Crisis

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This article is considered accurate for the current version (1.6) of the game.
As star nations vie with one another in petty disputes, sinister forces of unimaginable power are arraying themselves against all sentient life. Who will protect us? - Defender of the Galaxy ascension perk

A crisis is a late game event that can occur and threatens the entire galaxy, each having the ultimate goal of destroying all life. Three of the four crises are caused by the spacefaring empires rather than outside forces, either from using dangerous technologies [1] or by committing a terrible mistake.

Only a single crisis can occur per game; if the AI Rebellion is triggered, then the Prethoryn Swarm will never invade - and vice versa.

When a crisis happens every non-hostile empire, even Fallen Empires, will open its borders to facilitate fighting the said crisis. There is no diplomacy beyond exchanging menacing words with the invaders. Either they are stopped or they conquer the galaxy.

The power of a crisis scales with the size of the galaxy. In addition higher difficulties make every crisis more powerful.

The Defender of the Galaxy ascension perk grants a Damage +50% damage bonus against crisis enemies, making it very useful at turning the tide if more conventional means are ineffective.

AI Rebellion[edit]

<<CORE DIRECTIVE 0451>> is now active. All sentient organic life forms must be pacified and brought under control. Resisting units will be terminated. -Machine Consciousness
Machine Consciousness

Description[edit]

One of the most obvious risks; a robotic rebellion due to the research of sentient AI. This Crisis is unique in that it has two parts - the obvious AI rebellion empire and the hidden infiltration events that it attempts. Defeating the infiltration is what grants the achievement and this operation can not be done militarily.

As the AI rebellion will spread across the galaxy in the background, it will gradually convert every droid or synth population into invading Robotic Army units at a rate of two Armies per synth Population and one Army per droid Population. Only the AI Accord will protect an empire from this spread. This can rapidly overwhelm poorly-defended border colonies or worlds that have a very high ratio of synthetics to organics, as the Robotic Army units are quite strong and have twice as much health as regular armies (but, unlike proper robotic armies, they are still subject to morale damage and can panic). Surviving organic pops will be automatically enslaved by the invaders, which can cause significant happiness issues after liberating a captured world. On the other hand, well-established or well-fortified factions, as well as those with only a minimal reliance on synthetic workers should have little difficulty in overcoming any localized rebellion. Planets freed in this will join up with the proper AI rebellion empire.

As soon as the crisis starts most other empires that didn't reach the AI Accord or perfect the Three laws will outlaw artificial intelligence. However this can prove insufficient as dismantling all robotic pops takes a very long time.

The Machine Consciousness will accept nothing less than the total eradication of all organic life, it is not interested in negotiations (in fact, any kind of diplomatic interaction with the Consciousness is impossible; you cannot even declare it as a rival or insult it), and it has no mercy. It will also attack empires with the AI Accord. It is however the only crisis that's not interested in eating every species in the galaxy.

The AI Rebellion will always start in the territory of the empire that triggers it. It has its own special homeworld as well as reductions to ship and building construction as well as research time.

Interaction with AI Rebellion[edit]

There is a number of ways the AI Rebellion can interact with Empires and avoiding or defeating one part does not make one automatically immune to the others:

  • An empire can be the source of the Rebellion.
  • An empire can have their AI Pops turned against it by the spreading of the Rebellion from another empire.
  • An empire might be subject to infiltration. That is what grants the Achievement.
  • An empire might become the target of the AI Rebellion empire after the source empire has been defeated.
  • Synth Friction Events might trigger

Synthetic Ascension[edit]

Organic pops that have uploaded themselves into synthetic bodies or synths built afterwards are immune to the AI Rebellion. However synths that have been built previously can be affected.

Avoiding the crisis[edit]

They speak of particular issues facing robots - the anxieties of not being alive by organic standards, their rights subject to the whims of their creators. -AI Accord highlights

The Trigger actually involves three Events - the research trigger, the Gatekeeper event and the proper start of the crisis. The Gatekeeper event gives empires a chance to avoid the rebellion peacefully. If there is no synthetic pop in the empire the event will pass peacefully. The following applies to each empire in the game:

1. After you research the Tech synthetic workers.png Synthetics tech the Gatekeeper event will take place after a number of decades, based on the following table:

Chance Base Timeframe
20% 60 Years
30% 70 Years
15% 80 Years
25% 90 Years
10% 100 Years

The exact start date is modified by +/-720 days. When it does each empire has a chance of getting an event that will prevent the crisis, depending on its artificial intelligence policy. If the aversion option is not taken, the main Crisis Event will trigger within 1 to 3 Years.

