The Real Problems With Stellaris

Nocty1501

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Introduction

Hi.

I'd like to preface this post by saying that this is an opinion piece by me, a veteran of the game who started playing since just before Synthetic Dawn came out. That may not be veteranly enough for some of you, but I think I can speak to the state of the game as I've been there for every major update.

After browsing the forums for a bit, I noticed people getting upset with the way Paradox has been treating Stellaris lately, but a lot of the complaints miss what I think are the real problems with the game, which is where this post comes in. I will break down the issues the game has in its current state, and while I may not be able to provide adequate solutions, hopefully this post will allow people to brainstorm their own.

This will get very rant-y.

Pre-2.0

I started playing the game just before Synthetic Dawn and instantly fell in love. The game was incredibly complex and reminded me a lot of Civilization V, which is a game I love to death. The ability to create your own empires was amazing, since most strategy games have a set of pre-made empires and only sometimes a half-hearted attempt at customization, whereas in Stellaris the customization is the point of the game - the pre-made empires are just there to give you an idea of what kind of empire you can design yourself.

However, the game was lacking in the strategic sense of things. Wars came down to one major battle between two opposing deathstacked fleets, where the winner of the battle would then proceed to win the war. There was basically no way to defend your territory because of how underdeveloped the concept of military stations was, and the multiple FTL types meant there was no galactic "terrain" - no naturally defensible areas one could "dig into". Then, 2.0.

Apocalypse and patch 2.0

A common opinion in the community seems to be that the FTL rework 2.0 brought in was a terrible idea and took away from the game. I struggle to contain the frustration I have with these people, as they could not be any more incorrect.

The FTL rework was not just good, it was great. Moreover, it was necessary.

Before 2.0, I would always play the game with every empire forced to use the hyperlane FTL type, and it made the game a little more strategic as maneuvering your fleets around enemy territory became an actual part of invasion strategy. However, with 2.0, Paradox took it to a whole new level. Taking out the penalty for traversing hyperlanes far from home made movement much more strategic since fleet speed became an actual factor, and the removal of the god-awful Frontier Outposts was a great idea (see Civilization IV's culture-based city borders vs Civilization V's static hex claiming). The galaxy finally had terrain one could move about and dig into with the new amazing starbases, which were balanced very well to allow a defensive playstyle.

There are two common complaints about this system which I will now proceed to get very frustrated with.

The more common of the two complaints is that by removing the other FTL types, Paradox took out customization options and content which users paid for. The response to this is twofold - firstly, the FTL types were essentially identical. The wormhole and the old "jump" FTL were just a cosmetic change. The problem was very clear - they allowed you to bypass all enemy defenses and jump straight to your destination instead of having to navigate through enemy defenses. It was a bad system, and it had to go.

The other comment is that the new hyperlane "borders" make for the same kind of warfare as before - you defeat an enemy in one giant battle (except this time it's at a chokepoint between your empires) and then proceed to win the war. This line of thinking is also incorrect, for multiple reasons. With the new disengaging from combat feature an empire could very quickly come back from losing a large battle since most of its ships could simply be repaired, and if you end up winning a war after one decisive battle, you were probably fighting an opponent who is incredibly weak and you would wipe the floor with regardless. In addition, there is never just one chokepoint, your empire does not consist of just one star system, so even if one particular enemy might only have one chokepoint connecting your empire with theirs, you could always be invaded on another front on another side of your empire - the galactic terrain doing its job.

The FTL rework was objectively good, and it's a real shame that so many people in the community protesting Paradox's handling of Stellaris don't seem to realize this.

MegaCorp and 2.2

This is where things get sour.

With the amazing patches that were 2.0 and 2.1, I was excited for MegaCorp. There were some red flags, like the fact that the new jobs system was managed by an AI, since Paradox has an excellent track record of having terrible AI in nearly all of its games (Stellaris most definitely included), but with how well Paradox reworked FTL, I was ready to be proven wrong.

I wasn't.

Ignoring the usual initial hiccups where Paradox always releases its DLCs and major patches in unfinished, barely playtested form (something that's par for the course if you're a Paradox veteran), the new system was a disaster. Paradox set out several goals for the new jobs system:
1. Reducing micromanagement so that players can focus on the macro level of strategy
2. Encouraging players to play more tall builds instead of wide
3. Encouraging players to play more multi-ethnic empires, like xenophiles

All of these goals were failed spectacularly, and I will now break down how and why.

Goal the first: Paradox wanted to reduce the level of micro necessary to keep an empire running efficiently. What ended up being accomplished was the opposite; before 2.2, planets needed to be micromanaged to get more efficient. You had to place the correct pops on the correct tiles with the correct buildings on them in the correct order to squeeze out the maximum possible efficiency out of them. You micromanaged to get the best possible results. Now, you micromanage as damage control against the awful job AI which fails to put any of the pops in the right jobs. There are so many problems with this system with so many specific examples I could give that I would completely stray from the main point of this post if I were to list them all, but I'll give one example: pops don't always promote to the higher level of stratum, even if there are slots open, when you prioritize low-strata jobs.

Goal the second: they wanted to encourage players to play more tall builds. This was accomplished at the cost of wide empires being nerfed into the ground, as to stay under your administrative capacity you have to build tons of buildings which increase the cap, buildings you don't have space for because building slots are now extremely valuable, meaning you have to either take massive sprawl penalties or forsake your economy in order to keep up with the new system.

