The Real Problems With Stellaris

Oscot

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That's not a case of the game being boring, that's you being boring. Slavers know to attack me because if they don't strike first I'm gonna liberate their slaves with my revolutionary armada. If you're lethargic and have mono, no gameplay mechanics will force you to do anything. Maybe try to play like you're not paralyzed from the waist down and you might find things are fun to do without requiring a 2000 page thesis to explain why you need to do them.
Well, it's a spectrum, isn't it? On the one hand, it's the dev's responsibility to make a game with a compelling narrative that draws the player in; on the other hand, if the player just doesn't care then at some point they're justified in throwing up their hands and declaring him a soulless robot. For example, show me a man who can turn off LOTR in the middle of Theodin's battle speech and I'll show you a man who's dead inside and no amount of polishing warfare will make him like it

So you're gesturing at a real phenomenon... I just don't think it applies in the case of Stellaris. Yes, it could be that everyone whose complaining "Yawn I just don't know why I'm supposed to be fighting" is an aberrant with an unusually colourless soul, but the relative quantity of us bored-os vs. the relative quantity of you excite-os kinda suggests you're the aberrant ones.

If you're capable of being excited by Stellaris warfare as-is, then bravo, I'm happy for you. However, there are apparently a lot more bored-os than excite-os, so if Paradox wants to make money they would be wiser to cater to us and jazz up the war narratives, than cater to you and leave them as-is.
 
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Not like a Diplomatic or Religious victory in Civ.
Can't remember either of those. I can remember the cultural victory but it felt... off.

Not like an Economic or Diplomatic victory in SMAC.
I can't even remember what a diplo victory in SMAC was. Probably because five of the stock faction leaders are awful people that I can't persuade myself Deirdre or Pravin would want to diplomatize.

(I remember the economic victory. I consider it weird and goofy and baddumb.)
 
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The game has a good direction and its design is brilliant.

The problem with Stellaris is how bad the performance and the AI are. Why do you want a multiple choices and mechanics if the AI behavior is practically the same? . You dont see different personalities or strategies. It is very boring. It is a chess where your opponent just move forward his pawns and forget everything else when the chess is created to be more creative.

I dont mind the perfect balance. I mind the experience to have different challenges everytime and see how the galaxy becomes in dynamic and funny scenarios
 
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I'm not sure I see that.

The problem is that I don't feel like Stellaris gives me a reason why I want or need those things. Even a modest empire has such as massive economy that it easily meets all of its wants and needs. In that environment, why do I declare war to take that megastructure or planet? When I already have more energy coming in than I can spend, what difference does a Dyson sphere make?

The same with wormholes. Where does that wormhole take me that I want or need to go? There is no trade on the galaxy map, nor would I need those resources even if there were, so why would I declare war on someone to get the wormhole?

The answer, generally, is that you're supposed to role play, so headcanon will give you the reason to launch wars on another empire. But that's just the metagame. None of that has to do with the reward and punishment system run by the game itself.

I think @TrotBot's example is a good one. You can build a utopia of incredible science, and launch a horrific defensive war to protect it, but why would someone attack in the first place? I can generate all of that research and more in my own empire without sacrificing any other area of production. What do they have that I need? The answer is generally, nothing.
You have an energy surplus because you aren't spending enough of it or you're overproducing. Reroll some leaders for optimal traits, build so many science buildings that you have to buy consumer goods on the market, terraform some planets &c. &c. Taking that Dyson Sphere lets you delete your energy districts so you can have more scientists, metallurgists & culture workers. The buffed basic resource techs create this glut in the mid game IMO.
 
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Well, it's a spectrum, isn't it? On the one hand, it's the dev's responsibility to make a game with a compelling narrative that draws the player in; on the other hand, if the player just doesn't care then at some point they're justified in throwing up their hands and declaring him a soulless robot. For example, show me a man who can turn off LOTR in the middle of Theodin's battle speech and I'll show you a man who's dead inside and no amount of polishing warfare will make him like it

So you're gesturing at a real phenomenon... I just don't think it applies in the case of Stellaris. Yes, it could be that everyone whose complaining "Yawn I just don't know why I'm supposed to be fighting" is an aberrant with an unusually colourless soul, but the relative quantity of us bored-os vs. the relative quantity of you excite-os kinda suggests you're the aberrant ones.

