The Real Problems With Stellaris

  • Crusader Kings II Expansion Subscription

    Subscribe to the CK II Expansion and enjoy unlimited access to 13 major expansions and more!


  • Paradox Space Exploration Sale has arrived! Up to 75% off

    How's the space on your hard drive? Paradox wants to challenge your galaxy brain with a great selection of space exploration games - and they're all on sale for some very down-to-earth prices! The sale runs from May 4th until May 10th at 17:00 CEST / 08:00 PDT.


    May 4th - May 10th
  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

MichaelJanuary

Lt. General
43 Badges
Jul 8, 2012
1.212
1.280
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Naval War: Arctic Circle
  • Semper Fi
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Surviving Mars
  • Cities: Skylines Industries
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • 500k Club
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Cities: Skylines
It's not uncommon for me to barely break even or even lose a first war. Sometimes I have to concede a few star systems or even a couple of planets. As long as its not core worlds, its survivable. Even having to rebuild a fleet is not uncommon.

However, the more common experience is having a devouring horde or similar right next to your starting position, in which case i just re-roll. There is no way I can compete in fleet strength in early game, and appeasement will only go so far.

A couple of egalitarian neighbours is awesome, there is more leeway to appease or ally with them until you can crush them or enslave them.

This is the most frustrating thing for me about a new game, knowing there is a 50/50 chance I may just have to abandon the game 40 or 50 years in. It usually takes me to about 2270 or 2280 to start feeling competitive.

On a different note, I rarely help allies in war. They exist to defend me. If they are losing systems to an enemy I can defeat later, that's fine. Best is when a crisis spawns on my allies border. I let the crisis keel them, then I keel the crisis and get all their systems.
 
  • 2
  • 1Like
Reactions:

methegrate

General
23 Badges
Jun 20, 2016
2.106
2.622
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • BATTLETECH
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings II
It's not uncommon for me to barely break even or even lose a first war. Sometimes I have to concede a few star systems or even a couple of planets. As long as its not core worlds, its survivable. Even having to rebuild a fleet is not uncommon.

However, the more common experience is having a devouring horde or similar right next to your starting position, in which case i just re-roll. There is no way I can compete in fleet strength in early game, and appeasement will only go so far.

A couple of egalitarian neighbours is awesome, there is more leeway to appease or ally with them until you can crush them or enslave them.

This is the most frustrating thing for me about a new game, knowing there is a 50/50 chance I may just have to abandon the game 40 or 50 years in. It usually takes me to about 2270 or 2280 to start feeling competitive.

On a different note, I rarely help allies in war. They exist to defend me. If they are losing systems to an enemy I can defeat later, that's fine. Best is when a crisis spawns on my allies border. I let the crisis keel them, then I keel the crisis and get all their systems.

For me the Big Red Rage Quit button is the retreat mechanic. I don't know what's going on under the hood, but the AI clearly gets a massive advantage in the ships that retreat vs. those that are destroyed in combat.

It drives me absolutely crazy every time I'll fight a comparable enemy fleet only to take five times its losses. Or more. Recently I tried a game where I declared war on a neighbor very early on. We had two fleets of 20 corvettes each, all red lasers and level one mass drivers. Mine had an admiral and theirs didn't. We fought at one of my starbases which gave me enough firepower to handily win the battle... at least officially. But when the statistics screen came up it turned out that I had lost 9 ships and they had lost only 1.

It happens all the time and I absolutely can't stand it.
 
  • 7
Reactions:

Dragatus

Field Marshal
34 Badges
Jul 29, 2015
5.453
3.510
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Age of Wonders III
I would hazard a guess that a war will be a protracted back-and-forth only if you neglect your fleet, perhaps deliberately so, as this gives you a reserve you can tap into and masks your actual military potential to the AI when it's deciding whether to attack you or not. However, if you've already developed your military as much as you can (as can be expected of any player bent on galactic conquest) the first encounter of fully assembled fleets (doomstacks) will be a strong indicator of how the war will go. Even if most of the ships of the defeated fleet retreat some will be lost and there is no real reserve to draw from.

So ironically it appears that players who are not trying to focus on war are the ones having more fun wars.
 
  • 3
Reactions:

sleepsinallday

Recruit
16 Badges
Mar 4, 2019
9
13
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
Outmaneuvering the AI while playing pacifists will always feel more rewarding than stomping a perma-pathetic galaxy with your meta-build empire. When you play to conquer, you usually get only one "close" war, then you roll empire after empire. You could build a massive conquering fleet with any empire setup, but what I think really takes the fun away is the lack of any ties to your empire as a whole.

