Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

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4th Dimension

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby 4th Dimension » Thu May 12, 2016 5:59 am

To be fair even if you had that tech it might be a bad idea to colonize a world biome that is not prefered since colonization tech will not help you with habitability. Unless there is something on that world that you REALLY want, or if you have allien pops you can put there you shouldn't bother colonizing such worlds. There should be plenty of planets suitable for your race near you.

The tech system removed the ability to make a beeline down the techtree, but if you want to focus on economy research focus on techs connected to it since techs are not COMPLETLY random. One of them is almost always an improvement of the tech you just researched. Or is in it's category.
Ninety-Three

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Ninety-Three » Thu May 12, 2016 11:55 am

4th Dimension wrote:To be fair even if you had that tech it might be a bad idea to colonize a world biome that is not prefered since colonization tech will not help you with habitability.


Really? As far as I can tell, habitability is just a cap on max happiness, and happiness in turn doesn't do anything until you get it to 80%, so if my colony would be at 75% happiness, there's no difference between capping it at 80% habitability or 60%. It's entirely possible I missed a system though because the game made zero attempt to explain either happiness or habitability, I only learned the above from wikis and Google.

Speaking of expansion, I haven't yet figured out if I should be pumping out as many colonies as possible to seize every world I find (and spinning up a bunch of sectors), or if I'm supposed to keep my sector count low and place colonies to maximize my area of controlled space. It's one of those classic 4X things that's different for every game, and the tutorials never explain it so you have to play for thirty hours and realize you've been doing it wrong.
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Retsam

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Retsam » Thu May 12, 2016 5:51 pm

The tech system is actually one of my favorite bits of Stellaris. I like that you essentially have to adapt around what technology options you're given; I'm still in my first playthrough, but I can really see that adding a lot of variety to playthroughs. Each choice becomes more important (and interesting) because you know you don't know when you'll have another opportunity.

And particularly, rare techs are interesting; it's nice that you can end up in a situation where two civilizations that are roughly equal in amount of technology can have fairly different abilities, just based on what rare techs they happened to research. Plus, it's another layer to the tech decision: do I pick the rare tech just because it's rare and might be useful, or do I pick the thing that I have a more urgent need for right now.
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4th Dimension

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby 4th Dimension » Fri May 13, 2016 7:25 am

Ninety-Three wrote:
4th Dimension wrote:To be fair even if you had that tech it might be a bad idea to colonize a world biome that is not prefered since colonization tech will not help you with habitability.


Really? As far as I can tell, habitability is just a cap on max happiness, and happiness in turn doesn't do anything until you get it to 80%, so if my colony would be at 75% happiness, there's no difference between capping it at 80% habitability or 60%. It's entirely possible I missed a system though because the game made zero attempt to explain either happiness or habitability, I only learned the above from wikis and Google.

Speaking of expansion, I haven't yet figured out if I should be pumping out as many colonies as possible to seize every world I find (and spinning up a bunch of sectors), or if I'm supposed to keep my sector count low and place colonies to maximize my area of controlled space. It's one of those classic 4X things that's different for every game, and the tutorials never explain it so you have to play for thirty hours and realize you've been doing it wrong.

If you are playing an Open society empire where pops are free to relocate ti is important since if there is room open on better planets they will up and move there to be happier. Also unhappiness foments factions which foments rebellion. And so you start sinking influence into managing factions and not into other things like fronteer outposts.

As for colony or Frontier outpost or build up the economy I plop down colonies only once my economy is up an running at a stead enough pace since colonies are massive money sink and take a lot of time to get going considering that they aren't that much more effective at producing resources than a mining station until they hit 3+ pop and are CONSIDERABLY more expensive.
So my idea is to use Frontier outposts if you want to push your border unto some valuable space, unless you have cash lying around and a good planet in mind to colonize. Short term most of the resources you will be getting out of those new systems will be spacebourne anyway since it takes a LOOOONG time for a colony to grow. Also while it's growing the colony is nowhere near as effective at pushing borders as an outpost. On the other hand outposts cost influence to run, so you should eventually replace them with colonies in neighboring systems.
In oder words Outposts/space infrastuctue are shot term investments with a quick payoff on the order of years. Colonies on the other hand take DECADES to reach that level of income but a single prosperous populous colony can produce more minerals and energy than a sector worth of space mining.

At least this has been my experience, limited as it is.

Retsam wrote:And particularly, rare techs are interesting; it's nice that you can end up in a situation where two civilizations that are roughly equal in amount of technology can have fairly different abilities, just based on what rare techs they happened to research. Plus, it's another layer to the tech decision: do I pick the rare tech just because it's rare and might be useful, or do I pick the thing that I have a more urgent need for right now.

