What's the state of the game right now?

What's the state of the game right now?

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Red Death

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Haven't played in a while and thinking about doing another campaign. I don't really want to get started if it's going to end badly.
Last time I played was after the Federations release, and there was a bug that caused a bunch of CB's (including Liberation) to disappear if you joined a Federation. I was playing diplomatically, so the bug mostly ruined that campaign, and it wasn't fixed for a while.
Has that bug been fixed now, at least?
Any other issues i should keep in mind, or mods that fix some of the problems?
 

Silyus

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It depends how long after the Federations release you quit. Federations came out with the 2.6 patch. Other 5 patches were released afterwards, including the 2.7 that brought significant changes in the edicts system and other mechanics. Take a look at this list to see if the bug you mentioned is fixed.
 
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pliznobn

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Depends how low your standards are. If they're low enough, it's tolerable.
 
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jmj281

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Well, the AI and crisis still don't really work well, automation still sucks, the UI is still brilliant, the gameplay still features long periods of nothing happening, minor irritating bugs are still rampant, most options lack anything resembling parity and micromanagement remains a tropical paradise. If you can give all of this a pass you're in for a good time.
 
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Fulgrymm

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Performance is better, they stopped pops checking every day for jobs I think.
 
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Black_Shade

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The AI is still broken beyond belief. It has been since 2.2 though, the AI just can't manage the pop system at all.
 
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UltimateTobi

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AI is still broken, performance is OK, if you have a gaming rig.
Can't comment on anything else since I haven't touched Stellaris since 2.6.2.
 
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Tech Noir Synth

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Stay away from the game until they fix these issues:

  1. Pop growth, (automatic) migration, resettlement simulator lategame, pop micromanagement hell and gene modding problems, having to use an edict to fix pop micromanagement which is locked behind Galactic community and 3 resolutions.
  2. AI being as stupid as ever while Starnet AI, being developed by 1 modder with less tools than Paradox, made an AI fully capable of managing its economy with 0 economy cheats.
  3. Automation as in planet and habitat auto-build. Its completely broken and just as stupid as the AI. This feature will kill your economy instead of making lategame bearable. There are no working tools to have the AI reasonably automate the tedious micromanagement for you.
  4. Crisis AI is broken since 2.2 since the Crisis is too stupid to actually conquer the galaxy. Even worse, the 2.6 patch did focus on Crisis, but Paradox didn't care about fixing whats wrong. Instead they just changed how Crisis targets a player. No one asked for this - instead players asked Paradox to fix the Crisis AI. But Paradox didn't care.
  5. The game was never designed with colonizing 50, 75, 100+ planet and Habitats. Paradox had to add a x25 Crisis multiplier beacuse of this. (Of course it doesn't help at all because Crisis is broken, see 4.) Quest rewards and science from station was never adjusted for 2.2 science costs and science from station and rewards are quite close to useless in most instances.
  6. Balance is completely absent. As a quick example: Spiritualists are no match for Materialists, since 2.2. The very recent update was a huge slap in the face for Spiritualists and made them much worse since most Edicts are now permanent -rendering edict cost and edict duration bonuses from Spiritualist Ethic useless. (Makes you facepalm immediately if you think about it, but apparently Paradox did it anyway)
Right now Devs are on vacation. I don't know how much longer it will last. The recent devs diaries before this have also not shown anything substantial. We have no idea if they even care about fixing any of these issues. For example pop growth and pop in general were introduced with 2.2 and so were tons of problems. Crisis is broken since atleast 2.2. Automation was implemented (in a non-functional state) in 2.3. So far nothing of this list has been fixed.
 
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Mark-RP

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I've stopped playing and can't recommend anyone else starts. Mods can fix or hide most of the problems for me, but the Fleet AI is game-breakingly bugged. As usual there's been no communication from PDX about the most serious issues with 2.7 and any plans for fixing them. Instead they've gone on another long holiday. It's a sad state for what should be one of the best games ever made, but it's been this way for years now and shows no signs of improving. :(
 
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Cat_Fuzz

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The game is fun and enjoyable, but it's also very broken. When I say broken, I don't mean 'it's unplayable'. There are many many small problems that on their own don't matter all that much, but combined can mar your enjoyment of the experience, to name but a few:

• The usual culprits of AI, pop growth and planet management need some refinement

• Some empires will struggle with Food and Consumer goods by the mid game, so these empires quickly fall behind when these resources maluses cause productivity and stability problems.

