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Paradox Can Into Space With [Stellaris]

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    webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    Give me the ability to secretly sell weapons and ships to subject nations.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
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    Dignified PauperDignified Pauper Registered User regular
    Wait, didn't they accidentally leak a date of February 16, 2016?

    PSN: DignifiedPauper
    3DSFF: 5026-4429-6577
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    CesareBCesareB Registered User regular
    I told my girlfriend about this game and she was like "Whaaaaat they can have my money now let's get that where can we get that?" and I was like oh wait I'm really sorry um the hype train just started so... a year and a half? Two? Here's hoping it's on the way sooner rather than later. It does seem rather fully-featured for an alpha... and I guess they're still using that old engine right?

    Marry her.

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    Cobalt60Cobalt60 regular Registered User regular
    Stellaris is probably only half a year away from release.

    Recently Paradox shifted from announcing games early in development (e.g. Hearts of Iron IV) with far off release dates to announcing games when they're much closer to completion.

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    AxenAxen My avatar is Excalibur. Yes, the sword.Registered User regular
    I can already tell, ah who am I kidding, from day freaking one I could tell that this game will consume me.

    These Dev updates just make me hate the fact that I have to live through time in a linear fashion!

    I want need to be subjugating star systems now!

    A Capellan's favorite sheath for any blade is your back.
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    quarthinosquarthinos Registered User regular
    edited February 2016
    ... and I guess they're still using that old engine right?

    It's still using the Clausewitz engine , I think. They might have said so in one of the interviews?

    quarthinos on
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    FoefallerFoefaller Registered User regular
    It's worth noting that Stellaris already has a Steam page with the minimum reqs... which are pretty much exactly the same as for Crusader Kings 2.

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    Fleur de AlysFleur de Alys Biohacker Registered User regular
    It's Monday, and that means new dev diary!
    Hello everyone!

    For today’s dev diary, I thought I’d talk about a crucial part of Stellaris; waging wars and making peace, because as you know, not all ETs are nice... The system is different from most strategy games out there, but should be familiar to anyone who has played a Paradox Development Studio title. In fact, it is probably most reminiscent of how these things work in the Europa Universalis games.

    Let’s start at the beginning. When you declare war in Stellaris, you have to state what your aims are; what the war is actually about. You simply choose from a list of possible goals, where each one is listed with a certain cost. The total cost of your picked goals cannot exceed 100. If you have a good reason to take something, the cost will be reduced. This might be the case if, for example, members of your founding species happen to live on a planet, or if it has previously been a part of your empire.

    If you are a member of an alliance, the other members will need approve your list of selected goals before you can actually start the war. This is of course more likely if you are not too greedy and want to take everything yourself. That is, you will probably want to assign some goals to other alliance members to get them to approve the war.


    When a war has been declared, the defending side is allowed to add war goals in the same manner, but they have an important advantage; they have a one-year grace period, and can thus choose targets depending on how the war is already progressing.

    You need to gain “war score” in order to win, just like in our other games (-100 to 100.) At any time, you can negotiate for peace by selecting specific goals from your own list or that of the other side, very much like in Europa Universalis (except that you are limited to the stated war goals.)

    Of course, wars are not always waged simply to seize territory: Other valid goals could be vassalization, for example, or securing a treaty of some kind. Sometimes, you might not really care about your stated goals at all, but just going in there and destroying the enemy’s space ports and stations...


    Like in most of our games, occupying a planet with your armies does not mean it immediately becomes yours, of course; you need to demand it in the peace talks. There is a notable exception to this rule though; so called “first contact wars”. Before you have established communications with another civilization, it is possible to simply attack them and even take one of their planets (but once you take a planet, communications are immediately established.) Of course, such early hostility will never be forgotten, and will sour your relations for the rest of the game… There are other exceptions to how wars are waged, in the form of special types of civilizations, but that will have to wait for another dev diary.

    That’s all for this week folks, stay tuned next week for “Administrative Sectors”!
    This is definitely a Paradox game. This stuff is why Paradox is way ahead of its rivals in the genre.

    The particular system described sounds like a bit of a mix of the war goals and casus belli systems in multiple games, all pieced together. I like CK2's locked-in goals, but I also enjoy EU4's flexible demands. Best of both worlds here.

    Also first contact wars sound rad. Bring it on, Turian scum!

    Triptycho: A card-and-dice tabletop indie RPG currently in development and playtesting
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    SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    It's good they are going more EUIV than CK2. I want to be able to make specific demands and gain territory if I win a defensive war. I also like the sound of different civilization types having special types of wars they can start. Hopefully the 40k style "Eternal War: Kill everyone who isn't us all the time everywhere" is an option.

