In defense of Stellaris (& Paradox)

stellaris 8 - In defense of Stellaris (& Paradox)

I love this game. I am approaching 2300h time played and I own all the DLCs except Federations (I usually wait for a discount).

I fully agree that the game has some major and too many minor issues. I do not agree with the sentiment that the game therefore is unplayable and that "Paradox truly does not care" or "just want's to milk the playerbase". And I strongly disagree with calls for review bombing.

For a long time end game lag was the biggest issue. You had to actively counter it as a player either when setting up your game or by homicidally culling during your game. There were many complains and they addressed some, ignored many others, made a couple of Dev Diary posts and then (mostly) fixed it. (I only encounter late game lag with certain mods now.) I agree that it took much longer than we wished for and that communication was less than perfect, but they listened and actively worked on it.

Now that late game lag is addressed we can focus on other issues and I think that most urgent one is enemy AI (that includes the Crisis, but also regular enemy war behavior and politics as well as council votes, federations, …). There have been a couple of Dev Diaries on AI, but as far as I can tell no major improvements yet.

Now way let's get to the defense.

maintaining and fixing old code is hard (= expensive)

I've been a software developer for >20 years and I hate improving, fixing or even touching old code, especially if it isn't my code. Taking over (badly documented) projects from other developers is hell. Stellaris has been released over four years ago which means parts of the code are even older and have been worked on by a bunch of different developers. AI behavior is complex and touches many different areas of the game. It's is much easier to break something than fix anything when trying to improve the AI. And yet they are still working on it (see Dev Diaries).


Here is a much better post by /u/coolguy8445 on that topic.

Btw, Starnet AI (while being absolutely awesome) also does not fix the broken crisis behavior.

Paradox is doing a good job updating the game and listening to their costumers

It's far from perfect and they ignore some topics that come up again and again, but the record shows that they take feedback seriously and the company is really motivated to improve the game. Dev diaries are informative and written with passion, the patch notes are verbose and well written, patches are regular (and rarely break the game), the modding scene is actively supported.

Overall they certainly do an above average job, there are only a couple of big game producers I have more faith in (CDPR…).

Review bombing is the nuclear option

It should in my opinion reserved for only two cases:

  • you are convinced that the game is a bad purchase for an unsuspecting costumer (false advertisement, hidden flaws, massive micro transactions, restrictive copyright protection…)
  • the company is doing something really shitty (rampant sexual harassment, employing Uyghur slaves, Fallout 76…)


Don't be so negative, keep the constructive criticism coming and vote with your wallet. (Don't purchase DLCs, Species Packs, … until you are satisfied with the state of the game.)

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