Nemesis adds an espionage system, a way to Become the Crisis, plus it allows you to become the Galactic Custodian. This has become my favorite DLC since it adds a lot more variety to the end game, you can either destroy the galaxy or defend it.
Choose the “Become The Crisis” Ascension Perk to open the path to Become The Crisis. Complete the Special Projects in the Situation Log as they become available and accumulate Menace Points. Once the last Special Project is finished, you’ll be declared The Crisis by the Galactic Community.
If you like being the “bad guy” who kicks everyone around and can potentially crush everything in sight or even destroy the galaxy then this DLC is worth having.
You can call it a “super-hero” complex, but I’ve always loved the thought of taking on the whole world single handedly, sometimes much to my regret. Then along came the Stellaris Nemesis DLC and now, I can take on and possibly defeat and even destroy the entire galaxy. Talk satisfying my dreams of grandeur! This is the aspect of the DLC that makes it worth having, at least for me. I’ve always been a good guy (just ask my mom) so being the bad guy for once is a nice change of pace.
Game Setup for Becoming The Crisis
It’s very important to not cripple yourself at the very start of the game if you intend to become The Crisis. You cannot have any type of Xenophile or Pacifist Ethic, or the Rogue Servitor Civic. If you make the mistake of choosing one of the Xenophile or Pacifist Ethics at the start of the game, you might not realize until you try to select the perk the mistake you’ve made. A rude surprise after playing so far into the game since the game will not allow you to select the Crisis Perk until those ethics are gone.
Although you can change ethics during the game it takes a lot of investment in Influence and time. If you don’t have a popular faction to embrace then you must invest in promoting one and suppressing others, which uses a lot of Influence each month. Embracing a faction costs 500 Influence and even then, the troublesome Ethic may not go away. The result is stagnation when expanding since you have little to no Influence left over to build starbases with or make claims with so you can declare wars and expand.
Besides embracing and suppressing factions, about the only other remedy I’ve found is breaking migration treaties with civilizations having ethics with Xenophile or Pacifist Ethics if you have them and creating migration treaties with Civilizations closer to what you want your new civics to be. New people (or whatever) bring their ideals with them. All of this is a very time-consuming process.
Becoming the Crisis in Stellaris
You can’t start becoming the Crisis until the third Ascension perk becomes available to you and you choose, surprisingly enough, the “Become the Crisis” perk. You don’t become The Crisis right away, nor do you even need to. There is a long path of research and Menace Point accumulation to complete before you can become the villain of the galaxy. Other requirements your empire needs to satisfy before choosing the “Become The Crisis” Ascension Perk, as mentioned earlier, are that it can’t have any type of a Pacifist ethic, can’t be any type of a Xenophile ethic, and you can’t have a Rogue Servitor civic.
When you first select the “Become the Crisis” perk nothing seems to happen although the crisis tab is active instead of being grayed out. but almost immediately afterward, you’ll get a notification that the “Universe Shall Tremble.”
After that Crisis Level 1 is active on the Crisis tab. This makes the first Crisis Special Project available and gives you three Crisis perks, Menace Objectives, Undertaker and Intimidation. The speed of a purge is increased by 500%, which you get Menace points for, and the likelihood of someone accepting a subjugation demand is 25%.
Menace Objectives are now available, and you get Menace points for each one you achieve. For example, you gain 12 Menace points for every enemy ship or starbase that you destroy. The entire list is listed on the Menace Objectives page.
Once you gain enough Menace points the next special project is issued and you get even more Crisis perks, like Menacing Corvettes, that are much more powerful than your regular Corvettes.
You’ll walk through four special projects in total, each involving a specific branch of research at least once. Once the last special project is completed the end result is both instantaneous and glorious. If you’re a member of the Galactic Community you’re kicked out and if the Galactic Marketplace is in your empire, you’ll lose it.
After that you’ll be declared the “Galactic Crisis” and war is immediately declared on you by everyone in the Galactic Community so be prepared to be attacked from every direction, this is a good time to use those chokepoints that you should have under your control and have heavily fortified. After all, you’ve been preparing for this for a long time, right?
You can tell how many Menace Points you have at the Menace Objectives screen and also by using the gage on the left of the Crisis tab. It works like an upside-down thermometer and it grows downward as you gain Menace points and shows how many Menace points you have. If you hover the mouse cursor over one of the Crisis icons a tooltip will tell you how many total points you need to get to the level. The next crisis special project won’t be issued until you get enough Menace points.
Your goal once you become the Crisis is to destroy stars to gain Dark Matter by using Star-Eaters. You start out with two when you become the Crisis but can build more, at the expense of a lot of Dark Matter. Destroying a star generates Dark Matter that can be used to build the Aetherphasic Engine around your home star.
Rushing To The Crisis
There are strategies to “rush” to becoming The Crisis although I’m not a big fan of rush tactics, I guess it depends on your style of play. One rush tactic is to choose the Traditional trait for your species when setting up a game, which gives a little more Unity during the game. Choose Ascension Perks that help out with Unity, like the One Vision perk and Consecrated Worlds perk.
Other Paths For Becoming The Crisis
I usually prefer a strong military and economy, plus I like rapid expansion, so for my empire setup I selected the Authoritarian (gives a 0.5 monthly Influence increase) and Fanatic Militarist (reduces the cost of claims by 20%) ethics in my last game.
The first Tradition Tree is always a toss-up for me, Discovery or Expansion? Although I usually opt for Discovery I thought Expansion was worth a try in this game due to its 20% reduction in Starbase upkeep. My second tradition is usually Domination, Supremacy or Prosperity. In this game I chose Prosperity so I could build up a strong economy, I figured once I became The Crisis my Military strength wouldn’t be an issue. Besides, there are Ascension Perks that can help out militarily.
My first Ascension perk is usually Interstellar Dominion due to its 20% reduction in starbase and claims cost (Influence) and this game was no exception to that. My second was Technological Ascendancy, which increases research speed by 10% and makes rare technologies appear at 1.5 times (50% increase) more frequently than they normally would.
This is just one combination that works out of many, and definitely not the best, but one that worked well for me that I had fun with and fit my strategy for this particular game. I managed to become The Crisis on the game date of 2407.12.08, so it takes a lot of game time to get there.
Once you Become the Crisis the “framework of an Aetherphasic Engine” is constructed around your home star and when you complete it the game is won. This is a megastructure that is upgraded in 5 stages, primarily with vast amounts of Dark Matter. Once fully upgraded the galaxy is destroyed and you win. Paradise awaits!