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Stellaris Dev Diary #192 : Perfectly Balanced, As All Things Should Be...

Hello!

This week we’re going to look at some more changes we're planning, as well as a review of how some of the experiments mentioned in the last few dev diaries have evolved.

Thank you for the massive amount of feedback in those threads.

Reduction in Pops

Due to the effects on performance and a desire to reduce the micromanagement burden in the mid to late game, some of the things we’ve been deeply looking into are different ways of dramatically reducing the number of pops in the galaxy.

These experiments have generally revolved around modifying the growth (or assembly required) for pops as an empire’s population grows, with some variants trying a logistic pop growth (where growth follows an S-shaped curve as planets develop, based on a carrying capacity of a planet). These experiments have reduced the end date pop count to somewhere around one half of the old numbers with the expected performance improvements.

Organic pops will follow a curve where they begin at standard population growth, increase growth as the approach a midpoint between population and the planetary carrying capacity, then slow down to zero as they reach the top of the curve. Pop Assembly, on the other hand, is generally slow but consistent. The biggest change is that producing a new pop no longer costs a static amount of pop growth - it increases as the empire population does.

A significant reduction in pops has a cascade of major implications for the overall economy, production, and other gameplay effects. As such, these also require a pass on buildings, technologies, and even seemingly minor ripple effects like what the value should be for the trade value generated by pops.

There will be a lot of patch notes.

Most buildings have been standardized to now give 2 jobs per tier rather than the old 2/5/8 progression.

1605711331057.png

Just one example of many.

We’ve also changed a few buildings to have new or additional features, such as the Spawning Pool and Clone Vats, which have had their Pop Growth modifiers replaced with the new Organic Pop Assembly. This fills the same slot on the planet as Robotic Pop Assembly, so generally you’ll want to pick one or the other. (Clone Vats also picked up a food upkeep cost to represent simple materials to break down.)

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Pops is Soylent Green!

A few other jobs got minor perks added to them, like the Medical Workers from Gene Clinics making it a little easier to live on less hospitable worlds.

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Doesn't normally produce exotic gas, this one happens to be a lithoid.

And a few new techs have been added to help compensate for lost productivity. One tech line increases both the job production of a planet as well as job upkeep - those fewer pops are still capable of producing the work of more on a developed planet.

Ring Worlds

As part of the balance pass, Ring Worlds have been bumped up to 10 segments from 5, and the jobs per segment have been adjusted.

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The Shattered Ring origin now possesses a warning that it may be a Challenging Origin for Lithoids due to a scarcity of minerals, and now also applies the Ring World Habitability Preference to your pops. We’re considering adding a similar warning for Hives selecting the origin, since the habitability preference change puts a serious crimp in their expansion.

1605711541929.png

Put a ring on it?

Their starting blockers have also been adjusted to give a more balanced spread of jobs.

Ecumenopoleis

Like the Ring Worlds, these start with all building slots open. As mentioned before, you can now use the Arcology Project decision on a planet that has a mix of City and Industrial Districts.

Note: Empire has all technologies but no traditions active.
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The ecumenopolis has a unique distinction of being able to have both the Factory and Foundry building lines on the same planet.

Habitats

The changes to Habitat modules are much smaller in scope, but here’s the list of their districts.

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Void Dwellers have gotten a bit of attention as well with some tradition swaps for those that had minimal or no beneficial effects for them.

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Replacing Public Works Division:
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And for Void Dwellers with the Adaptability tree:
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Interstellar Franchising and Imperious Architecture now also function for Habitats.

Updates to Dev Diary 190

Some of these updates may not be new to people following the forum threads, but it's easy to miss things so I figured we should go over them.

Many people requested the ability to fully specialize their foundry and factory worlds. We've modified the Forge and Industrial World planet designations to shift one pop on each Industrial District to the appropriate job if possible.

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We've also upgraded the Food Processing Center, Mineral Purification Hub, and Energy Nexus to provide an extra job to each of their associated resource production districts. (The Food Processing Center will also improve Hydroponics Farms.)

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One of the suggestions made in the thread was to add a civic that increases unlocked Building Slots. Sounded like a great addition to Functional Architecture.

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Functionality increased!

Updates to Dev Diary 191

We’ve explored some additional options regarding the resettlement system we outlined in Dev Diary 191, and after trying a few things, and have settled on some extensive modifications to the system.

