Goal of tech rush build is to rush megastructures, because it’s a good measure of how well your strat is doing, you need a lot of alloys, a lot of unity, and a lot of tech. Megastructures are not very strong atm, i just use year i achieve them as benchmark.
While driven assimilators are still king of pop acquisition, let’s talk about meatbag empires.
First some general notes on min maxing in 2.2.3:
The main bottleneck for everything are pops, so everything that helps in that regard is at premium value. I’m going to disregard conquest of the AI or pop kidnapping tactics, mainly because fighting AI in stellaris is an equivalent of fighting disabled autistic blind dwarf child on wheelchair. Secondly at current AI iteration there is not much to be gained, it’s not uncommon for AI to have +-30 pops while you are closing on 150 at 2230 mark.
In general no matter what traits or ethics you choose, to play most effectively you’ll follow these steps:
1) The best source of pops are planets. Plain and simple, even at -50% penalty when it’s “colony” it still grows pops for basically free (pre 2.2 there was huge energy upkeep). So spamming colony ships and claiming systems is better than any pop growth stacking.
2) Once you claimed all planets you can and are basically boxed you start to focus on reaching pop 10 on every planet (resettle), and building robots on every planet, and later you start spamming consumer goods and research labs, while trying to balance you monthly ticks of everything else. (usually this starts around 2240)
3) You maintain planets outside your habitability zone at pop 10/11 and resettle constantly to planets in your habitability range, habitability doesn’t affect pop growth.
4) You need to rush ecumenopolis because it helps with consumer goods and alloys (usually it get’s finished before 2260)
5) You plant your megastructure around 2290, depending on tech rolls.
6) (optional) You fight FE when you can (I still can’t do it before 2300 on this patch), then crisis, then you replay couple more times and wait for new patch
Xenophobe is a must. (I’m sure it will make a lot of ppl happy on this sub), but if you don’t pick fanatic xenophobe you are shooting yourself in the leg. 20% pop growth is basically 20% more pops, any other ethic will have 100 pops, xenophobe will be at +-120. Starbase discount helps to colonize faster. Again if you don’t pick xenophobe you will have less planets or you will have them later, which means less pops.
Second ethic is nowhere near as impactful, you could go anything. Pacifist is generally the strongest, as it allows for inward perfection, but you can’t invade primitives, and it’s a hassle to lose it later in the game.
Second tier is spiritualist, as it allows for exalted priesthood, which ramps up unity, mind over matter aligns with tech rushing. Edict discount is actually very strong, as it can allow you to spam farming subsidies more (and other edicts), which allows you to spam planetary encourage growth more.
Then it’s probably egalitarian, again more influence means more edict spam, and specialist output also helps. But less unity means less ascension perks, and overall less powerful empire.
Inward perfection is obviously amazing, just for that 20% pop growth, but at cost of no primitive invading, and you have to invest time into pacefist-exit ethic transition later.
Mining guilds is also god tier, it gives you ability to use less pops on minerals, which in turn helps with everything else. It’s not only alloys and civ goods, you’ll be turning minerals into exotic gasses and such.
Tier 2: None. A lot of garbage at this patch
Exalted priesthood: it makes temples even better, gives a lot of unity. Don’t get me wrong traditions (except expansion) are trash this patch, but still if you get a lot of them it’s better than anything else you can get for 1 civic slot.
Tier 4: Slavers guild, if you want to play slaves, it’s some free economic output.
Good 3 rd slot picks:
Aristocratic elite, it transfers some of the administrators to nobles, each noble +5 stability. And usually you can afford 1 building slot to noble estate building, which will give another +5 stability.
Byzantine bureaucracy, more amenities means more stability, but it’s far less effective than Aristoc. Elite. Housing usage is nice, but you will not suffer too much overpopulation before 2350 (that’s when I start battling crisis usually).
Environmentalist and efficient bureaucracy: is slight above garbage level civic.
Other notable civics:
Mechanist: You start with more pops, and with robot assembly buildings, building robots is basically equivalent of 66% more pop growth. Good stuff. Problem is you can get the tech as early 2211, more reliably in 2216 range. You will not be able to have many planet producing robots at that mark, so all in all you’ll get somewhere around +-8 more robot pops advantage over normal empire on 2216 mark. Mechanist is great on paper and my first builds were mechanists, but math doesn’t justify civic slot for it.
Technocracy: Well if you have around 10 planet with upgraded colony building it will give you around 150/month science by year +-2220. It’s not much when your goal is around 5k science per tick in 2280. You’ll get more tech earlier, the problem in stellaris design is, almost every tech needs a building or other investment to make use of. But you are still developing economy to be rushing rare gass production and better science buildings, and you might not have pops. And some buildings are even locked away by population number on your planets, so early science doesn’t really transfer into even more science directly. And there are better unity civics. In comparison with the above it’s not good enough.
