The Real Problems With Stellaris

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I am, of course, hopeful that Stellaris can be recovered, but honestly, I think it will take Stellaris 2.0 for that. The game needs to be completely overhauled (again) and rebuilt from the ground up.
Stellaris 2.0 already happpened, and it was exactly when it started to get down the drain, so...
 
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I actually don't think it needs a huge rework of all systems to be fun.

But one or two dedicated patches that work on its gameplay mechanics (like we got a couple that improved the performance!) would be really appreciated.

Tighten the screws on dipolmacy and the GC for stuff to matter more and have more influence options other then sending an envoy. I think the upcoming espionage dlc will work into that quite nicely.

Let us set better parameteres for jobs and pops. Aka: Make pops and the management of those a real gameplayelement, instead of an exercise in frustration. (i.e. let me set that those jobs are to be filled up by those pops and nothing else, while any pop that grows here will be resettled once the jobs are full or can't be filled according to my restriction. Restrict some of those option for certain empire types like egalitarian and give them some other boni/edict stuff to compensate.)

Work on the Military AI and - thats getting a bit further ahead - implement an 'engagement layer' where instead of a just two armies blobbing up you can set up your battleplan on what should engage first which ships; when they should disengage etc (all influenced by your available military doctrine). Basically make all those arbitrary numbers and stuff that are on traits and tech and whatnot into actual gameplayelements.

A lot about stellaris is fine or only needs slight tweaks; like exploration, events etc.
 
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The irony is while both sides presented legitimate problems: "Paradox made unnessary mistakes", "Paradox failed to deliver Y as promised after rework X" or "The old X FTL system is an absolute shambles" or "AI being incapable at managing", only few of you ACTUALLY GAVE ANY GOOD COMPROMISES. Then in end some lad boldly claimed Stellaris is all about imperialism then went on trying to teach history with exactly 1 primacy example. Honestly, even if I dont study history degree nor playing inward perfectionist a lot, that sounds absolutely insulting when I shown that to people that do. After reading the entire thread, here's my attempt to wrap up:

Common problem 1: AI
Analysing problem:
  1. Not true, given that there's mod like proactive AI where you can attempt to change the behaviour modifier, so obviously PDX does give you some access to their AI. But as someone who was forced to do HDL module in uni, I'll say using .lua was a very poor choice made by PDX as they just limited free talent pool by themselves.
  2. AIs aren't hard to train, in fact it's very easy to train them to do A SPECIFIC task perfectly, but they're impossible to make them grasp abstract concepts. What this means is "Diversity is the archenemy of AIs." I'm sorry but that's something we have to swallow in 21st century. What this also means is building a new, multi-tasking AI from scratch isn't a viable option.
Compromise: Reduce the inputs seems like a good idea. For that reason I support streamlining FTL, because by making warfare in space looks like HOI, you can actually rely on "somewhat test-proven method", but for that reason I also hate the fact that PDX spent time adding new DLCs instead of fixing existing problems - slow game, AI (pop managements, military, diplomacy), boring late game have been since the early days in 2016 and always been there.

Common problem 2: What is the most important problem?
Straightforward answer: Population management. Any strategy game attempts to simulate leader management irl should always centered around population, period. Everything a real life leader has ever done, whether waging war or becoming an economic super power or diplomatic hegemon is to ensure his/her government will survive and thrive, and they can only do that when the people he/she delegate power to (not necessary the entire people) can efficiently carry out what is ordered. And what directly influenced a person's performance? Health & safety; and incentives. If some high above leader makes a policy that you cannot be a physicist then favours another species, would you feel discriminated? If you say yes then is an optimal performance empire truly the best empire? After all, people won't work for you if they don't have enough incentive to. To this end, instead of federation, distant star and necroid, PDX should have focused on population. It is the core of any 4X game. Also improving AI specifically for population management is actually easier than animating so Necroid is really a short-sighted decision lol
 
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I think that when the day comes, getting started on Stellaris 2 will be good for the devs. Less trial and error and more of a cohesive vision from the get-go with the lessons they've learned from the test run.

I do have to respect their ambition, though. Both Stellaris and HoI4 tried some really cool things even if those things didn't work out as well as the devs probably would've hoped. With Stellaris, it was features like the different starting FTL types. With HoI4, it was primarily the battle planner, which was, and is, a mess, but can be improved upon with more patches.
 
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Yes. On the one hand, the ambition for Stellaris has to be respected. For me, it was the first real attempt I saw at actually modelling a galactic expansion game. Pre-cursors (Stars!, SE, Polaris, Stardrive, SOTS, MOO, GC, Endless Space, Polaris Sector, and many others) had focused on particular elements only, and simplified or abstracted other areas into near non-existence. And you had things like planets in space (not star systems), limited numbers of stars, and minimalist systems for politics, espionage, diplomacy. I don't think any game actually tried to model population management in space (certainly not to the extent of Stellaris).

