Stellaris thread, reviews, and opinions!

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Irwin John Finster, May 9, 2016.

  1. That is the weird thing, having most of the life-extending research done, they might live up to 200, but that is a very rare occassion. And i didn't pick the "race perks" that do the same thing.
    Now that i check it, he has a 256% chance of dying next month, and it keeps rising :scratch:
  2. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    hah, that looks very bug-like indeed :'D
  3. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan

    May 27, 2004
    Probably a bug, though it is possible to have chars survive 200+ years with all the research, traits, etc.

    My most annoying bug was losing a bunch of science vessels and an entire armada because they got booted out of a system by an alien alliance which was not previously discovered. They're supposed to travel back to you, but something went wrong & I lost them in limbo. The only way to get them back was mess with the save game and change their coordinates.
  4. eissa

    eissa Altáriel, Lady of Radiant Garland

    Jan 7, 2016

    Hello everyone and welcome to another Stellaris development diary. This is the fourth part in a multi-part dev diary about the 'Heinlein' 1.3 patch that we are currently working on. Additionally, from this point on we will also start to cover some features in an upcoming content DLC that will be released alongside Heinlein. This content DLC will not be a full expansion, but rather a smaller pack of events and scripted content focusing on a particular area of the game. Please note that everything mentioned thus far, and everything mentioned from now on that isn't explicitly marked as paid content will be free in the Heinlein patch. Details about the DLC such as name, price and release date will come in a future announcement, and further content will be covered in coming dev diaries. The focus of today's dev diary is Fallen Empires, who are about to receive a number of reworks, changes and additions.

    The Fallen
    Fallen Empires are my favorite part about the Stellaris setting. The idea of a precursor empire, milennia old, whose borders once stretched across the galaxy, their glory now faded, their great advancements forgotten, but the power of their ancient fleets and technology still far above that of any fledgling empire. Enigmatic actors on the galactic scene, whose morals and ambitions have been warped by ages of self-imposed isolation. For me, it invokes images of the Galactic Empire from the Foundation and the Vorlons and Shadows from Babylon 5. However, the implementation of Fallen Empires never quite matched my visions - originally meant to be completely passive, they were retooled fairly late in the development to give them some basic personality and goals as enforcers of particular taboos. While these goals make for some memorable experiences for new players (I've seen more than a few stories of careless colonization of Holy Worlds) they by necessity require Fallen Empires to behave in a highly predictable manner that, once understood, turns them back into actors of little consequence to the player. For this reason, fleshing out Fallen Empires and adding an element of unpredictability to them has been high on my priority list ever since I became Game Director, and this is what we're aiming to do in the Heinlein patch and accompanying DLC.

    Sleepers Awake (Free Feature)
    The idea of Fallen Empire 'awakening' was mentioned by Henrik Fåhreaus/doomdark a number of times during development as something we were interested in doing, but ultimately is something that ended up being cut for time. In Heinlein, all Fallen Empires will have a chance to awaken as a result of certain external factors. The exact conditions and chance under which each Fallen Empire will awaken depends on their ethos, but some examples include:
    • Endgame Crises threatening them or the galaxy
    • Regular empires growing too strong/technologically advanced
    • Other Fallen Empires being defeated by regular empires
    • Other Fallen Empires awakening first

    When a Fallen Empire awakens, their personality, government and country type change. Their previous restriction on building ships, colonizing and conquering is lifted and they become what we call an Awakened Empire. Awakened Empires have one of the following four personalities:
    • Militant Isolationists become Jingoistic Reclaimers, and will try to conquer the galaxy
    • Holy Guardians become Doctrinal Enforcers, and will try to convert the galaxy to their faith.
    • Enigmatic Observers become Benevolent Interventionists, and will try to force all other empires into becoming a signatory to a galactic peace treaty.
    • Keepers of Knowledge become Watchful Regulators, and will try to force all other empires to accept their technological primacy.

