Stellaris

Unpopular opinion: new pop growth system is good for the game in a long-term, people just don’t like to change the way they play

stellaris 7 - Unpopular opinion: new pop growth system is good for the game in a long-term, people just don't like to change the way they play
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I'm going to write about empire-wide growth restrictions, not the planetary ones.
In an old system, if you think about it, pop growth and pop quantity was everything – you just spam as many colonies as you possibly can, max everything that can give you more growth, and watch your economy grow larger and larger to absurd amounts.

You could always build more habitats, ringworlds, and colonies to grow the economy even further. I never liked it as much, because it was less about decision making (because more colonies = more money, science, and alloys – you always gotta expand) and more repeating of the same stuff – building 100 of the same colonies.

It does not work that well for balance too. Once you get ahead – you always will be ahead, because your economy gets exponentially stronger. You conquered the enemy's capital early – congratulations, you won the game, because now you have double the amount of pops (and that means the economy, science, and other stuff) of everyone else, and you only gonna get stronger.

There was no really tall vs wide playstyle, imo. You just packed more habitats and ringworlds in a tight space, when you played "tall", because growth meant everything.

Now there is no more eternal expansion, you have a finite amount of people you can make fast enough. And to expand further and gain superiority over other empires you need to do other stuff: engage in war for planets with valuable pops (and now you not gonna be stronger forever after this action, because your growth will be slowed down, and other empire gets more growth which in time equals you out economically), manage traits of your pops to maximize profits, build megastructures, manage and specialize each planet to further maximize your profits, etc.

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You could do it earlier too, but, it was more important to just keep spewing more pops and fill out as many planets, habitats, and ringworlds as possible because it gave more economically than careful management and thoughtful decision making. All game basically was a race of who can grow more pops.

The new system has its flaws, namely that it is unrealistic (some force for some reason keeps each empire in check when it comes to making babies), can be exploited (with abduction and vassal creation-reintegration), and seemingly doesn't take into account galaxy size, but most of these things can be fixed and adjusted.

The same thing happened with Darkest Dungeon when devs introduced corpses into the game. People hated it at the start, but eventually, it lead to a better game. I believe the same happens with Stellaris now.

TL:DR – Quality > Quantity, the new pop system is better for the game in a long run, and carries a better balance in the end.

P.S – please be considered that English is not my native language and sharing such long thoughts can be quite challenging for someone who doesn't do it that often 😀

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