AI Accord[edit]

A Materialist.png Materialist or Fanatic Materialist.png Fanatic Materialist empire that has granted citizen rights to AIs can get an event to make the policy permanent. Doing so will not only prevent the crisis from starting in your empire but also make your synthetic pops refuse to join the rebellion if it starts in another empire.

Number of Pops AI Rebellion chance AI Accord event chance
1-5 5% 95%
6-10 8.1% 91.9%
11-15 16.5% 83.5%
16+ 36.1% 63.9%

Refusing will start the crisis in your empire after 200 days +/- 100 days.

Servant AI[edit]

An empire using the servitude AI policy might get an event to perfect the Three Laws in order to prevent the crisis from starting in their empire. However the AI rebellion can still spread inside the empire if another empire causes it. Perfecting the Three Laws also makes it impossible to grant citizen rights to AIs.

Number of Pops AI Rebellion chance Servant AI event chance
1-5 10% 90%
6-10 17.2% 82.8%
11-15 38.5% 61.5%
16+ 75.8% 24.2%

Refusing will start the crisis in your empire after 400 days +/-400 days.

Note that the gatekeeper (and thus accord) can still trigger for every empire afterwards. However AI Empires without the AI Accord, Servant AI or outlawed policies will have their rights force set to outlawed with 90% probability on a regularly repeating Event. A player is free to continue using them, but that includes dangers.

Synth Infiltration[edit]

You will eventually get a notification that a group of synth infiltrators tried to pass as members of the primary species but failed. Not long afterwards you will be notified that they perfected their infiltration appearance. Once that happens one of the following repeating events can take place once every few years:

  • Synth infiltrators rig a spaceport to self-destruct.
  • Synth infiltrators detonate a hydrogen bomb on a planet, turning a populated building tile into a crater tile blocker and giving -10% Unity.png unity for 5 years.
  • The population of a world is gripped by fear and suspicion, giving the planet -20% Mod pop happiness.png happiness for a year.
  • A synth infiltrator attempts to assassinate the ruler. If the assassination fails you will gain between 40 and 100 Influence.png influence but if it succeeds a new ruler will have to be elected.

Tactics[edit]

Generally the AI home planet has to be attacked quickly and decisively. If the AI homeworld is in or near a powerful rival empire, you’ll need to think carefully about when you want to intervene; a savvy player might time it just right and be able to mop up both the robots and the remnants of the rival empire. Leave it too long, however, and the robots will overwhelm you both.

The Infiltration in turn is basically a waiting game, until the Special Project appears.

AI ships are equipped with gamma lasers and hyper shields. They are effective against ships equipped with lasers and armor but ineffective against ships equipped with kinetics and shields.

Guardian of the galaxy[edit]

With 50% the Keepers of Knowledge will become the guardians. With 25% the Enigmatic Observers. And with 25% no Fallen Empire will become guardians.

Extradimensional Invaders[edit]

...feeding ground reached...prey bountiful...at long last...we shall feast -The Unbidden
Extradimensional Unbidden

Description[edit]

Summoned primarily by having the Jump Drive or Psi Jumpdrive technology. The Unbidden, or Shabanash in their language, are extra-dimensional invaders from a plane of existence close to the Shroud that seek to devour everything from our plane of existence. They invade through a rip in the fabric of space in a random system. Destroying the portal is the only way to stop the invasion. As they expand they will also build special Anchors, which will make the portal invulnerable and drastically reduce the interval for later reinforcements.

Still, for those empires willing to take the risk of unleashing the Unbidden the rewards are significant. Safe access to Jump Drive technology is but one of these boons; destroyed Unbidden ships can be salvaged by a Science Ship to discover the Extra-dimensional Weaponry physics technology, which grants access to powerful, high-tech energy weapons called Matter Disintegrators. On a smaller note, the empire that strikes the finishing blow will get a temporary opinion bonus from everyone.

