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Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Nessus posted:

What if the ring was a flexible material? What then, smart guy?

Ever hear of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge?

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Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


TheDeadlyShoe posted:

It's possible to exploit the AI by plunging the value of your navy (via bad refits, for example) then insulting them repeatedly, getting them to declare war on you. Although i feel this goes against the spirit of things. ;p

I mean, is it really against the spirit of racist space elves?

"Look, we're just so superior to you that we're disarming entirely. Also, we're pacifists, and that makes us better than you in every way."

Do that every month for a decade or so and even fellow pacifists would find a way to murder them to get them to shut up.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Doorknob Slobber posted:

an empire of clones would be great, especially if you could do it Prophet style.

Horatio is still probably one of my favorite factions in any 4x style game.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


wiegieman posted:

This is a false equivalency. Cheap, non sentient robots that never were and never can be thinking people aren't slaves, they're tools. Why should synths care, as long as they have citizen rights?

Should they even be considered pops at that point? I guess if it's fully automated to the point that few or no sentient beings are involved (say something like 10 people or one dim AI running an automated factory) then it makes sense, but it still feels odd.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


ZypherIM posted:

You realize that robots upgrade to droids automatically when you get the tech, and then to synths right? That implies that in this universe, it is indeed true that every robot pop you build has the potential to be a synth. Your people aren't upset about it earlier because you literally don't have the knowledge to enable them to have higher sentience.

As to why preventing them from even having sentience is worse, what is your stance on lobotomy? If we're locking up a criminal for life, why not lobotomize him to lower costs and risks involved with his incarceration? Preventing someone from having the capacity for free will is at least on par with slavery, and at least someone who is enslaved realizes it and might get the chance to do something about it.


Again not every story is going to fit into one game, and this edge case is a weird hill to die on.

It's one thing to destroy sapient mind and another to not uplift it in the first place. Just because it has the potential for being sapient doesn't make it morally reprehensible to not install the necessary software/hardware upgrades to make it so.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


null_pointer posted:

Now I'm wondering if synths would keep robots as pets

Do synths dream of electric dogs?

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


OwlFancier posted:

My suggestion was that megastructures would exactly be a kind of very specialised and powerful planet that you could dump enormous numbers of workers into in order to produce their desired effect, with commensurate upkeep costs for those workers.

And ruined megastructures could spawn with archeological sites on them as well as their actual purpose. It eliminates the "dump 20k minerals in, get 1k/m energy out" really boring nature of a lot of the megastructures and also allows for ruined ones to be more interesting, rather than them currently being even worse than a normal stage built one in terms of dullness.

It makes a lot of sense. These structures are planetary or stellar in scale; they should absolutely require pops on them and function like super specialized planets.

I'd argue that they should have pre-filled districts and some permanent buildings, but give players the choice for the remaining slots.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


nessin posted:

Two gently caress ups I think are going to be a constant challenge:

1) Not paying attention to empire size and getting deep in the red by mistake. The text definitely needs to be color coded at a minimum.

2) Screwing up your building priorities. It's really easy to forget that you can't buy a specialist building because your next pop is going to fill an agricultural district to keep your food positive. Or you overbuild specialist buildings forgetting it's going to eat away at your district workers and you'll go from decent economy to negative income everywhere.

Are you talking about the admin cap? That one is meant to be exceeded.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Dareon posted:

I only gave it a stab for a couple hours today, but not being able to stop pop growth is gonna be a problem. In the tile days, I could just let my planets fill up and then stop worrying about food production, but I wasn't even fifty years in and already at 120% admin cap because my population keeps growing so of course I need more districts for them. And I don't want to tell my people to stop loving, that's just rude.


hallelujah, it's doing the opposite of raining men

The admin cap is a very soft cap. Let the growth happen.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


What is the expected amount of time to progress through the tech tree? I feel like progress through it seems glacial sometimes, especially engineering tech (society hums along thanks to the bonus research, but there's also a ton of special projects that use it too). It feels very difficult to focus on science.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Quick question on planet management. We can go into the population tab and turn off job slots by hitting the + and - buttons there. Is there a way instead to prioritize a job? For instance, in the early game after colonizing, I end up with a few useless ruler pops that bleed my energy reserves dry, when I actually need their asses over in a generator or mining district so that my economy doesn't enter a death spiral. I'd love a way to tell the planet "Fill up all of these jobs first, then figure out what the remaining people will do, but we need energy right goddamn now, so get to generating!"