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    AxenAxen My avatar is Excalibur. Yes, the sword.Registered User regular
    I'll be in my bunk.

    A Capellan's favorite sheath for any blade is your back.
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    Fleur de AlysFleur de Alys Biohacker Registered User regular
    In today's dev diary, Paradox explores administrative sectors:
    Hi again folks!

    Today I am going to talk about one of the great pitfalls of strategy game design; dull micromanagement. That is, features which require too much player attention. The trick, of course, is determining how much is “too much”, but it’s useful to consider how central the feature is to the core gameplay, how well it scales between small and large states, and how repetitive it gets with time.

    In Stellaris, one feature which risked causing bad micromanagement was the planetary tile system; assigning Pops to tiles and deciding which buildings should go where. It is a fairly central feature and it is fun to use… but if you had to worry about 20, 50 or more planets, it would scale poorly. The obvious solution to this type of scaling issue is automation; you can let the AI handle it for you. This is indeed what we did in Stellaris, but not in a “traditional” fashion... Instead, we opted for something a little bit more akin to the vassals in Crusader Kings through something we call Administrative Sectors.


    A Sector is an administrative region under the control of a Sector Governor. You can control a few planets directly (your “core worlds”), but once you go past the limit, you will start suffering penalties to your Influence as well as Empire-wide income. The exact limit for how many planets you can control directly depends on various factors, like your government type and technologies, but, as with the “Demesne Limit” in Crusader Kings II, it will never be a huge number. At this point, it is best to start dividing your territory into Sectors. You can decide the Sector capital and which planets should belong to it (but they must all be connected to the capital, i.e. form one cohesive sub-region.) You are also allowed to name your Sectors, for fun.

    Unlike proper Vassals, Sectors remain an integrated part of your Empire, but they will handle development of planets and the construction of mining stations within their region for you. You can give them a focus (Industry, Research, etc), an infusion of Minerals or Energy Credits to help them along, and decide if you want to tax them for Minerals and Energy Credits. Sectors do not possess any military fleets of their own, nor do they perform research (they have access to the same technologies you do, and their research output is all given to you.)


    While Sectors and Sector Governors cannot demand more autonomy, or directly rise up in revolt (things I’d love to explore in an expansion), over time their population tends to diverge ideologically from that of the regime, and create their own identity. Like-minded Pops will tend to migrate there if allowed to. In the same way, aliens of the same species will also tend to coalesce in the same Sectors. Thus, when Factions form, they will often tend to have their main seat of power in a specific Sector. And Factions can demand autonomy and achieve independence. However, this is something that warrants its own dev diary...

    That’s all he wrote folks. This time. Next week, I plan to talk about Alliances and Federations!
    Though he lists Crusader Kings as a reference here, this system reminds me more of Romance of the Three Kingdoms games where you'd put governors and viceroys in charge of territory. Of course, Paradox shows how it's done by adding an incredible ideology & migration system to it, which is just the most wonderful thing.

    Every time I'm like "okay so that must be pretty much it, this game couldn't really get better" Paradox is all like "New innovation!" And I'm like "Jesus guys, leave some ideas for other development teams maybe"

    Triptycho: A card-and-dice tabletop indie RPG currently in development and playtesting
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    AxenAxen My avatar is Excalibur. Yes, the sword.Registered User regular
    Oh man, just every damn Dev Diary makes the hype all the more unbearable! When I read the part about sectors not demanding autonomy or rising up I was bummed and thought "well maybe in an expansion" and literally the next words were "things I’d love to explore in an expansion". Such joy!

    A Capellan's favorite sheath for any blade is your back.
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    KadokenKadoken Giving Ends to my Friends and it Feels Stupendous Registered User regular
    What if I want almost full autonomy but with a heavy tithe on that sector?

    That dev blog was great. Few games make me continuously optimistic as paradox ones do

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    nefffffffffffnefffffffffff Registered User regular
    well since it seems that this game isn't coming out tomorrow as they originally stated, have there been any release date updates?

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    DonnictonDonnicton Registered User regular
    That's going to be my only real concern with the game. In most 4X games I'd never allow the AI to control anything - much less a planet - because most game AIs tended to be bafflingly stupid with their build choices.

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    CesareBCesareB Registered User regular
    Donnicton wrote: »
    That's going to be my only real concern with the game. In most 4X games I'd never allow the AI to control anything - much less a planet - because most game AIs tended to be bafflingly stupid with their build choices.

