Stellaris Dev Diary #211: 3.0.3 Beta Updates

Hi everyone!

Thanks for the tremendous participation within the 3.0.3 beta branch and for all of the feedback that you've been providing.

For those that are interested in joining the beta, you have to manually opt in to access it. Go to your Steam library, right click on Stellaris -> Properties -> betas tab -> select "stellaris_test" branch.

This week we'll be talking about some more changes that we're planning on pushing in the near future to the 3.0.3 beta branch concerning further balance updates, AI, and more. These are highlights of some of the things that will be in the full patch notes and not intended to be a comprehensive list.

Bug Fixes and Further Balance Updates

From fixes to the end of the Cybrex precursor chain to correcting edict deactivation costs, we've fixed a number of issues that you've found and reported during the beta. Thank you for reporting things in the Bug Reports forum.

Regarding the economic changes, one of the common themes in the feedback has been that the sheer number of jobs in the game are too high, and we agree. Clerks are especially notorious for this, since in many cases you would rather actually see them unemployed and moving to a more valuable position elsewhere in the empire. We're taking some preliminary steps to reduce the number of jobs and changing things to focus on increasing productivity instead.

Here are some of the changes you'll be seeing soon:
  • [Balance] Reduced the number of Clerk jobs provided by buildings and districts by 40%.
  • [Balance] Clerk trade value has been increased to 4.
1620222575947.png

  • [Balance] Buildings that increased basic resource production and added jobs to basic resource producing buildings or districts (Energy Grids, Mineral Purification Plants, etc.) now increase the base production of the relevant jobs by 1 or 2 based on tier instead of their previous modifiers. Machine empires still gain the extra resource district slots as before.

1620221727568.png


Yes, "Livestock" counts as a "Food producing job". (Or minerals, for Lithoids.)
  • [Balance] Manufacturing focus buildings (factories and foundries) no longer prevent the other from being built on non-Ecumenopolis planets, and no longer add jobs to Industrial Districts. They instead increase the base production of alloy or consumer goods producing jobs by 1 or 2, with a corresponding increase in upkeep.
1620222368228.png

Secondary resources like Alloys do require more inputs to produce more, however.


Balancing the number of jobs and their output will be an ongoing task, expect future updates to have additional changes.

AI Updates

We're making some updates that will have significant changes to AI behavior that should improve the effectiveness of AI opponents, as well as some changes to reduce the impact to your empire if an AI were to take control of your empire for a short duration in multiplayer.

These changes give the AI a greater focus on economic stability and improves some research related behaviors, but are also a work in progress and will continue to be updated in future patches.

We'll put up a 3.0.3 AI Feedback thread once it's live so you can let us know how you feel about these changes.

Population Growth

We're continuing to make adjustments to the current population growth systems in the game, and are exploring additional changes. Some of these are longer term initiatives, however, so in the meantime we're currently adding a quality of life feature that many people have been asking for.

1620222442422.png

Logistic Growth and Growth Required Sliders in Galaxy Configuration

These sliders will allow you to adjust the variables related to the bonus a planet can provide through logistic growth and the amount that pop growth increases per empire pop using sliders in Galaxy Configuration instead of needing to edit defines or use a mod to do so. Please note that these sliders can have major impacts on both performance and balance. Existing saves will use the default values. (Which can themselves be overridden in defines.)

Non-English localization for these changes will not be available in the beta as soon as the changes are up, but will be added shortly afterward. Apologies for the delay!

That's all for this week. Since we're currently in a post-release cadence (as well as next Thursday being a holiday in Sweden), the next Dev Diary will be two weeks from now on the 20th of May.

See you then!
 
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Mik_C

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I wish we'd keep jobs the same and try having the default pop growth penalty be 0.25.

Originally that was the plan.

With the jobs change this means we're going to have more building slots taken up by the alloy/consumer good buildings. The old "Building = more jobs per district" with halved pop growth penalty might have been adequate.
That was in the beta of the last week and the overall feedback was that the production levels were too high and that there were a ton of jobs.

