So been having a ton of fun with playing slaver empires. I like it to the extent that I find it hard not to take nihilistic aquisition whenever I can because of how fun/powerful it is. But I just find it really annoying that the one civic that should thematically fit this playstyle is horribly incompatible with almost every way to play a slaver. Not to mention even in the most ideal circumstance it’s still pretty bad. I’ll try to lay it out.
Slavery is tied to two main ethics: Authoritarian and Xenophobe. You absolutely cannot play the slaver’s guild civic if you intend to acquire and enslave entire races of xenos (which is arguably a big part of playing these ethics). Let me try and break it down.
The minute you acquire other xenos in your empire you will have a huge influx of worker class pops. Which is fine on its own but half of your main species (the only source of specialist) is forced to be slaves as well.
This is pretty bad from a RP standpoint (why are my own species still enslaving themselves when there are throngs of vile xenos to do the brunt work now), but extremely detrimental for your economic growth.
Given you have a bunch of xenos as slaves AND half of your main species as slaves, that leaves a tiny fraction of your population open to being specialist. This leaves you hopelessly specialist starved, especially on your alloy/tech/industrial worlds.
You’ll be spending majority of your playthrough finding main species non-slave workers to relocate to your specialist heavy planets (something you already do a lot of as a slaver before the civic enslaved half of your main race).
Now one work around is to give other species residence rights, but when you do that SURPRISE, your faction screen explodes into a flurry of red dots as those filthy xenos start forming every faction possible, fucking up your happiness levels/planet stability/influence gain. And if you’re gonna have a good balance of slaves and specialist you’re gonna need to make residence out of every species you have. So you’re gonna have a clusterfuck of factions. Not to mention it fucks up your theme as an enslaving ubermensch.
Another work around is to take slavers guild at the start and once you get xenos you swap it out to free your main pops. But because slaves naturally have egalitarian ethics, SURPRISE, those free pops from your main race have started an egalitarian faction that you have to deal with for the rest of the game. Honestly, you’re better off just starting with another civic than getting the 20% worker output for the first 20-50 years before you swap out.
But let’s talk about the most ideal of situations for the civic to work, where you either play: 1) An authoritarian non-xenophobe empire with equal species rights, but highly stratified society or, 2) A completely insular xenophobic empire that does not take in any new races.
Even in these situations, the civic still causes way too many problems for the 20% bonus to be even remotely worth it. This is mostly due to the wonky mechanics of the “40% slaves” rule. It functions mostly on a planet level. So on a planet with 40 specialist jobs and 10 worker jobs (which is very possible on alloy/tech worlds) you can forget about filling those 40 specialist job. Even when swapping over a free specialist from another planet to this planet would turn that specialist into a slave to fulfill the planet quota. This becomes a nightmare in the late game where your planets become highly specialized.
I’ve even had situations where I colonize a new planet, and only one colonist job is filled and the other is left empty by an unemployed slave. Don’t quote me on this but it feels like with the civic you have to maintain a perfect 60/40 specialist/worker ratio on every world to ensure every job is filled.the minute your specialist percentage goes over 60% you’re gonna have open specialist jobs and unemployed slaves.
Didn’t mean for this to be a rant or to be negative, I do find this game a ton of fun, but I feel like the one ethic that matches a playstyle thematically should match it gameplaywise or at very least not be a terrible pick.
They could fix the civic by fixing the planet calculation of slaves to actually be empire-wide. They could also make it such that the 40 percent slave requirement takes into account all species in the empire as a whole rather than have each species forced to have a 40% of them enslaved at all cost. They could even make your primary species take lowest priority in being enslaved. That way when you start seeing your main pops becoming slaves you know it’s time to start getting more xenos. Just an idea.
Maybe the whole civic could do with a total overhaul. Make it have something to do with the slave market perhaps. Maybe further reduce slave political power on all planets.
Just some thoughts. Do you guys think there is a way to save this civic? (Or tell me how it’s not broken in the first place and I’ve been doing it wrong the time hahahaha)
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