Stellaris Dev Diary #217 - Custodians Feedback and Q&A Transcript

Hello Stellaris Community!

Since the announcement of the Custodian Initiative, we’ve seen a good many posts on things that you would like the Custodian Team to work on, and we have big plans for the things that we want to work on, and feel that can be improved in the game. The Community Team has been working on a plan to collect feedback on exactly what the Community would like the Custodian Team to work on, as well as a plan for targeted feedback on things that we’re actively planning on working on. We’ve gone through a lot of iterations on this, however a lot of the ideas we came up with involved “reinventing the wheel” so to speak -- that is, adding on second (and some cases third) platforms to monitor and moderate, as well as collect feedback from, and then load into our internal tracking system for consideration/implementation.

In the end, we’ve decided to separate feedback into two distinct categories: Solicited Feedback, and Community Feedback.

Solicited Feedback

While we were coming up with ideas for Custodian team feedback, we were also running trial feedback threads on the forums. This worked so well, that the feedback threads will be staying. They will be potentially moved into a separate “Feedback” subforum with only Paradox Employees being able to create posts, but all forum users will be able to reply. These directed feedback threads will follow the same general format that we’ve used for previous feedback threads.

We will be exploring options with the forum admins, such as using reactions to gauge which replies are the most popular and using this as an additional metric for our feedback collection.

It’s important to note the timeframes that we will be using: Game development is a long process, and it’s rarely as simple as Developer writes content -> content passes QA -> content gets pushed into the live build of the game. In most circumstances, the development of a specific feature is a months-long process, in which the framework of a feature is laid out in documents before code is ever written into the game.

The initial design stage is the best time to collect Community feedback, as no work has been done on the feature yet. While this is good for development, it’s important to mitigate community expectations with regards to the timeframe, generally, we will be gathering feedback for patches that are 1 to 2 patch cycles in the future.

Using the Lem Update (named for Stanislaw Lem) as an example, the design for Lem is basically finished at this point, and the design for the update following Lem is well underway (spoiler alert: it’s going to be smaller than Lem -- Lem had significantly more lead-time, and is much broader in scope than most Custodian patches will be going forward).

However, over the next few months, we may post Feedback threads on exploring various topics that may be for the patches coming after the Winter update. It’s also important to note that when we do Feedback threads on topics, there is a chance that those proposed changes may never happen, this circles back around to gathering feedback for things that are planned to happen so far in the future.

Community Suggestions

This is something we were hoping to crop up around the forums, and of course, we were not disappointed! We’ve seen a good many threads with proposed changes for the Custodian team, and we love all of it! However, collecting feedback from dozens of different threads, with no metric on what the community likes/doesn’t like is time-consuming, and would rapidly chew up Community/QA work hours without remorse, leaving no room for making memes and testing the game.

This is another situation where we got caught “reinventing the wheel”, with a bunch of proposals at the end of the day which would be more work than just using the framework we have that already exists on the forums.

While we want to gather this feedback from the Community, we also don’t want to get into a position where the Community is expecting a feature to be implemented because of x number of upvotes, there are many factors that go into determining when/if a suggestion will be implemented.

Our plan going forward is to use the already existing Suggestions forum for this type of Community Feedback, and then at the end of every patch cycle, the Community team will do a report for the Custodians team on what Suggestions were the most-upvoted Suggestions of that patch cycle, at which point the voting will be reset.

There is no guarantee that anything that appears in this report will make it into the game, and it’s important, again, to talk about timeframes and mitigate expectations, as I’ve said previously, the scope of the designs for the upcoming patches are generally worked out long before any of the code is written, and suggestions can potentially be fit in as “extras”.

When adding suggestions to the suggestions forum, it’s important to keep in mind the scope of the changes you’re suggesting and the scope of the work that the Custodians team will be doing, as well as the time allotted for them to get their work done. Grand sweeping changes which include time from artists, programmers and content designers, are less likely to be considered than small changes like “add x button to the UI”, for instance. However again, as I said previously, we don’t want to guarantee that any sort of suggestion will be used in the game, however, we want to let you know that we are reading them and the community suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Q&A Transcript

We held our first Dev Q&A on the Stellaris Discord last Wednesday. Thanks to everyone who showed up and asked questions, we had 185 questions asked in the hour the questions were being accepted. We answered ~40% of those questions, and there were only 12(!) rejected as inappropriate, which, I think, is a phenomenal number and the community really deserves praise for being so respectful of the Devs and their time.

The Devs had a lot of fun doing this, and we hope to do more of these in the future. As promised, here’s the full transcript of the Q&A:

Question by ResCXsention:
Any chance for more unique events to be added?
Answer
Of course! We are always looking to add more events. For instance, there will be a few more that a player can randomly encounter as any empire coming up in the Lem update.
Answered by
Caligula

Question by Val:
With the announcement of Custodians can we expect the balance and diversity of player builds to receive more attention, especially since Stellaris have a noticeable multiplayer scene?
Answer
Yes
Answered by
Caligula

Question by Naysmith:
With Become the Crisis, we got a new wincondition beyond last empire / score, and a new crisis. Are there plans for more winconditions and crises?
Answer
No current plans, but we think the idea of victory conditions like we added in Nemesis was fun. Doing it allowed us to explore the ideas further, so it makes it easier to explore in the future.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by Serwerty:
The CORE Stellaris problem is a "technology rush" gameplay. All are tied to technology, but technology isn't tied to anything. My question is simple when technology will depend on the economy (technology require certain materials), buildings (specialised research labs -> only social or physic or engineering), or other way's to get science - like conquered worlds will give bonus science or steal technologies)?
Answer
We don't currently have any plans to add more specific resource requirements to technologies, especially ones that are very much rng-driven. But we are considering several different options for making a tech rush not quite as oppressive as it can be right now. No promises for now though.