For example, winning a war always gives you the same outcomes whether you're fanatic militarist or fanatic pacifist. There's no real connection between your style of gameplay and the empire you have, just modest bonuses or penalties that only make it easier or harder to get the victories you want. There's no real impact of war weariness, no victory day happiness bonus, you don't have to manage your fleets' supply lines, and you suffer no diplomatic penalties for aggressive expansion. You always lose alloys replacing your ships, your economy dips from temporarily increased fleet upkeep, and maybe you have to do a little micromanagement with all the new pops you conquered.

There is no active engagement to fighting wars as a result. You maneuver your fleets for one battle per war, then you're done. The rest might as well be automated, except that then you wouldn't get to experience the tedious joy of seizing all 173 of your enemy's systems before they finally fully surrender. And I get that there are some features that try and give you more wartime options, but they just don't function well in the current build of the game. Edicts like 'fortify the border' are kind of useless in the short term and a huge waste of influence to enact and then switch off of later. You can roll new shroud perks, activate relics, or try to swap your leaders around, but none of that will make any difference in most cases. In Stellaris, wars are won far before they are fought. You build as many ships as you can or you'll get caught unprepared. This isn't necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but so much of the game revolves around the power of the fleet that it kind of represents the standard by which your empire is judged. You can have a busted economy full of unhappy workers and win with a strong fleet. You can ignore the galactic community entirely and just continue conquering. Neglect tech for decades? Just keep pumping out the alloys, you'll be fine! You'd think that with war being such an integral part of the game, there would be more systems for managing it (or at the least, some more flavor events or something?)

Combat is central to the game. But combat is shallow and it makes the game--for all of its richness--feel shallower as a result.
 
  • 6
Reactions:

MichaelJanuary

Lt. General
43 Badges
Jul 8, 2012
1.212
1.280
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Naval War: Arctic Circle
  • Semper Fi
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Surviving Mars
  • Cities: Skylines Industries
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • 500k Club
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Cities: Skylines
Normally, there are only two wars that matter.

1. The first war, which is usually a war for survival.
2. The second war, your first war of conquest.

After that, it's a tedium of endless expansion and consolidation. If you are lucky, you might be DoW by a powerful enemy on a border you have neglected. Then there may be some interest in quickly responding having to fight on multiple fronts.

However, you can always spice things up by contracting the crisis years. Bring the mid- and end- game forward by a few decades. This will put you under constant pressure, but can also result in a few more abandoned games.
 
  • 5
Reactions:

grommile

Field Marshal
60 Badges
Jun 4, 2011
19.197
20.867
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III
In Stellaris, wars are won far before they are fought.
"Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win." — Sunzi
 
  • 3Like
  • 1Love
Reactions:

sleepsinallday

Recruit
16 Badges
Mar 4, 2019
9
13
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
Normally, there are only two wars that matter.

1. The first war, which is usually a war for survival.
2. The second war, your first war of conquest.
I'm actually excited to see how much the new intel system plays a role in this. If you never really have the envoys or the patience to sus out an empire's true power, you might never know exactly if you're ready for war #2. Obscuring an empire's strength might make wars more engaging, requiring you to be ready for anything if you really want to go in blind. But it could also turn wars into huge risks that ruin the fun of early conquest. It'll depend on some of the finer aspects of the new intel mechanics.

I like where they're taking the idea, but I worry I'll end up relying more on my game sense (knowing that the AI will have somewhere between 1-2k after the first 20 years go by) than relying on actually engaging with the mechanics. If you have to wait a long time to gather all the intel you need before each war, it's usually just going to be better to build a big stack, then go on your typical rampage.
 
  • 1
Reactions:

WarriorofMODS

Sergeant
50 Badges
Apr 14, 2018
94
181
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria 2
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
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.

I second this. Except that one doomstack turned Into three or four doomstacks and I win one battle by having doomstacks support each other. Then I just steamroll with my doomstacks across their borders, taking their shipyards and moping up the rest of their defenses while invading planets. Warfare hasn't changed all that much, except it made fortress stations an absolute must, since you can place ten to twelve fortresses and a shield in a station on your border, fill it with strong and resilient pops, and never get invaded. Then I just keep a fleet in the general vicinity to make sure any jumpers can't get too far.

Also, anyone who tries to defend the FTL rework is just wrong. PDX NEEDED warp to justify the rework so you could get passed fortress worlds, all the while smearing warp. All they did was make it faster and slap handicaps onto it.

Warp drives in Stellaris piss me off. They don't even let you research technologies to diminish the negative effects of warp jumps, they just let you suffer the consequences. It's the same thing with Exotic Material Refineries: they don't let us improve those unless we buy a DLC.
 
  • 5
Reactions:

WarriorofMODS

Sergeant
50 Badges
Apr 14, 2018
94
181
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria 2
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
Since patch 2.7 I can't rely on slave market to buy slaves. 2.6 was good, bugged, incomplete, maybe crude, but was working fine.

Yeah, I've had this problem. By the midgame, the sales of slaves peters out.

