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* BlackBox: L-Gates and the nanotech found in the space they lead too. After extensive research you can learn how to turn them on, but you can't turn them off and you can't make more.

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*** This occasionally comes up thanks to the internal factions you have to manage. When half your population is screaming that they want a war, picking a fight with someone too far away to actually battle can give you a very nice influence boost at little cost.


** And then there's all sorts of stuff in between.
* CreativeSterility: Fallen Empires are well past their prime, and have only a single fanatic ethos trait (normal empires can have either a fanatic and a non-fanatic, or three non-fanatic) representing the sole surviving ideal that they hold on to. They'll never expand, don't develop any of their territory, and don't explore. However, their military technology starts out millennia ahead of what the players have, and though they can't replace anything they lose, they're so disgustingly powerful it takes a serious effort to inflict even token losses on them. The rewards (in terms of valuable technology, salvage, and resource-rich territory) are enough to often make you by and far the most dominant superpower in the galaxy. The problem is finding the tech, military strength, and resources to be able to combat them, while also managing to avoid having your rivals capitalize on your vulnerable flanks. And when once Fallen Empire is overrun by the "lesser races", [[AwakenTheSleepingGiant the others will stop playing around]].

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** And then there's all sorts of stuff in between.
* CreativeSterility: Fallen Empires are well past their prime, and have only a single fanatic ethos trait (normal empires can have either a fanatic and a non-fanatic, or three non-fanatic) representing the sole surviving ideal that they hold on to. They'll never expand, don't develop any of their territory, and don't explore. However, their military technology starts out millennia they start with all technologies researched putting them about two to three centuries ahead of what the players have, you, and though they can't replace anything they lose, they're so disgustingly powerful it takes a serious effort to inflict even token losses on them. The rewards (in terms of valuable technology, salvage, and resource-rich territory) are enough to often make you by and far the most dominant superpower in the galaxy. The problem is finding the tech, military strength, and resources to be able to combat them, while also managing to avoid having your rivals capitalize on your vulnerable flanks. And when once Fallen Empire is overrun by the "lesser races", [[AwakenTheSleepingGiant the others will stop playing around]].


* AndroidsArePeopleToo: As soon as you develop the technology for Synthetic robots (which are sapient), you can legally declare them to be people, enabling them to join factions (thankfully affected by governing ethics bias, which tends to offset any disagreeing Spiritualist factions) and be their own citizen rather than enslaved in servitude. Also, even if your empire legally disagrees that Synthetics have full citizenship, the Synthetics certainly don't, and ''will'' start having happiness values until they are decommissioned back into non-sapient Droids. [[spoiler:In the old AI Rebellion crisis, granting Synthetics citizenship is in fact one way to deal with a late-game AI uprising. Note, however, that this isn't a 100% deterrent, since if the galaxy-wide AI uprising is sufficiently strong, advanced, and happy enough, even your most loyal androids may start scheming to rebel.]]

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* AndroidsArePeopleToo: As soon as you develop the technology for Synthetic robots (which are sapient), you can legally declare them to be people, enabling them to join factions (thankfully affected by governing ethics bias, which tends to offset any disagreeing Spiritualist factions) and be their own citizen rather than enslaved in servitude. Also, even if your empire legally disagrees that Synthetics have full citizenship, the Synthetics certainly don't, and ''will'' start having happiness values until they are decommissioned back into non-sapient Droids. [[spoiler:In In the old AI Rebellion crisis, granting Synthetics citizenship is was in fact one way to deal with a late-game AI uprising. Note, however, that this isn't Although it wasn't a 100% deterrent, since if the galaxy-wide AI uprising is sufficiently strong, advanced, and happy enough, even your most loyal androids may start scheming to rebel.rebel. In the revamped Crisis, [[spoiler:it still pays off to treat your robots nicely. The Contingency will attempt to hack and hijack them, and may end up losing you a few pops, but if they are liberated and happy, then by and large they will stick with you.]]

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** Slightly inverted by the new Lithoid species - they have their own version of the Devouring Swarm, but they don't eat the aliens. They eat ''their planets'', leaving hollowed out husks when they're done.


