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Stellaris Dev Diary #194: Intel

Hello everyone!

Last week we started talking about some of the changes we’re making to establishing first contact, and as promised, today we will continue talking about how you can learn more about alien empires.

All of the things we are talking about today is work in progress and may not accurately reflect the finished product. That said, we still want to hear your thoughts and read your feedback!

Background
It always felt like there was so much missing potential when it came to learning more about alien civilizations in the game. We didn’t like that you had so much information as soon as you established communication with an alien empire – all of their borders would be revealed, and the diplomatic window would reveal most of the other information. We aim to change a lot of that.

We want alien civilizations to feel more mysterious and unknown. We want the experience of learning more about alien empires to be an equally important and fun aspect of exploration.

Fog of War
As we briefly showed last week, we are making some changes to fog of war, and what type of information you will be getting about other empires.

You will no longer see all of the systems and borders occupied by the empire you have recently contacted, but it will now instead be tied to how much Intel you have. This really makes alien empires feel way more mysterious, which is something that we really like.

1606994201224.png

The information on the empire to the galactic south-east is very limited. We can see their homeworld and the borders explored by our science ship.

1606994215499.png

The galaxy as seen from the yellow empire in the top-right. There are a bunch of empires that we know very little about, and there are still more that are undiscovered.

Intel
Like mentioned above, our primary objective is to make alien empires feel more mysterious and unknown. We wanted to hide information and allow you to learn more about other empires as you gain more Intel on them. Our goal is to make the Intel game a part of the exploration aspect of Stellaris.

1606995038428.png

An alien empire recently established communications with us. Friends..?

Let’s take a look at how we have designed the Intel game to work.

First off there is Intel, which is a value between 0 and 100. You have a current Intel value, and you have a “target” Intel value, up to which it can grow. You usually have an Intel floor, which is the lowest value it can be, depending on a couple of factors such as:
  • Diplomatic Pacts (Research Agreements, Commercial Pacts etc.)
  • Trust
  • REDACTED (doesn’t look like anything to you)

1606994226596.png

Depending on things like diplomatic pacts, trust or other things, your Intel will grow over time.

Intel Categories
Information is split between different Intel Categories, such as Government, Military, Diplomatic, Economic, Technology. Categories can have different Intel Levels as well, ranging from None to Full. The Intel categories and their levels are what determines what information you have access to. Here are some examples:
  • Low Government Intel (Intel: 10) would reveal basic things like empire name, authority, ethics, capital location.
  • Low Military Intel (Intel: 40) would reveal starbases and relative military power.
  • Medium Government Intel (Intel: 40) would reveal civics and origin.
  • Medium Diplomacy Intel (Intel: 50) would reveal the opinion breakdown and let us see which diplomatic pacts they have with other empires.
The Intel you have on another empire heavily influences the Intel Categories, but it is not the only driving factor. It is also possible to have a higher Intel level in a certain category than what you would normally get from your level of Intel. One such example is Intel Reports, and we’ll talk about some other examples in future dev diaries.

Intel Reports
Intel Reports allow you to gain more information in a certain category, on a timed basis. It would be, for example, possible to gain an Intel Report which lasts for 720 days and gives you a High level of Military Intel, whereas otherwise High Military Intel might require you to have 80 Intel on the empire.

Stale Intel
It is said that knowledge is power, and intel is a form of knowledge. Power usually fades, and so does Intel. It is possible to lose access to information that was previously accessible. In some cases, this information will now be displayed as stale.

1606994248796.png

Intel, now in the scent of working from home for months.

The last information you had about the empire was that they were far weaker than you on many accounts, but perhaps they have strengthened their fleets by now? Stale Intel can also mean that you may no longer see if the borders for an empire change or not.

-------

That's it for this week! Hopefully you've gained some Intel into how the game is changing for the upcoming expansion :)
 
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So will there be ways to counter other empires gathering intel on you? shadowy organisations to remove unwanted agents and the like and maybe incorporate the ethics into it a bit like having xenophobic empires very resistant to intel gathering efforts.
 

Tshi

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I always thought that many strategy games miss the point of espionage systems. The typically load them with up with annoying sabotage options, when their main point should be intel gathering. At the same time this information is typically given for free to the player (especially in stellaris, but also in other games like Endless Legend, where you get free detailed statistics of every known empire with the default settings). This announcement really excites me.
 
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Shaeliss

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Am I the only one hoping that Crime would finally become meaningful with the Intel system, and to integrate Enforcers in the game?

