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Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

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NickAragua
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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by NickAragua » Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:27 pm

Yeah, I'm going to need a palate cleanser after Civ 5. It's pretty damn addictive. I take (what I think is) a couple of turns, look at the clock and it's an hour past my bedtime. Maybe I'll upgrade my system and plow through Witcher 3. I got my Witcher 2 save game ready to go and everything.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by ChuckB » Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:46 pm

I'm really enjoying a new game of Stellaris I have started (this time still using the humans but changed the start weapon from missiles to projectile weapons). I really concentrated on expansion in the beginning (I think one mistake I made before was to search for the "perfect" planets to settle on, which are --basically-- never around). I found some ok planets (most of them in the 60-70% habitability range) and then tried to connect them to the main empire area with frontier outposts. The issue with that is that their influence cost is really high (probably too high) so it doesn't seem to be advisable to build more than 3 unless you research more influence bonuses.

I used my initial fleet to split it into three individual ships to scan for any colonizable planets and then send science ships specifically to scan those. I also skipped researching any anomalies in the beginning to not get slowed down.
I did not invest much in military stuff but, unfortunately, my neighbor is one of these cleanse/purge groups and of course, they declared war on me. They attacked and conquered one of my planets, which --fortunately-- had a major terraforming mishap (part of a questline) shortly beforehand, turning this nice 70% habitability planet into a 10% desert world, not sure that invasion was a great idea.

Now I'm fighting a costly war in which our fleets (roughly equally strong) fight in this extended "hit and run" patterns, which will likely lead to nothing.

In the meantime, another of my quest-related experiments went wrong (I should swear off science altogether, I guess) and another planet was overrun by local titans. I tried to get it back but I can't bombard my own planet and my 8-strong invasion force was not even able to make a dent in the defending titan army of 3. I read up on this and apparently, you can't basically win these invasions but after some time the titans get assimilated and the problem is gone.

I have one question from my last two games: In both cases I was forced to create sectors (in my last game the only planet in the only sector was the one that was conquered by my neighbor) and I get the concept but my feeling is that sectors don't do anything. They do not seem to develop, meaning I'm also not getting anything out of them, raising the question why to invest in the respective planets in the first place? my last sector also had a warning that it had insufficient energy, so I drove by with a construction ship to construct another energy mining station within the sector but that's not really the idea of outsourcing tasks to sectors, right?

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by LordMortis » Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:07 pm

ChuckB wrote:I have one question from my last two games: In both cases I was forced to create sectors (in my last game the only planet in the only sector was the one that was conquered by my neighbor) and I get the concept but my feeling is that sectors don't do anything. They do not seem to develop, meaning I'm also not getting anything out of them, raising the question why to invest in the respective planets in the first place? my last sector also had a warning that it had insufficient energy, so I drove by with a construction ship to construct another energy mining station within the sector but that's not really the idea of outsourcing tasks to sectors, right?

I haven't played Heinlein nor the expansion but the sector management screen used to pretty clear about how they develop and how they contribute back to your empire. You can guide their development direction or tell them not develop at all and you can have them retain 25% 50% 100% of their production. My experience was they would quite a surplus and make bad decisions, so I usually fully built a planet to what I wanted before releasing them to a sector and then they'd still eventually build space stations when I told them not to build anything, so I always had to make sure they had enough of an energy surplus to not crash themselves.

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ChuckB
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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by ChuckB » Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:32 pm

LordMortis wrote:
ChuckB wrote:I have one question from my last two games: In both cases I was forced to create sectors (in my last game the only planet in the only sector was the one that was conquered by my neighbor) and I get the concept but my feeling is that sectors don't do anything. They do not seem to develop, meaning I'm also not getting anything out of them, raising the question why to invest in the respective planets in the first place? my last sector also had a warning that it had insufficient energy, so I drove by with a construction ship to construct another energy mining station within the sector but that's not really the idea of outsourcing tasks to sectors, right?

