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Stellaris Dev Diary #276 - Death is the Beginning

Greetings, ghouls and ghasts! Chief Reanimator Iggy here to report the most recent innovation in the field of necromancy. With the 3.6 update, we will bring you the Cordyceptic Drones civic! These delightful fungi will allow you to dominate the galaxy with zombie space fauna, as this is the third Reanimation civic! I know many of you have been enjoying this on the Beta, but if you give me a moment, I will have something new to show you!


Cordyceptic Drones

If you have been following how I made Permanent Employment, you would know that I want all these different reanimation civics to have access to the Leviathan Reanimation feature while still having unique gameplay. Cordyceptics follow this trend giving hives a much more biological reanimation method.

image4.png

Also including the new Hivemind Government Type Parasitic Overmind!

The civic can be incredibly powerful based on the space fauna you encounter. If you find Tiyana Vek early game, then you are in for a fun game while you have to restructure your entire economy to produce enough food to keep your dread fleet flying. Yet that is not all! Cordyceptic Empires are masters of all things biological, so your Amoeba Flagella will now be a force to be reckoned with in the early game. And if you happen to get the Prethoryn as your crisis, you might be able to use those missiles better than the Prethoryn themselves!

image5.png

Now, who would want to start with some boring old Corvettes?

As a final little flavor feature for you, I present you with the Cordyceptic Reanimation Facility, capable of resurrecting space fauna continuously for a food upkeep! However, it requires that you find systems rich in organic life.

image6.png

A new Tiyanki fleet is ready to be deployed!

The Other Thing

Back when Eladrin and I first introduced Reanimatable Leviathans for 3.1 “Lem” there was one piece of feedback we kept hearing internally. Will the Leviathans look like Zombies? While we couldn't deliver it back then. After much finagling, bartering, and pledging my soul to our Art Director, we are here to bring you Reanimated Leviathans as you have never seen them before.

image2.gif

Someone call in the Fire Department ‘cos it’s SMOKING in here!

This collaboration required the cooperation of each discipline within our art team, with beautiful concept art, new shaders, and breathtaking VFX!

image3.jpg

What is Next for Reanimators?

Machines will repurpose dead organic matter.
Eventually…
Now go out and raise some dead!
 

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I'd like to theorize a bit on the new machines civic, I feel quite hyped lol
Let's see, besides reanimating Leviathans::
  • Regular empires get undead armies.
  • Megacorps get undead pops.
  • Hive Minds get undead fleets.
Machines already have Grid Amalgamation purge that turns organic pops into energy, which is kind of recycling. They could get a better purge option, which is not exactly flavorful and would lock you out of assimilators and servitors civics.
Still in the recycling theme, Caravaneers will rarely sell you the blueprint for an organic reprocessing building you can build in all your colonies, which makes 10 energy and 10 minerals out of thin air (in the lore, it is reprocessing all the colony trash). The machines could either start with it or have their own building for that; but that is not flavourful either.
In terms of pop management besides purge, Assimilators already turn organic pops into controlled pops, so I think zombie pops is either out of question or they're locked from complex jobs and leadership, but then again Megacorps already have that; not very flavourful.

We're left with very few options for really unique things, but I have a couple ideas:
  • Have a building that transforms all the planet organic matter into machinery, slowly terraforming it into a Machine World. It is Gaia seeders with a twist, plus people always wanted Machine Empires with easy access to Machine terraforming option without the perk; this is a very legit way of doing that as Gaia Seeder also dismisses a perk.
    Difficult to apply this lore to Leviathan resurrection, but my next idea also elaborates on that.
    I will call this the "Undead Planet" Option.
  • What if it wasn't about recycling organic things but instead their own broken machines? There already is a Recycled trait for Machine pops, so one way of having a different kind of Recycled Drones is making it an innate trait just like Aquatic or Cave Dweller, free, with the same limitation as Megacorp' Zombies; cannot generate leaders and unable to do complex jobs.
    Recycled Drones would use the Monthly Assembly slot but much faster and cheaper than regular Machines, to make up for the conflicting assembly. While the pop assembly requires some micro, you could easily robomod those drones with all the negative leader traits free of worry about them making leaders.
    The problem is how do you justify the access to Undead Leviathans? Do you change it to instead be able to reconstruct the Scavenger Bot, Nanite Ships, a buffed Dreadnaught and maybe even build Enigmatic Temple defense platforms on your Starbases? That would be quite flavourful, but I doubt Paradox would have time for something so ambitious, and there's also the galaxy geography RNG factor but Cordycept Drones already suffer from that and the devs think it is fine.
    I will call it the "Undead Machines" Option, as absurd as it sounds.
I ran out of ideas, how else could it work?
Alternatively, something to do with reanimating Leaders? That's another living thing the other civics did not try to resurrect yet.
 