I wouldn't be surprised, if at some point they realised they might have been a fraction too ambitious. For all the great elements of Stellaris, the economy, empire management and UI leaves much to be desired. Stellaris also walks a fine line between story-telling, expansion simulator, and inter-stellar military strategy. I can well imagine that it is difficult to focus on a direction for the game, because you will inevitably end up sacrificing one or other element.
 
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only few of you ACTUALLY GAVE ANY GOOD COMPROMISES.

I'm not sure that actually is the right way to go.

Compromises in most situations are, of course, generally the best outcome. When we have to share a public space or resources, compromise is necessary.

In game design, though, I don't think compromise between competing visions necessarily is the right answer. I feel like it leaves you with lots of muddled, half-implemented mechanics that please no one in their effort to please everyone. In fact I would argue that this is a lot of the problem that already exists with Stellaris. The game already feels like it's stuffed with compromises between MP and SP play, between head canon and on-paper role playing, between an identity as a strategy/empire simulation/role playing game. The result is a lot of features that often feel disconnected, if not in outright tension with each other.

Personally I would argue that when it comes to art and entertainment, the better move is to choose a clear and specific vision and then make your product the best version of that vision it can be. You have to accept that it will not be for all people, and that's great. It's fine to make a game for people who want a strategy game, who want an empire sim, who want competitive multiplayer, or who want a single player experience. It's when you try to compromise between all those crowds that you end up with something that interests everybody but actually pleases nobody.
 
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War isn't more complicated however - it's more tedious and drawn out. The war is still more or less a foregone conclusion from the beginning with one definitive space battle deciding the outcome.

The warfare rework missed the mark for me because it didn't address any of the problems that Stellaris's warfare system had.

War in itself is pretty tedious. War in a galactic scale is even more so.
 
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War in a game should not be.

War in a galactic scale does not exist. (As far as we know at least.)

So first of, it's a realistic experience. Just because you want to push a button, win the game and become god of the universe doesn't mean that you should. If you want that, go play rigged slots or something.

Stellaris and PDX Games in general revolve around playing the long game: wars are long, tedious and rely on extensive plans. So does planet Management. It's not about Instant gratification.

Secondly, you are using a proof of if ignorance fallacy to justify your own dissatisfaction.

Let's put your logic into action, just so I can show you how faulty it is.

By your logic, because a supernova hasn't hit earth, we cannot prove that it would cause the earth to cease to exist, or at least be heavily damaged. We also can't prove that it won't turn all the sweet potatoes, a tuber I loathe, into cupcakes.

And thus, since I would greatly prefer the latter, I will demand that a supernova simulation another person developed must have all supernovas turn sweet potatoes into cupcakes. People will think I'm crazy and that this adds almost zero value to the simulation, but that's your logic.

Now, some basic facts about space you might not know. First off, space is VAST. I mean really big. It's bigger than your backyard! Its bigger than the sun! I know, that might be hard for you to understand, but space is a really big place. And, going between one point to another point takes time. So, if you think about it REALLY HARD, you can come to the conclusion that it would take a lot of time to go from point A to point B on galactic terms.

Am I going to fast for you here? Am I using to many big words? If not, I'll continue, because it's going to get a bit more complicated.

So, when you fight a battle, you loose ships, unless you win a very one sided battle. It is very smart to stay behind and defend the system you just captured while recuperating, which takes time. It takes time for reinforcements and dedicated defense fleets to arrive, it takes time to repair, and it takes time do invade and fight battles and even to just move between star systems.

Combine that with the fact that you have to continue to do this on repeate to capture more planets and systems, and defeat enemy fleets, and you can come to the conclusion that all this takes a lot of time.

Now, if you want to get your alien friend to refute basic astronomy and basic war principals, be my guest. If not, please refrain from inserting your personal dissatisfaction into a game with a war system that works quite well, beyond the sloppy war exhaustion mechanic.
 
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So first of, it's a realistic experience.

No it’s not. It’s a game, and one with space dragons and psionic warriors at that. There’s nothing realistic about this.

Immersion matters, but fun matters more. If a mechanic is tedious then it needs to be reformed or removed no matter how much someone thinks it accurately models their vision of how interstellar war would actually go.
 
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Question for you. Why did The British invade that land in the first place?

Resources.

It's why the Dutch conquered the Indies, and why Spain Conquered the new world. The world at that time revolves around resources. India had cotton and spices, South Africa had diamonds and gold, and was a poet between the east and west, Australia had arable land to grow food and was a good source of slaves, and New Zealand had tropical fruit and excellent grazing ground. If those lands didn't have resources, they wouldn't have been conquered because land on it's own is kinda useless unless you can do something with it.

