Stellaris blasts off to Distant Stars in new DLC

Travel beyond the limits of known space to a mysterious cut-off cluster in the new Stellaris DLC, the ‘Distant Stars Story Pack’, which could open up powerful shortcuts across space but miiight have been closed off for a good reason. But obviously you’re going to stick your spaceoar in and see what’s up. What are you, spacechicken? Distant Stars also includes new anomalies to investigate and new Leviathans to meet.

As is often the way with Paradox strategy game expansions, it’s accompanied by a free update which reworks parts of the base game. Expect new binary and trinary star systems, anomaly studies no longer having a chance to fail, and other tweakies.

So, buy the DLC and mysterious new ‘L-Gates’ will appear in your galaxies. These are initially busted, jammed in maintenance loops, but investigating and poking around in a variety of ways will eventually open up the ability to open them – if you want. Open a gate and you’ll be whisked away to the L-Cluster, a small series of systems unconnected to the main galaxy. Paradox say there are several possible reasons for why the gates were locked down, and I’m sure several of them are terrible. But L-Gates offer the powerful ability to jump to distant systems, as the L-Cluster is a hub which can spit you out at any L-Gate.

Beyond the L-Cluster, the DLC also adds three new types of Leviathan, the honking great creatures which drift around space on their whims and may or may not murder you to bits. 20-odd unique systems are in, with their own encounters, events, or anomalies. Speaking of, it also adds loads more anomalies – about half as many as are already in the game.

Stellaris: Distant Stars Story Pack is out now on Steam for £7.19/€9.99/$9.99.

Also out now is update 2.1, lovingly nicknamed ‘Niven’ in honour of Casino Royale actor David Niven, bringing changes including:

  • Galaxy generation has been reworked for more interesting hyperlane terrain: stars are now grouped in highly connected ‘constellations’ separated by thin ‘highways’, making for more strategic placement of natural chokepoints
  • All hyperlanes are no longer immediately visible when starting a new game, but will be revealed through exploration. Hyperlane visibility extends roughly twice as far as your sensor range
  • Added binary star systems
  • Added trinary star systems
  • Anomalies can no longer fail, but instead the time to research an anomaly will depend on the difference between scientist level and anomaly level, with high level anomalies potentially taking a very long time to research for a low skill scientist
  • Added Experimental Subspace Nagivation which allows science ships to go missing-in-action and travel to a selected system. This will allow them to bypass (but not enter) closed borders
  • AI will retreat its Colossus if it is alone in combat, as even a planet destroying giant laser is cold comfort in the lonely depths of space
  • Fixed an issue where the AI would incorrectly allocate too much budget to navies when it could not support any more ships, resulting in underdeveloped empires
  • Fixed issue where tutorial missions could sometimes trigger for Gestalt Consciousness empires, who really should know all this instinctively already

The full patch notes are over here, and Paradox’s dev diaries have explored some of the patch changes and DLC features in greater depth.

I’ve still not revisited Stellaris since Paradox stripped down interstellar travel – how’re you feeling about that change these days, spacegang?


  1. moe mo says:

    Paradox are producing DLC for this game as if the core systems are somehow playable or interesting in their current state.

    • Asurmen says:

      They’re also putting out free updates which change those core systems. It’s almost like they can work on multiple things at once.

    • Chalky says:

      You see that bit that says “Also out now is update 2.1” followed by a bunch of patch notes? Also, literally complaining about lack of interesting things in a DLC announcement containing a load of new story content.

    • morganjah says:

      The phenomena that he is referring to is the fact that they shipped a stripped out husk of a game, and then are requiring the purchase of an indeterminable amount of DLC to get it to the state it should have been shipped in.
      Stellaris was created like a proof of concept, a sandbox in which a game could be designed and created.
      It can be fun to play around in, but the experience feels empty compared to other, actual games.
      They keep tinkering around with systems, but have never really gotten around to making a compelling game.
      I’m not disappointed, because I’ve been playing Paradox games since EU. I know now what to expect, or more accurately, not to expect.
      Eventually some unpaid modder will create a compelling game using the Stellaris framework.
      I just wish the modder got paid even a tiny fraction of what Paradox is getting paid.