I haven't played Heinlein nor the expansion but the sector management screen used to pretty clear about how they develop and how they contribute back to your empire. You can guide their development direction or tell them not develop at all and you can have them retain 25% 50% 100% of their production. My experience was they would quite a surplus and make bad decisions, so I usually fully built a planet to what I wanted before releasing them to a sector and then they'd still eventually build space stations when I told them not to build anything, so I always had to make sure they had enough of an energy surplus to not crash themselves.
Thanks! Sounds like they create the perfect simulation of how the federal system works! :D

I did some more reading on this and it seems that my mistake was that I really need to seed them enough and make them work reasonably well before releasing them into the wild under their own guidance

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El Guapo
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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by El Guapo » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:43 am

Started my first game of this last night. Created a custom race - noticed that one of the Reptilian avatars looks reasonably similar to the Geico Gecko, and so created the Geico Directorate, which I made an Extremely Materialistic and individualist scientific oligopoly. Gave them the Intelligent, Rapid-Breeding, but short-lived leaders traits. Used warp drive and lasers as the starting travel and weapons tech.

Following the tutorial, but didn't get too far last night - fully surveyed my starting system and a couple neighboring systems, researched a couple techs, built a second science ship and a new corvette, and built a couple mining stations. Found an 80% suitable world next door, which seems good, so just waiting on building up enough mining to build a colony ship to expand to there.

No competing civilization contact yet.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:37 pm

Oooh, you're gonna hate the short lived leaders. That can be remedied a little by tech but it's mid/late game tech typically.

I've played with short lived leaders and it was fun, but it's not something I would recommend to beginners. There are a pile of reasons, but the most serious for a new player is that some space exploration projects require level 4 or 5 scientists. Short lived leaders often die before they reach that level.

To be fair, it's not a huge deal. None of the traits are really a huge deal. The game is very gentle/soft/whatever with regard to game impact of race design. The biggest impact is whether you're war-like or peaceniks. After that, everything is pretty subtle nudges in certain directions.

Keep in mind that intelligent impacts your population doing actual research. It has no impact on orbital science stations. This is a glaring misunderstanding for new players.

The Intelligent bonus is on a per pop (on a planet, producing research) basis, not at a global/empire basis. So until you have someone doing actual research (as opposed to producing food, minerals or power, the primary resources for growth) you get nothing from this trait. So unlike other games were bonus research is an early game trait, bonus research is more of a late-early game, early-midgame trait.

Unlike games like MooII, where race design locks you into certain strategies, Stellaris lets you play anyway you want with whatever your race is. Peaceniks at war constantly? Doable. Individualists with slaves? Doable. So in Stellaris you design a race to support your strategic approach, rather than design a race and then do what that race forces you to do.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by NickAragua » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:43 pm

Some of my first priorities in a new game are to a) crank out some extra corvettes ASAP and b) beeline for colonization tech, including saving up 300 minerals for that first colony ship. Early expansion is pretty key, so that the other butthole species don't grab the nearby worlds first. The corvettes will help you deal with pirates (who love flying in and blowing up your expensive mining outposts) and prevent nearby alien scum from declaring early war on you and knocking you out of the game.

War is also a bit different in this than in other 4x games - you set your demands at the start of the war and that's all you can get as a result. When you send troops down to a planet, you don't actually get control of it, you only occupy it, but it drives your "warscore" up pretty high, which is what you use to end the war and negotiate yourself favorable results.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by El Guapo » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:51 pm

Thanks to both of you. I'm viewing this game mainly as a way to learn the game, so it's fine if I get hosed due to early mistakes (kind of assuming that will happen, actually).

Warscore is used in the other major paradox games (EU, CK), so that'll be familiar, though in those you don't set demands at the start of the war. When aliens declare war on you, do you also set war demands then, or do you get more flexibility in concessions in defensive wars?

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by LordMortis » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:54 pm

NickAragua wrote:Some of my first priorities in a new game are to a) crank out some extra corvettes ASAP and b) beeline for colonization tech, including saving up 300 minerals for that first colony ship. Early expansion is pretty key, so that the other butthole species don't grab the nearby worlds first. The corvettes will help you deal with pirates (who love flying in and blowing up your expensive mining outposts) and prevent nearby alien scum from declaring early war on you and knocking you out of the game.

War is also a bit different in this than in other 4x games - you set your demands at the start of the war and that's all you can get as a result. When you send troops down to a planet, you don't actually get control of it, you only occupy it, but it drives your "warscore" up pretty high, which is what you use to end the war and negotiate yourself favorable results.
Haven't played in a while, but toward the end of my playing days I went from not seeing the point of outposts at all to using them constantly to mark my territory so other butthole species don't grab my planets first, while I conversely grab theirs before we get settled in to expanding.

