Pre-FTL Players – All FTL For Stellaris

Pre-FTL Players – All FTL For Stellaris

1.6 Adams compatible!

Start Stellaris in the early days of space travel, when FTL is merely theoretical & a practical drive system has yet to be concieved. All empires except fallen start with no FTL, only 1 of 3 theories. Practical drives must be researched & retrofitted before ships can leave their starting systems. Theory and first drive techs are rare. Exploiting your home system is much more important than in vanilla.

In the meantime, conventional and now ion based thrusters allow ships to set out on multi-year voyages (similar to warp drive but only ~10% as fast) prior to discovery of FTL. Advanced start AIs already did so many years ago & their colonies are well established.

No FTL at start, you must research physics labs to get your first practical drive.
All FTL types are available for research. Researching multiple theories will help you get a drive faster, but your first may not be your starting choice.
2 STL drives, starting chemical thrusters for 0.5c for science and colony ships, and later fusion powered ion thrusters that move all ships at just under c.
Colony ship maintenance reduced to 1 energy per month.
FTL Mapmode: Based on Birdy’s work, shows the highest FTL technology researched in each empire. Psi > Jump > Wormhole 3 > Hyper 3 > Warp 3> Wormhole 2 > … all the way down to none. They may have lesser drives also.
STL drive
Most travel time is spent in windup/winddown rather than moving, due to a Stellaris bug where ships will not leave the galaxy view on arrival at their destination if they’re moving too slowly.
Set STL ships off of evasive fleet stance, or they’ll abandon a year’s worth of windup to switch destinations when a hostile arrives.
STL ships show as idle the entire duration of the warp winddown. Send them into an orbit so you know to come back when they’re ACTUALLY idle.
A scientist can & should support multiple STL science ships due to down time traveling (unless you’re RPing).
STL ships in a wormhole empire will show the range ring as if they were a wormhole station. Graphical bug only.
Gameplay impacts / advice
Setup: Probably want more AIs than you usually prefer, since several of them will likely still be pre FTL by the time you get FTL. AI production bonuses will help them less (less turn advantage), so you might want to increase difficulty as well.

Builds: Science & physics builds will get a head start on average, but science builds aren’t great at rushing and everyone gets plenty of time to build an in-system fleet, so that’s probably OK. The +1 research alternative government (and tech) is very powerful here.

FTL research: All practical drives are tech tier 2 and unlocked by the physics lab. The theory techs are rare, but will unlock more practical techs and increase your odds with them. More tech alternatives help a lot. Researching a practical drive makes the other 2 even rarer. So if your favorite doesn’t come up first, you have an interesting strategic tradeoff to make.

AI: AI will mostly stick to its first FTL type unless a higher tier drive of another type becomes available, which should be very rare. AI is not great about upgrading its ships, which hurts it more than usual here when starting ships have no FTL. I’ve tried to fix this, it may have helped.

Event Ships (Pirates/Cultists/Shipyards/etc): Should spawn with the FTL you have. Pirate and cultist events should not trigger until after you get FTL. If you trigger the shipyard or gas giant ship anomalies with STL, you should get jump drive ships. Lots of shoulds, y’all let me know.

Crises: Their calendar trigger dates are unchanged, so you and the AIs will be less ready for them. Unbidden will still be triggered by jump drives, so they’ll come later than vanilla.

Please, add your own thoughts / tips / tricks / warnings here. Y’all play my mod a whole lot more than I get to, help each other out.

Pre-FTL players: Only your starting drive type is researchable. A Pre-FTL start to vanilla. To play with FTL types restricted (hyperlane only) you MUST use that mod, not this one. Do not use these two mods together or with Primitive Players.

Future Plans / Hopes
If you want to be part of beta testing, sign up for that mod. Or take an idea from the list & code it

Recommended Mods
I use Echo’s Colonizeable Home System. My co-dev @ined77 recommends The Belt for asteroid colonization a la The Expanse. AlphaMod also expands colonization, among many other things.
A colonization mod or rushing droids for expanded colony options is probably almost necessary to really enjoy pre-FTL gameplay.
Arcalane’s FTL Scout Probe works fine with STL drives.

Compatibility Issues
Two base game files have been altered, 00_phys_tech and 00_utilities_drives. This mod will not be compatible with other mods that alter these two files. Issues with specific mods are discussed here, please add any you encounter.


Credits / Thanks / Permissions

by Pode and Ined77

ined77, Pode
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