If you're capable of being excited by Stellaris warfare as-is, then bravo, I'm happy for you. However, there are apparently a lot more bored-os than excite-os, so if Paradox wants to make money they would be wiser to cater to us and jazz up the war narratives, than cater to you and leave them as-is.

I think the problem I have is that the game doesn't actually build this roleplaying into its mechanics. Yes, slaves and democracies and spiritualists all exist, but they aren't functionally different from each other. They all play the same game.

I'm completely on board with Stellaris trying to stake out its identity as an RPG/strategy hybrid. That sounds great to me. You play as a character, but instead of swords and spells your weapons are fleets and citadels. I'm in. But an RPG needs to support its role playing with solid mechanics that help the player shape that character and how they live in that world.

I feel like the comparison would be if Baldur's Gate treated every character class exactly the same, but just expected you to role play them all differently. So fighters can cast spells and mages can equip heavy armor, but you're just not supposed to do that because it breaks the headcanon of playing as those roles. That wouldn't work. What makes a D&D game work (or any other great RPG) is that your role playing is supported by the game's mechanics.

That's what I feel like Stellaris is missing. I'm wholesale on board for a vision of warfare driven as much by narrative concerns as strategic issues. It's just that those roles need a mechanical presence in the game. There needs to be something about the way my spiritualist crusader plays the game that pushes them to war, not just me deciding that's what they'll do next. Otherwise it's the same thing as deciding "this character just won't equip that armor because he's a mage."


Side note, couldn't agree more on Theoden's battle speech!
 
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HFY

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Can't remember either of those. I can remember the cultural victory but it felt... off.


I can't even remember what a diplo victory in SMAC was. Probably because five of the stock faction leaders are awful people that I can't persuade myself Deirdre or Pravin would want to diplomatize.

(I remember the economic victory. I consider it weird and goofy and baddumb.)
My point is that Stellaris needs more variety in its victory conditions.

You seemed confused about what that means, so I offered some examples, and now you're taking potshots at the examples? Okay, whatever.

The main point stands: Stellaris needs more variety in its victory conditions.

I think the problem I have is that the game doesn't actually build this roleplaying into its mechanics. Yes, slaves and democracies and spiritualists all exist, but they aren't functionally different from each other. They all play the same game.
Yeah.

There are some differences, but they're usually too minor and don't particularly impact your overall goals as a player.

If you could target some other kind of victory (e.g. Diplomatic Victory / Cultural Victory / etc.) and getting to your victory could be accomplished through different methods (e.g. Hegemony Method / Tourism Method / Espionage method / etc.) then you could plausibly say that Stellaris offered different playthrough experiences based on the strengths you get from the combination of your Ethics / Civics / Traits / Precursor / etc.

That would be some amazing replay value.

Also, it would give me a reason to pay attention to other empires beyond just their fleet power.
 
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You seemed confused about what that means, so I offered some examples, and now you're taking potshots at the examples?
If you give me examples that make me go "ugh", I'm going to take potshots at them, yes.
 

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If you give me examples that make me go "ugh", I'm going to take potshots at them, yes.
Okay, but the main point stands that Stellaris needs more variety in its victory conditions.
 

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Stellaris: Federations, or why democracy doesn't work

...

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.

...
I disagree about GC resolutions. You're right in pointing out that (at least for a long time) there won't be resolutions that fail, but I think that misses the point of the GC. It's not about resolutions succeeding or failing, so much as it's about the order in which they come to a vote. Empires that are willing to put effort into controlling that can choose policies that grant them disproportionate diplomatic weight, and that advantage compounds on itself.

I think spending effort on the GC can be an enticing but uncertain option: it has real opportunity costs, and it might be a waste if someone else does it better, but if it succeeds, you have a huge effect on galactic policy. Success feels satisfying in its own right, and it also gives you a very tangible advantage over empires that oppose yours ideologically.

You're right in pointing out that it's very sensitive to which ethics were rolled for the AI players. Sometimes the obstacles to your policy agenda will be insurmountable, and sometimes your agenda will happen without any particular effort on your part. You frame this variation as a bad thing, but personally, I'm comfortable with it. It seems to fit with other design choices in Stellaris: the story you experience is already quite sensitive to the locations and ethics of your neighbors, and the GC simply expands the scope of random galactic circumstances that affect you. If you really want galactic politics to turn out a specific way on the first try, you could always customize the AI empires yourself. (Does that suck the fun out of it? I'm curious what types and degrees of uncertainty you value in a game like this.)
 

