Hi there, i'm a 1k hour stellaris player with many hours in other PDX games and other 4x and strategy games. I love stellaris but have hit a point where the flaws are effectively making the game unplayable for me. here's my thoughts on what we need to do to get stellaris into a more playable state.
1) More impactful decisions. A man can only click "get 5% of an irrelevant stat" so many times. I want things like origins, one of the better concepts that have come out. I want options to open up with technology, not % bonus's. % bonus is lazy. I don't mind if they are part of the tech/tradition/ascension perk package, but it needs to be backed up with actual gameplay changes that have opportunity costs.
For example, instead of 10% research buff from an ascension perk, how about 10% research along with 1 free research building on each world? you'd still need to commit pops to the jobs, and still need to commit to consumer goods to feed them.
2) Fix alloys only in building slots. I know you have been trying to get away from minerals is king, and alloys were a step in the right direction, but right now you are forced to make only alloy foundries except for minor times where you build a tech building mid game (or just acqure them after a conquest and ride off that). Building anything else has way too much opportunity cost. How do we fix this? Restrict the amount of alloy foundries you can build. Tie it to technology, traditions and ascension. Tie it to districts instead of building slots maybe so the building slot opportunity cost of making anything else is lessened.
3) Fix traditions and make them all in line with supremacy in power and impactfulness. Currently every tradition tree except supremacy is a joke. Maybe the expansion one is half decent, but domination is terrible, prosperity only becomes slightly good later on, harmony is low impact and discovery just does'nt do enough. Diplomacy tree has some of what im talking about, opening up federations. MORE OF THIS!!! Take a page out of civilizations book and make them all better and add to a more unique empire. maybe tie new (revamped not boring) ascension perks. LESS % bonus's!!!!! I want things like the supremacy policy that lets you choose a strategy for your fleet. I want things nobody else has. Some later ascension perks are decent and follow what i'm trying to get at, but the truth is we are going to be playing more early game than late game. more impactful ascension perks early please!!
4) speed up the game a touch. currently the beginning of stellaris is fun, the mid game it starts to slack and late game everything is borked. Any stellaris MP game ends in people quitting because it took too long,and nobody restarts a game. you have one night to play a game. If you could reduce the overall time it takes to have a victor emerge by about 2 hours the game would be more satisfying conclusions.
5) victory paths that are not fed victory or full destruction. I think both are fine, but we need ascension perk paths to victory. When we go full robotic, maybe we can summon extradimensional robots to take us away to their place in the heavens? Victory. Psionics maybe we ascend to a higher plane of existence… victory. etc. options like civilizations culture and science victories. Hell, you already have the galactic council, add a straight diplomatic victory. War should be a tool to stop someone who has a runaway victory condition, similar to civ. This gives you a reason to band together and attack someone on the other side of the galaxy. Currently after a point (especially in single player) you hit and point and think to yourself.. why bother? I'm already unstoppable. This also gives unity a reason to exist other than giving you marginal % bonus's and access to megastructures that never actually do anything for you because if you can build one, you have already won.
6) Megastructures that are found derelict in the world should have a real early game value. Let me invest science or resources into gaining something from them. currently, since they come so late if you find a destroyed ring or any other megastructure its kinda like "whatever". They don't do anything until you're bored of the game anyway. maybe give them a research orbital? alloy? mins? god anything to make them something to fight over and covet.
7) Transportation. Open up wormholes more consistently. found a wormhole? gain wormhole tech research option immediately. This means the galaxy becomes smaller, faster. It should be vast, but open up as the game progresses. currently though you have inconsistent access to wormholes, gateways that are so late you never use them, and similarly placed jump drives. we need stages of transport that open up. Also, "roads" that we can build so that moving around our own empire is faster would be a start too.
Thanks for listening!
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