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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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Wizzington

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  • Fixes for AI in end game crises.
Would it be possible to get a more detailed explanation on this one? Does it mean they will more responsive to these threats? or?

Among other things, yes.
 
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Stormcow

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@Wiz Good job Wiz and the team, the game is 2 weeks old and you have already addressed most of the core issues. Im glad that we live in a world where i can happily carry on playing knowing that the hot fixes will keep dropping almost as fast as i notice the issues.

Great work! Keep it up!
 
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Wizzington

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:(

Wiz senpai didn't notice my questions. Got an additional one though. Have you managed to fix the bug where armies vanish if still landed on hostile planets when a peace deal is made? (Especially then the AI surrenders with no option to refuse or postpone)

Getting tired of having to immediately disembark my damaged troops just in case the bug occurs, and I'm stuck paying upkeep forever.

Should be fixed.
 
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I'm now going to stop answering most questions about which particular bugs are fixed, as otherwise I'll be here all week. Patch notes will be available later in the week.
 
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Dr. B

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Will you be able to do anything about border/territory access for science ships for Clarke, or will it have to waiting for the Asimov patch? Want to go boldly where no <species> has gone before, and sove those quests.
 

Wizzington

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Will you be able to do anything about border/territory access for science ships for Clarke, or will it have to waiting for the Asimov patch? Want to go boldly where no <species> has gone before, and sove those quests.

It's much easier to get AI to agree to give access in Clarke, actual access overhaul is in Asimov.
 
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Lots of excellent stuff here. Thanks!

Will surnames be kept constant now for monarchical governments? I saw a tweet from a dev saying it was in the works.
 

Alwar

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Wiz, sorry for all the questions, but i think this will continue until the patch notes release.

Are the weapons rebalanced? right now ballistics are useless
 
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Myndpyre

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Very nice changes and fixes!

Now just a few broken Steam Achievements fixes and we are golden! ;)
 

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I'm now going to stop answering most questions about which particular bugs are fixed, as otherwise I'll be here all week. Patch notes will be available later in the week.
I did warn you.
 
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Madzai

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"Xenophobes are fine", they said, "Why can't you see obvious PROs of xenophobes?", they said. It's good that xenophobes are getting a buff.
 

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Army management UI could also use some love, adding attachments is just Win 3.1 kind of UGH...
 
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Wizzington

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Wiz, sorry for all the questions, but i think this will continue until the patch notes release.

Are the weapons rebalanced? right now ballistics are useless

No. We're going to do a general balance pass on weapons at some point, but right now we have more important priorities.
 
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Wizzington

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Lots of excellent stuff here. Thanks!

Will surnames be kept constant now for monarchical governments? I saw a tweet from a dev saying it was in the works.

Yes, surnames are now inherited by heirs, and heirs will have more appropriate ages.
 
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Finnway

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Thanks for the up-date, Wiz.

Question. How regularly is Stellaris planning on releasing patches? Is it once every month? This DD almost gives me the impression Stellaris is still in full development.
 
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