** The ''Federations'' DLC adds several more concepts: the ''Remnants'' origin has your species start on a Relic World, a ruined ecumenopolis. With ''Void Dwellers'', your civilization's homeworld was destroyed in the past by some unknown cataclysm, and you begin on an orbital habitat constructed above its shattered remnants. ''Shattered Ring'' empires start off on the last habitable segment of an abandoned Ringworld.

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** The ''Federations'' DLC adds several more concepts: the ''Remnants'' origin has your species start on a Relic World, a ruined ecumenopolis. With ''Void Dwellers'', your civilization's homeworld was destroyed in the past by some unknown cataclysm, and you begin on an orbital habitat constructed above its shattered remnants. ''Shattered Ring'' empires start off on the last habitable segment of an abandoned Ringworld. Special mention goes to the ''Doomsday'' origin, in which your homeworld is doomed to explode, with a mere 64 years to evacuate the planet and rebuild somewhere else before it goes critical.


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* HomeworldEvacuation: With the ''Doomsday'' origin, your starting planet is doomed to explode after 64 years, meaning that you'll be forced to scramble to find a new capital for your empire.


* AfterTheEnd:
** On the galactic level, it's abundantly clear that ''something'' happened to the galaxy before the start of the game, leaving it largely devoid of intelligent life save for a handful of crumbling Fallen Empires, some orbital ruins, potential planetside archeological digs, and the occasional derelict megastructure.
** On a planetary scale, Tomb Worlds are the product of nuclear war, leaving behind irradiated wastelands that are difficult to colonize. If you leave an atomic age pre-FTL species alone for a while, you might get to witness this first hand. It's also possible for [[EarthThatWas Earth]] to spawn as one of these if you're playing a non-human empire, complete with [[CockroachesWillRuleTheEarth pre-sentient cockroaches]] living in the ruins. It's also possible to find primitive civilizations living on some of them, making it not hard to think that either those civilizations bomb themselves down into this state or they start up from someone else wrecking the ecology. With ''Apocalypse'', you yourself can play as one such civilization, having recovered enough technology to develop spaceflight and FTL travel.

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* AfterTheEnd:
** On
AfterTheEnd: There are many different variations on the galactic level, it's abundantly clear that ''something'' happened to theme throughout the galaxy before the start of the game, leaving it largely devoid of intelligent life save for a handful of crumbling Fallen Empires, some orbital ruins, potential planetside archeological digs, and the occasional derelict megastructure.
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** On a planetary scale, Tomb Worlds are the product of nuclear war, leaving behind irradiated wastelands that which are difficult to colonize. If you leave an atomic age pre-FTL species alone for a while, you might get to witness this first hand. It's also possible for [[EarthThatWas Earth]] to spawn as one of these if you're playing a non-human empire, complete with [[CockroachesWillRuleTheEarth pre-sentient cockroaches]] living in colonize, often the ruins. result of nuclear wars fought between pre-spaceflight nations. It's also possible to find primitive civilizations living on some of them, making it not hard to think that either those civilizations bomb them; in some cases they're descended from the cultures who bombed themselves down into this state or they start up pre-industrial cultures, while in others they're descendended from someone else wrecking nonsentient prewar creatures (such as the ecology. Ketling Star Pack, or the [[CockroachesWillRuleTheEarth pre-sentient cockroaches]] that might spawn on a Tomb World Earth). With ''Apocalypse'', the ''Apocalypse'' DLC, you yourself can play as one such civilization, having recovered enough technology to develop descended from the survivors of the planet's nuclear exchange before developing spaceflight and FTL travel.faster-than-light travel (and giving you the ability to easily settle other Tomb Worlds across the galaxy).
** Three of the four possible backstories for Machine Empires have this as as their background. Deault Machine Empire homeworlds possess "Long-Abandoned City" and "Metal Boneyards" as planetary features, suggesting that whatever built them is long gone. Driven Assimilator capitals are littered with open landfills and mass graves of the organics who committed suicide rather than face assimilation. Determined Exterminators begin on a Tomb World, and the backstory nots that they're the ones responsible for wiping out their creators.
** The ''Federations'' DLC adds several more concepts: the ''Remnants'' origin has your species start on a Relic World, a ruined ecumenopolis. With ''Void Dwellers'', your civilization's homeworld was destroyed in the past by some unknown cataclysm, and you begin on an orbital habitat constructed above its shattered remnants. ''Shattered Ring'' empires start off on the last habitable segment of an abandoned Ringworld.
** And, finally, no matter ''what'' your empire's past is like, when you first venture into galactic space it becomes abundanly clear that ''something'' happened to the galaxy at some point before the start of the game, leaving it largely devoid of sentient, spacefaring life outside of a few crumbling Fallen Empires, some archeological digs and orbital ruins, and the occasional derelitc megastructure... although it's never made clear just what it is that went down.