      • DatonKallandor says:

        “The phenomena that he is referring to is the fact that they shipped a stripped out husk of a game, and then are requiring the purchase of an indeterminable amount of DLC to get it to the state it should have been shipped in.”

        Except for the part where the fixes are free and the DLC is just extra stuff on top of the free system changes. Now HoI4 actually does what you complain about, with key mechanics being DLC only features, but Stellaris has always had the mechanical updates being free.

        • morganjah says:

          And HOI IV is so much more fun now that I have discovered some great mods, from people here at RPS no less.
          I feel that Stellaris would be a blast if some talented modders could make enough money to create compelling scenarios and situations.
          I know that one can contribute directly to a modder, but great modders being able to depend on enough income to justify their time and effort would make a world of difference.

          • brucethemoose says:

            Have you seen Star Trek: New Horizons? I think RPS called it one of the best ST games out there.

            Also, the general modding scene is starting to pick up. There’s a recent, deceptively simple mod out there (Core Game Mechanics: Buildings) that’s actually an rewrite of the entire engine instead of a massaging of the existing one like everything before. Alot of mods and modders are now entering that one’s orbit, and I think we’re going to see some great overhauls come out of it.

            All free, of course, but I don’t think modders need to make money to make great things.

      • Zenicetus says:

        I agree that Stellaris has felt from the beginning like a constant work-in-progress, where the devs don’t seem to know what they want to do with the game. But it’s wrong to imply the DLC is somehow required.

        The major patches accompanying each DLC have improved parts of the game. Nowhere near what it needs to be as a complete space 4X experience, especially regarding the war system, my personal pet peeve. But there is a functioning, if imperfect Stellaris game that can be played without any of the DLC.

        I didn’t buy the previous Apocalypse DLC, because it didn’t have anything I especially cared about. I’ll probably pick up this latest one, because it focuses on the one part of Stellaris that works well; the early exploration phase. And I’ll hold out hope that maybe one of these years, another patch or mod will give me a reason to play through more than the mid-game.

    • darhxp says:

      Totally agree ,,, Paradox Stellaris 2.0 lost the course entirely of the game … it became absurd and the worst thing of all is that they continue to take DCLs as if the sales of the game were up ,,, for Paradox there is no worse thing than not knowing where you are standing and in this case what was once the glory of the game turned into garbage. (2700 hours of play)

  2. shauneyboy68 says:

    I enjoy hearts of iron 4 right now and Crusader Kings 2. I bounced off of Stellaris pretty hard as I felt I was spending most of my time building mining and research stations. Maybe I wasn’t playing correctly, but that’s what most of my decisions were boiling down to and I didn’t find it very fun. It’s been a minute since I’ve played, however, and I’m not up on all the DLC. How is the game now?

    • Frogshackle says:

      After 200 hours of playing and literally never having finished a single game (the late mid-game is brain-meltingly boring if you aren’t in full aggro mode) I finally realized that once the early game was over that I was spending hours and hours of gameplay in a “holding pattern” and waiting for something interesting to occur. And it rarely did.

      There’s plenty of good things to say about some of the emergent stories and the overall game presentation (especially at the start) but damn is it ever boring when you exit that phase and discover that you spend 99% of your time doing maintenance and upgrades.

      Once that sunk in I decided to uninstall the thing and check in a few years down the road.

      • brucethemoose says:

        You HAVE to install an automation mod like CGM or autobuild to make Stellaris playable mid-late game, otherwise the endless building will indeed drive you insane.

        That’s ostensibly what sectors are for, but the vanilla sector AI is really awful. You can just force yourself to use it and turn down the difficulty to compensate, but that’s kinda unfun.

      • Someoldguy says:

        That’s what I did, but 2.0 decided to up the ante by making the start slower and more tedious rather than the middle more fast paced and fun. I’m not hopeful they can fix it to make it fun to play for people like me at this point, they’ve decided to focus on a different subset of players.

    • pookie191 says:

      yeah I initially had the same issue with Stellaris and bounced off it but sitting down for a couple of hours and just playing, learning and experimenting helped

  3. Sunjammer says:

    That Niven joke got me

    • GomezTheChimp says:

      You must be nearly as old as me.

    • Someoldguy says:

      I wonder how many gamers know who both David and Larry Niven are, to be able to spot it.

