wide growth as opposed to empire wide?

If we abolish the empire wide penalty and instead move it to sectors and have it based on the average development of the planets in that sector?

This would have a similar effect, frontier sectors see an influx of population growth as colonization efforts take place, as they develop they loose that pull and urbanize and then slow once developed with more emigration. Empire wide immigration could then be funneled through sector capitals first before going to the capital sector.

Just spit balling.
 
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Sectors might be too easy to game. You can abolish sectors and reform them as needed; what if you abolish one of your main sectors, colonize a new planet/habitat in its center, and make that the capital - would you still get a frontier sector growth in your old colonies as well?
 

Barradrine

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I feel like I'm shouting into the void here: Carrying Capacity does nothing to reduce pop counts. In fact, Carrying Capacity massively increases pop counts by doubling organic pop growth (screwing over MEs in the process) and incentivizes weird gameplay like building huge numbers of houses and hardly any jobs. Carrying capacity does not solve any problems that the empire-wide malus is intended to address.
It can with some change in number, especially if you make the S curve going aroung 0 pop grow when your'exceeding the max capacity of your planete. You can even remove evrything about this housing/job needing for a grow boost/malus. Just a S curve that grow bigger till your pop hit 1/2 or 2/3 of the capacity that keep degressing after that till aorund 0. Robot/machine would have a normal flat construct but would also stop when the world is full. you could also keep the necessity of having 150 or 200 point to have for having a new pop.

I would prefere having some full worlds thats stopped producing pop, but keeping new colony grow. All you have to do after this is 'fixing' these prison/fortress world and the spam of habitat.

Theorically people would still hit a 'cap' of population.... depending on their number of world ! with a boost in late when you finish a ring world and you can move pop to the ring, but like dyson and decompressor or the scientifique center etc i wouldn't care having one and unique ring world, that wouldn't make sens, but it's already the same for the dyson and decompressor anyway.

If it's too complexe to adresse these change for each world, a 'carrying capacity empire' that add each carrying capacity of your worlds could certainly be done.
 
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An empire carrying capacity curve does make sense - every time you gain new worlds or build a new habitat, it creates a kind of colony rush as people cramped on over-populated worlds see an opportunity to emigrate. And it means you don't need to keep building ecumenopoli and ring worlds as your population growth will slow enough to be manageable without spamming them.
 
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Jarolleon

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Yeah the planet-wide cap is awful, and I think it came as a surprise to most of us. It's immersion breaking and mechanic breaking. It's not fun. It feels terrible. It needs to go.

This was not the only way to improve performance, but it was probably one of the worst.

As you say, purging all xenos is right and proper, but the game REALLY doesn't want to let you do that anymore.
Maybe it's about nerfing the "purge the xenos" strategy some more so the game loses that "Space Nazi Simulator" reputation as if it'll ever live that down. :p
 
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npc1054657282

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I feel like I'm shouting into the void here: Carrying Capacity does nothing to reduce pop counts. In fact, Carrying Capacity massively increases pop counts by doubling organic pop growth (screwing over MEs in the process) and incentivizes weird gameplay like building huge numbers of houses and hardly any jobs. Carrying capacity does not solve any problems that the empire-wide malus is intended to address.
Maybe the planet cap does not reduce pop so much, but it is quite an interesting and intuitive mechanism, and can just stop the disturbing pop growth in the late game. Most players still want pop growth on a new planet for their game experience but do not want pop continue to grow on a complete conoly. It is just what many players want. Many mods have realize the planet-wide S-curve pop growth, they do not cut down so much pop, but work well and provide good game experience.
In the past versions houses are meaningless resources because the stability that a city district bring does not deserve a district output. Building houses to attract people to breed is reasonable but not weird. The critical thing is that now players can utilize the resettlement mechanism to control how many pops staying on a planet arbitrarily, that result in some exploit. So the dev needs to targetly punish the resettlement abuse.
 
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Abberon

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An empire carrying capacity curve does make sense - every time you gain new worlds or build a new habitat, it creates a kind of colony rush as people cramped on over-populated worlds see an opportunity to emigrate. And it means you don't need to keep building ecumenopoli and ring worlds as your population growth will slow enough to be manageable without spamming them.
That makes absolutely no sense.

Yes, population growth was too fast before. Everyone agrees (I think).

An Empire capacity makes no sense. It's completely arbitrary and you have to do mental gymnastics to rationalize it outside of anything other than wanting to "improve performance" or "make playing tall viable".

Population capacity only makes sense by what's constraining it. In RL, that's available resources. You can abstract that into planetary capacity via room to live etc, and though it's kind of fluffy you can at least wrap your head around it.

An Empire capacity is utter nonsense.
 
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mial42

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Maybe the planet cap does not reduce pop so much, but it is quite an interesting and intuitive mechanism, and can just stop the disturbing pop growth in the late game. Most players still want pop growth on a new planet for their game experience but do not want pop continue to grow on a complete conoly. It is just what many players want. Many mods have realize the planet-wide S-curve pop growth, they do not cut down so much pop, but work well and provide good game experience.
In the past versions houses are meaningless resources because the stability that a city district bring does not deserve a district output. Building houses to attract people to breed is reasonable but not weird. The critical thing is that now players can utilize the resettlement mechanism to control how many pops staying on a planet arbitrarily, that result in some exploit. So the dev needs to targetly punish the resettlement abuse.
It is *not* intuitive at all: what it is or how it works is explained nowhere in game.

