Alright, so I was doing a playthrough as United Nations of Earth because I hadn't done it since I first got the game and wanted to roleplay it as a 500-hour seasoned player. I got lots of mods (NSC, MEM, and of course Glavius AI to name the most important ones). I've got a Federation of 5 empires which I lead.
Now…crappy AI in strategy games in general is something I've learned to kind of cope with since Civilisation 1 when I was like eight years old (although honestly Civ 1 AI outshines current titles in a lot of ways, but whatever). And Stellaris gives me a great reason to cope with it, since it's such an awesome story generator. I love playing in a kind of reactionary and narrative way…responding according to my picked ethos and really thinking about each choice and how my empire would try to tackle it. I love making up little stories in my head about how the empires respond and why they do the things they do. This largely gets me around Stellaris' AI stupidity sometimes because everytime something odd happens I just make up a little story in my head for why it did and get over it. I still haven't figured out a narrative reason why feds want to build giant hornet swarms of corvettes and almost nothing else, but…y'know. Que sara.
Back to the Earthlings…I had super built up, was more powerful than everyone (as you do) and about 2430-ish one of the Fallen Empires (apparently Keepers of Knowledge led by Groot) awakened! I was ready for this because I more than welcomed a break in the monotony and was looking forward to the War in Heaven or whatever, but that's not what happened. What happened is that Groot and Company sat within their borders with a 1.3M fleet and a 600K fleet…and did nothing. Nothing at all. My federation got me into a useless war it expected me to fight…nothing. I was winning the war and grossly eclipsed everybody in Empire score by like 20,000 points…nothing. Just…utterly refused to exert its strength on anyone.
So…then the Contingency Crisis rolls. I had set the Crisis to 1.25x this time because I wanted to play with it as a bit more of a challenge. First hub opens, 110K AI core atop the machine world with a 770K defender fleet and conquerer fleets of like 300K each with my current strongest fleet being roughtly 210K. Alright….seems like a lot but…I can respec, combine and start dealing with this (I never metagame the crises) hopefully. Then Groot and Co decided they wanted to help everyone! Well you're more than welcome to it my good buddies! I'll be you'll start with the hub on the other side of the galaxy that's like four jumps away from you and start givin' them whatfor, am I right?! No…wh..what are you doing? WHY ARE YOU DECLARING WAR ON ME?! I GAVE YOU A SCIENTIST LIKE A CENTURY AND HALF AGO! YOU SAID LIKE 10 TIMES YOU LIKED ME!!!
GoDDDDD!!! Of course! It's because I'm in a federation and Groot started his own federation specifically with the goal of killing the crisis and the AI thinks I'm in it's way, and of course there's no way to 'merge' federations. Well…I decided to load the last autosave and cheat somewhat. I left the federation and also dissolved it by switching to the other federation members while on pause and also brexiting them out as well. Not perfect, but it would get me around the ridiculousness of the seemingly benevolent AE choosing to completely nonsensically declare war on the federation that holds the best fleets in the galaxy for fighting contingency….except it didn't. Even after I dissolved the federation, the AE decided to devote the vast majority of it's resources to fighting the incredibly weak and good for nothing spiritualist empire to it's immediate left. They have the only fleet that can go toe-to-toe with a GD contingency hub and protectors and Groot wants to piss about playing technological moralist for whatever reason over on the other side of the galaxy. And of course the spiritualist civ had defensive pacts with other civs right next to me meaning that I'm at war too. At least this isn't a problem since the civ on my border is so weakened from the last useless war *it* started that at least it can't really fight me very well (IE at all).
So I try something that I've found *sometimes* works before when the AI won't help in a war. I went on the offensive. I sometimes notice that if I manage to kill a good bit of fleets myself that the AI marks this as me having earned enough help credit to actually send something my way to honor the terms of the alliance that *THEY MADE*!!! Anyway…I pop out of a wormhole right next to the hub that actually spawned near Earth and in my territory. I'm setting my fleet to rest and recharge shields and get ready to start wailing on minor Contingency outposts when I SEE THE BEAUTIFUL 1.3M AE doomstack emerge from the wormhole! Oh happy joy!!!! They're helping! They're…t..the..they're….
They're…going the other way…to fight the defensive ally that can't even defend itself…I'm going to watch the only fleet capable of busting through and starting the process of clearing a hub 2 hyperlanes away…go 9 hyperlanes off to the side and…do what exactly? Apparently just try to end the war they started.
I don't really know what to do now. I'm going to have serious trouble putting together my own doomstack to take the hub on, but I can conceive of my first steps I guess. My issue is that the horrible AI combined with the ridonkles diplomacy system means that nothing that's happening right now is believable. And I remember back before the big update that even though it was odd and sometimes seemed lacking in depth…at least the crisis would play out in a somewhat logical way.
So yeah…the only narrative way I can make this story work in my head anymore is 'they're not really benevolent and just seek to hurt everyone and are secretly a blood court'.
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