Stellaris

Discussion in 'Gaming and PC Discussion' started by BioPlague, May 1, 2016.

  1. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Chief Warlock

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    I normally at least adopt Expansion first, although if I've got a few good planets I'll go three deep, to get a second pop on a planet on colonization. Alternatively, if I've not got many good options nearby, I'll swing towards the reduced cost of outposts. The whole tree is pretty useful, although the completion isn't something I'm normally after.

    Discovery is another one I try to grab early - the benefit to anomoly find/completion, and the extra research on surveying both benefit from long term adoption. Science Division for the +1 research is pretty useful, although my current race has one from creation - and 5 choices (plus wreckage) is pretty good for unlocking whatever you're after. TBG/PSC (as mentioned) are useful, and the 33% increase in XP is fantastic. FiS isn't something I worry about too much early game, apart from completing the tree for the +10% research speed.

    If nothing is needed, I'll also adopt Supremacy, because extra border range can be pretty helpful, although it normally only seems to get one or two systems across the empire.
    Speaking of border ranges - does anyone have any good mods that show expected border range for outposts/full planets? It gets annoying trying to figure it out, because often you want to drop it in a different system than the one you want, to get that slight stretch.

    I like Prosperity for the STC, but I often end up grabbing something else, unless I'm running low on everything, and don't have any decent systems to colonise.

    I avoid Federations now, after being dragged into wars a few times, so I don't worry about Diplomacy.



    Ascension wise, I had great luck with the Biological route with a Devouring Swarm. Planets with modifiers got perfected pops to stripmine the planet of any value, whilst armies made from bio-engineered supersoldiers stomped everything flat. That was my first victory, including wiping out a Fallen Empire, and I managed it before any end-game event.

    I've tried the psionic route, and that worked really nicely, although I didn't quite manage to get the immortal leader before my original one died. But it's still pretty good.

    Not yet tried cybernetics, although going down that route with my current empire.


    I also tend to go for the Voidborne (habitats) or Tech (research speed) as T1 ascension perks, depending how deep I am in the tech tree by that point (tech tree, including weighting, available here, out of interest). I've grabbed the border range once or twice, but it feels underwhelming.


    Favourite ethics/civics/authority/traits?

    I quite like the Dictator auth, because it gives me some freedom in choosing my next successor, but I'm not locked into it. I've tried democracy/oligarchy a time or two, and you NEED backup influence, because otherwise you lose that perfect psionic/spark of genius L6 researcher.
    Imperial is quite similar, although you get a free replacement (with random traits).

    Ethics wise, I've been playing around. I like Spiritualist for the psionic stuff later, although the research speed from materialist is also pretty nice. Caste systems/mining guilds from authoritarian can be obscenely powerful, as long as you don't get a "Free the Slaves!" party as your first (although if you do, just stick all the members in the mines).
    I've not played around much with xenophobe/phile, or militant. The extra systems from pacifist is quite nice, as it gives more wiggle room early game, and you can still start wars of Liberation, so it isn't a complete loss.

    Traitwise, I love Enduring, because it means leaders are often still around on the endgame. I've tried Fleeting, and found I just couldn't get all the situations resolved in any decent time frame. But with Enduring, they're the right side of the immortality curve - you get life extensions before anyone dies, repeatedly, until you hit endgame or get an otherwise immortal leader through other means.
    Repugnant I've used before, but it doesn't work too well, because everyone initially hates you, so you have to make bad trades to get them above 0, to get the actual trades going.



    Sectorwise, I used to build planets how I wanted them running, then turning off rebuilding and sectorising them, at a 75% tax rate (they already had everything they needed). I haven't been doing it recently, because it has a high up-front cost, so I just let the sectors do whatever, and check in every now and then to fix everything they've screwed up.
     
  2. Teyrn

    Teyrn Professor

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    Well, new expansion and 2.0 update is out.

    Gotta say, while I kind of like the idea of being able to build chokepoints etc. the game feels a lot slower overall. Ships have to travel across each and every system to jump to the next system in the chain.

    This also means you essentially end up needing multiple Construction ships (since they're used to build starbases to claim systems and to build the orbital stations), and you can't doomstack your fleets anymore. Unless you have some sort of godly start with only one hyperlane in/out of your territory.
    Because if you doomstack, and someone comes knocking at the other end of your empire? They will have the run of the area for a good few in-game months/years depending on size of empire.

