Stellaris Dev Diary #219 - Selectable Traditions

Greetings and salutations space fans!

Today we’re back with another dev diary, and the topic at hand is the feature improvements coming to the Traditions system. Back in dev diary 214 when we announced the Lem Update and the Custodians Initiative, we also talked about how to make Selectable Traditions.

Attn. This post has been updated with some new changes following feedback from the community.

Selecting your Traditions

We know there’s been mods that have extended the amounts of traditions for some time now, and we also know that it's something that parts of the community have been asking for as well. For us, Traditions have always been an important part of customizing and specializing your Empire during play, and although we of course like giving players more customization options, we also need to maintain a balance. We didn’t simply want to keep adding new traditions without having the UI support it well, and we didn’t also want to give players too many options right away, which can lead to Choice Overload. We felt like it was a good time to review the Traditions system, because we wanted to add a few more Tradition Trees, and open up the avenue for doing more of that in the future, where it makes sense.

Let’s dive into the changes, and keep in mind that nothing is final and there’s missing art. Feedback is still very welcome though.

1628750674741.png

We are improving the traditions system so that you are no longer locked to the same set of 7 traditions (with some swaps), but you can rather pick which Tradition Tree you want to go into one of these 7 slots.

1628750700458.png

All the Tradition Trees currently available to the United Nations of Earth.


Some of the Tradition Trees, that were previously swaps of other trees (like Adaptability being a swap of Diplomacy), are now their own trees again. This means that Adaptability, for example, is now available to all non-machine empires. Synchronicity is still mutually exclusive with Harmony (one will appear if you are a gestalt empire, the other if you are a regular one). Versatility is available to all machine empires.

Changes to existing Traditions
Other than allowing you to select your own Traditions trees, we’ve also changed some of the traditions within the existing trees. Let’s take a look at some of those changes:

Domination
  • Judgment Corps: no longer increases crime prevention, but rather makes your Enforcers produce 1 Unity.
  • Privy Council: now also increases Edict Cap by +1
  • Finisher: no longer provides +1 monthly influence, but rather increases admin cap by 20%. This applies to all types of empires.

Diplomacy
  • Open Markets replaced with Diplomatic Networking: Embassy pacts now produce 3 Unity
  • Secure Shipping replaced with Eminent Diplomats: Diplomatic Acceptance increased by +5, and your Envoys that are Improving Relations have a 1% chance per month to gain a Favor from the target empire.
  • Insider Trading replaced with Trust or Bust: Trust Cap +50, Trust Growth +33%
  • Finisher: no longer increases Trust Cap or Trust Growth, but rather increases Diplomatic Weight by +10% and +1 Envoy.

Harmony
  • Mind and Body: now also increases Leader Skill Cap by +1
  • Kinship: effect on demotion time buffed from -50% to -75%
  • Bulwark of Harmony moved to Unyielding, replaced with Harmonious Directives: +1 Edict Cap

Supremacy
  • Adoption: no longer increases Starbase Cap by +2, but instead increases Naval Cap by +20
  • The Great Game: old effects removed, now increases damage done to Starbases by +20%

Prosperity
  • Finisher: no longer provides Merchant Jobs per Pops on a planet, but rather increases Stability by +5 and Pop Resource Output by +5%. This applies to all types of empires.

New Tradition Trees
We are adding 3 new Tradition Trees to the game: Mercantile, Unyielding and Subterfuge. Subterfuge is currently unlocked by Nemesis, Unyielding is unlocked by Apocalypse, and Mercantile (originally supposed to be unlocked by Megacorp) is available to everyone. The reason being that we wanted to see how it felt to have the Trade Policies unlocked through this tree. It will therefore no longer be possible to convert Trade Value into Energy + Consumer Goods/Unity unless you have the (3) Adaptive Economic Policies tradition.

1628861271338.png

Mercantile (Free)
  • Adopt: Starbase Collection Range +1, Trade Protection +5
  • (1) Trickle Up Economics: Clerks provide an additional +1 Trade Value
  • (2) Commercial Enterprises: Commercial Zones Building now provides 1 Merchant Job. Also applies to Commercial Districts for Ring Worlds and Habitats.
  • (3) Adaptive Economic Policies: Can convert parts of their Trade Value into Unity or Consumer Goods.
  • (3) (swap) Federal Trade Fleets: Tradition swap for empires that are members of a Trade League Federation. Increases fleet contribution to the federation fleet by +50%, similar to Entente Coordination.
  • (4) Marketplace of Better Ideas: increases trade value by +10%
  • (5) Insider Trading: moved from Diplomacy Traditions, -10% Market Fee
  • Finisher: increases trade value by +10%

1628750966009.png

Unyielding (added to Apocalypse)
  • Adoption: Starbase Cap +2 and Starbase Upgrade Speed +50%
  • (1) Resistance is Frugal: Stronghold buildings now produce 3 Unity and Defense Army Health is increased by +33%
  • (2) Never Surrender: reduces Planet Bombardment Damage by -25%, war exhaustion by -25% and increases hostile claim costs by +25%
  • (3) Bulwark of Harmony: moved from Harmony Traditions, effects are as before
  • (4) Fortress Doctrine: increases the Hit Points and Damage of Starbases and Defensive Platforms by 33%, and reduces the upkeep cost of starbases by -20%
  • (5) Defense in Depth: increases Starbase Cap by +2 and reduces Starbase upgrade cost by -50%. In addition, owners of Nemesis will also increase Hostile Operation Difficulty by +4 for the Sabotage Starbase Operation.
  • Finisher: Max Defensive Platforms +50%

1628750986320.png

Subterfuge (added to Nemesis)
  • Adoption: +1 Codebreaking
  • (1) Information Security: +1 Encryption
  • (2) Operational Security: +1 Codebreaking, +2 Operation Skill
  • (3) Non-Disclosure Agreements: Hostile Operation Difficulty is +1, and Hostile Operation Cost and Upkeep is increased by +50%
  • (4) Double Agents: Whenever a Hostile Operation targeting us fails, we gain 10 Intel on the offending empire
  • (5) Shadow Recruits: increases Infiltration Speed by +50%
  • Finisher: Successful Operations refund half of their cost on Infiltration Level

----

That is all for this week folks! Let us know which Tradition Trees you like to pick, and why. Any feedback is very welcome.

