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Stellaris Dev Diary #111 - Anomaly Rework & Expanded Exploration

Hello everyone and welcome to another Stellaris development diary. Today, we're going to start talking about the 2.1 'Niven' update, which will be the next major update after 2.0. At this point I cannot give you any details on the exact nature of the update or when it's arriving, but I *can* talk about some changes we're making and new features we're introducing in regards to exploration, galaxy generation and anomalies.

Anomaly Changes
In 2.1, we're changing the way anomalies work in a few ways. First and foremost, we are removing the concept of failure risk - we found that the possibility to fail on anomalies added little to the game in terms of interesting choices, and mostly frustrated players or made them wait with researching said anomalies until their chance of success was maximized. As such, instead of making it so that anomalies have a failure risk based on scientist skill level, we've instead made it so that the time it takes to research an anomaly is heavily dependent on the scientist skill versus the level of the anomaly - researching a level 2 anomaly with a level 2 scientist will be a comparatively quick affair, while attempting a level 10 anomaly with the same scientist can take a very, very long time, and might mean that it is better to return to it later with a more skilled scientist, so not to hold up your early exploration.
2018_04_19_2.png

(Note: Not final numbers, etc)

As part of this we've also added an anomaly tracker tab to the situation log. The anomaly tracker will keep track of anomalies that you have discovered but not yet researched and easily let find and you return to them.
2018_04_19_1.png


Hyperlane Generation
Another thing that is changing in 2.1 is the way the Hyperlane network is generated. Rather than simply attempting to connect stars to nearby stars, we've created a new generation algorithm that builds up 'clusters' of stars with a high degree of internal connectivity, that are connected to each other by thinner 'highways' which form natural chokepoints. These chokepoints are also registered as such by the game, allowing us to find actual chokepoint systems and avoid placing Leviathans and other powerful space monsters there, as well as improving the AI's ability to detect suitable spots for defensive starbses. The hyperlane connectivity setting will determine the level of connectivity between clusters, and thus how frequent and easily circumvented chokepoints are.
2018_04_19_3.png

(Note: Image is not final. We're still working on the algorithm)

As part of this it will now also be possible for modders to easily generate systems and clusters of systems that are not connected to the main hyperlane network.

New Stars & Systems
Lastly for today, we've added a bunch of new system and star types to the game. First out are binary and trinary star systems - systems containing more than a single star. These systems come in a variety of configurations, and will often contain more planets and resources than conventional, single-star systems. We've also added some new star types to the game in the form of Brown Dwarves (not technically stars, I know) and Class M red super-giants. We've also made it possible to generate more than a single asteroid belt in a system, and created some new mineral-rich asteroid-heavy systems. Finally, there are some new unique systems to find with large amounts of resources in them, guarded by powerful space creatures.
2018_04_19_5.png

2018_04_19_6.png

2018_04_19_4.png


That's all for today! Next week we're going to be talking about something just a little bit mysterious called the L-Cluster... see you then!
 

Kayden_II

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First out are binary and trinary star systems
Good ...

We've also made it possible to generate more than a single asteroid belt in a system, and created some new mineral-rich asteroid-heavy systems.
Good ...

Rather than simply attempting to connect stars to nearby stars, we've created a new generation algorithm that builds up 'clusters' of stars with a high degree of internal connectivity, that are connected to each other by thinner 'highways' which form natural chokepoints.
The hyperlane connectivity setting will determine the level of connectivity between clusters, and thus how frequent and easily circumvented chokepoints are.
I haven't really cared about the hyperlane-only-change due to the CURRENT possibility to adjust the hyperlane-density in regards to the hyperlane-network of a galaxy ...
Your (new) example of this (new) hyperlane-network of a (new) galaxy (with clusters) is terrible since it's just awful, that nearest star-systems don't have their hyperlane-connection (in favour for the creation of these clusters) ...
For your own good, you should ensure, that with higher hyperlane-connectivity-setting, the (new) galaxies will look like the current ones with higher hyperlane-density ...

As part of this we've also added an anomaly tracker tab to the situation log.
I have the feeling, that this will be rather useless since usually, I take the galaxy-map to ensure, that my science-ship will research the anomalies in such a sequence, that the NEAREST anomalies (from my science-ship) will be researched - firstly ...
So, at the end of a day, this anomaly-tracker will be just useful in the case, that I've overlooked some anomalies ...

As such, instead of making it so that anomalies have a failure risk based on scientist skill level, we've instead made it so that the time it takes to research an anomaly is heavily dependent on the scientist skill versus the level of the anomaly
I have no strong feeling one way or the other ...
This is pretty much a perfect example, how you're "wasting" development-time and money for stuff, nobody really wanted / complained or cared ...
Just saying.
 
