Last week’s dev diary examined the Orbital Ring, Quantum Catapult, and Scholarium. Today we’re going to look at another construction that has a massive impact on the game, the Hyper Relay. After that we’ll look at some other changes coming in Cepheus and Overlord, and finish off with another origin that was revealed yesterday by Nivarias.
As with all previews, numbers, text, and so on are not quite final and are still subject to change.
Long ago, back in Dev Diary #243 we showed you some concept art of Hyper Relays, and told you they had greebles, and were game changing. Now it’s time to fully reveal them.
Hyper Relays are a rare Tier 2 technology that require the Hyperlane Breach Points technology and access to Rare Crystals to discover. Once you have observed a functional Hyper Relay in use by another empire, the technology will appear much more frequently, causing them to spread in a pleasing manner across the galaxy.
Hyper Relays can be built by your Construction Ships outside the gravity well of systems, just like Gateways. They’re useless on their own, but a chain of Hyper Relays built in adjacent systems dramatically speeds up travel, allowing you to jump from Relay to Relay after a short windup rather than having to travel across each system at sublight speed, as long as neither endpoint is controlled by a hostile empire.
Once two Relays in adjacent systems have been linked, the hyperlane between those systems will become bolder, and ships traveling along them will show the route plotted in blue as they are using the bypass.
Hyper Relays can be built in your own space, or that of your subjects. For convenience, Relays can also be built directly from the Galaxy Map.
If an Empire’s capital is attached to the Hyper Relay Network, additional effects can be projected through the network using several Network Edicts. These add strategic resource upkeep to your Hyper Relays and an effect on all of your colonies that are connected to your capital.
Gestalts have a reflavored variant of Networked Amenities.
Specialist subjects each have a Network Effect available at Tier 1, which becomes active in the overlord’s Relay Network if a continuous chain connects their capitals.
As one could imagine, an expansive Hyper Relay network makes travel much faster during the mid-game while you do not yet have a comprehensive Gateway system built, and since such travel is permitted in neutral empires that have open borders, navigating the galaxy and responding to distant threats is easier than ever before.
As a personal anecdote, after playing with these and the new subjugation mechanics internally, it was almost difficult to go back to 3.3 for the Dev Clash. Made me almost want to blow up the galaxy.
Selected Other Changes
As with every update, there are a number of balance or quality of life changes and adjustments in Cepheus. Here’s a handful of interesting changes.
- Successful Force Ideology wars with a corporate aggressor now result in the target (or created) empire having the Oligarchic authority and Merchant Guilds civic. This is also true for Status Quo resolutions of Establish Hegemony, Subjugation, and the Scion’s Bring into the Fold wargoals.
- Corporate subjects can now open branch offices in subjects of their shared overlord, as long as their overlord is not also a MegaCorp.
- AI Subjects of Player Empires now receive AI bonuses as if the difficulty level of the game were one level lower, rather than losing their bonuses entirely.
- The Parliamentary System civic now allows factions to be generated much earlier in the game.
- You can now nominate other empires to Custodianship, provided they meet the requirements.
- The Unbidden can no longer spawn in pulsar systems (as the star will disable their Dimensional Portal's shields - Heavy Metal, Inc. sends its regards…)
- Low Military Intel is now gained at 30 Intel instead of 40 and Medium Military Intel is now gained at 60 Intel instead of 70. The effects of Medium and High Military Intel have been swapped. Medium now allows you to view ship loadout. High now grants visibility of location of military fleets.
- Gateways (and Hyper Relays) can now be built in vassal space.
- The Grasp the Void Ascension Perk now grants increased draw weight for FTL travel techs.
Some improvements have been made to automated migration.
- "Ideal" worlds such as ring worlds, gaia worlds, hive worlds and machine worlds now have a 50% higher score when pops are deciding where to automatically resettle to. So they are more likely to want to move to your newly-founded ring world, for instance. Capital world planet designations also have a +10% score, and freshly founded colonies have 25% from their designation.
- Pops will now pick which planet to auto-migrate to based on which planet has the most free jobs, rather than the least. They also now take free housing into account better.
- The Outliner will now differentiate between unemployed pops that are migrating and those that are not. A yellow briefcase will be shown for planets that have unemployed pops that are in the process of migrating to another planet. A red briefcase will be shown if your attention is required to resolve the unemployment. On the planet view, the tooltips will now show where the pops are most likely to move to, or explain why they are unable to move.
We have eleven new achievements in Overlord. Here are the icons, I’m curious what people think they are.
Some eagle-eyed readers have noticed some flags that aren’t possible in 3.3. You’re correct! The art team has added some new colors to the flag palette…
…over seventy flag emblems…
…and forty-five new flag backgrounds.
These will all be part of the Cepheus update as part of the May anniversary celebrations.
Slingshot to the Stars
Those born under the Slingshot to the Stars find their desires to explore fulfilled by a nearby Quantum Catapult, which replaces one of their Guaranteed Habitable Worlds. Their eagerness to explore into the unknown reduces the distance penalty for building starbases in remote systems by 75%.
Next week the totally human programmer @Narkerns will take over for an update on AI and automation improvements coming in Cepheus, and I’ll add a little bit about a fourth Origin at the end.
Video versions of these dev diaries are available at the Stellaris Official YouTube Channel. Subscribe so you don’t miss them, and wishlist Overlord if you haven’t already!
And here it is...!