Stellaris Dev Diary #180 - DLC Visibility Experiment

Hello everyone!

We hope you are enjoying your time with 2.7 and the 4 year anniversary of Stellaris! It’s very fun to see how far the game has come, and just as interesting to imagine what the future can hold.

We want to make sure that Stellaris is well-prepared for more content in the future. Something we’ve learned, especially with CK2, is that a long tail of new content can make it very difficult for players to see what kind of DLCs are available for the game. As we recently announced, Stellaris has more than 3 million players, and we want to make sure that players – both new and old – have an easier time finding content that they might like.

In order to improve visibility, starting today and lasting for a couple of weeks, we’re going to be running a couple of experiments that will be looking at DLC visibility within the game. We will be running a controlled experiment that will split up the player base into different groups, where each group will get a slightly different experience (or no change, in the case of the control group). The experiment will only affect the main menu and empire creation/selection, and will not have any effect on the game as you are playing. The purpose of this is to gather some insights into what kind of visibility features are actually helpful.

Before you grab your laser-powered pitchforks and plasma-illuminators, and complain about development focus, rest assured that all of this work has been done by an external team (who has done a great job btw!) and has had no effect on the development of Stellaris as a game :)

I want to emphasize that even though we want to improve the visibility of content for the game, it will never come at the expense of the game experience itself, so you don’t need to worry about that. It is very important for us that our players are able to immerse themselves in the Stellaris universe and to have fun while they play.

And because a dev diary can’t be complete without pictures or teasers, here’s two icons related to some future content. What could it be..?
merciless_teaser.png
 
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Kanzhuu

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The DLC purchase suggestions are bizarre too. Choose mining guilds or industrious and the game recommends Lithoids because your empire fits well with the theme of rocks... what?

I really hope this is not (about to come) true.

Maybe there are no Dev Diaries for the duration of this experiment - Because who would be mad enough to face the community right now? The sheer amount of frustration and negativity directed at the devs makes even me cringe away from the monitor. They know perfectly well what the community would think of this 'visibility experiment' and how bad it looks given current issues. It probably wasn't their choice to implement this experiment in the first place. I do not envy them.
 
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Shadowstrike

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Would be nice even if they wrote something like "hey, we're still alive, and working on new stuff. Will let you guys know when we have more."

For all we know, the entire team might as well be being chemically reprocessed into energy by a gestalt consciousness right now.
 
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Badesumofu

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I have no problem with not getting dev diaries when there is nothing to show us. But to just stop them without even taking 30 seconds to mention that you're stopping them is a PR 101 failure. Especially after the last diary was about some marketing nonsense with a small teaser thrown in to try to assuage the masses. Like, how can anyone who spends more than 5 seconds thinking about this not realise that it is poor?

It's not even that big of a deal, but the solution is so obvious, and so trivial that you just shake your head.
 
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Kanzhuu

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It's not even that big of a deal, but the solution is so obvious, and so trivial that you just shake your head.

This exactly. I am thankful for dev diaries, I do not take them for granted, but please let me know if you are putting them on a hiatus, because I come back here every thursday to check.
 
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Deggial

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I am wondering: Is the lack of dev diaries possibly related to the “DLC Visibility Experiment”?

Generally, you want to limit all exterior influences, when experimenting. “Disturbances” like awesome developer insights might persuade people to purchase already available content more than some buttons in the game setup screen. In order to measure the button’s effect, you might want to eliminate this effect from your evaluation.
 
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Hyomoto

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And then the 6-8 week long holiday break comes in. I guess we are facing an up to 10 week long silence at worst. Keeps me really interested in this game tho... :rolleyes:
If your only engagement in the game is to read what isn't in the game, I'm not sure you are enjoying it anyways. I mean, have you considered just taking a break, playing something else and then checking in periodically for news? You have to know that Stellaris development will end one day, right? People still play games that don't have weekly developer diaries.
 
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Eladrin

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Would be nice even if they wrote something like "hey, we're still alive, and working on new stuff. Will let you guys know when we have more."

For all we know, the entire team might as well be being chemically reprocessed into energy by a gestalt consciousness right now.
This is true. We are currently working on future plans and have not been converted into energy or a delicious nutrient paste*, and are currently still made of meat.

It's been interesting doing some of these things remotely, since we can't do whiteboarding brainstorms quite the same way we're used to since we're scattered across the region. Some things have been extremely and unexpectedly effective though. I love one of the tools we're using for these workshops.

* Studies show seven out of ten organics can't tell the difference!
 
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Vias

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This is true. We are currently working on future plans and have not been converted into energy or a delicious nutrient paste*, and are currently still made of meat.

It's been interesting doing some of these things remotely, since we can't do whiteboarding brainstorms quite the same way we're used to since we're scattered across the region. Some things have been extremely and unexpectedly effective though. I love one of the tools we're using for these workshops.