But betas are for that: to test and to provide feedback by playing instead of providing feedback to a dev diary.

Also, like the last beta there will probably be changes after its feedback.
 
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Incompetent

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Some kind of Clerk buff is absolutely needed, but I'm not sure about the balance between trade and amenities. With only 2 amenities, they're still extremely weak on that side without various traits and discounts, seeing as the pop itself consumes 1 amenity. A spammable worker job that makes 4 trade is a big opportunity for "trade builds" (i.e. Megacorps and Merchant Guilds), but for the majority of empires that aren't trade builds, Clerks are still going to be inferior to Technicians (+ Artisans) + other amenity sources, and it takes Clerks away somewhat from what made the job concept unique.

A very trade-focused job encourages you to make "trade worlds" that are basically just spicy Generator Worlds. If you went the other way and made Clerks into maintenance drones, that would also be bad, because then the job becomes a game of getting exactly the minimum number to keep amenities positive, with any jobs above that being effectively wasted. The joint trade/amenities role is more interesting: to use them properly, you want to gather the trade income *and* have other kinds of pops benefit from the amenities, which breaks with the usual meta of hyper-specialized colonies. It also creates a tension between concentrating them around the capital (for easy trade collection) versus spreading them out to provide amenities for all your colonies. It means there is real synergy in the whole trade network aspect of the game. Changing them from 2 to 3 amenities (so each Clerk can look after at least two pops other than himself, amenity-wise) would make a huge difference in this context.
 
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[Balance] Manufacturing focus buildings (factories and foundries) no longer prevent the other from being built on non-Ecumenopolis planets, and no longer add jobs to Industrial Districts. They instead increase the base production of alloy or consumer goods producing jobs by 1 or 2
Are ring segments affected by this change as well? If so this may heavily impact gestalts' ability to mass peoduce alloys since they can't build Ecumenopolis
 

AlphaAsh

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"Infinite pops/infinite growth" is such a strawman phrase that has only onw use: shut down real discussions, and I think you are wise enough to realize that. You need to acknowledge two facts:
  1. PDX technically can accommodate "infinite pops" by overhauling the pop system, similar to how they abolished the tiles system and went to the job system.
I'm not acknowledging that as fact, because it most definitely is not fact. If they overhaul the pop system, they shed a bunch of players, including me. Such a rethink needs a Stellaris 2. Which I am in no rush to have.
  1. Before 3.0, vast majority of players don't play to a quantifiable "infinite pops" stage in their game to notice performance hits.
There are ideas from mods that PDX can implement better without having players worry about sliders. For example, stop AI's obsession of creating sub-species (even with Xeno Compatibility turned off) and passively merge subspecies to reduce visual clutter and job calculation strain.
I have already stopped the AI's obssession of creating sub-species. This doesn't fix performance issues caused by infinite pops. It isn't a strawman phrase - it's a convenient title for summarising the relevant issue.

Providing sliders to the player gives them the control over their tolerance for pop impact on performance. The game cannot cope with infinite pops, so you get sliders. Which is better than arbitary hard-coded presets you cannot change. Or a gazillion defines tweaks flooding the workshop.
 
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Koopa

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out of scope of the betas and i guess you will not make a complete overhaul again but have you tested and thought about a complete overhaul of the system with a very low max pop count? i thought about planet size = max pop plus city districts add 1. (other districts add none)

something along those lines.
 

Panzerslothen

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Hey since you guys are increasing trade value of the clerks, perhaps you should take a look at Managers. They are currently putting out 3 trade value, 2 society and 3 unity. Maybe bump that up to 4 trade value to match.

Just seems like kind of a weird to go from 4 trade value with Clerks, then down to 3 trade value with Managers and then back up to 6 trade value for Executives.
This implies that the typical Manager is equally as productive as the typical Employee. Anyone who has spent any serious length of time in the corporate world can tell you this is seldom the case ;)

The term "failing upwards" exists for a reason, heheharhar.
 