    Somehow it's less annoying when you don't have the option of controlling it yourself. It's much easier to think "this is inefficient because the governor is an asshat," than "this is inefficient because I'm too damn lazy to make a couple of simple decisions."

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    VicVic Registered User regular
    CesareB wrote: »
    Donnicton wrote: »
    That's going to be my only real concern with the game. In most 4X games I'd never allow the AI to control anything - much less a planet - because most game AIs tended to be bafflingly stupid with their build choices.

    Somehow it's less annoying when you don't have the option of controlling it yourself. It's much easier to think "this is inefficient because the governor is an asshat," than "this is inefficient because I'm too damn lazy to make a couple of simple decisions."

    Yeah, and Paradox games have always had this to some degree. Manipulating the AI to do what you want it to is a core gameplay skill, whether they are your allies, enemies or governors. Them fucking up your plans only makes them seem more human.

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    Fleur de AlysFleur de Alys Biohacker Registered User regular
    It also means the game will be balanced under the assumption that the player will only be able to micromanage a relatively small number of worlds.

    Not to mention, there's no worry that you have to micromanage dozens of worlds in order to squeeze out every bit of power possible, whether you want to play that way or not.

    Triptycho: A card-and-dice tabletop indie RPG currently in development and playtesting
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    TakelTakel Registered User regular
    I'm all for automating the chores freeing up player mental bandwidth for more important stuff. Like plotting the extermination of heretics, xenos and mutants.

    I still hold Distant Worlds: Universe as my absolute benchmark when it comes to automating the economy, and tedious stuff in general. Sure sometimes the AI does brain dead things, but the second you secure a system with an extremely important strategic resource, there's an AI controlled builder on its way to build a harvesting station for it without you even having to lift a finger.

    The more that I don't have to tend to the spreadsheets in space, the better.

    Steam | PSN: MystLansfeld | 3DS: 4656-6210-1377 | FFXIV: Lavinia Lansfeld
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    BasilBasil Registered User regular
    edited February 2016
    Yeah, with the systems handed to the ai actually designed to be used by ai, the chance of it being visibly and frustratingly incompetent without good reason is much reduced.

    Basil on
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    SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    Like in CK2, it makes your directly controlled "core" systems a lot more important and adds some personality to your empire. You'll probably want to keep your core worlds fully upgraded, developed and well defended while not caring so much that your frontier miners can't read or write and maybe get eaten by bugs every now and then. I really want that rebellion expansion ASAP though.

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    Fleur de AlysFleur de Alys Biohacker Registered User regular
    Faction rebellions are still a thing though, and it looks like factions grow among like-minded populace. According to the diary, like-minded populace coalesce within these sectors. So a form of that rebellion will be in at day 1, it seems.

    Triptycho: A card-and-dice tabletop indie RPG currently in development and playtesting
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    BasilBasil Registered User regular
    I can't express how pleased I am to have a Space Opera Simulator coming down the pipe.

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    Dignified PauperDignified Pauper Registered User regular
    This game literally has me chomping at the bit. Definitely a day-1 purchase.

    PSN: DignifiedPauper
    3DSFF: 5026-4429-6577
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    TakelTakel Registered User regular
    I'll need to go back and see if the previous developer diaries touched on it, but I wonder how ship construction is handled. As in how are they purchased and built.

    The administrative sectors are basically just an auto-pilot to developing the different worlds so you don't need to. All research outputs and the construction of military units is left to the player. If the building of units is restricted by a limited number of production queues, then that's possibly a disadvantage for large empires especially if you can't spend your income fast enough.

    Steam | PSN: MystLansfeld | 3DS: 4656-6210-1377 | FFXIV: Lavinia Lansfeld
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    AxenAxen My avatar is Excalibur. Yes, the sword.Registered User regular
    This game literally has me chomping at the bit. Definitely a day-1 purchase.

    I'm always excited for Paradox games, but normally I'm, "Yep, it's gonna be good. Steam, remind me when when it is out."

    Stellaris has me frothing at the mouth, willing to kill a man in front of his own mama for this to be released!

    A Capellan's favorite sheath for any blade is your back.
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    FoefallerFoefaller Registered User regular
    Takel wrote: »
    I'll need to go back and see if the previous developer diaries touched on it, but I wonder how ship construction is handled. As in how are they purchased and built.

    The administrative sectors are basically just an auto-pilot to developing the different worlds so you don't need to. All research outputs and the construction of military units is left to the player. If the building of units is restricted by a limited number of production queues, then that's possibly a disadvantage for large empires especially if you can't spend your income fast enough.

    https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/stellaris-dev-diary-17-ship-designer.902967/

    That should be the ship designer dev diary.

