Paradox is releasing its latest version of crack in the form of Stellaris on May 9. I assume the usual suspects that enjoyed Crusader Kings 2, Europa Universalis IV and Hearts of Iron III will equally enjoy what looks to be a mish-mash of all the best features from those games (although it does appear EUIV is the most comparable). Here's a link to the developer diaries for the game. Unlike the aforementioned titles (and Victoria, which I haven't played), Stellaris is the first title that comes the closest to a symmetrical start for the AI and the player. I say closest as there are still Fallen Empires (link to their developer diary here), advanced space civilizations that have had their wars and struggles but are now stagnant. Stellaris is a 4X Grand Strategy. The early game will be about research and colonization, with the mid and late game transitioning into familiar territory for those familiar with Paradox titles. Some of the neatest aspects of gameplay (to me) are the end game disasters that will crop up, giving players something to do besides the endless conquering/blobbing that plagues 4X (and even Paradox) games. Creatures from another dimension filtering into your universe after researching too far; AI research going too far and Skynetting the universe; invaders from the edge of the galaxy and so on and so forth. I intend to play as a science directorate my first go around. I haven't quite thought of the traits I want, but I imagine I will go with a pacifist and materialist ethos, uncertain as to which I will be fanatical in (or if I can spend another point on a third trait since we have three). I will be playing as the fox dudes: Anyone else looking forward to Stellaris? There are a few videos up about it on youtube if you want to get an idea of the gameplay so far, although the people playing it are a bit annoying (way too much roleplaying).