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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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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.

So; small planets are now useless or even a detriment and screw you if your nearby habitables at the game start are small?
 
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Praetorian44

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I can't wait until the patch comes out! Really looking forward to some of these fixes.
 
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What do you mean by "free" patch? Are the next ones going to be paid? What did you really mean?

It has been Paradox' policy, since the introduction of the DLC model, to have free patches. Some patches come out together with major DLCs and those will have a free part (often not only fixes, but new features as well!) and DLC-only changes. It has been announced that both Clarke and Aasimov are to be of the former variety.
 
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Rognvaldr19

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Hi Wizaroo, I've been reading about this bug with the ship computers not getting the benefits they were supposed to get (example, putting an advanced aggressive computer, or sentient AI computer on a ship but in reality it's doing nothing), has this been fixed or is it something you'll look into later?

Great work you guys are doing.
 
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If you set AI Agressiveness to high will pacifist AI players go to war ?
 

Axe99

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Cheers for the DD Wiz, UI changes and other fixes/tweaks sound great :D. On the by, any chance of pausable notifications (and some kind of predictability on pausing/unpausing when the notification is closed), as well as the possibility for notifications (preferably pausible, but just a reminder would be nice) of when fleets arrive somewhere. At the moment, later in the game, when multiple fleets will be in transit across substantial portions of the galaxy, it's very easy for one (or more) of them to be forgotten about and languish. Even if not forgotten, it's a bit fiddly having to scroll the map over, or the outliner up and down, to check if they've arrived yet. Fleet arrival notifications work really well in EU4 and HoI3, and could work well here too.

Down the track, more information being visible would be handy. For example, I currently use a notepad and pen to jot down where I find proto-civs and primitive civs, because as far as I can tell there's no way to tell whether you have any in your empire unless you scroll through each system manually.

Looking forward to Asimov and everything else down the track. Been playing Stellaris non-stop since launch (as in, haven't played any other games, I have eat/slept/worked/etc :)) and still very much enjoying it and finding more to it each game, it's a great achievement for the team regardless of it launching a bit rough :).
 
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If you set AI Agressiveness to high will pacifist AI players go to war ?

Only if they have a good reason to. It doesn't change under what circumstances AI will start wars, only how often.
 
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CheesySnake

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Looks great! I really like the re-done end-of-combat pop-up. Much more informative. The Military Station upkeep fix is welcome too. I didn't realise it was a bug and figured that they were meant to be seen as a sizeable investment.

For the Xenophobe/phile rebalance, can you go into specifics? Or will we need to wait till the patch comes out?

So; small planets are now useless or even a detriment and screw you if your nearby habitables at the game start are small?

Arguably, the small planets would have the bonus of cheaper tech vs a large one. Smaller planets hold less pops, and as a result you get a less of a cost increase from a small 12-pop planet than you do from a big 22-pop one.
 
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What are the traits of the Parodoxians and what are the ethos of the Cooperative?
 

MCAV

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Awesome.

Is the scourge disaster fixed? Will it actually end now?

And have the bugged achievements been fixed?

Great work you've been doing, appreciate it.
 
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Ihit

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So; small planets are now useless or even a detriment and screw you if your nearby habitables at the game start are small?
They still give you naval cap for Spaceports though so not exactly useless. Just makes going tall more plausible.
 
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Enkal

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Will we be able to go in and make small tile adjustments in Sectors? Like swap a building on a planet where we think it is needed? Perhaps at a small influence cost?
 
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Kaiser Timo

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Have you improved the combat AI tech issue with Battleships and or Cruisers staying behind and doing nothing whilst the corvettes get pummeled to death?!
 
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Kliwarrior

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Thanks for the nice preview. :) Does this patch address the issues with Achievements ?
 

Es57

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It seems you can only change the ruler's title for the first ruler's gender. What if the next ruler is of the opposite gender ?

Ex : I set "Ruler Title (Male)" to "Emperor". But what if the next ruler is female ?

Also to nitpick a little, I understand the patches are named after famous sci-fi writers, so should'nt it be named "Clarke" (after Arthur C. Clarke) and not Clark ?
 
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Garfazz Steamfang

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Nice and welcomed changes!
I can't wait to try them!
 
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Orajm

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Do fleets upgrades still take an obscene amount of time?
 
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Hayt

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Will the ruler appearance reseting after a save be fixed this patch? It's not a game breaking issue but honestly if my ruler stops looking like my ruler after I load I'm totally taken out of the game.
 

Wizzington

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It seems you can only change the ruler's title for the first ruler's gender. What if the next ruler is of the opposite gender ?

Ex : I set "Ruler Title (Male)" to "Emperor". But what if the next ruler is female ?

Also to nitpick a little, I understand the patches are named after famous sci-fi writers, so should'nt it be named "Clarke" (after Arthur C. Clarke) and not Clark ?

You can set titles for both genders by switching the gender, editing title, and switching back.

Also yes, I fixed the spelling of Clarke.
 
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