When Paradox published the Devil’s Diary last year announcing changes in terms of empire expansion, administrative capacity and the addition of bureaucrats, I didn’t stop scratching my head. Not only did these changes seem unnecessary and unrelated to the patch, which was aimed at diplomacy, but they also smelled of poor design. But the paradox assured us that it is still in an early stage of development and that there is still a lot to do, so I held my breath. Unfortunately, my fears have been confirmed. After losing the new update last week, I came to the conclusion that I don’t like this new system and I hope I can convince the players and all the girls behind it why it is bad and needs serious changes.
The fun of any strategy game lies in offering players a sensible choice. A good system in a strategic game forces the player to choose between several exclusive options, which will have a significant impact on the state of the game in the future. Stellaris has many good systems, such as a system of ethics that shows you the strong and indirect sides of your empire. The old management capsule system also offered players a clear and meaningful choice: Stay under the cap and build the tallest, or go over the cap and build the widest; and you can’t build the widest if you stay under the cap. This does not mean that the previous system was perfect or particularly well-balanced, but it did give actors a judicious choice between two exclusive results and at least halfway through sustainability.
Not only does the new system not offer a valid choice, but it also entails unnecessary work for a game that is too micro intensive. There is indeed no reason not to build wide, because you can just add more bureaucrats as you approach the border. So you play the game as usual until you grow rich, exceed your administrative capacity, find a place to build a new administrative office and then continue the game until you have to build a new one. There is no choice. The system shows you the building’s width loop, drops another office building and then sets up several other buildings in the width loop.
There are other drawbacks to this new system, such as the excessive proliferation of pop music and neighbourhoods and the confusion between administrators and bureaucrats (the results of their work must be disrupted, if at all), but the main problem is the lack of choice for the players. I can’t remember what Paradox is planning to do with this system, but Greculph pointed out that it will be expanded in the next big update. I hope all the changes are based on good game design principles and that they happen as soon as possible.
The source: Initial reference
Message 2.6 The change in the expansion of the Empire/Admin power has transformed a broken system into an openly mediocre system for playing Stellaris.
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