* Studies show seven out of ten organics can't tell the difference!
Feels nice to get some feedback from you guys! Thanks for the hard work as always.

Maybe it's a stupid question, but I get you are working on something new. We all are addicted love new contents, but what's your stance about the game bugs? I know the community has been pestering you devs about it, but I think it's something important and I'm not the only one given the state of the forum and the number of rage thread about bugs or "bad balance" in the game. Right now some bugs are really annoying (the fleet manager one), some others are borderline gamebreaking thou (like IA passivity or the fact that it won't build shipyards). Someone in the forum has suggested it would be good if you just took a brief break from new dlcs and so on and took your time to address these problems. I know it's not our place to tell you what to do, and I don't even know what you can actually say to us about it, but yeah, I was wondering what you think about all of this.

EDIT: I should clarify that 'm not trying to stir up problems, I'm just curious about what devs think of the situation of the game.
 

Eladrin

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Someone in the forum has suggested it would be good if you just took a brief break from new dlcs and so on and took your time to address this problems.
We did delay Federations to do precisely this.
 
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Vias

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We did delay Federations to do precisely this.
I didn't know! Well, thank you for your quick reply and sorry if this was a stupid question then :)
I'm really happy that you are working on this, thank you guys!
 

Vias

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Did not worki guess, at least for me there too many issues, not able to enjoy the current state of the game sadly... :(
Well, he didn't say it was the only one they were going to do it. I think he meant they know of the issues and are doing what they can. :)
 
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Deggial

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@Eladrin:
Great to learn (not that this is unexpected) that you are fine and planning. :)

Just a really small request: I don’t think, the lack of new dev diaries is an issue for most of us in itself. It certainly isn’t for me.
What is annoying though, is the unfulfilled anticipation on Thursdays, when coming to the forum and looking forward a nice dev diary - only to be left alone in the void, not knowing if it’s just too early or there won’t be any update at all.
This leads to frustration and other unpleasant feelings.

The solution would be so simple, though:
If there aren’t any dev diary planned in the immanent future, just tell us, please!
I am sure, everybody will understand this and wait patiently (more or less) until you are ready to share some new, awesome stuff.

It’s not the lack of dev diaries, it’s the unfulfilled expectation that troubles people!
 
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King Harkinian

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We did delay Federations to do precisely this.

While this helped a lot and actually brought me and my friends back to Stellaris for the first time in years, the game is still crippled by the bug that makes AI empire/crisis fleets get stuck moving back and forth between two systems endlessly during wars in the mid- and lategame. It happens every single war to all of their main fleets and has been reported so many times on the bug forum and elsewhere. It's by far the biggest issue with the game right now.

Could we at least get a priority fix on that before future developments?
 
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Spartakus

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We did delay Federations to do precisely this.
And you did well. I mean this. Economic AI and performance issues have easily been the worst offenders in terms of Stellaris' issues and as far as I can tell you did a remarkable job at those. The sad part is that not only do other major issues remain, with the combat AI Federations has intruduced an entirely new wrench in the gears leaving the game for me and other forumites literally literally unplayable. The new one is particularly baffling as the AI dev diary showed a really nice debug feature that showed what the AI was "thinking". A debug feature that never made it's way into the release.

What is extremely frustrating is that it's always the same problems that get mentioned here in the forums but there is zero acknowledgement from the developers side of them. We don't know which ones you are working on, which ones you consider a priority or wether or not you are even aware of a particular issue at all.

So please, tell us how we as a community can help here. I'm not asking for a roadmap or a comprehensive bug list. I just wish there was some way to know that we're not left alone with the state Stellaris is in.
 
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Kanzhuu

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This is true. We are currently working on future plans and have not been converted into energy or a delicious nutrient paste*, and are currently still made of meat.

So, can we interpret this as "COVID-19 is making Dev Diaries more difficult and it may be a while before they are resumed"?

As I have said previously, I come back every thursday to check for a new Dev Diary. If you know there won't be any, please just say so.
 
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jucanbe

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Any plans to add a GM mode in multiplayer (for MP role-playing games)? :p

And, if religion is introduced into the game, fix the megacorps, Subversive Cult should be more relevant, because now is useless.

I cant wait to see the next Dev Diary!
 

LWE

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We did delay Federations to do precisely this.
And there indeed was a noticeable improvement: performance got far better for those that had problems, some high-impact bugs that were present for a long time (setting AI rights to citizenship purged them unless you disavowed purges altogether, planets in the process of being colonized by the Prethoryn were impossible to bombard to bare, making victory impossible, etc) were finally fixed. One more such effort, and the game will be fairly technical issue-free (similarly to Imperator).
 
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Dazz

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Kamen Rider Zero-One: 6 week rebroadcasts with not even a new scope.
Stellaris: 1 dev diary with nothing useful and 5 weeks without any dev diary. <- Update: 6 weeks
Both have a bright future.
 
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