A good example of this point in action was the bronze age world. Egypt, Hittites, Greece and the Assyrians. They each needed one vital resource for their societies to function: Bronze. And every nation except for the Hittites lacked either one or both of the ingredients to produce bronze, and those wars in the region revolved around securing tin, copper or both. It's why the Hittites were so militarized: because they had to defend on all fronts. The moment every empire had a secure supply of bronze, wars petered out and trade flourished because there was no reason to wage war.

As for massive empires like Rome or Persia, they expanded for far more complex resources or complex uses for simple resources. Rome constantly expanded due to the Marian Reforms and the desire to appease soldiers with land and secure loyalty. Land alone, land for the sake of land, is never, ever the reason for imperialism. It's always a resource, whether it be people, materials, or something more complicated.

All these examples are terrible and don't hold up to scrutiny if you look at any of them in detail. The conquest of countries or kingdoms you name happened accros multiple centuries for a myriad of reasons. Countries or kingdoms aren't people they don't think, those conquest have been the end result of a lot of things happening but you completely miss all the other reasons things ended up the way they did. Europeans in Asia during the 15th, 16th and most of the 17th century didn't have any real power there except at sea. The Dutch initially conquered Portuguese fortresses in an effort to undermine their trading profits. The Dutch also founded some fortresses themselves but all of those needed the support of local leaders in order to exist. Those local leaders would sometimes tax that trade, get access to European weapons and used the Europeans to further their own goals by directing them to their local rivals. Also none of the examples named are single entities. Rome for example was a complex network of city state alliances that they themselves like to present as a single empire. To some degree it was but you can also make a strong case that it wasn't.

If you look at it in the long run maybe it was resources but there wasn't any master plan that spanned centuries. It's a deception to look at the end result of centuries and then conclude that that result was the only logical outcome. Things could have been very different and it is difficult enough to even comprehend the past the way it has transpired. People's thoughts and actions are much more mundane, not saying that people didn't plan ahead but that kind of planning is not what is on people's mind every day.

I know that popularized history is often in broad strokes but it stops making sense when you look at any case in detail. Ironically this is what I miss in Stellaris, there is no cause and effect. Nearly everything is predictable. Want to go to war? Sure, just spend the influence, make a claim and get a casus belli. There's no war exhaustion, no infamy, no real faction opposition to the player doing anything, strata and leaders don't really tie into factions. You always know where the opponent is coming from you always have an idea of what it's doing because there's only 1 meta. Even diplomacy is completely predictable you can see when an ai is going to agree with a deal, Eu3 just showed you how likely it was and there was always a chance of the ai not agreeing. The advantage in that case is that the game always has a chance to get you in unexpected situations. Every game of Stellaris ends up the same because it's all about the same meta while all the things that happen inbetween have so little substance that a new dlc with new pointless bloat is needed to fill the void. I was hopeful with the last 'round' of patches but it just turned out to be one patch and that one patch didn't even change a lot.
 
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Am I going to fast for you here? Am I using to many big words?
As a subject matter expert, I must note (with an appropriate modicum of condescension) the irony of talking down to someone about their literacy while using incorrect grammar.
 
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I felt the need to update the original thread with another problem that was never addressed since 2.2 - selective purging.

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.

It's hard to believe that Paradox cares.
 
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As a subject matter expert, I must note (with an appropriate modicum of condescension) the irony of talking down to someone about their literacy while using incorrect grammar.

I wasn't exactly making fun of their grammer. But your valueless input is noted.
 
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All these examples are terrible and don't hold up to scrutiny if you look at any of them in detail. The conquest of countries or kingdoms you name happened accros multiple centuries for a myriad of reasons. Countries or kingdoms aren't people they don't think, those conquest have been the end result of a lot of things happening but you completely miss all the other reasons things ended up the way they did. Europeans in Asia during the 15th, 16th and most of the 17th century didn't have any real power there except at sea. The Dutch initially conquered Portuguese fortresses in an effort to undermine their trading profits. The Dutch also founded some fortresses themselves but all of those needed the support of local leaders in order to exist. Those local leaders would sometimes tax that trade, get access to European weapons and used the Europeans to further their own goals by directing them to their local rivals. Also none of the examples named are single entities. Rome for example was a complex network of city state alliances that they themselves like to present as a single empire. To some degree it was but you can also make a strong case that it wasn't.

If you look at it in the long run maybe it was resources but there wasn't any master plan that spanned centuries. It's a deception to look at the end result of centuries and then conclude that that result was the only logical outcome. Things could have been very different and it is difficult enough to even comprehend the past the way it has transpired. People's thoughts and actions are much more mundane, not saying that people didn't plan ahead but that kind of planning is not what is on people's mind every day.

