It's a neat concept to be sure, but it needs to be changed from the way it is currently. The template spam and insane performance hit is unpalatable.
So I'm suggesting this:
Make its prerequesite Bio-Ascension. This will drastically cut down the rate of AI taking the perk and mismanaging it. Also, it makes sense – these are different species, not knowing true genetic manipulation will make it impossible to compatibilize completely alien DNA systems (cause how will you combine a double helix with a triple helix?)
Make it so only one template can exist between two species, not a million. Give traits weights and priorities instead of randomly dicing them out, and make it so only one half-species is actually genetically viable.
Stop the AI from genemodding their pops so much and so nonsensically. It should always prioritize keeping its population homogenous, including when it takes bio ascension. The AI just isn't advanced enough to handle planetary specialisation. Instead, make it turn its pops into ultimate fighting and resource machines, and keep them homogeous.
That would only be a bandaid, though. The original problem is still there, sadly. The template system is pretty unusable as it takes literal minutes to open.
So here's my radical suggestion.
Do away with half-species and somesuch. Instead, make the perk turn all empire pops, and all new migrating pops, into the same "species" template. Instead of assimilating them into new bodies, this perk makes species distinctions irrelevant by making all xenos genetically compatible with eachother. Alternatively, a new assimilation type could be added – "compatibility modification" that slowly adds a new species into the communal species.
(Spicy take incoming) In the same way that humans are just humans and not separated into brown humans and pale humans, with "half-humans" resulting from interbreeding, this perk would essentially turn all pops into phenotypes of the same species, like how my neighbor is the same species as me 'despite' being pale-skinned and tall. (Very extreme example I know, but it has a radical energy I wanted.)
This new "species" would get intelligently condensed traits – if two species have Venerable and two don't, the resulting group species will get Venerable with a certain chance, Enduring with a certain chance, or lose the trait altogether. If two species are Communal and Solitary, the resulting species will be neither with the majority of the chance, or one of the two with a lower chance. And so on for all traits.
The portraits will be chosen equally, as that's what the pop growth mechanics point towards. Additionally, any such communal species that migrates will retain its own xeno-compatibility, as that has been genemodded into them, but will not be able to interbreed with xenos if they are not located in an empire that also has xeno-compatibility. Any species immigrating to a xeno-compatible empire will find itself absorbed into the communal species, unless they are psionic, cybernetic or hive-minded.
Namelists could depend on the portrait chosen, or maybe even randomly based on what species have been absorbed into the communal species, as a human and a blorg may have had a child (shroud only knows how that's possible, that's xenophiles for you) that child may be named by either of its parents. Maybe the blorg took her partner's name, maybe the human liked the exotic names of blorg-kind, so little Glorglarglzorf is going to school with a very strange name.
If a new species is added, their traits are weighted against the communal species. Depending on how many species are part of the communal one, their traits may become totally lost in the genetic chaos and nothing will change, or perhaps they introduce a lifespan deficiency that turns venerable into enduring. To combat this, the genetic mastery special traits could never be lessened.
Instead of saying "Human is our founder species", the tooltip should say "this communal species is made up of (insert all species that have been absorbed into it) This list must condense all subspecies into one, too.
And that's how I would fix this broken perk.
Source: Original link
© Post "Look, I like xeno compatibility, but it needs a rework." for game Stellaris.
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