Maybe I'll get to give it another go around over Christmas, especially if specials knock down the price of DLC.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by LordMortis » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:57 pm

El Guapo wrote:Warscore is used in the other major paradox games (EU, CK), so that'll be familiar, though in those you don't set demands at the start of the war. When aliens declare war on you, do you also set war demands then, or do you get more flexibility in concessions in defensive wars?
Get involved in wars and see how the dynamic works before you play your first real game. Hover over things and notice how they change even when the war is stagnant. I had a very hard time explaining to GG how the other side suffers from war weariness (presumably because they are losing) over the course of years and I still don't know how to describe how to watch it take effect, making some seemingly impossible war goals possible if you are willing to wait 20 or 40 years. The war goals still needed some serious tweaking the last time I played. You'd think "20 war score. He has 3 planets in range. No problem" and then find for mysterious reasons that you knock out his entire fleet and occupy three planets but only have a warscore of like 14. That's when you just need to play the waiting game.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:02 pm

Ships require maintenance, Ships in transit require more maintenance than ships in orbit.

I tend to leave my fleet building until after the pirates have shown up. You may lose an orbital station (or 3) but you will not have eaten the maintenance on new ships for the years before you need them.

I have not done the calculation on whether you come out ahead with my approach or with Nick's. I tend to keep economic drains as low as possible but the cost of rebuilding the orbital is expensive (or can be, depending on empire leader and race traits).

Another newbie tip that I didn't learn until after many games. Don't send science vessels to systems that you haven't visited yet. Use your first corvettes, split them into 3 individual fleets, and then just send them out to explore. They don't do much other than tell you which systems have hostiles in them, but that can be super important. Losing a science vessel doesn't hurt much. Losing the leader inside it can be extremely painful.

You should count on losing those 3 corvettes. If you keep exploring, eventually they are going to get squished. On the plus side, you don't have to pay maintenance for ships that are inside the stomachs of space monsters.

The natural next step of exploring with corvettes is sending your science vessels only to "safe" systems.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by LordMortis » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:09 pm

GreenGoo wrote:You should count on losing those 3 corvettes. If you keep exploring, eventually they are going to get squished. On the plus side, you don't have to pay maintenance for ships that are inside the stomachs of space monsters.

The natural next step of exploring with corvettes is sending your science vessels only to "safe" systems.

That's the nice thing about worm holes. You have a max radius. I do what you do, I count on losing one corvette but as long as they are on "flee" that's usually all I lose when I explore my starting area. I agree on the premise of not exploring with science vessels until mid game, though.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by El Guapo » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:12 pm

So Corvettes can see what types of planets are in a new system, and any active threats in the system, but can't detect what's on any of said planets, right? As that requires "surveying"?

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:13 pm

El Guapo wrote:Thanks to both of you. I'm viewing this game mainly as a way to learn the game, so it's fine if I get hosed due to early mistakes (kind of assuming that will happen, actually).
I totally hear you. Short lived leaders is sort of a niche trait that can be dealt with but it actually has ramifications that aren't as obvious as some of the other traits (like slow/fast breeding, which is pretty much exactly as it sounds).

More comments, this time on pop growth:

At a high level, it works exactly how you think it might.

Faster growth means less food needed to grow a new pop. Slower growth means more. Pretty obvious.

Food bonus unlike intelligent, applies planet wide. More food fills up a new pop faster meaning faster growth.

For maximum growth you need more food produced and less food per new pop. So that's 2 traits.

The math is kind of interesting but the above is "good enough". Larger numbers of pop on a planet actually slow pop growth down. The fastest growing pop is on a planet with just one other pop + excessive amounts of food. Some games have pop growth based on a percentage of population. i.e. more pop = more growth but that's not the case in Stellaris.

MooII had an interesting formula that resulted in slow growth and low pop AND high pop, with the sweet spot being on a planet that was 1/2 full of people. Excess food in MooII didn't impact growth. In Stellaris, it does.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by LordMortis » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:16 pm

El Guapo wrote:So Corvettes can see what types of planets are in a new system, and any active threats in the system, but can't detect what's on any of said planets, right? As that requires "surveying"?
Yes. Until a planet is surveyed you won't see anomalies, resources, or be able to colonize but you will see if hostiles were there (temp or permanent) and have knowledge of the amount of surveyable bodies and what type of habitable planets are there.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:19 pm

El Guapo wrote:So Corvettes can see what types of planets are in a new system, and any active threats in the system, but can't detect what's on any of said planets, right? As that requires "surveying"?
Bingo.