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    TakelTakel Registered User regular
    yeah, that only goes over the ship designing process though. Not the logistics in building those on worlds/stations/whatever.

    Steam | PSN: MystLansfeld | 3DS: 4656-6210-1377 | FFXIV: Lavinia Lansfeld
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    Fleur de AlysFleur de Alys Biohacker Registered User regular
    Exactly one week ago I said this:
    Every time I'm like "okay so that must be pretty much it, this game couldn't really get better" Paradox is all like "New innovation!" And I'm like "Jesus guys, leave some ideas for other development teams maybe"
    Since that was precisely one week ago, you know what time it is:
    Greetings fellow gamers!

    The topic for today is “Alliances and Federations”. Now, we have modelled alliances quite differently in most of our games. In Crusader Kings II, for example, alliances are bilateral, and allies are (since the last patch) automatically dragged into wars with no option of opting out and breaking the alliance. In Europa Universalis IV, alliances are also bilateral, but you can decline a “Call to Arms” at the cost of Prestige. In Stellaris, alliances are multilateral (they can have any number of members, not just two), and are thus more like NATO and less like the complex web of mutual agreements that existed at the outbreak of the Great War. This means that members of an alliance need a greater say in matters that concern the entire alliance, notable declarations of war (and some things are simply not allowed if you are an alliance member, such as guarantees of independence.)

    If I am a member of an alliance in Stellaris and I want to declare a war, all the other members of the alliance need to approve. This ties back to what I talked about in the dev diary two weeks ago; if the goals I declare with the war are only beneficial to myself, my allies are of course less likely to approve. Therefore, I will likely have to dicker with the war goals in order to satisfy all of my allies (depending on their opinions and strategic concerns, naturally.) Of course, members can always just leave an alliance (while at peace) if it won’t permit them to achieve their goals.


    If an alliance works well, however, the members can instead choose to deepen their cooperation and form a Federation. There are pros and cons to this choice. Alliances can be paralyzed by vetoes from the member states, but a Federation is governed by a single President who has the power to act with impunity. On the other hand, the presidency rotates between the member states, so for long periods members will have little control over their foreign policy. Federation members also share victory, which might be a problem for certain types of players…

    Another interesting feature of Federations is that they have a special joint space navy in addition to the forces of the separate member empires. The Federation president gets to design these ship templates using all the best technologies of all the member empires. The president also gets to control these fleets, of course. As a rule of thumb, several fairly equally matched empires might want to form a Federation, especially in the face of aggressive, significantly larger neighbors, but it might not be the best idea for empires who are dominant in their own right. Of course, there is also an element of role-playing to the choice…


    That’s all for now. Next week’s topic is Multiplayer!
    Every time I'm like "okay so that must be pretty much it, this game couldn't really get better" Paradox is all like "New innovation!" And I'm like "Jesus guys, leave some ideas for other development teams maybe"

    Developer response to a question asking if federation presidencies can have other mechanisms for selection:
    For release, it will most likely be rotation only.
    "For release" - heh, nice.

    Triptycho: A card-and-dice tabletop indie RPG currently in development and playtesting
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    KadokenKadoken Giving Ends to my Friends and it Feels Stupendous Registered User regular
    I wonder if in a later update or expansion federation dictatorships or oligarchies can occur, when one or a few members of a federation rule indefinitely,

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    AxenAxen My avatar is Excalibur. Yes, the sword.Registered User regular
    Fuck you Paradox, fuck you!

    This level of hype is deadly and you are killing me!

    Killing me!

    A Capellan's favorite sheath for any blade is your back.
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    Fleur de AlysFleur de Alys Biohacker Registered User regular
    So here's the thing.

    I am super hyped for this game. I have every reason to believe that this will be the greatest strategy game ever made. That's not something I'd say lightly; a strategy game is in my top 3 best games ever, so if this supplants that, this will be in my top 3 greatest games ever made. The pedigree behind this game is impressive (EU4's Wiz has joined the team for AI development, in case you missed that), and there are so many new ideas and methods here that it is poised to recapture that sense of wonder and possibility rarely felt since playing the first 4X / GSG titles. You can only do the same thing so many times, no matter how refined, before it loses its magic, and Stellaris may well be the kick-start the whole genre needs to feel new again.

    It will also be very friendly to the player. It will be well-supported for years -- free patches with bugfixes (& probably the ability to choose any old patch you want within Steam), DLC that addresses core issues and common player requests, and robust modding support.