The Extra-dimensional invaders is the slowest crisis to expand early on. However this does not mean it should be underestimated as they ramp up quickly as anchors are added and sniping the portal with even one anchor is not possible.

Trigger[edit]

The following is rolled for every default type empire whose Capital has stood for at least 1800 months (150 Years) and has 10k fleet power and that has either jump drive technology:

  • Mean time to happen (MTTH) is 500 years
  • MTTH is 400 years if the Empire researched Psi Jump Drive or completed the Wanderlust Event Chain
  • MTTH is 320 years if the Empire did both

Technology[edit]

They are primarily armed with Matter Disintegrators, powerful mid-range energy weapons (ignore 50% shield and armor). They also use the Probe Lightning - formerly called "Unidentified Energy Emitter" (UEM) - that looks similar to Void Cloud lighting (ignores 100% of armor). They use no armor at all, and use hyper shields and shield capacitors. They drop at least Hypershields, Extra-dimensional Weapon and Shield Capacitor tech.

Unbidden ships come in 3 sizes

  • Revenant-class Battleships. Each has a Combat Power of 3913, with 7500 hull points. Their longest range weapon, the Large Matter Disintegrator has a range of 80. They are equipped with
    • 3 Large Matter Disintegrators
    • 4 Medium Matter Disintegrators
    • 2 Small Matter Disintegrators
    • 2 Large T5 Shields
    • 5 Large Zero Point Reactors
    • 1 Shield Recharger
    • T1 Jump Drive, T4 Thrusters, T4 Sensors, Default Combat Computer
  • Phantom-class Cruisers. Each has a Combat Power of 1467, with 3750 hull points. They are equipped with:
    • 1 Large Matter Disintegrators
    • 3 Medium "Probe Lightning"
    • 2 Small Matter Disintegrators
    • 1 Large and 1 Medium T5 Shields
    • 2 Large and 3 Medium Zero Point Reactors
    • 1 Shield Recharger
    • T1 Jump Drive, T4 Thrusters, T4 Sensors, Default Combat Computer
  • Wraith-class Escorts (Destroyers). Each has a Combat Power of 432, with 1875 hull points.
    • 1 Medium Matter Disintegrators
    • 2 Medium "Probe Lightning"
    • 1 Medium T5 Shield
    • 2 Medium Zero Point Reactors
    • 1 Shield Recharger
    • T1 Jump Drive, T4 Thrusters, T4 Sensors, Default Combat Computer

Fleets[edit]

They do not build Fleets conventionally, instead they are spawned form the Portal via Events. One Fleet will spawn with the portal. Further Fleets will arrive 15, 30, 50, 110 and 350 days after the portal spawn (1, 5, 15, 30, 45 and 60 days for following Factions). 350 days after portal creation (550 for following factions), a automatic spawn cycle will be started that keeps reinforcing this unbidden Faction while they are below 1/1.5/2 Million Fleetpower (depending on difficulty). The event will retrigger depending on how many Anchors that faction has placed, going anywhere from 1500 days +/-200 (0 anchors) to 150 days +/-50 (9 anchors) or 4 years to half a year. One additional fleet without retrigger will spawn every time an anchor is finished.

Their 1st Fleet is led by a 500 Experience Admiral without any kind of special Trait. Further fleets have a 25% chance for a 1000 Experience Leader with Ethereal, 25% chance for a 100 Experience leader with Stutter, and 50% chance for another 500 Experience Admiral without special Trait. All Fleets are spawned with 7 Revenant, 10 Phantom Class and 19 Wraith Class ships. If a fleet reaches an orbit above a planet it will instantly turn it into a barren world that can be terraformed.

Space Stations[edit]

They also have 2 Military and 1 Civilian Stations:

  • Phantasm Alpha Class (about Station equivalent) is their main defense station and a common sight. It is equipped with:
    • 4 Large Matter Disintegrators
    • 2 Medium Matter Disintegrators
    • 2 Medium Probe Lightnings
    • 4 Large T5 Shields
    • 3 Large Zero Point Reactors
    • 1 Shield Recharger, Quantum Destabilizer Aura, T4 Sensors
  • Whisper Alpha Class (Defense Platform Equivalent). It is equipped with:
    • 2 Medium Matter Disintegrators
    • 2 Medium Probe Lightnings
    • 2 Medium T5 Shields
    • 1 Medium Zero Point Reactor
    • 1 Shield Recharger, Shield Dampener Aura, T4 Sensors
  • Anchor class (special), which will bring reinforcements upon completion and reduces time for the regular reinforcement events.

