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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

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After reading a lot of comment i think, planet carrying capacity must be tied to planet size mostly and not to housing, preveting gimmicky meta gaming.

It would make sense. The best idea is "potential housing", of course, an Oecumenoplis (or a Ring world) will have more housing so the planet carrying capacity must be bigger.
 
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I really love these proposed changes to the pop growth system. I think the empire wide pop growth should be affected additionally by the administrative capacity. This would be a counter to the increased pop growth by increased housing of a planet as every district consumes administrative capacity and thus it might be not as beneficiary to pre build too many districts.
 
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You can take advangate of that as long as you have the colonies to place those pops! otherwise, it shuts down. It also shuts down as you get more overall pops, so no worries!
Making build speed important is really adding depth! And empty housing needs upkeep, so this signals that a strong economy will grow pops faster! And that is correct!

Uh I don't think strong economy = faster pop growth is something to base the whole pop growth system on...

And I don't think you understand the maths behind this, unless the values have drastically changed the fact that pop growth is planet based means that always more planets = more pop growth, whatever values your housing/empire pop may be.

So indeed the new meta will be empty full housing planets with a starbase to serve as breeding grounds so that pops migrate (or you can just resettle them, if need be) to your real worlds.

I really like the overall reduction in pop amount, but the current "one pop growing at the same time per planet" system is the real problem here, as long as pop growth is planet based.

Also a planet that is at full capacity should see massive emigration rather than no more growth.
 
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Pop Assembly doesn't follow the logistic curve, it's (generally) slower but constant.
Is organic pop assembly affected by organic growth bonuses? Is there a line of technologies boosting it like there is for machine pop assembly?
 
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Wait, just +1% habitability for medical worker?! Are you kidding? It seems too small and useless
Do not forgot that we will have five medical worker per building.
+5 percent in total is correct I think.
In the current version:
* Gene Clinics give 2 medical workers.
* Cyto-Revitalization Centers give 5 medical workers.
That's 2% and 5% respectively.
I think Medical Worker habitability increase should be changed to +2%, with the total of +10% with 5 Medical Workers.
 
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Are there any changes to normal migration?
Also, will the Corporate building "Xeno-Outreach Agency" change to allow (unemployed) pops to move to your planets? That would be a cool way to "steal" pops from other Empires.
 
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That's a retrograde decision. What next cutting of game functionality - like system view and space battles to make the game to run a bit smoother? Seriously, the Dev team needs to get their priorities sorted. The fanboys can disagree as much as they want
 
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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.
I like the growth curve for pop growth!

Couple of questions here:
  1. Is the standard population growth at 1 pop the same as our current growth rate? I would actually prefer if it was a lot lower, so that colonizing new planets isn't such an enormous pop growth boost.
  2. Why slow down growth as the empire population increases, won't that produce strange results when conquering a lot of planets? If the objective is to end up with less pops total at the end, why not just reduce the baseline pop growth everywhere?
  3. Have you thought of just really amping up the emigration modifier (the one that's part of the growth modifier) when reaching capacity, rather than cutting down base pop growth itself?
  4. Overall, I don't see anything about migration (the growth modifier, not the pops moving around) here. How does it factor in?
 
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They're fairly similar. For Industrial things, change all the consumer goods jobs into alloy jobs. If it's a tier 1 resource generating job, hives get more of them.

Thank you for your reply!
Did you also take a look at Maintenance Drone jobs and amenities on Habitats for Gestalts? Currently they are pretty tight and have a very strange ratio with housing: you'll get tons of housing that you can't use, because you can't produce enough amenities to support the pops that would use it.
 
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I'm more positive about this update then previous ones, but I've got two major concerns:
1. Carrying Capacity will create a new, bizarre meta of trying to keep all planets half full. This is both stupid and micro intensive. If the goal is to reduce the number of pops in the game, just halve base growth/assembly and be done with it. This is a hacky fix that will cause more issues then it solves.
2. The new pop resettle system looks like it will break GTOS. Why? GTOS works perfectly fine at the moment; this update will make it much worse for no reason I can discern.
 
