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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I'm a huge fan of the way you're handling this beta branch thing. I think balance changes like these are really useful to get the community's input on, and the way you're doing frequent updates with dev diaries associated with them feels, to us, like things are moving and grooving over there.

I wish you could have beta branches like this of upcoming patches that'll accompany a dlc, BEFORE the dlc comes, to iron out balance and bugs before a dlc gets crap reviews mostly because of an accompanying patch.
 
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Question on these changes, what will the impact be on Machine Empires? I often find I'm building numerous reasearch or admin buildings just to fill out jobs spots since the pop capacity of planets are there to fill them. Is a way forward to address this for other empire types also being looked at?
 

DrNukeLear

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I'm a huge fan of the way you're handling this beta branch thing. I think balance changes like these are really useful to get the community's input on, and the way you're doing frequent updates with dev diaries associated with them feels, to us, like things are moving and grooving over there.

I wish you could have beta branches like this of upcoming patches that'll accompany a dlc, BEFORE the dlc comes, to iron out balance and bugs before a dlc gets crap reviews mostly because of an accompanying patch.
Even if there's no attached DLC this should happen first, not after.
 
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Seems these changes are on the right track. I'd still strongly reccomend getting rid of the logistic planetary growth curve and letting the empire-wide growth malus take care of slowing down pop growth; that'd simplify things and remove the incentive to micromanage the growth curve.

One minor concern, since basic resource production is apparently buffed pretty heftily, is there going to be a balance pass for consumption? Stuff like food is pretty easy to produce now. Additionally, a pass at tech cost scaling to make it harder to blaze through the tech tree by midgame would be most welcome.
Yes I think as long as there is still a planet base growth it will always be better to play wide and settle anything on sight no matter the habitability or to spam habitats. I don’t know about others but I would prefer that you need to do actual decisions what and when you settle instead of more is always better. eg if you no longer can build mineral districts or your planets start filling up.


Can we get some society techs that increase trade value production from jobs similar to other resource techs. Get a building that increases trade base output and make a change so that all resources modifier includes trade? Even with the boost to clerks they are still bad. I would like if there were the possibility to build an economy based on trade if you gather modifiers for it like as a xenophile mega crop.

Currently the bad value per pop for clerks gets worse and worse as the game progresses because other resources get output bonuses from tech/ascension/buildings while it is very hard to get a trade bonus.
 
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I was really, really enjoying not having to meaningfully interact with trade.

To make this a meaningful post, turning off all my clerks on the regular made me realise how much I didn't really enjoy engaging with the trade mechanics. They're neat in theory but in practice they're just kind of fiddly and easily gamed.
 
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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
 

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This is finally the changes I like to see. Instead of artificial pops limitations, you reduce the number of jobs. You are going in the right direction!

Except that this makes clear that the artificial pop limitation is here to stay. If they wanted to get rid of it, they'd have done it.

Introducing a slider is likely the death knell for any meaningful revision of the concept, since now all criticism can simply be waived by pointing out that the system is optional.

From where I stand, this dev diary is strictly bad news for anyone hoping for a different approach to economic balance.
 
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Really happy to see updates like this going forward. A lot of my frustration was a lack of iteration and work on balance. The fact you left synthetic ascension so much more powerful for so long was really annoying. These kinds of betas seem like what the game needs. I would like to see more attention to ethic and ascension balance though.
 
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Will we be able to get rid of the planet base growth with the sliders? I enjoy the logistic growth and the reduced growth per pop in the empire but absolutely do not like the existence of planet base growth.
 
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Unless I'm misunderstanding that thread has the bug fixes that were in 3.03 at release. But in the dev diary here it's mentioned that a bunch of bus reported during the beta have now been fixed. Those are the ones I was asking about.
I understand what you mean, but we will have to wait the release of 3.0.3 for that, not in a little info update DD like this one.
 

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Given the increase in upkeep and production could we have the upgrade UI show the change at the planet level? For example; on a planet with 6 metallurgists the UI would look something like this:

1620303521100.png


This would be a small time saver that would let you see, at a glance, how upgrading a building will change your overall mineral/alloy income, without having to swap to the jobs tab to check the number of metallurgists and times them by two.
 

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I like the changes but, at least in the short term, the removal of clerk jobs will hurt Syncretics and/or slavers even more. They have a silly surplus of worker-only pops already. I'd love for some worthwhile changes here. For example, some way of limiting slave pop growth to thrall worlds through species rights.
Thematically, it makes very little sense to me that you can't somehow control the slave population to a useful level. It's also very finicky from a gameplay perspective right now.

On a side note, could we please have a way to resettle pops through the Planets and Sectors screen? The best would probably be some kind of drag and drop of the pops shown there, but I'd settle for a way to choose two planets as a shortcut to the current resettlement screen. Having to remember the names of two alien sounding planets and going back and forth to the planets because I forgetting.. It's a bit of a pain.

By the way, why aren't the frontier sector planets listed in the Planets and Sectors screen? Could we get that in there?
 
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Jman5

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I'm really loving those Clerk changes. Going from 2 to 4 trade value makes them a lot more viable than before. Looking forward to testing them out!
 
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