Ren Nobody

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Disclamer:
Not so good at english & new meds for ADHD so my grammer / sentence structure etc. might be weird,
and / or i might not articulate myself correctly.
Also while maybe it may sound like i state facts, alot of this is my opinion (and i do not want to write "this is my opinion", every 2 sentences).
Apologies in advance.

I do not know if this fits here, or if i should start a new thread. but atleast this disccusion here sparked this thoughts of mine.

I often see alot of points discussed, when it goes a litle more in depth, what is wrong with stellearis, beyond just "this bug", or "this one mechanic".

1. Stellaris does not know what it is. / What is Stellaris as a Game.
2. Role Playing / "Pure" Startegy Gaming. (Also the game is "easy".)
3. Single- / Multi-Player focus.

Alot of what i say in one point, also fits in the other points.

1.)
One of the big porblems people always point to, or was for a while back alteast, that stellaris does not know what it wants to be. But i think that is false, Stellaris does know exactly what it wants to be, or atleast how i understood it to be back in the day pre release / on release.

Stellaris is a Sandox(!) with the frame work of a Grand-Strategy- / 4X-Game (Mixture of both).
While yes it has a "Victory" condition in the form of the Score and soon the new Crisis-Mechanic-Victory, in my opinion, it is more of a "suggested End Point" to conclude this particuler Round of the game.

Now if it does a good / satisfing job of being that, i think alot of people have opinions on that.

It does also not dismiss or absolve all criticism of the game in terms of its mechanics as a Strategy game, i think it makes most of if not all of them just as valid. But also, as a Sandbox is has just a different priority / balance etc. (More on that in Point 2)

If i remeber correctly, the overall idea was:
- Early Game: You explore (initial "dark" map, anomliese etc.) you expand initialy and meet your neighbours. Maybe some Early Skirmishes. (Playing in your immidate neighborhood, and internally with your economy.)
- Mid Game: While you have diplomacy with your neighbours and some conflicts / continue to expand (diplomaticly or conquest), you also have to stablize your empire, since its growing, eihter throu expansion or conquest and deal with internal threaths. (Playing in your neighborhood, and internally more stability than economy.)
- End Game: While you more or less have stabilized your empire, the last events to lead to the "conclusion"/Fate of the Galaxy.(Fallen/Awaken Empires, Crisis, Galactic Community etc.) (Bassicly how will this end, does everything end to a crisis, will there be ever lasting conflinct between the people, unite as one peacfully or not as one people etc.)

Early Game i think a lot of people find fine, especially with the new First Contact overhaul in the new Patch.
End Game i also think a lot of people find fine enough with the new mechanics in nemesis and the galacitc comunity. (As long as the normal EndGame Crisis works.)

As for Mid Game, while the new Espionage and especially Intel system are certainly going to get us closer. The fact that people are more and more vocal about internal politics, and are interested in the sugessted religious overhaul from the devs, shows that this is the most lacking Phase of the Game.

While many may argue that the devs / new leads or even Paradox itself may have forgotton that, i think it still develops in that direction. Again people may have opinions if Paradox does a got job at it.

2.)
While it is easy to dismiss alot of criticism or sugesstion for that startegy side with "roleplaying takes priority" etc. ( If you agree with me on what Stellaris is.)
This helps no one.

As i tried to touch on this briefly above. To summirize as best as i can.
If the Strategy Game elements to not work or are not there , you have nothing to do / can do nothing, how will you roleplay, you might as well do it without the game in your head.

Balance wise, while there will always be a meta / best build, but yes they should try to balance all options as best as it is possible.

This game will always be easier than other pure Strategy games, because of its Sandbox / Roleplay nature. It will never be balanced around Min-/Max-ing or the assumption that everybody does.

Your playtime / history with this game,
your proficiency in Strategy Games overall
and your approach to the game (Startegy / Roleplaying)
will greatly influenc not only the difficulty, but also the millage you get out of playthroughs.

And i think a better midgame would not only help role players, but also strategy players.

I do not try to dismiss or discourage people to play this game as they do other Strategy games.
Just want to make clear that you may not get as much of it since you are not the PRIMARY target group.

