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Stellaris

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23 Feb 2018 16:41 #263917 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Stellaris
It's a dilemma. On one hand, no one reads the dedicated threads vs. the garbage can full threads. On the other hand, if someone came to this forum and wanted to know the general mindset on a game, they could actually find out and would know where to engage.

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23 Feb 2018 17:02 #263919 by Space Ghost
Replied by Space Ghost on topic Stellaris
I'm really am impressed -- I can barely remember what I posted yesterday, let alone months ago.

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24 Feb 2018 08:29 #263940 by ThirstyMan
Replied by ThirstyMan on topic Stellaris
Just got all the expansions for this in a Steam sale.

It's pretty good but I prefer Distant Worlds. On the other hand it is cheap right now

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24 Feb 2018 11:50 #263944 by Deleted
Replied by Deleted on topic Stellaris
How does this stack against Space Empires 4 or Starbase Orion?

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24 Feb 2018 13:52 - 24 Feb 2018 14:00 #263949 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Stellaris
As a broad strokes, it's a similar style and trappings to older 4X but it has a real Paradox twist. If you've ever played Paradox games, what's super different about them is that they are sort of story focused. They're very much about system layered on top of systems which create emergent narrative, which is unusual in a strategy game. There are win conditions, but Paradox does not focus very much on them. They're more about the odd and interesting interactions that happen during the game timeline itself, at their best Paradox games are the best narrative in videogames.

Stellaris itself has improved massively since it first came out. Basically, you make a race based on a bunch of ethos and traits and it really defines your capabilities in really deep ways. An example from my current game:

I decided to use one of the stock races; you can adjust all of this immensely for a custom race which I usually do.

They are tree people, so they have the plant ship designs, race picture, etc.

Their main ethos are fanatic pacifist and xenophobe (you get 3). That means that I can't declare wars and being involved in wars give me epic unhappiness among domestic tree people population political factions who hold particular political views. I do get other bonuses for being pacifist, however, which somewhat offset those big ass drawbacks. The other ethos is xenophobe, which means that I get negative bonuses to some diplomatic relations with others and, moreover, my race is not allowed to set migration to allow population from other space empires to migrate into my empire.

Then I have traits---I have some negative ones to make up for a bunch of super positive ones I have. So I have "Slow breeding" so my population grows slowly and another one, Sedentary, which I believe means they don't like to migrate between planets in my empire. Then I have idyllic agrarian or something, which makes my farms produce extra food and a resource akin to culture. Then, because I am a xenophone I am allowed to take "inward looking" which means that I cannot engage in almost *any* diplomacy with other species; no trade agreements, research agreements, federations, alliances, etc. So think of those races in sci fi (Breen in star trek) which simply will not respond to hails or engage with other species in anyway. But it also provides huge bonuses in recompense.

Anyway, so you can see even just with this one system that my species is utterly unique and the systems play out completely differently for this particular game. Other Paradox games and Stellaris only recently are all about giving you a system where no two games play the same; even the game systems are often different between factions/countries/species. So as an example, you can start the game as a hive mind that has no internal politics and all other races tend to hate.

There's a million other things like extensive event chains with choice options that interact with what type of race you have, exploration that reveals all sorts of weird unique stuff (which if you play a fair amount can reappear in successive benefits, unfortunately), neat tech, star bases, etc.

So what appeals to me overall about Paradox games and Stellaris is that they aren't super cutthroat focused on competitiveness and there are *tons* of non-military options and systems---if you play Europa Universalis 4, for example, you generally won't take over the world or drive toward like a "science win" or something like from Civ or a usual space 4X. Instead you'll play as an actor in a world of complex systems and get all sorts of kind of magical situations. And you'll try to drive your enemies before you and hear the lamentations of their women, if that's what you want to do!

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28 Feb 2018 01:57 - 28 Feb 2018 01:58 #264107 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Stellaris
Still obsessively playing this patch, more than I've played any previous version. There's still wonky stuff (huge marauder fleets) but overall it's a tremendous joy.

I still loathe the lack of some way to auto build using the fleet designer into overall ship specialities. Like, I get that they feel the need to add individual designed ships, which I think is a waste of time, but at least give me the option to have the AI do it for me with some guidelines. Instead, your only options are manual creation in detail OR a single auto best designer, which could he horribly inefficient...

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28 Feb 2018 04:22 #264108 by Matt Thrower
Replied by Matt Thrower on topic Stellaris

Gary Sax wrote: Still obsessively playing this patch, more than I've played any previous version. There's still wonky stuff (huge marauder fleets) but overall it's a tremendous joy.