Last edited:

Judikator

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I haven't really cared about the hyperlane-only-change due to the CURRENT possibility to adjust the hyperlane-density in regards to the hyperlane-network of a galaxy ...
Your (new) example of this (new) hyperlane-network of a (new) galaxy (with clusters) is terrible since it's just awful, that nearest star-systems don't have their hyperlane-connection (in favour for the creation of these clusters) ...
For your own good, you should ensure, that with higher hyperlane-connectivity-setting, the (new) galaxies will look like the current ones with higher hyperlane-density ...

I disagree. Its a very good follow up of the major FTL change as of 2.0. The change really was all about balancing and deepening the tactical aspect of warfare. Iam really glad that we will get more distinct chokepoints to fortify and iam looking forward to see some epic battlestation fights.

I have the feeling, that this will be rather useless since usually, I take the galaxy-map to ensure, that my science-ship will research the anomalies in such a sequence, that the NEAREST anomalies (from my science-ship) will be researched - firstly ...
So, at the end of a day, this anomaly-tracker will be just useful in the case, that I've overlooked some anomalies ...

Anomaly tracker is long overdue. Its really a pain in the ass to hover over the whole galaxy map to find suitable anomalies for your scientists. Especially with the revamp of the anomaly system a very welcome change.

I have no strong feeling one way or the other ...
This is pretty much a perfect example, how you're "wasting" development-time and money for stuff, nobody really wanted / complained or cared ...
Just saying.

I really agree that just failure risk is just pretty random. A more reliable system with downtimes in the new system is much appreciated. Looking forward to new anomalies and higher level anomalies as well.
 

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I don't like the fact that exploring anomalies can not fail anymore.
There should even be hidden traps. or a collapsing ancient construction, that cost the lives of scientists, perhaps even the loss of the entire ship.
And what annoys me very much, is that the end of the research can be accurately predicted for the day! C'mon!
 

brifbates

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I don't like the fact that exploring anomalies can not fail anymore.
There should even be hidden traps. or a collapsing ancient construction, that cost the lives of scientists, perhaps even the loss of the entire ship.
And what annoys me very much, is that the end of the research can be accurately predicted for the day! C'mon!

Immersiveness is apparently "bad RNG"...
 

James Fire

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I don't like the fact that exploring anomalies can not fail anymore.
There should even be hidden traps. or a collapsing ancient construction, that cost the lives of scientists, perhaps even the loss of the entire ship.
And what annoys me very much, is that the end of the research can be accurately predicted for the day! C'mon!

Immersiveness is apparently "bad RNG"...

That's not why. They were removed because they added nothing.

Having a random chance for your science ship to be destroyed, that you can't influence, is not good gameplay.
 

brifbates

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That's not why. They were removed because they added nothing.

Having a random chance for your science ship to be destroyed, that you can't influence, is not good gameplay.

That's your opinion...

In my, and I'm sure many others' opinion it added a touch of realism. Sometimes bad **** happens that you can't do anything about. In case you aren't aware, space exploration is a dangerous undertaking not just a stroll to the local market...
 

James Fire

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That's your opinion...

In my, and I'm sure many others' opinion it added a touch of realism. Sometimes bad **** happens that you can't do anything about. In case you aren't aware, space exploration is a dangerous undertaking not just a stroll to the local market...
But it makes for bad gameplay, which isn't fun.
 

Badesumofu

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That's your opinion...

In my, and I'm sure many others' opinion it added a touch of realism. Sometimes bad **** happens that you can't do anything about. In case you aren't aware, space exploration is a dangerous undertaking not just a stroll to the local market...

Realism like when one of the greatest minds in the galaxy fails a level one anomaly because of an unmitigatable 5% fail risk?

No one is suggesting that the possibility to find dangerous things should be removed. We don't like that every anomaly has a built in 5% fail risk because of reasons. "Oh that rock looks interesting, hmm I'm just going to take a picture and send that back home for further research - oh shit was that the self destruct button???"

Dangerous and potentially risky things to find is good. A random 5% fail risk for every anomaly is crap.
 

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Realism like when one of the greatest minds in the galaxy fails a level one anomaly because of an unmitigatable 5% fail risk?

No one is suggesting that the possibility to find dangerous things should be removed. We don't like that every anomaly has a built in 5% fail risk because of reasons. "Oh that rock looks interesting, hmm I'm just going to take a picture and send that back home for further research - oh shit was that the self destruct button???"

Dangerous and potentially risky things to find is good. A random 5% fail risk for every anomaly is crap.

Well, that I understand but I'm concerned by the lack of an element of danger now that you will always succeed at the anomaly research, just simply taking a longer time with progressively higher level of anomaly. In my opinion, this is just immersion-breaking and a bad solution. At worst, I think this is an insult to us, the players. We really deserve better than this. Risk of failure should be retained but completely reconstructed and better implemented as opposed to the random 5% fail risk that you quite rightly deprecated.