3.)
In my opinion, the focus of the devs is multiplayer.
Not as a Competetive Startegy game, but again, as a Sandbox Multiplayer game.

I think overall what best summarizes / showcases what Stellaris tries to be is the current nemesis Cold War.

Multiple People trying to tell the Stories of their Empires with their specific goal.
The Story of that Galaxy in a certain time frame.
Maybe just not as railroded with a Gamemaster.
 
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That's not a case of the game being boring, that's you being boring. Slavers know to attack me because if they don't strike first I'm gonna liberate their slaves with my revolutionary armada. If you're lethargic and have mono, no gameplay mechanics will force you to do anything. Maybe try to play like you're not paralyzed from the waist down and you might find things are fun to do without requiring a 2000 page thesis to explain why you need to do them.
That's such a cop-out. "Oh, this game has lackluster AI and terrible galactic politics, and that's YOUR fault!"

I play games to have fun. I shouldn't have to justify why the AI sucks in my head and play fir the AI, and I shouldn't have to create some galactic headcannon because the AI are dumber than your average houseplant and there is no tension over resources and planets.
 
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That's such a cop-out. "Oh, this game has lackluster AI and terrible galactic politics, and that's YOUR fault!"

I play games to have fun. I shouldn't have to justify why the AI sucks in my head and play fir the AI, and I shouldn't have to create some galactic headcannon because the AI are dumber than your average houseplant and there is no tension over resources and planets.
i'm saying you should impose ideology on the ai and gain an ally :p
 

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That's not a case of the game being boring, that's you being boring. Slavers know to attack me because if they don't strike first I'm gonna liberate their slaves with my revolutionary armada. If you're lethargic and have mono, no gameplay mechanics will force you to do anything. Maybe try to play like you're not paralyzed from the waist down and you might find things are fun to do without requiring a 2000 page thesis to explain why you need to do them.
On one hand I know this is a joke, but on the other, if you only have your one colony, it being your capital world, you are 100% almost paralyzed from the waist down due to how industrial districts and getting CSG vs Alloys work now. It's impossible to change designation on a capital world, so you will only ever have 1 Artisan job and 1 Metallurgist job per district. Meanwhile, Gestalts and instead have the same number of them and literally have double the alloy output, this is a balancing problem because in almost all post early-game scenarios, CSG upkeep is so low below potential Alloys upkeep that it doesn't even bear mentioning, even with Utopian Abundance on.

Additionally, the game is actually provable as boring. In literally every other galaxy-scale empire builder, or 4X game as the industry calls it, you can max out a colony or system (in the case of Endless Space) far before the end of the game, let alone multiple, it's just that over time you'll have to add a couple new improvements to them as you unlock them, sorta like in Stellaris, but in vanilla Stellaris, you literally can't do that in 100 in-game years.
But max-out, I mean "To make sure that a colony has nothing you could do to improve it further (minus very occasional unlocks) due to already doing everything" and one element of that is pop job filling.
When you mod out the scaling pop growth cost, you CAN max out a colony, but it still takes 3/4ths of Paradox's recommended game length, that being 100 years max, and if it wasn't, Paradox's last creator game where they previewed Federations, wouldn't have had an enforced length of only being at 100 years.
Not to mention, the game lags so badly because it recalculates tons of things and automaticaly rethinks about where pops should be, for practically no actually good reason that wouldn't be better than a "Only update/recalculate when absolutely necessary" kind of system, so the pace of the game is slowed even further by the game being so bad that it can't run at a consistent internal speed.

Lastly, the AI isn't capable of being called smart, it doesn't reason or employ any behavior capable of such, now all it really does is suicide bomb their ships into your front lines unless you're ridiculously more powerful, it doesn't do anything that doesn't make sense, it doesn't have wierd colony setups that, when a player thinks about it, is legitimately a really good idea, or is conditionally a good idea, it can't even use the economy right so Paradox, in their infinite intelligence, decided to dumb down the economy further for it, and all it did was introduce an early-game imbalance between the Normal Empires and Gestalts, but also Players playing Normals vs AIs with any number of cheat resources.

