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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This is actually visible from the occupation flag.

View attachment 694425

In this example, I fully occupy Ydria, but only partially occupy Rabinoc. The little spikes on the occupation flag show the difference.

I would add my voice to the chorus that those spikes are FAR too small. Do you all playtest at 1024x768 or something?

Is there a difference between fully occupying a system without enemy colonies, and a partically-occupied system with colonies?
 
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Good DD. Nice to see the iteration on the feature compared to the first showing. Even in that original DD, I struggled to understand the interplay between encryption, decryption and counter-espionage, so this seems like a good change. UI is looking decent too.

Very happy for the QOL changes to the outliner.

Given how much time until release I wonder if we will see one or two more DDs like this revisiting some older DDs to see how those things have been coming along (like pop growth/resettlement or industrial districts).
 
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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.
I have to say, your description of Hivemind economies matches neither my own experience nor what I've seen anyone else say on this forum. Are you sure that you just aren't playing in a way that causes energy problems for hives?
 
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Eladrin

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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?
Infiltration speed is scaled by a modifier based on the target empire's size. Larger empires are easier to build a spy network in. (Which also means that you'll be able to recover from an operation faster against a sprawling opponent.)

I would add my voice to the chorus that those spikes are FAR too small.
I was just pointing out that it already exists, not that I love how tiny the markers are.
 
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I'm going to go against the grain here and say that I like the fact that you can now only run one Operation at a time against a particular empire.

I do wonder, though... is this moddable?
 
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Alfray Stryke

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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.

One of my recent campaigns while looking at the economy was a lithoid hive-mind, and I can honestly say I ran into very few issues with my economy. The worst I suffered with energy income was when I suddenly needed a decent food income and was shifting drones to food production (and then I sold rare resources and minerals until my economy stabilised). Otherwise the most I've done that I would describe as micro-managing is disabling some excess maintenance drone jobs on my research and foundry worlds.
 
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Question: using console commands (to replace my millions of alloy buildings), is this save game compatible?

You'll run into a couple of issues as no-one in the galaxy will have industrial districts to produce alloys, but if you want to use console commands to fix every empire in the galaxy, the save should load. I wouldn't recommend this though.
 
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So in practice I imagine it won't actually reduce operations that much.
I think you're wrong. The real impact of parallel operations was the ability to weaken an target empire significantly with a kind of "alpha strike". I.e. Sabotage multiple starbases simultaniously. There are many things that would be much more effective at a simultanious level (if i'm willing to sacrifice some network level).

The new system is a heavy nerf tbh.

But maybe we get some kind of parallel operations with the expansion features. At least, this is the base system in the free update.
 
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One of these improvements lets you reorder planets in the outliner.

View attachment 694472

Our product manager, Simon, can now finally list his Mining 01, Mining 02, Mining 03 etc. planets in the correct, and fanatically organized, order.

A man after my own heart. No longer will my ME planets CORE EXTENSION 001, CORE EXTENSION 002, EXTRACTION CORE 001, etc... be listed out of order.
 
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1616082636405.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.
Where's the Operation to steal the genetic material of one of their leaders to clone? This is Nemesis isn't it? :D
 
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how might they be changed?
This was a 5min job in photoshop (admittedly I forgot to alter the sprite dimensions in the interface file, after increasing the canvas size, so it's slightly distorted)
View attachment 694473
View attachment 694474

Bear minimum, the color pallet would have to be swapped. I can tell you right now that people like me (color blindness) will have a lot of trouble distinguishing those from each other at a glance (aside from the size difference).
 
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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.

View attachment 694377
Relative Encryption tooltip. In this example, our Codebreaking is lower than their Encryption and their Codebreaking is higher than our Encryption.

View attachment 694378
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.

View attachment 694379
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.

View attachment 694380
Abducting aliens is no longer a risk-free undertaking.

View attachment 694381
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.

View attachment 694382
Planets will be reordered within the sector listing or planet listing, depending on which option is active.

View attachment 694383
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!

Can't wait to get my hands on the Dick!

oh w8
 
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