      • Saii says:

        I’d imagine it’s quite a lot, Ringworld is pretty famous and Stellaris is pretty sci-fi nerdish.

        • Zenicetus says:

          It’s the “knowing both” part I wonder about. Most Stellaris fans should know who Larry Niven is, but I think of David Niven as part of my parents’ generation of movie stars. And I’m an old guy now.

          Kudos for the joke though.

          • Someoldguy says:

            Yeah, these days if you say he’s the guy who played Bond in Casino Royale, they look at you funny and say no, that was Daniel Craig. Classy actor but I don’t think I’ve seen any of his films on the tv for more than a decade.

    • daver4470 says:

      The moon’s a balloon….

    • Jungle Rhino says:

      So we are sure it was a joke? lol!

      Came down here to point it out but I see that has already happened :)

  4. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    Why is everyone so down on Stellaris? It’s got some mid-late game slog, sure, but that’s the same for any 4x.

    It was fun on release, it’s even better now. They keep adding more free content and more DLC content. I really don’t get all the complaining.

    • klops says:

      Many people don’t like the Paradox model.
      1. They dislike that the games can be published in an unfinished state (which was more problem to earlier generation of Paradox games in my mind)
      2. They’re completionists and can’t fathom that eg. Crusader Kings 2 is a very good game even without a single DLC, and you do not need to buy every DLC in order to enjoy the game. This is practically blaming the company for their obsession.

      Usually a combination of 1+2.

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        1. They dislike that the games can be published in an unfinished state

        And yet somehow Bethesda games get a pass.

        • malkav11 says:

          I’m not sure what world you live in where every article about a Bethesda game isn’t full of swarms of gamers angry about a variety of Bethesda’s sins, real or imagined, very much including their games launching broken and never quite getting fully fixed, but it sounds like a much more peaceful one and I wish I lived in it too.

          • TheAngriestHobo says:

            I live in the world where Skyrim sold 30 million copies.

    • brucethemoose says:

      Yeah. I get some of the complaints, but I have to wonder what games the complainers are comparing 2.0+ Stellaris to.

      Is there some perfect sci-fi 4x/grand strategy game out there that I’m not aware of?

      • klops says:

        Master of Orion 2.

        • Megatron says:

          Nope. Nope nope nope. It gets held up again and again as some kind of peak gaming experience but in real life it’s a boring, dated snooze-fest. Galciv 2 beat that game into dust years ago.

          • shauneyboy68 says:

            I agree. MOO2 is, while a good game, a very overrated one. I much prefer the original MOO and still feel it is the best space 4x game I’ve ever played.

          • klops says:

            I believe that. I haven’t actually played it since the 90s, but it was a really good game _then_. As was MOO, but I don’t remember much from it.

          • TheOx129 says:

            Agreed, space 4X developers should have dropped the obsession with MOO2 years ago, but it’s still somehow held up as some gold standard. It’s not even the most interesting MOO game: the slider-based management of the first, or macromanagement (even with its many flaws) focus of the third are, for my money, far more compelling in terms of overall design.

            I said it before in another Stellaris article on RPS a few weeks back, but where’s the love for the other 4X games, like Emperor of the Fading Suns or Ascendancy?

        • Premium User Badge

          keithzg says:

          According to Steam I’ve played 260 hours of Stellaris, and according to my recollections I played a billion hours of mooii, and I have to say that while overall I’d still say no game has surpassed the second Master of Orion, Stellaris is better in a lot of ways. I’m very glad that both games exist.

          I’d love another turn-based one that didn’t lose features and aspects that Master of Orion 2 had, but rather just polished them up and modernized (and in some cases fixed) them. But in terms of feeling like you’re running an interstellar empire and watching the history of the galaxy unfold, Stellaris is a great addition to the canon. Certainly, despite the many differences between it and Master of Orion 2, it seems to capture a lot of the great parts better than many games that tried directly to ape MoO 2.

      • SaintAn says:

        Yes, pre-2.0 Stellaris.

        • morganjah says:

          Emperor of the Fading Suns!

          Now that was an ambitious, incredibly rich game! I would love to see that revisited into a modern game.

          Anyone remember Spaceward Ho!

