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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.

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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.)

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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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This dev diary is the best we've had in a long time. So good that I had to make an account to talk about it, it may make the game playable again.
The pop growth changes are huge, they are not as realistic as I would have prefered but it's still miles better than what we have now and if they reduce lag I welcome them.
The migration changes are a godsend, simply as that.
Are there any plans to not completely abandon the idea of automatic migration between empires in a migration pact and instead make it an option on galaxy generation? It's an interesting direction that not everyone would want to always deal with but could be fun to have a couple of games with it (like xenocompatibility).
 
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To solve the issue of irrealistic pop growth, where you gain more pop by having 5 planets with 10 pops each than you gain with 1 planet with 100 pops, couldn't we put the pop growth directly on the pop ? Like each pop "produce" other pop ? Just like each pop consume food, they also produce commercial value and pops, and the bonuses apply directly on that pop production rather than having a pop growth based on the number of planets/habitat you have. That way, overpopulation could be a real issue, and an empire won't be the strongest just because they have more habbitat and therefore more pop growth. I know it could create performances issue, but I think it could be a way to solve the pop growth problems, and make the game more realistic.
 
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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
How? Pops are a big performance drain, reducing their overall count just helps reduce that. And there is something to be said about cutting back on bloat. The core functionality remains the same, you just have less pops across the board. They're still working jobs, you still have a district/building system, what exactly is bad about this?

This can't be equated to outright cutting space battles, because you're implying the devs would strip them entirely rather than reworking how they're handled (e.g. reducing fleet sizes and how calculations work), which is what's happening here.
 
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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?
2. Because it would drag down the early game more than late game. It's in the late game where the pop growth needs to slow down (rather than increase which is currently the case).
This would also slightly slow down the wide snowball effect, which might help against the situation where you're balls deep into repeatables before the Khan awakens.
 
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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
Take that comment elsewhere kindly please. I want to play on large and huge galaxy settings with full habitability and smooth game proccessing.
 
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My main question about the DD is this: How will these changes affect Necroids? They got a special treatment of pops, so how will it be affected by the changes? :)

There will be a lot of patch notes.

Thanks for that :D

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

:(

those fewer pops are still capable of producing the work of more on a developed planet.

The idea of reducing the pops to fix performance is something people have discussed a lot here on the forums. Is good to see that you have found a way to do that without destroying the economy :)

and now also applies the Ring World Habitability Preference to your pops.

Good :D
Except that the changes on ring world segments, you have halve the number of housing and jobs they provide while almost keep up the construction cost. All in all there is no changes to the ring world. Kinda i was expecting more? Like a buff? I don't know :)

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

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But the agent 007 Blorg, James Blorg will return on:
Minning districts Are Forever :D

Finally espionage. I really want to see what you do with that :)
By the way, no wonder the BlorgNet gets breached if it uses windows 98 :p
 
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Thank you for your work. This is an interesting and welcome change.

Suggestion: Make a pop an administrative unit that change size with planet population. So, every time there is a new pop on a planet, each pop on that planet corresponds to more individuals. This means all the production and costs will increase by a few percents (buildings and sectors will need a mineral upkeep cost to account for their development, as well as a similarly scaled storage capacity). With an increase of 4.5%, a planet with 1 pop would have an economy of, say, 1 million individuals. A planet with 100 pops would have an economy of 10 billions individuals. By changing this increase percentage, you could set a full planet at 50 pops without changing balance, reducing the computation needs. This would make the game much more realistic in terms of development differences and sheer mass of a fully populated empire. This would permit to increase the costs of mega structures and colossus to a more realistic level. The ships performance could be similarly scaled by adding a mechanic saying a "ship" is in fact of squadron. I calculated the military ships below Titan are probably more 20 ships + 5 support vessels. You could add a variable for the ship number in a squadron, make the squadron lose ships (and firepower) when the hull points are too low. The only way to go back to full squadron would be to send reinforcements. The squadron size would be tied to the empire naval capacity. This change of scaling would probably cause a rebalancing of the whole game, but would be worth it and would not have CPU costs.

Suggestion: Lost crew mechanic => When a ship is lost, a part of its naval capacity stay used for a few years, because the crew died. There would be technologies/traditions to improve this (escape pods, on-ship medical facilities, rescue ships, automation...). You could also have policies: Current design; Empire-like design => More firepower at the cost of more naval capacity; Mon Calamari-like design => Less naval capacity cost, more health, but you need to put a lot of engineering research in a special project to activate it.
 
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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!!
This isn't a nerf for slavers at all. They still get manual resettlement with no influence cost, and having more slaves is a good thing, since slaves are so much more productive. You only need/want enough main species pops to serve as rulers, with robots as enforcers/entertainers and slaves doing everything else.
 
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Organic pop assembly line... Blade runner event chain when?
 
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regarding to the basic job buildings (energy nexus and co), imho shouldn't need advanced ressources, when upgraded to lvl 2. You need many many mines, farms or energy production to make the +10% (from lvl 1 to 2) job effeciency useful. It must effect about 25 pops with this basic ressource type to be useful. ( 25 pops * 4 base ressource production * 10% effic gain = 10 base resource cost of 1 = 10 base advanced ressource cost

edit: at least the advanced ressource upkeep should go, the inital build costs could stay ...
 