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I think the resettlement chance is a far better mechanic.

Assuming that it's a normal modifier that modded stuff can use, I have some plans for it...
 
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Pancakelord

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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.
tenor.gif


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.)

1605711370874.png
1605711378849.png
Nice! As cloned pops are now a thing, separate from grown ones, will they get an inherent "clone" trait and become a sub-species? (like robots, lithoids etc get their own)
Might be cool to make clones buffed if you take bio ascension - or maybe have "intra-species" tensions between clones and not-clones for certain ethos.
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.

1605711434441.png
Oh no this is terrible. People wont be able to argue over whether or not Gene clinics are useful in under 50/100 years or not! /s

I like the change. Would upgraded versions maybe also boost cloning speed?
If jobs follow a 2/4/6 pattern and we only get +2%/4%(no 3rd tier gene clinic) habitability, will there be some rare techs added (or maybe a buff to gene-ascension) that increases the habitability per-worker to, say, 2.5%?

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.
Might we see an origin for hives to start on hive worlds? - maybe also forcing hive-world preference on them? (as a small speedbump on galactic conquest).


How are clerks changing too, if there are going to be fewer pops overall?
Seeing as they're more like "pop-daycare" right now and mostly exist to soak up excess unemployed pops.
 

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Shouldn't Free Haven increase Auto Pop migration chance? I think it would make sense and it wouldn't be OP?
 
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Organic Pop Assembly.
HAAAALLELUJAH!
And a few new techs have been added to help compensate for lost productivity.
Why? As it stands now, the amount of productivity players can get is enough to brush off 25x crises. I think we could stand to have some lower endgame numbers.
All planets with free sapient unemployed pops that are not locked down by migration controls will have a small chance every month of moving
Still no word on making Pop Controls's +100 Emigration actually, you know, provide emigration? No? I'm not surprised.
 
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It all looks nice. Will we also get buildings/tech that boost trade?

Like a 5% repeatable tech there is for energy and minerals?
 
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I think Medical Worker habitability increase should be changed to +2%, with the total of +10% with 5 Medical Workers.
I don't think a building that you can build multiple off should have double the effect that the technologies have. +5% habitability can already make a huge difference.

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.)
I'd prefer it if the Organic Pop assembly got moved from cloning vats to Medical centers so that biological empires won't have to go Biological Ascension to use the assembly slot. That way medical workers would shift to the same class of job as Roboticist, as a biological alternative. And this could mean that you'd get the following natural disposition:
  • Biological Ascension: Medical Workers
  • Technological Ascension: Roboticist
  • Psionic Ascension: Either
 
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Uh I don't think strong economy = faster pop growth is something to base the whole pop growth system on...

And I don't think you understand the maths behind this, unless the values have drastically changed the fact that pop growth is planet based means that always more planets = more pop growth, whatever values your housing/empire pop may be.

So indeed the new meta will be empty full housing planets with a starbase to serve as breeding grounds so that pops migrate (or you can just resettle them, if need be) to your real worlds.

I really like the overall reduction in pop amount, but the current "one pop growing at the same time per planet" system is the real problem here, as long as pop growth is planet based.

Also a planet that is at full capacity should see massive emigration rather than no more growth.

No, I do understand the math. And you don't understand that those farms won't work, as their pop growth will slow down for 2 resons:
1. Pop growth is based of total empire pop count not just colony pop count.
2. You will get "unwanted" migration back into the housing planets from the rest of your empire as they will appear more desirable to unemployed pops elsewhere.

Also for authoritarians and slavers: This is a nerf, because slaves and livestock and such will tank your base species growth. OUCH!!
 
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The main reason might be that they want to keep the flavor of freedom of movement and choices to the egalitarian ethos. If they allow every ethos to equally automate relocation of pops egalitarians would lose a kind of "ID" card.

Fair point but I don't see it as forced relocation. The pop is out of work and goes somewhere else to find a job.
 
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I don't think a building that you can build multiple of should have double the effect that the technologies have +5% habitability can already make a huge difference.
You can't build multiple Gene-Clinics, they're a planet unique building.
 
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