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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SeraphAscending

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This looks very promising!

The concern for Choice Overload is very valid - not everyone enjoys reading through a pile of options like i do.

If the experiment is deemed successful, i would love enhancements of the system by adding new tradition trees that require previous tradition trees.
For example a xenophile-economy-focussed tree that requires you to have both Mercantile and Diplomacy finished. Or a xenophobe-defensive-subterfuge based tree that requires Unyielding and Subterfuge to be unlocked. (the idea being to destabilise everything around you and to be an impenetrable fortress to all your weakened foes while exploiting them - for example by stealing their tech.)
This would give veteran players their desire for more in-depth customisation options and won't overwhelm newcomers.

I am so looking forward to the coming updates! It's going to be great!
 
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Naughtyfication_Centre

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I absolutely love how the devs changed their internal matter. I had been lurking here for a while during the 2,x updates, and both the updates/DLCs were just as underwhelming as the atmosphere and communications here on the sub-forum.

This seem to have dramatically changed since my last absence; the updates got better, now actually addressing issues that are being pointed out by the player base, the content is more entertaining, and the Stellaris forum now feels like a pleasant environment. A big thanks to whomever made this happen at PDX!

I‘m already very much excited about the unity related changes. Can’t wait to let the legion of my diligent clerks follow the Vultraum’s steps by efficiently administering the liberation of the galaxy by finally destroying it for good.
 
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Dynas

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I really like this and have always thought more could be done with traditions, especially when looking at EU4 idea group's. Having more Ascension Perks could be great as well. Even adding just 3 tbough I still feel its lacking. I made a few for suggestions using EU4 idea groups for a basis. Some of these could be vanilla, some behind DLC. Or even put all the expanded traditions in its own DLC.

Some of these could be locked to Ethics or Government types and once adopted prevents reforming that ethic or government type. OR If you did reform away from that ethic or government type the tradition tree is lost as is all influence with it, but you can take a new tree in its place

Here is what i came up with.

New Traditions

Plutocracy-only available to Oligarchy and Democracy governments. adopting this government tree locks government type and cannot be changed by reforming government. Or if reformed into something other than these the tradition tree is lost as is all influence.

Adopt: -2.5% Market Fee
1 Army morale +25%
2 -5 Crime
3 Clerks procedure +2 trade and +1 Amenities
4 +1 trade per Trade Hub
5 Starbases and all module provide +25% trade protection
Finisher: Merchant jobs +50% output


Warfare: All about warfare, perhaps locked to Militaristic ethic.

Adopt: Capital Buildings provide +1 defensive army per level.
1 -25% Admiral and General Upkeep
2 +5% damage to enemy armor
3 +5% damage to enemy shields
4 +5% damage to enemy hull points
5 -10% fleet Upkeep
Finisher: Concentrate Fire War doctrine: +10% rate of fire


Influence- all about making the most of the influence resource. (Which i find is the hardest resource to get especially given the amount of stuff that needs it.)

Adopt: +1 Envoy
1 +10% Income from Tribute, Protectorate, vassal subjects
2 -50% cost to suppress or promote factions
3 -10% Claim influence cost
4 +.5 influence gain per month
5 -50% cost to embrace faction
Finisher: +20% diplomatic weight

Aristocratic (restricted to Dictatorship And Empire government types. monarchy government, aristocratic elite, philosopher king, fuedal system civic, etc...(noble based ones) . Taking this tree locks government type for rest of game(or id reformed away from empire its lost.)

Adopt: +1 Envoy
1 -10% starship based technologies
2 one free governor without upkeep
3 +5% slave happiness
4 +5 Stability equilibrium
5 +10% Fleet Capacity
Finisher: -10% Battleship, Titan, Juggernaut alloy cost and upkeep


Administration: all about how you administer the empire and ensuring its efficieny.

Adopt -10% Leader Recruitment cost
1 -50% bureaucrat Upkeep
2 -50% influence cost to resettle pops
3 +20000 resource storage capacity
4 +30 Fleet Capacity
5 +2 system range for sectors (edit sectors)
Finisher + 10% Administrative Capacity


Divine- Must be spiritualist, adopting this tradition locks this ethic.

Adopt: +1 influence, +25% spiritualist ethics attraction.
1 -25% leader upkeep
2 -20% leader cost
3 +10% army morale
4 +5 Stability on all planets
5 +15% Fleet Capacity
Finisher: +20% governing ethics attraction
 
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Spleen.II

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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.


