Stellaris grand strategy space game by Paradox discussy thingy thready thingy

I fully agree, a starting point just like in EU or CK or Victoria or all their other games. That’s my fundamental problem with Stellaris. Asymmetric starts are just way more interesting than the usual 4x where everyone starts with one city/planet. Also makes the game much more of a challenge without needing to resort to giving AI cheats.

While starting with one planet seemingly fits the theme of the game, as it is like Earth starting to explore the stars, it makes no sense for all intelligent life in the universe to start exploring space at the same moment. Fallen Empires goes a little way to alleviating this, but it would just be better if you start the game with an established universe and you learn more about that universe as you explore.

You could pump “Advanced AI Starts” up to maximum so you’re the only newcomer – I can’t remember if you can do that for every AI in vanilla but it would be trivial to mod. That’ll give you what you’re looking for.

For me, no thank you – the “Explore, Expand, Exploit” parts of these games are my favorite and as soon as the map is full I’ll probably just quit.

Well not really as then every AI will be roughly the same size and I will be one planet (or has that setting changed from when I last used it?). EU4 has a big variety of large empires, medium sized empires, small empires with alot of potential and inner strength, and small empires that don’t have alot of potential.

Stellaris is not balanced or designed for this type of setup either, I am just daydreaming about a diferent Space Grand Strategy Game.

As an aside, I am reading the Three Body Problem trilogy by liu cixin and it is amazing. Does anyone know if over the years whether Stellaris has added anything that resembles Dark Forest Deterrence or anything like what you read about in these novels?


I don’t think Dark Forest Theory makes sense in Stellaris because

  1. Peace between civilizations is possible.
  2. You can’t really make the kind of fast technological leaps that make other civilizations so threatening in Three Body Problem. If you’re way ahead of somebody in tech, you’re not going to all of a sudden find yourself so behind them that they could wipe you out in an instant. You’re going to stay ahead, or worst case, they could gradually catch up.
  3. Tech isn’t so important relative to production and economy. There’s nothing possible like in Book 1 where Earth had dozens of ships and the Trisolarans had one, and they destroyed the Earth fleet in ten minutes. Even if someone is way ahead in tech, they would need to be able to pump out a whole lot of energy and minerals to be a threat.

Which all makes sense – Three Body Problem wouldn’t make a great game, I don’t think – destroying every civilization you find until one finds you and then they shoot you with their superweapon and the game is instantly over. Also, you’d need to roll up a galaxy with thousands, if not tens of thousands of stars for the game to make any sense – everyone needs to be hard to find!

Or maybe it would be fun, I don’t know. For better or worse, Stellaris is mostly relitigating Star Trek.

I suspect you’re right, but it would be really interesting to see a game tackle this type of conception of the universe! Until then, a Stellaris mod that tries to change the three points you outlined would itself be interesting.

Well perhaps we wouldn’t call it ‘peace’, but I would have thought coexistence would be possible between civilizations assuming each had the technology necessary to transmit coordinates? Like the US and the Soviet Union. If they transmitted your coordinates you could probably detect the transmission before anything happened, which means you would transmit their coordinates (and they would know that).

I think it could have more nuance than that. If you were a space-faring civilization operating under a Dark Forest attitude, you would want to colonize other planets and star systems ASAP to make yourself less vulnerable to one strike. If you meet other civilizations in space you will be doing your utmost to prevent them from learning where you live, while they will be doing their best to prevent you from learning where they live. I don’t know, I just came from reading the second book and find it so fascinating (and dissimilar to Star Trek / Wars / etc.) that I am curious if it could be made into good gameplay.

This really should have been the case in Stellaris. It would have solved EU and CK’s problems too, which are mainly that one simply cannot simulate the dynamics of real-world history to any serious degree. With a fictional universe, none of that matters.

I’ve played one longer game since 3.4.5 and am really enjoying Stellaris currently.

Even though I myself am not using vassals much (yet!), they are very actively in use across many opponents and they create a new tension in figuring out exactly which I want to go after next. There are some interesting strategies too - e.g. allowing yourself to be vassalized and then rebelling, which changes the reaction of other holdings. I’ll try to see how it works on the other end (taking vassals) next game, building up a network.

The situations system seems good when it pops up, but it pops up too infrequently. The triggers need to be tuned to be more regular. There is one new mod that is getting very good feedback, Rise and Fall, which introduces a Decay variable that triggers situations that likely lead to the splintering of that empire. Only the largest empires (relative to neighbors) accumulate decay. I haven’t tried it, but it sounds like the right implementation of the Situations mechanic - will give it a spin within the next few playthroughs.

The last time Stellaris had a free weekend, I realized it was a bad game that sucks, but I couldn’t stop playing it. Then there was the Steam sale and I bought it along with some DLC, and it’s still a stupid game and I hate it and I play every chance I get.

So what are are the good general purpose quality-of-life mods I need to get?

Probably TinyOutliner v2 (along with maybe UI Overhaul Dynamic):

I’ll have to jump in and see if you need all 3. It has been a while since I last played.

Not QoL, but one mod I just heard about that looks interesting is Rise and Fall:

Thanks. It looks like only the last two are needed.

“Without treading into ‘promises’ territory,” he says, “I want the sandbox to expand to include more emergent stories. Whether that be through more detailed interactions with your factions, political rap-battles in the Galactic Community, changes to how leaders work, exploring the rise and fall of empires in new ways, or reworking how you deal with pre-FTL civilizations… I can’t say, but I think we’ve done our job best when you can’t get to sleep just yet because you want to discover what happens next.”

I noticed that the last major DLC (Overlord) still has a pretty poor Steam rating. Anyone play Stellaris recently? Is the game working reasonably well without Overlord? Was Overlord fixed or still recommend skipping it?

Something new related to Stellaris coming:

I’m too lazy to read these specific ones, but I know a lot of Paradox DLC get bad reviews because people think they’re money grabs.

Which is funny, because the Lions of the North for EU4 is the most money-grabby feeling for me($15 for a bunch of mission trees and unit sprites) and is sitting at Very Positive! Whereas a much cheaper event pack for CK3 got review bombed like crazy despite including a bunch of content you’d actually experience in every playthrough.

The Paradox reviews that crack me up are the ones where a poster breaks down how much the DLC “should” cost based on metrics they made up. They go something like:

But, in fairness, things like species, music, and sprite packs are kind of money grabs since they basically change the look of things without meaningfully altering gameplay. To each their own, but I’d rather spend my money on features and additions…

Lions of the North would have been better as $10. Yet, in another sense I think it is much better for the consumer than usual EU4 DLCs.

Everything it adds is so transparent and understandable. It adds mission trees, events, sprites, etc. for specific countries. Any EU4 player can think about whether they want to play a few runs in Scandinavia/Poland in the near future, gauge how many hours of entertainment that is, then figure out if that is worth $15 to them or not. If not, there’s a free update with goodies that apply to any country.

Compare that with a DLC that adds the “glory” mechanic, or “new strategic interactions with your vassals!” or whatever. It is much harder to figure out what that is or whether it will increase your enjoyment or longevity of the game, and whether it actually ruins balance or AI somehow and should be avoided like the plague.

I think that the reason for the high rating is more for the patch that came with it. Game speed and AI behavior were much improved and hard for people who bought it to tell what came with the expansion and what was included in the patch.

That being said. here is my analysis based on features A, B, C, etc…NOT!