    Awakened Empires will start to rapidly expand, colonizing surrounding systems and conquering those races who will not submit to their demands. In each case, you will be able to avoid their wrath by submitting to them as a subject, with a special subject type for each of the four:
    • Jingoistic Reclaimers have Thralls, tributaries who may not colonize but can fight among each other.
    • Doctrinal Enforcers have Dominions, tributaries with enforced spiritualist ethics and government.
    • Benevolent Interventionists have Signatories, subjects who may not wage war, enslave or purge, but are otherwise independent.
    • Watchful Regulators have Satellites, who must pay a share of their research to their overlord and are required to ban all AI.

    Once a Fallen Empire awakens, they will not stop until their galactic ambition is achieved or they are defeated by a coalition of lesser races. Only a few events will cause them to change their plans, such as the presence of an endgame crisis or the start of the War in Heaven (more on that below).

    Personality Changes (Free Feature)
    Among the four Fallen Empire personalities we created for release, two of them didn't really work out: The Keepers of Knowledge and Enigmatic Observers. The Holy Guardians and Militant Isolationists restrict you from a certain part of space - sure, that part may be a deliciously tempting size 20 Gaia World, but ultimately you can always find another place to expand. The Keepers of Knowledge and Enigmatic Observers, however, restrict playstyles - if you get one of the former in your galaxy, you can forget about having sentient robots until you're strong enough to take them on. As there's little you can do about this other than hope for the right type of Fallen Empires to spawn, it's not very fun and ultimately just limits player strategies in a rather arbitrary way. For this reason, we've decided to revamp the Keepers of Knowledge and Enigmatic Observers.

    While not awakened, they will not concern themselves with restricting the overall actions of the 'lesser' empires: Instead, they will pursue specific goals and ambitions that sometimes require them to interact with these very empires. These goals and actions take the form of Requests and Demands: If you have established communications with Keepers of Knowledge or Enigmatic Observers, they will sometimes contact you and either give you a task (for example, to hunt down a splinter faction of their species or recover a cache of technology from one of their old worlds) or make a demand (for example, one of your pops for their 'galactic preserve'). Completing their tasks will result in an opinion boost and a reward (such as technology or perhaps even a Fallen Empire ship), while repeatedly rebuffing their demands may result in a declaration of war to put you in your place.

    The awakened versions of these two will take on some of the characteristics of the old, non-awakened versions, with Benevolent Interventionists seeking to enforce galactic peace and Watchful Regulators trying to regulate the level of technological advancement in the galaxy. They will also act as the first line of defense against galactical crises, taking it on themselves to unite the lesser races against such existential threats.

    New Designs (Free Feature)
    A small detail that I felt was lacking in Fallen Empires was the absence of any unique designs. All the Fallen Empires used the same (fairly lacking) Avatars and Eclipses, and ultimately their ships were inferior to what a regular empire that had been around for a century or two could produce. Both of these issues will be addressed in Heinlein, with each Fallen Empire ethos now having their own unique designs to use (and build, if they are awakened). For example, Keepers of Knowledge exclusively utilize energy weapons to strike their enemies at a distance, while Militant Isolationists combine afterburners and projectile weapons to get up close to their foes and tear their ships up at point-blank range. Additionally, a whole new ship class called Titans has been introduced as a (for now) exclusive new weapon in the Fallen Empire arsenal. Titans are enormous ship, the equivalent of several battleships, extremely durable and armed with a vast array of lethal weapons. They will sometimes be found in the starting fleets of Fallen Empires, and Awakened Fallen Empires will be able to build a limited number of them.

