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Darkrenown
Jul 18, 2012

The level of betrayal I felt when Paradox announced their new DLC tore something from me that I'll never be able to recover. They tore away my ability to respect anything, and they tore away my ability to feel human.

zonohedron posted:

Not only can I not do that, I can't keep them from going "there's no jobs here, but the penal colony on the tomb world has jobs, so let's go there, even though it's named Bad Robot Land and is solely inhabited by robots".

I really hope Lem will put a low habitability block on automigration

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MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

A bracing glass of carrot juice!


zonohedron posted:

Not only can I not do that, I can't keep them from going "there's no jobs here, but the penal colony on the tomb world has jobs, so let's go there, even though it's named Bad Robot Land and is solely inhabited by robots".

People did go to Australia in search of work

Splicer
Oct 16, 2006

from hell's heart I stab at thee

https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/threads/stellaris-dev-diary-215-gameplay-themes-balancing-considerations.1478888/

It's short so I'll just quote it:

grekulf posted:

Hello everyone!

First I want to thank you for the overwhelming support that you’ve shown us with announcing the Custodians initiative. It’s been really fun and motivating to see so many positive responses, and for that we’re truly thankful. At the same time, I must admit that it is also a bit scary in the sense that we shouldn’t have the expectation that this will suddenly resolve any issues you might have with the game, or that we’ll be able to deliver large amounts of significant changes with every update. Let’s appreciate this opportunity and make the best of it

Species Pack Gameplay Themes
Last week we already talked about what the Lem Update (honoring the author Stanislaw Lem) would focus on, but I’d also like to go into more detail regarding some things.

We mentioned that we would be adding gameplay to the Humanoids Species Pack and the Plantoids Species Pack, and although I won’t talk about the exact details yet, I do want to talk a little about how we approached it, and the themes we chose.

Plantoids was a bit easier, because there are some obvious fantasies. Going around the themes of growth and plants we’re adding some new traits, civics and origin. We felt like it made sense to open up these gameplay additions to both Plantoid portraits as well as for Fungoids.

Humanoids was a bit trickier, because there are no direct fantasies that apply to them in general, so we instead chose to focus on fantasies that align with things like dwarves, elves, orcs or humans. The Civic we showcased last week was an example of how we made something inspired by a traditionally dwarven fantasy.

Let us know about any ideas or thoughts you have regarding those

We will be talking more about these in much greater detail later, but that may possibly be in August.

Game Balance
We’re going to take a look at reworking some of the major outstanding balance issues that we’re having.

One example that I want to talk about is the issue with Research Booming, where power players can essentially outpace other empires due to focusing a lot on research. What enables this is usually Districts that provide Researcher Jobs, which is relatively easy to gain access to early on through Origins such as Shattered Ring or Void Dwellers (the latter not being nearly as strong).

For Shattered Ring we are looking into changing the start from a pure “end-game” Ring World, to be more of an actual “Shattered Ring” that you need to repair before you gain access to the powerful Districts of the Ring World. Putting additional emphasis on the fantasy of restoring this ancient megastructure to its former glory can be a fun addition to the Origin itself. Although we haven’t decided exactly what we’re doing, changing the start to be a Shattered Ring that you can restore with the Mega-Engineering technology is a likely route.

Unity & Empire Sprawl
Beyond Lem, we are also going to take a look at Empire Sprawl and Unity. The design for Admin Capacity was never really something that I felt worked out, and we never finished the design that was intended for it. Continuing to use Admin Cap as a mechanic also feels a bit like a dead end due to multiple reasons (ranging from design to technical), so we’re instead going to look into another solution.

I have a design for doubling down on using Unity as the resource for internal management, removing Admin Cap entirely, and to make Empire Sprawl something that you can never mitigate anymore. More sprawling empires will always suffer harsher penalties from Empire Sprawl, and we’ll instead focus on how Unity can be used internally to mitigate some of those penalties. Examples could be Edicts that have a Unity Upkeep Cost, and perhaps reduce the Research Cost Penalty induced by Empire Sprawl. Angry Pops could potentially also have a Unity Upkeep Cost, to represent the drain on your society.

