The latest dev diary details changes to the way Influence, Energy, and Unity are spent by way of Stellaris Edicts, Campaigns, and Unity Ambitions.
Featured image “Peace in Space” from Institute for Security & Cooperation in Outer Space by Dr. Carol Rosin.
Stellaris Edicts, Campaigns, and Unity Ambitions
Of the three features announced in dev diary #102, two will be available for free in the Cherryh update, while the third is only for those who own the upcoming Apocalypse expansion. The release date was announced today – 22nd February. Put it in your diary! And check out the awesome Story Trailer here.
The features are:
- Edict changes (Cherryh) – a number of Planetary Edicts has been moved to Empire Edicts, and Empire Edicts now have a flat influence cost and duration instead of a monthly cost.
- Campaigns (Cherryh) – a new type of Empire Edict that have a flat energy cost (rather than influence).
- Unity Ambitions (Apocalypse) – another new type of Empire Edict that have a scaling Unity cost that give very powerful 10 year bonuses.
There’s a bit of confusion on the Paradox Forum regarding the cost of Unity Ambitions and how it relates to Traditions, and Wiz has tried to clear it up.
The Unity cost of Ambitions is dynamic, calculated in the same way as for unlocking a new Tradition. This means the cost of using an Ambition will be the same as unlocking an additional Tradition at any given point in the game.
However, using Ambitions will not increase the cost of additional Ambitions or Traditions. Adopting new a new Tradition will increase the cost of both.
These changes serve two important gameplay purposes:
- reduction of micromanagement (by moving most Edicts to the Empire level) and improved user feedback by way of notifications when Edicts expire;
- encouragement of using stockpiles that previously languished (Influence, Energy, and Unity), especially in the late-game.
It’s worth noting that the Influence cap will still be 1000, even though the new mechanics encourage stockpiling.
Wiz gave some interesting insight into the psyche of a Stellaris player:
We decided to move away from the monthly cost because players tend to shy away from monthly costs that bring them into a negative balance, even if they are consistently hitting their stockpile cap, and so ended up using Empire Edicts far less than they could actually afford to.
I think it’s great that the dev team are thinking about gameplay to such an extent. It really shows they’re engaged with the community.
I’m particularly happy with the additional Unity sink – in Unity-heavy games, one might find that the Tradition Trees are quickly filled and you then have to completely re-specialise your empire to stop producing all the extra Unity. This could even happen in a non-Unity-heavy game. Now there’s a good reason to keep using it, further reducing micro-management.
This also opens an interesting play-style where you purposefully restrict the number of Traditions you unlock to keep the cost of Ambitions low. This will be especially powerful in the late-game as you may be able to keep multiple Ambitions activated simultaneously and permanently. How this balances against the benefits of the Traditions, I can’t say just yet, but it’s an interesting idea.