And finally, goal the third: Paradox wanted people to play more multi-ethnic empires. The new jobs system had the opposite effect, as the jobs AI fails to put the best pops with the best traits on the correct tiles, and because only one pop can grow at a time, you will never hit the right balance of pops for each species to be able to cover every job every specific species is good at. You could do population controls, but then you take a flat penalty to growth for wanting a more efficient planet, and you also get no notification for when a new pop is born, so if you forget about a planet for a few years, you'll come back to a world full of a species that is now working jobs it's less efficient at than another species.

The jobs system is terrible. I played several games with the most up-to-date version, and ran into massive problems every time. My favorite empire type, a syncretic evolution slave empire, was nerfed into the ground not by balance changes, but mechanically. It's not longer possible to play efficiently unless your empire is homogenous.

In addition, the new market system meant resources are now worthless, since whenever you run low on any resource all you have to do is dump your stockpile of whatever you have too much of and buy whatever you're missing, completely destroying trade with other empires, since it was now obsolete.

Stellaris: Federations, or why democracy doesn't work

The bad continued.

With none of the issues from 2.2 solved, Paradox released Federations, which was surprisingly well-received despite not adding anything to the game other than more problems you could only do damage control against.

The Galactic Community is implemented incredibly poorly. The fact that the proposals to be put to the senate floor have to have the most support from the galaxy means any proposal that does make it to the senate floor will inevitably pass with near perfect support. In addition, the random nature of the game means if you are an authoritarian empire that happened to spawn into a galaxy of egalitarians, you will lose on every single issue in the galactic community and end up taking massive penalties for it.

The new diplomacy system is also laughably bad, as it accomplishes literally nothing: to propose friendly actions you have to either be in good relations with an empire OR have an envoy sent to improve relations, meaning there is literally no requirement for any diplomatic actions since all you have to do is send an envoy to make deals with other empires. Sure, they might not accept any if your opinion with them is too low, but that also doesn't matter as harming relations is incredibly easy. In addition, you can tell that Paradox didn't even bother integrating this new system into how things used to work as all opinion modifiers from back in the day stayed the exact same despite the fact that opinions now range from -3000 to 3000 compared to the typical opinion ranges of -200 to 200 of the old system (yes, I know they could get higher or lower than that, but opinions under -200 under the old system basically meant you were never going to make friends with that empire anyway and opinions over 200 are just redundant).

Instead of reworking international diplomacy, Federations should have reworked internal politics, making factions more in-depth and ethics a more fluid system to drift between.

The Conclusion

Stellaris 2.1.3 was for me personally the last fun version of the game. While the new updates did add some nice features, like the way origins are split from civics, and new content that doesn't affect game balance too much, like events, it's not worth playing any later version because the game is wildly unbalanced and full of design oversights.

If you have any questions or disagreements, feel free to comment or PM me, I'd be happy to have a conversation about any of these points or anything else the community might think I missed or was wrong about.

P.S. The archaeology DLC was really stupid. It's literally just anomalies that take multiple attempts to research. Fight me.

Edit the First:
Stellaris had plenty of problems back in 2.1.3, but they were problems that could only be felt by an experienced player with hundreds of hours in the game. For example, in the mid-game of Stellaris there is nothing that drives you to invade other empires. In Civilization V, for example, there is always a reason to invade one of your neighbors: one of them might have a strategic resource that you don't have, or is getting close to a particular victory condition, or they might snowball out of control if you don't stop them now. In Stellaris, I often find myself thinking "I should probably invade one of my neighbors because that is what you do in this game that I am playing", instead of being organically driven to do this due to well-implemented game mechanics.

With versions 2.2 onwards, the problems in Stellaris became very low-level. The constant damage control against the jobs system, the lack of selective purging (which was taken out in 2.2 and never properly re-implemented all the way up to 2.7 despite the patch notes never saying it was removed), the new resources which now cause you to sit on a giant stockpile of everything because you can't spend any due to lack of building slots... These problems didn't exist before 2.2 because the game was actually pretty well-balanced.

Edit the Second:
You might have noticed that I didn't mention performance issues anywhere in this thread and that is because I have a computer that can run Stellaris pretty well even hundreds of years into the game. While I realize that performance issues are a problem for many others, my concerns are primarily centered around game balance and design.

Edit the Third:
Unless you have some kind of genius revelation that nobody else has had in the last two years, I won't be engaging with anyone who tries to defend the old FTL system pre-2.0. It has already been talked to death, and also you're wrong.

4th Edit:
Changed the phrasing a little bit to be less hostile. I was being unnecessarily rude in some places.

Edit #5:
I also feel the need to mention that selective purging has been broken since 2.2 came out. It's now called "forced decline", and it doesn't work; Gestalt Consciousness empires may not force decline on their own population (for no reason), and while non-GC empire may force decline on enslaved species, the decline speed is set to the base of 5/month (so the extermination speed boost doesn't apply), and forced decline stops automatically after one pop is purged. This means you have to go back and restart the decline again if you want to exterminate just one planet and not an entire species.

As a little cherry on top, pre-sapients may not be forced to decline with the "tolerated" policy, and the extermination policy literally does nothing.

This means pre-sapient pops are permanent unless you choose to uplift them. Also, pre-sapient and certain primitive jobs have a limit of -1, and pre-sapient "jobs" count towards the job limit, meaning your unemployment calculations will always be off by the number of pre-sapients on the planet.