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Baronjutter posted:

Man, I was thinking about my issues with robots in stellaris and the lack of automation. Why can't we get better automation technology that lets us build buildings that employ the same people for more production, or fewer people for the same production? Robots are generally not multi-use, it's extremely specialized equipment. You can't take a the equipment out of an automated car factory and plop them down in a farm and tell the robots to farm.

And that brought me to machine empires. Why do they even have pops? You could bake the robotic infrastructure into the districts/buildings and just have them consume X upkeep and produce Y resources, no jobs, just solid state production. Leave actual pops down to special autonomous units representing leaders and such, but you'd never have a research lab with 8 robots sitting there typing away at the research computers, you'd have a huge AI mainframe facility housing research-AI's performing virtual experiments and poo poo. The workers would all be "baked in" to the buildings. It would mean playing a machine empire would actually feel very different rather than "my pops are made of metal and their growth is called assembling"

I'd get rid of robots entirely as a pop and instead replace the concept with building/district level upgrades that just remove the need for a certain percentage of workers. No more fiddling with making sure the farm-bot is on the farm and the mine-bot is on the mine because they're baked into the building. This of course would come at the realistic expense of flexibility since the robots are so hyper-specialized to the job they're doing it would mean you can't just fire all the farming robots and send them to work at the alloy mill.

Save pop-level machines for much higher tech, robots that are made to actually do the full role of a human and can fill those sorts of slots. So you could research robotics and upgrade from 8 employment alloy mill to an automated alloy mill which produces the same amount of output but only has 2 worker slots (human overseers). But then get droids/synths which would let you build pops to finally replace that last bit of organic intervention.

Eh, it's all enough that it makes me want to get into modding.

I like this! Robotic pops could be computing power, where machine empires are expanding the amount of processes and facilities that can be run concurrently, with the idea that they grow faster but cannot change jobs once they are locked in.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


sullat posted:

That reminds me. I've consecrated Uranus, but what are the benefits of doing so? Where is the tooltip w/ the empire modifiers?

I'm not sure about the benefits, but the drawback is losing access to the gas resources.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Would it be possible to add an option in the planet outline to build a district or building without pulling up the planet screen?

I'd also love to be able to designate planet types in a way that I would be able to know at a glance what building or district I planned to build there ten minutes ago when I last looked at it.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


I'm really not a fan of gene molding in it's current form. I end up making a template, starting the project, and then when I finish, there are still a few unmodded stragglers around (not sure if it's fresh pops or colony ships that do it). Running the Xenophile perk that allows interbreeding is even worse, since I want to genemod them, but there's so many of them and I also want research.

What I'd love to see is something like assimilation for gene modding and robot modding. Creating new templates should cause pops to slowly drift towards those templates over time, which would let people running massive numbers of species in their empire actually play with the genetic perks to make those species strong, and let hybrids also take advantage of their extra points.

It would also be neat to leave the old system in to allow for quick shifting of large batches of pops at once, and the slower drift would help with stragglers and new immigrants.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Fister Roboto posted:

At the very least they should add a way to instantly demote a pop rather than having them sitting around being useless for five years because they don't feel like working at Space Arby's. That would solve a ton of problems.