Answered by
GruntsPlayground

Question by Solo:
While it be possible for people playing multiplayer to co-op play empires in the possible future?
Answer
No current plans, and I'm not sure how difficult it would be to make that work. Some of our other games do support it, so I imagine its not too far out of the realms of what's possible. We love the idea of being able to play co-op on the same empire tho.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by MathyM:
Are there improvements to UI coming? Specifically to add more keyboard shortcuts, so I can use a mouse and scroll wheel less. It’s really hurting my hand at times :(
Answer
Time and again UI comes up as something people want improved. I myself use tiny UI at home How we're going to go about improving is up in the air but expect more on it.
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by caboosecorsair:
What plans are there to add more ship sets or section types to the game?
Answer
By ship sets, if you mean the ones we add in new species packs, then yes. We'll keep making more ship sets while we have good ideas for them. It's very unlikely we'll add more ship sections, however, since that would need to be added for each already existing ship set. It's just not worth the cost.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by ThatGuy:
[Could we see larger maps for next gen consoles and further mp and sp optimization]
Answer
unfortunately we are the PC Stellaris team and don't have any insight into that :c.
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by RHS0:
How are you today?
Answer
Very good, thank you!
Answered by
pdx_fkirsek

Question by Helicopter200:
Will Hivemind and Machine primitives will be added in the game?
Answer
Not planned right now, but added to my idea notepad. Like the idea of regressed robots.
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by Naysmith:
I heard something about possibly getting to pick Traditions beyond the default replacements. Any more information on that?
Answer
We'll talk more about the new tradition trees in detail after summer, but I can hint that Mercantile is one of them.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by Liggi:
Are there any plans to revisit piracy mechanics? Or potentially add some QoL like splitting fleets + patrols in the Outliner?
Answer
Nothing specific to talk about yet, but something we are discussing.
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by Solo:
What are the current plans for future additions to old species packs if there are any?
Answer
With Lithoids and Necroids, the extra content such as traits and origins we added alongside the species portraits has been received very well, so with the Custodians initiative, one of our aims is to get Plantoids and Humanoids closer to the level of these two. There will be more dev diaries soon outlining some of the additions!
Answered by
Caligula

Question by Cloudread:
Will major expansions, such as utopia and apocalypse, receive updates by the custodian team? Or will it just be species packs?
Answer
It mostly depends on what the Custodian team thinks can bring value to the players. If the Custodians have good ideas, or are passionate about improving something, it can be from any DLC. It should be worth to keep in mind, however, the actual value you are providing. A popular DLC like Utopia might be less appropriate for improvements vs. a DLC that is less popular.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by smokey03:
will there be more vanilla mega structures planned
Answer
Nothing yet. But not a bad idea.
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by ThatGuy:
[ Is it possible we may see new types of ships such as a frigate? ]
Answer
It's very unlikely we'll add new ship types due the reason that they would need to be added for all pre-existing ship sets, which would make it very costly and time-consuming.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by Confederacy Of Osprania:
will we ever get an ability to become a fallen empire if we progress through the game enough?
Answer
Being a Fallen Empire doesn't really fit in the current gameplay loop, at best it would represent your empire after "losing".
Answered by
pdx_fkirsek

Question by Reedstilt:
Will any of the new material from the board game make its way into the main game? For example, the board game is adding a new "Time Master" Crisis - could we see something like that appearing as mid-game or end-game Crisis eventually?
Answer
No current plans, but we're certainly not opposed to it. The specific example of a Crisis may be more unlikely, depending on how complex it is.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by Turelus:
now that older packs are getting some additional love, will Synthetic Dawn get any new machine portraits as it's currently the most lacking in options with all being tied/linked to base species types?
Answer
Synthetic Dawn is kind of a mini expansion on its own right now. If we revisit it, I think the priority will be on things like machine uprising and the like. But definitely not against the idea of more portraits.
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by Guilliman:
Any chance some time gets allocated for more traits in general? I am enamored by the new artificer trait. I LOVE the roleplaying aspect of a trait changing a job name as well as provide the bonus! More traits that change job names and functions to cool things would vastly expand the roleplaying aspect.
Answer
Obviously I won't spoil our future plans, but in general, we agree, its a very cool way of adding flavor and a little bit of uniqueness to certain empires and possibly even add a new playstyle. So, its definitely something I could see us adding more in the future.
Answered by
GruntsPlayground

