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It seems to me that when declaring war in Stellaris, there is little reason not to set everything you possibly can as a war goal: even if your actual strategic goals are quite modest, you can just select the goals you actually want when negotiating peace, and if you managed to rack up more warscore than you expected, then possibly you can get some "bonuses" you didn't originally intend to get, provided that you put them in your wargoals originally.

Is there some mechanic I'm overlooking that would encourage you to exercise the slightest bit of restraint in setting initial war goals?

  • There is a maximum to how much you can set in terms of the score or cost of each goal. – n_plum Jan 21 '18 at 22:11
  • @n_palum then the question would be -- given those constraints, is there any reason not to try to max them out? – Gregory J. Puleo Jan 21 '18 at 23:08
  • I can think of a few reasons but not like necessary reasons to.. it's more of a preference imo – n_plum Jan 21 '18 at 23:09
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I think it's a dormant feature to provide a more detailled warscore calculation at some point. E.g. not fulfilled wargoals could provide negative warscore for you. So taking too many goals would seriously hinder your potential at winning the war.

However as it is currently is, there really is no reason not to select as many war goals as possible.

With Stellaris next expansion revamping warfare massively, we may see some changes.

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  • I agree with this answer. In addition, in the upcoming expansion and update the developers will change the war goal system - they're going to introduce casus belli and other features, so we all will have to learn to wage wars again) – Alien-47 Jan 22 '18 at 11:55
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    With Stellaris 2.0 out now, this answer (and question) might benefit from an update that covers how claims work and the fact that you can't reap more than what you claim during wartime. – TylerH Feb 25 '18 at 1:56
  • @TylerH Good point! Feel free to propose an addition to my answer or write your own. I'm currently not playing Stellaris and won't be for a couple of weeks, so I'll need some time to provide an addition in regards to the 2.0 mechanics. – Dulkan Feb 26 '18 at 7:33

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