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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A2ch0n

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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."
i know. I'm talking about the species revealed at the end. The silhouette doesn't macht to any existing portrait in the game
 
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Garatgh Deloi

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i know. I'm talking about the species revealed at the end. The silhouette doesn't macht to any existing portrait in the game

Again, The silhouette is not supposed to match anything, its supposed to be generic. You know a generic shape that could match any number of species rather then the actual silhouette of one of the portraits.
 
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Again, The silhouette is not supposed to match anything, its supposed to be generic. You know a generic shape that could match any number of species rather then the actual silhouette of one of the portraits.
Yes ok. But i had hoped it would always be the silhouette of the portrait we will discover later on.
 
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Eladrin

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How will the pop changes impact tech pacing and snowballing?

There's an impact. Since pops are a rarer resource, and there's a slight counter-snowball mechanic since each pop increases the cost of the next, it takes a longer to spiral out of control. (Which does make the game somewhat harder in some ways.)

Now, I don't expect that it will stop the most skilled players, but in theory it's a bit more challenging.

How much from dev diary 191 is going to make it in?
The changes listed there are in the 3.0 'Dick' update. (Though in Dev Diary 192 I listed some major changes we made to automatic resettlement.)

Is there a way to take a planet out of the outliner?
World Crackers are an extremely effective way.

Why not the "Philip" update :p
Stellaris updates have all used the last names of sci-fi authors.
 
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earlier iterations, which modifier was being referenced varied based on the exact circumstances, which muddled the stats a bit and made it difficult
Would you like to make your earlier complex version as mod?
I think it would be a great practice to release some rejected ideas as Developer's mods
 
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rubert

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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.

Hopefully this is not the only UI improved you have planned. Several UI dialogs (troop recruitment, colonization) are still terrible in a large multi-species empire especially with xeno-compatibility. Same goes for managing large amount of branch offices or creating new ones as neither has any UI at all to help the player.
 
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Mealya

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Can the star eater’s weapon be used to crack planets? It seems weird if it can’t since if it can blow up a star you would think it could blow up a planet. This would not make colossus useless since they still give the total war cb and have other weapon types whereas the star eater could only crack the planets
 
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World Crackers are an extremely effective way.

Great, three blues are answering my question and all three of them are trolling :p

I would like to keep the planet intact, in my control and with it's population unharmed, please.

But since you guys recognized that managing 70 planets at the same time can be a bit bothersome and made some mechanical changes to how often you have to visit your planets, it would be great if your UI team would build on that and actually let us move planets out of the PAY ATENTION TO ME! outliner once we are happy with them.

Beecause currently all your planets come before all your fleets, so sorting the unimportant/finished planets to the bottom would not actually make the UI any less cluttered with unimportant information and you would still have to scroll down all the way to your fleets, as soon as you own more planets than the UI can handle.
 
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Can the star eater’s weapon be used to crack planets? It seems weird if it can’t since if it can blow up a star you would think it could blow up a planet. This would not make colossus useless since they still give the total war cb and have other weapon types whereas the star eater could only crack the planets
In the VFX dev diary (#203) they showcased how the star eater operates. After eating/detonating a star all celestial bodies in the system are destroyed by the blast.
 

Alfray Stryke

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Great, three blues are answering my question and all three of them are trolling :p

I would like to keep the planet intact, in my control and with it's population unharmed, please. I just would like it to not be in the list of important things I care about!
(because currently all your planets come before all your fleets, so sorting the unimportant/finished planets to the bottom would not actually make the UI any less cluttered with unimportant information and you would still have to scroll down all the way to your fleets, as soon as you own more planets than the UI can handle.

Unfortunately, I don't believe you can remove a planet from the outliner in that way, but you can use the UI shown below to reorder the outliner so your fleets are displayed first.
1616066679716.png

The outliner can also be toggled to show the icons for the designations instead of the icon for the planet class.
 
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heres hoping they finally gave in and added megastructures to the outliner
I wish we could get this. Finding partially built megastructures when I have capacity to repair them and tracking multiple builds is something I find quite frustrating. I've always felt it was screaming for a section in the outlier.
 
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After seeing the patch's name i'll have to admit i'm very disappointed you guys didn't update xenocompatibility
This patch was the perfect chance for it and you guys blew it, for shame
 
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King Harkinian

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I wish we could get this. Finding partially built megastructures when I have capacity to repair them and tracking multiple builds is something I find quite frustrating. I've always felt it was screaming for a section in the outlier.

This is generally not a problem because they have a prominent symbol on the galaxy map... but unfortunately the game has a big problem in that it sometimes doesn't show important symbols like that because a different symbol takes precedence, such as a gateway.

That's a feature request by the way - please show every symbol even if it means having more than 2 of them (which is the most you can have at the moment I think).

Oh, and please show whether the system is inhabited SEPARATELY from whether it's occupied. It's currently very hard to find your enemy's planets after you've occupied all their systems, because the flag that normally indicates an inhabited system is overwritten by your occupation flag, for both inhabited and uninhabited systems.
 
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