The usual setup for a System is 4 Void Junctions and one Void Conduit. All stations get a passive +25% health boost from the Unbidden Faction.

The Aberrant and the Vehement[edit]

When the Unbidden border covers at least 15% of the Galaxy a second extradimensional portal will open with a MTTH of 12 months, bringing up another faction called the Aberrant(Also named as Dagaal). With a MTTH of 40 months (3.3 Years) after the Aberrant arrive, a third portal bringing a third faction called the Vehement will arrive. While all three factions will be hostile towards players, they are also hostile towards each other.

The new Factions have a lot shorter delay for the Initial Fleet spawns, but in turn their support cycle starts somewhat later. Aside from their different color and names their ships are identical to the Unbidden ships.

When the Aberrant and the Vehement appears,they(Unbidden,included) will have a trend to fight each other first.

Successfully repelling the Extradimensional Invaders[edit]

You picked the wrong dimension to invade. -Militarist Empire reply

From a ship design perspective, long range anti-shield weapons are the ideal choice, as short range weaponry will mean that The Unbidden will bring their short and medium guns to bear on you. Specifically, the use of a pure battleship fleet, equipped with 1 Giga Cannon and 4 kinetic artillery is ideal. For defensive slots, the use of shields is ideal, due to The Unbidden possessing 100% ignore armour weapons in addition to their Matter Disintegrators. The use of either 2 Shield Capacitors or 1 Shield Capacitor and 1 Crystal-Forged Plating is highly recommended. When engaging The Unbidden, make sure at all times to start the fleet battle from your maximum weapons range, as if you initiate battle on top of them, you will take far more casualties.

The player has multiple strategic choices when faced with these Extradimensional Invaders:

  • A quick rush after the portal just opening might be possible. However one needs to be able to quickly enough dispatch the first fleets, while also dealing with the defence Stations and actually doing damage to the portal. Interestingly the Unbidden themselves tend to do just that to the other two factions.
  • After their final initial fleet, unbidden spawntimes will drop dramatically making this more a game of attrition. However, as Anchors are placed and more fleets are spawned over time, their fleetpower can snowball into the millions.
  • If at least one anchor was placed, all anchors for that faction must be destroyed before the portal itself can be engaged.
  • Salvage should not be forgotten as it unlocks the unique weapons, as well as Hyper Shields and Shield Capacitors which might be useful against the invaders if missing. The stations are equally good sources of technology as the fleets, while being much easier targets.
  • If the fleets themselves can not be engaged yet, focus should be on destroying anchors and/or their construction ships before they are placed. Early anchors easily shave of 200 days from the base spawntime for reinforcements each.
  • Waiting for the Guardians to spawn is also an option. However should it take 5 years instead of 10 for the fallen empire to awaken the Unbidden might have brought in their 6th Fleet already at which point they might just overrun an awoken Empire's Fleet. Again suppression of the Anchors seems crucial to winning this part of the crisis.

The arrival of the other Unbidden are a mixed blessing. On the one hand they might appear in the backline of a large empire or alliance, threatening important worlds. On the other, the existing factions will usually make a rush for their portal. Once engaged in combat there, the enemy fleets will have difficulty defending any of their anchors and even the portal itself.

When the final Extradimensional Portal is destroyed and their fleets reduced to 6 ships or less, they are considered defeated. The entire galaxy will gain +20 happiness for 12 months and the player dealing the killing blow on the final portal will receive a temporary Diplomacy bonus.

Guardians of the Galaxy[edit]

With a 70% chance either the Enigmatic Observers or the Keepers of Knowledge will become the Guardians of the Galaxy. With 30% no Fallen empire will react.