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Neat.

I'd love to see a Voidspawn Colossus -- crack a planet and get a Titan-ish unit out of the rubble.
What about a giant planetary impregnator? Plant the seed of life within a planet, wait a few decades, and BOOM: new titan with powers based on the planet it hatched from!
 
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What about a giant planetary impregnator? Plant the seed of life within a planet, wait a few decades, and BOOM: new titan with powers based on the planet it hatched from!
If done in your own territory, it could be a planetary decision you can make on planets that applies a special modifier. It could be allowed on any planet, like Consecrate World, but it would also be possible on Habitable planets, which could produce some additional benefits.

Perhaps the hatching process could have a chance to fail, whereas using a Habitable planet guarantees it would succeed.

I imagine it would take from 10 up to 20 years per planet. You would only be able to do it to a limited number of planets at a time too, at most 3.

It could also be a special operation you can conduct on another empire's planet, like the Consume Star operation. Unlike Consume Star it would only consume a single planet, but it would also spawn a weaker version of the Voidspawn (could be justified as being less developed due to accelerated growth), no stronger than 10k fleet power; hostile to everyone instead of under our control.

It would also grant the Total War casus belli on the perpetrator, just like Consume Star.
 
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Questions for clarification-

The space-critter resurrection definitely applies to the amoeba and tiyanki, and presumably not the mining drones. How about the crystals? Are they considered organic enough?


Additionally- though not specific to this diary- for normal empires with the scavenging civic that gives a 10% chance of reclaiming a ship, does that apply to mining drone vessels at all, as an analog to this civic's bio-ressurection?
 
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Let's see, besides reanimating Leviathans::
  • Regular empires get undead armies.
  • Megacorps get undead pops.
  • Hive Minds get undead fleets.
I think Megacorps should also get limited access to undead armies, by recruiting from the Zombie pops. Either that, or Zombie armies shouldn't be able to produce armies at all, because right now they're in this weird situation where you can make regular armies out of Zombie pops.
 
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Reanimating ME.
Hmm.
Brain tanks could be cool.

Converting destroyed empire rulers to brain in a jar type relics that can be activated for short bonuses depending on the ruler lvl/ethics/Skills.
A friendly ME might offer this service to allies for some sort of payment.

Could be coupled with nanoswarm bombardment/defense that turns dead pops/invading armies into troops, dalek prison style.
 
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Very nice content!
I'm trying my first Posthumous Employment, and it's much better than I though.

For machine empires and/or regular empires which choose the Flesh is Weak, would be cool an feature that mechanize dead body of leviathans to use they in a different, but similar way, of reanimators.
 
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Greetings, ghouls and ghasts! Chief Reanimator Iggy here to report the most recent innovation in the field of necromancy. With the 3.6 update, we will bring you the Cordyceptic Drones civic! These delightful fungi will allow you to dominate the galaxy with zombie space fauna, as this is the third Reanimation civic! I know many of you have been enjoying this on the Beta, but if you give me a moment, I will have something new to show you!


Cordyceptic Drones

If you have been following how I made Permanent Employment, you would know that I want all these different reanimation civics to have access to the Leviathan Reanimation feature while still having unique gameplay. Cordyceptics follow this trend giving hives a much more biological reanimation method.