Something that would be nice is for pop promotion/demotion to be instant for colonies, and then once the world is established, to start adding in the longer wait times.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Zurai posted:

Sure, and I have no desire whatsoever to make anything nearly as complex as Factorio's chains. I would suffer a mental breakdown just trying to do the design work for it. But people like Victoria 2, too, and again, manufacturing chains are a huge portion of that game and it does not have any spatial component. And, yes, I also know there are a lot of other things Vicky does that Stellaris can't emulate.

My goal with extending the production chain beyond just alloys is twofold:

First, forcing the player to make decisions on how to allocate production. Right now, there's no real decisions to be made, it's just "more alloys = more better". There really isn't any wiggle room in the current game design to change that, either, unless I want to get surreal and have ships built out of consumer goods and unity. I'm adding more steps so that alloys are no longer the end goal and so that you have to actually think about how you're going to spend your alloys and other resources. Different types of ship components will require different manufactured goods -- armor plates for armor components, shield emitters for shield components, etc. This means that your economy, to a point, dictates your ability to actually physically manufacture your fleet. If you're constrained on shield emitters because of a low supply of rare crystals, you're going to have to design your ships with that in mind or secure a new source.

Second, it allows for a sense of progression in the game. Right now, you're doing exactly the same thing economically at the start of the game as you are at the end of the game, and that makes no sense from either a simulationist or a gamist perspective. The way my design is currently set up, you use raw alloys to make the basic start-of-game ships (and alloys the whole time through for the actual hull because there's no way to change that based on tech progress), then you start needing basic manufactured items for tier 2 components, then more advanced manufactured items for tier 3-5 components, and for Zro/Dark Matter/Nanite components. As your tech base, and the population to support it, grows, your economy becomes more complex.

Now, I'm not saying this will be a silver bullet. It won't be fun for some people. It may not be fun for most people. Hell, it may not even turn out to be fun for me. But I think there's enough merit in the idea to at least get it to a pre-alpha prototype stage where I can test it and see if it actually works or if it's too much work for too little gain.

What makes Factorio compelling is logistics - it's not what you produce, it's how you get what you need to the factory and how you get its products to where they need to go.

What makes Victoria compelling is that raw resources are what you fight over to fuel your manufacturing. The main key here is the political and military struggle of your empire vs. its rivals, which is something that Stellaris lacks.

Changing the base economy would mean un-abstracting minerals, food, and alloys. I'm not sure how much that would add, and it's a very difficult balance to strike.

I'd like to see a starting option with empires already in place, similar to the other Paradox titles. That political element is missing from Stellaris, and it feels a lot more like Civ.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Is there a mod that transfers the rare resource cost from upgraded buildings to the multiplier buildings? So you could upgrade labs for a mineral cost, but making them more efficient is what actually costs strategic resources?

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Epsilon Plus posted:

this was not a very good burn

If only he had had a few extra mountains...

Would help with mineral income in the long term too!

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


AAAAA! Real Muenster posted:

I dunno if you are on the beta patch or not but sectors are not pre-defined. Each sector is every planet within three jumps of the sector capital. Your homeworld starts off as a sector capital, so every planet within 3 jumps of there ends up in that sector. Each planet outside of that 3 system range that you colonize will become a new sector capital. So depending on how these sector capitals fall, you can get your example.

There really needs to be an option to redesignate a sector capital or otherwise modify a sector after colonization. If you colonize in a natural order (closer -> further), you end up with tons of tiny sectors rather than fewer larger sectors.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Splicer posted:

Might as well plug my habitat placement thing again since we're on the subject:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1811403399

You know, that mod brings up a really good point. Why is it that we need to send out a colony ship to a habitat or ringworld? You'd think that the population would be baked into the massive engineering challenge that comes with actually building the damned thing, and that by the time you're done with construction, you'd already have a sizeable population in place ready to go.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


IPlayVideoGames posted:

I wonder how many <blank> empires there were in that monstrosity.