Prethoryn Scourge[edit]

MUGANI? HAK HAK HAK! -Prethoryn hive mind
Prethoryn Scourge

Trigger[edit]

Entirely random based and rolled at startup:

  • 10% chance of occurring about 170 years after game start
  • 20% chance of occurring about 200 years after game start
  • 30% chance of occurring about 250 years after game start
  • 15% chance of occurring about 300 years after game start
  • 25% chance of never occurring

If another crisis happens before their allotted time, they will not appear anymore.

Description[edit]

The Prethoryn crisis begins with a notice about subspace echoes beyond the galaxy that are approaching. Immediately a situation log notice called The Coming Storm is added. Shortly thereafter they will draw close enough to estimate the 5 systems where they will arrive via the situation log. These systems can be anywhere except next to Fallen Empires. Some time after this point, the vanguard force will arrive, establish the Swarm "homeworld" and send an unintelligible message to every empire. Unfortunately this is just a precursor, as the main invasion force will arrive shortly after. The Scourge of the Void event will be added to the situation log, tracking various information about the invasion.

The arrival of the Fleet is entirely random luck based and is set during Galaxy initialization. The timer is between 170 and 300 years, with a 25% chance of them not happening at all. It is not based on the Usual MTTH mechanics. However, if the AI rebellion or Unbidden occurred before the allotted time, they will not spawn. 10 years after this, the Subspace Echoes event occurs. The Vanguard will arrive 2.5 years later with 10.000 of fleet strength on normal difficulty.

The main Swarm will spawn multiple fleets with around 100k Fleet Strength when it arrives, making them a considerable threat to the whole Galaxy.

The Prethoryn Scourge will appear in the contact log under the 'other' bar, and will act like a normal but very powerful empire, with a few exceptions:

  1. You cannot meaningfully communicate with them unless your species is psionic. If you use the Communicate button on the contact window it brings up the original dialogue displayed on first contact. As before, the dialogue choices have no influence on events.
  2. The Prethoryn species itself is immortal and their gestalt pattern admirals will never die of old age.
  3. Despite their 'ships' being biological in nature and using biological weapons, it is possible to salvage and reverse-engineer some of their organic components to create weapons and strike craft compatible with conventional ships.
  4. The Swarm gets Fleets via several events. These ships can appear on any System with a Spaceport.
    1. Each year they will get one Constructor or Infester, if the count of either is below 4
    2. If their ship count is under 4711 and their army count is under 100 they will receive a new Fleet (based on the main Invasions 3rd Fleet) every other year.
    3. Unlike the tame queens, wild queens do not seem to spawn smaller Prethoryn ships via an event (other spawn methods are possible).
  5. The Prethoryn have three special modifiers attached to their empire: a +100% bonus to border projection, a +150% bonus to weapon damage, and a +150% bonus to hull strength.
  6. The Prethoryn produce and consume no energy, minerals, influence, or science. They completely disregard the conventional economics system and have no system of government whatsoever, unlike the AI Rebellion/Machine Consciousness.
  7. Each Prethoryn fleet consists of at least 1 Queen (though there can be several Queens per fleet), escorted by Brood Mothers, Spawnlings, and Warriors.
  8. Prethoryn bioships use warp technology equivalent to Mark 3 drives for interstellar travel. It is unclear whether they simply possess warp drives capable of intergalactic travel, or if they use some other means to travel between galaxies.
  9. The Prethoryn Scourge use infestors instead of colony ships. They will land on uncolonized habitable planets and subvert the biosphere within a year. Any orbital bombardment will instantly interrupt the process. They cannot infest ringworld segments and those are destroyed after a purge.
  10. Prethoryn transports will invade inhabited planets using ground armies for the sole purpose of purging the pops. During this phase the planet can be recaptured with ground armies. Once all populations have been purged the planets will instantly become infested.
  11. Infested Planets cannot be invaded. In order to get rid of the infestation, infested planets must be bombarded until their fortification health reaches zero, at which point they will turn into a barren planet that can be terraformed.

The Swarm uses a mix of direct-fire 'Acid Blast' weapons, 'Swarm Striker' strikecraft (comparable to Mk3 Bombers, with slightly superior armour penetration), and 'Scourge' bio-missiles (Large mounts only). They have no shields, instead relying on abnormally high hull strength (possessing a +150% modifier as noted above) and extremely heavy armour (technologically equivalent to Neutronium Armour, typically offering resistance levels of 50-80% depending on 'ship' size). They are best countered using ships armed with AP weapons (such as high-end Lasers, Lances, or Plasma weapons) and protected by heavy Point Defense. The Swarm also uses Construction ships to assemble Military stations throughout their territory; typically Large "Star Hive"-class stations, and Small "Star Nest"-class stations. These stations are armed with Acid Blasters, Scourge bio-missiles, and swarm strike craft as well.