It's hard to believe that Paradox cares.
 
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Introduction

Hi.

I'd like to preface this post by saying that this is an opinion piece by me, a veteran of the game who started playing since just before Synthetic Dawn came out. That may not be veteranly enough for some of you, but I think I can speak to the state of the game as I've been there for every major update.

After browsing the forums for a bit, I noticed people getting upset with the way Paradox has been treating Stellaris lately, but a lot of the complaints miss the real problems with the game, which is where this post comes in. I will break down the real issues the game has in its current state, and while I may not be able to provide adequate solutions, hopefully this post will allow people to brainstorm their own.

This will get very rant-y.

Pre-2.0

I started playing the game just before Synthetic Dawn and instantly fell in love. The game was incredibly complex and reminded me a lot of Civilization V, which is a game I love to death. The ability to create your own empires was amazing, since most strategy games have a set of pre-made empires and only sometimes a half-hearted attempt at customization, whereas in Stellaris the customization is the point of the game - the pre-made empires are just there to give you an idea of what kind of empire you can design yourself.

However, the game was lacking in the strategic sense of things. Wars came down to one major battle between two opposing deathstacked fleets, where the winner of the battle would then proceed to win the war. There was basically no way to defend your territory because of how underdeveloped the concept of military stations was, and the multiple FTL types meant there was no galactic "terrain" - no naturally defensible areas one could "dig into". Then, 2.0.

Apocalypse and patch 2.0

A common opinion in the community seems to be that the FTL rework 2.0 brought in was a terrible idea and took away from the game. I struggle to contain the frustration I have with these people, as they could not be any more wrong.

The FTL rework was not just good, it was great. Moreover, it was necessary.

Before 2.0, I would always play the game with every empire forced to use the hyperlane FTL type, and it made the game a little more strategic as maneuvering your fleets around enemy territory became an actual part of the invasion strategy. However, with 2.0, Paradox took it to a whole new level. Taking out the penalty for traversing hyperlanes far from home made movement much more strategic since fleet speed became an actual factor, and the removal of the god-awful Frontier Outposts was a great idea (see Civilization IV's culture-based city borders vs Civilization V's static hex claiming). The galaxy finally had terrain one could move about and dig into with the new amazing starbases, which were balanced very well to allow a defensive playstyle.

There are two common complaints about this system which I will now proceed to get very frustrated with.

The more common of the two complaints is that by removing the other FTL types, Paradox took out customization options and content which users paid for. The response to this is twofold - firstly, the FTL types were essentially identical. The wormhole and the old "jump" FTL were just a cosmetic change. The problem was very clear - they allowed you to bypass all enemy defenses and jump straight to your destination instead of having to navigate through enemy defenses. It was a bad system, and it had to go.

The other comment is that the new hyperlane "borders" make for the same kind of warfare as before - you defeat an enemy in one giant battle (except this time it's at a chokepoint between your empires) and then proceed to win the war. This line of thinking is also wrong, for multiple reasons. With the new disengaging from combat feature an empire could very quickly come back from losing a large battle since most of its ships could simply be repaired, and if you end up winning a war after one decisive battle, you were probably fighting an opponent who is incredibly weak and you would wipe the floor with regardless. In addition, there is never just one chokepoint, your empire does not consist of just one star system, so even if one particular enemy might only have one chokepoint connecting your empire with theirs, you could always be invaded on another front on another side of your empire - the galactic terrain doing its job.

The FTL rework was objectively good, and I am willing to fight (with words) anyone who says otherwise, because you are wrong.

MegaCorp and 2.2

This is where things get sour.

With the amazing patch that was 2.0 and 2.1, I was excited for MegaCorp. There were some red flags, like the fact that the new jobs system was managed by an AI, since Paradox has an excellent track record of having terrible AI in nearly all of its games (Stellaris most definitely included), but with how well Paradox reworked FTL, I was ready to be proven wrong.

I wasn't.

Ignoring the usual initial hiccups where Paradox always releases its DLCs and major patches in unfinished, barely playtested form (something that's par for the course if you're a Paradox veteran), the new system was a disaster. Paradox set out several goals for the new jobs system:
1. Reducing micromanagement so that players can focus on the macro level of strategy
2. Encouraging players to play more tall builds instead of wide
3. Encouraging players to play more multi-ethnic empires, like xenophiles

All of these goals were fails spectacularly, and I will now break down how and why.

Goal the first: Paradox wanted to reduce the level of micro necessary to keep an empire running efficiently. What ended up being accomplished was the opposite; before 2.2, planets needed to be micromanaged to get more efficient. You had to place the correct pops on the correct tiles with the correct buildings on them in the correct order to squeeze out the maximum possible efficiency out of them. You micromanaged to get the best possible results. Now, you micromanage as damage control against the awful job AI which fails to put any of the pops in the right jobs. There are so many problems with this system with so many specific examples I could give that I would completely stray from the main point of this post if I were to list them all, but I'll give one example: pops don't always promote to the higher level of stratum, even if there are slots open, when you prioritize low-strata jobs.

Goal the second: they wanted to encourage players to play more tall builds. This was accomplished at the cost of wide empires being nerfed into the ground, as to stay under your administrative capacity you have to build tons of buildings which increase the cap, buildings you don't have space for because building slots are now extremely valuable, meaning you have to either take massive sprawl penalties or forsake your economy in order to keep up with the new system.

