Today we're continuing the Q&A series we're doing, answering questions related to different topics. Last week we asked you to post your questions related to Origins, which were previously revealed in Dev Diary #160.
Here we go!
General Origins Questions
How will randomly created AI empires choose an origin? Will it be completely random, or are some more likely to show up than others? If the latter, which logic does it follow?
The weightings are scriptable. The default currently has a weight of 100, others that are available to the AI (which is most of them) have between 2 and 10, so statistically you are likely to have a few of them once you have 10+ AI nations. Some origins like Doomsday are also blocked for advanced AIs as that wouldn't fit the narrative.
Many are also restricted so they will only randomly generate if that origin is not already represented in the galaxy.
Are there any events related to each Origin? (And many similar questions.)
Yes. Some origins, such as the Galactic Doorstep, are primarily narrative-based and thus have many events. Others, like the Shattered Ring, are primarily changes to an empire's starting conditions and have few, if any (other than custom start text).
Will the preset empires have different origins? Will they have new civics picked to substitute those that become origins? (What will happen with the Xanid Suzerainty for example?)
Yes, preset empires have origins. Most of them have Prosperous Unification, but some have others.
Empires that previously had civics that have been turned into origins will have new civics given to them. As examples, the Xanid Suzerainty now has Corvée System and Cutthroat Politics, and the Lokken Mechanists have Technocracy and Meritocracy.
Can you change your origins through events?
No, that would involve timeline alterations and the potential destruction of the space-time continuum.
Will there be origins that allow for special tech, that is otherwise unobtainable? For example, could a Fallen Empire share tech for Fallen empire buildings with you if you choose the Scion start?
We do not currently have any origins that have unobtainable tech, but this would be possible.
I believe you mentioned before that each origin had special events. Will we still have the special start events of say Mass Extinction, Habitable planet survey, and Radical Cult events? Will they still happen even if we pick say Doomsday or Remnants or Void Dwellers?
Some event chains have been disabled for certain Origins, when they no longer made sense.
Do Fallen Empires have origins?
Yes, for flavor they have been given a unique "Elder Race" Origin.
Will origins affect the likelihood of precursor event chains?
How will Origins for pre-FTL species that achieve spaceflight be determined?
This depends on whether they discover spaceflight on their own or if they’ve been enlightened.
Why can’t [empire type] take [origin]?
This varies from origin to origin. For origins that are event-heavy, the decision to exclude [empire type] may have been one to control scripting scope. Some others are for mechanical or balance reasons.
See the Bonus! section for the tale of the Iribots, when scripts go bad.
Are the special machine empire and hive mind types being moved to origins?
No. They remain civics.
What Origin (outside of doomsday) is the weakest? Which one is the strongest?
This is very subjective, but I’d say Life-Seeded and (non-Lithoid) Shattered Ring. (Though Life-Seeded is very strong with a certain precursor, and the two Federation starts can be quite strong as well.)
4 extra pops will usually mean an extra building slot available. Will this be open or will it be pre-filled?
If an extra slot is available it will usually be open, but a few possible combinations do fill the slot. (For example, one of the Hive Mind starts has it filled with a Hive Warren.)
Did/would you ever considered including one or two other “generic” origins, as opposed to just prosperous unification? Why isn't there a "Unification by War" Origin?
Prosperous Unification does not necessarily mean peaceful unification. If a militarist or authoritarian nation unified their planet through war, the origin still works.
The main design desire for Prosperous Unification was to provide a “default” origin that could apply to a wide variety of empires.
Mechanist / Syncretic Evolution
After the update will slaver guilds still be incompatible with syncretic evolution?
Syncretic Evolution remains incompatible with several civics.
Life-Seeded / Post-Apocalyptic
Will Agrarian Idyll civic be compatible with Post-Apocalyptic, Remnants, Shattered Ring and Void Dwellers origins or will there be some weird interaction between them?
Agrarian Idyll is incompatible with these origins.
Are there any changes to Life-Seeded pops (e.g. some sort of beneficial trait)?
No. Life-Seeded and Post-Apocalyptic have traditionally been considered “challenge” civics. Not quite as much as Doomsday so there’s no warning text, but they’re generally on the harder side.
Remnants / Shattered Ring
Will the Remnants or Shattered Ring origins set a species' habitability trait to Relic or Ring World, respectively?
Currently they retain their species habitability in both of these cases.
Does the Ringworld origin count as a megastructure, and such, increase the odds of rolling the megastructure tech?