    You have to spend 100 minerals and 67 influence to claim every system (base cost, assuming it's right next to a system you already own), and to invade primitives they have to be inside your border already. Seriously slows expansion.
    The starbases start as essentially just a way to 'claim' a system, and then have to be upgraded to be used for anything else (Defence station or Ship Factory, etc.), which also slows down how fast you can get your borders secured.

    The pirates are even more annoying, since they'll constantly respawn every few years. (Especially annoying in my current playthrough, since the crystal-asteroid! system is one jump away from my home system, and naturally I haven't colonized it yet, so the pirates are spawning there.)

    Some of the new ethics are kind of interesting, notably the Gaia/Tomb world starts definitely mix the game up.

    Still, it's pretty interesting so far, which is surprising cause I rather liked the Wormhole FTL-type.
     
  3. Innomine

    Innomine Unspeakable Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I've been playing Hyperspace only for a while, in preparation, so that's cool. I'm actually really excited to play this update, just got back from a work trip. Will have to try it out this weekend.
     
  4. Teyrn

    Teyrn Professor

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    It's definitely slower then before. Hyperlane used to be one of the fastest FTL types. Now that ships have to jump, travel across the system, and jump again it will feel a lot slower.

    But it is interesting once you get your economy/etc. going. Just hope you don't spawn near one of the pirate khan's.
     
  5. Anarchy

    Anarchy Fourth Champion DLP Supporter

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    I've put about 50 hours into the new update in the last week. Not a lot, in the grand scheme of things, but enough to get a decent feel.

    Starbase system: In theory, I love it. In practice, I like it, but it's annoying. The previous border growth mechanic was kind of obnoxious. I like how these don't drain your influence like the outposts would, though your rate of expansion being limited by influence gain feels kind of arbitrary, but I haven't had too many issues with it. Mostly, I have been taking the things that reduce influence cost and have gotten it down to like 30ish, which is pretty good.

    Only complaint is that it really takes forever, so at some point, it becomes more efficient to start conquering other empires. That's really my biggest complaint now, is that everything feels so slow. Hyperlanes are super slow, since your ships actually have to travel through every system now (though ships do go faster in system now). Getting across your empire could legit take 5 years. Makes it hard to respond to anything.

    I do like the ability to create chokepoints. Starbases can get pretty beefy. You can get them as strong (maybe stronger) than the fallen empire ones before the update which had like 25k fighting power. It sort of compensates for the need to have multiple fleets. But the need for multiple fleets kind of sucks, since the AI is still going to doomstack you, and they're still going to 2v1 you over nothing.

    Lastly, I still don't really know how war mechanics works. I think some of it is based on what kind of empire you are. It seems like there's four(!) different ways to conquer empires now involving starbases. First, there's the Horde mid-game crisis. These guys are OP as fuck. They have about 300k in fleetpower whenever they trigger (sometime after the 100 year mark unless you mess with the settings) and they will just steamroll everything in their path. And I mean everything. They will pop all of your tirelessly made starbases. Destroy them completely. Which is annoying. Now, ignoring the Horde, I'm still kind of confused on how starbases work in war. Sometimes you can capture starbases outright in a war. I've had an enemy blitz into my territory, steal a bunch of my starbases, and then white peace is declared and they still keep those bases which is bullshit. I've also done the same. But sometimes, it seems like you need a casus belli and if you don't you'll just be temporarily capturing the starbases (though that's not 100%, I think it depends on what type of ethos you have or w/e). Anyways, I'm still figuring that out.

    Furthermore, the Pirate mechanic is fucking annoying. They'll spawn wherever they want next to your border. So, if you have a donut hole, they'll spawn there, or if you have a gap between you and a fallen empire that you don't want to settle because you'll anger them, they'll spawn there. Mostly, they'll spawn wherever is most inconvenient for you. They aren't super strong (though they seem to scale slightly), they will pop a bunch of your miners if you don't have a beefy starbase. This is the biggest problem with how slow hyperlanes are now, since even if one of my small fleets is only 10 systems away, it will still take forever to get to the pirate base, and then you have to bring your construction ship back in. Really tedious and all it does is slow the game down even more unless you happened to have maxed the size of your empire with zero unclaimed systems. I'm 150 years into my current playthrough (my third playthrough with the new update) and there's still unclaimed shit around me, and I'm constantly out of influence.
     
  6. Hawkin

    Hawkin Minister of Magic

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    So I played 2-3 short games in single player, and have been playing a game in multiplayer with my brother. All in all, probably a 25-hours or so put into the new update.