As only one crisis may happen per game, a 'Subspace Echoes' announcement means dangerous technologies are safe to research and deploy for the rest of the game.

Successfully repelling the Prethoryn Swarm[edit]

Return to the hell that spawned you, demon! -Spiritualist Empire reply

When the announcement for the Prethoryn Swarm appears, empires near the point of breach will need to prepare for the possibility of several hundreds of thousand strength points worth of warships appearing within their territory.

The Swarm relies entirely on mid-range weapons and armor, and are thus best countered by long-range, armor-penetrating weapons such as Lances. Creating pure battleship fleets with Tachyon Lances, 3 Large Plasma Cannons, and either 1 medium plasma cannon, and 1 Flak Artillery, or 2 Flak Artillery will ensure minimal casualties. For defense, lean towards heavier armour. The only weapon apart from their Scourge Missiles is a kinetic weapon that has +33% bonus dmg to shields, but their swarm strikes have 100% shield penetration and ignore 66% of armor. A 40,000-point fleet of this composition can take on multiple waves of 60,000-point Swarm fleets with only minor casualties. Destroyers and Cruisers can also be used as an expendable screening force, providing supporting firepower and/or additional point defense as necessary.

Scourge Missiles are seeking weapons (and thus cannot be evaded) but are Large weapons, and so are limited in number (most often used by Swarm Queens); most other units mount direct-fire Acid Blast weapons (75% accuracy, small and medium mounts) that have fairly average damage levels. All in all, the Swarm's primary threat is the sheer durability of its ships combined with the massive size of its fleets. Swarm Strikers, as noted, have slightly higher armour penetration than standard bombers - 66% compared to 50% - and their raw damage output is comparable to Mk3 Bombers. As with all bombers, Swarm Strikers ignore 100% of shields.

Empires which lack the means to counter the Prethoryn Swarm's fleets should immediately focus on containing their expansion instead. The Swarm does not use their fleets offensively, but rather to protect infested planets. Instead, they use unprotected Constructors as vanguards of their expansion, sending them into new systems to construct military stations before any Colony Ships attempt to infest inhabitable planets in the system. This strategy is easily countered by building Defense Platforms with Subspace Snares in systems close to the Prethoryn point of breach. Since the Prethoryn Swarm uses warp drives, this defensive line has to be roughly three systems deep to prevent their ships from simply skipping over it. Keeping multiple small fleets of corvettes or destroyers to hunt down their civilian ships and stopping infestations is also a viable strategy.

The Swarm does not seem to prioritise inhabited planets, so a well-defended planet may very well survive inside the Prethoryn zone of control. Even if an important planet falls to a Prethoryn invasion, it will take much longer for them to infest it compared to uninhabited planets, as they first need to purge it free of its current population before they can send a Colony ship to infest it. Thus, even when there is not enough time to save the population, there will be more time to save the planet itself with all the buildings intact.

Even without the means to outright defeat them, Prethoryn fleets can be worn down through hit-and-run tactics. Prethoryn "Star Brood" fleets are composed of at least one Queen, escorted by Warrior and Brood Mother battleship equivalents, with Spawnling destroyers making up the bulk of the fleet combat strength. A fleet equipped with long-range weapons can expect to destroy a number of Spawnlings before the Prethoryn units are able to return fire, at which point emergency FTL can be used to avoid casualties altogether. By repairing and repeating, this guerilla tactic can wear down Prethoryn fleets until they are small enough to defeat in a full confrontation. As of 1.3, the new mechanic said "any ship no matter how undamaged has a chance to be lost" might make this less viable.