          • Nauallis says:

            Lol oh yeah. That was one bizarre game. Great fun in the early-to-mid nineties. It’s available on iOS, although not particularly compelling now. Certainly not as much fun as when I was a kid.

        • lordcooper says:

          link to

          “They changed it and now it sucks, but I can revert back to the version I preferred, but I want to bitch and moan and be a tediously repetitive git instead of doing that.”

      • Saii says:

        Sins of a Solar Empire. All the pace and tactical interest that Sins lacks.

        • Lawbringer says:

          Sins is possibly my favourite Space Strategy game. I’m desperate for them to release a sequel with some new bells and whistles

      • OpT1mUs says:

        Distant Worlds Universe? The game Stellaris is a pale shadow of

      • BlueTemplar says:

        (almost) perfect space 4X :
        Sword of the Stars 1 :
        link to

        – Extremely detailed tactical combat with semi-customizable ships and dozens of unique weapons.
        – 6 strongly lore-typed races each with their own FTL drive (and a fuel mechanic).
        – Designed with multiplayer in mind
        (though you’ll have to do the matchmaking yourself these days).

        P.S.: Avoid SotS2, sadly it was never really finished…

    • causticnl says:

      go play Endless Space 2, a fully complete game, with plenty to do early, mid and endgame, and you dont need any DLC’s to make it fun.

      Paradox should take notes from Amplitude, this is how you release an game.

      and also forgot, they let players decide what to do add next for DLC, with their game2together platform.

      • Nauallis says:


      • SaintAn says:

        At what point does ES2 get fun?

        • Zenicetus says:

          It helps if you get fairly deep into role-playing a faction. The faction history and (partially) unique play style for each one, is the whole point of the ES2 game design.

        • causticnl says:

          at wich point becomes Stellaris fun?

          • Someoldguy says:

            Stellaris 1.0 was fun right at the start, with the delightful things to be found in a brand new universe. The fun just runs out once your empire gets too big. I can’t say the same for Stellaris 2.0, it’s inexplicably made the beginning much less fun.

      • DatonKallandor says:

        Except for the part where ES2 is soulless and bland and has the worst “combat” in a 4x, tied with GalCiv 2.

        Oh and letting the community vote means they focus on important things like putting GlaDOS in their game. Letting the community vote on your game design is a sign of a game designer with no confidence or ideas.

        • Zenicetus says:

          That can be a risk, but the community votes are cordoned-off into areas that don’t affect the basic direction of the game. The devs have some strong ideas about how most things work, and they stick to that.

          I agree about the combat though. The design actually has a few interesting features once I understood how the “lanes” were intended to work. But damn, if it isn’t the most inscrutable system I’ve ever seen on the surface. And no tutorial or manual, just user forum posts to help explain it. I wish the ES2 devs would re-work the whole system, but they seem committed to this design.

          Not that Stellaris is any better, though. At least the cinematic combat view in ES2 looks something like space combat. In Stellaris it’s a disorganized mosh pit, ships just swarming around each other.

        • causticnl says:

          so you buy an 4x just for combat, enjoy your mediocre combat in Stellaris there then.

        • TheAngriestHobo says:

          “Soulless and bland”? Uh, yeah, okay.

          • modzero says:

            Yeah, that’s such a weird thing repeated at ES2. I never could get into its mechanics, but thematically it beats Stellaris rather conclusively. Okay, so Stellaris has the horizon signal storyline, which is neat, but that writer wrote that and moved on, and all that’s left is after that is, uh, several varieties of space fascists to either play as or against. Stellaris is super-bland.

            Also, music in ES2 is far better than in Stellaris.

      • Montegomery says:

        I loved Endless Space, but no matter how much I wanted to love Endless Space 2 I just couldn’t get into it.

    • SaintAn says:

      They reached into everyones computer and stole the game we bought and replaced it with a broken, unfun, buggy mess. And even though it is still a broken, unfun, buggy mess, they are releasing overpriced DLC for it. Old Stellaris was incredible, but they took my game from me without my permission.