The designation system isn't even a swappable modifier system instead for crying out loud, just in theory, having 3 or 4 decisions on a planet that add the specialization modifiers that give extra jobs and take them away from the other between CSG and Alloys would work literally infinitely better than the current workings of the industrial district designation feature because it can easily work on Capital Worlds but would allow you to multi-task a planet at least a tiny bit better. Want to have Mining World designation on a world with some industrial districts? Well now you can with it being modifier-based and not designation-based and it won't drain your mineral income as hard, about 20% less hard in fact and you can choose between neither, or Alloys or CSG and it'll be fine. In my reckoning, 20% more minerals is a heck of a lot better for scaling than 20% less mineral upkeep.

So yes, Stellaris is, in fact, boring. Imagine how many would love Starcraft 2 if it took you literally 8 hours to get up to 200/200 supply and to get all upgrades. The game's pace is literally way too slow and there's too little to actually do for that slow pace to be at all worth it, it's just a fact. Most mods only make it better in that they let you have more options to create a stronger empire over time and the more mods you have that accomplish that, the less you're bound by RNG to basically beat your enemy without contest. The more mods you have, the more your SKILL matters because you have more ability to have it take advantage of everything to better effect. Any game where skill basically doesn't really matter is inherently boring until you get that run where you're literally the apex predator and nothing, not even a crisis can stop you, but then you've already won, you've created the strongest empire possible and there is no longer any inherent challenge and that, in turn, becomes boring even still.

Honestly: A faster pace, lower time cost of just about everything, lower resource cost of just about everything, and a lower COUNT of jobs available would be a good step in the right direction in making it less boring. Not to mention maybe having less incremental bonuses littered throughout the game and instead having fewer but more powerful bonuses in the game would make those bonuses feel more impactful, it would also reduce bloat and it could make the game at least somewhat more fun.
But to make it more fun, you would need people to be hired at Paradox who could actually make AI that could be interpreted as, intelligent, something capable of keeping up with the player without cheating, if Master of Orion 2 had that, if AI War: Fleet Command had that, then Stellaris can too honestly, and it's not like those two games are less complex. Economically? Sure, I guess, AI War is based in Streaming economies and colonies produce ships in Moo2, but they both have actualy balance and good design in the combat, they aren't just "lol spam the cheapest ship and win", AI War has tons of ship types which all can counter or hard counter one another, while MoO2's ship designing puts Stellaris' to absolute shame, is the source of the game's late-game optimization issues, but ships can be designed to counter other ship setups and larger ships just give you more options for an actually appropriate cost, and they're also based on a "space" system, and not rooted in the limiting crap of limited slot counts.

But it's not like anyone cares about my walls anyways, so i dunno why I bother x3
 
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On one hand I know this is a joke, but on the other, if you only have your one colony, it being your capital world, you are 100% almost paralyzed from the waist down due to how industrial districts and getting CSG vs Alloys work now. It's impossible to change designation on a capital world, so you will only ever have 1 Artisan job and 1 Metallurgist job per district. Meanwhile, Gestalts and instead have the same number of them and literally have double the alloy output, this is a balancing problem because in almost all post early-game scenarios, CSG upkeep is so low below potential Alloys upkeep that it doesn't even bear mentioning, even with Utopian Abundance on.

Additionally, the game is actually provable as boring. In literally every other galaxy-scale empire builder, or 4X game as the industry calls it, you can max out a colony or system (in the case of Endless Space) far before the end of the game, let alone multiple, it's just that over time you'll have to add a couple new improvements to them as you unlock them, sorta like in Stellaris, but in vanilla Stellaris, you literally can't do that in 100 in-game years.
But max-out, I mean "To make sure that a colony has nothing you could do to improve it further (minus very occasional unlocks) due to already doing everything" and one element of that is pop job filling.
When you mod out the scaling pop growth cost, you CAN max out a colony, but it still takes 3/4ths of Paradox's recommended game length, that being 100 years max, and if it wasn't, Paradox's last creator game where they previewed Federations, wouldn't have had an enforced length of only being at 100 years.
Not to mention, the game lags so badly because it recalculates tons of things and automaticaly rethinks about where pops should be, for practically no actually good reason that wouldn't be better than a "Only update/recalculate when absolutely necessary" kind of system, so the pace of the game is slowed even further by the game being so bad that it can't run at a consistent internal speed.

