Stellaris - The grand strategy sci-fi game

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by TheGodBen, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not sure how many here are fans of Paradox's grand strategy games, highly complex historical strategy simulations are a bit of a niche market, but Stellaris seems like a game that will appeal to a wider audience than their usual stuff. After watching the presentation video below, this looks like everything I've ever wanted in a sci-fi strategy game. It has exploration, intrigue, politics, science, cultural development, weird aliens, federations, fracturing empires, space monsters, customisable ships, and comet sightings (it is an omen). Perhaps a bit too complex for many, but the apparent depth of this game really excites me. I love the fact that there are "dangerous" technologies, the possibility that one of my colonies could pursue a cybernetic path and revolt against my rule, forming a new empire of unstoppable cyborgs, sounds awesome.

     
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  2. SPCTRE

    SPCTRE Badass Admiral

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    Looking good, if this turns out to be a more friendly Crusader Kings in Spaaaaaace, I might actually give it a shot!
     
  3. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nice graphics.
     
  4. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It seems like there'll be less inbreeding and more genocide in Stellaris, so it's more like Europa Universalis in space.

    It does look pretty, but if it's anything like their other games I'll spend most of my time in the galactic view and miss out on the eye-candy. Sort of like how EU4 defaults to a very pretty terrain view that nobody uses as it's not as useful as playing in political view.
     
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  5. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I admire Paradox's games, but they're too complex for my tastes. The game does look impressive though.
     
  6. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm kind of midway. I enjoy Crusader Kings II and Europa Universalis IV (and EUIII before it), but Victoria II and Hearts of Iron III still elude me.

    I think Stellaris has the potential to appeal to a wider audience than their usual games for two reasons. First, it starts out as a 4X game before transitioning to a grand strategy, so fans of the 4X genre will have an easier time jumping in. But also, the game's mechanics, though deep, look to be intuitive to anyone familiar with the sci-fi genre. I've been watching a developer play-through series, and nothing so far has stood out as being needlessly complicated, it all makes sense. But maybe that's because I've become accustomed to the sort of complexity present in some of their other games. :shrug:
     
  7. SPCTRE

    SPCTRE Badass Admiral

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    GB's Austin Walker (as well as this thread) did a great job selling Stellaris to me, I think I'll jump in.



    It actually looks manageable, which is the highest praise I could give a otherwise intimidating game like this one.
     
  8. intrinsical

    intrinsical Commodore Commodore

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    I just bought Stellaris too and have been playing it for the past two days. It's not as daunting as I had feared, although some of the mechanics (limited to directly controlling 5 planets, the difference between energy credits and materials) surprised me and forced me to completely rethink the way I play.
     
  9. intrinsical

    intrinsical Commodore Commodore

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    I have been playing Stellaris for almost a week now and overall, I'll rate it as challenging, but also very fun.

    What I love is there are alien species of varying levels of technology found throughout the universe, from stone age all the way to elder "ascendent" races with vastly superior technology. And you get options on how to deal with each of these alien species. For example for primitive alien species, you can enslave them, teach them space faring technology (uplifting). Which was a bit of a bummer when I realized the species I created for the current game insisted on adopting a Star Trek style prime directive of non-interference.

    I also love that there are lots of little random "sci-fi" encounters and events, ranging from ring worlds, to a primitive atomic species destroying themselves and their planet in a nuclear war, to planets with wandering forests that wreck your infrastructure until you either research how to control the forests or burn the forest down.

    I like that it is impossible to achieve complete galactic domination by wiping out every alien species, out even if you have a overwhelmingly superior force. The game makes conquering any mid to large sized opponent extremely costly and economically messy. It is far easier to give the other empire's forces a bloody nose and make them submit to your empire as a vassal state, or to work together as an alliance or federation.

    I like that it takes the combined forces of a coalition of allies and/or vassals to face the elder ascendant races.

    Now for dislikes.. Stellaris has eliminated the need to micromanage every star and planet in your empire, which can make the game boring at times. Especially mid-game, I find myself twiddling my thumbs waiting for something to happen.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
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  10. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral In Memoriam

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    Do you design/outfit your own ships like in the original MOO?
     
