Hello everyone and welcome to another Stellaris development diary. Now that the 1.7.2 update is out, we can officially start talking about the next update, which has been named 1.8 'Čapek'. This update will include the reworked AI crisis and other changes to crises outlined in Dev Diary #72. More information will be forthcoming in future dev diaries on the exact nature and release date of 1.8, but for today we'll be going over some changes and improvements to Habitability and Terraforming coming in 1.8.

Habitability Changes
Ever since the changes to the habitable planet classes and habitability back in Heinlein we have continued to discuss habitability, and in particular, the frequency of habitable worlds in the galaxy. A general feeling among the designers has been that habitable planets are too common and do not feel special enough, but that reducing the base number of habitable worlds wasn't really feasible while most empires only had access to colonizing a third of them at the start. We also felt that the sheer abundance of habitable worlds that become available to you when you do achieve the ability to colonize/terraform other climate types also meant that there is little pressure to expand your borders - not when you can triple your planet count simply by utilizing the planets already inside your borders.

For this reason we've decided to make a number of fundamental changes to habitability. First of all, the habitability at which Pops can live on a planet was reduced from 40% to 20%, meaning that by default, most species will be able to colonize most habitable worlds in the galaxy from the very start. We have also changed the actual effects of habitability: Rather than acting as a cap on happiness, it now acts as a modifier on it (in addition to affecting growth, as before), with each 10 points of habitability below 100% reducing happiness by 2.5% (so at the base 20% habitability, a Pop would get -20% to their happiness). This means that while low-habitability planets are possible to colonize, it may not be a good idea to do so unless you have ways to compensate for the negative effects of low habitability.
OcmNsiP.png


With these changes, we have cut the base number of habitable worlds in the galaxy in half. For those that prefer to play with more (or even fewer!) habitable worlds, there is of course the habitable worlds slider in galaxy setup as before. Overall, the changes should result in habitable worlds and terraforming candidates feeling like more significant finds in the early game, and contribute to mid and late game friction as empires run out of worlds to colonize inside their borders.


Planetary Deposits
Along with the change to habitability, we have also changed the way resource deposits are generated on habitable worlds. Rather than all habitable worlds having the exact same chance to generate the different kind of resource deposits, we have now broken it up a bit by climate as follows:

Wet Climate planets (Continental, Ocean, Tropical) are more likely to generate food and society research deposits.
Frozen Climate planets (Arctic, Tundra, Alpine) are more likely to generate mineral and engineering research deposits.
Dry Climate planets (Desert, Arid, Savanna) are more likely to generate energy and physics research deposits.
Gaia planets are more likely to generate mixed deposits and strategic resources.

Of course, this does not mean that you will *only* find those types of desposits on such planets - it simply means they are more likely to be found there.
2017_06_15_1.png



Terraforming Interface Improvements
Also coming in 1.8 are a couple changes to improve Terraforming and Terraforming Candidates. First of all, we've introduced a concept called 'significant planetary modifiers'. This is a flag (accessible to modders) that can be set on any planetary modifier, and will result in that planet appearing in the Expansion Planner even if it not of a habitable planet class. For now, the only significant modifier is Terraforming Candidates (such as Mars), so you should no longer find a Terraforming Candidate only to forget which system it is located in, but we expect to make more use of this functionality in the future.
2017_06_15_3.png


We also spent some time cleaning up the Terraforming interface in general, hiding the button for planets where it is never applicable (such as non-Terraforming Candidate barren worlds) and improving the sorting and style of the actual terraforming window.
2017_06_15_4.png


That's all for now! Next week we'll be talking about some significant changes coming in the area of genetic modification.
 
Last edited:

pheonicia

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So I'm assuming this will make the events where your pops genetically modify themselves significantly more common.
 

klingonadmiral

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How will Migration work with the new habitability? Currently pops won't migrate to and will actively migrate off low habitability world. Don't want my pops to move from their pristine capital world buildings to unimproved tiles on Robot-Excavation-Colony Daleth.
 

Wizzington

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How will Migration work with the new habitability? Currently pops won't migrate to and will actively migrate off low habitability world. Don't want my pops to move from their pristine capital world buildings to unimproved tiles on Robot-Excavation-Colony Daleth.

Generally Pops won't migrate to low habitability worlds still, but they won't migrate away either unless forced away (<20% habitability) or the planet is getting full.
 

Kollatius

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Planetary Deposits
Along with the change to habitability, we have also changed the way resource deposits are generated on habitable worlds. Rather than all habitable worlds having the exact same change to generate the different kind of resource deposits, we have now broken it up a bit by climate as follows:

Wet Climate planets (Continental, Ocean, Tropical) are more likely to generate food and society research deposits.
Frozen Climate planets (Arctic, Tundra, Alpine) are more likely to generate energy and engineering research deposits.
Dry Climate planets (Desert, Arid, Savanna) are more likely to generate mineral and physics research deposits.
Gaia planets are more likely to generate mixed deposits and strategic resources.
I'm having mixed feelings about this, on one hand I'm glad the planetary environments are being made more unique, but from the other hand these changes seem to gear some planets types towards certain playstyles too much
 

Wizzington

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I'm having mixed feelings about this, on one hand I'm glad the planetary environments are being made more unique, but from the other hand these changes seem to gear some planets types towards certain playstyles too much

Keep in mind that you'll now be able to colonize most types of worlds from the very start. The balance effects should be fairly minimal.
 