Lastly, the AI isn't capable of being called smart, it doesn't reason or employ any behavior capable of such, now all it really does is suicide bomb their ships into your front lines unless you're ridiculously more powerful, it doesn't do anything that doesn't make sense, it doesn't have wierd colony setups that, when a player thinks about it, is legitimately a really good idea, or is conditionally a good idea, it can't even use the economy right so Paradox, in their infinite intelligence, decided to dumb down the economy further for it, and all it did was introduce an early-game imbalance between the Normal Empires and Gestalts, but also Players playing Normals vs AIs with any number of cheat resources.

The designation system isn't even a swappable modifier system instead for crying out loud, just in theory, having 3 or 4 decisions on a planet that add the specialization modifiers that give extra jobs and take them away from the other between CSG and Alloys would work literally infinitely better than the current workings of the industrial district designation feature because it can easily work on Capital Worlds but would allow you to multi-task a planet at least a tiny bit better. Want to have Mining World designation on a world with some industrial districts? Well now you can with it being modifier-based and not designation-based and it won't drain your mineral income as hard, about 20% less hard in fact and you can choose between neither, or Alloys or CSG and it'll be fine. In my reckoning, 20% more minerals is a heck of a lot better for scaling than 20% less mineral upkeep.

So yes, Stellaris is, in fact, boring. Imagine how many would love Starcraft 2 if it took you literally 8 hours to get up to 200/200 supply and to get all upgrades. The game's pace is literally way too slow and there's too little to actually do for that slow pace to be at all worth it, it's just a fact. Most mods only make it better in that they let you have more options to create a stronger empire over time and the more mods you have that accomplish that, the less you're bound by RNG to basically beat your enemy without contest. The more mods you have, the more your SKILL matters because you have more ability to have it take advantage of everything to better effect. Any game where skill basically doesn't really matter is inherently boring until you get that run where you're literally the apex predator and nothing, not even a crisis can stop you, but then you've already won, you've created the strongest empire possible and there is no longer any inherent challenge and that, in turn, becomes boring even still.

Honestly: A faster pace, lower time cost of just about everything, lower resource cost of just about everything, and a lower COUNT of jobs available would be a good step in the right direction in making it less boring. Not to mention maybe having less incremental bonuses littered throughout the game and instead having fewer but more powerful bonuses in the game would make those bonuses feel more impactful, it would also reduce bloat and it could make the game at least somewhat more fun.
But to make it more fun, you would need people to be hired at Paradox who could actually make AI that could be interpreted as, intelligent, something capable of keeping up with the player without cheating, if Master of Orion 2 had that, if AI War: Fleet Command had that, then Stellaris can too honestly, and it's not like those two games are less complex. Economically? Sure, I guess, AI War is based in Streaming economies and colonies produce ships in Moo2, but they both have actualy balance and good design in the combat, they aren't just "lol spam the cheapest ship and win", AI War has tons of ship types which all can counter or hard counter one another, while MoO2's ship designing puts Stellaris' to absolute shame, is the source of the game's late-game optimization issues, but ships can be designed to counter other ship setups and larger ships just give you more options for an actually appropriate cost, and they're also based on a "space" system, and not rooted in the limiting crap of limited slot counts.

But it's not like anyone cares about my walls anyways, so i dunno why I bother x3
i stopped reading at "100 years max".

if i'm not building megastructures then why am i playing?
 
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The real problem with stellaris is that there are no anime catgirls.



So i can purge that degeneracy from the universe with determined exterminators. I mean i shouldnt have to download a mod to purge heresy.
 

Peko?

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When you mod out the scaling pop growth cost, you CAN max out a colony, but it still takes 3/4ths of Paradox's recommended game length, that being 100 years max, and if it wasn't, Paradox's last creator game where they previewed Federations, wouldn't have had an enforced length of only being at 100 years.
That's a non sequitur, enforcing a time limit on a game stream isn't the same as saying that is how the game should be played. The default victory year is 2500, or 300 years, that's as close as we have to a recommended game length.
 
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On one hand I know this is a joke, but on the other, if you only have your one colony, it being your capital world, you are 100% almost paralyzed from the waist down due to how industrial districts and getting CSG vs Alloys work now. It's impossible to change designation on a capital world, so you will only ever have 1 Artisan job and 1 Metallurgist job per district. Meanwhile, Gestalts and instead have the same number of them and literally have double the alloy output, this is a balancing problem because in almost all post early-game scenarios, CSG upkeep is so low below potential Alloys upkeep that it doesn't even bear mentioning, even with Utopian Abundance on.

