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Stellaris Dev Diary - #145 Archaeology

Hello everyone!

Today we’re back with yet another dev diary, which will build upon some of the things we revealed last week. Last week we outlined some information about Minor Relics, and how they can be useful. We didn’t mention specifically how they are usually found, but luckily that is something you’ll learn today!

Archaeology
In the next DLC you will be able to experience some new content related to uncovering and excavating archaeological sites. Sites can be discovered in multiple ways, be it either on survey, generated at game start, or perhaps generated by an event.

upload_2019-4-25_9-41-4.png

Sites that lie inside your borders can be excavated by a Scientist, and will consist of several different chapters. A site can have 1-6 chapters, in addition to an introduction/prologue. Each chapter will have its own narrative and a reward, and has to be unlocked before it becomes visible.
upload_2019-4-25_9-41-36.png

Excavation in progress. Spoiler-blurred text.

A chapter will be unlocked whenever the Scientist excavating the site gets a successful result at the end of an Excavation Phase – mechanically this works very similar to how sieges work in EU4. As the Scientist goes through phases, it will roll a dice and add modifiers to the result. The final result will then either do nothing, add clues, or make a breakthrough to the next chapter.

Game mechanics details:
Result = dice roll + Archaeology Skill + Clues - Difficulty

Result Outcomes:
0-7: Status quo
8-10: +1 clue
11-13: +2 clues
14+: Breakthrough

upload_2019-4-25_9-44-45.png

Chapter completed. Spoiler-blurred text.
A neat feature of this new system is that you can click previous chapters to go back and read what happened.

At the end of each Excavation Phase, it is also possible that the Scientist triggers a random event, which will inject some unpredictability and create opportunities for emergent storytelling.
upload_2019-4-25_10-38-19.png

Everything is fine.

Archaeology chapters commonly reward the player with minor artifacts – but it can also be resources, research points or other more unique rewards.

Design intentions
Archaeology becomes a way for us to express narrative in a more evolving and controlled manner, and every site it also tied to a location on the map. All of these things together should make it more enjoyable to experience the content, since we hope it becomes easier to build a mental model of what is happening where. In general I believe that having narrative tied to things you can see on the map makes for a better experience. It’s not uncommon for me to forget where on the map a previous event occurred, and that is something I’d like to improve over time. I really like archaeology because it lands well between mechanics and narrative.

------------

We hope you could dig today’s dev diary, and next week we’ll be back with something old that is new.
 
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Vitriol

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Cool.
 

Nis Baggesen

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Any reason this is tied specifically to archaeology, and isn't meant to cover all sorts of (expanded) surveys? I imagine doing a biological survey or researching a weird stellar anomaly could easily have the same sort of steps and breakthroughs?

Other than that it looks interesting.
 

Magnificent Genius

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Will Precursors be tied into this new system? As a related question, will the precursor chains be rebalanced so that they all end in a free megastructure, now that there are so many of them(thematically related to the precursor, of course). Right now, you want the Cybrex and the first league and nothing else.
 

grekulf

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Any reason this is tied specifically to archaeology, and isn't meant to cover all sorts of (expanded) surveys? I imagine doing a biological survey or researching a weird stellar anomaly could easily have the same sort of steps and breakthroughs?

Other than that it looks interesting.

I have been thinking about similar things as well. First thing is first though, and I want to see how the new content works out, and then rework/add more to this system.
 

Spaceception

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Will this open up the possibility for events to be more interconnected (maybe with different endings and stuff), so you can get unique histories of the galaxy?
 

hadaev

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Well ok, nice feature etc, but whats about holes in game body like low fps, dead ai and nightmare micromanagement?
Last diaries make me think like base game is ok and time to make sweet features couz why not.
 

GhostLad

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Will this then replace Anomalies for DLC owners, with the current anomalies effectively becoming 1 chapter sites if you are not rewriting them, or is this its own beast entirely?
 

Sigma 582

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A few questions:
  • Will AI be able to interact with archæological projects and benefit from them, or is it purely player-oriented content?
  • Will scientists get unlimited attempts on solving each phase, until they accumulate enough clues to advance to the next one?
  • Do you intend archæology to be early-game content (like exploration) or will projects pop up regularly during mid/late game? It just came to my mind that it would be neat if we could perform some sort of "deep scan" on surveyed planets for small chance of discovering anomalies or archæology projects not found before.
  • Will it be micro-intensive? E.g. having to go into system, selecting planet, selecting stage, clicking "Research", repeat every month on 10 sites...
  • Any estimated arrival date yet? :D
 

Spaceception

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Well ok, nice feature etc, but whats about holes in game body like low fps, dead ai and nightmare micromanagement?
Last diaries make me think like base game is ok and time to make sweet features couz why not.
The sector dev diary is one way they're addressing micro, but most of that stuff you brought up isn't seen until the patch notes, all the bigger, main features get a dev diary.
 

Hapchazzard

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Very cool! Is there anything preventing these sites from all becoming completely exhausted by late-game, though? It would be cool if some could be excavated indefinitely, but had much lower chances of actually yielding rewards.

Also:
We hope you could dig today’s dev diary, and next week we’ll be back with something old that is new.

This is totally going to be precursors, calling it.
 

Ikael

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Sounds really cool! Some musings:

- I quite dig the whole "archeology as a siegue" mechanic (no pun intended)
- Will there be some kind of decisions to make during the excavations, or will their outcome be completely left to chance?
- Will there be major artifacts as well as minor ones? I wonder...
- How will this new system tie with the precursors?
- Are you going to discover the chapters in chronological order, or in a random one? It would be neat to slowly "assemble the pieces of the puzzle" about what happened at each archeological site!

Other than that, great addition. Discovering mysteries of long forgotten alien civilizations is one of my favourite sci-fi tropes :)
 
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