      And before some corporate apologists come in here to try to defend their chosen corporate deity, no, switching to an older patch in not an option. Nearly all mods for that patch are gone because they were updated since the cancerous Steam Workshop doesn’t allow for multiple download options for mods, so Workshop can’t have multiple versions listed like the Nexus and other sites.
      And the old versions don’t receive bug fixes, updates, and DLC anymore.
      The Steam forum mods for Stellaris are crazy about abusing their power to censor discussion and criticism, so no one there that says things like that can get corrected, so people just keep reusing that same foolish argument.

      • causticnl says:

        you know you can roll back quite easily to this “Old Stellaris” right?

        • SaintAn says:

          You made a stupid.

          • Nauallis says:

            No, you did. You make this complaint in literally every single article about Stellaris since apocalypse and somebody always points out that you can roll back the version, but apparently that’s not good enough for you…

          • Someoldguy says:

            Because he literally spent a large paragraph explaining why that doesn’t work. You can’t roll back to 1.9x or 1.6x Stellaris and access the versions of mods that worked with that tier.

      • DatonKallandor says:

        So you don’t like the new Stellaris because it’s buggy and it gets patches and the old one is perfect and they stole it from you.

        And you don’t want to play the old stellaris, which you still can by just selecting it in Steam, because it’s buggy and you don’t get patches.

        And you hate new Stellaris because it stole your mods because you can’t get them on the steam workshop since they got updated and patched. Even though you can get them on the Nexus for your old Stellaris.

        Sorry bud, just because you don’t like an better, patched, improved game with more features doesn’t mean they have to cater to you and keep patching the worse version. Especially since they let you keep playing the worse version, which basically no other developer or publisher would.

      • fearandloathing says:

        I don’t agree with PDX new development model either, and I mostly gave up on Stellaris since it has taken a course I didn’t like (i.e.:game-design being centered around&for player, rather than mechanics) but you’re straw-manning here. Paradox does its share in ensuring backwards compatibility -which is more than you get with any games in continuous development. What you describe is first and foremost Steam’s fault. Yet the game does not necessitate use of Workshop for mods, they can be easily shared on nexus or PDX forums etc. If modders do not keep or are unwilling to share old versions for earlier patches, well that’s their issue. Even in that case you could’ve easily kept a back-up folder.

      • Templar says:

        I feel the exact same way, Paradox apologists be damned.

      • imno007 says:

        Well then, it might be time to start thinking about saving those old mods so that you CAN rollback the game in the future…

    • Nauallis says:

      Me neither! Somebody people are just whiny downers! I’m stoked to play this when I get home.

    • Jungle Rhino says:

      I like the game – but I just find not having some interesting victory conditions that are meaningful makes it a little bit bleh.

    • Frogshackle says:

      My biggest beef with Stellaris is that it IMPLIES that you can play any sort of wacky galactic empire that you wish to and provides a ton of government and ethic options that are not related to war and then presents you with a game that has nothing to offer if you aren’t perpetually at war.

      So, sure, you can play as pacifists or scientists or explorers or whatever but that actual gameplay is tedious and unrewarding once you leave the early game. Then you’re just marking time doing busy-work until some sort of aggression or random cosmic event goes down.

  5. thetruegentleman says:

    Stellaris has a weird problem: it’s been designed for competing empires of roughly equal strength, but the game is only at its best when your exploring and feeling in awe of the other powers. War should feel more like a crisis than a routine, but that’s never how things work out.

    The Hyper Lane change is kinda symptomatic of that problem: it *should* have been something that felt game changing, but it didn’t really change anything at all. Yay, more fortifications are slightly more effective; I still don’t want to spend any time fighting a conventional war.

  6. shauneyboy68 says:

    I’m still waiting for the space 4x where future shock is a thing

    • Premium User Badge

      Drib says:

      I mean, in Stellaris, if you take a primitive world and make citizens of the primitives, they get future shock’d for a while and are basically useless other than dumb labor. They don’t understand these newfangled computers, they’re still used to their sticks and rocks, etc.

  7. JohnH says:

    I’m not going to buy Stellaris until there is a complete edition out. And I don’t care how long it takes until that happens. I got a fairly significant backlog already anyway.

    So keep on polishing stuff, breaking stuff, fixing the stuff you broke last patch, and adding more DLCs. I’ll be waiting.

    • klops says:

      There was “Europa Universalis 3 Complete edition”.