And finally, goal the third: Paradox wanted people to play more multi-ethnic empires. The new jobs system had the opposite effect, as the jobs AI fails to put the best pops with the best traits on the correct tiles, and because only one pop can grow at a time, you will never hit the right balance of pops for each species to be able to cover every job every specific species is good at. You could do population controls, but then you take a flat penalty to growth for wanting a more efficient planet, and you also get no notification for when a new pop is born, so if you forget about a planet for a few years, you'll come back to a world full of a species that is now working jobs it's less efficient at than another species.

The jobs system is terrible. I played several games with the most up-to-date version, and ran into massive problems every time. My favorite empire type, a syncretic evolution slave empire, was nerfed into the ground not by balance changes, but mechanically. It's not longer possible to play efficiently unless your empire is homogenous.

In addition, the new market system meant resources are now worthless, since whenever you run low on any resource all you have to do is dump your stockpile of whatever you have too much of and buy whatever you're missing, completely destroying trade with other empires, since it was now obsolete.

Stellaris: Federations, or why democracy doesn't work

The bad continued.

With none of the issues from 2.2 solved, Paradox released Federations, which was surprisingly well-received despite not adding anything to the game other than more problems you could only do damage control against.

The Galactic Community is implemented incredibly poorly. The fact that the proposals to be put to the senate floor have to have the most support from the galaxy means any proposal that does make it to the senate floor will inevitably pass with near perfect support. In addition, the random nature of the game means if you are an authoritarian empire that happened to spawn into a galaxy of egalitarians, you will lose on every single issue in the galactic community and end up taking massive penalties for it.

The new diplomacy system is also laughably bad, as it accomplishes literally nothing: to propose friendly actions you have to either be in good relations with an empire OR have an envoy sent to improve relations, meaning there is literally no requirement for any diplomatic actions since all you have to do is send an envoy to make deals with other empires. Sure, they might not accept any if your opinion with them is too low, but that also doesn't matter as harming relations is incredibly easy. In addition, you can tell that Paradox didn't even bother integrating this new system into how things used to work as all opinion modifiers from back in the day stayed the exact same despite the fact that opinions now range from -3000 to 3000 compared to the typical opinion ranges of -200 to 200 of the old system (yes, I know they could get higher or lower than that, but opinion under -200 under the old system basically meant you were never going to make friends with that empire anyway and opinions over 200 are just redundant).

Instead of reworking international diplomacy, Federations should have reworked internal politics, making factions more in-depths and ethics a more fluid system to drift between.

The Conclusion

Stellaris 2.1.3 was for me personally the last fun version of the game. While the new updates did add some nice features, like the way origins are split from civics, and new content that doesn't affect game balance too much, like events, it's not worth playing any later version because the game is wildly unbalanced and full of design oversights.

If you have any questions or disagreements, feel free to comment or PM me, I'd be happy to have a conversation about any of these points or anything else the community might think I missed or was wrong about.

P.S. The archaeology DLC was really stupid. It's literally just anomalies that take multiple attempts to research. Fight me.

I 100% agree. Since Megacorp, PDX has utterly failed to give this game some direction and organization. They do something, fall flat, and leave the mess to release a new DLC.

Federations in particular I think exemplifies this. The Galactic community is broken. Beyond belief. You can just buy control of the community and steer votes in any direction you want. There is no actual diplomacy either.

I think this game would be exponentially better with dynamic leaders, leaders with their own agendas. Having a disloyal admiral that might rebel and attempt a coup, a mass slave revolt that is system-spanning lead by a sympathetic governor, or possibly just a corrupt individual who lets local businesses get away with crimes. Maybe have researchers flee to other nations because they have different ethics, or were paid off. Then that would justify assassins and lead into espionage.

Also, corporations within star nations that handle specific things. This would allow the player to drop some of the micro load on AI whose specific job is to manage the production of a singular resource on one planet or star system, and to expand the production of that resource and sell said resource to both you and other empires, drastically improving trade and making the blockade of trade routes a viable strategy. Stock markets, politics centered around these corporations, and maybe even tensions between class groups. Maybe the rich militant aristocracy are fighting to preserve their ancient rights against the burgher corporations, or the poor fighting for rights. this would expand upon unrest and rebellions. Maybe a General or Admiral who is beloved by the people could make a bunch of promises and receive support from specific factions, allowing them to wage a civil war.

the above concept would be far more effective at fixing planetary autonomous management.

PDX had the ball in their court and they failed miserably.
 
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The other comment is that the new hyperlane "borders" make for the same kind of warfare as before - you defeat an enemy in one giant battle (except this time it's at a chokepoint between your empires) and then proceed to win the war. This line of thinking is also wrong, for multiple reasons. With the new disengaging from combat feature an empire could very quickly come back from losing a large battle since most of its ships could simply be repaired, and if you end up winning a war after one decisive battle, you were probably fighting an opponent who is incredibly weak and you would wipe the floor with regardless. In addition, there is never just one chokepoint, your empire does not consist of just one star system, so even if one particular enemy might only have one chokepoint connecting your empire with theirs, you could always be invaded on another front on another side of your empire - the galactic terrain doing its job.

The FTL rework was objectively good, and I am willing to fight (with words) anyone who says otherwise, because you are wrong.