Next week we’ll be back to talk about the additions we’re making to the Humanoids Species Pack.
 
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I'm so excited for this. Every campaign feeling the same no matter what kind of empire I choose has been real sticking point. This should go a long way to alleviate some of that.

The mercantile tree looks promising, especially +1 trade per clerk and +1 merchant per commercial zone.

Question: Does the Trade League policy unlock without the Mercantile tradition?
 
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I love the new system, and the new trees seem really cool. Nice work!

I hope more trees get added in the future, I think it's a great way to define the character of your empire in more detail as you play.
 
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Why is Unyielding limited to Nemesis if it mostly concerns starbases?

Have you considered having some traditions tied to origins? (E.g. Scions could have a tree concerning relations with FE and maybe archeology).
 
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Can you swap different tradition trees after having picked one? If so what are the consequences of switching? Do the different tradition trees influence the faction mechanic?
 
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Why is Unyielding limited to Nemesis if it mostly concerns starbases?
Something in the post is wrong. The "Defense in Depth" tradition description here mentions "In addition, owners of Nemesis..."

That makes it sound like the tree itself doesn't require Nemesis but it gets enhanced if you have it.

So during the writing of the post, they may have changed it from requiring Nemesis to not, or folded that enhancement into the basic version of the tree so that it does require Nemesis.
 
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This sounds awesome, the potential for empire variety and RP is huge, plus it could be a way to make under-utilised mechanics shine a bit by having specialised trees to buff them! Love it, excellent dev diary.
 
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  • Judgment Corps: no longer increases crime prevention, but rather makes your Enforcers produce 1 Unity.
This one seems relatively weak, as Enforcers are generally not very desirable jobs in the first place.

  • Finisher: no longer provides +1 monthly influence, but rather increases +10% ruler output for regular empires, or +10% admin cap for gestalts
That's a big nerf.... :(

  • Open Markets replaced with Diplomatic Networking: Embassy pacts now produce 3 Unity
Also this one feels quite weak. Unity is abundant when the game is played well; this, with all due respect, feels like a bit of a "waste" of a tradition and feels far weaker than boosting trade did. I understand, of course, that you're relocating Mercantile stuff to the respect new tree, but it feels that a tradition like this is going to be picked always last unless the effect is MUCH stronger.
 
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Another idea would be to use the traditions to flesh out some ascension perks, especially the less exciting ones. Eg. having Executive Vigor could unlock a new "Bureaucracy" tradition tree.
 
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This seems really interesting. Will probably have to play with a bit to get a full idea of how much impact it makes, but it's definitely looking very neat. Some of those changes feel a bit odd, but I'll leave it up to people who know the game better than I do to work out if those are good or bad.

Expanded Stellaris Traditions is one of my favourite mods, so seeing more tradition stuff is exciting. Though man is it going to break that mod for a bit.
 
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Awww, I expected more tradition trees to be added. :/

Me too, but this is definitely a great start. It means I don't have that dead space in my game where I'm just running through a Tradition tree I don't even want for bonuses that aren't even useful to me. At least now all the trees I select can be useful.
 
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Please consider changing 33% to either 25 or 50% bonuses. Defensive armies are really weak, so a 50% is inconsequential.
Fortress doctrine, unless taken as second or third (and there is no reason to take it as 1st) tradition is too weak as well.
Starbases as they are in, are too weak - too few weapons, too little DPS or health per equipment slot
 
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I like how it's looking but there should be also a bonus for Megacoorps in Trade Tradition added same way like Nemesis one in Unyelding. Also the Finisher of Trade is really bad compared to rest. Some improvement to either clerks (like clerk output increase in both happiness and trade or f.e. lowering number of pops needed in clerk jobs while keeping same output because right now they are barely worth it early game and later it's only getting worse). Another option would be increase in trade values depending on trade route travelled distance (something like trade mechanic in EU4).
 
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scaper12123

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  • Finisher: no longer provides +1 monthly influence, but rather increases +10% ruler output for regular empires, or +10% admin cap for gestalts
So what you mean to say is that you've nerfed Domination into the center of the Earth?
 
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Mímisbrunnr

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Now, in my prior post I criticized some of the new traditions as very weak and nerfs compared to the prior ones - let's now talk about a positive!

I REALLY like this new one:

  • Secure Shipping replaced with Eminent Diplomats: Diplomatic Acceptance increased by +5, and your Envoys that are Improving Relations have a 1% chance per month to gain a Favor from the target empire.
Piracy was never really a problem if you competently used a Bastion Starbase with Hangars, so Secure Shipping always felt like a waste of a tradition. But upping Diplomatic Acceptance, especially for hard to get agreements, is easily far more useful, especially for the intended play style.
 
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