The galaxy is vast, old and unknown. New species constantly flare into existence and some are even able to take their first cautious steps towards other stars. Of those that do some are arrogant enough to assume that they are the first and only chosen. They fail to realize that others may have taken those same steps before them, others who have found amazing wonders and unraveled their secrets, others who reached the furthest edges of knowledge only to crumble away. Those others are called Fallen Empires.
These are once-glorious empires that for unknown reasons have stagnated and often fallen to infighting or crippling apathy. That which once covered hundreds of systems have shrunk to a fraction, barely held on to by superior technology and what little remains of a once glorious fleet. Fallen Empires are isolationist and will look at newer species with disinterest or outright contempt. Diplomatic attempts are futile and they will most likely attack any unknown ships entering one of their remaining systems.
The response of Fallen Empires vary greatly when approached. It is rarely friendly though.
We’ve added Fallen Empires to the game for a couple of reasons. They have the potential to enable some really cool stories and there is a bunch of different directions we can take to ensure players get a different experience from game to game. Players should never feel confident in how a Fallen Empire may react to different events in the galaxy. If left alone they might resurge as a reaction to a galaxy-wide threat or become outraged when their most holy planets are colonized by lesser races.
Gameplay-wise the Fallen Empires can act as a potential source of advanced technology for players willing to invest the military forces required to defeat one of their fleets in battle. In Stellaris, all ships destroyed in combat will leave debris behind and through reverse engineering a player may discover the technologies required to build the weapons and components equipped by those ships. Players can also invade planets belonging to Fallen Empires, allowing them to utilize whatever advanced buildings placed there. This of course means dealing with a new species within the Empire.
While the rewards may be tempting, players may want to consider the risks before attacking a Fallen Empire. Who knows what horrors they have unearthed during the ages, what forbidden secrets their planets hold within, what captives might be unleashed should their wardens be struck down.
Fallen Empires will use a separate series of models for their ships and stations.
Next week the good Goosecreature will be back with a dev diary on the events and mishaps that may befall colonies and their inhabitants. Until then!