Note that these ideas are very much in their infancy and very prone to change. We will probably start talking a bit more about that once Lem has been released, but I wanted to share some thoughts with you so that we could gather some initial feedback.

------

That’s all for this week folks! We’re in the middle of reviewing our dev diary schedule, so we’re hoping to be back with 2 more dev diaries before we take a summer break. We’ll keep you in the loop as we go.

grekulf posted:

quote:

I hope, however, that you'll keep bureaucrats around for generating unity. It would be a great shame to lose the idea of a dystopian hell in which whole planets are dedicated to nothing but bureaucracy!
Oh yes! If its a worker that goes, its the Culture Worker since its so generic. Bureaucrats would be the Unity producing job. That would mean shifting around some job-swaps (like managers for megacorps) to be swaps of the bureaucrat instead.

We absolutely need to maintain the idea of Trantor.
Sounds like Unity and Cohesion might, uh, unify. Which makes sense.

Potato Salad
Oct 23, 2014

Nobody Cares




Killing admin cap sounds wonderful

Hellioning
Jun 27, 2008



Is this the third or fourth attempt at changing how admin cap works?

Phosphine
May 30, 2011




All of this sounds delightful! Plant/mushroom civics, traits and origins? Orcs in space? Changing up shattered ring? Sign me up!

I would really wish shattered ring did more to help you get to repairing it, or, as it sounds like, start it off even more broken and let you fix some stuff at a time. Perhaps let you unlock another segment earlier than legit megastructure construction, but also with limits.

Fairly excited about all this.

Splicer
Oct 16, 2006

from hell's heart I stab at thee

Hellioning posted:

Is this the third or fourth attempt at changing how admin cap works?
Depends how you count it. There was the "core world" cap which as kind of an admin cap, then the first admin cap with cohesion, then the no cohesion version, then the bureaucrats version, and now it sounds like it's going the way of core worlds and they're trying something new.

The cohesion one was my favourite, but some kind of direct unity based one sounds good.

Splicer fucked around with this message at 20:26 on Jun 10, 2021

Phosphine
May 30, 2011




I kind of hope they go for a version that isn't entirely mitigatible. Currently it's a micro tax, once the penalties get worse than the cost of removing them with jobs, you spend the micro to remove the penalties. Removing all mitigation and reducing the penalty to be equivalent to what having bureaucracy instead of real jobs costs would be an improvement to me. Being able to do something about it requires the cost to be different from the benefits. If sprawl hurts science, the thing you do to lessen it shouldn't cost or be instead of science, because then it's not a choice, just a math problem. Paying slower traditions for faster tech for example is at least a choice, though perhaps not a hard one.

Darkrenown
Jul 18, 2012

The level of betrayal I felt when Paradox announced their new DLC tore something from me that I'll never be able to recover. They tore away my ability to respect anything, and they tore away my ability to feel human.

Huh. Aside from new Plant and humanoid gameplay I'm not keen on any of that. Yeah, Shattered ring could be toned down and Admin cap could change again and become better somehow, but I'd much rather they focus on the host of smaller issues that make the game become a chore. Of course, they might be doing that too and just aren't talking about it yet, so I'll stay hopeful.

Aethernet
Jan 28, 2009

This is the Captain...

Our glorious political masters have, in their wisdom, decided to form an alliance with a rag-tag bunch of freedom fighters right when the Federation has us at a tactical disadvantage. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in the Feds firing on our vessels...

Damn you Huxley!



Grimey Drawer

Darkrenown posted:

Huh. Aside from new Plant and humanoid gameplay I'm not keen on any of that. Yeah, Shattered ring could be toned down and Admin cap could change again and become better somehow, but I'd much rather they focus on the host of smaller issues that make the game become a chore. Of course, they might be doing that too and just aren't talking about it yet, so I'll stay hopeful.