Do we have a way to repair the other sections earlier through events/anomalies, or do we have to wait for mega engineering?
Mega-Engineering is required as normal to rebuild the other sections.
Is the decision to be able to repair only 3 sections final?
We have no plans to change this.
Will the "Shattered Ring" Origin come with any intended downside?
Mineral acquisition tends to be a major issue for this origin. The “Arcane Generator” also pushes them to have a very unspecialized homeworld since it will only support one district of each type.
How will you obtain minerals? Will Lithoids be able to choose this origin, and if yes, will there be adjustments for them eating minerals?
Lithoids can choose this origin, but it won’t be easy for them, especially since while Ringworlds have an Agricultural Segment they don’t have anything similar for Minerals. They are likely to need to use the internal market to feed their pops.
How do Ringworld starts work in terms of segment jobs? Do they function the same as regular segments, in that they instantly give 20+ jobs upon completion?
They function as regular ringworld segments.
Are the 3 habitats inhabited at the beginning of the game?
Yes, all three habitats are inhabited.
Will the Void Dwellers origin give a discount on influence to build habitats? If not, will they have trouble keeping up with planet dwellers?
No discount on habitats, but they have other bonuses.
Do void dwellers lose their efficiency bonus outside of habitats?
Yes, and they also get a large growth penalty.
Is the void dweller perk locked with the habitability perk? Like for example, you can not keep this perk if you change your pops habitability to another climate type.
The Void Dweller trait is separate from their habitability preference. If you turn your pops into Desert Preference, they will still be Void Dwellers with Desert Preference, and will suffer large penalties on planets.
The opening text for Void Dwellers mentions starting in a trinary system. Does this override the selection made for system type when customizing your empire (like choosing the Sol system)? Also, do any of the other Origins have similar overrides?
Yes. Doomsday and Shattered Ring also override the system type selection in empire customization.
Can we have more details on the unique vassalage contract for Scions? (And many similar questions…)
Scions are able to expand, cannot be integrated, are brought into their overlord’s wars, and are permitted to engage in limited diplomacy.
They can Improve or Harm Relations, Insult, Declare Wars, Make Claims, Offer Trade Deals, Form Commercial Pacts, Form Research Agreements.
They can not Guarantee Independence, Create or Join Federations (though theoretically if their overlord awakened and ended up in one they’d come along…), or control their own Borders.
They also gain a special CB to bring other empires into their master’s loving family.
If there are many empires with Scion Origins, are you likely to be a vassal of the same Fallen Empire?
Yes. Scions typically end up as vassals of the materialist and spiritualist fallen empires, if they exist.
How will the scion origin affect relations with other empires?
This is mostly affected by being unable to pursue certain diplomatic actions.
How will standard diplomacy between FE and scion be different from normal?
Your overlord will have a higher opinion of you, and may involve themselves in your affairs from time to time.
How will the scion origin affect participation in federations and/or the galactic community?
As noted earlier, Scions cannot choose to join federations since they are vassals, but they are free to become members of the galactic community.
(Many questions about Scion events.)
Scions have more frequent (and unique) encounters with the fallen empires. Your overlord will make more demands of you than they would of a normal empire, but will also help you more often. They are likely to intervene if you get yourself into too much trouble - you are their favorite pets after all.
Is scion a status that can be maintained or lost? If so, what kinds of events or actions could bring such about? What would be the benefits/detriments of maintaining or losing scion status, if such a status can be lost?
Like other vassals, you can free yourself from your oppressive masters, throwing off the burden of having a helpful fallen empire overlord that is especially fond of you.
Does the gateway in Galactic doorstep lead to a unique system or is it a simple gateway?
It’s a common gateway, and will as such have a ‘counterpart’ in another, random location in space. The real difference is the potential of having access to remote places before anyone else. Which can be both boon and bane.
Will you be able to activate the gateway without the technology (for example by an anomaly project on the gateway).
In a sense, but generally no. However, the required Gateway Technology is linked to the Origin chain of events.
Tree of Life
How exactly does the sapling work? Do we get another Tree of Life with the same benefits on newly colonized and conquered planets?
The colony ships used by the Tree of Life hives are significantly more expensive, but will place a sapling on other worlds. The saplings aren’t as mighty as the original.
Will it still allow us to Terraform to Hive worlds?
Yes. The tree is part of the hive.
How does the "Tree of Life" work with lithoid Hive? Is is just normal tree or lithoid tree?