It cracks me up that PDX justifies an unlimited market by saying that corporations that aren't presented in the game are supplying far more than every star nation at a time at any given moment but the slave market is empty by 2300.
 
  • 8
Reactions:

methegrate

General
23 Badges
Jun 20, 2016
2.106
2.622
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • BATTLETECH
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings II
I second this. Except that one doomstack turned Into three or four doomstacks and I win one battle by having doomstacks support each other. Then I just steamroll with my doomstacks across their borders, taking their shipyards and moping up the rest of their defenses while invading planets. Warfare hasn't changed all that much, except it made fortress stations an absolute must, since you can place ten to twelve fortresses and a shield in a station on your border, fill it with strong and resilient pops, and never get invaded. Then I just keep a fleet in the general vicinity to make sure any jumpers can't get too far.

Also, anyone who tries to defend the FTL rework is just wrong. PDX NEEDED warp to justify the rework so you could get passed fortress worlds, all the while smearing warp. All they did was make it faster and slap handicaps onto it.

Warp drives in Stellaris piss me off. They don't even let you research technologies to diminish the negative effects of warp jumps, they just let you suffer the consequences. It's the same thing with Exotic Material Refineries: they don't let us improve those unless we buy a DLC.

Agreed. Pretty much everything else, I can completely understand where people are coming from when we disagree on some part of the game. After all, it's a game. There's no such thing as a right or wrong way to have fun. The only test is whether you're enjoying the experience.

But I fundamentally have never understood the argument that chokepoints add strategy to the game. Nor have I ever understood why they added this mechanic, other than that some people were demanding a lazier way to use defenses. It can't be for the AI. Computers were playing with non-chokepoint mechanics all the way back in MOO II.

Chokepoints eliminate strategic gameplay almost by definition because (again by definition) they eliminate all of your options. There's nothing wrong with limiting or defining a player's choices. Poker would be far less fun with 1,000 cards than 52, for example, and chess is very well orchestrated among its handful of pieces.

But strategy requires choices while, with chokepoints, no matter what an attacker does the correct answer is "build up the chokepoint." No matter what a defender does, the correct answer is "throw everything at the chokepoint." Strategic gameplay is about making the best choice you can with the options and information at hand, not making the only choice the game allows. They designed a system which force-funnels every conflict through the same space on the map, then somehow decided this would result in players dividing up their forces and attacking multiple places on the map. The logic of this is simply beyond me.

Doomstacks have absolutely always been a problem. But fixing them by using chokepoints feels like fixing your engine by pushing the car off a cliff.
 
Last edited:
  • 7
Reactions:

forfor

First Lieutenant
47 Badges
Dec 6, 2016
272
125
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Prison Architect
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
I feel like there's something that needs to be added here: Not sure which patch, but a while ago, they added the admin buildings to keep sprawl under control, but changed literally nothing balance-wise to account for the fact that they effectively removed one of the main limitations on playing wide. Namely, increasing research costs. So now the entire tech tree happens about 100 years faster, and they haven't changed any game mechanics to account for that fact. I've literally seen the AI kill entire raider clans within the first 100 years because the raiders don't ramp up their strength over time, and are still balanced around the old tech system. And that's only one example of the way game balance is affected by this.
 
  • 5
  • 1Like
Reactions:

methegrate

General
23 Badges
Jun 20, 2016
2.106
2.622
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • BATTLETECH
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings II
I feel like there's something that needs to be added here: Not sure which patch, but a while ago, they added the admin buildings to keep sprawl under control, but changed literally nothing balance-wise to account for the fact that they effectively removed one of the main limitations on playing wide. Namely, increasing research costs. So now the entire tech tree happens about 100 years faster, and they haven't changed any game mechanics to account for that fact. I've literally seen the AI kill entire raider clans within the first 100 years because the raiders don't ramp up their strength over time, and are still balanced around the old tech system. And that's only one example of the way game balance is affected by this.

Fair point, actually. Bureaucrats are another mechanic I don't understand. Admin is supposed to be one of the big limitations on going wide, but then bureaucrats make that system easier the wider you grow.
 
  • 3
Reactions:

HFY

General
26 Badges
May 15, 2016
1.916
3.690
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Cities: Skylines - Campus
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Cities: Skylines Industries
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Pillars of Eternity
Chokepoints are currently very slightly dynamic, in that you eventually unlock gateways, L-gates, wormholes, and (if you dare) jump drives. Each of those changes the map -- some more than others -- and has a chance to make the initial chokepoints less relevant.

IMHO it'd be a lot more fun if there were more ways that chokepoint topography changed over the course of a game.


Regarding Bureaucrats... yeah. They basically removed sprawl as a limiting factor. They should re-balance the things that sprawl had been limiting.
 

