Ever since the release of the 3.0 update, there has been a vocal part of the fanbase arguing that the new empire-wide pop growth penalty should be an option at game start that players can choose to disable if they don't like it. The argument is that this way, everyone can get what they want.
I'm here to argue why that would be a terrible idea.
Before going into detail as to why, I'd like to first clarify that I share the dislike for this new mechanic. I believe it is a fundamentally broken bandaid applied to the system because Paradox cannot be bothered to fix the technical debt that ruins performance, and it completely ruins both the fun and the balance of the game. I am not here to convince you to play with it.
However, a game option to turn it off would be a bad idea. The reason for this is fairly simple: Paradox does not develop or balance their game around alternate rulesets.
What this means, effectively, is that receiving the option to disable this 'feature' voids any ability we have to demand better balancing or optimization. If you turn off the option and your late game is unplayable, it will be labeled your own fault.
"If you wanted decent performance, you shouldn't have disabled that setting.", will be the default reply to any complaints about performance.
This is a win-win for Paradox. Either people accept their 'fix', or they lose any social credibility when they complain about performance.
Prior to the relase of 3.0, expecting Paradox to fix the horrible performance of an economic model they've been selling for 2,5 years was a popular opinion. Since the update, that support has been disappearing fast, with an ever increasing proportion of people willing to accept gutting the economic model in exchange for performance.
Please, do not let it go down this road by settling for this 'compromise'. If you don't like the penalty, like me, install a mod to remove it and make your voice heard to Paradox. But please do not make the strategic blunder of losing your right to complain.
Especially with the newest EU4 release, Paradox has shown that it has a complete lack of respect for its customers. Don't assume that Stellaris is different. This is a cultural problem at Paradox that affects all development teams, and one that's gotten worse over the last decade.
TL;DR: **If we receive an in-game option to disable the empire-wide penalty, late-game performance will never actually be addressed because it becomes our own... keep reading on reddit ➡