This was true since the day they introduced Gene Clinics, but is even more true since they eliminated the "Healthcare Campaign" edict and introduced Necroids (more on that later)- healthcare is SEVERELY underrepresented both as a resource sink and a potential reward in Stellaris, and needs a buff.
How this has gotten worse:
No more Healthcare Campaign: obviously, this reduced the importance of healthcare in the game. Also reduced max pop growth possible (see below).
Necroids: rewards what I shall call the "Nazi playstyle"- being Authoritarian Xenophobe and purging/assimilating anyone not your species. Ability to turn xeno pops into your own "perfect" species on automatic is a Supremacist's wet dream. And the reduced pop growth this Origin engenders on the homeworld, along with extra starting pops (from neighboring primitives species- who are also cheaper to conquer than it is to found a colony from scratch!) leads to even lower likelihood a player will feel they can "waste" on of a limited number of build slots on a Gene Clinic- a grossly suboptimal building choice for any playsttle.
Healthcare needs a buff, badly. Gene Clinics are so bad that, in my current game, building Unity buildings as a Megacorp was a surer path to both short AND long-term pop growth than clinics- as it would enable me to finish the Domination traditions sooner, get more Influence, and thus build more Habitats as soon as I teched them…
Think about this: middle MANAGERS are a larger slice of your job market, and a surer path to pop growth, than Healthcare workers. This is beyond broken! In real life, HCW's make up >10% of the workforce and growing- middle managers much less. And, they obviously have a greater effect on population growth than managers.
Suggest: uncapping the # of health facilities you can build (if I cam have 4 Corporate Culture Sites on my homeworld, why not 3 gene-clinics?) AND increasing both the CG upkeep (Healthcare is EXPENSIVE in terms of medical supplies) and pop growth provided by HCW's by 100% each.
Xenophobes/Nazis will hate this (it cheapens the value of the +10% pop growth Xenophobes get) but it is realistic AND necessary from a game balance standpoint. Also, Xenophobes are far too strong in the meta- and have been since Le Guin and the increased emphasis on pop growth. This will help even the playing field for Xenophiles…
This will ALSO strengthen Egalitarians vs. Authoritarians (latter also OP'd), by ensuring players reach the tipping-point where they have enough pops that Specialist bonuses outweigh Worker bonuses and reduced Influence gain (Authoritarians gain more than Egalitarians- and more predictably) that much sooner…
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