Additionally, the game is actually provable as boring. In literally every other galaxy-scale empire builder, or 4X game as the industry calls it, you can max out a colony or system (in the case of Endless Space) far before the end of the game, let alone multiple, it's just that over time you'll have to add a couple new improvements to them as you unlock them, sorta like in Stellaris, but in vanilla Stellaris, you literally can't do that in 100 in-game years.
But max-out, I mean "To make sure that a colony has nothing you could do to improve it further (minus very occasional unlocks) due to already doing everything" and one element of that is pop job filling.
When you mod out the scaling pop growth cost, you CAN max out a colony, but it still takes 3/4ths of Paradox's recommended game length, that being 100 years max, and if it wasn't, Paradox's last creator game where they previewed Federations, wouldn't have had an enforced length of only being at 100 years.
Not to mention, the game lags so badly because it recalculates tons of things and automaticaly rethinks about where pops should be, for practically no actually good reason that wouldn't be better than a "Only update/recalculate when absolutely necessary" kind of system, so the pace of the game is slowed even further by the game being so bad that it can't run at a consistent internal speed.

Lastly, the AI isn't capable of being called smart, it doesn't reason or employ any behavior capable of such, now all it really does is suicide bomb their ships into your front lines unless you're ridiculously more powerful, it doesn't do anything that doesn't make sense, it doesn't have wierd colony setups that, when a player thinks about it, is legitimately a really good idea, or is conditionally a good idea, it can't even use the economy right so Paradox, in their infinite intelligence, decided to dumb down the economy further for it, and all it did was introduce an early-game imbalance between the Normal Empires and Gestalts, but also Players playing Normals vs AIs with any number of cheat resources.

The designation system isn't even a swappable modifier system instead for crying out loud, just in theory, having 3 or 4 decisions on a planet that add the specialization modifiers that give extra jobs and take them away from the other between CSG and Alloys would work literally infinitely better than the current workings of the industrial district designation feature because it can easily work on Capital Worlds but would allow you to multi-task a planet at least a tiny bit better. Want to have Mining World designation on a world with some industrial districts? Well now you can with it being modifier-based and not designation-based and it won't drain your mineral income as hard, about 20% less hard in fact and you can choose between neither, or Alloys or CSG and it'll be fine. In my reckoning, 20% more minerals is a heck of a lot better for scaling than 20% less mineral upkeep.

So yes, Stellaris is, in fact, boring. Imagine how many would love Starcraft 2 if it took you literally 8 hours to get up to 200/200 supply and to get all upgrades. The game's pace is literally way too slow and there's too little to actually do for that slow pace to be at all worth it, it's just a fact. Most mods only make it better in that they let you have more options to create a stronger empire over time and the more mods you have that accomplish that, the less you're bound by RNG to basically beat your enemy without contest. The more mods you have, the more your SKILL matters because you have more ability to have it take advantage of everything to better effect. Any game where skill basically doesn't really matter is inherently boring until you get that run where you're literally the apex predator and nothing, not even a crisis can stop you, but then you've already won, you've created the strongest empire possible and there is no longer any inherent challenge and that, in turn, becomes boring even still.

Honestly: A faster pace, lower time cost of just about everything, lower resource cost of just about everything, and a lower COUNT of jobs available would be a good step in the right direction in making it less boring. Not to mention maybe having less incremental bonuses littered throughout the game and instead having fewer but more powerful bonuses in the game would make those bonuses feel more impactful, it would also reduce bloat and it could make the game at least somewhat more fun.
But to make it more fun, you would need people to be hired at Paradox who could actually make AI that could be interpreted as, intelligent, something capable of keeping up with the player without cheating, if Master of Orion 2 had that, if AI War: Fleet Command had that, then Stellaris can too honestly, and it's not like those two games are less complex. Economically? Sure, I guess, AI War is based in Streaming economies and colonies produce ships in Moo2, but they both have actualy balance and good design in the combat, they aren't just "lol spam the cheapest ship and win", AI War has tons of ship types which all can counter or hard counter one another, while MoO2's ship designing puts Stellaris' to absolute shame, is the source of the game's late-game optimization issues, but ships can be designed to counter other ship setups and larger ships just give you more options for an actually appropriate cost, and they're also based on a "space" system, and not rooted in the limiting crap of limited slot counts.