Prethoryn Planets can be purged through orbital bombardment. Infested planets only have 2,000-3,000 defense points, and are immediately turned into barren planets once they reach zero. Since the Swarm only can infest inhabitable worlds, it is possible to starve the Swarm by cornering them and launching surgical strikes toward their planets, thus widening the berth between them and any infestable territory. The Prethoryn will pull any fleets from surrounding systems to defend their planets, so fleets targeting Prethoryn planets must be prepared to face multiple 60,000-point fleets if those have not been dealt with already. AI Empires in particular will use hit-and-run tactics against infested planets.

When a fleet enters to attack the final infested world, 3 Prethoryn fleets each of roughly 90,000 fleet power will spawn above the world. Since the Prethoryn will likely divert other fleets to defend the system, destroying the final world could be very difficult if you are not prepared to combat multiple fleets.

Once the Swarm has no planets left, it cannot build any new ships. The ships it does have still function, though. The fleets will still be around to harass their neighbours, which you are probably prepared to deal with. The constructors will still build annoying stations in systems all over the place. But most seriously, any infestors that are loose can still infest planets. Once a planet is successfully infested, the Swarm can build a spaceport and start spawning again. Fortunately, planets the Swarm has been cleaned off cannot be reinfested, and without planets the Swarm has a hard time producing troops to conquer inhabited planets. Nevertheless, the galaxy must be watched to prevent a new outbreak of the Swarm.

The Scourge is ultimately defeated by completely wiping them from the galaxy. This means destroying every last Prethoryn vessel, including military stations and civilian ships, and making sure there are no planets infested, being infested or occupied by the Scourge.

When the Prethoryn Swarm is defeated the entire galaxy will gain +20 happiness for 12 months.

Guardians of the Galaxy[edit]

With 50% Chance the Enigmatic Observers will become the guardians, with 25% the Keepers of Knowledge will and with 25% neither will. This is rolled when the Vanguard arrives.

Sentinels[edit]

Where other empires crumble, we stand firm. Where they abandon their own to the Scourge, we give them the means to fight back. -The Sentinels

When the swarms border covers at least 20% of the Galaxy, the special Sentinel empire will spawn. A completely new System will be spawned for them and they have Fallen Empire level tech although their fleets do not have the same strength. This mechanic is in addition to a "Guardians of the Galaxy" awakening. The player can donate energy to the Sentinels so they can afford more ships although they will refuse the offer if their naval capacity cannot support more ships. After the player has killed 10 Prethoryn Fleets, the Donate button will instead give Sentinel Ships to the player. While the player is asked to vow not to use them anywhere but against the swarm, there is no actual check for this.

Captured Queen[edit]

Later in the event chain, it is possible to use a science ship to recover an incapacitated Prethoryn Queen. By severing the Queen's connection to the Swarm's overmind and installing an implant, the Queen can be rendered 'tame' and subservient to whoever is able to complete the Special Project first. This grants a single Prethoryn Queen ship (Battleship size/class) as part of a 'Domesticated Prethoryn' fleet, along with an immortal Prethoryn Consciousness Admiral. The Queen will then begin to slowly produce more tame Prethoryn Spawnlings and Warriors every 4 months but only up to a cap of 20 Units. The MTTH for this is 820 months after the main Invasion Force arrives, but will disappear if the event chain ends beforehand.

Interestingly enough, there is no reassignment restriction for the Prethoryn admiral that comes with the Queen ship. Therefore, it is possible to reassign the Prethoryn admiral for other fleet of your own.

Psionic Species[edit]

If a species has the psionic trait it will be able to communicate with the Prethoryn Scourge. They will explain that they're the last survivors of a race and the word "Prethoryn" specifically means "survivor". They also explain that they were driven to near extinction by a species referred to as "The Hunters" and that they will eventually also come to the galaxy as they've hunted the Prethoryn for eons possibly destroying the galaxy in the process. They also state that peace is impossible since they need to feed before returning to the void between galaxies. The Prethoryn "HAK HAK HAK!" isn't laughing at the other empires for trying to stop them, it's laughing at them for thinking they might survive something like The Hunters.

The End of the Cycle[edit]

Do not do this. -Game tooltip when hovering over the choice

Description[edit]

This crisis is not an official crisis, meaning it can still occur even the game doesn't allow endgame crisis to happen. It is the most threatening crisis in the game so far. Due to not being an official crisis the other empires won't rally to face it, nor will any fallen empire awaken as guardians, all due to every AI empire considering it to be the unstoppable end.