One of examples is my current predicament in my starting game (where I picked 1k galaxy and lowered the number of players so it's sparser with players) The game keeps telling me I'm superior to my neighbors in terms of tech, but I often see that my ally's ships have higher firepower (which might be because he didn't go for shields so he could stack more firepower) since they went for the military tech's. Also I'm starting to get a handle on shipbuilding, although most of my fights were against space wildlife. And while we are on the toppic of that I think for those starting years missiles are not such a good starting weapon and plasma might be better since most of the space borne life doesn't have shields but a fair amount of armor.
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4th Dimension

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby 4th Dimension » Fri May 13, 2016 7:13 pm

ImageImage
My current situation. Click to enlarge. Me Adarians and Lyrites are in an alliance and Dima'Xianians hate my guts since they are militaristic assholes. Also it's not all fun and games for me since I'm a materialist in a decidedly spiritualist section of the galaxy. Also energy situation is mostly ok, but now it's in the negative because I moved my fleet of it's anchor. But there is a shortage and I can not find anywhere in the explored space an abundance of them.
Also I'm currently colonizing my second Gaia world. This one fortunately was not defended by a veritable ARMADA of Chrystals.

Pirates as an early threat are kind of pointless though. A they aren't piratey enough and are all too eager to fight superior enemy. Also once you do knck their fleet out the pirate base will not replace them. In fact it has been a while since I did that and only now I'm tking care of the base and they still haven't rebuilt.
Ninety-Three

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Ninety-Three » Sat May 14, 2016 12:12 pm

I finally figured out what system Stellaris uses to disincentivize founding a hundred colonies and painting the map blue. It is of course, massive and completely unexplained to the player.

Each pop you control (beyond the first 10) adds 2% to research costs, so founding a zillion low-quality colonies will boost your industry output at the cost of your research. In light of this, I'm inclined to not bother with sectors at all, instead focusing on using my 5-7 colonies to claim as much territory as possible.

Other critical things I've learned that the game doesn't tell you:
When you get 60 research from a quest, that's not spent immediately. Instead, it gets stored and is spent at a rate of 100% of your current research progress. So if you get 60 Society research, and you currently generate 11 Society per month, your stored Society will spend at 11/month.
The tech tree is generally pretty flat (the only thing hiding behind Railguns 2 is Railguns 3 and Advanced Railguns), but there are a few exceptions. In particular, larger military ships are gated behind the tech for level 3 and 4 spaceports.
Army Damage is pretty useless. So far, most of my wars have been won or lost in space, and the army phase of things was just cleanup.
Missiles vs railguns vs lasers: Missiles have the best stats but can be countered by point defenses. Railguns are the jack of all trades. Lasers are the weakest but ignore shields. Unfortunately the tech system means you generally want to commit to researching one weapon technology, rather than getting several and trying to rock-paper-scissors the enemy.
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Retsam

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Retsam » Mon May 16, 2016 5:12 pm

I haven't been following the Stellaris Dev Diaries, but the latest one has a bit of a roadmap for future changes. They're got a list of changes they'd like to make by late May early June (the "Clarke" update), a tentative list of change for the update after that ("Asimov"), and some speculation on what will be in the update after that one, ("Heinlein").

A bit that I'm glad to see addressed is this:
One area I was not at all surprised to get flak for is the lack of mid-game scripted content, however. We simply took too long getting all the early and late game stuff in, and neglected a whole category of events called “colony events”, which were supposed to be the bread and butter of the mid-game for the Science Ships.


Because this is more or less my current state of affairs. My "hippie space birds" have started tending towards a bit more militaristic in part because otherwise there's just not much to do at my current stage. I had the speed dial pretty consistently set to "fastest" while at peace.

---

I'm generally liking how war works, from what I've seen. At first I generally took vassalization as my war goal; and I managed to beat two opponents roughly my size and make them my vassals. (In defense of my "pacifist" ethic, the first one at least was a defensive war... the second one less so) That backfired when I discovered that there's a relations penalty based on the sum total size of your vassals: if your vassals out-number you, they'll all hate you (even the tiny vassals from societies that I advanced out of the dark ages)

You can, however, spend influence to incorporate a vassal into your empire directly; it took about 36 years of -3 influence per month, but I eventually got the larger vassal's territory under my direct control (and then split between my sectors); so now I'm much larger than the remaining vassal so that's no longer an issue. And I've taken to fighting wars for territory, instead of wars of vassalization to avoid repeating the problem. Downside there, is that directly conquering territory makes the inhabitants much less happy. So I'm now fighting some fires in the form of independence factions.