If you have a big enough scanner range, ships can actually see into systems they don't visit, but in the early game scanner range is not typically far enough to help.

The weird thing about Stellaris is that your "emergency warp" has a timer, and that timer doesn't start until you engage in combat. So even if you know you are going to be attacked, you can't start "emergency warping" until after it happens. This pretty much guarantees that any ship that gets engaged by enough of a superior force will be destroyed. You can't run (not fast enough anyway).

It's odd because you know you are going to die even before the fight starts and sometimes there's nothing you can do about it. You tell your ship to run to another system, "standard" warp delays apply, you reach 1 tick (it's a day) counting down to warp, only to be engaged. The standard countdown didn't finish, and now the emergency countdown starts for the full amount even though you just spent days counting down to regular launch. It's...annoying.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:20 pm

LordMortis wrote:
El Guapo wrote:So Corvettes can see what types of planets are in a new system, and any active threats in the system, but can't detect what's on any of said planets, right? As that requires "surveying"?
Yes. Until a planet is surveyed you won't see anomalies, resources, or be able to colonize but you will see if hostiles were there (temp or permanent) and have knowledge of the amount of surveyable bodies and what type of habitable planets are there.
Some, but not many, threats are transitional. If you see a threat it will remain on your map until you revisit later, even if the actual threat moved on years ago. So you can go to a system expecting a fight only to find it empty.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:23 pm

LordMortis wrote:
El Guapo wrote:Warscore is used in the other major paradox games (EU, CK), so that'll be familiar, though in those you don't set demands at the start of the war. When aliens declare war on you, do you also set war demands then, or do you get more flexibility in concessions in defensive wars?
Get involved in wars and see how the dynamic works before you play your first real game. Hover over things and notice how they change even when the war is stagnant. I had a very hard time explaining to GG how the other side suffers from war weariness (presumably because they are losing) over the course of years and I still don't know how to describe how to watch it take effect, making some seemingly impossible war goals possible if you are willing to wait 20 or 40 years. The war goals still needed some serious tweaking the last time I played. You'd think "20 war score. He has 3 planets in range. No problem" and then find for mysterious reasons that you knock out his entire fleet and occupy three planets but only have a warscore of like 14. That's when you just need to play the waiting game.
Yeah, I definitely don't feel confident explaining this mechanic but I do remember that your explanation helped me figure it out at the time.

It's kind of murky now though. been awhile.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by NickAragua » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:25 pm

LordMortis wrote:Haven't played in a while, but toward the end of my playing days I went from not seeing the point of outposts at all to using them constantly to mark my territory so other butthole species don't grab my planets first, while I conversely grab theirs before we get settled in to expanding.
Oh yeah, outposts are great. Mark future colonies, resource-juicy systems, use them to extend the range of your wormhole network because you can now plonk down wormhole stations there (I'm pretty sure?) and reduce colonization costs for systems close to the radius. Just make sure you leave yourself some influence income, because with those short-lived leaders you'll constantly be blowing influence to hire new ones. Also remember to take them down once you establish the colony to save on ongoing influence costs.

When it comes to war, I'm starting to think that it's a good idea to split off one or two fleets with 300-400 firepower and long range weapons to just blow up enemy mining stations and outposts quickly. Those things usually have about 50 combat power, so it's enough to overwhelm them, but won't make much of a difference when the two big fleet balls clash. However, it will put a nice big dent in enemy resource production and research going forward. It's unlikely that they rebuild their navy during the current war, but it's good to gimp them for the future as well - unless you intend to vassalize them, I suppose.

Unrelated - if an anomaly shows more than 10% chance of failure, I tend to leave it for later until that scientist levels up.

Oh yeah, another newbie pro tip (other than "hover over everything", especially if it's an arcane looking number) - heavily investigate the screens that the function keys open up. That's where you can set all your empire policies, see your diplomacy options, design ships, etc.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by El Guapo » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:31 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Keep in mind that intelligent impacts your population doing actual research. It has no impact on orbital science stations. This is a glaring misunderstanding for new players.
By "population doing actual research", does that mean population assigned to science buildings on the surface of planets? Not leaders assigned to research (i.e., the leader researching ion drives)? And so that means that the people assigned to mining buildings / farming buildings / etc. don't do anything for research (and so do not get the research bonus from Intelligent)?