All planets with free sapient unemployed pops that are not locked down by migration controls will have a small chance every month of moving one to another planet within their empire that has jobs that they are willing and able to work, housing, and habitability of 40% or higher. This chance is increased if there are multiple unemployed pops that meet the criteria.

The system now prefers to move higher strata pops first, so rulers and specialists will move before workers, and this system also functions for gestalt empires. It will not relocate non-sapient robots or slaves. It will generally prefer to move pops to the planets with the most free jobs.

After some experimentation we’ve chosen to keep the Transit Hubs as Starbase Buildings that provide a system wide buff to the chance of auto-resettlement occurring. (Rather than being essential to have it occur in the first place.)

1605711834820.png

Doubles the chance the pops choose to resettle themselves.

Greater Than Ourselves has been rewritten to also massively increase this chance when the edict is active, with a +200% bonus.

We initially had these pops considering destinations available through Migration Pacts as well, but decided against keeping that since it introduced a new Migration Controls micromanagement element that we didn’t find desirable.

We’ve also done a minor update to the Authority bonuses that seemed a little bit weak.

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Democracies now have a bonus encouraging their pops to seek their dreams, and Dictatorships have a bit of an easier time holding things together when they’re a bit overstretched.

Closing Thoughts

One other little quality of life improvement that was just added is this filter on the colonization interface.

Colonisation QoL.gif


That’s probably long enough for today. We’re looking forward to your feedback on these as well.

Next week w̷e̵'̸l̸l̴ ̴b̸e̴t̵̮̄ǎ̸͈l̷̠̈k̴͔͂i̴̞͒n̷̪͊g̸̳͗ ̸͚̎a̵͉̐b̵̤̿ȯ̴̲ṵ̵̀t̸͇͂ ҈҂▒©╛⅜

1605711927580.png
 
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Good changes mostly! I like that the transit hub stay as a starbase building but why a "chance to resettle"? Especially the habitability restriction concern me o_O. Will this block of even a high resettlement chance later on with more unemployed pops if the habitability is to low?

The changes to habitats, void dweller, functional architecture and popgrowth especially are really good on the other hand!
 
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EhWhoAmI

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Cool new balancing!
I love the logistical pop growth, makes it more realistic
and limiting what species you can see for colonization is huge, because it gets really laggy if you conquer a lot of places and get loads of species
 
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I think the changes to the industrial district and more importantly to the automatic ressetlement are very, very promising. Good job!
 
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These changes all sound good, but I'm having a bit of trouble picturing what Pops and Pop Growth is now supposed to be SIMULATING.

So Pop Growth becomes slower per world the larger your empire gets? But Pop Growth still has a base level PER WORLD. So an empire with a single Ecumenopolis with 80 Pops on it will have slower Pop Growth than an empire with 4 Rural worlds with 5 Pops each, right?

Can you help me understand what the simulation is supposed to be simulating here? I'm finding the lore side of things hard to understand. What is supposed to be really happening in these situations, and towards the late-game?

EDIT: Ok, so I think the S-Curve thing answers this because the Ecu will grow Pops quicker. So that's answered. That being said, I'm still confused as to what it means that Pops grow slower when there's more Pops in your empire... what's that simulating?
 
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We’ve also changed a few buildings to have new or additional features, such as the Spawning Pool and Clone Vats, which have had their Pop Growth modifiers replaced with the new Organic Pop Assembly. This fills the same slot on the planet as Robotic Pop Assembly, so generally you’ll want to pick one or the other. (Clone Vats also picked up a food upkeep cost to represent simple materials to break down.)
Yes! Are these mutually exclusive with robot assembly plants? And what about thoughts to upgrade these?
A few other jobs got minor perks added to them, like the Medical Workers from Gene Clinics making it a little easier to live on less hospitable worlds
So if you upgrade the building, that's 4% additional habitability only, which isn't very strong. Maybe 2 or 3%? How did it stack up with the current amenities and growth?
Void Dwellers have gotten a bit of attention as well with some tradition swaps for those that had minimal or no beneficial effects for them.
That's great! And the prosperity tree which gives housing to planet city districts has been swapped as well?
One other little quality of life improvement that was just added is this filter on the colonization interface
Can there be a check for species with high habitability? (Maybe just greater than 70%?)
 
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tribnia

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You didn't mention immigration, right? Will they work the same way as now?
 
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All planets with free sapient unemployed pops that are not locked down by migration controls will have a small chance every month of moving one to another planet within their empire that has jobs that they are willing and able to work, housing, and habitability of 40% or higher. This chance is increased if there are multiple unemployed pops that meet the criteria.
So gestalts yet have to stick to APM, got it.
 
