Stellaris grand strategy space game by Paradox discussy thingy thready thingy


There is no ‘grand strategy’ because there is no meaningful strategy in how wars are conducted, or how diplomacy is pursued. You can’t have a functional grand strategy game where extrapolated warfare comes down to one number for each empire, and this number is compared against the other and the smaller then loses the entire game. Which is how doomstacks currently work in Stellaris.

Ignoring when the AI has a brainfart, losing a war generally means losing the entire game since rebuilding an entire fleet is nearly ruinous to any empire and certainly takes far longer than the mandatory ceasefire.

You keep saying that without substantiating your claim.

It would help if you had bothered to read my post before replying to it, which you clearly didn’t.

. You said earlier that “most people” thought it was terrible. Yet reviews, both professionally and on Steam, suggest otherwise. There is nothing anywhere to suggest that your opinion is anything but a minority one and thus your assertion is incorrect. Any point or opinion that you make is lost when you try to make up facts to substantiate a point.

‘Most people eventually agreed that it was pretty terrible upon release’. Being an arsehole and writing a polemic on how one opinion stated needs substantiation or an entire series of posts is discredited is one thing, but being an arsehole and not even reading the posts you’re replying to is another.

I clearly cannot survey most people, therefore I am extrapolating my experience outward. Which is exactly what you’re doing when referring to metacritic and steam reviews on a larger scale as representing a majority.

I’ll ignore that none of the glowing Stellaris reviews that I read at launch mentioned any of the clear and later acknowledged near-gamebreaking flaws at release, suggesting that the reviewers did not play the game for significant amounts of time, and I’ll ignore the huge outcry TomChick caused when he gave Stellaris one of only a handful of negative reviews suggesting an overinvested core community.

That that they are improving it does not mean that it was not playable or enjoyable on release. Otherwise, the same could be said about any patch or release.

They have substantially changed almost every feature that the game came with, including massive changes to several core mechanics. That does not suggest a good game at launch, nor a coherent game. Quite the opposite, though obviously it’s impossible to ‘substantiate’ that. You’re also conflating something being terrible with something being unenjoyable c.f. The Big Bang Theory.

That is a false authority claim which is a logical fallacy.

Now you just sound petulant. Stating that I’m using an example is not a false authority claim, unless you’re trying really hard to fit what I said to list of fallacies you had loaded on wikipedia at the time. You’ve demonstrated that you can’t manage to actually read an entire post, don’t understand what an example is, don’t understand the difference between a comparison and false equivalence, nor do you understand that fact <-> opinion lies on a continuum.

It’s particularly amusing that the two posts that followed yours were talking about Stellaris being functionally lacking at release.


Not that I want to get into the middle of a flame war, as much as the weather’s getting cold, but it’s one thing to not be amazing and another to be bad. Yes, it was overrated on release, but it wasn’t a bad game. It dared to do something completely different except fom DW, and it’s even very different from it
Like many such attempts, it failed on many levels, but it never stopped having a lot of plays, videos, new mods and well regarded updates. I’m sorry it’s not in many ways what you wanted, I’m sorry it’s not that close to what I wanted, but you’re completely wrong in saying it’s a terrible game, it’s just not for you as is. And, honestly, it feels like what you want would never be possible in the first iteration of the game, least of all at release. There was, and is, barely any frame of reference for what it should be, and developing and testing many variations without contact with the audience would never get it done.


Personally I always enjoy the journey of seeing Paradox games change over time, because they tend to evolve quite a bit over their iterations. Stellaris is unquestionably quite a bit better than it was at release, though still obviously plagued by many problems.

With Stellaris in particular it seems very clear to me that Wiz (if you don’t know, he’s the main guy in charge of design now) inherited a game and had a very, very different vision from the guy who originally designed it.

I’m pretty enthusiastic about the games future, but I’ll happily tell anyone who asks that unless they actively enjoy going through what still feels a bit like a beta development cycle, go ahead and check back in a year or two when the game has a big sale and you can get it and all but the newest DLC for $50. It’ll probably be worth it then. EU4 is one of my more played games, and I don’t think it actually got to the point where I would have recommended it to someone before Art of War. Still not there with Stellaris yet.


I read your posts. All you have accomplished is proving that you cannot actually substantiate anything you claim.

Just for future reference, you are not “most people”. While your massively inflated ego may somehow recoil at this revelation it sadly a fact of life that your opinion is not fact. Furthermore, extrapolating a personal opinion to others against all empirical evidence is at best a poor logical approach. Please resist the temptation to project your feelings to others in an effort to justify those opinions. It is not required. We understand you do not like Stellaris. You are entitled to that opinion. Your attempts to somehow dramatize this dislike into a belief that somehow, heaven forbid, that the majority of people do not enjoy the game is what I find laughable. Despite your best attempts to convince us otherwise, it continues to be one of the top 30 or so games played on Steam a year and a half after release, with numbers comparable to HOI 4 and EU IV. It continues to have very positive reviews on Steam. The state of the game has never been nor currently is “terrible” by any measurement of the general game playing public.


