Stellaris Dev Diary #218 - Plantoids Gameplay

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Stellaris Game Director
Paradox Staff
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Aug 13, 2012
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Hello everyone!

I hope you have had a great summer thus far, and let’s hope we can enjoy the rest of August as well. The team is starting to return from their vacations and we’re eager to start finishing off the Lem Update so that we can ready it for release in September.

As mentioned in dev diary 214, we’re going to Buff the Backlog by adding some gameplay to existing DLC. Today we’re here to talk about an addition coming in the Lem Update, and more specifically what additions we are making to the Plantoids Species Pack.


We are adding 2 new Civics and 3 new Species Traits to the Plantoids Species Pack. Let’s start by taking a look at the new Traits.

New Traits
We have added 3 new traits that require the species to be either Plantoid or Fungoid.


New traits and their cost.

Phototrophic: Is mutually exclusive with Radiotrophic, and changes some of your food upkeep into energy upkeep. Requires your species to be Plantoid or Fungoid.



Radiotrophic: Is mutually exclusive with Phototrophic, and changes some of your food upkeep into energy upkeep. It also makes it more beneficial for your Pops to live on Tomb Worlds, as their energy upkeep is removed. Requires your species to be Plantoid or Fungoid.


Contrary to popular belief, this species does not sustain itself by consuming ancient communication equipment.

Budding: This trait allows you to produce some pop assembly. Multiple Species with this trait can help provide pop assembly on potentially another species. For example, two species with the Syncretic Evolution Origin can together assemble one of the two. This trait can probably be especially great for a Hive Mind species.


New Civics
Let’s continue taking a look at the Civics. Both of these new Civics are available to regular empires as well as Hive Minds. Only Idyllic Bloom requires you to be a Plantoid or Fungoid.

Catalytic Processing: This Civic lets you produce Alloys with Food instead of Minerals. Starting Districts have been adjusted to be balanced when using this Civic. Regular Empires and Hive Minds convert 9 Food into 3 Alloys. Machine Empires turn 12 Food into 4 Alloys.


Catalytic Processing is available to many types of empires, but not all of them.

Idyllic Bloom: This Civic lets you transform planets into Gaia Worlds by building Gaia Seeders and upgrading them. The Gaia Seeders have 4 phases, with the 4th and final phase triggering the terraformation of the planet to a Gaia World. Available to regular empires as well as Hive Minds.




That’s all for this week folks! We’ll be back again next week, so until then, stay safe and be well.
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I'm slightly confused... Phototrophic just seems like a worse version of Radiotrophic?

The latter gives you everything the former does, and more. Is this intentional?

Completely intentional, Radiotrophic costs more and gives you bonuses for living on tomb worlds, whereas Phototrophic purely gives the energy upkeep trade.
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Do the planets stay as Gaia worlds if Idyllic Bloom is removed? Similarly, if a planet isn't fully Gaiafied and the civic is removed, do the seeders hang around? Can the project be finished?

The civic cannot be removed, but the building is not required to sustain the terraforming process when it completes.
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Photographic seems not great? Food districts give more food than energy districts give energy so it seems like a downgrade or at best a side grade. 0.25 would make more sense surely.

Loving radiotrophic though, going to make so many post apocalyptic fungi.

On the other hand, you can gain energy from mining stations, trade (if non-gestalt), solar panels on starbases (if gestalt) and a dyson sphere?
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Still need minerals for buildings, districts and space mines as well as refining into strategic resources.
Normal empires still need minerals for CGs.
Hives still need mienrals as job upkeep for all the jobs that would use CG.
Machines can go almost mineral free, but the allowed civics don't use food anyway, so it's a bit a wash, and taking Rockbreakers as civic is more efficient in that case.

I've played multiple games as a hive-mind with catalytic processing and didn't build a single mining district and my empire was doing fine economically.
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I'm pretty interested in what these looked like on the drawing board. What were some older iterations of the traits? I'd love to be able to follow the brainstorming into the play-testing and then into the balancing and get a sense of how the custodians approach development. :)

I think there are some myopic hot takes in this thread, though; Tomb world-loving plant people that either terraform planets into Gaia worlds or Armageddon bombard them into energy efficient population hubs is absolutely on the table right now and I'm there for it.

Best example that I can share of an earlier design is Budding originally was a lot more powerful (around 0.05 assembly IIRC) but also increased housing usage and reduced normal pop growth. We decided that was a bit too complicated for the design and scaled it back.
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I don't dispute that is shifts a hive's economy much more towards food and with the nowadays higher space mineral income you might get by without mining districts, but I was more replying to the diea that it'd allow one to go fully organic technology, whereas a even a catalytic hive needs to keep minerals in mind.

Though you can now make a Lithoid Hivemind with Catalytic Processing, eat minerals and process food into alloy and wonder why all those other aliens are doing it wrong.

You could even play a lithoid necrophage hive-mind with catalytic processing and use the food gathered from your livestock to build your spacecraft. ;)
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@Alfray Stryke Not a fan of Phototrophic/Radiotrophic making your pops require Energy instead of Food. Why would photosyntheitc plants have to hook themselves into the power grid? Wouldn't they produce their own food from natural light?

It would be more logical if they required minerals as fertilizer. But since Miners are less efficient than Farmers the required amount should be lowered. So something like instead of 100% Food you require 50% Food and 25% Minerals and the final 25% is free. Could also adjust habitability for cold planet types (less sunlight) and increase it for warm planets (desert, savannah, tropical).

The rationale was that in highly urbanised societies there would be those that wouldn't be able to get sufficient energy from sunlight and thus the energy upkeep is to represent using of artificial lighting to replace or supplement this.
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It's a 3 point trait. Complication is sort of expected, no?

Cost for traits don't always reflect complexity and nor should it, for example Venerable is fairly expensive and yet simple (4 points for +80 year leader lifespan). In this case our testing found that not having the additional modifiers was better.

I hope the author will update their Radiotropic worlds to work with these changes!

For any decent modder this'll be an easy change to make, there's a has_phototrophic_energy_upkeep scripted trigger, so they'll just have to add their modded planet types to the exclusion list.
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We've made some slight tweaks to the Radiotrophic trait since the dev diary was posted, since the 100% habitability when combined with the post-apocalyptic origin was a bit much in testing.

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