High Crime or, if the Worm had smitten you, crime events, would make enemy espionage actions against you a lot easier... It would also be awesome to not be omniscient as to your Internal affairs... What if, instead of Crime, you would see Arrest Rates and visible crime events? Sure, Arrest Rates would be linked to Crime... But your Enforcers could be slacking off, be bribed (thus arresting less criminals than they "should"), or on the contrary be overzealous (and Arrest Rates would be greater than Crime... With negative effects on your population's Happiness and thus compliance, to say nothing of enemy intelligence agents being able to find turn coats more easily), and you could have a Planetary Decision to set up some Internal Affairs Review that could turn up such discrepancy? The Deep Space Blacksite seems like the perfect building to gather information on planetary ongoings, also (as long as the Enforcers are not slacking off) turning a planet into a police state (distinct from the Police State Civics, we're "merely" talking "Oh my Worm, how many Precincts are there?". I have actually had a planet with 1 of of 3 Pops being Enforcers. And then an unemployment event created a Criminal Underworld there...) may help counter intelligence efforts (and not just by reducing the crime vulnerability)...

TL;DR: I wish we would get the following features: not having full info on our planets, Enforcers possibly being less than loyal, Enforcers playing a part in counter intelligence, crime facilitating enemy intelligence gathering on planets, retooling existing resources (pop jobs, buildings, civics...) for passive intelligence gathering and countering enemy intelligence on our worlds, and a more proactive (but costly) way of gathering information if one suspects something is amiss.
 
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Shaeliss

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......... Please please please give us an option for supporting insurgents... Sending a General as an advisor (so that when the Rebellion occurs, the General would lead it), smuggling supplies and propaganda to not only seed dissent, but also give buffs to the local rebels (better trained armies, maybe a few extra "volunteer squadrons" from your own armies mixed in the fray, though if the rebellion is quashed the fact that bodies belonging to a species other than the local pops would be a dead giveaway that *someone* helped (and multicultural empires would have an advantage here: if the dead bodies are of the main species of another empire you are also enemies with, they're going to loo, more suspicious than you...), maybe Propaganda could make your Empire's Ethics more attractive to the locals (and opposed ethics pops generate more armies than same ethics),
 
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Will this be something that actually lasts into mid/late game? The biggest downside to other forms of exploration is that they have by and large ended 25% into the game which makes late game really stale.

Will this affect the ai at all?

Will it be a design goal that everyone will have 100 Intel on everyone late into the game?

Will Intel strength scale with regular strength?

This creates an opportunity for stealthy civilizations that hide in the shroud or in void craft.
 
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StellarisFan1

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Remove resource viewing in Trade Deal (Resource Growth) and offer an alternative to espionage. PARADOX !!!!

There is no point in spying "!!! if you see resources in the trade.
 
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Soooo, no Dev Diary 195 today? It's 12:10...

This is a great shame, I've been looking forward with uncomfortable excitement to the next Dev Diary all week!
 
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Soooo, no Dev Diary 195 today? It's 12:10...

This is a great shame, I've been looking forward with uncomfortable excitement to the next Dev Diary all week!

Dev Diaries don't always get posted at 1pm CET. They tend to vary, fingers crossed we're still getting one because the new updates look very interesting.
 
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I require Dev Diaries to live.

Please, Paradox, don't let me die.

Dev Diaries don't always get posted at 1pm CET. They tend to vary, fingers crossed we're still getting one because the new updates look very interesting.
I shall continue F5'ing, but shall do so less furiously now. Credit where credit is due, they've done a stupendous job of getting them out nice and early lately.
 
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Soooo, no Dev Diary 195 today? It's 12:10...

This is a great shame, I've been looking forward with uncomfortable excitement to the next Dev Diary all week!
That one will be AMD, so there must be a delay. Stellaris plays better on Intel.
 
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That one will be AMD, so there must be a delay. Stellaris plays better on Intel.
Could you do me a solid and time-travel back to Summer 2018 to be able to tell me this BEFORE I completely rebuild my rig around a Ryzen 5 - just for Stellaris?

Not that it's a bad CPU or anything, but I'd sure like to keep the core temperature and annoying cooling system noise down now! ;) Hahahah
 
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This is ok for me.
This means that the next diary will be even better!
 
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We all know what the next diary will be: "Sorry folks, this is a short update - we're going on holidays until mid-January, hope you can bear with us until then! See you in the new year" etc etc. ;P
 
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"Hey Stellaris Fans!

No Dev Diary this week. Please don't hurt me.

See you again next week!"

copyed from Discord
 
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