They have a normal tree of life.
How will other Empires interact with Tree of Life, if they conquered planet with Tree? Especially if another Empire is "Tree of Life" Hive too?
If the tree wasn’t destroyed during the bombardment, it will be destroyed if the planet changes hands. Other tree of life empires will want their own tree.
The Tree of Life just seems like a straight up massive buff for hiveminds; realistically, if you lose your homeworld, you're already toast, as a hivemind; this just gives a ton of free bonuses; are there hidden downsides?
Downsides include the more expensive colony ships and that you’ll suffer penalties on planets that do not have a sapling, such as after invading a planet.
On the Shoulders of Giants
Are there different outcomes possible to certain Origin-related events? For example, does the Origin "On the Shoulders of Giants" always end in the same events or are things randomized enough that the related event chain could end in multiple different outcomes or benefits?
Yes. In the beginning the differences are trivial, but the later part of the Origin provides more potential divergence. That being said, all outcomes are within the same ‘realm of narrative’, meaning that they revolve the same theme (which is the Origin’s story).
Do they still have normal Colony ships?
What about other special ones like the Civilian Colony Ship that now resides with the Megacorp Civic?
Will there be any drawbacks to picking a machine world start? / Will the resource Consolidation remove your starting resources from the planets and asteroids that are in your home system? The flavor text seems to point towards this.
Your starting system is entirely devoid of resources (except for the star), as they were all used to build the Machine World.
Common Ground / Hegemon
Is it possible to choose the portraits and species names for the federation and hegemon starts?
No, these are always randomized.
Will there be an option for the "Common Ground" Origin (or maybe another Origin in the future) to start in a different form of Federation like the Trade league?
There is no such option at the moment, but you can change your federation type later in the game.
Will the Common Ground origin let you change, immediately, your federation type?
Only if you can get your federation members to agree to do so.
For Common Ground and Hegemony -- are your sibling empires in the starting federation fully functional AI empires? If they are fully functional empires, does the player have any tools to direct their expansion?
They are indeed fully functional AI empires, and as such there is no way to direct their expansion.
Are you moving the form federation tradition to the opener effect or are you actually getting two traditions for free to start?
If you pick these Origins, you will start with the Diplomacy tree unlocked and "The Federation" tradition.
Will the other federation types, research, military and trade, have their own origin types. If none of these currently do can these be added in / modded in?
Other federation types do not have their own Origins, but this would be easy to mod.
Will federations from origins increase the number of ai in the game?
Yes, the federation members that are spawned from these Origins are added on top of the AIs that were specified in the game set up.
Does Hegemon require authoritarian ethics?
No. It is open to non-gestalt, non-xenophobes that are not locked out of diplomacy. The flavor of the origin suggests that the Hegemony has been around for a while, and it’s possible that your empire had an authoritarian past.
(Xenophobes are blocked from the federation starts because your generated partner empires tend to be generally aligned with your ethics, and a coalition of xenophobes proved to be entertainingly but unpleasantly unstable.)
Will Megacorps start in a trade league if they pick the federation origin?
Will a Hegemony start have any advantage over the lessers in the federation to avoid getting usurped early?
They will not have specific advantages, but based on the initial laws, to seize leadership of the Hegemony a minion will have to exceed your Diplomatic Weight by 25%. (It may prove difficult to retain control on higher difficulty levels.)
Can the Origin of a randomly appearing AI empire be set to Doomsday?
If no players have selected it, a randomly spawned AI empire can start with the Doomsday Origin. Only one, though.
Are there any novels or movies that inspired Doomsday?
Well, yeah… Pretty much any story with exploding planets (#neverforgetalderaan). But the biggest influence may very well be the contemporary situation with Earth and its climate.
Any hope for a slider changing the amount of time it takes for your homeworld to blow up in the "Doomsday" origin?
Nothing like that is planned, no.
For Doomsday ... is 64 years the final value?
Nope. It’s changed to be more random. And shorter, so you’d best be moseying off that rock ASAP!
Will there be a mechanic to evacuate the population of your home planet to your colonies?
Resettlement and immigration push.
Is there something special planned with the remains of the destroyed home-world?
It does leave a resource deposit behind.
Are fanatic egalitarian empires that take the Doomsday origin… doomed? (Since they can’t resettle their pops?)
Will there be events and/or Diplomatic Modifiers linking you to the other empire? Something i didn't like with the Commonwealth of man in the Base Game was that the United Nations usually disliked you since you were Xenophobe and vice versa, despite you being members of the same species originating from the same planet not so long ago.
