There were three major items in dev diary #97:
- update 1.9;
- Humanoids Species Pack, first announced in dev diary #95;
- Stellaris tech progression in 2.0 Cherryh.
Stellaris Update 1.9
Paradox have a pattern of dropping a free update with their DLC, and today that means the 1.9 update. This is a minor update with a few bugfixes for generally small problems, including a few for less common UI scales.
Stellaris Humanoids Species Pack
This new DLC was first announced two weeks ago and was released today. 10 more portraits, another ship set, some new sounds and music, and more feature in this content pack.
Stellaris Tech Progression
The changes being made to Stellaris tech progression are simple to explain but could have far-reaching consequences for the game:
- all empires start with basic weapon and defence technology;
- more technologies have been added to address the new game mechanics mentioned in previous dev diaries;
- an additional standard technological tier has been added, expanding the tech tree from four to five tiers, with technologies redistributed in the new tree;
- one “special” technological tier, tier 6, containing highly-advanced technologies only attainable by scavenging the wrecks of Fallen Empires;
- new components from tech upgrades give more significant stat boosts;
- tech and Unity costs are now based entirely on the number of own owned planets and systems and not pops;
- the base costs of techs has been increased.
It’s hard to foresee how these changes will affect the current meta, but I think they go a long way to decomposing some of the existing ones, namely ignoring tech, amassing cheap corvettes with poor weapons, and scavenging the tech from the wreckage. This moves the balance back towards incentivising tech rather than hording cheap ships. The increased stat increment between tech tiers (from 10-15% as of 1.8.3 to 30% in 2.0) will discourage the Naked Corvettes meta.
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I’m particularly interested in the special tier 6 Fallen Empire techs. To be totally honest, I assumed that Fallen Empires would have special acquirable techs when I first went up against one. I was disappointed that this wasn’t the case, but this dev diary answers my prayers! Now I have a decent reason to take down an FE when it becomes viable; I can use the tech boost to rule over my slice of the galaxy with an iron fist.
One of the things I enjoyed about the introduction of Unity was that it finally gave players a viable tall strategy – at least in single player or casual games. The removal of pops from the cost equation will have ramifications for this strategy. It’s also now the case that small planets are even less desirable. I think, on balance, it’s the right thing to do; by the time I come round to filling out these small planets, I’ve got enough techs under my belt to not care too much about the increased tech costs.
I’ve also hated how tech and traditions can appear to rapidly stagnate if you’re expanding quickly. This can be difficult to overcome if you time your boom wrong.
Teaser for #98
Next week the team will be talking about a Fleet Manager. Boy, oh boy!