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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.
Would there be any possibility of a migration option along the lines of "yes but only to planets this species already exists on"? As it stands you way too often get low (<70%) habitability pops showing up on a planet and then monopolising (and tanking with their <100% habitability penalties) your growth until they reach their 'quota', and the only way around this is turning migration off completely - when, in fact, migration would be fine (and even desirable) between planets the species already inhabits.

Are the Ecumenopolis's and some of the Habitat's resource production districts supposed to have a bit of surplus housing? Currently, and for most of the post-tile planet economy, resource production districts have provided only enough housing for the jobs they create, meaning you need housing districts to house pops for buildings.
With the Alloy Foundry / Civilian Industry buildings (and now planet specialisations too, apparently) giving bonus jobs per district, it's possibly that they're lowballing the initial district job count so that you'll end up with housing = jobs on planets dedicated to that resource.
 
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1. Pop growth is based of total empire pop count not just colony pop count.
This doesn't affect how you setup any 1 planet though, right?

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.
That only happens if the "pop farm" planet has jobs available, right?
 
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Lorenerd11

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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.
I think by default, Organic Pop Assembly should remain exclusive to Clone Vats. Instead we could make the Clone Vats building available as soon as Cloning tech is researched, with no Bio Ascension requirement.

My initial suggestion was also for Clone Vats to produce a Cloner job that produces Pop Replication (Organic Pop Assembly) from Food, rather than the building itself operating without any pops.

Instead of unlocking the Clone Vats building, the 1st Bio Ascension perk would then add +1 Cloner jobs to Clone Vats, giving it +2 Cloner jobs in total, and perhaps also add +1 Cloner job to Gene Clinics, making Organic Pop Assembly commonplace in Bio Ascended empires.

I don't however like the idea of Gene Clinics producing Organic Pop Assembly without Bio Ascension.
 
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Spaceception

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regarding to the basic job buildings (energy nexus and co), imho shouldn't need advanced ressources, when upgraded to lvl 2. You need many many mines, farms or energy production to make the +10% job effeciency useful. It must effect about 25 pops with this basic ressource type to be useful. ( 25 pops * 4 base ressource production * 10% effic gain = 10 base resource cost of 1 = 10 base advanced ressource cost

edit: at least the advanced ressource upkeep should go, the inital build costs could stay ...
Well, you gain a job per district, so I think it works fine. 8 districts and a building should net 17 jobs for lvl 1, and 18 jobs for lvl 2.
Plus it's 15 and 25%, not 10%.

Before it was just 1/2 jobs, and the production bonus, but the same upkeep.
 
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Ethanol

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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!!

1) Nope its growth cost that depends on empire pops, not the growth in itself, and pop assembly is not affected by that so having two additionnal parallel pop production lines, one of which is unaffected by empire pop size will always be a better choice whatever the state of the planet.
2) You're missing the point, pops only move to planets that have jobs and don't emigrate if they have one, so the whole purpose of breeding worlds is to have plenty of housing and no jobs so that they want to leave but not come back.

The problem here is not necessarily the new system, its a great improvement, but the fact that as long as each additionnal planet gives an additionnal (two now) pop growth line you will always be shooting yourself in the foot by not settling whatever colonisable thing lies within your space.
 
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Can you stop butchering your games for the sake of the vocal minority of toaster abusers?
 
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I can understand the perspective of a couple of posters here. The "number" of pops e.g. say a high of 130+ and a low of 10 is what gives more long standing value/economic difference to a empire. If someone loses one of their core systems, that can literally half or more their economic output but the same can't be said for taking their frontier systems/planets.

If you make this number smaller, you're making "developed/matured" planets more inconsequential to a less developed one.

I like that it will help fix performance and I sure would love to see a Huge map at late game but I'm unsure whether its "worth the sacrifice" and may take a way an aspect of the game that a lot of people like. So I can understand the perspective that this seems a "easy way out" and a case of being "convenience" over direction.

I honestly think making this an option of a galaxy setup would be a smarter option. I can't imagine you guys are are "done" with doing more performance enhancements or are you? It sounded like what you have done is only a small, tentative step forward. So this seems very abrupt with the messages we had been receiving lately "on-going performance"

Hopefully you are just testing the water...
 
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I can understand the perspective of a couple of posters here. The "number" of pops e.g. say a high of 130+ and a low of 10 is what gives more long standing value/economic difference to a empire. If someone loses one of their core systems, that can literally half or more their economic output but the same can't be said for taking their frontier systems/planets.

If you make this number smaller, you're making "developed/matured" planets more inconsequential to a less developed one.

I like that it will help fix performance and I sure would love to see a Huge map at late game but I'm unsure whether its "worth the sacrifice" and may take a way a core part of the game that a lot of people like. So I can understand the perspective that this seems a "easy way out" and a case of being "convenience" over direction.

I honestly think making this an option of a galaxy setup would be a smarter option. I can't imagine you guys are are "done" with doing more performance wise, are you? It sounded like what you have done is only a small, tentative step forward.

Well if you, for exemple, do a division by 2, this is exactly the same effect.

Losing a 25 pop planet in a 100 pop Empire is exactly the same as losing a 50 pop planet in a 200 pop Empire.
So you could still lose half or more of your economy
 
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Shirasik

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Also never going to get Necrophage dlc unless they make it compatible with Hiveminds.
Hmm.. does any DLC content interact with content of another DLC directly in Stellaris? If not, then I guess this is due to technical limitations of game engine. If so, then there will never be such a thing as necrophage gestalt. :/
As well as there no reason to buy Necrophage DLC as it will always be in the same contentless frame as gestalts.
 
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