I'm more excited about this game than I have been about any other in years, I absolutely cannot wait.
I'm a little worried that I'm being foolishly optimistic, as when I go back and play Paradox games I am so quickly reminded of all the things I really don't like about them. For games which have a reputation of being so "complicated" they sure have a tendency to give you very, very few handles on what you can actually do to affect the outcome of the game. They also tend to have bizarre, non-intuitive notions of how resources are generated, for example, in Europa Universalis one of the principle ways of generating three of four resources is from the leader of your nation state, and after the first one, these leaders are almost completely randomized! There's also very, very little you can do to affect the income, population growth and productivity of your provinces relative to MOO-like 4X games. It's kind of ironic that they like to call that genre of games "grand strategy" because, while they can certainly be quite fun, they usually seem anything but "grand" in scale.
On the bright side, I found many of the systems in Hearts of Iron 3 to be far more sensible and intuitive than in their other games, even if it feels extremely limiting because the timescale involved is so short. Of course one of the best things about the Paradox games is that diplomacy is far more intricate in their games than in any others. Also, I think the fact that Stellaris is completely procedurally generated will go a long way to making it better than Paradox's other games, as nearly identical initial conditions tend to make their other games feel extremely limited (though it is fun learning about history through them).
In regard to the combat in Stellaris, it will be entirely simulated and you will have no direct control. Unlike other Paradox games, however, from the videos I've seen it looks like you will have a huge number of options on how to compose your fleets and equip your ships, and the developers have been emphasizing that you will have valuable feedback from battles so that you have some indication of what to build, how, and what kinds of strategy and tactics to use (obfuscation of battle results is one of my chief complaints about almost every 4X game, to me this is far more important than having direct control over combat, because I consider the strategic part of the game to be the real reason for playing). I find that the combat in other Paradox games tends to feel ridiculous, because, regardless of how interesting the simulation might .be, there are only a few unit types, and there is otherwise very, very little you can really do to affect the outcome of battles. In fact, I can tell you the outcome of every land battle you'll ever fight in Europa Universalis: the French win (yes, even if you outnumber them 3 to 1).
Free DLC (Horizon Signal) is here for Stellaris
A new expansion is coming to Stellaris called MegaCorp
Info on the upcoming expansion:
Stellaris: MegaCorp introduces a revolutionary new way to conduct business on a galactic scale by seamlessly synergizing new markets and city planets with state-of-the-art citizen solutions and more marketable human capital. Alongside a host of free updates coming to Stellaris, the new MegaCorp DLC will include:
- Corporate Culture: Chief Executive Officers of a MegaCorp can conduct business on a galaxy-wide scale with a host of new civics. By building Branch Offices on planets within empires they have trade agreements with, the MegaCorp can add a portion of the planet’s Trade Value to their own network. Using the new Corporate Authority, construct an economic powerhouse and dominate galactic trade - for a brighter future.
- City World: With Ecumenopolis, players can increase the population density of core worlds to truly epic proportions, eventually creating a planet-spanning megacity.
- Caravaneer Fleets: Keep an eye out for the Caravaneers, nomadic interstellar wheelers-and-dealers who stay aloof from galactic politics, and always have a bargain up their sleeve. Expect surprises when these master traders wander through your space or when you visit their home systems.
- More Megastructures: Budget has been approved for your own glorious Matter Decompressor, Mega-Art Installation or Strategic Coordination Center to acquire new scaling capabilities for your megalopolis.
- Galactic Slave Market: Buy and sell labor on an industrial scale, set them free or keep them as livestock. The choice is yours!
- VIP Status Comes with its Perks: Keep your economy competitive in a cutthroat galaxy with additional Ascension perks.
Hard on it's sale comes some new DLC for the game, about space archaeology, looks like they have been watching reruns of Babylon 5 https://store.steampowered.com/news/?appids=281990
Stellaris - Lithoids DLC has been released
The Lithoids Species Pack features Lithoids, a species type made entirely of sapient rock who eat minerals for sustenance, are long-lived, and can colonize in almost any environment. Players can look forward to trying out the entirely new Lithoid play style that focuses on mineral production, relentless colonization of even the most marginal worlds, and refusing to cede an inch of your empire - for sedimental value.
The Lithoids Species Pack includes:
- Unique Mechanics for Lithoid Empires
- 15 New Portraits of Lithoids and 1 of a Lithoid robot
- New Mineral-based Ship Models
- New voice pack