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by El Guapo » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:33 pm

Also, one of the planets I discovered early has a titan population, which sounds like a pain in the ass. However, I can't understand why "titan genocide via orbital bombardment" is apparently not an option (assuming morals is not a problem).

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by LordMortis » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:48 pm

El Guapo wrote:Also, one of the planets I discovered early has a titan population, which sounds like a pain in the ass. However, I can't understand why "titan genocide via orbital bombardment" is apparently not an option (assuming morals is not a problem).
Those are fun and I wish there were more of them. When you can co-habitat with another minor species (that you don't uplift?), it opens up story lines. I'd tell you what I've seen but like I said, they're fun so I don't want to spoiler them for you.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by malchior » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:53 pm

There seems to be a new warscore mechanic which is annoying me (or they tweaked it and more evident). I've been involved in a pretty even handed war and they have defense stations that have that gravity well feature. I can destroy it and the orbiting spaceport that usually is nearby but if I even lose 1 corvette it gets chalked up as a Space Battle loss with a -2 to the score. I'm grinding through his empire and am in the red even though I've lost only a few ships in my large fleet.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by LordMortis » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:02 pm

malchior wrote:There seems to be a new warscore mechanic which is annoying me (or they tweaked it and more evident). I've been involved in a pretty even handed war and they have defense stations that have that gravity well feature. I can destroy it and the orbiting spaceport that usually is nearby but if I even lose 1 corvette it gets chalked up as a Space Battle loss with a -2 to the score. I'm grinding through his empire and am in the red even though I've lost only a few ships in my large fleet.
It was not that way before Heinlein. That would annoy the piss out of me as well. The used to be was there would be a whole combat and whoever won would get a war score. The only way you would lose points going against a station would be if you engaged and then retreated. I think you could even have multiple fleets and lost one of them, so long as you won the whole battle.

OTOH, if you fly in with multiple fleets and lose battle after battle while you wait for your larger fleet to arrive, I could see that hitting your warscrore.

Wiki says this is still right as of 1.3

http://www.stellariswiki.com/Warfare#Warscore
Space Battles
Every battle you fight with an enemy fleet or military station gives Warscore to the winner.
Bug?

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:41 pm

El Guapo wrote:
GreenGoo wrote:
Keep in mind that intelligent impacts your population doing actual research. It has no impact on orbital science stations. This is a glaring misunderstanding for new players.
By "population doing actual research", does that mean population assigned to science buildings on the surface of planets? Not leaders assigned to research (i.e., the leader researching ion drives)? And so that means that the people assigned to mining buildings / farming buildings / etc. don't do anything for research (and so do not get the research bonus from Intelligent)?
Yes, only actual population units producing research benefit from racial bonuses to research production.

On the positive side, allowing other races to immigrate/conquering them gains you any race benefits they bring with them.

It's actually pretty difficult to remain "racially pure" in Stellaris without taking an absolutely nazi-esque approach to empire management. The game seems to be predisposed to multi-race empires.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by LordMortis » Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:51 pm

GreenGoo wrote:Yes, only actual population units producing research benefit from racial bonuses to research production.

On the positive side, allowing other races to immigrate/conquering them gains you any race benefits they bring with them.

It's actually pretty difficult to remain "racially pure" in Stellaris without taking an absolutely nazi-esque approach to empire management. The game seems to be predisposed to multi-race empires.
Uplifting slave races for a specific purpose is helpful.

Also there are more in game events/story lines I don't want to spoil for Guap. Again, I wish there more of them I hope they fold them in over the year.

The last game I played, I was playing a racially pure game. It does wonders for keeping your population in line, not so much for making friends and influencing people outside of your empire. For some reason they don't appreciate when you take over a planet, teraform it with the exiting population in tact, and then wipe out all of the populace, leaving behind the infrastructure so you can transplant people from your home world who are 100% compatible with your ethos.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:01 pm

Just a heads up, you can no longer terraform a colonized world.