Please, as others have already pointed out, don't do this. It's just removing something we had to put it behind a wall. And it will only nerf the start of the game of trade builds, which are not overturned in any way. You could add something with this tradition instead of removing something. Someone already proposed it, but creating a bit of tech with trade value could be really interesting.
 
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PetyaHU

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For the unyielding, you could really put the larger defense stations back into the game ... I miss the Medium and Large Defense stations, it takes forever for the Small Defense Station to fill every major Starbase System, or at least a template could be created for systems such as the fleet manager.

I may be the only one to see it that way, but I'm not worth anything with the bonuses for the Stations/Starbase if they have to be constantly reorganized / sorted / reshaped. Sometimes I find myself wasting 2 hours with them in a bigger galaxy.

And thank you for not need me the Diplomacy Tradition with Fanatic Xenophobe Empire, since it is not in my mind to form a Federation in such a case, it finally makes sense to use Aristocratic Elite with Feudal Society. I finally don’t need the Fanatic Purifiers to replace diplomacy.

I hope I didn’t deviate from the topic very much, but I feel like it belongs here too.
PS.: Sorry for my bad English
 
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DeanTheDull

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I know it's far too late now, but I'm surprised Expansion didn't get divided. The Discovery tree as-is is almost always a dominant first-tradition tree because it gives so many difficult-to-substitute benefits that are most powerful early in the game: influence saving on expansion, a free pop on settelement, pop growth rate, an admin cap relief (that you really notice if you don't have it, and don't have the free pops to fill the role!), and starbase upkeep. Unless you're going for a military rush, there's almost never a reason to choose anything else first.

Hopefully when the post-LEM focus turns towards revamping the Admin cap, that can be a context (or a pretext) to re-address an otherwise dominant first-choice choice.
 
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Mímisbrunnr

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I know it's far too late now, but I'm surprised Discovery didn't get divided. The Discovery tree as-is is almost always a dominant first-tradition tree because it gives so many difficult-to-substitute benefits that are most powerful early in the game: influence saving on expansion, a free pop on settelement, pop growth rate, an admin cap relief (that you really notice if you don't have it, and don't have the free pops to fill the role!), and starbase upkeep. Unless you're going for a military rush, there's almost never a reason to choose anything else first.

Hopefully when the post-LEM focus turns towards revamping the Admin cap, that can be a context (or a pretext) to re-address an otherwise dominant first-choice choice.

You mean Expansion, not Discovery, but are otherwise correct.
 
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Tannhäuser Cake

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A bit late, but I would like to make one more suggestion.

The finisher of the "Mercantile" trade tree could, instead of giving a +10% trade bonus, unlock the Mercantile diplomatic stance.
  • This would solve the repetition problem of this tradition tree (Marketplace of Better Ideas gives +10% trade, followed by the finisher giving another +10% trade)
  • This would create a symmetry with the Supremacy tree, where the finisher unlocks the Supremacist diplomatic stance
  • This would help pro-Mercantile AI empires grow in the beginning, as they would start with the Expansionist diplomatic stance and only adopt the Mercantile diplomatic stance at a later time
  • This would also save human players the starting-game annoyance of having to manually change the diplomatic stance to Expansionist whenever they start with an empire that would be pro-Mercantile in the hands of the AI
(Of course, this relies on the AI recognising when it should pick the Mercantile tradition tree.)

(P.S. It will be less confusing if the tradition tree and the diplomatic stance have different names. The tree could be called "Mercantilism", which would also be more consistent with the other tradition trees using nouns rather than adjectives as names.)
 
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Caligula Caesar

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One of the big pain points I've had when looking at tradition modding was that some tradition effects aren't in the tradition; they're elsewhere. So you have something in a job or building file that has a triggered modifier based on whether the empire has a tradition. Traits and some other stuff work similarly, which can make it more painful to make targeted changes without compatibility issues.

Is this something that's gotten any attention? It would be nice if a mod that's only touching traditions could remain limited to just changing the tradition files instead of potentially having to include a bunch of files where the effects of a tradition are being set up.

Nope, there are cases where we could do that better, but in general it is inevitable that that will be necessary. For instance, if we want the tradition to grant +1 clerk job to certain buildings and +2 to some others, then we'd need to generate modifiers for every building to spawn every type of job, which is... not really a sustainable way of doing it.
 
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