The team is working on the 3.4.4 patch as I write this - we should have a list of patch notes as next week’s DD. Today we’ll be discussing some less concrete things.
We often find ourselves with a bit of free time during the summer to experiment with different systems that strike our fancy. Previous such experiments yielded the Lithoid traits (which changed the way we make Species Packs forever) and the first trials of Industrial Districts. Often they don’t work out, or need a lot of iteration before turning into something usable, but that’s okay - these are intentionally framed as experiments with lower pressure.
Rather than doing a review of what did and didn’t work after the summer, I want to give a preview of some of the systems we’re looking to experiment with, but with the caveat that these experiments may or may not pan out.
None of this is guaranteed, and I’m not giving timelines for release even if they do work out!
Relic BalanceIggy has asked to look at relics and has written up proposals for a balance pass upon them. In his own words…
Relics are meant to be fun and game-changing. They are supposed to be powerful and unique items that can change the course of your empire. The issue, however, is that they are not all equal. So with a future update, I hope to at least narrow the gap between the relics a bit. I have mainly split the relics into three sets.
With these in mind, I will be looking at every relic and attempting to bring them in line if needed. There will be a lot of buffs and a few nerfs, but hopefully, they will feel more rewarding!
- Event-based ones that are fine to have a niche and semi-powerful effects, think Omnicodex and Blade of the Huntress.
- Precursor Relics should be strong and useful for every single empire. I am not promising that the Javorian Pox will be top tier for pacifists or that the Psionic Archive will be the best machine relic. But they will at least have neat effects.
- Crisis Relics which are awarded for defeating the crisis should be a bit of a victory lap. You have won! It should not give you 30 society research.
I expect that we’ll post a list of the changes when we start the dev diaries up again after the summer for feedback.
Accessibility Improvements@MonzUn has been leading a drive for improved accessibility options in Stellaris. Some of the things we’re looking at include adding more functionality for mouse side buttons, possible text-to-speech for events, and functionality like hotkeys for zooming in and out.
At his suggestion, some of us have also started playing the game with various color reshaders active to simulate different color vision deficiencies, to help find the worst issues and ways to resolve them.
If you have suggestions or accessibility problems that you face while playing Stellaris, please let us know.
TraditionsWith the flexibility in how empires can choose traditions that we introduced in 3.1 "Lem", @Alfray Stryke is planning some experiments looking at introducing new tradition trees.
These are looking at how gating tradition trees behind various triggers might influence the game. There have been some ideas suggested about introducing tradition trees that are locked behind ascension perks or origins, and we're interested to see where these may lead.
Deep In the Code Mines@Caligula Caesar has been finding places where we could expand our uses of multithreading, and experimenting with the way modifiers are calculated, with a particular eye towards the late game.
Fleet Combat BalanceMeanwhile, my planned experiments primarily have to do with fleet combat.
Things I’m looking forward to looking at include:
- Providing a late game role for Destroyers and Cruisers, and providing incentives for mixed fleets.
- Increasing the length of fleet combats, reducing the dominance of alpha strikes.
- Experimenting with existing counters, tracking, evasion, and accuracy mechanics.
- This may also end up providing a role for smaller weapons.
- Improving ship behavior based on the roles assigned them by combat computers.
- Yes, Carrier Battleship, I know you have a point defense laser and you're very proud of it. That doesn’t mean you should charge into melee to use it.
More AchievementsOur artists had so much fun with the Overlord achievements that they cornered us and demanded that we add some to the species packs.
These aren’t really experiments, but will go live once we figure out what they’ll do and implement them. Here are a few as previews.
And then there's this one, which we've called The Darkest Timeline.
What's Next?These examples aren't comprehensive, there are many other things being worked on that aren't listed here (like previously mentioned Espionage improvements).
As mentioned earlier, next week will be the 3.4.4 patch notes, after which we’ll be going on a dev diary hiatus for the summer.
See you next week!