[Stellaris] Actual Universalis

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Delthazar
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[Stellaris] Actual Universalis

Post#1 » Tue May 10, 2016 5:26 am

My Stellaris download is done, just before I have to leave for work, so this is going to feel like a slow-ass day. Also there goes any and all productivity in my off hours, probably.

The empire creation stuff in the quick look is extremely my jam. All those alien customization options are insane. Pretty sure I saw Babylon 5's Shadows in there.

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Re: CF-WRUP III: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?

Post#2 » Tue May 10, 2016 11:43 am

Stellaris? I was looking for a new RTS-esque game to play...

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Re: CF-WRUP III: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?

Post#3 » Tue May 10, 2016 6:17 pm

Stellaris is good. Certainly the most accessible Paradox game I've played. And and a fun 4X-y type of space thing too.

It's not 100% perfect. I could use more flavour for the various techs, for example. But it does what it does very well.

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Delthazar
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Re: CF-WRUP III: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?

Post#4 » Wed May 11, 2016 4:57 pm

I wish I could toggle more galaxy map UI elements on/off for a cleaner look and easier navigation, but other than that I'm having a blast with Stellaris so far. It's pretty much doing everything right that Endless Space sorta had trouble with and avoiding a lot of fairly annoying or rote space-4x genre traps.

The soundtrack alone is kinda worth the price. Very Mass Effect/Jean-Michel Jarre/Blade Runner.

phpBB [video]


If more of Paradox's games were this accessible I'd probably be all over them. Thankfully with sales this strong - Stellaris has destroyed all of Paradox's previous records in one day - I gotta imagine that their games from this point on will have learned a lot of lessons in that area.

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Re: CF-WRUP III: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?

Post#5 » Wed May 11, 2016 7:28 pm

What UI elements are vexing you, Del? My only major flaw, so far, is when things get cluttered around a planet, with a spaceport and ships and everything else.

But, yeah, who would have thought that Paradox would be the one to solve the problem of hard to penetrate 4x mechanics while maintaining a solid level of depth?

Like I said, a lot of my problems are flavour. I find myself barely glancing at technology summaries because it's just "+1 thing to the thing". Contacts could be done better too. I've had a few games where no one is willing to trade, no matter how lopsided in their favour it is.

Stuff like sectors is something I grate against naturally but it works pretty well. I've also found Influence really hard to grind out, to the point of ignoring it for the most part. Oh, and having to fully decipher a language before other empire borders "appear" sucks and has led to at least one colony of mine being completely enveloped by another empire upon first contact.

I really, really dig the randomisation elements of other empires though. And with mods, that can be expanded further, which will be neat. I'll have to create Star Ocean's Pangalactic Federation. Or just some weird Space Suikoden thing.

So Stellaris isn't perfect but it seems like Paradox are making a real effort to take feedback on board for patching, not just for DLC and/or sequels. It had quite a bit of hype but even so it's my breakout hit of the year so far, for sure.

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Delthazar
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Re: CF-WRUP III: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?

Post#6 » Wed May 11, 2016 8:43 pm

Yeah, mostly just clutter. Everything that modern Civ games let you toggle would be nice to have here. Resource numbers in systems, quest markers, bits of the political overlay maybe, like the splotchy empire colours and stuff. No biggie really.

There's a tooltip delay for tech flavour and such, should only be a couple seconds by default though.

Influence is a huge problem for me right now because all my leaders are starting to die of old age. I'm down to one scientist at the empire level and none on the field, so my research speed is way down and I can't survey, which is becoming a pretty big issue now that I'm also facing an energy credit deficit and need to find new locations for mining stations, plus all the exploring that isn't getting done properly. There's a ton of meat in surveying, uncovering cool shit, researching that cool shit, and getting cool shit, and I can't do that without scientists.

Trade might depend on species personalities to a certain extent, and how much they dig you. I happen to be in an alliance with a race of peaceful materialistic traders, xenophiles to boot, so they've been extremely accommodating.

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Re: CF-WRUP III: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?

Post#7 » Wed May 11, 2016 9:07 pm

The best tips for getting Influence seem to be: fulfill leader mandates (my main source, and it gets you a bunch at once), make comparable or superior empires your rivals and don't build outposts unless you absolutely need to (colonies are actually much more preferable, which is a little counter-intuitive at first glance but I guess it forces you to "commit" to expanding, otherwise you can just carve out a huge empire you couldn't even exploit). It hasn't let me swim in Influence, but there's enough that I can keep my leaders topped up even after the first generations started dropping off.

