Stellaris grand strategy space game by Paradox discussy thingy thready thingy


Claims aren’t cores, and influence has to be rebalanced anyway. We’ll see the design soon enough.

I don’t know anything about Wiz’s plans for that, but it sounds about right, It needs it’s own thing that isn’t quite what they, or anyone, thought.


I think it had to be. You can make a solid 4X-ish game without internal politics and strife, but if FTL (and hence warfare) have serious issues, those have to be tackled. I was surprised it wasn’t the focus of the first major expansion, but perhaps they were still trying to figure out a solution or hoping there would be a way to modify the existing system to make it work well.

If their team can nail this expansion, the sky is the limit for this game, at least for my tastes.


Yet they have already updated factions, and they went in the direction of making them tamer, less annoying and not all all about independence or ripping the large empire apart. The factions that existed at launch were no good, but they were closer to “threats to your continued rule” that I want, while the new ones seem to be more like “things to milk for bonuses”. At the same time, they made pop political opinions less complex.

Now influence is being further reinforced as the primary mechanic to limit expansion. I think Wiz’s long-term vision for the game might not include internal politics as a critical and engaging part of the system. Maybe the type of game I thought Stellaris would be turns out to be too hard to balance or not fun to play?


I think Wiz has mentioned he has plans to expand internal revolts via Sectors. Rebellious governors, that sort of thing.


I don’t think that’s the case. The problem with Stellaris isn’t complexity or balance - it’s a lack of focus, of a clear overall design, one in which the full game is more than the sum of its parts. Right now Stellaris is a mishmash of ideas that, in the end, is much less than the sum of its parts. At least for now.


I think there’s something to that. If I list all of the mechanics in Stellaris, all of the content, it seems like it should be the best game ever. Design a species down to their idealogy, pops with their own ideas, real-time combat, 3 different FTL types, space federations, megastructures, machine races, hive minds, ancient empires, uplift pre-space civilizations or pre-sentient species, titanic guardians, mysteries all over. In terms of bullet points, it’s great. But in terms of core gameplay it can be a chore sometimes.


Well, we know it’s something Wiz was unsatisfied with from the start of his tenure. Taking this long to make the change, well, I know how many people are upset about losing FTL options. If that was the first thing they did out of the gate, the calls for refunds would be a lot louder. So there is probably some politics involved, and some trying out additional options, etc.

I think the patch itself will be pretty good, but it will also say a lot that they are willing to make big changes and not just tack stuff on.


And most of those bullet points conflict with each other. Let’s have different FTL! But wait, they can’t be too different or the way warfare and exploration work won’t, well, work. We have POPs if you want to micromanage your planets, and sectors/governors when you don’t! Except you have to. We have interactive real-time battles! But they could easily have been non-interactive because positioning means little, and they can take a lot of time that you need to do other stuff around.

Those are examples (most from a previous version of Stellaris - I haven’t played in a while and I don’t really plan to anytime soon). But there are many other instances in which aspects of design in Stellaris clash with other aspects. That’s what makes it a mess, that’s what makes the game less than the sum of its parts.

The only part of Stellaris where I see a clear, focused design, is the initial exploration/quest/colonization phase (which is - not surprisingly - its strongest point). Once you need to make your first sector, or wage your first war? Then you realize that the game is fighting itself.


I’ve previously describes this particular feature as spending design and coding time digging a hole and then more of both filling it in.


Sorry for link to tweet to dev diary, I’m just heading out the door and it was easier on mobile. Lots of changes, and Wiz confirms that Influence is being rebalanced now that it’s used for claims.


I think it’s function is still to act as a brake on aggressive expansion, even if they are changing the production rate and dropping some sinks. I’d be surprised if they allow influence generation to scale with empire size. Maybe a couple of one-off additional sources?

On the other hand, there is a lot of scope for having tech and traditions that decrease claim cost, so they can allow more rapid expansion as the game goes on (and they intend to do that).

Also, the hyper-aggressive species get to side-step all the niceties of claiming and so on. No need to claim systems, and an always-available casus belli. The only thing missing is the ability to start devouring population as soon as you land. Or maybe they will do that as well?


