Stellaris grand strategy space game by Paradox discussy thingy thready thingy

I picked up the base game to try out the ST: New Horizons mod (as Klingons!). I understand some of the DLCs add some things (like Ferengi and a couple of other races being megacorps, some other playable race and so forth), but it sounds like I can easily get away with the base game for now and I’m kind of cuckoo for overhaul puffs at the moment (also trying out Third Age Divide and Conquer, an LotR overhaul for Medieval 2 that’s still under active development!).

For me it helped when I started seeing Stellaris as a sci-fi roleplaying strategy game. Crusader Kings plays best (IMO) when you’re roleplaying your characters as opposed to just min/maxing and Stellaris is similar, it’s just roleplaying a race/culture/civ instead of individual kings and dukes.

It can fun to play as a pacifist xenophobe, a militant democratic crusader, a robot caretaker, a coalition-building diplomatic looking to defend the galaxy, or a televangelist megacorp trying to spread their influence and get as filthy rich as possible. I find the game is more fun for me when I come up with an idea and see how it plays out. I’m less concerned with beating the hardest difficulty in the most ruthlessly efficient way possible, which is how I usually play strategy games and how I used to approach this one. I don’t think Stellaris is great for that, although it can certainly be played that way.

Stellaris isn’t my favorite PDS game but I do feel it’s come a long way and it’s something I’ve been able to have fun with.

Since my last game settings seemed to suck (middle finger to you synth bastards and the fallen empire jerkheads!), can any of you share the ones you’re using or have used? Do you prefer to push the endgame/victory years out?

I’ll try to remember to check my settings when I get home. A lot depends on what kind of game you’re looking for. Are you in the mood for a “race against the clock” kind of game? If so, move those Mid/Late crises sliders to the left, which sounds like it might be what you have currently. Or at least the mid/late crises are very close together. If you’re looking to explore game mechanics, brawl with your neighbors, and get a better handle on things, the more you’ll want to move them to the right as you won’t have as much time pressure.

If you’re wanting a more warlike game, I would toggle AI Aggressiveness on. Would not recommend that if you’re looking for a more peaceful/cooperative game where you want to focus on stopping the various crises or just be a builder. Advanced Civs give the AI a head start as they have initial stuff like mining stations and a nearby habitable world or two colonized, it can be nice for a potential early game challenge so that also depends on what you’re looking for.

The AI doesn’t receive any bonuses up to Ensign, after that it’s +25% resources per difficulty (Captain, Commodore, etc.) along with a few other bonuses.

Those settings are really relevant to your personal skill level and how hard you want the Crisis to be. If it doesn’t have a chance of wiping out the galaxy you may as well just disable it imo, but I realize other people play games for their own reasons with their own likes and dislikes.

If your last game had the crisis firing at 2400 and it completely wiped you out, you can either reduce it’s strength or have it fire later. But you can have the entire game wrapped up by 2300 if you are playing a total war faction (Purifiers, Devouring Swarms, Assimilators, Killbots), and in that case twiddling your thumbs for 100 years waiting for the crisis to spawn and be defeated instantly is a little underwhelming.

Just adjust it as your skill level improves.

The thing I’ve found with the higher Stellaris difficulty levels is they’re really hard to survive the first 50 years or so because everyone else is strong enough to steamroll you on whim, and then by 2270 you’ve snowballed past everyone and all the AIs are at “pathetic.” What I’d love is a way to fine-tune the scaling difficulty option so the AIs start around Commodore and then get escalating bonuses from there.

The scaling difficulty is an excellent idea; but yeah, it would be nice to be able to find tune it more.

I’m playing on Ensign, and I’ve never had any difficulty with resources. Would a higher difficulty level make it harder for me to amass Energy, Minerals, Alloys, etc.?

I just wish I could roll Stellaris back to 1.8x or whatever, before the planet retooling. It worked perfectly fine before that.

They do have rollback branches. It doesn’t go back that far, I take it?

Higher difficulty doesn’t make it harder to get resources, other than it puts a lot of pressure on you to grow your fleets very quickly, which requires a lot of resources.

Thanks. Yeah, I was able to get away with a skeleton fleet for the first couple decades. Only now am I building a bunch of cruisers, with a fleet cap now of 72.

@Kolbex How’s the Star Trek mod?

I have only just installed it and haven’t had a chance to fire it up yet, but I will let you know! It definitely gets rave user reviews and 5 years ago (whew!) Fraser Brown on RPS called it “the best Star Trek game,” so I have high hopes.

There used to be a great mod called Dynamic Difficulty that scaled (and randomized) the bonus that AI get based on their relative rank compared to the player. Wish PDX would roll that into the base game.

It does, all the way to 1.0.3. You do have to get a code from the forum for really old versions, for GDPR reasons.
1.9 should be better than 1.8, BTW.

I’m not sure if this is what @AK_Icebear is referring to, but there is still a Dynamic Difficulty mod, updated for version 3.2 (the current live version) of Stellaris. Steam Workshop::Dynamic Difficulty - Ultimate Customization

There’s also a variant on that mod here: Steam Workshop::Dynamic Difficulty : More Modifiers

Me, I’m off to download the Star Trek mod and give it a spin!

It looks awesome but I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing at all.

Stellaris probably has the longest gap of any 4X game between “realizing you’ve won” and “the game acknowledging that you’ve won”. This is a problem with every 4X game but with Stellaris the amount of micromanagement you need to do skyrockets, the frequency of interesting decisions falls, and the literal speed of the game plunges.

I wish the crisis was triggered by some logic that keeps the board interesting instead of being (largely) chosen by the player before the game even starts.

Stellaris 2 needs an AI director.

I tried the Trek mod too. It looks great, and the Federation UI mod adds to the experience. But I found myself missing the default lore, not to mention starways, which are omitted from Trek. I’ll play more with the mod, but for now I’m back to my normal game. I’m only at 2265 in that game, and I still find it interesting, but I suppose that’s because I’m too newbish to outpace the AI.

Is the default story the same every game? Are there things I can do to enhance replayability?

I have heard that the AI is a lot better lately. At least it lasts longer before it falls into economic traps.