• Gestalt empires that have rebellions form as 'despicable neutral' with no ethics, civics, or even name to their empire - they are just blank. Also true of the Great Khan empire.

• The UI for pop resettlement is still hard to grapple with, where you need to memorise the jobs and pop numbers of the planets you're transferring to/from to avoid ruined buildings / instability.

• Crisis AI is still easy to rush and make a non-issue of.

• Since Bureacrats were introduced, technology and unity production don't scale with empire size, which makes ballooning and conquest the only successful strategy.

• The edict change is a neat idea, but definitely needs work to improve, as unlike before, it's very easy to aquire and maintain 600+ influence throughout the game.

• Factions and the welfare of pops are largely a non-issue and you can pretty much ignore what they want, which thoroughly undermines the ethics system (one of the more unique features of Stellaris)

• Many strategies used by players are deactivated for AI's, such as various planetary decisions (Ecumenopolis, Resort Worlds, Terraforming).

• Fleets get stuck going back and forth between systems

• All AI's use Selective bombardment, even genocidal empires.

There are others, but these are some of the most common ones I've encountered. The last update was a vast improvement over 2.2-2.5, but I feel there's still a long way to go before it feels like a polished, brilliant experience.

EDIT: So my recommendation to the OP, if you can play knowing it's still an unfinished and janky game, it's fun, but if you're expecting the finished and polished Stellaris experience, you might need to wait a little more.
 
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Mastikator

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Stay away from the game until they fix these issues:

  1. Pop growth, (automatic) migration, resettlement simulator lategame, pop micromanagement hell and gene modding problems, having to use an edict to fix pop micromanagement which is locked behind Galactic community and 3 resolutions.
  2. AI being as stupid as ever while Starnet AI, being developed by 1 modder with less tools than Paradox, made an AI fully capable of managing its economy with 0 economy cheats.
  3. Automation as in planet and habitat auto-build. Its completely broken and just as stupid as the AI. This feature will kill your economy instead of making lategame bearable. There are no working tools to have the AI reasonably automate the tedious micromanagement for you.
  4. Crisis AI is broken since 2.2 since the Crisis is too stupid to actually conquer the galaxy. Even worse, the 2.6 patch did focus on Crisis, but Paradox didn't care about fixing whats wrong. Instead they just changed how Crisis targets a player. No one asked for this - instead players asked Paradox to fix the Crisis AI. But Paradox didn't care.
  5. The game was never designed with colonizing 50, 75, 100+ planet and Habitats. Paradox had to add a x25 Crisis multiplier beacuse of this. (Of course it doesn't help at all because Crisis is broken, see 4.) Quest rewards and science from station was never adjusted for 2.2 science costs and science from station and rewards are quite close to useless in most instances.
  6. Balance is completely absent. As a quick example: Spiritualists are no match for Materialists, since 2.2. The very recent update was a huge slap in the face for Spiritualists and made them much worse since most Edicts are now permanent -rendering edict cost and edict duration bonuses from Spiritualist Ethic useless. (Makes you facepalm immediately if you think about it, but apparently Paradox did it anyway)
Right now Devs are on vacation. I don't know how much longer it will last. The recent devs diaries before this have also not shown anything substantial. We have no idea if they even care about fixing any of these issues. For example pop growth and pop in general were introduced with 2.2 and so were tons of problems. Crisis is broken since atleast 2.2. Automation was implemented (in a non-functional state) in 2.3. So far nothing of this list has been fixed.
About point 5, prior to 2.2 the game was absolutely designed to handle 100+ planets. Sectors (or rather one sector) handled it really well. You could plan the entire colony from the start and the sector AI could upgrade the buildings. There was no impediment from having a hundred planets or more. Hell even the research and unity penalties were well calibrated for such huge empires, the anti-snowball was very strong and well tuned IMO.
It was only with 2.2 that having hundreds of planets became an problem, an insurmountable problem at that. It used to be a fun option to play at 5x planets, now anything above 0.25x is doomed
 
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Incompetent

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The game was never designed with colonizing 50, 75, 100+ planet and Habitats. Paradox had to add a x25 Crisis multiplier beacuse of this. (Of course it doesn't help at all because Crisis is broken, see 4.)