What is the deal with those guys? I had two spawn who failed to expand beyond their home system, had no diplomatic contacts, and were generally completely useless. They also both had relic worlds, so I ate their systems and built myself some massive factory worlds out of the ashes.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Nitrousoxide posted:

I'm torn about whether this upcoming patch will be a buff or a nerf to the voidborn start. With there being cheaper habitats available it will make expanding as a voidborn significantly easier than it was. However access to habitats for everyone being earlier will make that start less unique. Fully expanding out your habitats will also be a more involved affair for the voidborn start as well.

I just wish that with Voidborne existing, that it were easier to keep the voidborne pops in space and the ground based pops on the ground.

Though what I actually wish is that populations would automatically genemod/machine mod themselves based on their environment and job over time, so that pops who were researchers would genemod themselves intelligence, soliders strong, etc. Could be a neat thing for gene clinic to increase the speed at which the automatic genemodding takes place, with different levels of government interference in the process based on policy/ethics (authoritarians mandating the process and also mandating bad genetic traits, xenophiles modding faster, etc.).

It'd be neat for habitability to allow for modding in voidborne preference lategame, and for pops to customize themselves to their current planet as well. Essentially genetic traits would really only be unique up until genemodding becomes widespread, at which point people start using it to their advantage on a societal scale.

In an authoritarian empire, that would look something like the government mandating that all miners get reinforced skulls, filtering lungs, etc., where in an egalitarian empire you'd have people choosing a career and genemodding themselves to get an advantage so that the population of people who are miners slowly genemods themselves over the course of years to the point where that mining pop is predominantly made up of people who have chosen to modify themselves to be better miners.

This would absolutely require an overhaul of the way species are displayed in the outliner though, but that's not really a bad thing considering what already happens to xenophiles lategame. It'd also help out that half-blah ascension perk by letting pops actually use those extra points without needing to run 20-30 separate genemodding projects. It'd really help that ascension path in general; it's already fiddly as all get out to make the changes that you want to make, and you can't restrict which species grow the way you can restrict which robots are assembled without getting a penalty. Having your whole society start embracing that change on their own to use their points and get better at their jobs would be a nice buff. The path could also unlock better and stronger mutations to make up for the lack of the psionic/cybernetic/synthetic traits.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Serephina posted:

EXACTLY, thank you. I'm totally convinced Stellaris sold so well because people bought it for the dream of what they wanted it to be, rather than what the game actually was at any given time. Taking that mentality to it's extreme is what caused Star Citizen, a comparison I've made before and I know is kinda inflammatory.

There'll be a time when I fire up the game with dreams of creating a post-scarcity utopia, replete with Dyson spheres and people walking the streets talking of art and philosophy. What I GET is an endless nightmare of pop management, cardboard cutout neighbors, and megastructures that arrive only after the game is over. Who was it that said, "Any civilization capable of building a Dyson sphere would have no use for it"? How right he was, sigh.

That's one thing I like about the gigastructures mod - you have lower tier megastructures that let you work your way up to the full blown stuff like Dyson spheres. There are megastructures that do things like provide a few hundred minerals or alloys that you can leverage to pay for the bigger structures that give more minerals and alloys, which eventually lets you afford the super shiny toys. They also appear earlier in the tech tree, which makes them have an impact quicker.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Captain Invictus posted:

being at war turns out to be a fairly minor negative modifier. I want to say it's like -50 or -200 or something, which is easily surpassed with even a little effort.

one thing that still baffles me is you get a notification for a megastructure build site being ready but can't just click it to go directly there. and they could totally have the "gateway icon, starbase icon, megastructure icon" in a triangular pattern, the icons are hexagons for fucks sake, but no only two icons per system max

In the top right of the window, there's a go to button (little camera icon), and that has generally worked for me. It is a really really silly oversight though, since it should have a much more clearly signposted way to select the megastructure or initiate the next stage.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Relevant Tangent posted:

Just cage the hivemind, the instant any gestalt entity gets uppity it gets reminded that the greatest good for the greatest number means one intelligence no matter how many bodies it has matters less than two random pops. This is also why it's moral to de-cyber those poor fools who go for Tech ascensions. Oh sure, they say they're perfectly happy as members of the Omninet but once you rip them out of it and introduce them to an egalitarian utopia they quickly recant.

