Stellaris

What am I doing wrong? (resource deficit and other issues)

stellaris 4 - What am I doing wrong? (resource deficit and other issues)
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So I finally got to the Fallen Empires awakening event for the first time (second play trough, had to abandon first one because major version change, I don't have the megacorp and newer expansions), and I thought I'd write up some questions and thoughts so experienced redditors here can set me up straight.

First, I have a vertical empire (maybe 20% of the galaxy), with one ringworld, and maxed techs (researching the roman numerals now for a while). I've been struggling balancing my resources. In particular, I have a ~130 rare and ~80 gas deficit, and buying them on the market consumes pretty much all of my income, and I have to sell most of other stuff too. What am I doing wrong? Should I build a ton of resource producing buildings (the ones that convert minerals to them)? Also, I don't understand galactic market well. I buy/sell stuff with no min/max prices, because when I tried to set min/max I would usually get a note that there are no resources available at a given price.

Oh, on the market issues sale, I am not the 'market leader' (I lost that event to an AI empire early on), but I am much more powerful on all counts than all the non-Fallen Empires. Is there any way I can get it back outside of presumably conquering the AI empire (world) which is the leader?

Second. I spent a lot of the late game manually moving unemployed pops to my ringworld. I know migration happens eventually, but it seems to take a loong time. Should I not bother?

Third. I have the impression that when I load the game I get somewhat different resource income values then when I quit. Is there a related bug?

Fourth. Combat. How do you figure out what makes a good design? The thing is, all enemy ships are a mix of everything anyway, and I have no clue what kind of specialization will work.

Fifth. I am overproducing influence and culture, there are no ways to convert them into useful stuff once I have all edicts running and ascension perks bought? And once I have all what, 8 or 10 perks from finishing all traditions, I can't get any more? 🙁

Sixth. Ascension perks seem unbalanced; some seem like a must, some seem very meh. Any good guide to those, as in, an accepted review of which ones are good and which ones are bad? I wonder if any of the ones I consider bad are actually useful? (For example (For example Interstellar Dominion, Nihilistic Acquisition, Shared Destiny, Enigmatic Engineering seem like bottom of the barrel?).

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Seventh. I could have probably control half of the galaxy by now if I integrated all my subjects, or the entire one if I conquered non-Fallen ones, but what's the point? Vertical spread seems very inefficient. The only benefit I can see is to get access to the super rare resources. The entire galaxy as far as I can tell has one Nanite generator (seriously, one), no Zro that I can see anywhere (maybe it is in the few unexplored places I could never get to, like some systems walled off by Fallen Empire borders), and only a few Dark Matter spots (sadly, none in my empire). Btw, is there a way to display all locations that generate a type of resource?

Eight. A major problem I have with the fight right now, in addition to not understanding what makes good ship builds anyway (I know, I know, don't use auto design, but if I don't know what to build my fluff designs are probably little better…), is the gate network. The combination of several gates including L-gates makes my head hurt. There is no way to even see all networks on the map, is it? Clicking on something like an L-gate with several exits seems to randomly take the 'map view' to one. In the hindsight, I figured that I should have build the gateway at the renforced chokepoints, because all my border chokepoints starbases seems to have fallen to Fallen Empire fleets before I could reinforce them with my fleet. I will now see if I can reclaim my territory and get White Peace, I already got one of the two FAs to WP level (but I need to recapture my territory, sigh). After that if I can stabilize my economy and figure out good designs with the techs I am gaining from researching their wrecks maybe I'll think about conquering them.

Ninth. Federations, what's the point? I became a head of the Non-Aligned one, and all it did is reduce my max military capacity. Yay – not.

Tenth. Fleet menu – I couldn't figure out what it is supposed to do, so I am not bothering with it. Seems like a pretty badly designed element of the game. Am I wrong?

Oh, on the subject of fleets, it is annoying fleets with different speeds cannot be combined. I am loosing ships as faster fleets engage enemy first and take losses, while my heavies slowly close in. Any way to deal with that? (I am used to SoSE, managing fleet movement was sooo much better in that game, IMHO).

Anyway, thanks for reading, any advise including links to good guides for how to design ships and manage economy appreciated (I googled a few threads, but their usefulness varies, and some are pretty old and likely no longer that relevant, given the big version changes a year ago).

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