In previous versions your pop just took a YUGE happiness penalty, now you just can't do it. I'm mildly annoyed by this. Mostly because I can't colonize a yellow planet and turn it green later on when I have the tech and/or money and/or happiness modifiers.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by ydejin » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:06 pm

ChuckB wrote: I have one question from my last two games: In both cases I was forced to create sectors (in my last game the only planet in the only sector was the one that was conquered by my neighbor) and I get the concept but my feeling is that sectors don't do anything. They do not seem to develop, meaning I'm also not getting anything out of them, raising the question why to invest in the respective planets in the first place? my last sector also had a warning that it had insufficient energy, so I drove by with a construction ship to construct another energy mining station within the sector but that's not really the idea of outsourcing tasks to sectors, right?
My experience is that the key to having the Sector's actually build stuff is to regularly stuff energy and minerals into their piggy banks. Energy isn't that important, but minerals is very important. You can even watch them gobble through the supply if you bring up the Sector screen.

I regularly switch to the Sector screen and manually add minerals to the Sector's supply. Mid-game, I try to make sure they each have around 2k of energy and 2k of minerals available, at the point, I often end up hitting my maximum savagely limits of energy and minerals anyway, so dumping them into the Sector is better than washing them. As long as the Sector has minerals available to it, they should develop all the squares that they have population on. With no minerals dumped into the Sector piggy banks, Sectors largely appear as if they aren't doing anything.

Sectors will also sometimes build construction ships and will build mining and defensive stations in their sector (but no Starports as far as I can tell). I got super confused because I keep on seeing these blue colored construction ships, blue is typically your ally/federation color, but when I clicked on them they were marked with my empire's name. It took me quite a while to figure out they were construction ships my sectors had created.

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by Daehawk » Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:51 am

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by Max Peck » Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:40 am

Expansion incoming: Utopia.
Utopia is the first major expansion for Stellaris, the critically acclaimed science fiction grand strategy game from Paradox Development Studio. As the title suggests, Utopia gives you new tools to develop your galactic empire and keep your people (or birdfolk or talking mushrooms) happy. Push your species further out into the galaxy with new bonuses for rapid exploration or stay closer to home before striking out against all who would challenge you.

Feature List
  • Megastructures: Build wondrous structures in your systems including Dyson Spheres and ring worlds, bringing both prestige and major advantages to your race.
  • Habitat Stations: Build “tall” and establish space stations that will house more population, serving the role of planets in a small and confined empire.
  • Traditions: Collect Unity points and adopt ideas and bonuses that will ease your species’ expansion across the stars, unlocking special perks for completing a set.
  • Rights and Privileges: Set specific policies for which of the many species under your thumb will have the rights and privileges of full citizenship.
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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by NickAragua » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:15 am

I've yet to make it past the mid game. I like the exploration and early colonization phase, discovering anomalies and such. Then, I run into non-dead aliens and it becomes less fun (not to mention the game basically lags out when there's a lot of fleets moving around).

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by Paingod » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:18 am

I started this up over the weekend and am really enjoying it. I know I'm a little late to the party.

As a long time player of 4x space games, I feel pretty at home in this one, and appreciate the complexity - though I'll also admit that I hardly use some elements and doubt their usefulness. Diplomacy is usually my last concern in these games and I hardly waste any time on it, preferring instead to survive through military might and intimidation. The Government screens and Edicts are hardly looked at, though I did try Science Edicts and that seemed to work well, but the Influence cost was high - making them rare tools.

First up, I opted to make mine a race of intelligent plants, a host of Venus Flytraps. Their leaders live 30 years longer than normal (Enduring), Armies are powerful (Strong), and as a race there's a solid scientific inquisitiveness (Intelligent) - though other races find them Repugnant. Alongside that, they're a militaristic/extremely materialistic culture - who only deals with pesky Elections when a leader dies. The preferred planets are Continental in nature. They use Hyperspace to get around. It seemed like a reasonable setup and stable method of play. If I had to do this over, I'd drop the Army bonuses in favor of something else, like

My first stab out into the galaxy felt ponderously slow, and that showed through when I picked a fight with a neighbor that had "Equal" military strength to me, but in reality had more resources to throw at the problem of combat. While I burned up most of my ships in our first fight, he seemed to have an entire fleet in reserve that invaded two of my core systems and wiped me out. I decided that since I was a complete newbie, the game was better off as a learning experience and started over. Problems I ran into as I played included: 1) Lots of dead Science officers eaten alive by anomalies. 2) Extremely starved for Influence as I set out a full allotment of Outposts. 3) Weak military forces. 4) It was probably very wrong to wildly fluctuate between a resource glut and famine, and I should have worked harder to stabilize that more. 5) I needed to correctly use the "Ship Upgrade" mechanic instead of throwing away fleets and rebuilding them (I now use it correctly).