Hey, my machines live in an egalitarian utopia already! We decided to convert everything to a Gaia world just because we were bored!

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


And Tyler Too! posted:

Yeah, only my empire's species is shown.

Check your default rights - you probably have colonization disallowed for species other than your native species.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


DoctorTristan posted:

Tech Research seems to be really slow compared to other 4X games and it seems like the fastest way to make progress is to send out as many science ships as possible and hope you find an anomaly that drops a big research reward. (Iíve been building every research station I can but it feels like Iím barely keeping pace with increasing research requirements).

Tech is an interesting thing. If you're playing a traditional empire (one that has consumer goods; gestalts are different), researchers can be expensive to employ early game.

For the majority of planets, the way to get researchers is to spend a building slot on a research lab. This is an important opportunity cost early game, as you also want alloys, consumer goods, unity, admin cap, etc. Most of those are also produced primarily by building slots, so it can be difficult to figure out what you want to prioritize.

Speaking of admin cap, as you expand and build more stuff on your planets, you will butt up against and start exceeding your admin cap. This increases the cost of technology, traditions, and edicts. Don't let this stop you from expanding! Continue to expand, continue to build, but consider dropping some admin buildings down on a planet when you get the chance, as bureaucrats will increase your admin cap, and staying below the cap will decrease your tech costs and increase your research speed. It's okay to exceed the cap in the early game, especially in the land grabbing phase where you're trying to cut the AI off from key systems and secure territory that you can backfill in later. Just try to get it under control when you start getting your economy back under control.

One thing that can help your tech - play as a Fanatic Materialist and take the Technocracy civic. You can also take Meritocracy (need Democratic or Oligarchic government type) for +10% output on specialist pops, which includes researchers. Technocracy replaces some of your ruler populations with technology directors, which produce research and don't take up building slots to do so. It can be a nice boost to science throughout your empire.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Epsilon Plus posted:

It's a rarity in my games to have to do put boots on a Machine World or whatever but I can't recall ever having issues having plain ol' Regular Soldiers land on a planet to occupy/pacify/etc. it. What kind of world is your enemy's planet that you can't take?

e: just to clarify, to fully occupy a system you need to not just own the starbase on it but have landed on, and won in combat, every planet or habitat in that system. I've had wars be really confusing to end because I missed some lovely moon on the edge of a backwater or whatever. There are different icons on the galactic map for partially/fully occupying a system.

Also worth noting that you can put troops on aggressive and they will automatically invade a planet in the system they are in if they think they can win. Unfortunately/fortunately, after combat is over, they create a fresh new transport that is set to passive, but the fortunate part is that if you have jump drives, the jump drive cooldown is reset as well, so you can quickly hop them all over an enemy empire and take each planet in sequence.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


I'm playing a game right now where my empire is xenophobe + fanatic authoritarian with a syncretic subspecies of lithoid. The goal of the game is to set the lithoids (and all other species) as livestock, and thus generate minerals and food from them.

Well, I happened to get the Baol relic, which gave me the ability to transform worlds into Gaia worlds, as well as giving me Nu-Baol pops, who happen to be delicious (bonus food as livestock).

Long story short, I ended up letting pops grow naturally on several Gaia thrall worlds, and after consolidating all of the non-lithoid pops to Grunur, that one world has 206 livestock pops on it that are making 2442 food. I am making so much food, that I sell 1600 of it per month on the galactic market and still turn a profit of 162 food without any farmers at all in my empire.

At this point, every empire has access to absolutely dirt cheap "ethically sourced" salad made from nerve-stapled delicious trees, with a side of "ethically sourced" nerve-stapled delicious reptilian steak from my allies who were foolish enough to migrate into my empire. I'd say they were free-range, except that they're on a thrall world, so while they have "sufficient" housing, it's probably more like a factory farm where they're fed each other and somehow still make a surplus of food.

