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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Honestly, I like the clerk changes, but I can't help but wish they went a little further. I have always felt that clerks should be better than technicians or artisans etc in some way, if only because of how impactful trade as a concept is to real empires. There are numerous ways of doing it, whether giving clerks a 1% specialist output modifier, or making trade value increase corresponding to the proportion of your planet which is clerk jobs, so you can run pure clerks and be on par.

But I personally favor introducing an inflation mechanic. The player gets tons of resources, and stupid amounts of energy, magicked out of the ether, and energy in this game equals money. Its like every other province in EU4 being a gold mine. If you want clerks to be useful, keep them somewhat inferior for energy generation to technicians, but if the proportion of the energy created empirewide is too technician dependent, then you get a ticking inflation value which increases all upkeep in the empire(buildings, pops, fleets, pop jobs, etc). So technicians are optimal for energy, but are bad for your long term economy.
 
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Fixing how bad clerks are, improving the economic AI, and letting people adjust the empire-wide malus to acount for things like galaxy size, etc...

The only real change here is the one to clerks, the other are not balance changes. But I assumed you were talking about the building changes.

From the looks of the screenshot you can set it to 0

Yes, but I could already do that with a mod. The problem is that if the rest of the game continues to be balanced around a capped population, setting it to 0 does me little good. I'll just end up with an insane economy and a confused AI.

So I'll end up needing a mod again after all.

Giving in to a demand seems like a good way to shut down discussion. :D

Depends on how well reasoned the demands were. Games have professional developers for a reason. The forums are not the game design committee.

Nagging for performance improvements that can't be had isn't discussion. It's just nagging.

Those were a tiny fraction of the critical comments. Most were about major balance problems.
 
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Regarding the clerk balance: They are still not a very good job even at 4 trade value, and I won't suddenly start to construct trade centers or something, but I will probably no longer disable the ones I get naturally through city districts. They are still pretty bad, but no longer *so* bad that I would manually disable them.
 
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Nagging for performance improvements that can't be had isn't discussion. It's just nagging.

True, but asking the devs to look at other ways to limit pops than a straight empire-cap, isn't.
 
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Hey,
Have you already been taking a look at the events, that give you special jobs per 20 pop count on planets?
Those are in need of slight tweaking for a lower number I think.

Cheers
 
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[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.
I love the changes, but I think these changes will make the resource edicts even more overpowered.
You can get 6 energy + 50% - 0,5 = 2,5 or with bonusses 6 + 2 from building + 2 from machine empire - 0,5 = 4,5 ernegy extra for each job.
Maybe reduce these edicts from 50% to 25%?
 
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If that extra slider allows us to set to zero the empire grow penalty keeping all the other limiting factors in place (e.g. keeping the S local growth curve) that is exactly what I needed for my playthroughs. I know that there is a mod for that, but this addition will allow me to keep on playing vanilla if I'm after some achievement. Thanks for that.
 
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Yes, but I could already do that with a mod. The problem is that if the rest of the game continues to be balanced around a capped population, setting it to 0 does me little good. I'll just end up with an insane economy and a confused AI.

So I'll end up needing a mod again after all.
Population. growth. is. not. capped! Growth does not "stop" and there is benefit to getting bigger. Even before they rolled back the malus, you were still growing at a rate ~half as slow as in 2.8. I am sympathetic to your complaints about the insane economy and confused AI, but those are going to happen no matter what pop growth looks like. The empire-wide malus at least puts some brakes on mid-late game pop and resource inflation.
 
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No. This is acknowledging the fact that infinite pops kills performance, but that some players will ignore this reality and instead nag about performance improvements that cannot be made.

Now you have control, and those players can finally shut up.

Considering my save from 2.8 had an impossibly high number of pops for 3.0 and still ran with a better performance than in 2.8, I'm not buying that argument.
 
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Growth does not "stop" and there is benefit to getting bigger. Even before they rolled back the malus, you were still growing at a rate ~half as slow as in 2.8. I am sympathetic to your complaints about the insane economy and confused AI, but those are going to happen no matter what pop growth looks like. The empire-wide malus at least puts some brakes on mid-late game pop and resource inflation

Yes, it's not a direct cap. Nevertheless it has major balance implications, which have been repeated ad nauseam these past weeks.

Do these changes to anything to address the major balance issues the pop growth mechanics cause?
 
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Are clerk jobs from urban districts also reduced somehow?

Edit: to clarify, I see that the dev diary states clerk jobs from districts were reduced, but I am wondering how the 40% reduction relates to this.
City districts are probably still provide 1 Clerk job as a base, but things like Residential Arcologies, City Segments, and Trade Districts will see their Clerks totals being reduced.
 

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This all looks like a really positive and heading in the right direction. Looking forward to it.

I do think Paradox might come to regret adding the ability to turn off the growth modifiers in the settings. Creating an "opt-out" of the new mechanics is going to create a subset of players who are essentially playing a different "mode" of Stellaris to everyone else - a mode that will become more and more unbalanced/broken with every balance change to the "real" game. I wonder if "so in the meantime we're currently adding a quality of life feature that many people have been asking for" means those settings are just for the Beta and won't be rolled out to the proper release?
 
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Cymsdale

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This all looks like a really positive and heading in the right direction. Looking forward to it.

I do think Paradox might come to regret adding the ability to turn off the growth modifiers in the settings. Creating an "opt-out" of the new mechanics is going to create a subset of players who are essentially playing a different "mode" of Stellaris to everyone else - a mode that will become more and more unbalanced/broken with every balance change to the "real" game. I wonder if those settings are just for the Beta and won't be rolled out to the proper release?
They could already mod it out anyway. It sweeps all their complaints off the board so real issues can be addressed. I don’t really care if they choose to play an unbalanced game.
 
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mial42

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If that extra slider allows us to set to zero the empire grow penalty keeping all the other limiting factors in place (e.g. keeping the S local growth curve) that is exactly what I needed for my playthroughs. I know that there is a mod for that, but this addition will allow me to keep on playing vanilla if I'm after some achievement. Thanks for that.
Planetary logistic growth does not reduce pop counts at all. Planetary logistic growth dramatically increases pop counts.
 
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They could already mod it out anyway. It sweeps all their complaints off the board so real issues can be addressed. I don’t really care if they choose to play an unbalanced game.
That's what I mean. For people who desperately wanted to get rid of the new growth mechanic entirely, there are mods.

Adding it as an in-game option means there'll be threads every time a new patch comes out complaining that the new patch has "broken" the game for people playing with that setting turned on - and accusing Paradox of "not supporting" that setting. It just kicks the complaints down the road.

Anyway, I don't want to be too negative in this thread as I think the changes are really good and show a recognition of players' concerns. Just wanted to make that point.
 
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