My second foray was more informed. I first split my Corvettes to go as far as they could in three different directions while immediately building a third Science vessel and second Construction vessel. The three science vessels surveyed the trail forged by the Corvettes and found two great systems almost right on top of my home system - both with Continental worlds (though one was smaller, it had a secondary large Arid planet I thought I could use later). The only downside to my start was that I almost immediately bumped into an Avian race that barely tolerated me and was set up not 6 jumps from my home world. They didn't seem to be sitting on anything I really wanted, but their borders bumped right into mine and I had to immediately set up an outpost to stop them from acquiring one of the systems I wanted early on. The rest of my early game went well, and I found myself with a lot of elbow room and resources, but only a tight cluster of habitable planets. I also tried my hand at an invasive takeover of a local Oceanic humanoid species and succeeded, giving me a free system with a 21 point planet pre-founded (with a different set of headaches). I've worked to keep my resources right at the raggedy edge instead of having surges and pitfalls, and if I find a surplus of something I work to balance it with other things or put it towards diplomacy.

As this second game wore on...
  • I founded a sector out in the edge of my claimed space with a couple good systems in it. I was happy to test out the Sector mechanic since this was so off the beaten path, but a nice catch. It also resulted in subverting an Avian species that loves Desert worlds, so they were able to settle a couple additional planets in the sector that I couldn't touch. I'm not sure if this is good or bad, but I do like having different species that are capable of settling different world types. All of my military strength still comes from my own race, though.
  • I "accidentally" settled on a Gaia planet that was Holy to an advanced race - and when they told me to get off or pay the price, I gave them the finger - a month later, battle fleets with 32K in power appeared in two of my systems at once (my best fleet was 4K). I decided that it was probably better to just lose 5 months of progress and go back to an autosave before that founding and redirect my colony ship.
  • Found a Dreadnaught, as well as a "Knowledge" race that sold me info on defeating it for 5,000ec. It didn't help, but it's still very cool. Loaded to a previous save to avoid losing a 5K strength fleet that didn't even scratch the thing's shields.
  • I managed to get myself happily nestled in between a friendly race, the advanced race (non-expansionist), and a weaker race (the Avians). I have a pathway around the friendly race to a couple others, but they get to act as my meat shield - and the advanced race doesn't seem to want to be anyone's friend, so I'm not worried about invasions coming through them. This has left me to try the militaristic side of the game in relative safety, and I'm whittling down the Avian empire and turning it into a controlled Sector instead of an enemy. My Strong Army (+20% Damage) proved itself when they tackled an enemy world (after bombardment brought it to zero defenses) and they were outnumbered like 14 to 10 - and they still won with 4 brigades left. Strong isn't that great, though, as I could have just brought more soldiers to the fight instead. It also makes me doubt the value of spending Influence on a General leader, since they're so niche. I'll probably just run with overwhelming force and no General next time.
I'm enjoying this one so far, as it seems to take all the best elements of 4X and roll them into one package that includes some really nice additions, like storyline quests to chase and almost RPG-like choices to make that actually make a difference later on. I also like that there are "Rare" techs sprinkled in. My first game netted me Ameoba Fighter ships for carrier hangars and Regenerative armor that heals 2% health per month. My second game has none of that, but a couple other good techs in replacement - though I miss the fighters and armor; Regeneration made standing my ground in a system much more feasible than running home to repair and going back.
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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by tgb » Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:25 am

Max Peck wrote:Has anyone been boldly going yet?

Star Trek New Horizons
I just discovered this today and haven't done anything other than launch a Vulcan campaign and poked around a bit.

I did see that the captain of my starting science vessel is Stann :D
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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by tgb » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:49 pm

I've just gone through two event chains taken from both the original series and TNG. Nice.
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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by Paingod » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:40 pm

Still learning the base game, default settings... and I've run into a crippling issue. Me.