Army designer please, so I can just mash the reinforce button after my brave troops have helped the killbots reach their kill limit.

zonohedron
Aug 14, 2006




This must be what it's like to have played from the beginning and to have what you thought of as central mechanics to the game suddenly change

If I can't play super tall (because I have to have a system for gases, one for crystals, one for motes, one for a disabled gateway, and, if I can swing it one for dark matter, also because black holes are super-cool), but if I play even minimally wide I get penalized no matter what I do, that makes me sad! If I can choose between mitigating sprawl and researching faster, I'm going to mitigate sprawl, because one of them is a red number and one of them is "I guess this went slower than last game" - and it's always "I guess it's slower" because of the random nature of techs.

I started a game (on Cadet; I only play on Cadet, don't judge) where my only goal for the run was to become robots, so I turned off fallen empires and advanced empires and even the crisis because all I wanted to do was become robots, not prepare for anything else. I knew I needed to learn planetary unification, colonial centralization, powered exoskeletons, and robotic workers to get droids, and then I needed galactic administration, positronic AI, self-evolving logic, and administrative AI to learn synthetics, so I was way ahead of where someone at my (lack-of-)skill level would have been without the wiki, and it still took me until 2319 to be able to study synthetics! I had a robot (that I made in a factory) as a scientist before that, which, very thematically, meant she was the one studying the technology that let the rest of her society become just like her, and I'm not even sure that it was just a neat coincidence and not somehow necessary.

ZypherIM
Nov 8, 2010

"I want to see what she's in love with."



Shattered ring is a pretty uninteresting but strong start. The fact that you literally don't get to do anything pre-megastructures removes a ton of interesting things that it could be.

Admin cap is also a pretty uninteresting thing atm. You essentially either ignore it because you're not doing anything with unity/science at that point, or you take the planet tax and make a paperwork planet. Which does nothing else without specific civics, so its basically just a unity+science planet under a different name. I'm not sure a good way to make it interesting, maybe something where there are penalties to multiple things and you can basically only eliminate some of them instead of all of them? Could maybe obfuscate it into a general increase in cost to stuff and then a bonus to something that happens to make up the difference.


On smaller issues that are annoying, I'd love to have the 'assist research' thing redone. Like just.. make an ongoing planet decision that provides the effect instead or something, but the whole system as is is clunky and annoying (at least to me).

Jazerus
May 24, 2011



zonohedron posted:

This must be what it's like to have played from the beginning and to have what you thought of as central mechanics to the game suddenly change

yeah except eliminating admin cap is more of a reversion to the old system than anything, and a welcome one. it's really weird to be paying base cost for techs even when i rule half the galaxy, and makes it way too easy to overtake the AI.

i think unity coming from bureaucrats is thematically strange and i would rather they be redirected to contribute to some new system instead...unity as culture makes more sense than unity as bureaucracy for most of the uses that unity currently has.

Lawman 0
Aug 17, 2010





Aethernet posted:

Army designer please, so I can just mash the reinforce button after my brave troops have helped the killbots reach their kill limit.

Wish we could have a little Rock paper scissors system with like infantry, tanks and planes. Maybe even split defense armies into like defense armies, navies (laser armed subs ) and weapon platforms or something. Also bombardment weapons would be cool.

Lance of Llanwyln
Jun 11, 2008

GIVE ME MORE
SUPER BOWL
WINS


Jazerus posted:

yeah except eliminating admin cap is more of a reversion to the old system than anything, and a welcome one. it's really weird to be paying base cost for techs even when i rule half the galaxy, and makes it way too easy to overtake the AI.

i think unity coming from bureaucrats is thematically strange and i would rather they be redirected to contribute to some new system instead...unity as culture makes more sense than unity as bureaucracy for most of the uses that unity currently has.
Yeah, it's pretty obvious there was never a clear vision as to what to do to slow down big empires and (IMO) none of the solutions so far have really worked. Like, the current incarnation is completely solved by simply paying a bureaucrat tax that is entirely trivial to large empires.
Unity has, for a long time, been this other thing though, so it would be weird to rework it from being not-culture into this. But it could actually help Spiritualists and other unity-focused builds out a lot, and if they can make it make sense...
In general, being able to spend unity to mitigate the issues that arise from running your empire sounds neat, because right now it's just "number go up until you select tradition" and then it becomes "spend to enact ambitions". In other words, it's kind of a dull resource.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