Alliances reduce Influence which is a little odd to me, but there you go.

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Delthazar
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Re: CF-WRUP III: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?

Post#8 » Thu May 12, 2016 5:00 pm

I managed to get back into a slow trickle of positive influence thanks to getting new colonization techs for different biomes and settling on planets in systems that had outposts, then disbanding those outposts. Just having 'em running will cost you 1 influence a month per outpost, and I had several.

I think alliance influence requires you to be the top dog, I guess either by number of ships or number of worlds, to see any gains or just avoid losing a point or two per month, but that could easily be wrong.

So now I'm able to settle continental, tropical, and oceanic worlds, which has greatly expanded by colony network. I'll have about three large sectors by the time I fully settle just the local stars, keeping my core worlds under my direct control for now. The way sectors work is a bit weird but I'll get used to it.

Finally got a new generation of scientists going, will have to start on my governors now since they've all croaked in the meantime as well. Maybe an admiral for the tutorial quest. I dunno.

Have you got any Steam cheevos yet? Mine aren't popping despite meeting more than a few requirements. Maybe it's disabled if you've got the tutorial bot on. I don't wanna disable him though, he's a funny guy.

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Delthazar
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Re: CF-WRUP III: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?

Post#9 » Fri May 13, 2016 6:25 pm

Thor McOTannenbaum wrote:I have yet to play Stellaris, so once I actually get going with that (maybe tonight), I'll keep you posted on my progress.



Stellaris might be a little intense if you're not used to 4X strategy, but maybe not. Paradox made a ton of improvements with their tutorial systems this time I hear. But Stardew is totally a game pretty much designed to allow people to progress at their own pace. The perfect relaxation game if you ask me.

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Re: CF-WRUP III: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?

Post#10 » Sat May 14, 2016 6:38 am

Deltron 20X6 wrote:So now I'm able to settle continental, tropical, and oceanic worlds, which has greatly expanded by colony network. I'll have about three large sectors by the time I fully settle just the local stars, keeping my core worlds under my direct control for now. The way sectors work is a bit weird but I'll get used to it.


Sectors are okay, seeing as you can mostly click in and do building stuff if you need to. The AI for it isn't great though.

Deltron 20X6 wrote:Have you got any Steam cheevos yet? Mine aren't popping despite meeting more than a few requirements. Maybe it's disabled if you've got the tutorial bot on. I don't wanna disable him though, he's a funny guy.


I haven't got any achievements yet, even with tutorials completely off. It has to be a bug.

My new complaint is that the game seems to chug and stutter a bit, even on a medium map. Which is a bit of a joke considering my PC runs Metal Gear Solid V smooth as butter. Paradox's lack of settings doesn't help.

Thor McOTannenbaum wrote:I have yet to play Stellaris, so once I actually get going with that (maybe tonight), I'll keep you posted on my progress.


Deltron 20X6 wrote:Stellaris might be a little intense if you're not used to 4X strategy, but maybe not. Paradox made a ton of improvements with their tutorial systems this time I hear.


The full tutorial pretty much walks you through exploring your own system and building up your planet to explore and mine that system and after that you can keep the information pop-ups on. It's not so hot for later game stuff, but as a starter tutorial, I think it's really good.

And it's very very far from the most obtuse 4X strategy game. It might be one of the least intense to begin, really. There's less "you made a mistake in the first 10 minutes, your entire game is fucked now" sort of feeling.

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Delthazar
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Re: CF-WRUP III: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?

Post#11 » Sat May 14, 2016 11:04 am

Well, for someone who's never played a 4X, it could be a bit intense even with the lighter UI and improved tutorial.

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Re: CF-WRUP III: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?

Post#12 » Sat May 14, 2016 6:56 pm

Seems that cheevos for Stellaris only drop in Ironman.

I abandoned my first game after getting bogged down in a massive series of wars, most of which were manageable, but one asshole with an Overwhelming military rating kept declaring against my alliance and apparently going after me specifically, despite one of the other races in the alliance being the supposed primary target. Seemed like there'd be no end to the occupation-liberation-reoccupation cycle, or throwing all I could muster against one of their fleets just for three more fleets of the same rating popping up on my flank a little later. Pfft.

New game is in Ironman for the cheevos and to see what extra flavour it adds to the game. Seems fine so far. Went with a 4-armed medium spiral galaxy with no "advanced powers" or whatever setting it is that starts a few AI players ahead of everyone else. Also, hyperspace lanes only, for easier zone control. One thing I really like about Stellaris are all the different FTL types, but man, with most of the players just using warp drives, that can get really difficult to manage in a big-ass war scenario.