    The War in Heaven (Paid Feature)
    We've talked about what happens when one Fallen Empire awakens, but what happens if there's two of them? For those with the DLC, two empires of opposing ethos (for example, Xenophobe and Xenophile) awakening can result in the War in Heaven event triggering. This event will cause the two Awakened Empires to go to war over the fate of the galaxy, dragging in the lesser species to fight on their side. All empires will be presented with a choice - join one of the two Awakened Empires and bet on their victory, join a league of non-aligned empires and hope you can stand against them both, or stand alone and risk being trampled underfoot when the war comes your way. Unlike a normal war, the War in Heaven is a cataclysmic event that will not end once a few worlds have been captured or a few battles won - it will be a fight to the death that ends only when one Awakened Empire stands victorious or both have been subjugated. If one of the Awakened Empires wins, they will show favor to those who supported them and be merciless to those who opposed them.

    That's all for today! Next week we'll be talking about some changes coming to space creatures, how they spawn and how they scale, coming in Heinlein.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
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  5. eissa

    eissa Altáriel, Lady of Radiant Garland

    Jan 7, 2016

    Space is lovely, dark and deep, but it has secrets it wants to keep. Rich systems defended by fierce creatures, hostile pockets of resistance to your civilization, and the sleeping giants of the universe – the Fallen Empires who may yet be stirred from their centuries long indolence.

    In Stellaris: Leviathans, the galaxy will be filled anew with adventure and challenge as your new and naïve space-faring empire comes face-to-face and ship-to-ship with a host of dangers and rewards.
    • Guardians: Powerful space entities with mysterious origins and motives. Fight or investigate them to unlock technologies and gain access to great treasures.
    • Enclaves: Independent outposts of traders and artists who are willing to make a deal. Exchange resources, purchase information about the galaxy, or commission a great work of art for your empire.
    • War In Heaven: Where will your fledgling empire lie if two ancient Fallen Empires decide to renew old grievances in a War in Heaven? Will you err on the side of caution and take a side with the stronger power, or will you strike at both whilst they are occupied with their own titanic struggle?
    Leviathans is the first Story Pack for Stellaris, Paradox Development Studio’s best-selling science fiction strategy game. With new events, new species portraits, new encounters and new options, Leviathans adds a lot of new material, including new music and sounds, to one of 2016’s biggest strategy hits.

    Stellaris: Leviathans will be available this Autumn.

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  6. Mudguy47

    Mudguy47 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Feb 17, 2016
    The new expansion looks very promising. Been keeping up with the recent dev diaries and they are making several interesting changes. I hope the expansion isn't too pricey, maybe around 10-15 dollars hopefully.
  7. Dr Fallout

    Dr Fallout Centurion

    Aug 17, 2015
    I've always found Paradox to be good at pricing so I don't think it will be a problem...
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  8. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Something that I am curious about, does Stellaris actually feature a story or campaign, where you explore some narrative, or is it just a game that you play endlessly more or less making up your own goals?
  9. Dr Fallout

    Dr Fallout Centurion

    Aug 17, 2015
    It's the latter, duh. Strategy game without the shit story most strat games have.
  10. Mudguy47

    Mudguy47 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Feb 17, 2016
    It does feature a smaller questline about a precursor civilization and when you find all the placed artifacts you get a little bit of narrative and a reward based on said civilization. Other than that there is nothing that I can think other than a few randomized events based on ethics and government type.
  11. It's more of a "role-playing" your empire, in the sense that your strengths and weaknesses are pretty clear after the creation sequence, and it's mostly up to you how to follow. Become space Lannisters with no fleet, space Stalin and purge and enslave annoying population, get the biggest doomfleet of all the universe and mow the weak, etc.
    This matters because, unlike Civ, the Victories are not that much the focus, as you do have "control all the "players", be it by alliances, vassals and your own systems" There is the "own 40-60%" of habitable systems too.
    There is a loong stretch for that.
    Either way, some predetermined events make up for game-defining moments (turning your story into Starship Troopers, in a case).
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  12. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Mhmm :/. Me hates strategy gems withoot story!