Oh yeah, absolutely. I was just glad to hear that Influence itself is being tweaked with this in mind, rather than adding another (really important) draw on an already-limited resource. I assumed that was going to be the case, but it’s always nice to get confirmation.

I want to know what they’re doing with doom stacks (next dev diary, I think?), because if you A) can split your forces and B) have effective defenses, warfare is going to get much more interesting with the elimination of War Score and replacing it with War Exhaustion. WIz mentioned this in the diary, but I love that even if you’re losing the war, you still have military goals in inflicting as much war exhaustion as possible to limit their gains. Quick raiding strikes, rather than having to occupy planets (which if their doomstack already wiped your doomstack, was impossible to do).

Also, I am reading between the lines but I got the impression that maybe mining/research stations don’t get destroyed anymore, similar to star bases? He mentions in the dev diary that once the starbase is occupied, the occupier receives the income from the stations in the system. If so, that would be another huge improvement for me. Trying to chase down AI fleets while they zip around your empire nuking all of your stations is annoying as hell.


I think you’ll still have the option to destroy the stations, but it will be optional and not something you do when you want to conquer the system.
But that’s just me, there’s no confirmation either way.


I think there might be some confusion over war exhaustion here. We see it accumulate from attrition (appears to be time-based) occupation and battle wins/losses. The only thing Wiz has said that War Exhaustion does (though it may apply some kind of negative maluses like in EUIV, but if so, they are unmentioned thus far) is to allow peace to be enforced once it hits 100% for one side. If you are losing a war, you won’t be able to limit your losses by pushing up their war exhaustion, because unless I’m completely misreading something, they’ll be able to enforce peace (taking whatever planets they have occupied) once you hit 100%. And if you are losing, based on the metrics we have seen, you will hit 100% before they do.

It seems like the only way you could really benefit from War Exhaustion is if the war is quite close and they do not want to enforce peace when you hit 100% because they haven’t managed to occupy as much as they think they can with their remaining War Exhaustion. I’m making a bit of an assumption here in presuming that if both factions are at 100% war exhaustion, either can enforce peace (because the results of an enforced peace are simply taking what you currently occupy, thus the results are the same no matter who enforces).

It sounds like you may not have played since the last patch? Mining and research stations are no longer armed by default and should no longer be destroyed casually in wars unless you explicitly target them. I can’t recall the AI explicitly targeting them and I know my ships were not destroying enemy mining stations because when I conquered other species I recall being pleased at not having to rebuild a bunch of randomly destroyed stations.

However the AI may have certain personality types that still do target them explicitly that I never encountered when I did my Synthetic Dawn games. Or maybe I just won those so hard that I never lost any noticeable amount. Humblebrag. ;)


Well, I’m referring to what Wiz said in the dev diary here:

Correct. :)


I am a bit concerned about the forced status quo peace potentially making some really ugly borders.


Well, if you can drive them to 100% War Exhaustion and force a status quo peace, then you also avoid their war goal. So maybe you avoid being humiliated or becoming a vassal or something like that. So there could be a situation where they already have you at 100% war exhaustion, and they already occupy all of their claims, but they can’t force you to surrender yet. Driving them to 100% could help even if it doesn’t prevent them from grabbing more territory.

I’m not clear what is the trigger for being forced to surrender though. If you are at high war exhaustion but still have a fleet, you are still “in the game”?


Dear Paradox and @Johan_A if you ever make a Stellaris 2, would you please marry it with Majesty, let war be something we have more indirect control of, and let the runnings of the empire take more forefront.
War had always been a weaker link of 4x, if I could be given more time to make my Uber empire and less to micro fleets I think you would hit awesome quicker.

It would also make endgame a different beast imho

I’m advance thanks.


Yea I guess you can minimize losses if you can get them to 100% war exhaustion. If you were losing you would of course get to 100% first and they could enforce peace whenever they wanted, but you could prevent them from getting all their war goals by getting them to 100% as well before they were able to take every thing they planned on.

At least that’s my best understanding of it!


New DD on Ascension Perks and Surveying

Well, we WERE going to get an explanation of how they are going to avoid doomstacking, but fate intervened and we will have to wait a couple of weeks.

They are making the basic ascension perks part of the base game, instead of limiting them to Utopia. Also, not having the kiss-of-death map sharing will be nice.