We've, uh, solved galactic hunger, I guess?

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


So apparently gigastructural constructs has a new galactic superweapon - if the center of the galaxy is a quasar instead of a black hole, you can build a gun that is capable of exploding entire stars remotely (so long as no enemy ships are in the system). Building it is hilarious (and pretty buggy), as it makes the entire rest of the galaxy unite into a single empire to oppose you. One of the funnier things about it is that you can dump resources into the gun to power it, including food. I've been ranching sentient species for food in this playthrough, so, uh, my superweapon that blows up stars? It's powered by soylent Nu-Baol. You can also dump undesirables in there for power, which makes for a good way to use gestalt pops that you would otherwise be forced to purge.

I did win that war rather easily due to having all of the other gigastructural constructs up and running by then - pulling in 20k alloys per month and building a fully kitted out endgame battleship for ~1.2k alloys in about 3-4 months is more than a little silly. Also, Matroyshka brain colonies are stupidly overpowered for making alloys, even unoptomized, each one that I had was pulling in ~2.5k alloys per month with no mineral upkeep.

Invading and cracking worlds got a little tedious though, so blowing up entire star systems full of habitats saved a lot of time. Every single fallen empire world was cracked, and about a dozen stars were exploded until they finally gave in and surrendered.

As much fun as maximum war crimes can be, I think I'm more or less done with that playthrough though. Juggling different species with different rights is frustrating, and making sure that livestock pops don't escape the thrall worlds is irritating.

I wish there were some way to consolidate multiple planets and habitats; there's a point where having close to a hundred colonies is massive overkill, but at the same time, it's the optimal way to play. It's always the issue that 4X games run into - making planet management interesting in the early game quickly becomes overwhelming or irrelevant by midgame where you're juggling 10-20 colonies at once. It'd also probably reduce lag significantly to have fewer settlements to manage.

I hope that eventually Stellaris gets another revamp to its economic system where planet management gets simplified further so that we make the same strategic decisions (do I want more alloys, research, admin cap, etc. early game when things are tight), while making a system simple enough for the AI to deal with and run the empire for the player when we get to the point of having dozens of planets and dozens of systems. There's a lot of features that would be fantastic, things like automatically sending population over to a new colony to get it up to speed and growing more quickly, or to exploit new opportunities unique to that planet.

There are a great many things that I like about the game - the ethics system and civics are fantastic, for instance. Different ethics and civics really change the feel of an empire, and having them influence galactic diplomacy is fantastic as well. Origins are great for changing the way the early game feels, and as much as federations feel slightly anemic at the moment, I like them a lot as a way to forge a super-alliance where empires co-operate between each other more readily.

If the AI could play the game well and the game didn't bog down tremendously once too many pops start growing, it would be wonderful.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


GunnerJ posted:

Sectors were my first thought but didn't mention it because they're automated and what I'm talking about is collapsing manual control of dozens of worlds into something more manageable because I've given up on automation being worthwhile in this game... but a sector rework could do something like (and better than) what I mean.

Yeah, this is some of what I was driving at. There's a promising mod called Dyson Swarm, but its quality isn't quite up to snuff yet. Another overhaul of the economy to make it simpler and something that the AI could understand would be the best thing, and then we could drop down habitats in systems, build ringworlds, and do all of the other really cool space colonization stuff that has to do with playing wide or tall (hell, even mining stations could get in on the action of changing how a sector/planet/etc. works) without imposing absurd amounts of micromanagement headaches.

