Hello! So, this is just a little idea I thought up which might be interesting, probably as a mod (though I admit, I have no idea how to mod myself, I'm just shouting into the void about this thing I thought of) or something. The basic idea for the scenario is this: you, and all of the other "standard" AI empires, all start the game not being surrounded by empty, unoccupied space (or at least by very little empty space), but instead by a giant, galaxy-spanning empire that is currently undergoing collapse. Think the Imperium of Man from 40k, or something like that. To continue with the 40k analogy, you, and all the other standard empires, would basically be put in the same position as the Tau. You'd have to carefully, tactically pick away at what you could get away with, through conquest- and possibly sometimes careful negotiation with the various factions vying for power within the empire, all without becoming enough of a nuisance to them to justify bringing down their still considerable weight upon you, instead of the various other internal and external threats to their power.
Of course, there would need to be various subfactions- individual lords and nobles, bureaucrats and power hungry officials representing the various internal powers within the empire. Perhaps some of them would be more prone to external influence than others.
Perhaps this empire has technology far greater than you, but, do they understand it? Do you dare to try? Is reverse engineering technology possibly tens of thousands of years greater than your own worth the potential risks, whatever they may be?
What about whatever else must be fighting against them, other than themselves, of course.
Perhaps there could be different types of collapsing empires, each one radically different from the others? Of course, there is your Imperium of Man style authoritarian spiritualist xenophobes, but what about other possibilities? Such as:
Materialist, fanatic authoritarian, xenophile: a dystopian falling empire based around the forceful integration of alien species, twisting them into whatever twisted abominations of science and technology they desire, and discarding them when they no longer have a use for them. Subfactions might include various aspects of bureaucracy, or groups within their twisted science divisions.
Fanatic militarist, authoritarian: A far more "traditional" space Rome in its later days, with no particularly strong stance on aliens. Perhaps the most easy to negotiate with, yet the most difficult to conquer.
Xenophile authoritarian, which can gain egalitarian: A paradoxical galactic Republic, perhaps long ago originally founded upon ideals of self determination, egalitarianism and democracy, similar to the United Federation of Planets in Star Trek, but has over time become overrun by inefficient bureaucracy and corporate greed. Now it is a place where the bourgeoisie exploit those below them, leaving everyone else to starve. Relying far more on soft power than the other collapsing empires, they may be able to convince other empires to join them as a subfaction, or convince others to destroy you for them, if you cause too much of a problem. Though, perhaps they can be joined. And perhaps, just maybe, they can be changed from the inside.
I don't know why I made this post. This is a dumb idea and I'm sorry for sharing it.
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© Post "An interesting/maybe dumb scenario I thought of: Collapsing Empires" for game Stellaris.
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