It's a mechanism that would work if resettlement were impossible and assembly didn't exist, but neither of those are true, so instead its a disconnected system that causes issues and does not solve them.
 
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Pvt_Numnutz

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Sectors might be too easy to game. You can abolish sectors and reform them as needed; what if you abolish one of your main sectors, colonize a new planet/habitat in its center, and make that the capital - would you still get a frontier sector growth in your old colonies as well?

Well if it purely goes off of development then the growth rate would just adjust to the new average development of the restructured sector. I find it can actually be good to restructure the boundaries of sectors from time to time as new planets are colonized and such.

It would actually be handy in this system to be able to change the capital sector, for ecu and ring worlds it would mean the automated immigration system would then be funneling their excess from other sectors and adding a frontier growth bonus on all that new space until somewhat developed.
 

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I am on my second post patch game. The year is 2356 and I have 330 pops across 18 worlds. Most of my planets now take at least 5 years to grow a pop, with some over 10 years. Does it make sense to settle any more colonies? I am not sure.

It does feel like everything has ground to a halt. It just doesn't feel good. Gameplay should feel like it is ramping up near end game not slowing down.


I am not sure what is the solution is to pop lag. Maybe to reduce the overall capacity of colonies? If a planet can fit 100 pops normally, perhaps it should be max 50 instead?
 
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arosenberger14

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I feel like I'm shouting into the void here: Carrying Capacity does nothing to reduce pop counts. In fact, Carrying Capacity massively increases pop counts by doubling organic pop growth (screwing over MEs in the process) and incentivizes weird gameplay like building huge numbers of houses and hardly any jobs. Carrying capacity does not solve any problems that the empire-wide malus is intended to address.
Carrying capacity is only good for two things. It delays the return on investment for new colonies by depressing their growth right after you found them, and it prevents planets from constantly spawning new pops once they're full (typically around 2350-2400 in 2.8), reducing micromanagement. The former is of questionable value (especially with the empire-wide penalty further driving down the growth rate of new colonies), and the latter is not even needed to reduce micromanagement now that auto-migration is implemented.

I don't even get why they put in the S-curve in 3.01 when the empire-wide growth penalty basically makes it worse than useless.
 
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Fulgrymm

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I think the system would be better if the growth cap increase was done away with, and the s-curve growth be done on a per planet basis. There's no reason for population growth on Earth to affect pop growth on Terra Nova.
 
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npc1054657282

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It is *not* intuitive at all: what it is or how it works is explained nowhere in game.

It's a mechanism that would work if resettlement were impossible and assembly didn't exist, but neither of those are true, so instead its a disconnected system that causes issues and does not solve them.
The point of why the planet cap is intuitive is that, the planet is a pop production unit, so the pop production unit's effect should be influenced directly by the planet itself, but not other things. Now Paradox make the pop and job systems so micro, which make a rough impact from the empire very illogical when we see it in a micro way.
Assembly does not influence the reasonability of organic pop growth on a planet. Organic pop's living space of course will be narrowed by the robots and now the game correctly shows this. The assembly itself has some problems since it cannot be logically slow down. The basic assembly unit is a job, but not a planet, so a job's restrict may make sense. But the natrural growth itself does not have the problem.
The resettlement is just a new problem in 3.0. S-curve pop growth just solve the unemployment issue, and Paradox get a new mechanism automatic resettlement to solve it repeatly. According to the Paradox Dev, resettlement is not a function that the dev hope players to utilize too much. That's why force resettlement adds the influence cost, and now the critical thing is to punish the abused resettlement, but not the S-curve pop growth.
 

TSBasilisk

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I don't even get why they put in the S-curve in 3.01 when the empire-wide growth penalty basically makes it worse than useless.
Could be the devs thought the S-curve would fix the pop lag issues by itself but failed to meet expectations. The pop soft cap was then added to meet the goal, but the S-curves were left in. It may be that the soft cap is just a stop gap for the time being and they'll keep fine-tuning the S-curve moving forward until it can be phased out; or they may just not wanted to throw away a mechanic they spent so much time developing, especially when it adds some authenticity to planetary growth rates.
 
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npc1054657282

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Could be the devs thought the S-curve would fix the pop lag issues by itself but failed to meet expectations. The pop soft cap was then added to meet the goal, but the S-curves were left in. It may be that the soft cap is just a stop gap for the time being and they'll keep fine-tuning the S-curve moving forward until it can be phased out; or they may just not wanted to throw away a mechanic they spent so much time developing, especially when it adds some authenticity to planetary growth rates.
The problem is all brought from the empire penalty, it is roughly designed. Even without the S-curve pop growth, players still suffer from the empire penalty. But without empire penalty, S-curve does not bring so many problems, since it has been realized in many mods. Well, of course the S-curve does not cut down so many pops too, it is more a mechanism for fun and reality.
 
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