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**In fact, Federations will add a new type of Federation called a [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin hegemony]]. As the name suggests, it gives considerable bonuses to the leader and requires large contributions from lesser members, although they aren't quite vassals and they still do gain the benefits of teaming up with a powerful empire.


** Occasionally Caravaneers "mingling" with your people will result in the birth of hybrids, the flavor text reading "[[Creator/JeffGoldblum life, uh...]] [[Film/JurassicPark finds a way.]]"

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** Occasionally Caravaneers "mingling" with your people will result in the birth of hybrids, the flavor text reading "[[Creator/JeffGoldblum life, uh...]] uh]]... [[Film/JurassicPark finds a way.]]"


** Occasionally Caravaneers "mingling" with your people will result in the birth of hybrids, the flavor text reading "life, uh... finds a way."
* HappinessIsMandatory: Rogue Servitors are programmed to "protect" their organic bio-trophies, by herding them into efficiently-designed cities and giving them "mandatory pampering". Considering that it's a 40% happiness boost and there are no restrictions on their pop growth rate, though, it actually doesn't seem that bad of a fate. Mainly a case of GrewBeyondTheirProgramming with the dictat "Make everyone happy.", because the machines, should they encounter [[KillerRobot Determined Exterminators]], show their loyalty to organic life by becoming '''visciously angry''' at these "[[AllCaps MURDERERS]]".

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** Occasionally Caravaneers "mingling" with your people will result in the birth of hybrids, the flavor text reading "life, uh... "[[Creator/JeffGoldblum life, uh...]] [[Film/JurassicPark finds a way."
]]"
* HappinessIsMandatory: Rogue Servitors are programmed to "protect" their organic bio-trophies, by herding them into efficiently-designed cities and giving them "mandatory pampering". Considering that it's a 40% happiness boost and there are no restrictions on their pop growth rate, though, it actually doesn't seem that bad of a fate. Mainly a case of GrewBeyondTheirProgramming with the dictat "Make everyone happy.", because the machines, should they encounter [[KillerRobot Determined Exterminators]], show their loyalty to organic life by becoming '''visciously '''viciously angry''' at these "[[AllCaps MURDERERS]]".


* ArtisticLicenseAstronomy: In Stellaris neutron stars and pulsars are different types of star, with different properties and different potential resources. In current astronomical knowledge most known neutron stars are pulsars and vice versa.

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* ArtisticLicenseAstronomy: In Stellaris treats neutron stars and pulsars are as different types of star, with different properties and different potential resources. In current astronomical knowledge most known knowledge, neutron stars are and pulsars are the same things with slightly different properties.
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: the Zroni precursors figured out how to do this in their entirety, leaving behind the galaxy
and vice versa.their material possessions for life in the Shroud.



** As of the Apocalypse DLC, the Life-Seeded civic. Your empire was brought to a 25-tile gaia world, but your habitability is gaia worlds only. [[BlessedWithSuck This means that for your starting species every non-gaia world will have an immutable 0% habitability.]] The only way to remedy this is with a middle-game expensive genetic modification tech, while the society research cost will halt your society research progress for years. The other methods of acquiring more territory are either inefficient (Robots or Vassals) or prohibitively expensive (Megastructures and Terraforming).

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** As of the Apocalypse DLC, the Life-Seeded civic. Your empire was brought to a 25-tile gaia Gaia world, but your habitability is gaia Gaia worlds only. [[BlessedWithSuck This means that for your starting species every non-gaia non-Gaia world will have an immutable 0% habitability.]] The only way to remedy this is with a middle-game expensive genetic modification tech, while the society research cost will halt your society research progress for years. The other methods of acquiring more territory are either inefficient (Robots or Vassals) or prohibitively expensive (Megastructures and Terraforming).