This is not my experience at all. Ever since 2.0, I still completely steamroll all enemies by putting all my ships into one place, smashing their fleet, heading for their homeworld, and then mopping up when the AI inevitably sends their fleet in knowing that it can't win. Any damage sustained by the enemy fleet in my territory means nothing because I'll just repair it when the war's over. Even if the AI does disengage, I can do so much damage in the meantime of them repairing that their fleet capacity is reduced and therefore their maximum strength diminished. Not only that, the AI itself still tries to doomstack, meaning that you often have to keep your fleets together anyway. "Galactic terrain" is also pointless, because all it amounts to is "ram through the obvious choke point, or spend a year going around the long way".

This is another thing where someone says that 2.0 "fixed" doomstacking... but, uh, it still seems to work extremely well for me. One decisive battle is all that wars come down to. War is and always has been just a measurement of your ability to produce. Nothing has changed.

Warfare takes little to no strategy in any version of the game. This goes for pre-2.0, 2.0, and post 2.0.
 
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This is not my experience at all. Ever since 2.0, I still completely steamroll all enemies by putting all my ships into one place, smashing their fleet, heading for their homeworld, and then mopping up when the AI inevitably sends their fleet in knowing that it can't win. Any damage sustained by the enemy fleet in my territory means nothing because I'll just repair it when the war's over. Even if the AI does disengage, I can do so much damage in the meantime of them repairing that their fleet capacity is reduced and therefore their maximum strength diminished. Not only that, the AI itself still tries to doomstack, meaning that you often have to keep your fleets together anyway. "Galactic terrain" is also pointless, because all it amounts to is "ram through the obvious choke point, or spend a year going around the long way".

This is another thing where someone says that 2.0 "fixed" doomstacking... but, uh, it still seems to work extremely well for me. One decisive battle is all that wars come down to. War is and always has been just a measurement of your ability to produce. Nothing has changed.

Warfare takes little to no strategy in any version of the game. This goes for pre-2.0, 2.0, and post 2.0.

You seemed to not have actually read my post, because I said that winning a war in one decisive battle is what happens when you would have destroyed your opponent anyway. Doomstacking "works" if you are overwhelmingly powerful, not if you're one the same power level.
 
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doomtacking only works if your enemy is an idiot, if your opponent has a brain and realizes that they can't win in a straight fight they will split thier fleets and try to raid into enemy territory as fortresses kinda suck at the moment it is relatively simple to crush a fortress with a midgame fleet, or you can try making their fleets chase yours's in circles until peace is possible , there are numerous tricks you can use to make doomstaking suboptimal. unfortunately the ai is to damn dumb to use any of them
 
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doomtacking only works if your enemy is an idiot, if your opponent has a brain and realizes that they can't win in a straight fight they will split thier fleets and try to raid into enemy territory as fortresses kinda suck at the moment it is relatively simple to crush a fortress with a midgame fleet, or you can try making their fleets chase yours's in circles until peace is possible , there are numerous tricks you can use to make doomstaking suboptimal. unfortunately the ai is to damn dumb to use any of them
I've had a different experience myself, but I do see your point. I've had the AI show up inside my territory and wreak havoc until one of my fleets could catch up and stop them, so to me that seems like a system that works pretty well.
 
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I've had a different experience myself, but I do see your point. I've had the AI show up inside my territory and wreak havoc until one of my fleets could catch up and stop them, so to me that seems like a system that works pretty well.
i use that strategy against glavius ai empires and it works amazingly well, as i either get to wreak havoc or i force them to turn their doomstack around, which is a win no matter what since it gives me enough time to force peace. a player might be smart enough to keep a few fleets at home to handle raiders but teaching an ai how to that is probably impossible
 

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Hello. I'm about to buy the game, but I've read this kind of opinions which make me hesitate. I felt in love for this game watching the gameplay of MATN "the Impossible Run". It was a Megacorp, and since I don't have any idea about the game yet, I don't know what patch was the game at that time.

I wanted to ask you whether it's possible to install in Steam or PX the desired patch instead of the last, which seems to have so many issues.

In addition to this, is it possible to play this game in Offline Mode of Steam?

Thanks in advance.
 

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To add to the micromanagement issue, there isn't enough support for modding to actually get around it. Both planet and sector ai modding are useless with what is provided. In fact, every mod idea that I've had for lessening micromanagement has been impossible because you just aren't given access to the information necessary to make the ai smart. I really dislike their modding language. If you can learn that dumb language, then you can learn lua. At least with the latter, you aren't locking everything away behind a wheel that is still in the process of being reinvented. And no, that language doesn't make the game more secure/stable.
 
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FTL rework? Necessary? Great?

Sorry, OP, but you are dead wrong on this in my humble opinion.

FTL types were never a problem, their implementation was. There was no way to predict where AI would go, the defense stations were pathetic, the ships had no tactics (mods fixed that) and you claim the FTL were bad?

Oh please, the types needed balancing, tweaking, maybe a space snare or something like that. Instead, the game decided to scrap the feature that was there since day one and NOTHING HAS CHANGED.

In fact, I would argue the game became much worse. Now, all you have to do to stop the AI is to build a massive starbase, put your fleet there and wait. And if you want to break through? Oh look, now you have to go through ALL OF THE STARBASES AND DESTROY THEM ALL.
 
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FTL rework? Necessary? Great?

Sorry, OP, but you are dead wrong on this in my humble opinion.