Question by Ben the Fox:
As a big fan of Hiveminds, it appears that there is sadly not a lot of content for them in the base game and it's rather disappointing. Are there any plans to add more content for them in the future? (Such as new civics, orgins, ascension perks, etc).
Answer
Since Hive Minds are a part of Utopia, and not the base game, it makes it difficult to add new content for them in future DLCs. We don't want cross-dependencies and requirements between DLC if we can avoid it. That said, it doesn't mean we can't or won't add new content for Hive Minds. It's an example of something the Custodians could improve.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by Metames:
What are your plans with the game now?
Answer
Our plans is to keep making Stellaris bigger and better!
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by Asiak:
Is there any chance you would reconsider the proposed Admin Cap removal and Unity buy down idea?
Answer
Nothing is written in stone, if we implement it and it's rubbish in our internal testing then it'll be dropped. But we reserve the right to make unpopular decisions
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by Darkwing:
Question from a modder's perpective: Why is it that species rights and diplomatic actions can not be added by script? I reckon there must be some reason behind it that's not immediately obvious.
Answer
When something cannot be added by script, it's often because the content works in specific or heterogeneous ways that cannot be done in script in a practical way. Some diplomatic actions have their own UI for example, which can only really be done in code. We could perhaps make it possible in the future to let modders add diplomatic actions and species rights that are more generic and don't require code support, but the system is not designed around that and it's not something that we are currently working on.
Answered by
Ansou

Question by Dragon of Desire:
What is the dev's official "canon" difficulty? For instance, in the trailers, what difficulty do you guys think it is set to? Also, what's the dev's recommended difficulty setting?
Answer
Ensign. No bonuses to the player or AI. settings wise just the default settings as you boot up the game.
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by Asbeltrion:
Have you considered to allow players to chose how many crisis they want in their game?
Answer
Although we love the idea of multiple crises, it's not something we can promise. Crises are very complex content systems that are very time-consuming to work with. Allowing multiple Crises would sort of mean we support it, which may be a can-of-worms in terms of how much support it may need to not break due to many edge-cases.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by Just Jank:
Would there be dedicated servers for PvP/PvE hosted at select times for people who struggle to find people to play with?
Answer
We link to several fantastic discords that will help you find games: #paradox-interactive-roleplay #paradox-community-discord #weekend-stellaris-club
Answered by
MrFreake (Stellaris CA)

Question by MathyM:
are there any plans for more Machine portraits? with every empire having robots, those tend to collide a lot
Answer
Nothing concrete, but once we figure out how the communication between the custodians and the community will work. Just keep asking
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by Liggi:
Espionage has a great base, but feels a little empty currently. Are there plans to expand the number of Operations available for Espionage? And/or beef up the current ones?
Answer
Espionage is a new system that we added that is expandable through adding new operations. When deciding on what to work on next, we consider the different types of content that we have, and Espionage is one of the types of content that we could consider in future updates.
Answered by
Ansou

Question by Solo:
Are there any ideas for new mid game and/or end crises planned or spoken of as of currently?
Answer
Without entirely ruling it out, something we have found with the variety of existing midgame and endgame crises is that maintaining them has been quite challenging. So, what with the complexity of the task of also adding a new crisis, at the moment our time is probably better spent making the existing crises work better.
Answered by
Caligula

Question by Cloudread:
Just curious, how high on the priority list is adding a new crisis?
Answer
Probably very low, due to how complex and expensive it can be to create that type of content. It may not be worth it, compared to other things (like adding content to Hive Minds, or new events etc.).
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by XtremerXtr:
why we do not have any advanced plagues mechanics?
Answer
It would be quite complicated to implement, and has significant risks of not being very fun - experience has shown us that people do not like losing their shiny planets and pops, so having this happen on a regular basis may well be angering to many. That said, we can never say never.
Answered by
Caligula

Question by Farbros:
Is there any plans about adding missing hotkeys (for example to ships menus doesn't have any), letting players change them?
Answer
No specific plans at this time, but it is the type of improvements Custodians could look into.
Answered by
pdx_fkirsek

Question by tr33:
With the new Industrial District, it is easier for the AI to build up the Ecumenopolis Decision conditions. Are their any plans to make the AI actually use it?
Answer
Yes, we are hoping to address this in one of the Custodian team patches (probably not the first one, though)
Answered by
Caligula

Question by ASpec:
Stellaris seems to be entering a new era with the team knowing exactly what the game is. Has this always been the case? Was there a period where there was a struggle on where to take the game itself? And in extension of that has this changed from game director (Henrik, Martin, Daniel) to game director?
Answer
Working on Stellaris has definitely been an exploratory progress for a long time. Even though I think we have a much better idea of what Stellaris is now, than what we had 5 years ago, we are still learning and still trying out new ideas. Stellaris still has lots of room to grow and to change. In terms of how its changed between game directors, it's a bit harder to say. Each director has things they personally like, which will influence how the game is developed. In terms of Stellaris, its very hard to say how the game would look if Henrik Fåhraeus would have still been game director, for example. From my perspective, having been on Stellaris since a long time ago, I think Stellaris has had some form of "natural" progression in terms of how its evolved.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård


Question by Darkwing:
Who are the custodians and how is their team structured?
Answer
The Custodians are just members of the Stellaris team who are assigned to it, not anything outsourced, external etc. The QA team is a subteam that still reports to me for example. Structure right now resembles mostly the same as the Expansion team, however we are very much aware that framework will need adjusting for the more regular release cadence.
People on the Custodians Team are also not locked into working on the next patch either, it's a fluid environment and people can move around.
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by WizardLizardScoot:
are there any current plans to improve stability and reduce lag in the mid to end game? Maybe some that can also improve consoles?
Answer
Performance is a continuous point of improvement. I'm rather happy with how things run right now, but we are constantly optimising.
Things will not slip back again however, we're taking great care that each release never decreases performance
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by MONEY LLC:
With potential changes to/replacement of admin cap (fingers crossed), will bureaucrats just vanish from the game?
Answer
In my current experimental branch, bureaucrats are the Unity-producing jobs. Culture Workers are gone, and Priests or Managers are swaps of Bureaucrats where applicable.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by Perthro:
Are there plans to expand on some already existing events and systems. Like the Fallen Empires or Ground Combat for example?
Answer
Improvements to existing systems and events, like you've mentioned is the type of thing Custodians are looking into. But there are no specific plans for Fallen Empires or Ground Combat.
Answered by
pdx_fkirsek

Question by Pbever:
Are there any plans to adjust fleet compositions so players don't build anything but battleships with the best technology?
Answer
While I disagree that its only Battleships that are worthwhile right now, the fleet meta has become quite stale and especially Destroyers and Cruisers are underutilized compared to what we would like to see. We are considering our options in that regard, brainstorming, reading through feedback, experimenting. Don't expect a quick solution in the near future. It's a delicate issue and we want to actually fix it and not just turn the Meta-Wheel to the next stage.
Answered by
GruntsPlayground

Question by Helicopter200:
WIll machines will get own shipset and citystyle and hivemind will get organic shipset and citystyle?
Answer
not planned at current, but robot and organic ships are obvious candidates if we look at buffing out our ship selection.
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by Tribune of the Plebs:
Is there any plans to introduce more proper logistics where resources actually have to make it to storage places/production buildings etc.?
Answer
as much as I personally love logistics I think that might be a bit out of scope for Stellaris. This is a game about exploring and conquering the stars, putting a logistic layer ontop of that might just result in drudgery.
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by Insurance Sales Man:
Are there many more mega structures currently in development? If yes then if you can of course can you give us a hint on what they do or change within the game?
Answer
Megastructures are cool and we know it. Shall say no more
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by Tamwin5:
You mentioned Utopia might be a bad DLC to add stuff because it's already so popular, but hive minds are severely lacking civics, and many of the ones they do have are bland. Are hives getting left by the wayside, or do you have a solution planned?
Answer
It is true that Gestalts can often fall by the wayside. As a content designer, I know first hand that enabling a piece of content for hive minds or machines adds about 75% more effort each for content designers. So we always have to be a bit selective in what we enable for Gestalts, as it's always a question of where our time is best spent. That said, it is certainly the case that Hives could see some love in terms of civics and origins, and for instance with the Lem update we will be added Hiveminded Necrophages. We don't have any plans for wider changes at the moment, but it is something that certainly could fall within the remit of the Custodians again in future.
Answered by
Caligula

Question by Helicopter200:
will machine shipset and citystyle and hivemind organic ships and cities will be added?
Answer
No current plans, but maybe. They couldn't be explicitly tied to existing DLC content, however, since that would be a cross-dependency.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by Just Jank:
Will you add facial hair to the Fungoid species? I think it would be quite cute
Answer
I'm sure it would be cute, but we all know that cute species are the most dangerous, and frankly I'm quite scared by the thought of it!
Answered by
Ansou

Question by Confederacy Of Osprania:
will we ever be able to unlock the technology to travel beyond our galaxy? Like through a rift like the End Game Crisis?
Answer
maybe as an endgame goal? But nothing llke playing two galaxies at once. The game just isn't built for it.
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by Archaeon:
Are there any plans for internal politics to be expanded upon? Leaders and factions feel very uninteresting but have a lot of potential
Answer
nothing specific but we're aware factions haven't gotten a lot of love recently. We'll see what the future holds.
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by Fiiral:
Are there plans for more shroud interactions given we just got a whole new layer to it with the crisis mechanics?
Answer
No current plans, but those types of interactions are very neat. If's the type of thing the Custodians could work on, if there's someone passionate about it and if they think there's enough value in doing that. Because of how specific it is, however, its would probably not be a high priority.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by Just Jank:
Might seem like a weird question but how good are you at Stellaris?
Answer
Depends a lot on developer, its certainly no hiring requirement to be a good Stellaris player but having played the game usually helps. You will find complete beginners and some incredibly murderous veterans in all of our teams. Personally, there is no other game I have ever played as much as Stellaris and still suck at it after all these years.
Answered by
GruntsPlayground

Question by Citizen Zero:
Will ship sets get there own Ion cannon design? I mean the Once for space station defence.
Answer
not planned, but I've made a note on this.
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by Darkwing:
Which people are on the custodian team? Will we get an introduction to the team, maybe in a dev diary?
Answer
Well, we are. Some of us are currently only lurking around, while some engage more directly with the community. There might be more concrete introductions after the summer.
Answered by
pdx_fkirsek

