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Stellaris Dev Diary #152 - Summer Experimentation

Hello everyone!

Summer vacations are reaching their end and most of the team is back as of last week. Work has started again and we're really excited for what we have in store for the rest of the year.

While most of us have been away during most of the summer, we’ve also had some people who worked during July. July is a very good time to try out different designs and concepts that we might not otherwise have time to do, and today we thought it might be fun for you to see some of the experiments we ran during that period of hiatus.

Although we learned some useful insights, these experiments didn’t end up being good enough to make a reality.

Industrial Districts
As I have mentioned earlier, I have wanted to find a better solution for how we handle the production of alloys and consumer goods. I often felt like the experience of developing a planet felt better with an Ecumenopolis rather than with a regular planet. I think a lot of it had to do with their unique districts and that it feels better to get the jobs from constructing districts rather than buildings. Not necessarily as an emotion reaction to the choice, but rather that the choice perhaps feels more “pure” or simple.

An experiment I wanted to run was to see if it was possible to add an industrial district that provided Laborer jobs, instead of having buildings for Metallurgists and Artisans. Laborers would produce both alloys and consumer goods but could be shifted towards producing more of either.

This meant we added a 5th district, the Industrial District. By adding another district we also needed to reduce the number of building slots available. Since there would be no more need for buildings that produced alloys and consumer goods, this should still end up being similar.

upload_2019-8-15_12-14-17.png

A Laborer would consume 8 minerals to produce 2 alloys and 4 consumer goods, and that amount could be modified in either direction by passing a Decision. What I wanted was to have an industry that could have a military and civilian output, and where you could adjust the values between these outputs.

Having a laborer job that generates an “industrial output”, which could be translated into either alloys or consumer goods did feel good, but the specific solution we used didn’t feel quite right.

City Districts & Building slots
Another experiment was to see how it felt if city districts unlock building slots instead of pops. This experiment didn’t have a specific problem or issue it was trying to address but rather it was to investigate how that would feel and work. It was interesting but ultimately it felt less fun than the current implementation. It would have needed more time to see if it could be made to work.
upload_2019-8-15_12-15-12.png

This experiment did include increasing the number of jobs you would get for the building, so a research lab would provide 3 jobs instead of 2.

City District Jobs from Buildings
At the same time, we also tried a version where buildings applied jobs to city districts instead of providing jobs by themselves. One upside would be that you’d need less micromanagement to get the jobs, but the downside is that it would also be quite a large upswing in new jobs whenever you built a city district. In the end, it felt like you had less control and understanding of what a planet was specializing in.

Summary
Although these experiments were interesting, they didn’t end up quite where we wanted to, so they never became more than just experiments. We did learn some interesting things though, which we will keep in mind for the future. The industrial districts are still something I want to keep looking into, but we have to find a better solution.

Dev diaries will now be back on a regular schedule, but we will be looking into changing the format a bit this time around. For now, dev diaries will be coming bi-weekly, which means we will be back again in another 2 weeks with a similar topic.
 
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M@ni@c

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what feels wrong on my early game is running your empire without energy being much more efficient than running it with energy.
a technician produces 4ec a farmer -30% market fee 4.2ec I think a technican should produce more than 4.2ec

Another solution would be to change the exchange rate of food on the market to 0.66 energy for one food.

In my experience having played like this, the upkeep costs for some stuff like buildings, districts should be changed to other resources like food, minerals or consumer goods, or early game you'll run into an energy deficit with hardly any means to get out of it, real easy.
 

QuietusStar

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Adding new districts to replace spamming buildings is a very nice idea. Also, what if you put buildings into it's own tab on the planet screen, and you could have districts for science, culture, trade, and amenities. You could just have districts be your main source of jobs with buildings upgrading the districts. So having a mineral processing plant could give 1 more miner per district. With that, you could feel more intuitively that your planet is being specialized. Although you do bring up a good point about replacing buildings with districts could leave you with unused building art.
 

korodikrisz

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you might want to google those terms before you post again, standard english bi-[insert] means twice every-[insert], not two [insert] apart between occations.

apparently basic english is really hard to grasp for a lot of people on this forum...

That's called semi-weekly. Just like semi-annually -> every 6 months, bi-annually -> every 2 years. At least these words are used on regular vehicle checks.

Semi unrelated, Stellaris Twitter posted a picture of an Ether Drake miniature, is there going to be some more official channel about that? (How does that work anyway, did they ask if they can make a miniature about it, or something?)

EDIT: Forgot the link: https://community.ttcombat.com/2019/08/08/stellaris-ether-drake-miniature/

Drake-1-copy.jpg
 

$ilent_$trider

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What exactly was the problem with the new industrial district?
The idea actually seems awesome.
Was it a matter of balancing numbers (and reducing buildings) that felt off?
Ecumenopoleis already have specialized districts for either, so you felt that stole some of the thunder from ecumenopoleis?
 