    There are a lot of interesting things about the new update. I like the slow pace; it forces you to choose carefully where you expand next and how to approach resources acquisition and spending. The fact that you need multiple construction ship is a good thing, it means you're always doing something. I'm currently 300 years into my multiplayer game and I still have 5-6 ships always busy somewhere building starbases, outpost, megastructures, etc. The slow pace of hyperspace really discourage doomstacks and for having tried it once or twice during previous games, the AI will punish you heavily for doing it. Managing transportation within your empire is paramount to a good defence, having proper starbase chokepoint as well. War is much more about how much you want to commit and how much you're willing to lose now: reaching a surrender war goal is rare unless you are really overwhelming your opponent and as such you'll end up trading systems in Status Quo war more often than not. Which means if you can't protect your borders, you'll lose 5-10 systems by the time you reach your wargoal and if you try to reclaim them...well the enemy is going to do the same with the territory your took in their borders. It makes war definitely more dynamic.

    Destroying an enemy takes time and is rarely manageable in only one war. You have to break them multiple time before you can even entertain the idea of subjugating them or claiming all of their leftover systems. The FTL inhibitor technology is also super strong as it prevents the enemy from moving in further without sieging your planets first.

    Finally, the galactic terrain gives way to even more interesting mechanics. Pulsar reduce ship shield by 100%. If you can find a pulsar in a chokepoint, building a starbase with Laser platform (-75% dmg to Shield / +75% dmg to Armor) is one of the best thing you can and will wreck large fleets who are not properly equipped to handle it. Controlling Nebula is also huge as they prevent your enemy from seeing what's going on there. It allows you to prep defence or fleets and hide them there with them none the wiser. Finally, Wormhole and Gateways are HUGE advantages. Travelling through your empire takes so long that securing gateways early on (and acquiring the tech in the mid-game) is essential for proper fleet movement.

    The new war mechanic is unintuitive for returning players. In 2.0 you need a casus belli to declare war; you acquire these by making claims, unlocking ascension tree (e.g. Subjugation gives you the vassalize CB), ethics (e.g. if you have a neighbor Swarm you get a special CB) and other factors (e.g. Owning a planet killer grants everyone around you a CB against you to keep you in check). Now, once you've declared war, there are two possibilities: Surrender and Status Quo. If your enemy (or yourself) surrender, the war goal is executed and any claimed systems are transferred to the winners no matter if they are occupied or not. Now if you Status Quo, it means that both sides agree to stop the hostilities and keep their gain/losses. Which means a lot of border change and starbases exchanging hands.

    During war, when you invade a system and "destroy a starbase" the system becomes your until the war ends (at which point it is distributed according to the war peace) or until the enemy comes and get it back. The starbase are never destroyed; think of it as boarding a starship I guess. It's yours now, as long as you can keep it. It takes a couple of days for a starbase to regain its defenses though (and defense platform are always destroyed), so if you manage to capture a 10k+ starbase, I'd suggest sticking around until it's ready to defend the system again.
     
  7. Teyrn

    Teyrn Professor

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    So fwiw, if you go Egalitarian ethos, you can get major influence gains with factions. Authoritarian also gets a flat boost to influence gain I believe.

    Here's the wiki article on war which clears some stuff up, but I also wrote out what I know as far as how it works now.
    https://stellaris.paradoxwikis.com/Warfare
    The thing about war now, is you have 4 ways to conquer. If you've gone into the Domination tradition tree you can 'Demand vassalization/tributary' of an empire(I think it has to border yours), and if they refuse you get the Subjugation casus belli, which lets you go in to vassalize/tribute them.

    You can set Claims on specific systems they own (still costs influence to claim systems) and if you win the war you get those systems.

    Quoted from the wiki:
    Casus Belli with -1000 surrender acceptance lead to a Total War. Total Wars do not require claims and occupied systems automatically change ownership during a Total War. It is unclear if losing a planet to this still generates an automatic claim to the system. It is also unclear if pre-existing claims matter to decide who acquires ownership of a System during a total war with multiple participants.

    When a side's War Exhaustion hits 100% they can be forced into a Status Quo peace, which basically means both sides will just claim whatever systems they have conquered and the war ends.

    Key thing: Doomstack is bad now, in theory. You're technically meant to have multiple fleets spread out over your empire now, to respond to threats from all sides.


    Pirates can only spawn in uninhabited systems, so use your fleets/starbases to create chokepoints into your empire. (Star bases upgraded with Guns/Missiles can actually do fairly decent against them.)

    Also, you can use the new 'Terrain' system to your advantage. If you have a Pulsar type star as a chokepoint, build a Starbase into a fortress capable of holding 100k+ fleets.