* CommieLand: Empires with the Shared Burdens civic introduced in the ''Megacorp'' DLC are these. However, since you can only take the civic while being Fanatic Egalitarian, it's closer to Marxist [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communist_society Communist society]]/Anarcho-Communist land than Marxist-Leninist land that most {{Commie Land}}s in fictions are.

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* CommieLand: Empires with the Shared Burdens civic introduced in the ''Megacorp'' DLC are these. However, since you can only take the civic while being Fanatic Egalitarian, it's closer to Marxist [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communist_society Communist society]]/Anarcho-Communist land than Marxist-Leninist land that than most {{Commie Land}}s in fictions are.



** If you're lucky, you can end up in a galaxy where democratic pacifist types are predominant among the other empires, with higher willingness to enter federations and liking your empire more based on shared values. Other empires can be swayed ([[{{Hypocrite}} or subjugated for their own good}}]], especially with the War Goals system) to come around to a universalist democratic viewpoint, with more and more joining the federation...and at the end, you might end up with a united galaxy of democratic, egalitarian states, with no genocides, no slavery, no wars of aggression, no closed borders...something like a galaxy-wide [[{{Franchise/StarTrek}} United Federation of Planets]]. If you got only one Fallen Empire and it happens to be the Enigmatic Observers type, it won't give you any kind of trouble and work with all the empires, enabling you to beat back endgame crises with relative ease (or at least less bloodshed that would otherwise occur). So, a SugarBowl for everyone - well, except those two-three upstart species that go galactic during gameplay as upstart empires, turn out to be Fanatic Purifiers or some other pleasant group, and are quietly "contained" (read: steamrolled) by your federation, but hey. Obviously, that applies only if you're playing a democratic egalitarian-type empire yourself, otherwise, you'll probably be on the receiving end of a war of ideologies or two yourself.

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** If you're lucky, you can end up in a galaxy where democratic pacifist types are predominant among the other empires, with higher willingness to enter federations and liking your empire more based on shared values. Other empires can be swayed ([[{{Hypocrite}} or subjugated for their own good}}]], good]], especially with the War Goals system) to come around to a universalist democratic viewpoint, with more and more joining the federation...and at the end, you might end up with a united galaxy of democratic, egalitarian states, with no genocides, no slavery, no wars of aggression, no closed borders...something like a galaxy-wide [[{{Franchise/StarTrek}} United Federation of Planets]]. If you got only one Fallen Empire and it happens to be the Enigmatic Observers type, it won't give you any kind of trouble and work with all the empires, enabling you to beat back endgame crises with relative ease (or at least less bloodshed that would otherwise occur). So, a SugarBowl for everyone - well, except those two-three upstart species that go galactic during gameplay as upstart empires, turn out to be Fanatic Purifiers or some other pleasant group, and are quietly "contained" (read: steamrolled) by your federation, but hey. Obviously, that applies only if you're playing a democratic egalitarian-type empire yourself, otherwise, you'll probably be on the receiving end of a war of ideologies or two yourself.



* CreativeSterility: Fallen Empires are well past their prime, and have only a single fanatic ethos trait (normal empires can have either a fanatic and a non-fanatic, or three non-fanatic) representing the sole surviving ideal that they hold on to. They'll never expand, don't develop any of their territory, and don't explore. However, their military technology starts out millennia ahead of what the players have, and though they can't replace anything they lose, they're so disgustingly powerful it takes a serious effort to inflict even token losses on them. The rewards (in terms of valuable technology, salvage, and resource-rich territory) is enough to often make you by and far the most dominant superpower in the galaxy. The problem is finding the tech, military strength, and resources to be able to combat them, while also managing to avoid having your rivals capitalize on your vulnerable flanks. And when once Fallen Empire is overrun by the "lesser races", [[AwakenTheSleepingGiant the others will stop playing around]].

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* CreativeSterility: Fallen Empires are well past their prime, and have only a single fanatic ethos trait (normal empires can have either a fanatic and a non-fanatic, or three non-fanatic) representing the sole surviving ideal that they hold on to. They'll never expand, don't develop any of their territory, and don't explore. However, their military technology starts out millennia ahead of what the players have, and though they can't replace anything they lose, they're so disgustingly powerful it takes a serious effort to inflict even token losses on them. The rewards (in terms of valuable technology, salvage, and resource-rich territory) is are enough to often make you by and far the most dominant superpower in the galaxy. The problem is finding the tech, military strength, and resources to be able to combat them, while also managing to avoid having your rivals capitalize on your vulnerable flanks. And when once Fallen Empire is overrun by the "lesser races", [[AwakenTheSleepingGiant the others will stop playing around]].