It really seems like a pretty good system. I can take territory if I like, but there's enough checks in place to make it hard for me to just blob up too quickly; realistically I need to take a few systems, suppress factions and appease the population until they're content, then repeat.
Ninety-Three

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Ninety-Three » Tue May 17, 2016 3:39 am

Retsam wrote:I'm generally liking how war works, from what I've seen.


Funny you should say that, I'm hating war. Spend a bunch of minerals to build a doom stack, throw it at the enemy doom stack, pray. It takes war to an almost Offworld Trading Company degree of abstracted pure economy. That would be fine if the game were more like CK2 and wars are something you want to get out of the way, but this is a much more traditional 4X, and it's a 4X without cultural or wonder or science victories, so war is really the only thing to do. I did a bunch of playthroughs of the early game (restarting as I figured out what things I was doing terribly suboptimally, getting further each time), but I burned out of the game when I hit the "Do war or do nothing" midgame.
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4th Dimension

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby 4th Dimension » Tue May 17, 2016 9:40 am

What you are supposed to do is declare war, engage the enemy to see what he is packing retool your fleet around exploiting their waknesses and removing weaknesses of your own. It's pretty normal for you to have to rebuild significant portions of your fleet. Also supposedly doomstacks are less workable later on since navies are larger and while you ae fighting this one fleet second one could be wrekcking your home system.
Ninety-Three

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Ninety-Three » Tue May 17, 2016 12:30 pm

"Engage with one scout, retrofit your doom stack, send doom stack, pray" is not significantly better. As for maneuverability concerns: Warp gates. Build a few redundant gates in case an enemy knocks one out and you can go from one end of your empire the other in less time than it takes them to capture one planet. They're so cheap that they really have no downside.
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4th Dimension

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby 4th Dimension » Tue May 17, 2016 1:46 pm

IN my expirience so far, it's not the speed of warp jump that slows me down but the time needed for my fleet to reach the hyperlimit of a system. And while you are chasing enemy fleets you are not invading the enemy.
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Humanoid

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Humanoid » Sat May 21, 2016 2:59 pm

I'm about twenty hours in now, 90% of that on my current game. I think I'll probably call it soon, definitely feeling the "nothing to do" syndrome people are all talking about. Fairly conventional game with mostly default settings except that nothing but hyperdrives are allowed. Picked off a couple of small neighbours, integrated one of them (20+ years, seriously?), expanded peacefully up to the borders of the larger empires on either side, have about twenty planets, and all my science and construction ships are idle having done everything they're able to do. I could pick a fight with a couple of mid-sized empires but I really don't want to deal with the post-war micromanagement, so eh, I'm just sitting here hoping for some interesting events or techs to come up. It's not happening.

Speaking of techs, I can't say I agree with some of the posts above saying it's interesting. I don't mind the random aspect, indeed I liked Blind Research in Alpha Centauri, but I think it's the individual techs themselves that are boring. Multiple techs that do nothing but at 10% fleet power for example - I get that it's a power increase, but it's also extremely boring, and it still takes years to research. Not much better are the various ones that unlock a single niche building or whatever: Biolab 2? I might have a couple of Biolab 1s in my entire empire.

Besides that, my biggest gripe would be the very fuzzy mechanics regarding borders, turning a lot of decisions into guesswork. Frontier Outpost radius is the most notable offender of course, and disbanding them perhaps even moreso. The art design of having the stars on a random Z-coordinate doesn't help things - sure I get that it's "realistic" but it's a strategic liability, give me a flat mapmode any day.
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4th Dimension

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby 4th Dimension » Sat May 21, 2016 6:39 pm

All stars have a line connecting them to the plane and a circle around the point where they connect to the plane. So you look at those and not at the star. Certanly a curious design decision considering star height over plane might as well be random and never influences any gameplay decisions. Now had this been a 3D galaxy the Z axis would have made sense. Knowing Paradox they probably tried it the first time but it probably was difficult to show borders in 3D.

As for the borders they are wierd because they aren't using normal border pushing where a Frontier station pushes the border a fixed amount out. Instead they have some sort of organic algorithm that pushes the border towards other borders in an attempt to produce nice anc blobby borders with no hard edges. Example. Say you put a Fronteer outpost that even at it's maximum push would have left a small channel between your territories. That does not happen in the long run since the algorithm will see those borders are close and will extend them until they touch.