FTL types were never a problem, their implementation was. There was no way to predict where AI would go, the defense stations were pathetic, the ships had no tactics (mods fixed that) and you claim the FTL were bad?

Oh please, the types needed balancing, tweaking, maybe a space snare or something like that. Instead, the game decided to scrap the feature that was there since day one and NOTHING HAS CHANGED.

In fact, I would argue the game became much worse. Now, all you have to do to stop the AI is to build a massive starbase, put your fleet there and wait. And if you want to break through? Oh look, now you have to go through ALL OF THE STARBASES AND DESTROY THEM ALL.
I agree.
I think all three FTL types would've benefitted if there was some sort of option to hide in deep space (between stars) or intercept fleets on their way.
(In Distant Worlds: Universe you're allowed to traverse anywhere on the map. That way you can either dot straight for an enemy planet (in which case they probably get notified of an inbound enemy fleet if they researched the respective techs) or navigate into the nothingness and hide/go from there/raid civilian ships and/or enemy fleets.
It's not impossible to discover units in deep space, but it's more difficult compared to a fleet sitting in space dock.

I agree with everything OP said except the 2.0 rework. I also believe they went with the worse FTL type going forward. Warp would've been the better choice; also for the AI (if the AI can go straight to its objective, it's usually better at doing that than navigating a complex mesh of lines to reach a target.)

Combatting doomstacking could've been accomplished differently (stack penalties, I am sure players would've come up with enough suggestions if they had really wanted to tackle that issue without throwing out half the game (hyperbole)).

I also prefer the fluidity of borders of 1.9.1 (or Distant Worlds) to the more rigid system of hyperlanes. I like borders changing and bumping into each other, techs and mechanics to weaken or strengthen this influence (I agree tweaks were necessary to prevent systems from flip-flopping too fast, or losing something as important as a megastructure (should create its own border pressure to ensure it doesn't fall too easily). I also loved the idea of shared systems, which got removed as well. Yes, it can cause border gore, but I swallow border gore if that means more intricate diplomacy and more messy and chaotic situation which gives it more dynamics. (I am sure improvements can be made there as well instead of ripping it out).

You also should be able to buy and sell (you can sell AFAIK) systems from AIs to make it viable to play an economy focused empire (just make it really expensive to buy stuff from the AI, maybe a whole or two stockpiles of Alloys (Minerals if we go by 1.9.1 (just spitballing)). And distance should matter (system between empires or on the opposite sides). (<--- Guess this's slightly off-topic.)
 
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FTL rework? Necessary? Great?

Sorry, OP, but you are dead wrong on this in my humble opinion.

FTL types were never a problem, their implementation was. There was no way to predict where AI would go, the defense stations were pathetic, the ships had no tactics (mods fixed that) and you claim the FTL were bad?

Oh please, the types needed balancing, tweaking, maybe a space snare or something like that. Instead, the game decided to scrap the feature that was there since day one and NOTHING HAS CHANGED.

In fact, I would argue the game became much worse. Now, all you have to do to stop the AI is to build a massive starbase, put your fleet there and wait. And if you want to break through? Oh look, now you have to go through ALL OF THE STARBASES AND DESTROY THEM ALL.


FTL rework was both great, and necessary.
Old FTLs were accumulating far too much problems.

I don't really get why you are talking about IA prediction. Yeah, it was a big issue, ofc, but you can simply talk about "intrusions prediction" in fact, as both humans and AIs were suffering of that.

In reality, old FTLs were simply too different and nearly impossible to balance.

Even with the finest tweeks in the world, you can't balance the liberty of a warp drive or a worm holes vs an hyperline drive.
Even in mid game, having to build worm holes stations with 0 attack power into enemy territory to move freely , and the risk of being completely stuck if your WH stations are destroyed were too much of a pain... Specially when the meta was reduced to corvette spam.

And maybe you forgot about it, but Stellaris isn't only about solo vs AIs. (Well, now the multi is broken, so maybe i speak for the past)
It's simple, in vanilla multiplayer, all military based player were playing warp drive, while pacifists were playing mostly warp drives and from time to time WH...

That was terrible. War was a pain in the ass hide and seek strategy. Even with better starbase mods, fighting a human was both boring, and frustrating.
I remember building defense stations in enemy's territory not to defend, but to trap their fleet with the FTL inhibitor of the station....

Btw, hyperline was almost 404. No one need to ask why, right?

And in end game, jump drive was everywhere, as it was nothing else than a better warp drive.
The shittiest moment was if someone had the chance of unlocking this rare random tech too early. The advantage was insane, and there was literally 0 counter play + the risk of an end game crisis spawning in your territory while you were already struggling to catch fleets moving at twice the speed and twice the range of yours without any sort of drawback...

Now at least, everyone uses the same FTL. Territories are more clear, you can have a nicer expansion strategy, actions are more predictable, defense stations have a purpose, jump drive now has a real identity... It's simply better even if it's still not perfect with the AI.
Even gates are a really nice addition to the game as it gives you a great strategical and economical advantage (thru trades as it nullifies pirates).

The funniest thing, way before the FTL rework, a huge part of the multiplayer community were already playing with forced hyperlane mod + no jump drive.
Paradox only listen the community. It was the good old time...
 