Now, a risk of failure should be dependent on different and multiple factors rather than on the RNG. The skill of scientists should be split into different categories such as engineering and scientific investigation, so on, that can influence this. Personality/trait should also play a role in failure or success. Age could play a role (younger could make mistake and, while extraordinarily rare, oldest ones are just as potentially liable to screw up big time that costs their lives). There could be other elements in play such as the traits of the race that the scientist belongs to as well the ethos of an empire. The configuration of a science vessel could also play a role (e.g. maybe a vessel was unable to

The fact is, sometimes, no matter how much precaution has been taken by the experienced leaders, disastrous failures can and do happen. The new system should take account of that, probably with a very slight influence from RNG or something. I'm not sure how else to avoid that RNG completely given the relatively unpredictable nature of the final frontier and especially the nature. No man can hope to completely tame the space that can deal us a bad hand. I do agree, however, that RNG should not play a large role in the failures as you so eloquently put it.
 

James Fire

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Badesumofu

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I don't think anyone is saying that there should never be bad outcomes for things. But the possibility of a bad outcome should come from some fact about the anomaly itself - not just a completely arbitrary 5% fail chance. Now, as far as I know, it's the arbitrary 5% fail chance that is being removed, not the possibility for bad or dangerous outcomes for anomalies. I actually find it crazy that anyone could object to that.

As for realism - this isn't hard scifi. Absolute realism is not relevant. What is relevant is verisimilitude - and as far as I can see no 5% fail risk fits in just as well as 5% fail risk with the Stellaris universe. The truly relevant questions are of gameplay and results that flow from causation rather than arbitrary crap. And the new system is far, far better from that perspective. As for 'immersion' - as far as I can tell in the context of gaming that word means nothing more or less than 'stuff I personally like'. It's a near meaningless buzzword and nearly every argument about a game that employs it turns out to be basically 'I do or don't like this so it should or shouldn't be in the game'.
 

TheDarkMaster

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If failure chance was something that was actually factored into an element of player choice, that could also help a lot with making anomalies more interesting. For example, something like the event where a scientist proposes using an energy beam to make the minerals on a planet useful for the player. The options could be to just leave the planet as is for +1 engineering tech, or spend a lot of power for a chance to get +6 minerals on the planet instead. If things fail in the later case, the planet becomes useless. No need to risk your scientist or ship. Another example could be like a ship in a dense debris field where you can order the scientist to try and salvage it, though in this case it's a very obvious risk to the science ship. You can still get a little tech from studying the ship from afar and taking debris samples, but the real prize requires that you put the science ship into the debris field and force it to sit there afterwards for an extended period of time doing field repairs on the engines.
 

geminisama

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Will there be any new events/anomalies in the core game, or are you expecting us to pay 1/6th of the games cost to make up for what we're gonna lose with these unfailable and unrepeatable anomaly rework?
 

Oscot

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In my, and I'm sure many others' opinion it added a touch of realism. Sometimes bad **** happens that you can't do anything about. In case you aren't aware, space exploration is a dangerous undertaking not just a stroll to the local market...
But you CAN do something about it.
I.e. you can do what (the majority of) players do now and just don't research the anomaly at all until you've levelled a scientist up to the point where the failure chance is minimised, which is what Wiz said in the OP.
And since that tactic, where the Starship Enterprise just tags Planet Orion for a future visit by a Federation sociologist (rather than having Kirk beam down and interact with the green-skinned space babes) is MORE game-y and LESS immersive than "Kirk beams down on First Contact but the amount of time he spends with the green-skinned space babes depends on his, erm, level", the change as suggested int he OP is actually the better solution.

Sure, the best solution would be to say to hit players with a wiffle-bat until they're not so obsessively risk-averse, but absent a fundamental retooling of human psychology, that is not a practicable solution.
 

James Fire

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Mrginger128

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Please, please tell me the fog of war can be turned off. I hate it it's the reason that as much as I'd love to i can't play the Star Trek mod. What was a cool update has turned quite life or death in terms of me being able to keep playing lol
 

brifbates

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Please, please tell me the fog of war can be turned off. I hate it it's the reason that as much as I'd love to i can't play the Star Trek mod. What was a cool update has turned quite life or death in terms of me being able to keep playing lol

Not permanently unless you just want to watch the ai play (including your nation). If you want a quick look around you can use ` (to open the console) observe then play 00 ` (to close console) to resume...
 

Mrginger128

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Not permanently unless you just want to watch the ai play (including your nation). If you want a quick look around you can use ` (to open the console) observe then play 00 ` (to close console) to resume...

I play multiplayer =/ I really really don't like FoW. I'm happy you guys like it and I wouldn't want it taken away from you but I really really want a way to turn it off. It just isn't for me It's hard enough for my friend and I to play together without the draw tool like in other Paradox games. This will make it painful.