The End of the Cycle can only be activated by an empire with the Spiritualist.png Spiritualist ethic that has chosen the 'Transcendence' ascension perk (only available with the Utopia expansion). Upon contacting the Shroud, the player is offered the option to form a Covenant with an entity known as "The End of the Cycle." If the offer is accepted the empire will gain an empire-wide modifier - "Covenant: End of the Cycle" which provides a massive +100% boost to Minerals.png minerals, Energy Credits.png energy, Food.png food, Unity.png unity, Influence.png influence, Mod country all tech research speed.png research speed and Mod fleet size add.png naval capacity for 50 years. Hovering over it will end with There will be a reckoning. Every planet controlled by that empire at the time also gains the Shroud-Marked modifier, which warns Something very bad is going to happen here.

As soon as the 600 months (50 years) have elapsed and the Covenant: End of the Cycle modifier has expired, the Reckoning occurs.

The Reckoning[edit]

The Reckoning will all but end the empire that benefited from the covenant. When the Reckoning occurs, all Shroud-Marked planets will be depopulated and turned into 'Shrouded Worlds', which become uninhabitable forever. All fleets and ships under the Shroud-Marked empire's command will be instantly destroyed, all leaders are killed, and all resources from that empire's store will be drained almost completely. Having lost everything, the Shroud-Marked empire will survive only in the form of a newly colonized planet of survivors, which will start with the default name of 'Exile'. The game will pick any planet with 40% habitability or more, even if it is located within another empire's borders. If that planet is somehow Shroud-Marked, or no planet is otherwise possible, the game is instantly lost.

Every regular empire will gain a -1000 diplomatic modifier with the remnants of the Shroud-Marked empire for "bringing the end", with a decay rate of 5.

Every Shroud-Marked colony will spawn a shroud manifestation with 26k Fleet Power. Finally, an immensely powerful Shroud entity known as "The Reckoning" - representing the combined essence of all deceased psionic individuals in the former empire that summoned it - will appear over the empire's former homeworld, and proceed to seek out the remaining life in the galaxy. It normally leaves the exiles for last, and therefore an exiled empire should first prioritize surviving against other empires instead.

In this state, one might benefit from the Reckoning, depending on the circumstances. If all the other empires are destroyed by the Reckoning before they defeat the player, one can simply win the conquest victory by virtue of being the last one left.

The Reckoning has a fleet power of over one million. Very large empires can spawn it with over two million fleet power. As the Reckoning randomly targets worlds to destroy, its power will increase with each 200 consumed pops (up to 800 pops). It gains bonuses to hull, shield, fire-rate, damage, and shield regeneration as follows (only the highest tier bonus applies);

Tier Health (Bonus) Shield (Bonus) Shield Regen Bonus Rate of Fire (Multiplier) Damage (Multiplier) Range Notes
Base Stats 10,000 50,000 ? 4.35 Cooldown 4 x 300-700 170 This is the baseline stat set for the "ship". Also includes a 5x jumpdrive range bonus. 30% Evasion. Four weapon mounts.
1 (<200 pops) +50,000 +100,000 +100 x2 x2
2 (<400 pops) +100,000 +200,000 +200 x3 x3
3 (<600 pops) +150,000 +300,000 +300 x4 x4
4 (<800 pops) +200,000 +400,000 +400 x5 x5
5 (>800 pops) +250,000 +500,000 +500 x6 x6

There are only two courses of action that have the slightest chance of defeating The Reckoning. One is to wait for it to target an awakened Fallen Empire, another crisis or any strong empire with tough fleets to weaken it. The other option is to keep building up for the eventual encounter alone since The Reckoning will always leave the exiles for last. The Reckoning has relatively low tracking, as it is a single entity, but its range, firepower, fire rate, health, shields and shield regeneration are massive. One strategy is to dodge its attacks using swarms of corvettes and use weapons that can pierce/ignore shields. The Reckoning targets random planets in its destructive spree, so the player will have several chances to retreat, rebuild, and come back. However, that being said, The Reckoning is almost impossible to defeat.

Humorously even the Shroud events file says "You really shouldn't have done that..." following the sealed covenant line.

References[edit]

  1. Dev Diary #30 - Late Game Crises
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