Stellaris Dev Diary #103 - Civic/Ascension Perks Changes and Additions

Hello everyone and welcome to another Stellaris development diary. Today, we continue talking about the Apocalypse expansion and 2.0 'Cherryh' update, on the topic of Ascension Perks and Civics. Please note that placeholder art is present for civic icons, and that is not how they will look on release.

Changed Ascension Perks (Cherryh Feature)
There will be a number of changes to existing Ascension Perks in the Cherryh update. As mentioned in Dev diary #94, all Utopia ascension perks except for the Ascension Paths, Habitats and Megastructures have been rolled into the base game, so with the exception of the changes to the Biological Ascension Path, these changes will affect everyone.

Interstellar Dominion: As of the result of a number of mechanics changes in Cherryh, including the removal of 'pushing borders' and the Border Range modifier, forcing us to replace this modifier with other effects. Rather than always replace it with the same modifier in each place, we made a number of different changes as we thought suited both the place the modifier was, and the overall balance of the game. Interstellar Dominion remains an ascension perk focused on expansion, giving -20% reduction on the Influence cost of both new Starbases and Claims.
Mastery of Nature: Mastery of Nature ended up being a bit of a weird perk. Originally, it was designed as only removing clear blocker cost, but this was obviously too weak, and so we buffed it by adding the automatic unlock of all blocker techs. This, in turn ended up being too strong, and so we tweaked it again by only having it remove half the clear blocker cost. What we ended up with was a very strong perk... but only if picked immediately as your first choice. In the end, we decided to go back to the drawing board and remake it into something that would be useful at any stage of the game and give an additional use for influence for empires not bent on expansion. The new Mastery of Nature, instead of giving blocker techs, instead unlocks a planetary edict that allows you to permanently increase the size of a planet. The Planet will have its number of tiles increased by 1-3, with the amount set based on the size of the planet, so a size 10 planet will always become a size 13 planet and so on. These new tiles will have randomly generated deposits.
World Shaper: World Shaper was another ascension perk with very situational uses. Instead of having it simply be a buff to terraforming, we've changed it to be a requirement to terraform Gaia worlds, and given Gaia worlds a bonus to overall resource production (though a lower one than Machine Worlds) instead of the happiness bonus it used to have. The idea behind this is both to make focusing on terraforming more of a distinct playstyle, and make Gaia worlds even more special.
2018_02_01_2.png


Additionally, we also went back and further buffed the biological ascension path by making its special traits stronger, and in some cases, cheaper. We also plan to add more traits in general and give Robomodding another look-over, but this ended up being something we did not have time for in Cherryh.

New Ascension Perks (Cherryh and Apocalypse Feature)
We've also added several new ascension perks in both Cherryh and Apocalypse. They are as follows:

Eternal Vigilance: (Cherryh) Suited for the defensive player, Eternal Vigilance increases Starbase and Defense Platform Hull Points, and the Defense Platform Capacity of your Starbases, allowing for more potent static defenses.
Executive Vigor: (Cherryh) Executive Vigor gives +100% edict duration, allowing a player to keep more Edicts running at the same time without burning through all their influence. This also works on the new Unity Ambition edicts added in Apocalypse.
Nihilistic Acquisition: (Apocalypse) Nihilistic Acquisition is available to Gestalt Consciousnesses, Authoritarians and Xenophobes, and allows the use of the Raiding orbital bombardment stance, which will attempt to abduct pops to available tiles on your own planets instead of killing them, allowing you to steal the population of other empires to use as a labor force... or livestock/batteries, in the case of a Hive Mind or Machine Empire.
Enigmatic Engineering: (Apocalypse) For the secretive, tech-heavy player, Enigmatic Engineering makes reverse-engineering of your tech impossible, as your ships will no longer spawn any debris from battle. You also get a bonus to sensor range to represent your empire's obsession with knowledge.
2018_02_01_3.png


As mentioned in Dev Diary #100, there is also a new Colossus Project ascension perk in Apocalypse that is required to design and build Colossi.

