Audible eXtension For Stellaris

Join Nate and Oliver as they speak to Joshua, the reviewer, about Stellaris and its review. What did we leave on the cutting-room floor? Where is this game headed? Come listen and hear what we think about Stellaris!

Music by Mangadrive for eXplorminate

13 replies »

  1. One of the things about Stellaris that I’m slightly uncomfortable with is the way the space between systems is largely ignored. It’s only there to separate systems, which form the true playing field by themselves. As such the game makes me feel like I’m playing on a collection of points, rather than in an interconnected galaxy. This is compounded by the way the galactic view and the system view are explicitly separate camera modes that one has to toggle between.

    Contrast this with titles like Star Ruler 2 and Distant Worlds, which provide a continuous playing field that happens to have star systems in it. The focus will still be on those systems, of course, but it’s possible to operate outside of them too. I’m not sure it really makes much of a difference in terms of how the games play out, but it makes a difference for me in the immersion department.


    • That’s interesting, and not something I’d really thought about before. I definitely think the system/galaxy screens thing is a remnant of the other Grand Strategy games and one that doesn’t really make sense in Stellaris. It seems to assume that the system view is the default which is not at all how people use it.

      Definitely something I need to think about more.


    • The logic to it is that with certain modes of travel, ships should simply only come upon each other at places of interest, and not between the stars, SotS handled that better by granting the ability to pursue ships between stars when both ships were using a mode of travel that allowed that, and prohibited that otherwise.

      The problem is that this is not SotS — SotS had a vastly simplified method for exploiting your solar systems resources. I think SotS would be more realistic, but you wouldn’t want to pilot your constructor ships or your science ships around a system drawn to the same scale as those in SotS. And while the ability to zoom all the way in and out might seem fun, it would be far too easy for a user to get lost that way. I see this as being a good compromise for playability sake.

      I think SotS did it the best though, but that just won’t work with the existing game systems.


  2. Star drive 1 &2 also has continuous space and you can send ships anywhere.

    I think continuous space makes more sense in a more combat focused game where the distances between stars have some strategic or tactical implications. In Stellaris it’s all pretty abstracted when it comes to FTL travel between stars.

    I don’t have a strong preference for one system over the other, and I think they can both make for interesting gameplay depending on how it’s handled.

    Armada 2526 had a neat system, where by default you could issue fleets to move from star to star and couldn’t change orders mid flight. Certain techs allowed you to change orders mid flight and also send you ships to deep space coordinates – both options gave you more tactical options.


  3. BTW, the history of exploring the world should probably not be used as a model for space exploration. Certainly, the early moon missions didn’t have any scientists and NASA learned that that was a mistake. Astronauts were, basically told specific things to look for. But that was based on expectations, not on reality. A scientist could look at a location and know the questions that they should be asking about it. So the later missions did include scientists. And so have all of the Space Shuttle missions since then. That’s because the technology grew from the experimental (requiring test pilots to handle anything that might go wrong) into something they had a lot more confidence in. So they could afford to send scientists. Don’t mistake the missions that were a more proof of concept, than with what general exploration should be like. Nasa learned a lot from those early missions, and what they learned was to send more scientists.


    • Then how it’s done in Stellaris is realistic, because from what I’ve seen you aren’t supposed to use your Science Ships to scout – you’re supposed to use cheap corvettes to scout, and then Science Ships to survey the scouted systems.


      • I agree, although I’m not sure that ‘realistic’ is the proper word when talking about speculative topics like this. Practical might be better. I wasn’t talking from a realism standpoint, but from the standpoint of practicality.


      • In an even more practical scenario, it’s actually a lot more likely that this is how things would work:
        1. Spectroscopic analysis of star systems that are likely candidates for whatever specifically you are looking for (ie. habitability, or exploitability).
        2. Sending umanned vessels to have a closer look, map, rudimentary analysis.
        3. Exploitation could be set up, maybe, without even sending manned missions there, with robotics. It’s conceivable that you’d only send a manned vessel for systems of extreme interest, either scientific or settlement.

        Think about how we are doing space exploration today — it’s almost all unmanned missions with robots, because sending people is incredibly expensive, by comparison, and dangerous (very few people would cry over losing a rover,, as compared with a crew).


  4. I loved the program, nice follow up to the review guys. One thing I wanted to ask about was this. Nate mentioned was that there were a lot of other games that handled combat better. I am curious what other games, space based 4X types, would be considered as handling combat better? I love the genre so I am curious.
    thanks guys


  5. The issue of generic races was to be expected : not only Stellaris doesn’t seem to have pre-designed races with strong background, it doesn’t even seem to have procedurally-generated races (where there are some specific rules to the randomness).

    But then, what 4X even *have* randomly generated races?


  6. We’ve discussed this before, but :
    Repairs :
    Don’t forget that in Stellaris (unlike in the majority of 4X), ship repairs are NOT free.
    This makes damaged ships staying in front much less of an issue.

    Kiting vs Cat&Mouse :
    They’re two different things :
    – Kiting is about Tactical combat : moving with a unit that out-ranges the enemy unit so that it can keep firing on that unit with taking much less (if any) damage.
    It’s especially powerful because games generally use an “ether” view of things :
    there’s the battle space referential, and shots and ships move relative to it – shots don’t gain additional speed when fired by a fast-moving ship (like they should in proper newtonian simulation) – a fast ship firing fast shots will have a large upper hand kiting a slow ship firing slow shots.

    – Cat&Mouse is about Operations :
    it happens in Stellaris because of its real-time nature combined with lack of chokepoints (and no fuel requirements).
    Though you *do* have fairly cheap (both to research and to build) space stations with “interdiction” modules, so I’m not sure what the issue is?


    • Yea, Kitting is more of what happens in StarDrive 2 and other RTS type combat like that. The Cat and Mouse sounds more accurate. I’ll be sure to use that in the future. Thanks for the reminder.



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