Stellaris Dev Diary #34 - Clarke Patch

Hello everyone! As you may have noticed, there was no Stellaris development diary this week, because the team has been extremely busy working on the first free patch for the game, which we have named Clarke. Clarke is currently undergoing internal QA testing, and we hope to have a beta version of the patch out for you before the end of the week. Therefore, we decided to do a dev diary after all, detailing some of the fixes, changes and improvements coming in the patch.

Please note that the highlights below are just highlights, NOT exhaustive patch notes!

UI IMPROVEMENTS
A major target area for Clarke was the UI, particularly in regards to sectors and diplomacy. A few highlights:

  • Sectors can now be managed directly from the outliner.
    iXkAx0t.png

  • Diplomatic Notifications are now much more detailed.
    MAvS38w.png

  • End of Combat interface has received a major face-lift.
    VZz7pT8.png

  • Habitability icons/tooltips now show you more detailed information, including which worlds in a system you can currently colonize.
    umRygrv.png

AI IMPROVEMENTS
Another major target area for Clarke was to address complaints regarding the AI, particular in sectors to sectors and warfare. A few highlights:
  • Greatly improved sector AI handling of pops, buildings, spaceports and mining stations.
  • Fixes for AI in end game crises.
  • Improvements and fixes to AI handling of its fleets.
  • Less restrictions on what the AI will trade and with who, especially in regards to border access.
  • In multiplayer, empires that are player-controlled will have a 'limited' AI for a period of 10 years if the player drops. The limited AI will not make any drastic changes to the empire, such as changing sectors, disbanding ships, declaring wars, etc, allowing a player to rejoin their empire pretty much as they left it.

We've also added a new option in galaxy setup where you can set the AI's overall aggressiveness.
VKhKVgi.png


EMPIRE BUILDER IMPROVEMENTS
We also took some time to add a pair of highly requested features to the empire builder. Namely, the ability to write a biography for your species and empire, and the ability to customize ruler titles. Ruler titles are customized separately by gender, and will remain even if you change government type, so long as the new government is of the same type as the previous one (so changing from a Monarchy to another Monarchy will not clear your ruler titles, while changing from a Monarchy to a Democracy will).
2BfuQux.png

HW7T33r.png


BALANCE CHANGES
While balance wasn't our main priority for Clarke, we nonetheless targeted a few major balance issues. A few highlights:
  • War score costs now scale to the size of your target, so you can take more planets from large empires but can't vassalize them in a single war.
  • The ability to stack evasion on Corvettes was nerfed.
  • Strike craft had their range substantially increased.
  • Ethics were rebalanced to make Xenophile/Xenophobe stronger picks, among other changes.
  • It is no longer necessary to control planets to demand them in war, but controlling planets that are set as wargoals are now worth more warscore.
  • Technology cost is now increased both by number of planets owned and size of population, instead of just population. Accordingly, the tech increase cost from population was lowered.

BUG FIXES
In addition to all this, Clarke naturally also includes dozens of fixes for bugs large and small. A few highlights:
  • Military Station maintenance is now correctly calculated (was far too high previously).
  • Numerous fixes to events, including fixing up the Old Gods event chain.
  • Fixed 'ghost' trade deal entries and trade deals silently failing when you traded above a certain percentage of your resource stockpiles.
  • Democracies that don't allow slavery will no longer get the Slaver mandate.
  • Difficulty settings are now available in multiplayer setup.

With Clarke almost finished, we're now switching over fully to working on the Asimov patch, as outlined in last week's dev diary. Where Clarke was mainly a fix and UI improvement patch, Asimov will target the midgame with new diplomatic features and event chains. More details about Asimov will be released in development diaries over the next few weeks, but if you have any questions about the Clarke patch, feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer.
 
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Primary question. The Sector AI will handle pops better - Does that mean they will enslave pops automatically if your empire has 100% tolerance towards it? Or just on Xenos if you have xenos tolerance? And more importantly does that mean they will emancipate pops on energy and science squares?

And similarly - Will sectors stop stacking food so hard when there are robot pops on the planet?

Have you looked into how fleets behave during combat? Battleship heavy fleets appear to be almost stuck in a rut at times, not moving up and into combat range of their guns, even with the more... aggressive and suicidal modules put on them. This is particularly noticable if an enemy reinforces from a flank, leaving your fleet stuck for an eternity while they slowly blob their way to the new target, while smaller ship hulls will engage immediately.
 
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Hello everyone! As you may have noticed, there was no Stellaris development diary this week, because the team has been extremely busy working on the first free patch for the game,

What do you mean by "free" patch? Are the next ones going to be paid? What did you really mean?

Also, could you consider adding a slider to change the research pace? In all 4X games I always prefer playing with marathon-style settings, otherwise by the time the ships reach the front, they risk becoming obsolete.
 
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Wizzington

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What about the ethics divergence bug?

Also fixed. Please keep in mind that the bug fixes I posted are *not* an exhaustive list, just some highlights.
 
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What do you mean by changes to sector system, exactly? There's various fixes, but no overhaul is planned for either Clark or Asimov.
I was referencing the sectors still changing buildings when not allowed to and more shenanigans, reading your replies it seems it did get fixed just not listed in the notes up here ;)

As a side note: i'd love it in the future if i'd be able to tell sectors to keep certain happiness levels (when playing happiness builds) to build or not build robot pops, to enslave/not enslave and to be able to plop in planet unique buildings (unless the sector knows what to build when ofcourse)
 
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What do you mean by "free" patch? Are the next ones going to be paid? What did you really mean?

Also, could you consider adding a slider to change the research pace? In all 4X games I always prefer to play marathon-style settings, otherwise by the time the ships reach the front, they risk becoming obsolete.

For reference, Paradox historically releases regular free patches as well as paid-for expansions (often simultaneously) - you can put the tinfoil hat down, they're exceedingly unlikely to start charging for bug-fix patches, and they often do include some core gameplay improvements in the free patches.

(This causes its own arguments as some players then argue they didn't *want* those improvements, but these fora are a living proof of the adage that you really can't please all the people all the time...)
 
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What do you mean by "free" patch? Are the next ones going to be paid? What did you really mean?

Also, could you consider adding a slider to change the research pace? In all 4X games I always prefer playing with marathon-style settings, otherwise by the time the ships reach the front, they risk becoming obsolete.

By free patch we mean there's no accompanying expansion. Of course all patches will be free, even if they are released alongside an expansion.
 
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Does the colonization one habitibility include for example extermely adaptable? As such that it'll show my home planet type as always 100% then or is it still only showing 80%?
 

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Woot! Super excited about the Empire Builder additions. So many stories to tell. >.> My inner roleplayer rejoices.
Intrigued about the adjustments to the ethos wheel, too.
 
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Awesome!
And, if you don't mind, any improvements about the late game performance issues?

We have released a number of performance improvements in the hotfixes, and we're continuing to look into it for the people who are still experiencing performance issues, but there are only minor performance improvements in Clarke itself as we opted to put them into the hotfixes instead.
 
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