I like how wars are presented though. Going in with specific demands is much different than the norm that I'm used to. I lost one of those alliance wars in the first game but didn't actually lose any territory, since the aggressor was staking claims elsewhere. So I guess the alliance lost but I came out even, despite losing a battle or two or even getting occupied once. Not just another simple Civ-like land grab it seems.

But man, I wish it were easier to coordinate offensives with the allied AIs. I did notice that a ton of allied fleets would rally alongside my fleets while I was building up, then follow me when I went on the attack, and often time those combined numbers made a huge difference, but at the same time there's still a ton of enemy and allied fleets just kinda moseying around doing nothing in particular.

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Re: CF-WRUP III: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?

Post#13 » Sun May 15, 2016 2:19 pm

AI allied assaults are always an issue in all 4X style games, either they're super aggressive AIs anyway (Greece, Zulu) and you're mostly just pointing them at someone that's not you, or they're moderate and most of the time sit around doing nothing.

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Re: CF-WRUP III: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?

Post#14 » Sun May 15, 2016 9:16 pm

Cheevos still aren't popping for me, even in Ironman Mode. Maybe because I'm using a custom empire and some aesthetic mods.

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Delthazar
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Re: CF-WRUP III: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?

Post#15 » Sun May 15, 2016 9:54 pm

Mods are probably the culprit. I've been custom in both modes but popped a few hot cheeves in Ironman.

Ironman or not my current game is so far infinitely more successful than my first. Maybe because I decided earlier to build wide rather than tall, the latter of which is probably more of a Civilization strategy. So now I've got 30-something planets spread across five or six sectors and a nice big chunk of the galactic map under my control and I'm bordered by two very friendly empires and one Fallen Empire with the Xenophile trait, so they love me too, even with my borders expanding into their space (picked up two of their systems that way.) Good times.

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Re: CF-WRUP III: What are you playing RIGHT NOW?

Post#16 » Sun May 15, 2016 10:40 pm

What type of map are you playing? I hear tall can work better on a spiral arm map.

My Space French Bird Empire (I created a custom name file filled with Not Actually French words for this one) is doing okay. But as usual, I ended up starting near a not so friendly Fallen Empire which means I have to be very careful about expanding. And even more as usual one of the Situation Log mission objectives is right in their territory.

I'm bordered by one Cool Trader and one Asshole Xenophobe. It's a good balance. I also got to research Galactic Ambitions early, which helps keep my empire contiguous and cuts down on the need for outposts.

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Delthazar
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Re: [Stellaris] Actual Universalis

Post#17 » Mon May 16, 2016 7:41 pm

Four-arm spiral with 400 stars, or Medium I think, which seems to be enough space to build wide unless you get hosed on hyperspace checkpoints if you limited the game to that FTL option like I did.

Lots of great stuff coming up according to the dev diaries. The "Clarke" and "Asimov" patches sound like they could solve a lot of our little issues and improve the game in a bunch of other ways too.

https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/in ... ge.932668/

"CLARKE" HIGHLIGHTS
Fixes to the Ethic Divergence and Convergence issues. Currently, Pops tend to get more and more neutral (they lose Ethics, but rarely gain new ones.)
The End of Combat Summary. This screen looks bad and also doesn’t tell you what you need to know in order to revise your ship designs, etc.
Sector Management GUI: There are many issues with this, and we will try to get most of them fixed.
Diplomacy GUI issues. This includes the Diplomatic Pop-Ups when other empires contact you, but also more and better looking Notifications, and more informative tooltips on wars, etc.
AI improvements: Notably the Sector AI, but also plenty of other things. This kind of work is never "finished"...
Myriads of bug fixes and smaller GUI improvements.
Late game crises bugs. There were some nasty bugs in there, blocking certain subplots and various surprising developments.
EDIT: Remaining Performance Issues. We know about them; they might even be hotfixed before Clarke.
EDIT: Corvettes are too good.


"ASIMOV" HIGHLIGHTS (NOT SET IN STONE!)
Border Access Revision: Borders are now open to your ships by default, although empires can choose to Close their borders for another empire (lowering your relations, of course.)
Tributaries: New diplomatic status and corresponding war goals.
Joint Declarations of War: You can ask other empires to join you for a temporary alliance in a war against a specific target.
Defensive Pacts.
Harder to form and maintain proper Alliances.
More war goals: Humiliate, Open Borders, Make Tributary, etc.
Emancipation Faction. We had to cut this one at the last minute. Needs redesign.
Diplomatic Map Mode. Much requested!
Diplomatic Incidents: This is a whole class of new scripted events that causes more interaction with the other empires.