    No seriously, I see so many strategy games released today, that have barely any story, I love very fast the motivation though if there is no real narrative.
  13. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    Stop judging the poor product before even trying it!
    Seriously though, for a grand strategy game that typically has no story, they have managed to solve this in a very clever way, that some have tried to hint at, but that would spoiler too much if explained too much

    If you insist though
    Seriously, the below spoilers genuine in-game surprises, so don't read if you're a big fan of surprises
    Depending on random chance + player choices, the late game suddenly and abruptly takes on a "crisis", where a certain hostile-takeover narrative comes into play, such as inter-galactic alien invasion or AI or inter-dimensional beings, each one represented by a brand new nation-power that appears by force in random spots on the playing map - including right in the middle of your empire, if you're out of luck. They are hostile, and immensely powerful, typically much too strong for you to take on without a very good plan.
    Apart from the ^surprise, each play is different in "feel" also because of the "fallen empires", I'll spoiler this too, just in case
    they are at first not very obvious to detect, but during gameplay you'll realize some nations do not expand, while being mind-bogglingly powerful - too powerful for anybody to mess with. These are "fallen empires", and are supposedly "beyond" the usual petty squabbles of inter-stellar politics. They are often a bit fanatical though, and depending on chance, some may strongly oppose certain technological research or certain aggressive behavior, and you will be forced to adapt your style to not piss them off. You do seriously not want to piss them off, since in most cases, they will steamroll you

    I guess Stellaris is to strategy games what Witcher is to RPGs - a good breath of serious playability (is that a sentence?), you seem curious so just try it out man!
  14. I have just an hour on my plantoid Religious Autocracy (and with some slavory to spice stuff up), the "Baptised by Lum".
    A terrorist faction, the Disciples of (?), took over some ships and attacked the first, newly founded Colony, Toilet Of God*. they managed to defeat the defending force and our first fleet general, Teal Orchidea. A doubled force was hardly built and it took them over. After boarding a captured ship, the Spore Crusaders* found out that the conspiration goes deeper, to the core of high charges and leaders. They have confessed some locations in the empire's peripheria, and the fleet is marching to end this (after getting rekt, of course).
    At the same time, fast expansion occurs due to the perks of slavory, but will this cost us backlash from others in the future?

    This is kind of what i meant by "Story", a mix between the events, your empire's "profile" and your development around it, makes the "story".
    It's up for each one to consider this story or not.
  15. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Yeah! Except I am not trashtalking the game, nor do I say or think that it is 'bad' or not fun or not doing what it is supposed to do.

    All I am saying is, that I have a certain preference here. And that is, games like Command & Conquer 1 and 2 or Star Wars Empire at war, for example, which had some funny and cool storry and narrative. Particularly C&C 1 and 2, with their quirky videos and actors pushing the story forward. They really don't make this kind of strategy game anymore :/. Well it was something unique to Westwood.

    I just can't stomach a game that has either no story or just the bare minimum of a campaign. That's all. I most probably wouldn't have much fun with Stellaris. It already demotivated me in Anno 1404, that the campaign was so short and well, more like a tutorial. But this has become sadly somewhat of a standard with many RTS games today, where they don't even bother to really develope much of a plot or storry.
  16. Dr Fallout

    Dr Fallout Centurion

    Aug 17, 2015
    Okay yeah, they had some good stories but otherwise campaigns are better off without a poorly done plot.
  17. Supreme Shah Ismail

    Supreme Shah Ismail Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Sep 17, 2016
    I personally have put 22 hours into the game since I bought it on launch. Currently waiting on all the DLC to come out b4 I play it again.

    Honestly beyond Hearts of Iron 4, which I consider to be the best Paradox game I have similar issues with it that I have with a lot of Paradox games. There is a lot of good ideas here but plenty of really dumb design choices with an unfinished feel to top it off. Too much RNG involved for success and complete lack of game customization options (resource abundance, AI and etc) is also sorely missed. The combat just with about every other Paradox game (save for HOI4) is as half baked and poor as always. Never really is much more than having the best numbers from units to tech. There is little to no strategy involved which means its mostly down to dice rolls if its a close fight. Being given the option to have formations or pre battle strategy's would go a long way.

