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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Tim_Ward

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Genuinely appreciate this DD being posted today after it was missed yesterday (and for the best of reasons, no doubt) . PDS's continued commitment to community interaction and general giving of shits is a stark contrast to the industry norm.

What do you mean by changes to sector system, exactly?

I can't speak for him, but more than three ways (give energy, give minerals, tell them what to focus on) to interact with them would be nice.

Sector edicts and policies, or something.

At the moment, there's less much interaction with a sector than with a core planet, whereas I feel they amount of attention you'd need to give them should be about the same.
 

Wizzington

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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 almost DD gives me the impression Stellaris is still in full development.

Right now we have Clarke and Asimov, which are planned end of May/end of June, after that I can't give you any specifics yet.
 
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Wizzington

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Just to clarify this about end-game threats, does this mean the AI will actively combat the scourge/Unbidden?

Yes, if they or an ally is threatened by them.
 
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Stadhouder

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On the other hand, he is the FIRST PATCH!

Sure, that's a nice tribute as well. Still, I hope they will name the expansion after some sci-fi classic (I Robot for playable synths, Starship Trooper for the Stellaris version of Art of war) and he gets a great expansion named after one or several of his books!
 
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stalker9

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Did you fix bugs with vertical star position not being saved? According to the screentshot it is still there, but I hope this is old screenshot.
This bug drives me crazy, because it affects save games, when it will be fixed I would have to start new game to see the result.
Please fix this in Clarke and don't make us to wait another month for this.
 
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KingBeer

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Wow amazing work in such a short period of time. Thank you for all you and your team have done. This is my first paradox game to get into and I am floored by the amount of support this wonderful game is receiving to make it even better.
 
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PerkyGoth

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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.
To be fair, what else are people supposed to write on a thread about a future patch?
As for me, well, thanks for all the fish.
 
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gr4vediggr

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Hi Wiz and the entire dev team.

Great work on the patch. I'm really liking the new UI changes and basically everything that you mentioned in the post. I'm certain that you guys have been working hard on this the past few weeks.

I have a question about a bug I noticed. The bug is about the +fire rate and +damage of the combat computers not actually applying to their ships. I did extensive 1v1 tests (with ships with lots of HP, and missiles so there is no evasion). All tests showed that, with respect to damage done, the default computer does the same damage as the aggressive computers, sentient computers, etcetera.

I'm specifically asking about this bug because QA testers seemed to disagree with me. But they tested fleets vs fleets, not 1v1. In 1v1 you rule out any fleet behaviours (such as focus firing).

Keep up the good work though!
 

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Oscot

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Does Clark fix the problem of that if one of your own planet gets invaded, and the invaders get some time to build fortifications then you can't do orbital barrage on your own planet and thus your troops cant take back the planet due to fortification rate.
Oh goddam I just experienced this last night.
Help.
My poor little uplifts are getting tormented by the mean enemy robots.
AND I CAN'T SAAAAAAAAVE THEEEEEEEEMMMMMM