Post apocalyptic: gives your species habitability on every planet at 60%. But habitability is not an issue in this patch, you can use planets outside your habitability as breeding grounds, keep it at pop 10-11, with robot production, and resettle constantly. So you’ll end up with 3 oragnics and rest robots, who don’t care about habitability… You can terraform them or build those planets into ecumenopolis later.
Tier 1: Rapid breeders is a must.
Tier 2: Industrious (extreme synergy with mining guilds)
Agrarian (more food more planetary food decitions spam for more pops)
Ingenious is weaker then above because you will not be producing as much energy from the planets, you will also use trade.
Nomadic : it actually gives more growth through immigration (the amount of emigrating pops is multiplied by 1.15 to get an immigrating pop growth number), and you’ll resettle all game long so it saves money
Communal and convservationist: are the last two that are worth the point traits
Deviants is basically free point. You will not struggle with multiple factions in mono species empire, in multiple species your starting species don’t matter.
Nonadaptive: Again adaptability/habitability is not a big issue, it doesn’t affect the most important thing.. pop growth. Take nonadaptive still colonize every round rock you find. it’s the -2 point trait wonder.
Weak and fleeting are also almost free points, but sadly you can’t take em’ all.
Oligarchic doesn’t piss of egalitarian faction, and is straight up better than democratic, because your leader will also have random ambition/agenda bonus. Unity gains from democratic are negligible, and not guaranteed. You are also likely to lose your high level scientist in 2210, right in the middle of long anomaly… Author governments will piss off egalitarian faction, which is very common.
So what’s the best build?
My go to currently is xenophobe, spiritualist, pacifist. Mining guilds, Inward perf. + aristocratic elite. Oligarchic.
Nonadaptive, deviants, industrious, rapid breeding, nomadic. I sacrifice one iteration of xenophobe for temples and guaranteed spiritualist faction which helps me transition out of pacifist.
I started my dyson on 2287 (first league spawn, default settings, admiral, small galaxy, no mods), here are some pics of progression.
Tips, tricks and more:
Ecumenopolis: You’ll find ppl talking about planet 25 size ecumenopolis the reality is, by the time you have the tech and ascension perk (+-2250) you will not have removed tile blockers and build city districts on 25 size planet. Pick size 12-13, outside your habitability with the least amount of different tile blockers, so you can have it ready in time !! While you are converting planet to ecumenopolis, use this time to prepare second planet. Also probably around size 12-13.
First league is OP, it gives you one 25 size ecumenopolis for free, so restart until you are in position for one. More info here and here
Gaia terraforming is bugged in 2.2.3 stay away, it will randomly delete your districts and districts slots.
Use scientist and governor juggling. Governor with architectural interest -10 building costs discount is your friend, have only one of him, and every time you’re going to build something place him in the sector, queue buildings and so on. The same for tile removing discount. Juggle scientists for research or anomalies. You have two scientist surveying one is +10% anomaly chance the other is random. If the first one finds anomaly, switch them around and use +10% anomaly chance on surveying while the other one will investigate anomaly. Min maxing is hard work!
Don’t use enforcer jobs in early game!! When you upgrade colony building, you have two options, either pause on exact day, and turn off the job so it doesn’t get filled, or come later turn off the job, and resettle unemployed specialist to planet where he’ll have some use soon. On your capital world I open with mining district, then with alloy factory, before factory is finished I turn off enforcer job, so specialist will automatically fill in new alloys factory slot. You have so few pops early on, it will help your economy a lot !. It’s also not worth working clerk jobs early on.
You don’t need a station in a system with a planet to build colony ships, and you can have any species in your empire on any colony ship you build. Sometimes it’s advantageous to have your homeworld star base with two trading hubs early so it can reach important trade systems. Move your shipyard further from your core so your colony ships don’t have to travel for a long time.
There is no space for cloning clinics. 10% growth it too small for such investment. You’ll reach your peak by 2280/2290 mark, every time you’re considering cloning clinic, build a science lab instead.
How to get out of pacifist? Ethics which will be removed=lowest attraction ethic. So you suppress pacifist faction, then embrace spiritualist or anything other, pacifist will have lowest attraction and will be removed.
All an all 2.2.3 is a buggy mess. And from minmaxer’s perspective quite disappointing. A lot of civics/ethics are unusable and poorly balanced. I’d say difference between the best possible build, and the worst is around 15-20 years of megastrucute timing. So quite negligible.
If anyone has better build, or has one that can beat FE before 2300 I’m all ears, cause after many attempts I still can’t pull it off this patch :(. Mby with fire rate bonuses..
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