Greetings to the void-dwellers and planet-bound alike!

This week we’ll be talking about some changes we’re planning on making to the engineering marvels that are Orbital Habitats. These are currently slated for the May update that grekulf mentioned two weeks ago.

Introduced in Utopia, Orbital Habitats provide a way to continue some form of limited expansion after colonizing all of the habitable planets within your empire. In the 2.3 “Wolfe” update, we added some specialized districts to them based on the celestial body they orbited, opening up the possibility for things like building dedicated astro-mining facilities, and recently in Federations, we added a Void Dwellers origin which let you start your empire among the stars in three habitats.

This May, we’ll be introducing multiple tiers of habitats. These will be accessible to anyone with the Utopia expansion or using the Void Dwellers origin from Federations.

The first tier of Orbital Habitats now comes a bit earlier in the tech tree and require fewer alloys to build. The basic Orbital Habitat is smaller than the old version, starting with 4 district slots. They also have a simpler appearance than the ones currently in the game, a core of a station to build upon later.

upload_2020-4-9_9-16-6.png

Fungoid Orbital Habitat

The Habitat Expansion engineering technology is placed around where the Habitat technology used to be in the tech tree, and will allow you to upgrade an Orbital Habitat that has filled all of its districts to an Advanced Habitat using a planetary decision that costs some time and alloys.

upload_2020-4-9_9-13-8.png


Upgrading to an Advanced Habitat provides 2 additional district slots and allows basic housing buildings to be built even for normal empires.

The Advanced Habitat upgrade adds a ring of modules around the central core.

upload_2020-4-9_9-13-24.png

Avian Advanced Habitat

A third technology permits upgrading a fully developed Advanced Habitat that has a Habitat Central Control into a Habitat World.

upload_2020-4-9_9-13-51.png


Habitat Worlds have 8 districts, shown as another ring of modules around the habitat.

upload_2020-4-9_9-14-4.png

Humanoid Habitat World

The Voidborne Ascension Perk has undergone a few changes as well.

upload_2020-4-9_9-14-21.png


The perk now gives each of your habitats 2 additional building slots and automatically grants access to the Habitat upgrade technologies. Regular empires with the perk can also build advanced housing buildings on their Advanced Habitats and Habitat Worlds instead of being limited to only basic structures.

Void Dwellers will automatically start with the Habitat Expansion tech option available for them to research, and their primary habitat will begin as an Advanced Habitat while the other two will begin as somewhat cramped regular Orbital Habitats. In our internal playtests, we’ve found that Voidborne is exceptionally valuable for them to pick up early for the extra building slots, and the reduced alloy cost of building new habitats should relieve some of the additional pressure caused by the smaller starting size of their secondary habitats.

During this pass we’ve taken care of a handful of other habitat related issues, such as those built above nanite deposits now retain the nanite production, and habitats built above Zro, Dark Matter, Living Metal, or Nanite deposits are now treated as research habitats. As a quality of life improvement, you no longer need to remove orbital mining or research stations to build a habitat, the construction process will automatically disassemble them upon habitat completion.

Here are the full tiers of a few of the habitat types:

upload_2020-4-9_9-14-44.png

Humanoid Habitats


upload_2020-4-9_9-14-55.png

Plantoid Habitats


upload_2020-4-9_9-15-8.png

Lithoid Habitats

---

Next week we’ll have another sneak peek at the May update, see you then!
 

fodazd

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My personal opinion: The main reason habitats are not very good right now is that their districts and capitals are pretty bad compared to the capitals on normal planets. Can we have regular capitals and housing-districts with clerks please?
 

Bentusi16

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My personal opinion: The main reason habitats are not very good right now is that their districts and capitals are pretty bad compared to the capitals on normal planets. Can we have regular capitals and housing-districts with clerks please?

I think the big reason for this is that none of the techs or traditions that effect cities effect habitat districts.
 

Lorenerd11

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Are you going to make proper habitat models for fallen empires? Or models for starbase tiers in-between unupgraded Starbase and fully upgraded Citadel? It's weird to see those replaced with Mammalian or Avian placeholders.
 
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Borgratz

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This is great :)

Any plans on changing some traditions and techs that are only usefull for planet dwellers for habitat dwellers like you did with hive minds and such?
 
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Wirsing

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Thank you for this nice Dev Diary @Eladrin

I have some questions pertaining Void Dwellers:

Do you plan to give the Void Dweller Origin some unique Traditions (like Life-Seeded f.e.) that replace some of the obsolete ones like Prosperity?

Are you aware of the bug where the Capital habitat loses its Capital destination when you develop it for a time?

An answer would be much appreciated. o/
 

BrokenSky

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What about the issues habitat-only empires have with Traditions (i.e. some traditions only giving planet bonuses)? Will these be swapped out for players with the void dweller origin?

Edit: ninja'd
 

Methone

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Very interesting!

What are your ideas about 'upgradable' mining/research stations? That is, you upgrade them directly into habitats rather than destroy them and build in its place?
 

Zergash

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As a voiddweller myself, I really like this update. However, will it be possible to apply all bonus for city districts to the housing district of habitats as well - just for those empires with the origin maybe?
 

fodazd

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I think the big reason for this is that none of the techs or traditions that effect cities effect habitat districts.

Yes. On a normal planet, a city district gives you 8 housing and 2 clerks with all techs and traditions. For habitats, you can choose between a district with 8 housing and zero clerks, and a district with 3 housing and 5 clerks, both of which are significantly worse than a normal city-district.

...Gestalts DO get maintenance drones from the housing district on habitats, which is hilarious because gestalts are precisely the empire-type that can't be void-dwellers.
 
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DimeDrol

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Do you have plans to switch culture workers to a priests in leisure district for spiritualists? Like we already have entertainers switched to duelist for Warrior Culture civic.
 

Vilcoyote

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My personal opinion: The main reason habitats are not very good right now is that their districts and capitals are pretty bad compared to the capitals on normal planets. Can we have regular capitals and housing-districts with clerks please?

I disagree with you, atm you pay 500 mineral to have district that can provide specialist job and housing on habitats where as you need 400 minerals for a simple building whitout housing on planet and with one less job (by paying more ressources you can upgrade it but now you can do the same on habitats). The best exemple for this are labs vs district lab (and we all now that currently tech is nearly king) and service & commercial building vs commercial district.