Playing a megacorp is bitterly disappointing

stellaris 5 - Playing a megacorp is bitterly disappointing

Like many here, I was excited by the Megacorps in large part for their potential to offer a Tall-style, diplomatic focused play style where I could focus on interacting with other races rather than warfare.

After getting to the late-early / mid game in two separate games (around 4-6 hours each on fast speed), I have not been able to open a single Branch office. Everyone that I meet is either a Corporation themselves, a Fanatical Purifier of some sort, or just ideologically opposed in such a way that I can't get them to like me (fanatic materialist, everyone on the map is mysteriously a spiritualist). I met every race in the first Medium sized game, and in the second game have met races that cover 50% of the Large sized map. Considering the crippling 'distance' diplomatic penalties that you get in Stellaris, I've no realistic expectation that the races on the far side of the map in the second game will be receptive, either. Giving out Guarantee Independence like candy would help some of the negatives, but would then drag me into endless long range wars that the Tall style play leaves me unable to win. The only thing that I can think of is that I've got Aggressiveness to High, but the tooltip suggests that this only affects how likely AI are to declare war, not their opinions of you in the first place.


Now, I get that part of the game is that not everyone will like you – just like the Civ VI Agenda system is forced to make you pick and choose who to be friends with – but playing this new expansion for ten hours without once getting to use the actual main feature of it has really left me disappointed. So far, I've basically paid for a button that I cannot use. What am I missing?

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