ToneyT

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Hey Daniel!

I agree that planet development feels smoother in Ecumenopoli so I hope you guys work out the industrial district.

Also, IMHO, the way the unlocking of building slots is implemented right now can create situations that feel bad when you're a couple pops away and you have to choose between having unemployed pops or having an extra building.

Hope you can sort that out too.

Great work so far, keep it up!
 

Peter34

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Why not offer a planet type option that is roughly half-way between “Normal” and “Ecumenopolis”?

One that doesn’t require a Perk, and which requires a minimum local POPulation to create? I’m thinking the starting capital planet could start out as this type (unless it’s an Agrarian Idyll empire).

That way, there’ll be a stronger felt difference between capital and new colonies.
 

Peter34

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Have you thought about an additional experiment in the lines of dropping buildings in favor of districts entirely?

I like Buildings a *lot*. They can add a lot of flavour in the form of specialized Jobs, such as Merchants, Psi-Cops or Duellists.
 

whitesnicker

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Biweekly generally means every 2 weeks, and bimonthly every 2 months. However, since the usage isn't standardized both can be confusing.
Biweekly generally means twice per week and bimonthly - twice per month. However since the usage isn't standardized both can be confusing.
 

Duuk

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City Districts & Industrial Districts
Ok, can I start by saying that I'm in love with this. So let me give Duuk's Planet and Economic Overhaul to you, but it will cost you 1 Bug Fix. And you know which bug.

City Districts by default provide housing, science, trade, and culture and become the center of the planet. [Consumer goods consumption per pop is increased under this model since it is no longer consumed by base trade buildings/culture buildings/research buildings.]

Industrial Districts produce alloys and consumer goods as above [tweaked for balance]

Mining and Agricultural and Energy Districts remain [essentially] unchanged.

Building slots are unlocked by every 2nd district built (2 city, 2 mining, 2 energy, NOT 1 of each), not tied to population. Buildings now become the enhancer buildings that increase output, etc. So buildings become so much more useful and focused because each world will likely have some "base" production.

When you Set World Type (Mining World, etc) some of the world types will shift the focus of some of the districts (rather than a decision, a Forge World will make Industrial Districts all alloys and no consumer goods), a tech world will produce no trade, all research in cities, etc.

Certain ethics and national policies can shift outputs.

Everybody wins.

You're welcome.

Edit: Realized I didn't account for enough buildings.
 
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Duuk

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So you’re basically happy with the current state of the game, 2.3.3?
That's not at all what he said. He just said whether the next patch is 2.3.4 or 2.4 is based on how the timeframe shakes out. Which implies that they already have a basic plan of the next DLC rolling (which I think we all knew) and it was only a matter of how many bugfixes and quick repairs got done before the next cycle was in full swing.

Don't read malice into something that wasn't malicious.
 

Duuk

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Why does the pop limit say 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000 and 1100?
They were messing around and doing experimental things. Ignore it. It was for testing purposes.
 

John_DeVries

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Very interesting, I'm glad you guys managed to experiment with the systems some more. Looking forward to see what you'll come up with next!
Have you also done any experiments on combat: ship roles, weapons, etc.?
 

Balamut2227

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So, alloys and CG are opposit one another because they are eat minerals both. What if some other production will act in same way? Research and Unity, for example. Both needs in CG now in regular empires. Also trade value can be "paired" with amenities.
 

SacremPyrobolum

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I like the idea of industrial districts, I hope those get implemented. I feel that buildings should have more interesting functions other than "generates x amount of resources per month". They should synergize with district production or provide some more exotic boon.

I don't understand the experiment you did with city districts at all though.
 

Guderian's Wild Ride

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Look, put the strata targeted pop modification (i.e. nerve staple all workers of a species but not specialists/rulers) in the code and nobody gets purged.

Also, any chance we can get a preview of some of the "civic flavor" update mentioned in Diary #141?
 
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PirateJack

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I like the idea of industrial districts, I hope those get implemented. I feel that buildings should have more interesting functions other than "generates x amount of resources per month". They should synergize with district production or provide some more exotic boon.

I don't understand the experiment you did with city districts at all though.

It sounds like they were experimenting with the system they had originally when they were reworking the economic system. Instead of having POPs unlock building slots it was tied to infrastructure, which you could build with no limit and gain building slots that way. It was abused to hell and back by playtesters so they scrapped it in favour of the current system.

If I'm reading grekulf's post right they were trying something similar to infrastructure, but tying it to City districts instead as they have their own balancing mechanics. So for every City district you build you'd get +1 building slot.

Honestly, I can't see any way to prevent that being cheesed to open up as many building slots as possible early on. You'd be able to basically map out an entire planet's worth of production as quickly as you can build cities, which just front loads a lot of the work so that you never have to look back at the planet again. Not idea from a core gameplay loop perspective.
 
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