View attachment 910847
Also including the new Hivemind Government Type Parasitic Overmind!

The civic can be incredibly powerful based on the space fauna you encounter. If you find Tiyana Vek early game, then you are in for a fun game while you have to restructure your entire economy to produce enough food to keep your dread fleet flying. Yet that is not all! Cordyceptic Empires are masters of all things biological, so your Amoeba Flagella will now be a force to be reckoned with in the early game. And if you happen to get the Prethoryn as your crisis, you might be able to use those missiles better than the Prethoryn themselves!

View attachment 910848
Now, who would want to start with some boring old Corvettes?

As a final little flavor feature for you, I present you with the Cordyceptic Reanimation Facility, capable of resurrecting space fauna continuously for a food upkeep! However, it requires that you find systems rich in organic life.

View attachment 910849
A new Tiyanki fleet is ready to be deployed!

The Other Thing

Back when Eladrin and I first introduced Reanimatable Leviathans for 3.1 “Lem” there was one piece of feedback we kept hearing internally. Will the Leviathans look like Zombies? While we couldn't deliver it back then. After much finagling, bartering, and pledging my soul to our Art Director, we are here to bring you Reanimated Leviathans as you have never seen them before.

View attachment 910844
Someone call in the Fire Department ‘cos it’s SMOKING in here!

This collaboration required the cooperation of each discipline within our art team, with beautiful concept art, new shaders, and breathtaking VFX!


What is Next for Reanimators?

Machines will repurpose dead organic matter.
Eventually…
Now go out and raise some deLove this
However the biggest problem with this is late game is two necromancer jobs for the building slot seems underwhelming.

What about making necromancer's ruler
Class and take some
Politicians jobs instead?
 
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This inspired me to suggest a new bombardment type - let's cause some zombie apocalypse.

 
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"Spears to transform drakes into ghost drakes"?! WTF are you talking about???
 

Ikael

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What about a giant planetary impregnator? Plant the seed of life within a planet, wait a few decades, and BOOM: new titan with powers based on the planet it hatched from!
This seems a mechanic ripe to be implemented for reanimator lithoid empires. Zombi planets and brethren moons for everyone!
I'd like to theorize a bit on the new machines civic, I feel quite hyped lol
Let's see, besides reanimating Leviathans::
  • Regular empires get undead armies.
  • Megacorps get undead pops.
  • Hive Minds get undead fleets.
I ran out of ideas, how else could it work?
I think that the whole "Reanimator machines" could go through two very different routes:

Option A: Final reassemblers

"This robot species has been designed to repurpose all kinds of inefficient matter, organic or not, into the most perfect design that exists: their own image. This process shall be replicated on a geometrical, fractal scale until the entire universe has been properly optimized"

Evil reanimator machines. Robots that "recycle" organic pops and organic matter in order to increase their own numbers. They get a special type of organic purge that grants tons of robot assembly, as well as the option to slowly turn regular planets into machine worlds, Gaia-seeder style. Foreign robots will slowly be passively reassembled into your own species template, necropurge-stye.

Option B: Determined Recyclators

"Originally created as a mechanism for sustaining and repairing the damaged biosphere of its homeworld by recycling as many inorganic materials as possible, these helpful robots have survived the extinction of their creators, which built them too late to prevent ecological collapse. However, the failure of their original mission has not diminished their enthusiasm, as they venture into the stars in order to help other organic species that might be in need of their unique capabilities"

Eco-friendly recycling machines that start on a Gaia world. They can "repair" mechanical leviathans (after defeating them), as well as incorporate the designs and traits of other (purged) robots into their own designs by "grafting" parts of them. Additionally, they might sign "recycling treaties" with organic empires, allowing for a symbiotic relationship that would decrease consumer good consumption in the organic empire, in exchange for additional alloys for your machines. Unlike other ME, they have diplomatic bonuses when dealing with organic empires, and diplomatic maluses from other Machine empires.
 
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By the way, shouldn't machines also have Scavengers-type civic?
 
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