      Then there came 2 more expansions and “Europa Universalis 3 Chronicles”


    • Pendragon says:

      CK2 is still getting DLC and that game is six years old. I think you’ll have to wait a long time for a Stellaris Complete Edition.

  8. Replikant says:

    Yeah, Stellaris. I can‘t see myself spending time with that game anytime soon. I bought it on release and am fully convinced that they never tested it. None of the hyped storylines could be finished (not enough anomalies), economy synonymous with spending ages micromanaging planets and mines, combat a mess of chasng fleets, doomstacks, and clusterfuck visuals, together resulted in an incredibly shalliow and boring gameplay loop. Stellaris taught me how empty space is.

    • Flavour Beans says:

      You’ll be glad to know that many of those complaints are things they directly addressed in latter patches and such. The ‘storylines that can’t be finished’ can now be finished no matter what: You eventually get events where you make a discovery on a planet, or a black market relics dealer contacts you, etc., to get the other pieces. The 2.0 update back in February massively overhauled combat and fleet management to, in part, tackle the issues of doomstacks and fleet chasing directly.

  9. Butyourewrong says:

    Alice O’Connor, did you just assume that the first guy that came up when you googled “Niven” must be who it honors? Must be the Casino Royal actor and not the award winning scifi author, who shows up right beside him in search results (all their update names are scifi authors), great journalism. I’m stunned by the lack of effort. Why is someone clearly out of there depth in this topic writing about it?

  10. daver4470 says:

    I think the critique of the “Paradox model” of game development is accurate…. if it was 2005. But I feel that people criticizing Paradox today are taking things in isolation while ignoring the bigger picture. Stellaris wasn’t a husk of a game on release — it was a complete game that was somewhat unbalanced and lacking in end-game content. But it also released with mod support, as virtually all Paradox games do now, so a lot of the problems were patched up by modders fairly rapidly. And yes… “the purchaser shouldn’t be required to fix the product themselves”. But enabling the purchaser, or a noble soul who devotes his/her time and skill to modding for others, to fix/change whatever they want in the game is FAR more customer-friendly than the traditional closed-cycle “we’ll fix it when we fix it, unless we can’t fix it, in which case it’s a feature now” model applicable to console and AAA titles (Destiny 2… I’m looking at you right now. Although I hate to pick on Blizzard too much, because they’re more responsive than most companies to their customer base. But I digress.)

    Crusader Kings II was totally playable on release. So was Stellaris. Both are now vastly better (and in the case of the former about 400,000x bigger in scope) than they were at release, which is good. And a good percentage of those changes over the years were given out free via regular patches; for the most part, systemic improvements were free while new content was paid. (There were exceptions….) So the game improves itself incrementally over the months, either officially or via modding, and you get to CHOOSE whether you value the additional content enough to pay more for it.

    I don’t see how one can hold up Paradox as some kind of problem child in the industry that puts out half-baked code that they don’t actually finish until three or four years later. That’s simply not true. When Stellaris was released, virtually all the reviews identified the main problems with the game… and said that the overall quality of the game was enough to overlook those issues, which would eventually be fixed. (In other words… it got good reviews.) It’s only in hindsight that we now see how much better Stellaris could have been… and say “Oh, Paradox pushed out the crappy release version instead of this current polished, expansive version that I had to spend another $50 on, BTW.” That’s not fair to them. If they had put out a version of Stellaris equivalent to the form it is today… it would be coming out today, and it would probably cost $100 because of the massive additional development cost incurred over those two years. (And then everyone would still poop all over it because it “should have been better after three years of work using an already-developed engine” or something.)

    Changing interstellar travel without an option to retain the old system is a legitimate gripe — that’s 100% true. But the old system was problematic, and I get the decision process that led to the change, so I’m okay with it. (Having played a lot of Stellaris both at release and recently post-change and post-a-bunch-of-expansions, I don’t think harms the strategic aspect of the game much, and prevents unwinnable situations where races given a tech boost as part of the game setup wind up jumping into your home system and obliterate your industrial capacity before you can sneeze (and before you can build more than a dozen corvettes). But if you liked the old system, I understand how you’d be ticked off that you can’t use it anymore, and you had no say in the decision. But the bottom line for me is that I’m not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater over stuff like that. Just keep improving the game. That’s all I ask. (And remember that a lot of other developers would have viewed this game as having maxed its revenue potential, and would only be doing minimal bug hunting while all their staff was moved to Stellaris II: Revenge of the Fungus People or something. Would that be better than the Paradox model?)