Seemed like we have enough meat on these bones for a new thread.

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Thor McOdin Senpai
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Re: [Stellaris] Actual Universalis

Post#18 » Mon May 16, 2016 8:04 pm

Okay. Web conference tomorrow and THEN I can play this damn game.

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Re: [Stellaris] Actual Universalis

Post#19 » Wed May 18, 2016 10:23 am

Space French Bird game is still going well. Now I'm colonising worlds already in my borders to boost the population and expand my fleet. We were having some really energy troubles for a while but some trade deals kept things running until a mass expansion of the power grids through the Republic solved the problem. Everyone else is mainly either friendly, weak or far away, although some alliances and federations could cause some havoc if things went awry.

I did meet a tiny, vassalised Human Empire on Sol III though. Feels bad, man. I kicked them a one-sided trade deal out of pity.

Still no cheevos, which sucks because my mods are just extra emblems and colours as well as removing the region border lines from the galactic map and desaturating the nebulae there as well for clearer border reading at a glance. Actually, I just turned on the "beautiful battles" mod as well, seeing as I wasn't popping achievements anyway. It's pretty nifty.

When I start a new game, I might go spiral arm. It sounds like there's a bit more strategy and having to actually deal with neighbours. On the standard star barf map, it's fairly easy to go around other empires and just not deal with them.

Might also try hyperdrive lanes next time as well, although I do like everyone having different FTL mechanisms so I don't think I'll force it on everyone. I dunno.

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Delthazar
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Re: [Stellaris] Actual Universalis

Post#20 » Mon May 23, 2016 8:53 am

Image

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Re: [Stellaris] Actual Universalis

Post#21 » Mon May 23, 2016 10:07 am

Did you get the Fallout one yet?

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Delthazar
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Re: [Stellaris] Actual Universalis

Post#22 » Wed May 25, 2016 9:40 am

Naw, unless you count the pre-FTL species I was observing who split the atom and were right on the verge of becoming spacefaring before blowing themselves up in a nuclear war.

Remember that shitty Stardew Valley whitewash mod? Welp, here we go again.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/05/p ... ntroversy/

Entire new races of fungus dudes and bird people but brown humans, that's a step too far

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Re: [Stellaris] Actual Universalis

Post#23 » Wed May 25, 2016 1:08 pm

Seems like Paradox were willing to let it fly because I guess it's a cosmetic mod and if you wanted to play Space White People Culture (Space Britain, Space Rome, Space Belgium) or whatever, then it's still really weird but that's your choice, until the dude edited the description to spew on the exact line of thought behind the mod which was as predictably awful as you'd suspect.

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Delthazar
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Re: [Stellaris] Actual Universalis

Post#24 » Sat May 28, 2016 10:42 am

Seems I recruited myself an admiral who simply refuses to die.

Image

She's still kicking since I took that screencap. Monthly odds be damned!

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Delthazar
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Re: [Stellaris] Actual Universalis

Post#25 » Sun May 29, 2016 12:23 am

After at least a century (maybe two?) of peace, alliances, the formation of a federation with my three neighboring buds, and steady scientific growth after my last big colonization push ended ages ago and more or less finalized my borders, here comes a wrench in the works.

Image

uh... well, y'know, keep an eye on that, guys

Image

GUYS

Image

So I'm the Earth League in the upper center there. Three of my four neighbors - Fafossan State, Mandate of Thar'Biq, and the Republican Buhavilaa Provinces - are staunch allies of mine in my federation. The fourth neighbor is the Canthari Enclave, a Fallen Empire who sees the rest of us as children: overwhelmingly powerful, but dead neutral.

The Unbidden portal opened up in what used to be a nice peaceful pocket of space belonging to the Kenjodan Commonality. It's gone now. The Kenjodan have since lost all their holdings on that spiral arm, including their homeworld, to the Unbidden, who are now cutting a swath to the galactic north through the Cartel of Dagir'Fon. They've gotten about halfway to the Fafossan border since I took this screenshot.

Of course, if the Cartel would just agree to open their borders to my military, I could bring my five fleets (now 10k strong each) from the core worlds through allied Fafossan space and engage the Unbidden, who will otherwise tear their empire in half, but they won't give me that access. So I'm going to have to sit on my hands until they either reduce most of the Cartel to ash as far north as my Fafossan buddies, or watch them try to take on the Canthari, which would be a ridiculous bloodbath.

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