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tremor3258

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I'm not acknowledging that as fact, because it most definitely is not fact. If they overhaul the pop system, they shed a bunch of players, including me. Such a rethink needs a Stellaris 2. Which I am in no rush to have.

For the record, and in warning, there has already been a massive population overhaul in the game from the old planetary system, so it seems the business model has survived it before.
 

mial42

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Please reconsider how you're adding the bonuses to jobs via buildings. Doing it in the job definition makes it a compatibility nightmare and makes applying that model to other jobs or other buildings a massive pain. Doing it via economic categories is much better and not difficult, but since you can't overwrite individual economic categories, it's something best done by PDX. Just adding technician_produces_add, metallurgists_produces_add, and equivalents for other jobs would be amazing.
 
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grommile

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Just adding technician_produces_add, metallurgists_produces_add, and equivalents for other jobs would be amazing.
better would be:

job_produces_add = { job = some_job effect = { some_product = 1} }

on the other hand, there is real value in being able to look at a job's definition and directly see what all its base output modifiers are.
 
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mial42

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better would be:

job_produces_add = { job = some_job effect = { some_product = 1} }

on the other hand, there is real value in being able to look at a job's definition and directly see what all its base output modifiers are.
That would be even better, but the economic categories are already in the game and really, really easy to change (like three lines in the text file). I wouldn't bother asking for this if it were possible to overwrite individual economic categories or even job definitions, but since you can't do either one anything including an "add" modifier is extremely difficult to handle in a compatible way via modding.
 

Kruzenstern

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I really wish they would go even further towards making the decision about whether to create a new colony or not a hard one. Right now it is a no-brainer, more is always better and I don't like that. New colonies should be a resource drain and grow slowly for a significant time, putting your empire at a disadvantage for some time as opposed to not having created it. Maybe forcefully resettling pops should cost a lot more than it does and also cause significant and lasting unhappiness in both the pops sent away and those left behind. Would also make staying at the sweet spot of the logistic curve all the time (and thus really making it superfluous) a lot harder, which I would consider a good thing.
 
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Ketrai

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Okay, spreadsheet time. Click the link for a detailed break down of the image numbers.
Here's the comparison results.
1620405561800.png

If you modify your entire empire, you can make clerks more efficient than having technicians, culture workers, artisans and entertainers. This however, doesn't make them very viable for non merchant guild empires, as they miss out on a large amount of potential bonuses. (mercantile, trade league being the most notable, and the merchants to further boost income)

I suggest adding either commercial subsidies, or making clerks unlock more merchant jobs as long as they're employed. (Ex, 10 clerks cause one extra merchant job to appear, but only if those clerks are all employed) This would make the job type more competitive if you're not stacking bonuses like crazy as I am here.

Naturally, the non trade jobs have been given easily feasible bonuses, but exclude a couple extras you can gain from specific builds. It doesn't benefit or hamper any other side that much.
 
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HugsAndSnuggles

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These sliders will allow you to adjust the variables related to the bonus a planet can provide through logistic growth and the amount that pop growth increases per empire pop using sliders in Galaxy Configuration instead of needing to edit defines or use a mod to do so. Please note that these sliders can have major impacts on both performance and balance. Existing saves will use the default values. (Which can themselves be overridden in defines.)
But we still have to use mod to remove "High Pops" debuff, I see.
 

Cymsdale

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I really wish they would go even further towards making the decision about whether to create a new colony or not a hard one. Right now it is a no-brainer, more is always better and I don't like that. New colonies should be a resource drain and grow slowly for a significant time, putting your empire at a disadvantage for some time as opposed to not having created it. Maybe forcefully resettling pops should cost a lot more than it does and also cause significant and lasting unhappiness in both the pops sent away and those left behind. Would also make staying at the sweet spot of the logistic curve all the time (and thus really making it superfluous) a lot harder, which I would consider a good thing.
This has been an issue for a while because the tradeoff for a new colony is so small. They have an energy drain for a while, but the long term benefit always outweighed the short term loss so it was never a thing to think about.