I know that popularized history is often in broad strokes but it stops making sense when you look at any case in detail. Ironically this is what I miss in Stellaris, there is no cause and effect. Nearly everything is predictable. Want to go to war? Sure, just spend the influence, make a claim and get a casus belli. There's no war exhaustion, no infamy, no real faction opposition to the player doing anything, strata and leaders don't really tie into factions. You always know where the opponent is coming from you always have an idea of what it's doing because there's only 1 meta. Even diplomacy is completely predictable you can see when an ai is going to agree with a deal, Eu3 just showed you how likely it was and there was always a chance of the ai not agreeing. The advantage in that case is that the game always has a chance to get you in unexpected situations. Every game of Stellaris ends up the same because it's all about the same meta while all the things that happen inbetween have so little substance that a new dlc with new pointless bloat is needed to fill the void. I was hopeful with the last 'round' of patches but it just turned out to be one patch and that one patch didn't even change a lot.
Fair point I suppose. I Wasn't arguing that war in Stellaris was Stellar either.
 

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No it’s not. It’s a game, and one with space dragons and psionic warriors at that. There’s nothing realistic about this.

Immersion matters, but fun matters more. If a mechanic is tedious then it needs to be reformed or removed no matter how much someone thinks it accurately models their vision of how interstellar war would actually go.

There's a difference between making a fun but realistic experience and catering to one person who wants to win Instantly. War takes a long time and dedicated planning. It's not all about blowing up stuff.

Oh, and it isn't just my vision. It's a realistic depiction of how space warfare would take place. There isn't much of a difference between fighting in space and fighting in land except for the three dimensions of space combat. There has been legitimate studies by Nasa in how three dimensional combat would take place, and depending if what of FTL Humanity develops, how long wars would last. There's been real thought put into this by actual people.

Now, if you don't find Stellaris fun, either mod it or don't play it. Very simple. War is tedious, and so is space warfare, whether you like it or not. Your opinion doesn't automatically devalue actual scientific developments. You can't be that full of yourself.

Oh, and how do you know that space dragons and Psi-Corps don't exist? it's pretty hypocritical of you to determine what is and isn't true while continuing to use the proof of ignorance fallacy as a blunt Instrument to push your opinion as fact.
 
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I felt the need to update the original thread with another problem that was never addressed since 2.2 - selective purging.

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.

It's hard to believe that Paradox cares.

They don't, they're more worried about Cake at the moment and how many empty promises they make.

Also, quick note, but I have four Archologies and half a ringworld, how would I populate those quickly? I want to start utilizing the free Agri-Space.
 
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I wasn't exactly making fun of their grammer. But your valueless input is noted.
I actually said you were making fun of the other poster's literacy, which is to say reading comprehension, not the other poster's grammar.

And now you've failed at that, too.


Seriously, we're going to need some kind of online course in how to condescend properly.

EDIT: This is not an offer to run any such online course.
 
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There's a difference between making a fun but realistic experience and catering to one person who wants to win Instantly. War takes a long time and dedicated planning. It's not all about blowing up stuff.

Oh, and it isn't just my vision. It's a realistic depiction of how space warfare would take place. There isn't much of a difference between fighting in space and fighting in land except for the three dimensions of space combat. There has been legitimate studies by Nasa in how three dimensional combat would take place, and depending if what of FTL Humanity develops, how long wars would last. There's been real thought put into this by actual people.

Now, if you don't find Stellaris fun, either mod it or don't play it. Very simple. War is tedious, and so is space warfare, whether you like it or not. Your opinion doesn't automatically devalue actual scientific developments. You can't be that full of yourself.

Oh, and how do you know that space dragons and Psi-Corps don't exist? it's pretty hypocritical of you to determine what is and isn't true while continuing to use the proof of ignorance fallacy as a blunt Instrument to push your opinion as fact.

Nope. It's a game. It's all fiction. It's not realistic.

The imaginary spaceships can work any way we want them to, because they don't exist. The same goes for the made up engines they use to get to the make believe wars fought between figments of our imagination using nonexistent weapons over dreamed up planets.

Although I think this is actually a great example of the problem with Stellaris' all-things to all-people approach. It bids itself out as an empire simulator to the crowd that wants to feel a sense of realism, while at the same time pitching to strategy game crowd (SP and MP alike), the role players and the GSG fans. While the developers have explicitly described it as soft sci-fi, in the model of Star Trek and Star Wars, I feel like it's inevitable that we would get a crossover in expectations like this.
 
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Also improving AI specifically for population management is actually easier than animating so Necroid is really a short-sighted decision lol
They're also entirely different skill sets held by different people. You can't just take people off the art team and tell them to go work on the AI, nor can you take people off the AI team and tell them to whip up some portraits because their skill sets are not interchangeable.

The AI was and still is bad, but Necroids was obviously largely content designer and artist work with comparatively little of the nitty-gritty stuff that people like the AI coders handle.
 
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