Another Monday, another Dev Diary about our favorite game of galaxies — Stellaris
If you’ve played any of the other Paradox Interactive Grand Strategy Games, you will have a pretty good understanding of how these systems work. Each empire can interact with each other in interesting and, hopefully, rude ways. Born from the inherent differences in the ethics system, which casts huge shadows on how you play, Jormungandur explains “The ethics of each Empire will, of course, play a heavy role here, as pacifist Empires will react quite differently to aggressive wars than would a xenophobic militarist one”. No one tells me when I can or can not kill an entire species.
Trade is a simplified affair in Stellaris. Transactions between empires need a specified time to be completed: 10 years, 20 years, infinity plus change? You can have it all. It’s not all trading good for goods either; you might find yourself needing military access through a star system and you might just be willing to pay dearly for it. Conversely, if you don’t want to bother with the intricacies of trade, you could leave the trade window open and see what the AI thinks is fair.
When trade relations break down and you just don’t have the military strength to erase their carbon footprints for good, it’s time for diplomacy. According to Jormungandur, many of the interactions from prior GSG‘s will be fully utilized in Stellaris. [Source]
A Tributary is forced to pay a set amount of their income to their Overlord each month and is most often established as the result of a lost war. The Overlord will not automatically defend them in wars, so the Tributary is caught in quite an unfortunate position until they have the military strength to either demand an end to their servitude or declare a war of independence.
A Protectorate is a subject protected by a (to them) technologically superior Empire. The Protectorate gains a major research-bonus to all technologies that their Overlord has already researched, and is automatically converted to a Vassal when having progressed far enough technologically.
Any pre-FTL species that is technologically enlightened is automatically created as a Protectorate under whichever Empire granted them the ability to space-travel. The Overlord in turn gains political Influence each month and the eternal gratitude of a bright-eyed new member of the galactic community.
A Vassal is the most controlled type of subject-Empire. They will automatically join their Overlord’s wars, aggressive and defensive, and they have no autonomy when it comes to foreign policy or diplomatic relations. A vassal also run the risk of a full diplomatic integration by their Overlord.
All types of subjects have a Liberty Desire expressing how content they are living under their Overlord’s rule. If a subject’s Liberty Desire becomes very high they have a chance to start a war for independence, often waiting for an opportunity when they sense weakness (a taxing war, a larger uprising, a galactic crisis etc.). The Liberty Desire is a compound of a few different parameters but the main ones are the subjects opinion of the Overlord, the total military strength of all the subjects relative to the Overlord as well as if the subject can find someone who supports their cause.
So, what do you think about Trade and Diplomacy in Stellaris? Let us know what you think in the comments below.