I'm a little worried about what they're talking about with respect to research districts and habitats/ringworlds. I'd like them instead to turn more buildings into districts. Give every planet access to research districts, with some planets getting bonuses to different types of research, and with supporting buildings that buff them in ways similar to the current alloy foundries, mineral purification plants, etc.

If they're really worried about tech speed, then they need to change how research works entirely and change it to a logarithmic curve or give empires that are behind in research major bonuses to researching technology based on what everyone else has researched. Kind of similar to how EUIV can have gaps in technology, but those who are behind have a much easier time catching up, and those who are ahead have a very difficult time getting even further ahead.

The Cheshire Cat
Jun 10, 2008



Fun Shoe

Lawman 0 posted:

Wish we could have a little Rock paper scissors system with like infantry, tanks and planes. Maybe even split defense armies into like defense armies, navies (laser armed subs ) and weapon platforms or something. Also bombardment weapons would be cool.

Honestly I think they should just ditch armies and make them into a module you can stick on ships. The only thing that ever matters for them is having more number than the opponent.

Lance of Llanwyln
Jun 11, 2008

GIVE ME MORE
SUPER BOWL
WINS


The Cheshire Cat posted:

Honestly I think they should just ditch armies and make them into a module you can stick on ships. The only thing that ever matters for them is having more number than the opponent.
Hopefully then they'll scrap those dumb events that spawn massive armies on planets with little warning.

Technical Analysis
Nov 21, 2007

I got 99 problems but the British ain't one.


The Cheshire Cat posted:

Honestly I think they should just ditch armies and make them into a module you can stick on ships. The only thing that ever matters for them is having more number than the opponent.

This would be pretty cool, add a bombardment module, give it either orbital bombardment, armies, or raiding shuttles for kidnapping.

Captain Monkey
Aug 23, 2007



Dirk the Average posted:

I'm a little worried about what they're talking about with respect to research districts and habitats/ringworlds. I'd like them instead to turn more buildings into districts. Give every planet access to research districts, with some planets getting bonuses to different types of research, and with supporting buildings that buff them in ways similar to the current alloy foundries, mineral purification plants, etc.

If they're really worried about tech speed, then they need to change how research works entirely and change it to a logarithmic curve or give empires that are behind in research major bonuses to researching technology based on what everyone else has researched. Kind of similar to how EUIV can have gaps in technology, but those who are behind have a much easier time catching up, and those who are ahead have a very difficult time getting even further ahead.

Your first paragraph rules. Your second may be the worst idea I’ve ever read.

Cease to Hope
Dec 12, 2011
the forum where people post about insurance in case they have to kill someone is mad at this guy again lol

Rubber-banding lagging nations in tech or capping how fast you can rush is how games usually limit degenerate tech-up strategies, and Stellaris is pretty degenerate in this regard right now. Sometimes you do have to nerf poo poo.

Nilbop
Jun 5, 2004

Looks like someone forgot his hardhat...


Hellioning posted:

Is this the third or fourth attempt at changing how admin cap works?

I can't think of another game that has survived for so long while having so many of it's core concepts not nailed down at all. There's admin cap/empire sprawl, districts, buildings, sectors. Probably a bunch more.

PittTheElder
Feb 13, 2012

Yes, it's like a lava lamp.



Dirk the Average posted:

If they're really worried about tech speed, then they need to change how research works entirely and change it to a logarithmic curve or give empires that are behind in research major bonuses to researching technology based on what everyone else has researched. Kind of similar to how EUIV can have gaps in technology, but those who are behind have a much easier time catching up, and those who are ahead have a very difficult time getting even further ahead.