Question by Liggi:
Outside of things recently discussed (ie. Admin Cap / Unity, Traditions), what do you feel is the most underdeveloped area of Stellaris with the most potential?
Answer
Managing and interacting with things like primitives or enclaves, or other "minor civilizations" within your empire is relatively undeveloped, but has a lot of potential.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by Dragon of Desire:
Is there any plan for allowing modders to create new Crisis windows, or duplicate the Crisis window and allow it to be modded?
Answer
I'm afraid such moddability changes will not be possible tech-wise, but you can look forwards to plenty of moddability improvements in the Lem update!
Answered by
Caligula

Question by Helicopter200:
Will hiveminds will be reworked?
Answer
Rework might not be the right word. But they do deserve more unique content. Rest assured there are hive mind radicals within the devteam pushing for more love
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by XcessiveSwag:
Do you think tall and wide should be equally powerful? Or do you think aggressive play should be more rewarding than a more passive strategy
Answer
balancing tall vs wide is kind of a minefield. Stellaris is a game where you need resources to expand, getting more territory with resources will always have an edge. But we are looking at more ways to make more passive playstyles viables
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by Awang Budiman:
*The optimal fleet composition seems to be battleships, battleships, battleships, and the occasional corvette. All the other ship class became irrelevant because the battleship can do it better. This makes the 'ship game' rather dull. Ofcourse I have my opinions that each class should have their individual role - similar to rpgs - so that each ship class has a strategic role they play in a fleet. However do you share the same sentiment that the proliferation of battleships to be a problem ?
(Excuse me if this felt like a loaded question. I could've worded them better) *
Answer
I answered a similar question above already, so the short version. We think that destroyers and cruisers are underutilized, and we are considering our options for a long-term solution to this one-sided fleet setup. Don't expect a quicks solution in the near future but we are looking into it.
Answered by
GruntsPlayground

Question by M I L K:
Will we see lag support for larger games and galaxies? I’m quite tired of my game running 5x slower mid game
Answer
The work on improving the game's performance is very continuous in nature and something that we try to do when we get the opportunities. We've seen some performance improvements in the latest updates, and we're doing what we can to try to make it better yet in future updates. Especially since it's one of the goals for the new Custodian team!
Answered by
Ansou

Question by ASpec:
are there any plans to create community packs done in combination with modders? Cities and Surviving Mars have had similar programs and I'd love to see some of 3rd party content designers create their own pack that are official extensions of the game. Something more extensive than the ModJam pack.
Answer
No current plans due to multiple reasons, but one obvious question is if it would be who would support the content if it breaks? If we have user generated content / paid mods, what happens if someone stops working on it? I think the modding situation works well as it currently is, but its certainly a question that will keep reappearing and being reconsidered.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by Stone:
Will rogue servitors get some love? A buddy of mine used to always play as a rogue servitor but he wont touch the civic because of the two huge nerfs to their unity production.
Answer
we'll keep looking over balance as best we can, one for the community to team pipeline on custodians.
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by Human 6,212,224,590:
Would having one or more prominent, community-beloved (and, obviously, functional) mods under your belt (and the ability to prove it) be considered an asset when applying to the Stellaris team?
Answer
Yes. To be more specific - it is of course a plus, but it is not a prerequisite to apply!
Answered by
pdx_fkirsek

Question by ThatGuy:
[is it possible we will see new flag types such as a tricolour, new colours (please just white )]
Answer
Nothing planned, but I do keep nagging people about the poor flag selection. At least more colours dangit.
Answered by
JoJo (QA Lead)

Question by Ben the Fox:
How does one program a opinion modifer into the game? They seem rather complicated and clearly I was missing something.
Answer
I can recommend asking for help modding the game in #modmaking_discussion or #beginner_help in the Stellaris Modding Den discord https://discord.gg/bqRnpsfC
Answered by
Caligula

Question by WizardLizardScoot:
are there any plans to add more advanced tactics for fleets, like formations and specific ship roles to make each ship type more worthwhile in the meta? Formations are cool. Ask Ender Wiggin
Answer
No current plans. Personally its something I have spent some thoughts on, but there are several issues with Formations that make them very tricky to use in Stellaris. I haven't given hope up on them yet though, and even if they aren't the solution we need or will go with, its worthwhile to explore them internally.
Answered by
GruntsPlayground

Question by Dragon of Desire:
The Nemesis trailer had slowly been filling up with the purple, and other trailers seemed to mention things like stars going dark and other events and the lore that has been discovered with the game is slowly pointing more and more to some unknown threat in the universe. Are you allowed to say what is being built up to? Or am I looking too deep into something that was meant to just look cool?
Answer
It is about the content of the DLC; destroying stars is one of the steps of the Become the Crisis path, while the Galactic Community, lead by the Custodian, is trying to stop it.
Answered by
pdx_fkirsek

Question by Naysmith:
Currently, Bio and Synth Ascension both get a good pop growth amplifier (clone vats+gene clinic and bonus capital jobs). Psionic only gets default robot labs, angering the spiritualists in their themed ascension. And half the clinic boost, since they don't get assembly. Any plans on giving them more ways to grow?
Answer
We have been looking at options for improving the Psionic experience, but nothing has been decided on so far.
Answered by
Caligula