New Civics (Apocalypse Feature)
Finally, there's a few new civics in the Apocalypse expansion. They are as follows:

Post-Apocalyptic: Your empire was born in the aftermath of a nuclear war that devastated your homeworld. You start on a Tomb World with sparse resources, but your species has the Survivor trait, granting +10 leader lifespan and +70% tomb world habitability.
Life-Seeded: Your species evolved in a lush paradise possibly designed just for them. You start on a size 25 Gaia World, but with the Gaia World Preference trait that has 0% habitability on all non-'perfect' environments (Gaia Worlds, Habitats, Ringworlds).
Barbaric Despoilers: This civic unlocks immediate use of the raiding stance and a special Despoilation casus belli that allows you to declare war on any neighbor to seize their pops and resources. It requires a combination of Militarist and either Xenophobe or Authoritarian, and is not available to Xenophiles. Empires with this civic cannot take the Nihilistic Acquisition perk (as it would do nothing for them) and also cannot form Defensive Pacts or join Federations. Similar to Inwards Perfection and Purifiers, they get the Adaptability tradition tree instead of Diplomacy. They also get mild to moderate opinion penalties with certain ethics, such as Pacifists.
2018_02_01_1.png


That's all for today! Next week we'll wrap up our Cherryh/Apocalypse dev diaries with a roundup of some minor features and QoL improvements coming in the Cherryh update. The week after that, full patch notes will be posted, and the week after that... is release day. See you soon!
 

VoidEmperor

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3 seconds too late... so sad...... :( Wiz you're fired! jk i love you wiz-senpai
 

DominusNovus

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- More civics is always better. If you include 2-5 new civics every expansion, I’ll be a content player. Do it every patch, and I’ll be a happy player.
- Have any old civics been adjusted? For example, Nationalistic Zeal?
 

Saviour of Galaxy

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Laughted at cuties fanatic purifiers having "repugnant" trait. Also, is this a new prescripted empire that are now, lore-wise, at war against humanity?
 

Devanor

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Nihilistic Acquisition: (Apocalypse) Nihilistic Acquisition is available to Gestalt Consciousnesses, Authoritarians and Xenophobes, and allows the use of the Raiding orbital bombardment stance, which will attempt to abduct pops to available tiles on your own planets instead of killing them, allowing you to steal the population of other empires to use as a labor force... or livestock/batteries, in the case of a Hive Mind or Machine Empire.

Can Rogue Servitor use it as well?

Life-Seeded:
Your species evolved in a lush paradise possibly designed just for them. You start on a size 25 Gaia World, but with the Gaia World Preference trait that has 0% habitability on all non-'perfect' environments (Gaia Worlds, Habitats, Ringworlds).

Will Extremely Adaptive allow you to settle on other planets (albeit with lowest happiness and production possible)?
 

LeSingeAffame

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Additionally, we also went back and further buffed the biological ascension path by making its special traits stronger, and in some cases, cheaper
Wouhou !
 

Wizzington

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- More civics is always better. If you include 2-5 new civics every expansion, I’ll be a content player. Do it every patch, and I’ll be a happy player.
- Have any old civics been adjusted? For example, Nationalistic Zeal?

Yes, some old civics have been adjusted. Nothing too major, but for example Nationalistic Zeal now reduces claim costs as one of its effects.
 

Wizzington

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Can Rogue Servitor use it as well?



Will Extremely Adaptive allow you to settle on other planets (albeit with lowest happiness and production possible)?

Yes and yes.
 

GloatingSwine

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Those are great!

But now that we have so many good Perks, is the limit still at 8 Ascension Perks?

Actually, the limit is probably functionally less now because keeping the amibitions cheap might turn out better than taking more than a couple of perks.

Like the last three or so have always been a bit "yeah, whatever" anyway, so now it might be a solid approach to stay low on perks/traditions with Executive Vigour to spam ambitions.
 

Garfazz Steamfang

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Some questions here:

-Does the Tomb world have new graphics (and not the tundra landscape)?

- Have we going to have a Gaia, Tomb world graphic during empire creation screen when choosing those ethics? (according by the screen i would say no but i wanted to ask)
 

GloatingSwine

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With Mastery of Nature, is it bigger or smaller planets that will grow more?

The example is that a size 10 gains 3, so small gain more, large gain less.

Does mean that you don't really need to hold off those small planets so much, because the penalty for them was more relevant midgame and you can probably apply the extra squares by then.