** The player can create a custom empire with the militarist, spiritualist and xenophile ethics, the Nationalistic Zeal and Slaver Guilds civics, an oligarchy-type government and a Roman-themed name list to play as SpaceRomans.

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** The player can create a custom empire easily invoke this with the militarist, clever selection of traits, ethics and civics. For example Militarist, spiritualist and xenophile ethics, the Nationalistic Zeal and Slaver Guilds civics, an oligarchy-type government and a Roman-themed name list to play as SpaceRomans.can combine for SpaceRomans. Or a militarist and spiritualist empire with an arctic homeworld, the Barbaric Despoilers civic and your choice of the Strong, Traditional, Thrifty or Communal traits for ''Space Vikings''.

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** While rare, it is possible to meet Fanatic Purifiers that have ''[[DemocracyIsBad democratic]]'' governments. That is, a species that participates in fair and free elections and [[NightmareFuel votes consistently for the extermination of all other life in the galaxy without being coerced]]. [[YouBastard There's nothing stopping you from playing as these guys either]].


** An Egalitarian/Xenophobic population will actually find alien slavery acceptable. Combine that with a Moral Democracy (pacifist/moral/non-violence granting +10 happiness) and/or traits like Decadent means you can end up with a society that values and champions individual empowerment and freedom... while also being comfortable with (or even happier with!) slavery.[[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation It could be a case of]] [[DoubleStandard double standards]]: such a civilization might be in favor of freedom and such for ''itself'' but not for the aliens.
** NPC-wise, while rare, it's possible for an empire to appear that's a democratic Fanatical Purifier. Put simply, a species that, [[NightmareFuel consistently and without coercion, votes in fair and free elections for the merciless extermination of all other life in the galaxy]]. [[YouBastard You can also play one yourself]].
** Enclaves are an npc-only faction dedicated to space stations to support their existence, they refuse to work with anyone unless [[OnlyInItForTheMoney they get paid for their trouble]]. Worth it, though. They have irreplaceable resources and sources of Influence.
** Though you'll get much flak from invading Stone Age primatives, no one will complain if you do the same to oyhers at other stages of development. Even presentients can be purged without even the galaxy's Enigmatic Observers bitching about it.

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** An Egalitarian/Xenophobic population will actually find alien slavery acceptable. Combine that with a Moral Democracy (pacifist/moral/non-violence granting +10 happiness) and/or traits like Decadent means you can end up with a society that values and champions individual empowerment and freedom... freedom, and great or even utopian standards of living... while also being comfortable with (or even happier with!) slavery.sentient xenos being enslaved, deported, exterminate or simply eaten. [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation It However it could just be a case of]] [[DoubleStandard double standards]]: {{Double Standard}}s: such a civilization might be in favor of freedom and such for ''itself'' but not for the aliens.
** NPC-wise, while While rare, it's possible for an empire to appear that's a democratic ''democratic'' Fanatical Purifier. Put simply, a species that, [[NightmareFuel consistently and without coercion, votes in fair and free elections for the merciless extermination of all other life in the galaxy]]. [[YouBastard You can also play one yourself]].
** Enclaves are an npc-only faction dedicated to space stations to support their existence, The Shroud Gods naturally indulge in this, which is a given as they refuse to work are basically {{Exp|y}}ies of the [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Four Chaos Gods]]. And let's not even get started on the Worm-in-Waiting; the Worm is basically [[spoiler:a sentient time anomaly]] that loves you in its own bizarre way, but just communicating with anyone unless [[OnlyInItForTheMoney they get paid for their trouble]]. Worth it, though. They have irreplaceable resources it is fundamentally dangerous, and sources its idea of Influence.
** Though you'll get much flak from invading Stone Age primatives, no one will complain if you do the same to oyhers at other stages of development. Even presentients
helping your people eventually involves [[spoiler:[[CursedWithAwesome forever twisting them into new, repugnant forms that can be purged without even the galaxy's Enigmatic Observers bitching about it.survive on Tomb Worlds]].]]

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