No new diplomatic modifiers beyond those that already exist. Even if you happened to originate on the same planet, there will still be friction between you if your ethics clash.
Does the Commonwealth of Man / United Nations of Earth utilise the Lost Colony origin? Will there be any more specific events when re-discovering each other?
The Commonwealth uses the Lost Colony origin, and there is now a unique first contact message when it encounters the UNE.
Are you planning to add more Origins after Federations? / Will there be some type of origin allowing you to start in the L cluster? / Are there plans for a Psionic Origin in the future? / Do you plan to add specific Origins for mega-corporations?
We are likely to add more Origins in the future, but can’t comment on what they will be at this time.
Any cool origins ideas that didn't make the cut? / Could you share any origins that were considered, but rejected for one reason or another?
Many. Origins started with a massive brainstorming session, which gave us a list of dozens, which we then had to cull.
Some that didn’t make the cut for now included:
- Third Time’s a Charm: Your empire’s first two attempts at colonization utilizing STL-technology have failed. Your empire starts with low intel on their guaranteed planets. Those two planets have leftover districts already built.
- Fratricide: Must be Xenophobe, may not be pacifist. Your starting system also contains a tomb world. Another sentient species used to exist in the same star system, but after many decades of unspeakable violence, your species came out on top.
- Escaped Slaves: The captain of a slaving vessel suffered a fatal accident at the hands of his cargo, and they’ve managed to land on a nearby world. Start with a mix of pops from other species in the galaxy instead of just your chosen species.
We also had a Birthed by Calamity origin proposal that involved Space Amoebas for fans of Bubbles.
Can you make an origin require a civic, or vice versa?
How deeply integrated with other game files will Origins be? I.e. how easy will it be to create separate Origin mods without causing a file conflict?
Everything Origins-related are in separate files, and fairly easy to find. However, much like with space ships, Origins often involve work in several different files in order to work, not to mention the fact that the type of Origin may very well make it 'bleed' into other types of files. It's not complicated, but it is complex. It's not uncommon for a single Origin to have more than a dozen anchors in different files.
Origins can be made infinitely complex, and thus have infinite potential to conflict or not conflict with other elements of the game. (More seriously, modders should be able to do a lot with no conflicts - depending on what they do of course! Startup effects are the one bit that might be complicated, but I think they can get around conflicts there.)
From a modding perspective, is there anything origins can do that civics can't, and vice-versa?
Origins can select the system initializer the country uses for its home system. Civics can be unpicked.
While creating a new empire, do we select authority and civics first, or select the origin first? Since some origins are locked behind certain authorities, do they have country scoped potential and allow in script wise?
Origins are before Government and Ethics in the empire creation screen. Selecting incompatible ethics, civics, or authorities will render the origin selection invalid. You can script playable and possible restrictions as desired.
When an AI empire is created, does it select its origin or civics first? (important for me to know so I can balance the ai weights accordingly)
Ethics, then origin, then civics.
What is the weirdest bug you've encountered with origins so far?
Pretty early on in development, I noticed some weird things going on in the galaxy, so I switched over to observer mode to see what happened. Let me regale you with the story of the Iribots...
The Iribot Experiment was a perfectly normal machine empire. Introspective, with OTA updates, and Primary Link Qube oversaw the Iribots efficiently do their thing on the desert planet of Ir.
Tragically, as a Lost Colony (before any restrictions were implemented), they had lost contact with their original homeworld.
So, where was their original homeworld?
Across the galaxy, in the Chibblar system upon the world of Clanck.
A world with a dark secret.
And no atmosphere.
Clanck is a barren planet, with no buildings since it's not actually a habitable world. See, machines have no habitability preference, so when the Lost Colony script tried to make an advanced empire with a matching habitability, it found a world that had no habitability!
Now little things like having an atmosphere didn’t stop the Iribots from forming a Megacorporation. They were an Authoritarian, Xenophobe, Pacifist Media Conglomerate that had an Indentured Workforce.
They were led by Chief Executive Officer Affinitor, who was a Fertility Preacher. On a barren world. For robots.
Oh, and since they were a bunch of robots that aren't part of a Machine Intelligence, and didn't have the Droids technology...
They were literally a mindless media conglomerate.
Next week, our Tech Lead Moah will be posting a dev diary giving an update on performance improvements planned for the 2.6 "Verne" update.