Is it really all about building ships?

Posted on Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Ok, I built a great, simple map this weekend. Gigantic, 125 planets and 50 factions. I purposely made it for a long, slow game. My ideology choices made me benevolent. I have a relationship with 3 benevolent races. I have shared tech, given gifts, traded, professed my support and so on. Eventually, all 3 "benevolent" races threatened me, and 2 declared war. Why? Because I choose not to build any ships in the early game. I choose to play as a trading, benevolent race and was atacked by me benevolent friends.

My questions are these: Is this game all about conflict? Is it arm or be destroyed? I want to play as a Civ builder from time to time, but that seems impossible. I like the option of simply exploring and establishing trade. Eventually, I want to conquer, or fight off EVIL races, but what is up with BENEVOLENT races acting like the Borg?

Do I have some setting wrong? Can anyone make a suggestion?

Thanks. I love this game, but I don't want it to ONLY be "Risk with eye candy."