This is an interesting point, as a case of problems of scale in the game design. It's clear to anyone who plays into the mid-game and beyond that Stellaris has far too much habitable surface area for pops on default settings. Even on 0.25x habitable, the numbers get overwhelming pretty quickly if you are expansionist (and the game now encourages an expansionist mindset very heavily; especially when you bring in total war CBs and so on, it's probably the most pro-blob of any of the Paradox games). Back when we had tiles, the devs could treat planets like, say, states in EU4: there was honestly not much happening on each one, so it's a numbers game in terms of economy; you'll have a large quantity of them but you won't think too much about your long-established ones individually; and more planets means more granularity in wars and colonization, which is good. But the pop system made individual planets more interesting. Looking at individual planets, that's a good thing, and it makes the early game a lot better than it used to be; but on the macro level of a galactic empire, it means that every planet demands engagement from the player for the entire duration of a typical game, at a level that is not sustainable.

At the same time, I understand why they don't let us go below 0.25, because granularity issues do start kicking in, especially in the early game and for less successful empires. So perhaps it would be a bad move to drastically reduce the number of planets. But in that case, we desperately need decisions that are currently made at the planet level to be bumped up to a more macro level. (I'm not even talking about sector AI here, just "macrobuilder" type features that let players do more planet management without having to look at a load of individual planet screens.) In particular, the way building slots unlock with population is fine in a one-planet empire, but it makes everything to do with pop migration/resettlement incredibly tedious. Limited building slots are in the game for a reason, but we really need some mechanic other than an instant headcount for determining the "infrastructure level" of a planet.
 
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jmj281

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This is an interesting point, as a case of problems of scale in the game design. It's clear to anyone who plays into the mid-game and beyond that Stellaris has far too much habitable surface area for pops on default settings.

Hmm, the problem isn't too much habitable surface though. The problem is managing the available habitable surface is a complete nightmare. Empire management, this pop/job system and the UI itself for interacting with these areas (every area, honestly) is extremely lacking. The only reason it becomes obvious past mid game is because the longer a game continues the larger percentage of your time is spent interacting with these systems.

It's the same deal with better automation. A player shouldn't feel compelled to automate 90% of the game. If they do it says a thing or two about the mechanics and way they interact with them.
 
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methegrate

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It's the same deal with better automation. A player shouldn't feel compelled to automate 90% of the game. If they do it says a thing or two about the mechanics and way they interact with them.

This has always been a huge problem. One of the biggest debates in Stellaris has always been how to automate its various systems. How do you hand off your planets to the AI so you don't have to tediously manage each individual world? How do you hand off sectors so you don't have to tediously manage all your star systems? How do you hand off space construction so you don't have to tediously build each, individual mining station.

And you're absolutely right. By the time we've automated away all the repetitive tasks that involve little actual decision making, there's not much left aside from choosing the occasional system to attack with our fleets. Hence, I suppose, the long mid-game slog that settles in once all those stations are built and most of those planets are developed, broken only when a planet's population grows and unlocks a new building slot.
 
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At the very least in the old system you could hand 90% of your empire off to the AI and your empire wouldnt crash and burn.

I agree though that 'just hand if off to the AI' is a bad solution for game systems. Its why I think the so much of the game needs another overhaul (or reversion). How much the AI has to worry about is clearly taxing the dev's efforts at providing a good game, so why not just make what the AI, and the player, easier to deal with?
 
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jmj281

Second Lieutenant
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Dec 30, 2016
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And you're absolutely right. By the time we've automated away all the repetitive tasks that involve little actual decision making, there's not much left aside from choosing the occasional system to attack with our fleets. Hence, I suppose, the long mid-game slog that settles in once all those stations are built and most of those planets are developed, broken only when a planet's population grows and unlocks a new building slot.

That too. The main point was to say we shouldn't feel like it's necessary to automate so much in the first place. I really don't mind creating buildings on planets, moving pops around, moving ships around or similar tasks. What I do mind is how incredibly cumbersome it is to perform all of these tasks. The tools available to the player to perform these tasks have always been a huge sore thumb in Stellaris.
 
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