MatthieuG7

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This sounds very cool! Only problem I have is from an immersion perspective: I would swap energy and minerals. I think it makes more sense for hot, dry planets which get a lot of sun to have more energy than cold ones.
 

Madzai

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Rather than acting as a cap on happiness, it now acts as a modifier on it (in addition to affecting growth, as before)
I think that for this to work, current low happiness effects not severe enough. And -20% Happiness (most severe case) isn't that hard to combat, even with different happiness bonuses nerf.
And what about POP growth affected by Habitability?
 

Wizzington

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I think that for this to work, current low happiness effects not severe enough. And -20% Happiness (most severe case) isn't that hard to combat, even with different happiness bonuses nerf.
And what about POP growth affected by Habitability?

Habitability already has a major effect on the time it takes for pops to grow.
 

Wizzington

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This sounds very cool! Only problem I have is from an immersion perspective: I would swap energy and minerals. I think it makes more sense for hot, dry planets which get a lot of sun to have more energy than cold ones.

EDIT: This is actually the case, I read the file wrong when writing the DD. Fixing!
 

Gaussia

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Like the idea of making planets feel more special, I think that's good.

If that is your goal, have you though about reducing number of planets and increasing number of tiles on a planet?

Also, to be honest, 20% Happiness penalty for living on a planet with 20% Habitability doesn't seem very sever.
(Maybe increase it and make some tech that reduces the penalty later in the game?)
 

CNightwing

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Wouldn't it be better to utilize the planet grid you've devised to introduce a second dimension to planet type? With the proposal above, I can live most happily on planets producing very similar resources, and that feels like it's going to put me in a corner (or rather, I'm going to be picking mineral homeworlds every time). The grid is currently just three columns of differing water availabilities. Why not make Continental, Alpine and Savannah go together in the Food/Society group, Desert, Ocean and Tundra together for Energy/Engineering, which leaves Arid, Arctic and Tropical for Minerals/Physics? Also it feels more correct to have Energy with Physics, and Minerals with Engineering.

I mean, at this point, with major habitability changes anyway, perhaps rethink those world types?
 

Wizzington

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20% is equivalent to the penalty for being enslaved. Any higher would make settling 20% habitability worlds completely unfeasible and thus remove the entire point of opening them up in the first place.
 

Caligula Caesar

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I like the changes! I second MatthieuG7's point on the minerals and energy, he beat me to it ;) I was also wondering why the research is split - from a gameplay point of view, it makes sense, but I can't think of a real life 'scientific' reason :p
 

FlyingPhoenix

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Wouldn't it be better to utilize the planet grid you've devised to introduce a second dimension to planet type? With the proposal above, I can live most happily on planets producing very similar resources, and that feels like it's going to put me in a corner (or rather, I'm going to be picking mineral homeworlds every time). The grid is currently just three columns of differing water availabilities. Why not make Continental, Alpine and Savannah go together in the Food/Society group, Desert, Ocean and Tundra together for Energy/Engineering, which leaves Arid, Arctic and Tropical for Minerals/Physics? Also it feels more correct to have Energy with Physics, and Minerals with Engineering.

I mean, at this point, with major habitability changes anyway, perhaps rethink those world types?
I think this is a brilliant idea. It keeps the same dimension of strategy.

I'm disappointed to see no changes to combat balancing and missile targeting behaviour.
 

Ambereyed

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Frozen Climate planets (Arctic, Tundra, Alpine) are more likely to generate energy and engineering research deposits.
Dry Climate planets (Desert, Arid, Savanna) are more likely to generate mineral and physics research deposits.

Is it only me who thinks minerals should be instead moved to frozen climate and energy to dry?
When I think about desert planet I can image enormous solar plants and wind turbines.
On the other hand cold climate encourages to go underground, where minerals could be easier found.
Also somehow physics research is in my inagination closer tied to energy (energy techs are physics for example) and engineering to minerals (for similar reasons).

Edit: oh now I see it has been changed while I was writing this post :) nice!
 

MrSoulbinder

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What about weapon balance? Targeting logic? Defensive structures? Ship roles? What about the fleet combat/military/strategic aspect of stellaris?

Every dev diary I am somewhat happy to see you work on new/improving features, but I truly cannot understand how you can prioritize Terraforming higher than improving the combat core mechanics of the game. The forum is full of threads that prove in detail how desperately this is needed! When will you be ready to talk about this?
 

Agnostik

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So I'm assuming this will make the events where your pops genetically modify themselves significantly more common.
As if they weren't annoying (and relatively improbable) enough already. I used to avoid researching the corresponding tech just so I wouldn't have to deal with this, and that's not good design in my book.
 

Wizzington

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I think this is a brilliant idea. It keeps the same dimension of strategy.

I'm disappointed to see no changes to combat balancing and missile targeting behaviour.

Dev diaries focus on one or a few topics at a time. The posts of 'why isn't this dev diary about what *I* wanted it to be about?' are entirely pointless. There's plenty of threads to discuss combat balancing and missile behaviour in, this isn't one of them.