Dragatus

Field Marshal
34 Badges
Jul 29, 2015
5.453
3.510
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Age of Wonders III
I feel like there's something that needs to be added here: Not sure which patch, but a while ago, they added the admin buildings to keep sprawl under control, but changed literally nothing balance-wise to account for the fact that they effectively removed one of the main limitations on playing wide. Namely, increasing research costs. So now the entire tech tree happens about 100 years faster, and they haven't changed any game mechanics to account for that fact. I've literally seen the AI kill entire raider clans within the first 100 years because the raiders don't ramp up their strength over time, and are still balanced around the old tech system. And that's only one example of the way game balance is affected by this.

That was patch 2.7, the Federations DLC release. What I do to compensate is use game settings to shorten the game. I have my midgame start in 2225, my late game in 2250, and set my victory year to be 2350. This does mean the khan never spawns, but I'm fine with it because I don't find the khan to be particularly fun to play against (a personal opinion related to other game options I use; your mileage may vary). The added benefit is that this means that the game will hit official late game around the time actual early game is ending and so for the most part I get to skip the boring midgame.

That is not to say that the admin cap rework isn't problematic. I do agree that it messed things up. I'm merely offering a suggestion how to mitigate the effects of the messing up.
 

WarriorofMODS

Sergeant
50 Badges
Apr 14, 2018
94
181
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria 2
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
Agreed. Pretty much everything else, I can completely understand where people are coming from when we disagree on some part of the game. After all, it's a game. There's no such thing as a right or wrong way to have fun. The only test is whether you're enjoying the experience.

But I fundamentally have never understood the argument that chokepoints add strategy to the game. Nor have I ever understood why they added this mechanic, other than that some people were demanding a lazier way to use defenses. It can't be for the AI. Computers were playing with non-chokepoint mechanics all the way back in MOO II.

Chokepoints eliminate strategic gameplay almost by definition. No matter what an attacker does, the correct answer is "build up the chokepoint." No matter what a defender does, the correct answer is "throw everything at the chokepoint." Strategic gameplay is about making the best choice you can with the options and information at hand, not making the only choice the game allows. They designed a system which force-funnels every conflict through the same space on the map, then somehow decided this would result in players dividing up their forces and attacking multiple places on the map. The logic of this is simply beyond me.

Doomstacks have absolutely always been a problem. But fixing them by using chokepoints feels like fixing your engine by pushing the car off a cliff.

I do believe strategy could be involved, but that would require intelligent AI to counter you. Now choke points turn into a first line of defense and. An early checkpoint to attempt to reach in the early game.
 

forfor

First Lieutenant
47 Badges
Dec 6, 2016
272
125
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Prison Architect
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
The only problem I personally have with chokepoints is that a fully developed starbase even without defense platforms is stronger than most AI fleets until well into the mid-game which means once you've established a border, only the strongest AI's in the game can possibly invade you. Even if they get through, they take heavy losses if they try, and anyone with halfway decent strategy can play around the difficulty they have in entering your territory.

Even that isn't necessarily a problem, except the AI is not only bad at fortifying their border, but actively doesn't try to do so. So you end up in an asymmetrical situation where you can invade them at will with little fear of retribution even if you have roughly equal fleet strength.
 
  • 1
Reactions:

methegrate

General
23 Badges
Jun 20, 2016
2.106
2.622
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • BATTLETECH
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings II
I do believe strategy could be involved, but that would require intelligent AI to counter you. Now choke points turn into a first line of defense and. An early checkpoint to attempt to reach in the early game.

Do you mind elaborating? I'm not being sarcastic. I legitimately don't know what counters or options the choke point system creates. After all, by definition it's a system that eliminates all your other options in favor of only one accessible space on the map.
 
  • 2
Reactions:

KingAlamar

General
Nov 5, 2016
1.914
270
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.


If you're on the same power level against an AI that is doom-stacking you BETTER doom-stack yourself or you're going to be in trouble esp. if you're not in a position to meaningfully use guerilla tactics -- which the game doesn't really cater to.
 
  • 4
Reactions:

KingAlamar

General
Nov 5, 2016
1.914
270
I feel like there's something that needs to be added here: Not sure which patch, but a while ago, they added the admin buildings to keep sprawl under control, but changed literally nothing balance-wise to account for the fact that they effectively removed one of the main limitations on playing wide. Namely, increasing research costs. So now the entire tech tree happens about 100 years faster, and they haven't changed any game mechanics to account for that fact. I've literally seen the AI kill entire raider clans within the first 100 years because the raiders don't ramp up their strength over time, and are still balanced around the old tech system. And that's only one example of the way game balance is affected by this.

True but I know when I've proposed changes that would take into account things like Galaxy size, number of habitable planets, number of initial empires, etc. that sort of idea was shot down instantly. I figure it's either that OR we re-institute sprawl similar to how it was to act as a braking system for larger empires.