The 94th dev diary concerns itself with Stellaris Ascension Perks and surveying, constituting a relatively small announcement compared to the previously promised piece on doomstacks and ship design.

This week’s dev diary was short and punchy, so this response will follow suit. I’ll write a response to every Stellaris dev diary, so subscribe and follow if you want to be notified of these posts. You can see all responses here.

Stellaris Ascension Perks & Surveying

The changes announced this week were:

  • Ascension Perks will be made a part of the core Stellaris game, without a need for any DLC. Some advanced “unlockable” perks, such as the psionic/biological/synthetic ascension paths, will still require bits of DLC.
  • Star Charts are being removed in favour of a “Communications” system. Trading comms with another empire puts you in contact with every empire they have comms with that you don’t.
  • Terra Incognita is no longer dependent on sensor range. Instead, a system is considered “visited” if you’ve either sent a ship there or if it’s within an empire’s borders that you have comms with.

Stellaris Ascension Perks and Surveying - Communications trading

Opinion

Most of these changes are relatively innocuous, so it’s difficult to get particularly excited by them. This doesn’t mean they’re bad. On the contrary, the simplification of the Star Charts and Terra Incognita will make it more obvious from which systems you might be able to gain anomaly bonuses. It’s always been the case that you can’t find anomalies on objects that have already been surveyed. However, it wasn’t always obvious what had been surveyed.



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Ascension Perk Rebalancing

The one play style that it does significantly alter is anything relying on the Planetary Survey Corps tradition, which instantly awarded 10% of your monthly research points when surveying a planet. Wiz confirmed on the Paradox Plaza forum that this will need consideration:

Planetary Survey Corps will likely need tweaking, that’s something we’ll look at during the balance/polish phase of the update.

I imagine there are more changes to Ascension Perks in the future, so we should sit tight for these announcements.

Modding

Putting the Ascension Perks in the Stellaris core game means more exposure for modders, which is a great thing. More people will benefit from mods focusing on Stellaris Ascension Perks, and any modders that didn’t previously have the necessary DLC will now have access to this part of the game.

This is therefore a decision that I heartily support!

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