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My First Game of Stellaris

My first impression of Stellaris was not the best; I was overwhelmed by the interface, and unable to expand my empire properly while I was frustrated by a constant flow of spam notifications.

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By. Jacob

Edited: 2022-02-11 00:32

My first game of Stellaris did not go too well, or at least that is how it feels. After nearly two days I ended up quitting the game in year 2301, before even getting to go to war with another empire. I am not sure, but I think I may have gotten stuck, and I was just not sure what to do anymore.

Unfortunately, this game also made some of the same mistakes its predecessors suffered from: notification hell!

This game has way too many notifications, and it mostly seems to be about irrelevant stuff. On top of the constant inflow of spam notifications, you also get the traditional popups that we know from games like Master Of Orion and Reunion; notifications are more subtle than the popups.

You get popups when something happens that may or may not need your attention. If other empires sign treaties with each other, you will get notified about it, although I fail to see the relevance. The only good thing is that the notifications do not take up much screen space.

When I started my first game, I actually had no idea what to do. The interface was sort of overwhelming, and I probably spend a lot of time just learning to use the interface. You will not have much fun until that is out of the way, and the in-game assistance is not of much help.

Moving ships is Excruciatingly slow

The game is Excruciatingly slow. Moving ships around takes hundreds of days of in game-time. Each time your ships reaches a star system on the way towards a destination, they slows down to a halt, and has to go through a "warm up" period of several days before they are able to continue the journey. Not sure it matters when you know what you are doing, but it was degrading the experience of my first game.

I wonder if there is some technology you can research to make ships move around faster; I can not imagine that it is supposed to be like this, because it is going to take an inhumane amount of time to populate a galaxy, and that is time basically spent doing nothing.

It also seems ships are only capable of moving on pre-determined paths between systems, and later on, a lot of systems is going to be out of reach because of that.

I ended up cornering myself in my first game, surrounded by other empires. Was not really sure what to do about that, other than maybe declare war.

Situation log

I also could not figure out how to make a Transport Ship, which I needed to complete a mission after destroying the Cultist warship. There are in-game events or "Situations", located in the Situation log (actually a bit too many for my liking), and some of them are greatly annoying because they basically just interrupt the gameplay with notifications/popups, or they might destroy a colony, wasting you hundreds of days of in-game time to re-build.

The popups can be turned off in the Gameplay settings, but I am not sure that is safe, since you might miss something of importance.

When I completed an event called Abandoned Terraforming Project, one of my colonies suddenly was attacked and basically self-destructed for no reason. I am not even sure how to prevent that. Surely not by moving a fleet to the system? That would take hundreds of in-game days, and the ships might not reach the system in time!

Hopefully I will have more fun in my next game, now that I at least know how to use the interface.

Tell us what you think:

  1. This review focuses on Stellaris, a grand-strategy game in space.
  2. Bugged event disrupts the gameplay and destroys a colony for insane reason.
  3. Another game of Stellaris wasted, this time thanks to an Amoeba Swarm encountered too early in the game.
  4. Apparently Fallen Empires can magically assassinate your leader with non-existent technology, leaving you with that profound feeling of frustration. Was this really necessary? Of course not.
  5. I just hate the Abandoned Terraforming Project event, it has caused the unfortunate loss of two colonies and a great amount of frustration.

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