As for the midgame slump, it's a Paradox game. And Paradox games are sandboxy simulators first and foremost. That means often you need to set goal to yourself because once you are out of the early game troubles often times your country will probably be able to run into the late game on it's own. So you need to make your own goals if the game is not throwing you into the thick of things. Maybe you can RP that you need to reach the next patch of open space so your scientist can do science. Or you want to expand or something.

They do admit that the events that should have been in the game for middle game are missing and they are working on that.

As for the tech. The time it takes to research scales proportionally with the size of the empire, making small efficient empires better at it (in order to hamper large psrawling ones), which is a mechanic from EU games where small German States were often the tech leaders.
As for Biolab I, II, III they had to add upgrades as researchables since the amound of tiles on planets is limited and you will run out of them long before the end game. As such I don't mind them.
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Humanoid

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Humanoid » Sun May 22, 2016 3:38 am

I've played hundreds of hours of Paradox strategy games, so I'm well familiar with the concept of setting your own goals. A better analogy for my purposes might be that games like CK2 and EU4 are like a bucket of Lego, you're free do whatever you like with them. Stellaris by comparison is a bucket of army men - sure, you can technically play with them however you like, but it's clear that there's one particular angle being pushed here. Without picking a fight, all of my resources are hard-capped, my fleet size is maxed out, and I've colonised everywhere possible - it's literally impossible to spend those resources on anything but war.

As for the other points, yeah, I can see the hexes denoting star locations on the 2D plane, but it's not very functional and you can't even click them to select that star. They're also invisible against certain colour territory - I can see them on my own blue territory and my other neighbour's slightly bluer territory, but it's completely invisible in my maroon neighbour's territory. Hopefully they can just add a checkbox in the option to change the display to 2D.

Borders should be a relatively easy fix too, it just needs a preview function. Whenever you do something that changes borders, the game should apply them but show a confirmation dialog to either accept or cancel the action.

The tech design, as I said, I can understand the idea behind, but the techs themselves are uninspired and were obviously designed backwards: come up with a thing (building, weapon, edict) then make a tech to specifically enable it. Perhaps it's unfair to compare it against a historically grounded game, but Civ by comparison has a tech represent some sort of higher concept, then attaches logical outcomes to it, and it feels a lot better to me. Using the Biolab example from earlier, I reckon it'd have felt better if the tech perhaps unlocked level 2 science labs of all types instead of one specific one, or perhaps have it also unlock a related edict or wonder.
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4th Dimension

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby 4th Dimension » Sun May 22, 2016 12:13 pm

The diplomacy is a bit on the weak side in Stellaris, but in EU it's not that much better and most of the things you might want to do will still end with you picking a fight with someone.

The science labs are on different techs so that you could potentially specialize in one field, since physics gets you pshysics labs, engineering gets you engi labs and so on.
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Humanoid

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Humanoid » Sun May 22, 2016 2:14 pm

Yeah, the AI almost never seems to initiate any diplomacy. Well, twice to declare rivalry which was never followed up on, despite one being listed as overall "superior" to me, and that they were Fanatical Purifiers with 50-100% more territory than I had and in excess of -1000 opinion of me. I just kept expanding peacefully, building Frontier Outposts right in their faces, and eventually the game changed my rating to "equivalent" and I assume that's probably the end of that threat. If the AI didn't attack me when the situation was so completely in their favour, when would they ever do so? Over the course of my game I got maybe 3-4 total notifications of war being declared, but every single one was in the other half of the galaxy and often involved "unknown faction" as one of the belligerents.

Looking at some of the other diplomatic options, I randomly signed a few pointless treaties which expired in 10 years, and I couldn't see any benefit to either party really - what use is a non-aggression pact when everyone is non-aggressive as a matter of course? Later on I found that I could trivially balance my economy by trading minerals for credits on a near-enough 1:1 basis, so I started just abusing the diplomacy system for that and not having to worry about mines vs power plant balance.
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4th Dimension

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby 4th Dimension » Sun May 22, 2016 9:39 pm

Then that is an AI problem. BTW, I don't remember can you set when making the game the AI agressivness. Maybe the agressivness was low. Then again these are kind of typical Paradox bugs.
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4th Dimension

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby 4th Dimension » Thu May 26, 2016 6:36 am