But it's not like anyone cares about my walls anyways, so i dunno why I bother x3
i think i feel teh exact opposite, for me the problem is that in stellaris you max out a planet like 5-10 years into a game and then you are just waiting for pops, with nothing meaningful to do except wait for pops to grow, ofcourse you can colonize more worlds but thsoe iwll be maxed out even faster and just waiting for pops that come even slower iwth the new patch. Which leads to massive economy surpluses of all possible reasources very early into the game and by the midgame resources just dont matter for your economy since anything you can get to boost your economy costs almost nothing, the only way to spend stuff is to build fleets but if you dont need/want them then there is nothing to spend your resources on. Also about tech boosts and such i feel like there is too few of them and with too high boosts, for me it would flow much better if the upgrades were more gradual (for example i played a mod with cheap repeatables form teh start that only added 1% each to a thing they boosted and it felt much better than the current 20% which just feels like a giant overkill especially when its not backep up by also increasing upkeep). Overall i feel like paradox is trying to shower players in easily obtainable resources from all sides in hopes it would stop AI from going bankrupt by literally making it impossibel to fail in the economy. But sadly all thsi does is give players lots of resources they can do nothing with and AI still finds a way to fail the economy even with GA bonuses and all the special per building bonuses they get.
 
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One of the big porblems people always point to, or was for a while back alteast, that stellaris does not know what it wants to be. But i think that is false, Stellaris does know exactly what it wants to be, or atleast how i understood it to be back in the day pre release / on release.

Stellaris is a Sandox(!) with the frame work of a Grand-Strategy- / 4X-Game (Mixture of both).
While yes it has a "Victory" condition in the form of the Score and soon the new Crisis-Mechanic-Victory, in my opinion, it is more of a "suggested End Point" to conclude this particuler Round of the game.

There was a RPS article recently that made me think of this issue:

If Hearts Of Iron transplants old-school wargame components onto the basic Paradox template, and Crusader Kings does the same with roleplaying elements, then Victoria does so with the stuff of management games. Yes, there is war to be fought (though that wasn't shown to me), and there are characters to interact with (although you can't excommunicate and eat them). But these are both secondary to the business of running a state. Paradox are billing it as a "society simulator", which seems pretty apt.

This feels like a pretty accurate way of putting it. All of the Paradox GSGs are sandbox games, and they're all grand strategy games. But the company's other games have a clear identity within that framework. HoI is a WWII war game. CK is a medieval roleplaying game. Vicky is an economic management game and EU (I would argue) is a political management game. As the article says, each of these games has elements of the others. You certainly do role play in Hearts of Iron, for example. But you do so in the framework of a game designed with a clear identity as a war game.

I don't think Stellaris has an answer for that identity issue. Is it a war game? An empire management game? A roleplaying game? The answer seems to be "yes."
 
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Colonizor48

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Feb 5, 2021
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There was a RPS article recently that made me think of this issue:

If Hearts Of Iron transplants old-school wargame components onto the basic Paradox template, and Crusader Kings does the same with roleplaying elements, then Victoria does so with the stuff of management games. Yes, there is war to be fought (though that wasn't shown to me), and there are characters to interact with (although you can't excommunicate and eat them). But these are both secondary to the business of running a state. Paradox are billing it as a "society simulator", which seems pretty apt.

This feels like a pretty accurate way of putting it. All of the Paradox GSGs are sandbox games, and they're all grand strategy games. But the company's other games have a clear identity within that framework. HoI is a WWII war game. CK is a medieval roleplaying game. Vicky is an economic management game and EU (I would argue) is a political management game. As the article says, each of these games has elements of the others. You certainly do role play in Hearts of Iron, for example. But you do so in the framework of a game designed with a clear identity as a war game.

I don't think Stellaris has an answer for that identity issue. Is it a war game? An empire management game? A roleplaying game? The answer seems to be "yes."
Honestly i think there is a big potential for somthing that is all 4. But it has to do all 4 well. Stellaris does percisely 1 of those things well, and the rest fall on a specturm from okay to internal politics expansion pls. But if stelalris hasd the economy of vicky2, the war of hoi4, the rp of ck3 and the politics of eu4. But those things should all be different thenw hats found in those games. Still fun but mechanicly different.