Stellaris Dev Diary #205: Announcing the 3.0 ‘Dick’ Update

Hello everyone!

I hope the word about the release date for Nemesis has already reached you, but in case it has somewhat eluded your perception, here is a refresher:

Nemesis will release on April 15th, and here is the second story trailer:

As per usual, our expansions are released together with a significant free update, and this time is no different!

We’re happy to announce that Nemesis will release together with the 3.0 ‘Dick’ Update on April 15th! The update is of course named after author Philip K. Dick, famous for works which inspired, among other things, movies like Blade Runner and Total Recall (which also happens to be one of my favorite movies!).

Why 3.0?
We felt that the changes introduced with the new Intel system and the reworked First Contact system has enough impact on how different the game feels to warrant the change. Early- and mid game feel quite different now, in a very positive manner. Alien empires feel so much more mysterious, and charting the entire galaxy is no longer so easy. Changes like the pop growth system and the addition of industrial districts also felt impactful enough to want us to make the change.

Going forwards, we’re also gearing up to be able to be a bit more agile and deliver updates to the game a bit more frequently. I don’t want to make any grand promises quite yet, but 2021 is looking to be a very good year for Stellaris!

3.0 ‘Dick’ Features:
  • New Intel system
  • Reworked First Contact
  • Reworked Pop Growth
  • New Industrial Districts & some changes to production of Alloys/Consumer Goods
  • New Espionage system & Gather Intelligence Operation (other Operations will be a part of Nemesis)
  • Numerous bug fixes & improvements

Espionage Update
The Espionage system has undergone some changes since the Dev Diaries that previewed them. Based on playtesting and qualitative feedback, we simplified a few of the systems that seemed to be adding unnecessary complexity or were difficult or awkward to understand. The way Encryption, Decryption, and Counter-Espionage all interacted were one of these points of frequent confusion, so we decided to scrap Counter-Espionage entirely, renamed Decryption to Codebreaking, and apply standardized rules when using them:

Encryption is always used as "Espionage Defense"
Codebreaking is always used as "Espionage Offense"

In earlier iterations, which modifier was being referenced varied based on the exact circumstances, which muddled the stats a bit and made it difficult to tell which one would help you more when you're attempting to infiltrate an empire. We renamed Decryption in order to further reduce confusion. Relative Encryption is used often in the system, and will now always compare the "offensive" Empire's Codebreaking with the "defending" Empire's Encryption.

1616066569235.png

Relative Encryption tooltip. In this example, our Codebreaking is lower than their Encryption and their Codebreaking is higher than our Encryption.

1616066587607.png

The refined Operations UI. Envoy on the top left, Infiltration Level (current/max) as progress bar & value. Intel categories in the top-right.

We've streamlined the Operations UI significantly, reducing the sheer amount of numbers associated with a network and the Operations themselves. As part of this streamlining, we've removed the concept of spy power and bandwidth, so it's no longer possible to run multiple simultaneous Operations on a single Empire simultaneously - you'll have to run them one at a time. This change also alleviates a problem we had where it wouldn't always be immediately perfectly clear which mission random events were affecting, so the "mental burden" of running Operations is lower.

Upon completion, Operations will now almost always cause a significant hit to Infiltration to represent lost contacts and heightened security. Operations also used to have varying difficulty per chapter - we've standardized them so we can now list the Operation difficulty on the UI, and let you know if you have an Asset that is especially good at this one.

First Contact Update
Although not much has changed with the system itself since we first showcased it in dev diary #193, there’s still some changes that can be interesting to see.

1616066605514.png

The finished first contact UI. The silhouette in the bottom-right is supposed to be generic, and will reveal a portrait once you’ve progressed far enough into the first contact chain.

Early hostilities can now lead to pre-contact conflicts as well. If you anger a neighboring alien civilization, there’s the chance that they will come and visit you.

More aggressive empires like fanatic purifiers or devouring swarms are also less likely to take your encroachment into their lands very kindly early on.

1616066627081.png

Abducting aliens is no longer a risk-free undertaking.

1616066643790.png

It seems like they weren’t too happy about our abductions…

Outliner Update
We’ve added some small quality-of-life improvement to the outliner. One of these improvements lets you reorder planets in the outliner.

1616066662736.png

Planets will be reordered within the sector listing or planet listing, depending on which option is active.

1616066679716.png

The outliner can also be toggled to show the icons for the designations instead of the icon for the planet class.

With these two options it's now possible to list all your planets as you wish, and to show the designation icons. Our product manager, Simon, can now finally list his Mining 01, Mining 02, Mining 03 etc. planets in the correct, and fanatically organized, order.

---------

That’s all for this week folks! I hope you’re as excited for the upcoming Nemesis release as we are!
 
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I have a question... how many more Operations are there than the ones we've already seen? Or have we seen everything?

How many in each category?
 
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Pale Blue

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So the espionage system become just like in other games were random number rolls against random number until something bad happens to the spied on empire. I hoped for something more engaging.

Will criminal megacorps/subversive cults have some special missions/effects to make them fun to play as and against?
 
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Mealya

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Can't wait to play this 3.0 "big" update
 
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Bayes

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How much from dev diary 191 is going to make it in?

 
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mial42

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I am... so conflicted about this update. I love the modding changes, the first contact system, the new intel system, and the outliner reorganizing. I hate the economic restructuring for being pointlessly disruptive and smashing every economic AI mod into tiny little bits. I've been mostly won over by the new pop resettlement system, especially since it should be easy to mod it to be faster while still having much better performance than current GTOS, although I still think it's way overcomplicated. I am profoundly ambivalent about the DLC and about espionage, neither of which matter to me at all. Still haven't decided whether or not I'm going to update to 3.0; probably depends on whether or not Starnet gets updated, although maybe I'll make a 3.0 version for myself if Salvor doesn't.
 
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Is there a way to take a planet out of the outliner?
 
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I have been browsing for a few hours now to buy me a new CPU. If we're going to play, we're going to do it right! All the way to the end game and beyond!
 

Thecarlocarlone

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I love the changes to how espionage works. Really seems more streamlined and less complex, all without removing choices.

Complex can be fun, but only because it adds more options. We are playing a game, not solving math problems.
This is why I also love the changes to how we can list planets! Damn, micromanaging should be hard because you are undecided on what to do, not hard because you have to scroll a infinite list over and over!

I can't wait to try it.

PS: I know that "Dick" is supposed to be the author, but it made be laugh. Especially since pre-contact conflits are a "Dick" move, since they couldn't be done before this update.
 

Askorti

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I'm not a fan of the change to make it only possible to have one operation against a particular empire at a time. It feels completely arbitrary and gamey.
 
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Second Question:

I've matched this hidden portrait

1616071868617.png

with any existing species portraits in the wiki and game (clothes and profile) and i can't find any match.

Am i just blind or is this something new?
 
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Garatgh Deloi

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Second Question:

I've matched this hidden portrait

View attachment 694407
with any existing species portraits in the wiki and game (clothes and profile) and i can't find any match.

Am i just blind or is this something new?

From the text below the picture "The silhouette in the bottom-right is supposed to be generic, and will reveal a portrait once you’ve progressed far enough into the first contact chain."
 
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