Yeah this is exactly how it should be. Staying on the bleeding edge is extremely hard, while all things are easier to understand once you know that it's possible.

And Tyler Too!
Aug 15, 2007
ROCKET JOCKEY OWNS

Stichelin it is, thank you!


Wherever there's a situation where x can be upgraded to y, people are going to tech rush. Even if tech rushing gets nerfed into the dirt, tech rushing will still be the most desirable way to play to a lot of people.

Cease to Hope
Dec 12, 2011
the forum where people post about insurance in case they have to kill someone is mad at this guy again lol

And Tyler Too! posted:

Wherever there's a situation where x can be upgraded to y, people are going to tech rush. Even if tech rushing gets nerfed into the dirt, tech rushing will still be the most desirable way to play to a lot of people.

I don't think that's true. Some people will always tech rush because that's the fantasy but if teching wasn't the main way to build up in Stellaris, people would focus on whatever the main way to build up was. You can see it in games like ES2 where hammers are more useful than beakers, or games where gold is more useful, etc.

Jazerus
May 24, 2011



oh teching very fast will never stop being important. but the game played better when having twice the territory meant researching at 125% or 150% speed instead of 200%. i use several well-balanced tech-adding mods and 2x tech/tradition cost, and my empires still reach a tech singularity point way too early where almost everything is 1 month to research. it's silly

HelloSailorSign
Jan 27, 2011



Captain Monkey posted:

Your first paragraph rules. Your second may be the worst idea I’ve ever read.

It's simply reality, with more scientists there are more journal slapfights and arguments over research fiefdoms and who was right at the last Scientific Meeting, which slows forward progression.

Cease to Hope
Dec 12, 2011
the forum where people post about insurance in case they have to kill someone is mad at this guy again lol

HelloSailorSign posted:

It's simply reality, with more scientists there are more journal slapfights and arguments over research fiefdoms and who was right at the last Scientific Meeting, which slows forward progression.

It would probably just be easier to have EU-style ahead of time penalties.

Jazerus
May 24, 2011



HelloSailorSign posted:

It's simply reality, with more scientists there are more journal slapfights and arguments over research fiefdoms and who was right at the last Scientific Meeting, which slows forward progression.

everybody loses track of what the gently caress is even going on anymore with over a trillion scientists in the empire and they constantly replicate each others' research accidentally, which is great for validation but not forward-moving. there are only a few stunning geniuses that can comprehend the actual state of the art at any given time, represented by your scientist leaders

Bloodly
Nov 3, 2008

Not as strong as you'd expect.

quote:

which is great for validation

Hmm. How would that be as a mechanic? Every researched tech gives a minor discount on techs of the same or lower level?

Vizuyos
Jun 17, 2020

Thank U for reading

If you hated it...
FUCK U and never come back


If they're going to insist on having a big empire tax, they should stop messing around with having ways to partially mitigate that tax. It's just additional micromanagement in an already very micromanagey game. "Expanding has diminishing returns" doesn't have to be some super complicated thing.

Honestly, the biggest disincentive to expanding too much is that it's pretty unfun to actually play a large empire. The management tools and UIs quickly go downhill as the empire gets larger, slow travel times mean that defending a large territory is pricey, and the war system tends to handle it poorly when there's a lot of territory at stake.

Bremen
Jul 20, 2006

Our God..... is an awesome God

Captain Monkey posted:

Your first paragraph rules. Your second may be the worst idea I’ve ever read.

It's pretty common. MOO, MOO2, and SOTS all use a diminishing returns research scaling by giving you a percentage chance to discover the tech every turn, for example (so you might get it after 5 turns at around 20% or by blitzing it all the way up to 100% with a massive research rate).

Phosphine
May 30, 2011




Civilizations approach to infinite sprawl has always been unavoidable penalties. The earlier games simply increased the cost of techs by x% per city, so eventually building a new one would take too long to pay off to be worth it, at least for science. If you were far ahead on science, you might want to plop down a new city for producing soldiers anyway. Civ 6 increases the cost of districts (specialized areas you build in your city, science district, production district etc) for every new city and for every built district, so getting new cities up to speed gets harder and harder.