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Organic pops will follow a curve where they begin at standard population growth, increase growth as the approach a midpoint between population and the planetary carrying capacity, then slow down to zero as they reach the top of the curve. Pop Assembly, on the other hand, is generally slow but consistent. The biggest change is that producing a new pop no longer costs a static amount of pop growth - it increases as the empire population does.

So, just to check I'm reading this right... the growth rate (currently 3.0 unmodified) now changes depending on how much free space the planet has (defined by housing?), and the amount of growth (currently 100) required for a new pop scales with the total empire population?

And this is a pretty much what you're going with... or just the latest in a series of experiments?
 

Constans337

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Everything is moving in a generally positive direction but I don't understand the dev desire to build inefficiencies into pop relocation and build a lot of mechanics around mitigating it (percentage chances, buffs to these from edicts and buildings). Why not just move them at a 100% chance without all these extras?

Edit: I see from a dev response below that if there is more than 1 pop unemployed then it is 100% within 6 months without any of the buffs (faster with) so I'm happy with that as that is a realistic lag. Seems like a good system.
 
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So ships will also become cheaper? Because less pops means less resource output.
 
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Is it just me or does Organic Pop Assembly feel inherently wrong?
Shouldn't it be something like Organic Pop incubation?
 
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Small question here :) can you finally sort buildings after you build them?
Just visual i love order in planet building and i dont like rebuilding just to visually sort things out my way.
Cheers
 
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John_DeVries

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This looks really good! Any news on how the various districts have been adjusted for Gestalts as well?
 
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Eladrin

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I like that the transit hub stay as a starbase building but why a "chance to resettle"? Especially the habitability restriction concern me o_O. Will this block of even a high resettlement chance later on with more unemployed pops if the habitability is to low?
We want the unemployed pops to naturally drift over time to the places where there are jobs. They won't voluntarily move to a place with habitability of 40% or lower.

Are these mutually exclusive with robot assembly plants?
They're not mutually exclusive, but only one pop can be assembled at a time, so you'll generally want to build one or the other.

So if you upgrade the building, that's 4% additional habitability only, which isn't very strong. Maybe 2 or 3%?
We'll keep an eye on it and make further adjustments if necessary.

So gestalts yet have to stick to APM, got it.
Gestalt drones will automatically migrate, they count as "free and sapient". They also have access to the transit hub building.

So, just to check I'm reading this right... the growth rate (currently 3.0 unmodified) now changes depending on how much free space the planet has (defined by housing?), and the amount of growth (currently 100) required for a new pop scales with the total empire population?

And this is a pretty much what you're going with... or just the latest in a series of experiments?
Yes, that's accurate. I'm fairly confident that we'll be going with something similar to this, though numbers haven't been finalized. (Despite the cheeky title of the Dev Diary.)

Because less pops means less resource output.
There are some things, like technologies, that mitigate the production reduction to some degree.

Is it just me or does Organic Pop Assembly feel inherently wrong?
Pretty gross, huh?
 
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Ffc

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Very cool!

What's the base chance of pop migration?
Because if it's very small, the double of nearly nothing is not much

Also, I don't think that the new Dictatorship bonus is really better than the old one, I think it's still the weaker among others boni. At least for me, I'm usually not over my admin capacity so it applies a very small period of time in my game, and 10% is not much.
I really like the Democratic tho !

Organic Pop Assembly is great ! Now you can probably play Spiritualist without using robots at all ( Does Clones have a soul tho? )

Finally, how is defined the Planetary carrying capacity related to pop growth? Is it the planet size? Because if it's housing, won't you be encouraged to build a lot of housing since the beginning to increase pop growth?
 
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Ch4rybde

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We've also upgraded the Food Processing Center, Mineral Purification Hub, and Energy Nexus to provide an extra job to each of their associated resource production districts. (The Food Processing Center will also improve Hydroponics Farms.)

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Will those bonus also affect Ring world segments and habitat districts ?
Otherwise great DD, one of the best we never have IMO.
 
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Kommunist Fried Chicken

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Wait, just +1% habitability for medical worker?! Are you kidding? It seems too small and useless

And what's for Synthetic Evolution, its Pop Assembly is much faster than other, and will not be reduced by carrying capacity of a planet(What's more, they can grow organic pops and assemble pops at the same time)
 
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