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 mostly care about the economic rework and the pop management changes. This is your chance to fix the Hivemind energy economy. Because of their terrible Energy output, Hiveminds are deep in negative Energy output for the first 50 years and must sell food to get by.

Everyone knows Hivemind economy is extremely micromanagement intensive, because you need to produce only food and keep selling that food daily on the market to keep it at high price. This could easily be fixed if you Increase the base Energy output of pops and decrease the base food output to be the same level. Machine Empires are of course drowning in Energy credits. And so are regular empires because the best use of artifacts from archaeology is to just sell them.
 
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Good to see. By the way, can we confirm that the pop numbers have indeed been scaled back, as per the November dev diary?

Just a bit worried about performance with the new mechanics.....
 

Medu Salem

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Meh. Last-minute cutting part of announced and already shown off prime features due to it being deemed "adding unnecessary complexity" (we are playing Paradox games, anyone who plays them knows what hell they are getting themselves into) could be considered a bold move, not to say a "****"-move, especially after some people probably already pre-ordered it. It's like Vader changing the deal all the time.

But apart from that I am looking forward to the economy and pop growth update. Kinda think you should have done it for research districts too because they also take up way too much space in building slots. Research districts could have been done with relic worlds. Or even be features on some planets with archeological sites etc.
 
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This is actually visible from the occupation flag.

1616075440657.png


In this example, I fully occupy Ydria, but only partially occupy Rabinoc. The little spikes on the occupation flag show the difference.
I have to agree with the others, this genuinely hurts my eyes, particularly when panning around and looking at like 20 stars. It's basically "pixel hunting" given how small they are and how easily they fade into the background sometimes.

Maybe make the icons bigger?
1616077098484.png


Or shade the space underneath the system itself in your empire colour [i assume purple based on the border to the right] or just green (for occupied) and amber for unoccupied?
1616077331946.png


Or bring back the dynamic border colours? (i imagine this would take a bit more work) when there are 2+ empires contesting a system?
1616077423085.png
 
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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.
Could we get an option to nest starbases by type?

For example planets can be nested based on their sector (everything in core goes in a tab, everything in rim sector goes in another tab etc)

could we get the option to have all shipyards in 1 tab, anchorages in another, tradehubs in a third and unspecialised in a fourth?

I really only look at shipyards regularly, checking the others as and when they need upgrades.
 
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Those changes seem to devalue espionage a lot. Only one operation at the same time and an additional waiting time because of the "significant hit to Infiltration"
 
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GREAT DLC TO PLAY RPS !!!!!!!!! :eek:
 
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I've been holding out hope that the espionage addition will allow criminal syndicates and Subversive cults to hide their branch offices on people's planets, rather than everyone knowing about them. Is there any chance of that being the case? Or are they still as they were (aside from the new first contact system)
 
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Not crazy about the removal of counterespionage. Is the events associated with them gone too? I liked the idea of being able to catch other empires with their hand in my intel cookie jar.
 
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Those changes seem to devalue espionage a lot. Only one operation at the same time and an additional waiting time because of the "significant hit to Infiltration"
Well, the significant hit to infiltration was already in the game. And while I'm not a fan of the removal of multiple operations, having enough "bandwidth" of excess infiltration would let you launch the next operation immediately (or at least sooner) despite the loss of infiltration, and then build it back up while the operation is running. So in practice I imagine it won't actually reduce operations that much.

Personally, I really liked how encryption/decryption was it's own comparison, and then counter-espionage separate. I did never get a chance to actually play with the system though, so I'm guessing it wasn't as interesting as it seems from an outside perspective.

Not crazy about the removal of counterespionage. Is the events associated with them gone too? I liked the idea of being able to catch other empires with their hand in my intel cookie jar.
It's not that they scrapped counterespionage. It's that the specific bonus "counter espionage" that like hive minds get, was removed. Encryption is the stat you need to stall operations and catch hands in cookie jars.
 
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I really don't like the hard cap on 1 operation at a time per empire, please re-visit this devs. I'd say 3 would be a better number, heck even havng 1 as an expandable soft cap might work if done correctly.
 
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I really don't like the hard cap on 1 operation at a time per empire, please re-visit this devs. I'd say 3 would be a better number, heck even havng 1 as an expandable soft cap might work if done correctly.
scale it with the size of the target empire imo. 1 per target empire's sectors (everyone has 1 core sector, at least), or per every 10 systems or something like that.
 
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scale it with the size of the target empire imo. 1 per target empire's sectors (everyone has 1 core sector, at least), or per every 10 systems or something like that.
I don't think this makes much sense. Surely my ability to conduct intelligence operations should depend on the size of my own intelligence service. Why would all of my spies become three times as productive just because I started spying on a country three times the size of my previous target?
 
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