I'm still running my game in a half filled 1k galaxy and since I'm in a alliance/Federation with some pretty peacefull guys and we are the big kids on the block it has been mostly a science/colonization game. And it still draws me in. I want to get my synth friends. Come on research faster.
Yes I know my large number of planets is not helping, but I have found out that with no proper rival targets (except for the xenophobic cuttlefish antirimwards from me) you can not gather influence fast enough to expand through space stations so it has to be done via planets. And I recently messed it up a bit.
I had a suitable world in mind to expand to in the next arm of the galaxy (spinwards from the cuttlefish) only the world was a ocean one and not my Continental preference. That is not a problem I thought let's get the best pop I have on that planet and then genetically modify their preference. It's rpobably going to be cheap since it's like one pop and I also have these Trans-Terrans lying around. Colony is established and that's when I realized that pops that have modified themselves and not through my actions have used up more trait points than I can support tech wise and therefore I can not change them. FUCK. Okay no worries I have all these terraform resources and I have finally straigtened my problems energy wise and am drowning in it. So let's construct a terraforming station and let's teraform it into a Tropical one (Trans-Terran preference). The station is up and "You ale lacking the following resources 1 Terraforing gasses" FUCK. Okay Okay surely I can trade for those with my friends. Look my anti-spinward fed friend has those in one of his systems and I doubit he is using them . . . no he is using them or doesn't want to give them up. ... No one in the galaxy with which whoom I have positive relations (and considering I'm a Xenophile it's most of them) wants to make a trade. DAMN. Well enjoy your stay on a 20% habitability world Trans Terrans. I'm sure this cockup by the Terran administration won't make you mad at te suits in the central sector and spur your separatist tendencies.

The reason I made this post is to remark this.

PATCHES are actually helping performance wise. Before patching my 1k galaxy was basically unplayable at speeds faster than Normal. But now I can run the galaxy fine at Fastest with minimal stuttering. Good job Paradox.
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krellen
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Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby krellen » Thu May 26, 2016 11:15 am

Uh, an Ocean world should be 60% habitability for a Continental species.
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4th Dimension

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby 4th Dimension » Thu May 26, 2016 12:11 pm

krellen wrote:Uh, an Ocean world should be 60% habitability for a Continental species.

The Trans-Earthlings (I made a mistake and called my species Terrans when they are Earthlings) went Trans on an Tropical world and therefore are a Tropical subspecies of Earthlings. And habitability of Ocean worlds is a lot lower for Tropical species.
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Retsam

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Retsam » Thu May 26, 2016 4:51 pm

Once the planet gets a Planetary Administration, you can migrate away the tropicals and migrate in either a group that can be modified, or else just migrate in one of your Continental species.

Unless you happen to have open spots in a tropical world somewhere to put the current ones, they might just have to be deal with being unhappy wherever they end up; but it might be better to have 5 unhappy pops on 5 planets than 5 unhappy pops on 1 planet.
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4th Dimension

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby 4th Dimension » Fri May 27, 2016 5:49 am

I'm a Science Directorate, we don't relocate people because we don't make mistakes.

What do you say. Wasn't this a mistake? Well of course not. We were allways planing to test the effects of terraforming on a population. Result of 10 years of pouring dehydrating gasses all over a settled planet will soon be in. So far they point towards the fact that teraforming somehow makes the peopleof the planet and even the Synths VERY cross.
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grahams_xwing
Location: Corby, UK

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby grahams_xwing » Fri May 27, 2016 8:49 am

4th Dimension wrote:I'm a Science Directorate, we don't relocate people because we don't make mistakes.

What do you say. Wasn't this a mistake? Well of course not. We were allways planing to test the effects of terraforming on a population. Result of 10 years of pouring dehydrating gasses all over a settled planet will soon be in. So far they point towards the fact that teraforming somehow makes the peopleof the planet and even the Synths VERY cross.


4th Dimension wrote:The Trans-Earthlings (I made a mistake and called my species Terrans when they are Earthlings) .


You make some mistakes ;)
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4th Dimension

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby 4th Dimension » Fri May 27, 2016 9:38 am

grahams_xwing wrote:
4th Dimension wrote:I'm a Science Directorate, we don't relocate people because we don't make mistakes.

What do you say. Wasn't this a mistake? Well of course not. We were allways planing to test the effects of terraforming on a population. Result of 10 years of pouring dehydrating gasses all over a settled planet will soon be in. So far they point towards the fact that teraforming somehow makes the peopleof the planet and even the Synths VERY cross.


4th Dimension wrote:The Trans-Earthlings (I made a mistake and called my species Terrans when they are Earthlings) .


You make some mistakes ;)

That was a writing error not a science error. Don't worry the postgrad ... uhm I mean well paid editor, and not an unpaid postgrad whose work we took as our own ... which let the error in that particular paper through has been dealt with.
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krellen
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Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby krellen » Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:35 pm

Image
Just wanted to share this.

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