Does Stellaris suffer from the endgame sickness almost any 4x game has, yes, is doomstacks an issue, not at all for me, is strategy a big part of the game, fuck yes, just not maybe in the way you want. This game is mostly for me making some whacky race and seeing how they fare.

The exploration, strong early game and decent mid-game means every fresh start is a joy.
That core mechanics are changed is not a problem for me, improving the game is just natural, look at Eu 4.

Just give my warships auto explore buttons, and last niggle I got is fixed


How is stellaris in its current state? I only played it in the first few weeks of release. Is it fun, or is it still just fun in the early game and then ends up in a big mess in the mid game? Any must have DLC?


I find the empire side of the game to be a lot of fun after Utopia. Customizing my race feels very impactful and I feel like I’m making more interesting decisions than I did in 1.0.

Generally, I have a lot of fun with the game but as my empire grows, so does my annoyance level with each war. Not being able to lock down any part of my border, chasing enemy fleets around, and wrangling armies to invade planets all start to irritate me and suck some fun or out of the game. Thankfully for me, so are the kinds of things the next update is addressing.


Kevin’s comments pretty much echo mine - the game has gotten a lot more fun with new DLC. But the end game still ends up dragging badly - mostly related to how war is waged, and how little else there is to do at that point in the game. Still, there is plenty of fun to be had in the early-middle/late game, until the last slog begins.


Looks like claims cost influence now:

So you need influence to build outposts (and thereby claim systems). It looks like you also need influence to claim systems that you can later take in a war (probably you hold on to claims if someone takes a system from you). I guess you also need influence to integrate a vassal.

Since influence is not a resource that scales with empire size, it seems like this is a pretty strong brake on expansion. Frankly I’d like a more dynamic approach, where the problem with rapid expansion is external hatred and internal disintegration. This is a lot more predictable though.


True, unless there are Influence changes as well like a structure you can build on an Outpost that generates it or something. I don’t have a problem with using influence for claims as I think managing resources like that is an important part of a strategy game, but hopefully it’s not too restrictive. I’d want it to be a constraint and have an opportunity cost, but I’d hate for it to be so strict at to be completely binding and predictable.


Managing resources is definitely important, and you should never have enough of X to go around. Having a non-scaling (or very weakly scaling) critical resource like influence (or EUIV’s ruler mana) is an important innovation to prevent or slow down snowballing.

Still, my original impression was that Stellaris, with it’s pops, sectors and internal politics, would go a different route to prevent snowballing. The bigger you get, the more you have to fight just to keep your empire together, the more internal plots and so on.

I’d much prefer having a non-scaling resource that is a hybrid of influence and unity, that small empires use for external diplomacy and large empires use to try to keep a lid on the internal scheming and independence movements.


I really like that approach. It makes playing as a smaller empire (that depends heavily on diplomacy to survice) viable, while giving new gameplay options and opportunities to big empires.


This was the original premise. It doesn’t appear to have unfolded that way. Instead, as far as I can see, it’s become a fairly mediocre 4X with some nice quest text from time to time.


What would the end game goal be? Is there anything like a science victory or you build the artifact of antioch? Or do you just decide that you did enough and start a new game?

I kind of thought there would not be an end game, although achieving peer status with a fallen empire might be enough.


Right now in typical Paradox fashion, it’s mostly just “I’m done with the game now”, although I believe there is an actual victory condition for conquering a bunch of stuff. Martin mentioned he wants to add real victory conditions, like you would expect to see in 4X games.


Fallen Empires can become Awakened Empires, which are much tougher (but can then slip back into decadence). Generally people end up on a power level where they can beat Awakened Empires, though so far I haven’t lasted that long. There are also the end-game crises.


I’m not as down about the current state as you seem to be, but it does seem like some aspects of the initial vision for the game (or at least what I TOOK to be the vision of the game) have fallen by the wayside. Utopia was more about fleshing out options for how to build your society and less about trying to keep your society together. Factions are usually bonuses, and not hindrances.

I imagine that a game with engaging internal politics is pretty hard to make.


Isn’t this a major goal of the pop/faction system?

Aren’t internal politics a big part of other PDX games (Victoria 2, CK2)?

It seems odd they have soft balled this system so far, it was one of my most anticipated features…


Yeah something with a bit more flair than Vic2 and more pop/ideology based than CK2 would be amazing. I’m not sure you can just port over elements and have it gel though. I am surprised that this hasn’t really been pursued. Maybe it’s just lower on the priority list than fixing warfare?


The thing is… the overall design is such a mess that they have to focus on what they will fix.

As I said before, Stellaris is what happens when you get a lot of ideas from other games (without understanding what made them good or great), add some quasi-original (mostly good) ideas, toss it all in a blender, and see what comes out.

Can such a thing be “yummy”? For some people, yeah. It’s no less of a mess, though.

Wiz is taking it now and trying to change it into a proper “meal”, so to speak (and Paradox will make sure you have to pay $180 to get the “full meal” in the end, of course). Here’s hope he’ll succeed, but I’m not holding my breath.