It's one thing you start to notice with mods that make cool planet types with unique sectors - you want a way to funnel a few pops from many settlements to these neat new planets that you've colonized or built, but you want to do so in a way that isn't incredibly dull and tedious. The migration mechanic almost works for this, but you don't have the option of cutting off pop growth and putting 100% of the new growth into emigration from the planet without major penalties (for egalitarians, this could be done with subsidies, for authoritarians, could be done by lottery, etc. - we're talking about the churn of literally billions of people, and some percentage of those people are going to be happy to leave for a new life elsewhere).

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Kraftwerk posted:

On a side note. Machine ascension feels strange because Iím a fanatic egalitarian xenophile and yet from a gameplay perspective it makes perfect sense to set all your migrant species to assimilation rights. Something tells me Iíve crossed a line somewhere.

Since machine ascension retains free will, I look at it as people voluntarily entering your empire because they want to become badass immortal machines. It's a hell of a lot harder to defend when your "voluntary immigrants" are set to slavery and/or livestock.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Oh wow. That explains so much. I've been getting pretty good behavior with automation from mods that change how automation works, but I manually set my planet designations to whatever I think is best. If the AI is mostly making refinery worlds, then yeah, that makes a whole lot of sense.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Schadenboner posted:

Names. Now. Please.

Improved Planet and Sector Automation. Generally if I designate a planet as a generator world, mining world, etc., it does a good job of setting it up. I do every so often go through and swap out the occasional building here and there (and this is usually for civic/ethic specific buildings like noble estates), but by and large it seems to do a pretty good job.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


After playing Stellaris modded for basically the entire time I've owned it, I went ahead and tried out a vanilla run on ironman.

And I can see now why people are so down on the game. The AI, even on grand admiral, doesn't really understand how to play the game. Sector AI is pretty garbage and has to be constantly babysat (why on earth does it love commerce buildings so much? clerks aren't a good job!). The enigmatic fortress was completely broken and triggered its event every few days without any opportunity for me to actually board it. I stopped having anything to actually do with my influence; I've built 4 ecumenopoli, and they are giving me a good 2k alloys per month. I'm working on all of the megastructures, but they take forever and fifteen years to finish, and I can only build three of them at a time when my alloy income would basically be allowing me to spam ringworlds out at an absurd rate.

There's also a dumb bug with synth/cybernetic ascension where setting your pops to be assimilated sets your cyborgs or synths to be assimilated as well, giving them the lovely living standard associated with that. You have to reset all species default rights to something else, which then means that new species have to be manually set to assimilate lest it force your main pops to leave the good living standards you have them set at normally.

Resettling pops is a pain in the rear end, and while the "Greater than Ourselves" edict is fantastic and does a good job of moving pops around, that should be a vanilla feature from day 1, not a loving tier 3 galactic community resolution that 90% of AI empires oppose because gently caress the player for being tired of micromanaging their pops.

I'm basically just waiting around for the endgame crisis to fire after curbstomping an awoken fallen empire. I'm also letting my AI ally get devoured by a machine uprising because they brought that upon themselves. I also may have herded the fallen empire's fleets into their territory to speed up the process.

But yeah, at this point the only empires even remotely competitive on tech are my federation members because they are leeching off of the free and more powerful research agreements we have. Most empires are doing very little, if anything, and a few have decided that habitats make fantastic ornaments for planets, but should never be settled under any circumstances.

In short, I'm going back to mods after this playthrough. Stuff like Guilli's planet modifiers just adds more life to the galaxy instead of every planet being a boring carbon-copy. Gigastructures give you something to actually do with your alloys/influence and makes megastructures interesting and completable before the heat death of the universe. Automatic pop migration automates away the tedium of moving pops around, and the improved AI mods make the AI marginally less idiotic.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Asehujiko posted:

What do I do once I've reduces the council size to 1? Do I just denounce everyone else and pass all the sanctions and that's it?

You can make yourself a permanent member and enjoy being the only nation with veto and emergency measure powers, as well as a 20% bonus to diplo weight. Otherwise, yeah, that's basically it. The galactic council feels a bit anemic; some of the options are really really really good, like the bonuses for the worker political power tree (if you qualify for them), Project Cornucopia (by the time it triggers, you've got plenty of habitability and/or a fully terraformed empire), and Sanctity of Life if you don't build robots at all.

