Stellaris

Barbaric Despoilers are still bad – here’s how they could be made better.

stellaris 7 - Barbaric Despoilers are still bad - here's how they could be made better.
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I noticed Barbaric Despoilers in the civics list when starting a new Federations game the other day, so I decided to try it for a bit. I noticed the tooltip had been changed to mention that they couldn't form certain kinds of federations, so it was obvious that someone had looked over the civic but not changed it in any way. Long story short, they are still pretty shit – just as shit as they have always been. The problems with the civic are glaring:

  1. It takes multiple ethic points to even take the civic.You need to be some degree of militarist, and then either authoritarian or xenophobe. This is a trait BS shares with many of the genocidal civics – Fanatic Purifiers are, for example, limited to militarist or spiritualists + Fanatic xenophobe. Your government types are extremely limited when playing them.
  2. Their entire purpose is subverted by Nihilistic Acquisition.Usually, at least for myself, I struggle with picking a third ascension perk as it is before the really good ones start unlocking. I do not, however, have trouble picking a civic. If I want all the benefits of Barbaric Despoilers (but none of the downsides) I can just design a Militarist Xenophobe/Auth Empire and then take Nihilistic Acquisition as an ascension perk. This frees up a civic slot at the start of the game and gives you nigh all the benefits, with none of the downsides. Speaking of which…
  3. They have a plethora of downsides and very, very few upsides.What is the benefit of actually taking this civic? You start with raiding orbital bombardment, and you have a special CB that gives you a few minerals and credits when you win a war using it. Ok, cool, what are the downsides?- Cannot create some types of Federations- Limited government type with required ethics (as mentioned)- Opinion penalty from every other empire- No Migration treaties- Locked civic slot for whole game- In my experience at least, the Despoliation CB is second to, say, a system claim CB

Pretty useless IMO. I think there are a few ways it could be fixed to make it a bit better to use. For example…
1. Raiding could be changed to be like in CK2, where you can designate an army as a raiding army and march them into another nation to loot and plunder.
2. Like many other permanent civics, BS could be given some combat bonuses. Sublight speed, fire rate, admiral level cap perhaps?
3. Decreasing ethic requirements to just militarist. I think it would be interesting to play as a fanatic egalitarian who abducts their pops and forbids them from leaving.

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I think any of these changes would help improve the quality of the civic. I think BS needs some love by now as it came out all the way back in February of 2018 and has yet to receive any kind of buff, balance, or other change. I think the civic idea is fantastic and really opens the floor for some interesting gameplay but as of now it is just too weak to take. I would love some community input on this, lemme know what you guys think. Thanks!
edit: formatting

TL;DR: Barbaric Despoilers hasn't gotten a buff in 2 years and really needs one.

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