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You seemed to not have actually read my post, because I said that winning a war in one decisive battle is what happens when you would have destroyed your opponent anyway. Doomstacking "works" if you are overwhelmingly powerful, not if you're one the same power level.
Again, not my experience. I've destroyed fallen empires post-2.0 at a power disadvantage by min/maxing my fleets to counter theirs, doom stacking them up, and charging their biggest fleet. Despite their overwhelming force, if I can win the first big battle with my doom stack, their little independent fleets could do nothing else as I raided the ringworld. Once the ringworld is raided, their production is crippled and they no longer stand a chance, and the AI isn't smart enough to divide fleets and start raiding all over my territory. And in the rare cases that they do raid, they do so with tiny fleets that take so long to sack a planet that I can sack five of theirs in the meantime with one doomstack. No matter what damage they can cause in my border, it means nothing if I can cause more in theirs. Once the war is over, you can just spend a few years repairing and that's that.

I've been at/around/below the same power level of countless enemy empires throughout my post-2.0 playtime and the result is always the same. One doomstack, one definitive battle, mop up easiest possible victory. This is completely consistent for me and has never changed.

Not to mention that since the AI will occasionally fortify stars with starbases, the only reasonable way to break through them is to doomstack. The game itself conditions you to pile all your ships in one spot to bust defenses (and that is assuming the AI even puts them in a spot that you need to go through to begin with -- which is rare, since they just place them in random systems).

What you're saying makes sense on paper, but in practice, that is not how the game actually works. It might work that way if the AI had even the most basic ability to strategize, but it doesn't. At the end of the day, you're sitting here telling me what "doesn't work" despite the fact that I have played this way ever since 2.0 and have had absolutely no issues. So... it's hard to take seriously when my own experience is completely counter to what you're saying.
 
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I humbly request you to please change the name of this thread to 'Stellaris is a great concept, and a nearly great game.'

There are just too many posts at the moment seeming to infer that stellaris is terrible. And it's not. And we don't want to scare away new players. There are definitely things we would like to see improved or fixed. Stellaris offers great roleplay and immersion, but many of us with 2k+ hours in it may be too jaded to still see it that way.

Having said that, my contribution to this thread ....
  1. I would love to see a UI/UX rework to make the game more accessible and less micro. It's almost as if the original design intent was to achieve fake depth through convoluted UI. I put this first, because it is the area most likely to scare away new players. This includes popups, notifications, message histories, outliner, map overlays, THE PLANET SCREEN, and fleet and army managers.
  2. The species design can be a little clearer about roles of ethics, government, civics, traits to distinguish between elements that describe your species and things that describe how you address those challenges. E.g. ethics and traits are about what my species expect or need, and government and civics is about how I address those needs. Same with policies (player intent) and edicts (empire control).
  3. We are for now stuck with hyperlane. I would have preferred warp. But it is what it is.
  4. Finally, the big elephant. AI and automation. The AI needs a significant overhaul in the area of economics and military behavior. Too many disjointed systems that don't contribute to an overall plan. I put this last, because it is the area that only really hits you when you are an experienced player. This extends to having a collection of 'governors' for sector/planet automation to take micro away from the player. This almost worked with the last big update in this area, but there are some fixes needed (building upgrades and rare resources).

For the rest, it is small in the scale of things ... ship balancing, technologies, job assignments, resettlement, logistics and various mechanical tweaks to encourage advanced strategic play.
 
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Hello. I'm about to buy the game, but I've read this kind of opinions which make me hesitate. I felt in love for this game watching the gameplay of MATN "the Impossible Run". It was a Megacorp, and since I don't have any idea about the game yet, I don't know what patch was the game at that time.

I wanted to ask you whether it's possible to install in Steam or PX the desired patch instead of the last, which seems to have so many issues.

In addition to this, is it possible to play this game in Offline Mode of Steam?

Thanks in advance.
You can roll back versions yes, I think there are tutorials on this forum that show you how. If you're set on playing an older version and want to buy some dlc for the game then make sure that dlc is compatible with the version you're going to roll back to. If you plan on playing on 2.1 then there is no point in purchasing Federations for instance.

Yes you can play the game offline, but mods won't work- at least not if they're downloaded via the workshop (I'm not sure about manually downloaded mods or making your own). Not a problem if you like the base game, but I struggle to enjoy Stellaris without certain modifications installed.

Since you don't own the game yet I really would stress waiting for the 2.8 patch, see what the state of the game is and whether or not serious attempts are being made to get things back on track. Then again I still don't regret purchasing Stellaris, even with its plethora of issues. I have a couple of hundred hours in the game spread across many versions, and I think that's probably true for a lot of people on this forum, their issues are born more out of frustration than genuine anger.
 
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FTL rework was both great, and necessary.
Old FTLs were accumulating far too much problems.

I don't really get why you are talking about IA prediction. Yeah, it was a big issue, ofc, but you can simply talk about "intrusions prediction" in fact, as both humans and AIs were suffering of that.

In reality, old FTLs were simply too different and nearly impossible to balance.

Even with the finest tweeks in the world, you can't balance the liberty of a warp drive or a worm holes vs an hyperline drive.
Even in mid game, having to build worm holes stations with 0 attack power into enemy territory to move freely , and the risk of being completely stuck if your WH stations are destroyed were too much of a pain... Specially when the meta was reduced to corvette spam.

And maybe you forgot about it, but Stellaris isn't only about solo vs AIs. (Well, now the multi is broken, so maybe i speak for the past)
It's simple, in vanilla multiplayer, all military based player were playing warp drive, while pacifists were playing mostly warp drives and from time to time WH...