Question by Guilliman:
Any thought on asking the modding community for small projects/ideas that you can pick and choose from to implement? Eg; let us make you hundreds of non-mechanically complex techs, civics and traits. There might be tons of cool, easily implemented ideas to expand those parts of the game.
Answer
It's usually not the lack of ideas that prevent us from adding new content to the game, it's more so that reviewing it and supporting it. We like the idea of involving the community's ideas, but haven't yet found a good venue for it. If the community has really good suggestions, make sure to discuss them and pitch them to the Custodians.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by dan3401:
are there plans to add addiotnal scaling options for the start of game such as changing the speed of the galatic community, fed xp gain or the date for tech soft caps for fasters game?
Answer
We definitely want to revisit game setup options in the future as we see value in allowing the players to tailor their own experience.
Answered by
pdx_fkirsek

Question by tr33:
With the Plantoids "Rework" can we get a Plantoid Jeff Portrait?
Answer
Jeff has already grown more powerful than we imagined! We can't control him anymore!
Answered by
Ansou

Question by Tamwin5:
Both piracy and crime are systems are basically fully self contained, without any links or interaction to other systems. Any plans to connect them to each other and more outside systems?
Answer
I'd argue that Crime is actually quite deeply involved with planetary mechanics, but Piracy is indeed not where we would like it to be, both in impact and required player action. No plans for the near future though.
Answered by
GruntsPlayground

Question by Cairos:
is it possible for the game to stop using portraits I have assigned my own empire or an empire I have set to be generated in my new game? It breaks immersion to run into another race looking exactly the same as my own race or another race i created
Answer
If we take a look at expanding and updating the game/galaxy setup/settings, it would make sense to have that as an option.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by Hurpix:
Hello! Have you considered to remake the empire creator user interface, or do you have any plans doing so?
Answer
No current plans for when, but we have made some exploratory designs for some changes to it.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by El Presidente:
Are you thinking about changing culture a bit so it will be more like in the other PDX titels but with ethics attached to them? Example: The empire x has a culture group and other subcultures can emerge out of them (far away colonies).
And could Religion play a role in intergalactic politics?
Answer
I very much like the idea of groups of pops belonging to different cultures. There's no current plans for changing that, but it's definitely been on my mind as something I'd want to figure out.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård

Question by Turelus:
will any other the older anomalies/space fauna outcomes be changed to give more options or interesting/random outcomes to shake them up for veterans who know them all extremely well?
Answer
An interesting idea! As it happens, my Content Design Lead did exactly that on one of the really old events earlier today, and it's certainly something that is on our radar for the future - though I'd stop short of making any specific promises in this regard.
Answered by
Caligula

This will be the last Dev Diary for the Summer. We hope you all get out and enjoy the sun, and make time to connect with your friends and family this year, in whatever way you can. It’s been a hard year and a half, and everyone has earned it. Dev Diaries will be back in the first few weeks of August!

Have a great summer!
 
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zZander56

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Aspec had a discussion with one of the devs about asymmetrical gameplay the other day, and I think it was a really healthy one. Introducing divergent ways of playing with different unique mechanics not only adds to the longevity of a game, but provides players with more interesting choices to be made. Megacorps are a good example of a very different empire type with different mechanics and goals, but we could use a few more options.

Asymmetrical gameplay is what I'd like to see worked on the most.
 
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SteelCrow

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I'd like to see the ability to become a Fallen Empire, as your society's culture stagnates around one Ethic, almost every job is automated, obsolete technologies are long forgotten, and everyone who knows how to repair the Magic Spaceship Printer dies off... and then all those things they can no longer fix start to break.

It'd need some mechanics, like forced splintering of your empire as Sectors and Systems withdraw from the empire to do their own thing, and some eventual end to the tech tree or a research slowdown so drastic that you might as well give up on research.
This sounds like technological decay, or at least technological stagnation alongside societal decay. For a long time I've wanted to play a game with a research system that can reverse tech advancement, but I cannot for the life of me find one that does. It would be the ultimate reset button, allowing new nations to replace the old, naturally creating a history, perhaps even a perpetual cycle.
 
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UltimateTobi

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Also releasing vassals and using the Ideology CB as a Mega Corp shouldn't produce Mega Corps; since you can't use them for Branch Offices. You just create competition currently.
Or give the option/checkbox to make a vassal or Ideology CB war target Mega Corp Yes/No.
 
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zZander56

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Also releasing vassals and using the Ideology CB as a Mega Corp shouldn't produce Mega Corps; since you can't use them for Branch Offices. You just create competition currently.
Or give the option/checkbox to make a vassal or Ideology CB war target Mega Corp Yes/No.
This would go a long way to improving the quality of life for Megacorps.

They seem to be very much based around collecting subjects/allies then exploiting their territory with branches, and this would provide an intuitive way of doing so.
 
