Author Topic: Stellaris  (Read 1355 times)

Lann

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Stellaris
« on: September 19, 2016, 04:08:48 PM »
Anyone been playing it?  Just got it recently, as I'm a huge fan of Crusader Kings II, and I'm having a whale of a time thus far with the exploration portion of this 4X game. 

Foxglove

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2016, 12:17:24 AM »
No, I haven't got it yet, but I plan to get it in the future when it's on sale with a good reduction. I'm a big fan of the 4X genre (although mainly the turn-based variety). I've noticed the Steam reviews for it have been mixed, but I expect they'll fix the problems with it in the future. Have you experienced any of the things that they complain about in the negative Steam reviews?

By the by, while looking through the new releases, I also noticed an early access 4X game called Stars in Shadow that looks very promising. I like the art style - although I suspect it won't be to everyone's tastes - and the description of what they plan for the gameplay. Judging by the comments in the reviews, it sounds like the game has quite a way to go, but it might be worth a look if you're into this type of game.
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Lann

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2016, 04:32:43 PM »
I do like 4x and grand strategy games.  I might take a look.

As for Stellaris, I haven't yet gotten deep enough into to see a lot of the problems mentioned in the reviews.  I'm still on my first playthrough but what I've experienced has been very enjoyable.  I will say this, they got the "Exploration" part of the 4X model down.  I don't think there's been a 4X game where I actually felt intrigued or excited about the possibility of sending my scouts out to explore as I have with Stellaris.  Most of the time, exploration is just another thing to do, almost as an afterthought, with no real mystique or allure to it.  Send scout craft to x, turn on setting to randomly explore, then completely forget about it until your scout blows up and you have to send out another one. 

But here in Stellaris, there's a lot to the exploration aspect.  For one, you use science vessels that require scientific leaders to operate and who you don't want to lose typically (as any leader assigned to a ship will probably die if their ship blows up) because they contribute actively to your research growth.  Then when you send them out, they actually have to perform detailed surveys of each objective or planet, so you don't learn everything there is to know about a system just by a ship stumbling into it. 

What's more, surveys turn up interesting results.  You of course will find what resources are being offered at stars, asteroids, and planets for you to later put down mining stations; however, you can discover anomolies that when researched, can do anything from increasing research output to helping you discover a new pre-FTL race (which btw you can observe, enslave, uplift to a proper faction of their own or as your protectorate, etc.).  You can even set off event chains that drastically help or harm your or other empires as you explore them.  You can study ruins and wrecks left behind and weird life to later analyze.  It's the first 4X I've played that gives me that sort of Star Trek like feel to "seek out new life  and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before."  It really also helps that you're never too sure what kind or races you'll stumble upon as there are no set races, but rather a template with a wide variety of selections for portraits, names, ethics, government types, etc.   And you'll find them at varying levels of advancement, with some being higher than you, equivalent to your level, or pre-space age, all the way back to their Neolithic eras. 

Now as for empire management, combat, or such, I'll have to get back to you on that.  I've only been in a few low-tech battles and am no where near to the highest level of technology.   I've no idea what I'm going to encounter, though there IS such a thing as harmful technological advancement in this game.  Turns out messing around with other dimensions can lead to grave consequences, like unleashing a race of pure energy beings that proceed to annihilate everything in their path and require a multi-nation coalition just to repel.  So that's cool.  But it will be a while before I can really give an educated overview of how well this actually plays out.

Diplomacy however looks kind of basic, and that does trouble me.  I mean, there's often very little reason to interact diplomatically with anyone, even if you specialize in it, and that's kind of a shame considering the wide variety of races with different ethics.  But more often than not, the aliens you find don't like you and don't want to talk to you; and those that do, there's not much really to do with.  I'd like to see this aspect really expanded with as much detail and flavor as Paradox has paid other areas.  Compared to CKII or even other 4X games, there's no where near the same level of political intrigue or nuance you can play.  And that honestly surprises me considering that almost all of CKII's appeal was from what you could do politically.  Comparatively, Stellaris is kind of shallow, and I wonder how you can have a 'Grand Strategy' game with so little to work with there.

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2016, 04:41:12 PM »
I've been playing the snot out of it. I mean, it's no 500+ hours I've logged in Civ V, but it'll get there in time. I've had it a fraction of the time I've had CK2, and it's already at 142 hours versus CK2's 259.

Lann is right though, Stellaris shines in the exploration phase, especially the first couple play throughs (even if you play the same empire setup). It shines even more if you play the game differently, with different ethics and such.

The next build, Heinlein I think they call it, will up things even further, and add a DLC that will make the mid-game more interesting. Mid-game is where it starts to get kind of dull, where you're just waiting for late-game. And late-game is well, interesting, if you manage to hit the right flags. With the new DLC, it'll make the mid-game more worthwhile and maybe make the late-game a bit of a challenge.

And yes, there is tech that can trigger a certain late-game flag, a couple techs actually, that trigger different ones. Sometimes they're curb-stomp level easy, other times YOU are curb-stomp level easy. Somehow, in 142 hours, I've only triggered 2 of 3 of the end-game events... I've also got one of the rare techs all of once in umpteen games.

There's also a few great mods out there for Stellaris, like "Fight for Universe", which adds four new start types, a number of events, and a slew of other tweaks.

That said, CK2 focuses more on empires than families, so it's more EUIV than CK2.
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