So the “Clarke” update for Stellaris came and went, and I gave it another go after my initial enjoyment of playing Space Kitties Bastards Edition, wherein I was a domineering warlike species that was busy subjugating half the galaxy.
It was fun. 😀
After the patch, I decided to have a go at playing a pacifist species, focussed on a small empire with great tech research speeds. I never grew to need a sector, because every planet now slows down research by another 10%.
I decided on a hyperspace game, with a spiral galaxy. This ended up being a really interesting choice, as the hyperlanes just follow the spirals, making early-game exploration very very linear, and ensuring that empires mostly flow along the spiral lines (except for the few that have warp or wormhole drives).
I was bordered by a sort-of-expansionist empire, and a Fallen empire. The expansionist ate the other empire near me, and then ignored me the rest of the game. The Fallen empire was a “watch the tiny little people” variety, and also ignored me.
And that… characterised everything else. Being ignored, researching tech, being ignored, researching more tech… being ignored some more, and now I’m in the late game, I formed a federation, I’m sitting at the end of the tech tree and wondering, well, now what? I have the best jump drive, I can strike deep and hard with my big ships full of best guns and shields, but everyone is just not. paying. attention. to. me.
It’s boring. There’s nothing to do in diplomacy. The only win conditions are “conquer everyone” or “conquer everyone, but differently.” There’s nothing do do at the top of the tech tree except research more “5% better!” techs. As a tiny, tech-focussed nation, there is nothing to do after the first third of the game, except pick what to research next.
So yeah. I’m excited for the DLC, but don’t actually bother until there is some DLC.