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Blackadder23

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I'm not convinced that battleships becoming dominant in the late game is a bad thing. After all, battleships are a tier 4 tech, and so they should be better than earlier techs. No one thinks we need to find a way to make red lasers competitive with gamma lasers. Perhaps in a game where the player exercised some tactical control over their fleets a more sophisticated ship environment would be beneficial, but in Stellaris the player isn't so hands-on. I don't think that designing and building a fleet of destroyers, cruisers and battleships is significantly more interesting than designing and building a fleet of battleships.
I definitely agree that late game fleets of mostly battleships are not an issue that I care about, and I don't think trying to somehow enforce "variety" on players who don't want it is a good use of dev time.
 
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PlasticFacecrops

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Question by Naysmith:
Currently, Bio and Synth Ascension both get a good pop growth amplifier (clone vats+gene clinic and bonus capital jobs). Psionic only gets default robot labs, angering the spiritualists in their themed ascension. And half the clinic boost, since they don't get assembly. Any plans on giving them more ways to grow?
Answer
We have been looking at options for improving the Psionic experience, but nothing has been decided on so far.
Answered by
Caligula
I've always liked the idea of being able to create (assemble) psionic servant-constructs. Why work in the mines when you can conjure up some psychoplasmic essence and shape a Labor Mind-form to do it for you?

59efe2f8f89055eba1004615049c3505.jpg
 
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This sounds like technological decay, or at least technological stagnation alongside societal decay. For a long time I've wanted to play a game with a research system that can reverse tech advancement, but I cannot for the life of me find one that does. It would be the ultimate reset button, allowing new nations to replace the old, naturally creating a history, perhaps even a perpetual cycle.

For me, it's that repeatable techs are a problem; with infinite research comes infinite power, and I wanted to tie the idea of becoming a Fallen Empire to what we know of the current FEs in the game--for the non-machine ones, they all have one Fanatic Ethic. And what would make a society focus itself on one concept to the exclusion of all others, other than complete political unification--and thus stagnation--and a LOT of Ethics Attraction for that particular Ethic.

As for forgetting tech, it could definitely work given the genre.
 
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grommile

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At least there should be an optional way to defeat enemy for the weaker one.
Historically, the way you defeat an enemy who is militarily superior to you is by either (a) achieving a paradigm shift in warfare or (b) being sufficiently annoying to occupy that it isn't worth said enemy spending further blood and treasure on trying to retain control of your territory.

The latter usually involves your country having a lot of mountains, jungle, desert, etc.
 
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Gorehuchi

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Question by MONEY LLC:
With potential changes to/replacement of admin cap (fingers crossed), will bureaucrats just vanish from the game?
Answer
In my current experimental branch, bureaucrats are the Unity-producing jobs. Culture Workers are gone, and Priests or Managers are swaps of Bureaucrats where applicable.
Answered by
Daniel Moregård
This feels wrong. With admin cap being absorbed into unity, I have to ask what exactly is unity?
Is it the resource that represents the "socio-cultural evolution" that are the (to be expanded on) tradition trees? Or is it the effort at administration and paperwork that keep an empire running (a.k.a. admin cap)? Is it logistics or is it culture?
The removal of culture workers leaves the thematic job of representing cultural growth to paper-pushers and priests.
Without culture workers there are no jobs for pops that represent art, social expression, and cultural identity; which is what I had originally interpreted unity as being.
 
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Aspiretothestars

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Too bad I had a lot of questions. Some of them answered. But I wanted to ask again because I want them to get the impression that others want it. Revamping ground combat invasion [tanks etc] with battle map of continents or something (just something that just more than assault marines), droppods, ramming into other ships and taking them over with marines, and most important revamp of fighters/bombers and having aircraft carriers or sets that that increase this with hangers and AA guns [I know they said no ship sets but I really want to reinforce how much I want it like the other guy. If there was an expansion that included carrier ships, bombers/fighters, and ground invasion, a more military expansion like Apoc, I would be ALL IN.
 
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Nebbie Zebbie

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There was another Q&A? Oh well, looks like it was even worse than the last one, with virtually all answers being something like "We have no particular plans on this but are open to the idea one day eventually."
I understand not yet having particular solutions ready to actually implement, but it seems like it's much of the same things coming up from the last Q&A with still not a peep even on that you will do anything. I think it would greatly help if you would formalize flagging certain features as requiring changes so that when those come up you can say it's "flagged for changes" and toss out speculative ideas on what you might try.
Seriously, piracy is a massive annoyance right now, at least take to heart the idea that it can't go on in its current state with how it helps make Espionage terrible and disrupts gameplay.
As for tech rushing...well gee, it's great that it's at least gonna be changed, but can we please get some ideas thrown out on how?

This feels wrong. With admin cap being absorbed into unity, I have to ask what exactly is unity?
Is it the resource that represents the "socio-cultural evolution" that are the (to be expanded on) tradition trees? Or is it the effort at administration and paperwork that keep an empire running (a.k.a. admin cap)? Is it logistics or is it culture?
The removal of culture workers leaves the thematic job of representing cultural growth to paper-pushers and priests.
Without culture workers there are no jobs for pops that represent art, social expression, and cultural identity; which is what I had originally interpreted unity as being.
Well, what really holds a society together is that it addresses problems in a timely manner so that people accept the powers in charge, not whether everyone sings the same song. Basically, Unity has gone from "everyone goes to church or the local museum of the Great Old Ones so they support social programs more" to "some priest or bureaucrat makes sure people get their homes in a timely manner so they support social programs more". Presumably, spiritualists are good at this because your local priest is a friendlier face and more determined than your local social worker.
Good riddance to "culture workers"... now we just need to finally see some Unity penalties when taking in other empire's pops (especially refugees) that need training and home assignment and such.