I know Stellaris is not Civ, but I think it makes a good comparison in some ways. In Civ, why do you not just build a new city all the time? Well, building a settler ties up a city from building something else, so there is often a large opportunity cost in doing so. You're not growing the city that is building the settler, you're not building a military unit or some other improvement to that city itself.

In Stellaris, the only question you have is "can I afford a colony ship right now?", and the answer is almost always yes.
 

Kahldris

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I think the building changes are very good in terms of balance, but I do have to ask as someone in the middle of a playthrough on the already released Beta... will the previous Beta remain available as something like 3.03.1? Even though I like the changes, I don't relish the idea of seeing them completely throw out the jobs balance my current empire has
Your playing on the beta branch man, all bets are off!
 

Pornek

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Okay, spreadsheet time. Click the link for a detailed break down of the image numbers.
Here's the comparison results.
View attachment 715783
If you modify your entire empire, you can make clerks more efficient than having technicians, culture workers, artisans and entertainers. This however, doesn't make them very viable for non merchant guild empires, as they miss out on a large amount of potential bonuses. (mercantile, trade league being the most notable, and the merchants to further boost income)

I suggest adding either commercial subsidies, or making clerks unlock more merchant jobs as long as they're employed. (Ex, 10 clerks cause one extra merchant job to appear, but only if those clerks are all employed) This would make the job type more competitive if you're not stacking bonuses like crazy as I am here.
You generally dont care about culture worker and entertainer jobs though.
 

Ketrai

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You generally dont care about culture worker and entertainer jobs though.
Entertainer jobs are the best jobs for amenities. Culture workers are the only job type that's universally available to all empires for producing unity, which is relevant for specific builds. You could run this with priests or memorialists, clerks would STILL be superior at producing unity. There's additional benefits to be had here, like the complete lack of upkeep, and the ability to save building slots. As well as being able to build trade worlds on like, 10% habitability tomb worlds. Because guess what, trade is only influenced by habitability when it comes to stability.
 

Gobla

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Okay, spreadsheet time. Click the link for a detailed break down of the image numbers.
Here's the comparison results.
View attachment 715783
If you modify your entire empire, you can make clerks more efficient than having technicians, culture workers, artisans and entertainers. This however, doesn't make them very viable for non merchant guild empires, as they miss out on a large amount of potential bonuses. (mercantile, trade league being the most notable, and the merchants to further boost income)

I suggest adding either commercial subsidies, or making clerks unlock more merchant jobs as long as they're employed. (Ex, 10 clerks cause one extra merchant job to appear, but only if those clerks are all employed) This would make the job type more competitive if you're not stacking bonuses like crazy as I am here.
You're calculating Thrifty wrong.

Thrifty is not 25% increased trade. It's 25% increased trade from pop jobs. Except that in the game % increased trade from pop jobs doesn't actually exist and thrifty as a trait simply adds base trade to relevant trade jobs.

A thrifty clerk produces 5 trade base. As such thrifty is multiplicative with all those other modifiers instead of additive.

So your 4 optimized clerks are producing 22,2 energy and 11,1 consumer goods and unity. Of course as has been mentioned literally nobody uses culture workers and even then you're not counting their society research output. Nor are you taking any kind of upkeep into account.

3 optimized clerks vs 1 technician, 1 artisan and 1 entertainer is a much fairer comparison, as those every empire will almost certainly have.

Assuming stratified living standards our 3 clerks will produce 16,65 energy, 8,32 consumer goods, 8,32 unity and 6.9 amenities while costing 3 food and 0.3 consumer goods in upkeep.
Our other jobs will produce 17.36 energy, 14,56 consumer goods, 3,54 unity and 11,5 amenities while costing 3 food, 2.3 consumer goods and 6 minerals in upkeep.

So our optimized clerks are 6 minerals and 4,78 unity ahead but 0,71 energy, 4,42 consumer goods and 4,6 amenities behind.

So which of those is better? And if clerks are better are they good enough to warrant all the investment made into them.

Personally, I don't think they quite make it if you're looking for the optimal empire but you certainly wouldn't shooting yourself in the foot by focussing on trade.
 
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