Stellaris grand strategy space game by Paradox discussy thingy thready thingy


ugh, i figured out what is happening. The caravans are leaving their space and entering mine, which triggers and offer. They are then jumping into marauder space, which is causing them to flee, and reset back to their space… and then they jump back into my space, give me an offer, move to maurader space, and they just keep repeating that. Brutal


It was not one of my finer moments. In the window below, I’ve queued up my profanity-laden temper tantrum. WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE


Live streaming on YouTube and Twitch every Mon, Wed, and Fri at 6pm Pacific!

That was great!

(Warning: If you keep watching past that, which I’m doing now, it turns boring again as Tom actually figures out this screen).


Sounds as if you never really figured it out, and perhaps you don’t care anymore.

For anyone that might care - Size 16 means the planet allows 16 districts to be built. Without any special features, you would be limited to 16 city districts, minus any blockers. The special features allow you to build special districts other than city districts. However, you are free to pave over all the special features with city districts and still wind up with 16 city districts. Build one farm however, and you are down to 15 city districts.


I’ve followed devdiaries so I know how this works but it’s still a very bad UI design. You have total disctrict limit and you have limit on every kind of district… except urban district. So it just shows as 0/10 and 10 is max total number of districts, but others show as squares, and some of the squares are blocked and you can clear them up. Don’t mix districts and buildings though, building slots open up when you have more populace! Buildings are still not unique and the only difference from districts is that there’s more of them and they require populace.

This might have worked but I’ve played for hours and was extremely bored by everything that happens or not happens. I’ve started couple of wars that didn’t go anywhere because it turns out that to capture a system you have to control the station there and win land combat on every planet in there. I only captured a single planet cause I haven’t noticed the other. Besides that nothing happened in the game, I’ve slowly expanded throughout the galaxy having some treaties and getting bigger numbers observing incompetent AI doing even less.

I don’t get how this game became as popular as EU4 where I can start as Mongol horde, raid my historical neighbours with unique cultures and religions. Then play as Japanese Daymo that feels completely different. Then I become Japan and look how the Europe looks and resist against Portugal aggression because Portugal became a behemoth. And non of this is about sitting and waiting for expansion clicking or populace raising, it’s all about managing my resources and navigating diplomatic landscape.


No, no, I still care. I wonder if it’s the sort of thing where it’ll look really straightforward once it gets explained to me.

Okay, so what you seem to be saying is:

planet size + special features - blockers = available districts

But that’s not what I’m seeing at all. And I’m still not sure how city districts figure into the equation. For instance, what can you tell from looking at this screen?

The Planetary Features box on the right has a total of +19 max districts from special features and -3 districts from blockers. Can you parse for me how that translates into the numbers in the screenshot?


EDIT: I’m going to move this into the Stellaris thread. Hope no one minds.


Here you’ve got planet size 16, 3 districts blocked and 5 districts built. So at max you can currently have 16 - 3 - 5 = 8 city districts total. So it shows that you can have up to 8 city districts 4 of which are already used. If you build any of non-city districts you’ll have 4/7 displayed there on the left. If you build a city district it will be 5/8.

I’d argue that unlike Endless Space 2 or other board-game style games where you combine bonuses and get numbers in Paradox games it’s not about precise numbers. There are so many numbers and modifiers that you are supposed to only think about important numbers or very big ones. 16 size planets is better than 10 size planet, no matter what modifiers and blockers it had. One 16 size planet might be slightly better or worse than another 16 size planet due to all of this features and blockers, but you shouldn’t care that much. Just look at the district squares and figure out that one will be about farming and the other about industry.

You are allowed looking and tinkering with all kinds of numbers but you can sort of roleplay, just doing what feels right based on a big picture. Meanwhile Endless Space 2 and similar games just remove the parts they don’t want you to care about.

I prefer ES2 but I can see that it’s limited by AI and balance. As soon as you can reliably beat AI it’s not an interesting game, and in case of ES2 this moment comes pretty quickly. Meanwhile Stellaris AI is even worse but the game is much more about simulation. When it wants you challenged it just throws big bad crisis at you. No one plays to win so even if you know that you’re the winner the game is not solved yet.


Is this distinction just between district and city district?


3 other types of districts (money, industry and food) are limited by planet features. City districts (boost populace) are limited by planet size… But you also can’t have more total districts than planet size allows.

It’s not complex but it’s present in a very weird way, especially with additional similar-sounding stats like housing which is not connected to planet size in any way. Also you can build as many buildings as you like as long as you have enough populace no matter what planet size it is. But populace is limited by housing which is limited by districts. And buildings. I think.


Yeah it’s a very interesting solution for the Chick Parabola. It doesn’t matter that the AI can’t win if it wasn’t about winning to begin with. I believe that’s the same idea used in EU4 and CK2.


In CK2 more so than in EU4. The nature of the game is that the downfall is inevitable and understandable unless you use some exploits. Sooner or later the game will throw a wrench into your plans in a form of a decease or sovereign hating you or Mongols invading you. And then you suddenly play as inbred idiot child and your empire is crumbling.

EU4 is much more about empire-building but eventually, it becomes a fight against a timer - how much can you do before the game ends. Plus AI still provides some challenge, it’s not passive and the game is fine-tuned to always have some conflict in it. Even if you create a random world you get natural rivalries and alliances emerging pretty soon and working around them is always fun. And note that AI is transparent about what it wants and why he does what it does. In early game, you work with them to survive, in late game you work with them to evade penalties for breaking truces or grabbing too much land. Even if you set AI to just stand there doing nothing there’s a puzzle to the game and internal mechanics allow for interesting cycles of rise and fall.