  11. intrinsical

    intrinsical Commodore Commodore

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    I don't remember how MOO does it, but yes Stellaris lets you design your own ships. It can get quite complex so rather than describing it, here's a video (ship designing starts at around the 2 minute mark).

     
  12. SPCTRE

    SPCTRE Badass Admiral

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    I love the fact that game allows for that sort of granularity in terms of consequences of creating your species.
     
  13. intrinsical

    intrinsical Commodore Commodore

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    Then you'll love Stellaris as it is full of such stuff that pops up in the most unexpected ways. In one of of my early playthroughs,

    I had a species that started out with a science directorate government. One of the long quest chains ultimately ended up with physical proof (a million year old relic) that they're god's chosen children and have a manifest destiny. I was given four choices, bury the proof, ignore the proof and give it to the scientists for study, sell the proof as an ancient relic to the highest bidders, or completely change the government from the science directorate into a religious based government!
     
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  14. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral In Memoriam

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    Dammit, I bought this game yesterday and have now wasted at least 20 hours of my life already. I never should have read this thread. I will have no time left for the rest of the things in my life now.

    Just one more month of research, yes, just one. more. Oh! Almost done building that fleet! OK, just one more month of game time, then I'll exit the game, yeah, it's only midnight. It's early yet.
     
  15. intrinsical

    intrinsical Commodore Commodore

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    Something happened in my current Stellaris game that made me want to share this...

    In past 4x games such as Civilization, Endless Legends, Galactic Civilizatoins and Sins of a Solar Empire, I've never had a reason to use diplomacy on AI players. In those games, diplomacy was completely useless as the AI just rejectes every advance I made OR I don't really gain any useful advantage from successful diplomacy.

    Not so in Stellaris. The hover tooltips in the diplomacy screen are a godsend. They tell you exactly why the diplomatic move you're making would or would not work and the reasons why. This makes it miles better than the other games where diplomacy relied almost completely on guesswork and luck.

    I had been trying to get a friendly species to have a mutual research exchange pact. The tooltips allowed me to figure out what diplomatic moves I had to make to achieve what I wanted. And it was complicated series of moves which I would never have figured out without the tooltips.

    The tooltip immediately told this species would only accept research pacts from an ally (does this mean there are species that don't require an alliance for research pacts?). So I tried to ally with them, which tells me you're -16 points shy. Alright, I need to be friendlier to them. I tried a non-aggression pact but again the hover tips said we didn't share a border. I plopped down a colony right next to their border and that allowed me to sign a non-aggression pact and a guarantee independence pact.

    Now I'm -6 points shy of being alliance material. but I was also out of diplomatic moves. A couple of months later, another species declared rivalry against this AI species I had been trying to woo. I immediately declared rivalry against that species, and after a few insults they rivaled me too. Ahh nothing like a shared enemy to bring disparate species together. They were finally willing to be allies and I had my research treaty! :D

    I had a really satisfying time planning and executing this series of diplomatic moves.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
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  16. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral In Memoriam

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    I wish the game had some kind of ledger function to show like the last year's worth of "purchases". At one point in my current game I had like 5000+ minerals with a net income of 100+ minerals. I looked up a few moments later and I was down to less than 100 minerals stocked with the income still over 100. don't know what the hell I bought/built that cost so much.
     
  17. intrinsical

    intrinsical Commodore Commodore

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    It's probably ship maintenance costs. Starbases seem to cut the cost of maintenance down by half. And when you move a large fleet containing a hundred ship or more, the maintenance (both minerals and energy credits) would spike up by a huge amount. This is why I usually set my sector contribution to 25% at peace time, but push it to 100% when I'm at war.
     
  18. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral In Memoriam

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    Nope, the most ships I've had built at one time has been about 20. And those were destroyers.
     
  19. Blamo

    Blamo Commodore Commodore

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    I'm still playing this game, which just seems to get better and better with every update.

    With the exception of the last update, which had a few bugs. The biggest of which is that empires don't want to go to war and pacifism has become a plague.

    I actually made an AI controlled race to specifically be xenophobic war mongerers that are desperate to wipe out all life in the galaxy. They became pacifists, as did the rest of the galaxy.

    Meanwhile though, enjoy this tactic :)