    All things considered its still a good game but with a lot of flaws, if I had to give it a score 7/10 if im generous. It will obviously be better once the expansions come out, though it begs the question of whether or not that content should have been there to begin with...
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  18. eissa

    eissa Altáriel, Lady of Radiant Garland

    Jan 7, 2016

    Hello everyone and welcome to another Stellaris development diary. This development diary will cover Leviathans, the recently announced DLC that will be accompanying the 1.3 'Heinlein' update. As previously mentioned, Leviathans is not an expansion but rather something we call a 'Story Pack', a collection of mostly scripted content that is larger than an event pack but smaller than a full expansion. Originally, Heinlein was supposed to be an update accompanying a full-fledged expansion, but we chose instead to do a Story Pack so that the Stellaris programmers would be able to focus on bug fixing, UI improvements and improving/reworking features in the free update.

    The Heinlein update has already been covered in several development diaries, but I still thought I should take the time to remind everyone of what it contains. Note that this is NOT an exhaustive list:
    • Awakened Fallen Empires
    • Fallen Empire quests, tasks and general improvements
    • Fleet Roles and new XL weapons
    • Weapon Balance rework
    • Federation Victory Condition
    • Strategic Resource Rework
    • Auto-Exploration
    • Rally Points
    • Expansion Planner
    • Habitability System Rework
    • Federation/Alliance Rework
    • Federation Association Status
    • Better control over sectors
    • 5 new portraits (NOT the 'cuties')
    • Major sound and graphics improvements
    • Space Creature rework, including new art and encounters
    • Loads of bug fixes, AI improvements and UI improvements
    The Leviathans Story Pack, meanwhile, will contain the following. This IS an exhaustive list:
    • Guardians feature
    • Enclaves feature
    • War in Heaven feature
    • 5 new portraits ('cuties')
    • 20+ minutes of new music by Andreas Waldetoft

    With that out of the way, on to today's topic! Today we'll be talking about Enclaves, one of the above listed paid features. Enclaves are a new type of precursors those with the Leviathans Story Pack will encounter while exploring the galaxy. Instead of living on planets and controlling an empire, they are neutral traders, artists and scholars who reside in ancient space stations and who will offer their services to anyone who is willing to pay.

    There are three types of Enclaves, each with their own range of interactions:
    • Traders allow you to exchange minerals for energy and vice versa.
    • Artists allow you to commission a piece of art that can be placed on one of your planets as a building, or become their patron to support more advanced works.
    • Curators allow you to purchase star charts, enlist their aid in furthering your research, or purchase information about the different Guardians and their weaknesses.

    In addition to these basic interactions, each type of Enclave also has an 'advanced' interaction. This interaction is not immediately available, but must be earned by building up that Enclave's opinion of your empire. This is done by utilizing their basic interactions, so for example a Trader Enclave's opinion of you will increase every time you trade minerals and energy with them. An Enclave that is located inside of your borders will also have its opinion of you slowly increase over time. The advanced interactions are as follows:
    • Traders will sell you a unique strategic resource accessible only to them.
    • Artists can be asked to organize a festival across your worlds, improving happiness across your entire empire.
    • Curators will allow you to recruit one of their researchers, who provides access to unique technologies not otherwise researchable.

    Of course, if your empire leans more towards the Fanatical Purifier type of thinking, you can also choose to simply attack an Enclave. Their space stations are powerful, but not invincible, and you may just find valuable salvage and technologies among the wreckage.

    That's all for today! Next time we'll be talking about the headline feature of the Leviathans Story Pack, the Guardians, so stay tuned! In the meanwhile, here's a little teaser of what to expect...
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  19. Mudguy47

    Mudguy47 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Feb 17, 2016
    Those Enclaves look bad ass, definitely looking forward to that. I would expect them to fairly rare as to not unbalance the game so it would take a while to find one I assume. Perhaps they will have a special marker for the system they are in otherwise I will forget about it.

    The free update looks like it adds quite a bit as well. Gonna play again when the patch is released.