Might have to give it another go by the sound of things. It's my most-played game but I'm afraid to say that I absolutely cannot resist the lure of the military approach, and it came to bite me in the ass so many times that I eventually grew a bit tired of it.
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28 Feb 2018 11:38 - 28 Feb 2018 11:48 #264135 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Stellaris
They've added a bunch of stuff to the military approach to make it more interesting so if that's your thing this is a good time to get back in, I think they need to flesh out the rest of the game to make the rest a bit more interesting (I would *adore* a big interstellar trading module) but as of now it's still enough.

In particular, travel is much slower and each admiral has a fleet cap he can command---blobs of death are down considerably, you can actually lose a war if you put all your admirals together and run a single fleet and your opponent splits off one or two small admirals/fleets and sends them through your territory taking stations. It needs some tweaking but it's a *huge* improvement. If you like the military side, you might want to buy the expansion itself and not just the patch. They added a doomsday devices (death stars for military cultures IIRC, impenetrable shield ships for pacificists, etc) and a huge new class of ships, the Titan. Now that warp lanes are the only way to travel starbases and defense are way, way more important too, it adds geography to the game which I like.

They've also totally changed war goals and war exhaustion, though imho it's a little much as it ends wars too quickly. Needs a bit more tweaking but it shows they know wtf they're doing. It is making the game way better.

I just fended off a bordering society in a war, status quo. I can't do any diplomacy besides trade agreements and non-aggression pacts because I'm hyper pacifistic and xenophobic and my society is "inward focused." It's a fun roleplay; we aren't bad people but we don't want to speak to you.

Great review:
www.rockpapershotgun.com/2018/02/26/stel...s-apocalypse-review/

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28 Feb 2018 14:32 #264163 by Matt Thrower
Replied by Matt Thrower on topic Stellaris

Gary Sax wrote: They've added a bunch of stuff to the military approach to make it more interesting so if that's your thing this is a good time to get back in, I think they need to flesh out the rest of the game to make the rest a bit more interesting (I would *adore* a big interstellar trading module) but as of now it's still enough.


Got home to find I'd rage-deleted my installation after my last catastrophic lost. Re-installing now, although it's going to lose out to Into the Breach over the next few days at least. Might buy the Synthetic Dawn upgrade as I quite fancy a game without the distraction of internal politics.

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28 Feb 2018 14:45 - 28 Feb 2018 14:46 #264165 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Stellaris
Into the Breach sounds amazing, let me know how it is. I'm on a pretty restricted video and board game budget right now but that might be my purchase for next month.

Yeah, I think you'll *really* like the collective consciousness races if you don't like pop and faction management. I tend to like it, so I play squishier groups. That's another area that could use a big expansion (internal politics). The factions were already a big improvement.

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01 Mar 2018 04:39 #264200 by Matt Thrower
Replied by Matt Thrower on topic Stellaris

Gary Sax wrote: Into the Breach sounds amazing, let me know how it is. I'm on a pretty restricted video and board game budget right now but that might be my purchase for next month.


After 2 hours with it, I'm enjoying ITB but it's no FTL. It's essentially a puzzle game with such a ridiculous amount of moving parts that working out an optimal solution is all but impossible.
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08 Mar 2018 01:20 #264996 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Stellaris
I'm nearing the endgame in my 0 diplomacy "inward perfection" tree people game. I had a deeply, deeply satisfying campaign to cleanse the universe of one of the nomad factions who had been paid to raid me over and over again earlier in the game by enemies. Two fleets with 50k fleet points with almost ten battleships descended on their systems and exterminated every last member of their shitty race who had the blood (sap?) of so many tree people on their hands.

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08 Mar 2018 09:17 #265004 by repoman
Replied by repoman on topic Stellaris
Been playing vanilla "nice guy" humans as I learn the game. Still haven't figured out how to get somebody to like me enough to form a federation with me.

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08 Mar 2018 09:33 - 08 Mar 2018 09:33 #265005 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Stellaris
Giving them favorable deals is a start, but it can be hard.

The biggest thing is that the game has a sort of dismal view of species relations. Specifically, it is always going to be extremely hard to get decent relations with a species that has it's core ideologies opposite yours (e.g. militarist vs. pacifist). Especially if you share a border. You can hover over the relations number with a species to see what things are influencing it in a tooltip.

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10 Mar 2018 10:00 #265254 by repoman
Replied by repoman on topic Stellaris
Oh that League of Methan Planets.

Did they think their continual and baseless claims upon my peaceable worlds would go unnoticed. Did they think their continual insults and downright rudeness in the Galactic Forum would be stomached forever? We humans are not by nature aggressive but we do have our pride.

So, having built up our Liberation Fleets we have freed 2/3 of the League's planets. May they bask in the glory of the enlightenment we have brought by force.
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