I don't think any of these systems have ever made "stop expanding after 6 cities" or whatever into the optimal play, more has basically always been better, but it means someone who starts locked in by neighbours/geography isn't automatically behind forever, or at least not as much.

Captain Monkey
Aug 23, 2007



Bremen posted:

It's pretty common. MOO, MOO2, and SOTS all use a diminishing returns research scaling by giving you a percentage chance to discover the tech every turn, for example (so you might get it after 5 turns at around 20% or by blitzing it all the way up to 100% with a massive research rate).

If you’re not teching but someone else is, you get techs faster to the point where you’re dragged along behind them to keep up?

Cacto
Jan 29, 2009


It’d be more interesting to gate social tech that supports a bigger empire behind revolts or something - that way you can have a big empire, but being an efficient big empire is costly. Doing it with special story events could make it more fun to play than the the AI rebellions are. Alternatively, maybe some planets become vassals instead when you up your admin cap and have to be reintegrated or something, giving some meaning to the domination tree and civics that accelerate integration.

Aethernet
Jan 28, 2009

This is the Captain...

Our glorious political masters have, in their wisdom, decided to form an alliance with a rag-tag bunch of freedom fighters right when the Federation has us at a tactical disadvantage. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in the Feds firing on our vessels...

Damn you Huxley!



Grimey Drawer

Captain Monkey posted:

If you’re not teching but someone else is, you get techs faster to the point where you’re dragged along behind them to keep up?

This is effectively the EUIV system, although there are plenty of modifiers to ensure that it's not quite that simple. It works well there, but tech is only a relatively small part of the game, so in Stellaris you'd want something else.

I'd personally prefer a happiness penalty on worlds further away from your capital, higher if you're an authoritarian, and a beefier rebellion system.

Gort
Aug 18, 2003


Phosphine posted:

I don't think any of these systems have ever made "stop expanding after 6 cities" or whatever into the optimal play, more has basically always been better, but it means someone who starts locked in by neighbours/geography isn't automatically behind forever, or at least not as much.

Civ 5 did this. You had a very limited number of happiness points to spend on cities and citizens, so the most efficient play was to take the "tall" social policy that gave big bonuses to your first three cities and not expand beyond those.

ShadowHawk
Jun 25, 2000

The company has no assets of any significant value.


Dirk the Average posted:

If they're really worried about tech speed, then they need to change how research works entirely and change it to a logarithmic curve or give empires that are behind in research major bonuses to researching technology based on what everyone else has researched. Kind of similar to how EUIV can have gaps in technology, but those who are behind have a much easier time catching up, and those who are ahead have a very difficult time getting even further ahead.
Sprawl before bureaucrats was a good way of mitigating tech speed, as it raised the tech cost for larger empires. Today you can outgrow and still out-tech; in earlier versions this was more of a trade-off.

Splicer
Oct 16, 2006

from hell's heart I stab at thee

ShadowHawk posted:

Sprawl before bureaucrats was a good way of mitigating tech speed, as it raised the tech cost for larger empires. Today you can outgrow and still out-tech; in earlier versions this was more of a trade-off.
I really liked cohesion. The pirates penalty wasn't the best stick (mainly because it ramped up too fast and then immediately plateaued) but otherwise it really hung together. IMO the problem with admin cap had always been that going over /feels/ bad. I've always wondered what would have changed if being under was shown as red and being over was blue.

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Truga
May 4, 2014


Lipstick Apathy

yeah sprawl just made tech (and unity trees) expensive in the past, now it's a "you must have this many building slots dedicated to admin cap" and a big empire is gonna have much more building slots so it's just another crappy resource like food where you want to balance it just right because going over what you need does absolutely nothing, while doing nothing to hold back large empires anyway.

speaking of, bring back overcap food bonuses

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