Stellaris

Void Dwellers one system challenge 2.8 – Guide / Discussion!

stellaris 8 - Void Dwellers one system challenge 2.8 - Guide / Discussion!
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Goal

  • Never take any systems outside of your starting system
  • Defeat the endgame crisis
  • Have all other empires subjugated, in your hegemony or eradicated
  • Grand Admiral, no scaling, mid-game 2275, end-game 2350
  • No mods

Not sure how feasible this is at the moment. I managed to get quite far on Admiral, but made some mistakes in the beginning and around 2300 I was unable to catch up to the Awakened FE on a purging crusade. Looking forward to hearing some points to improve on or do different!

I will do a few scummy things to give myself a fighting chance:

  • Cheesing the Worm: Getting the Horizon Signal to Embrace the Worm is absolutely required and gives you some much needed expansion room in the mid-game in your home system.
  • Restart if I don't get at least 2 extra mineral deposits above planets. You need those minerals for alloys! Note that moon deposits are useless since you can only build habitats above planets

Species

Traits: +Intelligent, +Rapid Breeders, +Communal, -Non-Adaptive, -Deviants.

Government: Authoritarian, Fanatic Materialist

Civics: Technocracy, Slaver Guilds, (Meritocracy)

Origin: Void Dwellers

Standard cookie-cutter meta slaver tech rush build with a few changes. Housing is a big issue so Communal is a must. Non-adaptive has literally 0 impact on habitats so is an even cheaper 'free-pick' over Unruly. Deviants also seems to be a free 1 point pick.

Traditions & Ascensions

  • Discovery
  • Domination for the +housing
  • Prosperity / Synchronicity / Diplomacy, order depending on your situation (see below).
  • Supremacy since we're probably gearing up for war at this point
  • Exploration for the Ascension Perk.

For the Ascension Perks I would go at least: Voidborne, Flesh is Weak, Synthetic Ascension, Arcology Project, Galactic Force Projection.

Voidborne comes a bit too early to make use of immediately, but you definitely need it before your 2nd Ascension Perk. Sadly there is no room to weave Technological Ascendancy in here. You'll delay your Synth Asc and Arcology too much and you need them asap to settle the Tomb worlds spawned by the Worm.

If you don't have the required techs, it's better to keep the AP open than to get something beneficial in the meantime like Tech Asc. or One Vision.

Robomodding

You definitely want -Housing on your early robots and synths. I went with +Minerals on robots and +5% all jobs for my synths. Took Unruly or -Leader XP Gain as negatives, not really sure.

Policies

Didn't change these too much except:

  • Diplomatic Stance: Isolationist for +unity. I did not find much problem with the +influence cost on Envoys. Border friction won't be a problem until much later. You could change this to Cooperative once your neighbors start getting closer.
  • Trade: Marketplace of Ideas for the +unity

Building Your Habitats

Get ready for some excessive micro. Resettling pops, swapping production / housing districts, and pausing the game a lot and wondering why you're economy is suddenly deep in the red. It's impossible to give an exact build order, but I tried to follow these guidelines:

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  • Capital: Science districts. They're great for early game until T2 labs become better you should build those + housing districts
  • Mineral / Energy habitat: Build 3 production 1 housing early game. Transition to full production districts + paradise domes housing buildings later in the game once you upgrade your habs.
  • Build new habitats before upgrading existing ones. Prioritize 1 mineral -> 1 energy -> others, depending what you need. Save planets without deposits for last. These become tech habs.
  • Designate your habitats as Miner, Energy and Research habitats. The AI won't do this properly for you
  • The Leisure and Trade districts are inferior to the production districts. Replace them ASAP. A single holo theatre can supply all amenities until well into the late game.
  • Try to put your Admin buildings on the same Habitat. Designate it as Bureaucratic for a significant boost.
  • In the early game you have no choice but to build whatever you need wherever you have room. Don't stress too much about it but as you get more wiggle room, have a plan. Try to spread out your rare resource mines as they only provide 1 job per building slot.
  • Rare resource tech is very important. Take it.
  • Upgrading production buildings (alloys, consumer goods, labs) + rare resource mines is more efficient than building multiple lower tiers. Especially with the (slave) production bonuses to the mines.

Late(r) Game

Now we start looking to Subjugate the galaxy under our rule. You should be well ahead in tech and have a decent alloy production. I did not build a fleet until I was researching the last weapon techs and approaching repeatables. I went straight for Carrier Battleships with Arc Emitters and Artillery Battleships with Giga Cannon + Neutron Launchers in a 1:4 or 1:6 ratio.

If you can, I think a Hegemony could really help here. Getting it early means you can start leveling it to lvl 3 when you force subjects to join you via casus belli. Either get it yourself via Diplomacy with a friendly neighbor that thinks alike or join an existing one. Second one would be better, but it will be a bit harder to assume control either via Fleet Power or Tech.

The more empires you bring into the fold, the stronger you will become. Hopefully this can snowball you fast enough to take on the FE and later the Crisis.

Once you get Synth Ascension, colonize all worlds and build all mineral + energy districts (in that order). Take 1 planet (I took a mid-size 18 one) and fill it with housing districts to turn into an Arcology. One seemed to be enough and I went with a mid-size one to speed up the process.

Since I play without mods, you can still only have 1 megastructure in your home system (and thus empire). Choose wisely! I went for the one that gives +fleet capacity and some benefits to fleets since that felt like a hard cap. More science is nice, but not a requirement at this point.

Problems

I had a few issues with this build. Some I identified, some I am not sure how to improve. All tips are welcome!

  • Alloys (duh!). I am still not 100% convinced on going Robots and thus Synth Ascension. It feels like impossible to have enough alloys for Robots and new Habitats early game. Perhaps its better to go Genetic Evolution instead and genetic mod a Tomb World preference on your pops for the Worm Worlds?
  • Fleet cap. This felt like a brick wall in the end. Even on Admiral I put an upgraded Fortress on all 10 Habitats and got to a fleet cap of ~700-ish with some repeatables. Still the awakened FE was Overwhelming to me when built to cap with Battleships.
  • Unity: I found unity production in the mid game very slow. I found myself just waiting for that Synth Ascension and Arcology while resources piled up. Not sure how to improve. It really feels like I cannot spare a few slots to pure unity buildings, and I was already maxing labs + their upkeep.

Definitely gonna try again with a few changes! Which chance would you recommend?

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