The only good thing about Stellaris is that it conforms to the leftist worldview (ironically, porky Collectivism equals Authoritarianism versus Individualism equals Freedom equals Entrepreneurship was overtime changed to Freedom equals Egalitarianism and Communism, Private business equals oligarchy)
The game, however, was broken by later patches. It's overcomplicated and requires tedious routine, but also doesn't have any variance at all. It's perfectly balanced, but due to being overcomplicated and drawnout doesn't work out for multiplayer. Like every other 4x strategy game, it seems to think that throwing a billion different menus and mechanics at players is an acceptable substitute for actual fun. Even if I don't mind it breaking the KISS principle, the issue is it doesn't get anything from it. The reason for their design is to try and make it a "real sim of a sci-fi galaxy". It awfully bungles it, as none of the systems are actually in any way deep. Its just a bunch of puddles that haphazardly get dug with each DLC.
It would be cool to have each empire be ideologically or culturally different…
But in practice this is done by barely noticable gameplay wise (unless they are op) traits that have no effect on the procedural "story".
It would be cool to have politics of your empire…
But in practice its just a tab that you farm influance from that has no narative response to your actions.
It would be cool to have space trade…
But its just a simple pact with a flat income boost and a non-specific value resource that maybe atracts pirates if you are stupid and can't play the game right.
It would be cool to have your empire evolve over time…
But all the outcomes in the civics are predecided, you just choose when to unlock them.
It would be cool to explore the Galaxy…
But there is zero randomly generated expedition sites, so you will see the same shit each game.
It would be cool to develop a ton of differing weapon builds…
But there isn't much reason to not just go down one weapon type path and just use that.
It would be cool to have alliance pacts and federations…
But they are all the same sterile shit.
The Khan sounds cool,
But croaks way too soon to his assassin sex slave gf, so he only ends up a threat for like a quarter of the Galaxy
The War in Heaven is cool,
But the rest of the game past midgame bores me so much that I literally never seen it.
Galactic market sounds cool,
But it's fucking sterile and carries zero weight for the actual gameplay, as its just a seperate tab where you can buy or sell limitless amounts of goods. Traderoutes? Piracy? Smuggling? Nah, fuck that shit, no need.
The L sector or whatever its called is a cool idea,
But it's just three prescripted outcomes of what is inside.
Curators are a cool idea,
But they are just a guaranteed thing that will be a part of all your games and there is no real point to them outside of "dump credits to gain x modifier".
The only system that is any good IMO was the UN, but even that has a lot of unexplored ground that, lets be honest, will never be touched by the devs.
The game is just one big graveyard of good ideas that all look like unfinished Revell plastic model kits. The only saving grace is the modding scene.
But even with mods it doesn't fix another huge issue - combat is extremely fucking unfun. After playing starsector recently it is beyond me how a proper gaming company couldn't have done proper space battles and instead kept up with their usual shitty stats vs stats nonsense.
Still if anyone is interested: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1100284147
pretty good ethics mod that is quite well balanced in my opinion, also contains the original ethics so you don't have to worry too much
allows for TRUE SPACE COMMUNISM
TL;DR: Distant Worlds did it better