That was terrible. War was a pain in the ass hide and seek strategy. Even with better starbase mods, fighting a human was both boring, and frustrating.
I remember building defense stations in enemy's territory not to defend, but to trap their fleet with the FTL inhibitor of the station....

Btw, hyperline was almost 404. No one need to ask why, right?

And in end game, jump drive was everywhere, as it was nothing else than a better warp drive.
The shittiest moment was if someone had the chance of unlocking this rare random tech too early. The advantage was insane, and there was literally 0 counter play + the risk of an end game crisis spawning in your territory while you were already struggling to catch fleets moving at twice the speed and twice the range of yours without any sort of drawback...

Now at least, everyone uses the same FTL. Territories are more clear, you can have a nicer expansion strategy, actions are more predictable, defense stations have a purpose, jump drive now has a real identity... It's simply better even if it's still not perfect with the AI.
Even gates are a really nice addition to the game as it gives you a great strategical and economical advantage (thru trades as it nullifies pirates).

The funniest thing, way before the FTL rework, a huge part of the multiplayer community were already playing with forced hyperlane mod + no jump drive.
Paradox only listen the community. It was the good old time...
That's funny that you mention that, since warp was re-added and neutered, and you had to buy both Utopia and Distant Stars to use L-Gates, which are mid game wormholes.

So, yeah. They're still there, just screwed up. They didn't remove them, but they destroyed any potential they had.
 
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itsuart

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I've reverted to version 1.9.1, and enjoy following benefits:
* can play from start to finish
* on big galaxies, with the usual amount of habitable planets
* or small/normal sized galaxies with extra amount of habitable planets.
* Crises are working
* AI is not smart, but at least it does something
* Can play with any FTL of my choosing.
* Spend much, much less time on micro
* Special resources (zro, etc) are special and sought after.
* It doesn't take forever to move ships from A to B.

What I'm missing:
* Fleet management QoL improvements.
 
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Atahal

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I humbly request you to please change the name of this thread to 'Stellaris is a great concept, and a nearly great game.'

There are just too many posts at the moment seeming to infer that stellaris is terrible. And it's not. And we don't want to scare away new players. There are definitely things we would like to see improved or fixed. Stellaris offers great roleplay and immersion, but many of us with 2k+ hours in it may be too jaded to still see it that way.

Having said that, my contribution to this thread ....
  1. I would love to see a UI/UX rework to make the game more accessible and less micro. It's almost as if the original design intent was to achieve fake depth through convoluted UI. I put this first, because it is the area most likely to scare away new players. This includes popups, notifications, message histories, outliner, map overlays, THE PLANET SCREEN, and fleet and army managers.
  2. The species design can be a little clearer about roles of ethics, government, civics, traits to distinguish between elements that describe your species and things that describe how you address those challenges. E.g. ethics and traits are about what my species expect or need, and government and civics is about how I address those needs. Same with policies (player intent) and edicts (empire control).
  3. We are for now stuck with hyperlane. I would have preferred warp. But it is what it is.
  4. Finally, the big elephant. AI and automation. The AI needs a significant overhaul in the area of economics and military behavior. Too many disjointed systems that don't contribute to an overall plan. I put this last, because it is the area that only really hits you when you are an experienced player. This extends to having a collection of 'governors' for sector/planet automation to take micro away from the player. This almost worked with the last big update in this area, but there are some fixes needed (building upgrades and rare resources).

For the rest, it is small in the scale of things ... ship balancing, technologies, job assignments, resettlement, logistics and various mechanical tweaks to encourage advanced strategic play.

It's kind of hard to say stellaris is not terrible at the moment.

Even if you are not talking about all the issues, your list is both huge, and full of critical points (except the 3, which i respectfully disagree).

- The UI/UX is horrible, and still not 4k compatible. This is unacceptable in 2020 to rely on fanmade mods because of a broken scaling system.

- The multiplayer. No one is talking about it, and it feels strange as Stellaris was always designed for multiplayer.
But currently, the multiplayer is not working. Simple as that.
2 years ago, i was playing multiplayer games with 6-8 friends without any big issue except end game lags.
RIght now, we can't even pass the 80 first years. We can't even play 1 year without a desync and a forced reload for everybody.
Special thanks for the famous save transfer. I can host + load the save in less than 10 seconds. But for some reasons, for my friends, it takes 1 minute (sometime more) to do the same. And we all have fiber, NvME, and top of the line PC.

- For the AI, sectors are still broken, and are not working at all. Sectors AI are sleeping most of the time even if there is buildings or district to make. I am playing a game right now where i have 5 "automated" sectors, with 50k of resources in stock, and i still have to do most of the micro as the AI builds almost nothing.
It's way worst for the vassals i am creating. They are inescapable of creating their own construction ships. I have to give them a system where i put a construction ship in queue if i want them to use their system resources...

I can understand you love the game,
But i don't own any Paradox stocks right now.
For me the current state of the game is everything but acceptable. I want to scare away new potential players, because i can tell without any doubt that Stellaris is closer to a scam. It feels like i am playing a shitty early access. Problem, the game cost me more than 100€.
Definitely not worth the money.
 
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MichaelJanuary

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It's kind of hard to say stellaris is not terrible at the moment.

Even if you are not talking about all the issues, your list is both huge, and full of critical points (except the 3, which i respectfully disagree).

Yes. Lol. The more issues I mentioned, the more despondent I got.
 
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