    Also, Death Stars. What’s not to like?

    • Rainshine says:

      People like to complain, and the sheer amount of stuff Paradox puts out for their game is terrifying. In reality, as you point out, the patches are free, and the base games are great and full experiences — particularly in the case of CK2 which I see lambasted a fair amount.
      Personally, I’d take annual/biannual releases of a $10 thing adding new features to the game over the general alternative of a Star Citizen-like, where the game takes eight years or more to make it to release because they keep adding new features to the baseline, or the most hideous offender in my mind, the Sims and their habit of selling you the same exact expansions every new release.

    • Premium User Badge

      keithzg says:

      There’s a lot I agree with in your comment, but in particular I had to single out

      But enabling the purchaser, or a noble soul who devotes his/her time and skill to modding for others, to fix/change whatever they want in the game is FAR more customer-friendly than the traditional closed-cycle “we’ll fix it when we fix it, unless we can’t fix it, in which case it’s a feature now” model applicable to console and AAA titles

      Hear, hear! One of the greatest things about PC gaming has long been the ability of communities of people to gather around something and create more from it, and to bend and reshape it to their own wishes. People often don’t give that nearly enough appreciation.

  11. simz04 says:

    I dont think they have fixed the single most important aspect of why this game sucks : theres no battle strategy. Its your stack against my stack, and theres barely any reason to have more than 1 or 2 fleets since the higher number your stack is, the more you easily destroy others with minimal losses.

    Defense doesnt give you an advantage, battle stations arent OP, and its all about getting a bigger K value rather than making smart tactical choices.

    • Zenicetus says:

      No, they haven’t fixed it completely since 2.0, but it is a little better with the two big travel changes. Between hyperlink-only and drastically slowing down travel through connecting star systems, you can’t just build one Doomstack and jump it anywhere you want. With larger empires you have to factor in travel time, which can leave the back doors to your systems exposed if you don’t have one or two other guard fleets.

      But yeah, it’s still based around building a bigger stack and throwing it at the enemy, without much real strategy involved. There is no point in raiding, or multi-pronged attacks. Choke points with the new hyperlane system were supposed to help, but I’m not seeing that being much more than a bump in the road when you have a big enough Doomstack.

      • drinniol says:

        I dunno, if you don’t split your fleet you’re vulnerable to a small force bypassing your main fleet and undoing all your system captures. Bad news if you’re attacking a federation or a large empire, or if your big fleet is off somewhere and a rival decides to pay for a raid. Splitting the fleet means you can maintain a front line.

        Not to mention, after very early in the game, you can have nowhere near your fleet capacity in one stack.

        Plus there’s several bonuses to defense in your territory, via territory-wide modifiers and starport buildings.

        I think a lot of people are wanting Total War: Stellaris.

        • simz04 says:

          Just more strategy. Doomstacks are boring, but they are the most effective strategy so…

          Having max size stacks, combat width notions, supply chain maluses, maximum support per area, morale +/-, or some incentives to create frontlines and back-and-forth battles would be nice. How retarded is it that your captain wont flee in a 1 vs 24 battle after seeing all his buddie’s ships getting destroyed?

          It would add strategy and sense rather than going for the stack, destroy the spaceports and then chain-invading planets on a defenseless foe, which kickly become boring.

  12. Eviscerator says:

    Not a fan of the game in its current state. I like the changes they made to war, but with the reworked system partly restraining your ability to wage war, you realise how shallow the rest of the game is. Especially in the mid game. It needs some more developed politics or trade, something to do outside of attacking people.

  13. LuNatic says:

    Unlike most people, I like the changes that 2.0 brought, and feel they were sorely needed. That said, game performance is terrible. I have a fairly beefy PC and it runs like a dog. Doesn’t matter if I create a galaxy with 5000 stars and 50 AI, or 200 stars and 5 AI, as soon as the in game timer reaches the ‘mid-game’ setting, it drops from days per second to seconds per day.

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