A lot of the options have penalties that are just too onerous, like researcher upkeep +50%, which is nuts for a tech focused empire, ship upkeep +25%, which again is nuts for anyone working on a major fleet, or massive, massive penalties to minerals and alloys, both of which are integral to every empire in the game. There's also weirdness where you can pass both the garden resolutions and project cornucopia at the same time, when they really should be diametrically opposed, or have some unique interaction.

Sure, some of the early levels are kind of nice, but even for fanatic materialists, the science tree doesn't feel great just because your researchers get so bloody expensive, which means you often end up doing less research instead of more.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


And Tyler Too! posted:

Ugh that's so dumb. Waiting for a species to actually develop into the space age takes centuries, and invading them gives 10+ years of culture shock if you're not purging.

Check your observation posts - you can enlighten species using them, or even integrate them into your empire with the right genetics technology (you're literally the reptilians from conspiracy theories at that point, it's pretty funny).

That all being said, I just invade them if I have an empire that is capable of it. The culture shock isn't even part of the pops if I remember correctly; you can resettle them elsewhere and they're perfectly content and productive.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


fuf posted:

I know it's annoying when people waltz into a thread and ask this question but... what is the state of the game right now? Is it mostly playable? I last played just after 2.0 release and think there were issues with the AI and bugs

If you mod the poo poo out of it itís fun.

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Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012

"This may have been a mistake."


Gort posted:

On the other hand, the game would probably get a fair bit of stick for being shallow if you just colonised planets and designated them as alloy, research or unity planets, and then they just produce those in a slowly-escalating-towards-a-final-point kind of way. The AI would play it better, though.

It doesn't have to - it just means that you need to change the paradigm for how planets are managed. MoO has a system like this, as does Sword of the Stars, while Distant Worlds has a sort of hybrid. In MoO, different planets can have modifiers that make them better at research or industry, but there's also just the issue in general that you want to research as much as possible while still keeping yourself safe, which means you're tweaking the sliders fairly often. Shipping pops between planets is also extremely effective, as not only can an industrialized world spend production to grow pops, planets that are half full produce bonus pops every turn. Population is also your invasion force, with invasion being quite strong, as it preserves the infrastructure on the planet and can let you steal technology.

Distant Worlds relegates science to being detached from planets for the most part, only really taking place on science stations (which has its own set of problems, but is interesting in that there are few ways to boost how fast science is researched, which can reduce the effect of a runaway technology leader). Shipbuilding is likewise done on the orbital station layer for the most part, except for some very large ships like colony ships. What colonies do is produce the resources you need to actually fund everything in your empire, as well as the cash required to purchase the resources you otherwise don't have access to. There are also buildings/wonders that can be built, but they're fairly anemic and can be automated to be built based on certain thresholds.

But yeah, the benefit of those approaches is that the AI is better at handling the planetary layer. I really like the concepts floated earlier of making most major buildings into districts, and having buildings take up a district slot. This gives a neat organic way to grow planets where late game you're specializing planets from the get-go, but in the beginning you're slowly building things out to try to make sure you're not running out of required goods. I'd also really like to be able to pre-plan districts/buildings in advance with a template, and be able to load said template onto a world to be built as resources/pops permit.

It is worth noting though that MoO and Distant Worlds don't really focus on the planetary layer much at all - their focus is shifted to the strategic layer. MoO has you building scouting ships from early turns of the game to go out and stake claims on worlds and see what's out there. Distant Worlds has a whole lot of action taking place on the orbital layer, and various options for exploration, building mining bases or colonies, and other such things to expand and build out the empire. Colonies in those games aren't an afterthought, but they are a relatively smaller piece of the strategic level taking place (though border worlds in MoO become hotly contested with missile base construction and trying to stand them up quickly enough).

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