    Despite ALL that... I don't actually know if this is a Day 1 purchase for me.

    At the end of the day, this is a Paradox Development Studio (PDS) game. PDS games are pretty much all fantastic, but they all tend to release with some pretty major problems. For all of EU4's advancements over EU3, it actually felt a bit like a step back until several patches in (maybe a year or so of additional development). By then it had already started to go on sale, and PDS games go on sale a lot. The base game will receive huge discounts (both a price drop and a 50% sale after the first year, probably) at around the same time that patches have fixed up the main issues and the first "must-have" DLC has dropped. Of course, DLC and major patches also have problems that often require an additional few hotfixes or patch version to address...

    Basically, it's hard to tell when the game will truly live up to its potential. It absolutely will at some point -- of this I have no doubt -- but if that's at launch, it'll be the first time PDS has ever pulled that off. Buying the game and all content DLC immediately means spending something like $200 on the game across its lifetime, more if you want the cosmetic & flavor stuff as well. Will it be worth it? Well, yes, any game in the top 3 best all-time would be. But you could also get it for like $50 by getting everything at 75% sales while also enjoying the benefit of only playing the game in its peak versions.

    Ultimately, in an era where there are so many fantastic games to play, putting off playing a truly excellent one isn't as hard as it used to be. It's really bad for the industry if everyone does this, and most people probably won't because it's really easy to press that BUY button in Steam (hell I don't even know how long I can wait, especially if it's really solid and stable at release). But, PDS has begun to train me to buy their games around 1 year behind their development team. I did not buy EU4 on release despite anticipating it so greatly, and I have only bought maybe two of the DLCs at full price.

    Triptycho: A card-and-dice tabletop indie RPG currently in development and playtesting
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    TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    the way paradox prices their DLCs it's probably better to purchase it right on day one because it's never going to get cheaper and actually only more expensive as more DLC comes out

    this way you don't wind up spending 100$ or having to wait for a sale and paradox is pretty good with fixing issues quickly when it comes to the playability of their games.

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    Fleur de AlysFleur de Alys Biohacker Registered User regular
    Wait, what? How do you figure?

    Assume the game is $50 at launch. It gets 4 DLCs per year with an average price of $15 each. If you buy everything on day 1, in the first two years you're paying (50 + (15 * 8)) = 170.

    If you wait for a price drop to $40 for the main game and a 50% sale on the main game and each DLC, then you instead pay (20 + (7.5*8)) = 80. The 50% sales start within 6-9 months of each release, typically, so you'd need to be almost a full year behind to get that price.

    Triptycho: A card-and-dice tabletop indie RPG currently in development and playtesting
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    durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    Eh, I'm gonna grab this cause it looks neat I think? I can do like 3-ish games at full price per year generally, I figure I'd like to support people making interesting things.

    Take a moment to donate what you can to Critical Resistance and Black Lives Matter.
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    ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    Eh, I'm gonna grab this cause it looks neat I think? I can do like 3-ish games at full price per year generally, I figure I'd like to support people making interesting things.

    Yeah, basically.

    This and M&B 2 are absolutely day-X purchases for me.

    If CK2 is any indication, I'll end up spending a boatload on DLCs as they trickle out, but I usually skip a couple and then buy the last few on-sale and the newest at full price every 6-months-to-a-year or so.

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    SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    PDS (in recent years) has done a good job in my opinion of keeping things fun and playable for people who don't buy the DLC. CK2 especially is still fun if you just buy the base game. I can understand wanting to wait 6 months until it goes on sale for 50% off, because that will happen, but then I would not be playing this game for 6 months and I just can't deal with that.

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    GaryOGaryO Registered User regular
    I don't care about the DLC I just want them to release it now
    or Hearts of Iron 4.
    Either way they have 2 games i really want to play coming out at some point this year and they won't say exactly when, its frustrating,

    Let me play your games!!!

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    SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    Paradox has a pretty clear and reasonable DLC path: Every 3-4 months a new DLC is released for their biggest titles, the base game and DLC more than 6 months old at that point will be discounted either -50% or -75%

    If you are patient you can play the game fairly cheaply, if you want day1 hype it'll cost more it's never crazy.

    Now I'll probably make Stellaris a Day1 buy unless it is somehow completely on fire.

    Steam: SanderJK Origin: SanderJK
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    AxenAxen My avatar is Excalibur. Yes, the sword.Registered User regular
    Paradox, IMHO, has the best DLC. Sure they have plenty of superfluous DLC, but their big ones are always (literal) game changers.

    A Capellan's favorite sheath for any blade is your back.
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