Also, with how many questions asked about organic shipsets and more robot portraits, I really hope for some commitment to that. It seems like there's gonna be limited movement on Hiveminds at least.
Finally, I am rather sad to see no mention of how infrequent terraforming candidates are. They would help greatly with the pacing of colonization in the midgame and right now they basically don't exist.
 
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Critical Ethics

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For me, it's that repeatable techs are a problem; with infinite research comes infinite power, and I wanted to tie the idea of becoming a Fallen Empire to what we know of the current FEs in the game--for the non-machine ones, they all have one Fanatic Ethic. And what would make a society focus itself on one concept to the exclusion of all others, other than complete political unification--and thus stagnation--and a LOT of Ethics Attraction for that particular Ethic.

As for forgetting tech, it could definitely work given the genre.
And the only reason we need repeatables is that the tech system makes it too easy to research everything by the end of the game. If the tech was set up such that it was easier to focus on obtaining a specific end-game tech but empires only researched a couple of end game techs per game then the end result of tech rushing would just mean you got four or five end game techs per game. You'd have more options rather than just better options.
 
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Kommunist Fried Chicken

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Historically, the way you defeat an enemy who is militarily superior to you is by either (a) achieving a paradigm shift in warfare or (b) being sufficiently annoying to occupy that it isn't worth said enemy spending further blood and treasure on trying to retain control of your territory.

The latter usually involves your country having a lot of mountains, jungle, desert, etc.
And paradigm shifts in warfare usually mean making better use of what you get. A better composition of the fleet is an example(though the iteration is unlikely to happen in the game)

No there shouldn't be. Building a powerful navy is harder than not building a powerful navy, and so it should be the more rewarding option.
But making fleets perform better needs efforts too. If the war is just the comparison of production, the result is certain, and there is no need to waste resource on it, just make a simple calculation to decide. I don't mean to make a war like battle of Thermopylae, it surly brings a lot of negative experience to the loser. I just want some uncertainties. Only the both sides of the war think they will/can win(or not lose at least), the war can begin.
And the more powerful one, could pay less attention on fleets, be able to make more mistakes without changing the result, and is more likely to win, I think it's enough to reward the efforts on economy. Surly building a powerful navy should be the best way to win a war, but sometimes you may have no choice. Just imagine if you have to make friends with two fallen empire neighbor, and a curious empire opened the L-gate such that Gray Tempest want to say hallo to you through the L-gate in your empire.
 
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grommile

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And the only reason we need repeatables is that the tech system makes it too easy to research everything by the end of the game.
Repeatables are there, in the first instance, to give you a reason to not demolish all your labs in super-long campaigns.
 
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Blayze

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Aspec had a discussion with one of the devs about asymmetrical gameplay the other day, and I think it was a really healthy one. Introducing divergent ways of playing with different unique mechanics not only adds to the longevity of a game, but provides players with more interesting choices to be made. Megacorps are a good example of a very different empire type with different mechanics and goals, but we could use a few more options.

Asymmetrical gameplay is what I'd like to see worked on the most.

I could see it working if certain features were only for specific Origins or Civics; for example, if only Void Dwellers could use Habitats, or if only Life-Seeded empires could terraform planets into Gaia Worlds (Shades of Stars! there, specifically the Alternate Reality and Claim Adjuster PRTs).

If only Galactic Doorstep empires could build or use Gateways, for example (and ideally let them build them easier and sooner), that makes one Origin play differently to the others--and suddenly their fleet being on the other side of the galaxy no longer matters, because it can be anywhere in their empire in moments from the start of the game.
 
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Daschiel

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Étrange qu'il n'y ait pas de questions liées à Megacorps. C'est un type d'empire si unique, et ils semblent être assez populaires au moins sur la scène multijoueur. Je veux juste les voir recevoir de l'amour.
Et C 'est dommage que la moitié des questions étais sur les croiseurs. Alors que j'aurai aimé avoir plus de renseignements sur les batailles terrestres car encore plus monotone que les batailles navales en milieu, fin de jeux. Mais ce dev était bien!
 

Orion88

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"The initial design stage is the best time to collect Community feedback"

Glad to see a game developer that actually notices the above. As usually in the industry these things are done so that only when game development has already been going on for a long time the developers finally show the community/public some material of the upcoming game. Which can lead to two things usually, 1. (what every developer hopes for but what is very rare is that) The community just loves it and doesn`t really have many complaints about it or 2. There are tons and tons of things that the community would want to be changed or improved upon in the upcoming game, but since development is already very far along not much can be done about them anymore (a lot more common).

And NO, just having a forum, Twitter and Facebook pages where to post your carefully planned PR material of how "super awesome" the upcoming game will be and "how excited everybody at your company are about it" is NOT great community involvement in the project despite apparently many game companies still think it is.
 
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HighKings_Ruin

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Here's a crazy suggestion, remove repeatables, force players to strategize with what they have at the end game rather than giving them infinite power through endless repeatables.
 
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