    Pulsar-star's now completely remove shields on everything in their system, your starbase included.
    The upside? You can build defence-platforms built entirely with armor and anti-armor/hull weaponry and shred fleets that try to attack.

    Also, even in-upgraded starbases (outposts) can have up to 3 defence platforms, which will let them deal with early game pirate fleets fairly easily.

    Edit: Most of this is stuff Hawkin already posted, but I didn't see his post for some reason.
     
  8. Xepheria

    Xepheria The Benefactor

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    I've finally hopped onto the Stellaris train, after watching a ton of Let's Plays recently. Just bought the game + all DLCs (found them for 60% off). Haven't actually done a playthrough yet, but I'll get on that.

    Would anyone be up for starting a multiplayer game?
     
  9. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Chief Warlock

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    New expansion out, although I hadn't heard anything about it coming.

    Anyone bought it, or heard much about it yet?
     
  10. Teyrn

    Teyrn Professor

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    Not bought it (yet), but from what I understand it's supposed to add a bunch more spacefaring aliens (akin to the Tiyanka/Amoeba/Etc.), as well as add a lot more types of stars, as well as binary star systems.

    Essentially, it's to flesh out the exploration feel of the game.

    I think there's also some more story-meat in this pack too, revolving around finding a lost civilization that... maybe isn't so lost. Sort of what the Fallen Empires should have been.

    Edit:

    The introduction from the Stellaris store:

    Behind Closed Doors: Discover hidden traces of an ancient gateway network unlocking a sealed path to a constellation outside our own galaxy. But is this door holding something out, or keeping something in?

    Sensors are Picking up… That Can’t be Right: Encounter dozens of new anomalies and events for your intrepid scientists to observe and analyze, and a galaxy of wonders for them to discover.

    Brave New Worlds
    : Plot unexplored unique solar systems, each with their own story to tell. Gain technology, resources, and valuable worlds to colonize.

    There’s Always a Bigger Fish: Come face to face with a number of unique gargantuan creatures that exist and thrive in the vacuum of space. But approach with caution, because whether gentle giants or something more sinister, these legendary behemoths have existed long before you and will do what it takes to survive long after.
     
  11. blob

    blob DA Member

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    I got Stellaris + all DLC from a friend some time ago and finally found the time to give it a try lately.

    It's... surprisingly lacking in options for a Paradox game.

    Diplomacy barely exists in this game. Unless you go federation builder, any options besides declare war and trade might as well not exist for all the use they have (oh, and rivalries, but it's just a way to gain influence, nothing more). Wars themselves grow kinda stale after ~70 years in game, because either you play tall and don't bother at all or you go to war frequently enough so your threat is sky-high and literally everyone is in tangled defense pacts or federations, making you fight 20 year war for three shit systems. Many wargoals, such as impose ideology, are borderline impossible to achieve without changing the defaults unless you spec everything for it.

    There is surprisingly little replay value in SP, too. It takes about 50-70 years before you can tell whether you're in a hopeless situation or you will be able to steamroll everything soon; there's little in-between here. You could play tall, which is really boring with the barely existent and pointless diplomacy (and either get frustrated at the bullshit megastructure restrictions or mod it and snowball exponentially in fifty years, making any challenge obsolete), or you could play wide, where most games are very similar to each other after ~60 years. There are a few interesting options, like Fanatic Purifier playthrough, but there isn't enough of them to matter.

    There are three end-game crises that can be pretty fun, but the completely atrocious AI often makes it more frustrating than enjoyable (ally parking 200K fleet on one of his planets forever, enemy doomstack jumping between two systems endlessly etc). Even if everything goes well, there's little point in replaying it, since the ships and such don't change and it's really easy to hard-counter them. Fallen Empires add a bit of flavor, but once you know how to avoid their simple triggers they're just mid-game lootboxes to steal ringworlds/gaia planets from. They can also awaken and two can even go to war, which was probably the most unexpected fun I've had so far, but there's not nearly enough of it to keep me playing for long.

    There's the other stuff, too, like Leviathans and such, but it's not very interesting and I can't imagine anybody caring after the first time they manage to kill them. For me, they're just sort of there until I either kill them mid-game (if they're on an important path) or they just get ignored entirely. There's also quite a bit of flavor in the game, with loads of different anomalies and events to experience, but few of them are truly interesting. The Worm loves you, true, but there's only so many times before you just click through.

    Compared to EU IV and such, there really isn't much variety in this game, especially with AI being the complete joke that it is. Still, it's decent enough to spend ~50 hours or so on it, though not nearly as in-depth as most other Paradox games.