In some ways it’s similar to how tower defence genre or RTS like Infested Planet solve a problem of challenging AI - they explicitly make it into a game mechanics with no claims to emulating any sort of sentient opponent.


Ugh, I never would have guessed that. I guess that just demonstrates that I understand districts even less than I thought, because I was overthinking it. So what’s the point of showing me the boxes for each of the three district types? I have one energy district built – for instance – but what’s the significance of the four yellow boxes and one white box and two blocked boxes?


And assuming the hatch-marks are blocked, why do I have four of them – two in the energy district and two in the ore distict – but only three blocked districts listed under Planetary Features?

I’m not sure what all this accomplishes that they weren’t already doing with the tiles. Is this supposed to be hands-off stuff that you just ignore? Is the idea that managing individual tiles was more complicated? Because that’s crazy. I understand tiles. They make perfect sense as a way to represent stuff built planetside, and types of terrain, and limited space. But I have no idea what they’re trying to do with this stuff. Am I the only one? Or are folks who play Paradox games – I like to think I’m one of those folks – not concerned with figuring this stuff out?

I get what you’re saying, but numbers are inherently precise! What’s the point of having numbers if they’re not going to be precise? Maybe I’m just too much of a rules-loving boardgamer control freak who wants to peer into the systems and manage their bits and pieces.

But I do appreciate you and @belouski talking me through this. I’m still curious how it all works.



Sounds like we’re roughly on schedule. A significant UI overhaul and a complete rework of the AI will take awhile, especially when it’s all got to be tested by the community. Looking forward to playing the finished product some time around May, I expect it will be fantastic.


The total number of energy districts that could be built on this planet is 8. You have built 1. Without removing other districts, you can build 4 more. If you removed one of the other districts, you could build an additional 1. Two more energy resources require that you remove a blocker.

Blockers block resources AND they can reduce your total number of buildable districts. So probably there is a blocker that if you removed it you would unlock the last two energy districts and increase the total buildable districts by 1. In that case, to get full energy, you’d need to demolish one more other district.

Some blockers block one or two resources or do other things. Looking at your previous screen, you have three blockers:

Industrial Wasteland 1: Blocks 2 energy and reduces total buildable districts by 1
Industrial Wasteland 2: Blocks 2 minerals and reduces total districts by 1
Sprawling Slums: Reduces total districts by 1 and when you remove it you get an extra pop

So you’ve got 16 districts, but 3 are blocked, leaving 13. You have 4 city, 1 energy, 2 mineral and 2 food (9 total) leaving 4 buildable districts.


When they had the DD on pop growth and immigration mechanics, several people pointed out that favouring growth of pops that are “under-represented” is extremely silly and likely to lead to weird problems and strange situations. They were told not to worry, they don’t understand the system, etc.

So now we are in the situation where if you don’t want all your planets to be an equal mix of half the races in the galaxy, you should refuse to allow any immigration at all.

A player with life-seeded start opens immigration treaties and the original population ends up declining precipitously because every species needs to be represented equally on every planet, even if the existing species can’t live on other planets.

I feel like this was a problem that could be seen coming a mile away. You create a mechanic that makes zero sense and it will create a lot of game situations that make zero sense.



Colour represents the planet size cap: coloured = below planet size cap, greyed out = above planet size cap.

What’s in the box represents the district status: filled = built, empty = unbuilt, hatched = unbuilt and the resource you need to build on is blocked.

They could easily have extended this to city districts; I guess they reckon the number is more useful than a graphical display for very large planets, or something.


Yeah it would have been more consistent.


The new economy is drastically different than the tile system, and it has to do with the pops. There’s no way to model a Trantor-like cityworld in the previous tile system, for example.

With the move away from tiles and into Districts, you have real customization options when it comes to determining what your planet is. City Districts provide all the surplus housing but give nothing in terms of resource production themselves. Those city districts (and the housing they provide) is what allows a planet to support researchers, priests, entertainers, administrators, etc.

A city world is absolutely going to be the hub of your empire. It’s where the vast majority of your research and unity are generated from. But they are incapable of supporting themselves – they need colonies to supply the minerals, food, and other resources necessary to maintain that level of population that largely isn’t producing that basic stuff themselves. A planet consisting of mostly City districts can easily exceed 100 pops. In the old tile system, it was just based on planet size which meant planets ranged from 10-25 max and resulted in each planet being indistinct and samey. I feel like I 'know" my planets a lot better now, whether it be Neo-Trantor, a hive world, or that godforsaken iceball that has enormous amounts of mineral reserves with a few undesirables scratching out a living.

I mean, the numbers are precise as you say, but there are a lot of numbers. For something like you were seeing with the Districts, it’s probably not worth getting hung up on or obsessing over. Sometimes these things end up clicking into place with a little more time or experimentation, but I understand that your brain is likely wired quite a bit different than mine and that might be easier said than done. :)




I’ve been wondering about that. Up until a few months ago, Wiz would tweet heavily about various things about things in the works for Stellaris or various playthroughs, but that has dropped off recently. Dev diary duties were largely moved over to other people on the team as well.

Wonder what he’s working on? Stellaris was a passion project for him, so I wonder what drew him away (other than maybe it was time for a change of scenery, creatively speaking?).

Stellaris improved significantly when he took over the reigns. I’m disappointed to see him step away, but hopefully Daniel picks up where he left off.