I suffer badly from alt-itis, constantly wanting to try different things out as I run into issues and want to hone my game. As a result, I'm on my fifth custom race in 3 days, and keep restarting if I discover that my beginnings are out of whack with what I would call "a good start"

The race I've recently settled with is a Arthropod that loves Savannah worlds, and is hell-bent on technical superiority. Minor Collectivism, Major Materialism (+15% all research). Intelligent (+10% All research), Engineer-focused (+15% Engineering), Enduring (+30 Years), Slow Breeding (-15% Growth), and Sedentary (-Migration, +cost). But, after years of play, I discovered that two of my neighbors also loved Savannah planets, and they simply consumed half of what I wanted before I even got my first colony ship out, leaving me with a handful of 12 and 14 sized planets to start with. Bah! Start over...

So, new race - close to the last one, Arctic, but Xenophobic and Highly Adaptive (+20% Habitation) - Univeral Conquerers! I was able to settle almost anywhere pretty quickly and after exploring about 40% of the galaxy with my initial three Corvettes (before they were destroyed) and pulling ahead of every race I met in terms of Population (despite my Growth penalty), I discovered that basically everyone hated me and I was being provoked on three sides, with one neighbor sharing a large swath of border with me and being on the verge of war. A band of Pirates settled it for me when they swept in and reset my industry sector just before a massive 32(?!) mineral mining sector suddenly exploded into Swarm enemies with a dozen 1.2K fleets - apparently the 6 and 8 mineral asteroids were actually nests. Having lost two good sectors with hostilities around me, I started over...

Now I'm a Tropical Turtle race, yeah! Militaristic, long-lived, technologically adept. No, wait, a Fungoid Hippy - that's the ticket. No, no, no...

I'm my own worst enemy.

I'm already planning to go home and start a new race, or modify one of the existing ones. More expansionist, less xenophobic, normal life spans... hm.
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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by Paingod » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:36 am

See?

So my Thrifty (+15% Energy Credits), Sedentary (-50% Migration Speed, +33% Cost) Engineers (+15% Engineering) are thriving. They're a relatively peaceful Collective, but fanatically devoted to Technology. They're also Snails. Space Snails that have Warp engines. Their Technocracy (+1 Research Alternative, +1 Leader) is in year 2259 and about to pick a fight with their neighbors (who are already at like -200 relations just because they hate me for existing) over a few border worlds. What's slowed me down is that Leaders have started dying off left and right, and I actually couldn't afford to replace them all as they shuffled off the mortal coil. I had a lot of gaps where my Science fleet stalled because I had to shift a Leader back to the Homeworld for continued research, and my best (only) Admiral passed away just before we learned how to make Destroyers.

I didn't realize how much of a crutch having +30 year life spans on my leaders was, but I enjoyed having highly skilled Leaders around for a long time after they hit their skill cap. I can't imagine doing a Fleeting species!

Now I'm considering putting together a race of ancient ones (+90 Life) that are fanatical Collectivists of some kind. At least I'm enjoying the game, right?
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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by TheMix » Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:31 am

Sure! :D
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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by Freyland » Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:43 am

Just starting out, and I am apparently getting slow on the uptake with age. I have an interface question, if someone can answer it. I will put it in spoilers, since it involves the outcome of an anomaly research.
Spoiler:
One of my early science ships found the "ceramic pot orbiting a star" anomaly. I succeeded in the initial Special Project, and now I am supposed to study it further in a new project. But I can't. Using the "Situation Room" route, the "research" button is still greyed out, despite me meeting the requirements (like, Scientist >level 1, science ship present). Trying to tell the ship to go to the anomaly and research it using the ship UI, I get the same requirement text as a pop-up but now in red, and cannot do anything. I suspect I am missing a requirement, but don't know what it may be. Anyone with clues?
Thank you

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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by Paingod » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:10 pm

In the times I've had projects get weird, it was because of something I was doing wrong.

Try making sure no other science vessel is on the way to check it out. Barring that, go into the system with your science vessel selection, and right-click the project indicator. Sometimes I've had to fiddle a little with moving things off and back onto a spot to get it to work, but I don't know if that's because of me or the game. You might also try going to the galaxy view, selecting the science vessel, and then right-clicking the system and choosing "Research" from there.
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Re: Stellaris: New Paradox Sci Fi Grand Strategy

Post by NickAragua » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:12 pm

Yeah, the way to research that kind of project is to have your science vessel selected, then right click on the little orange crosshair and select 'research' or whatever it is.

Just be careful, I can't count how many times I've wondered why my in-system science vessel isn't moving in, when it turns out I had a different one selected from halfway across the galaxy.

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