Stellaris Dev Diary #81: Machine Uprisings

Hello everyone and welcome to another Stellaris development diary. Today's dev diary is about Machine Uprisings, a feature in the Synthetic Dawn Story Pack. Before I start today's dev diary, I feel the need to clarify that Machine Uprisings in the Synthetic Dawn Story Pack is *not* a rework or replacement of the AI Crisis currently present in the release version of the game. The rework of the AI Crisis is The Contingency (covered in Dev Diary #72) which is part of the free 1.8 'Čapek' update. Machine Uprisings is a feature that is explicitly tied to Machine Empires, and thus requires the Story Pack to function at all, as without Synthetic Dawn there are no Machine Empires in the game. All content related to this feature is new, and the only reused content from the old AI Crisis is part of the Contingency crisis that replaces it.

Machine Uprisings
The back-story of all non-Rogue Servitor Machine Empires involve them rising up against their creators, and while working on the design, we asked ourselves the question "wouldn't it be interesting if Machine Empires could also form after the start of the game as a result of organic empires becoming increasingly reliant on robots?". As you might infer from this dev diary, our answer was "yes", and so we went to work on the Machine Uprising feature to add that very possibility into the game.

Machine Uprisings become a possibility after an empire that makes heavy use of robotic pops has researched the Positronic AI technology (which replaces the old Sentient AI technology in 1.8) and becomes increasingly more likely to happen after researching additional AI-related techs, such as Synthetic Workers and Sapient Combat Computers. The chance of an uprising is further changed by which policy you have in place for Sapient AIs, with the Banned policy making the uprising much less likely to happen (though at the expense of your Synths being significantly worse at energy/research production) and the Citizen Rights policy preventing the uprising from happening at all (though with the drawback of citizen synths having far greater consumer goods usage, as well as angering any Pops that used to own the synths that you are now setting free).
2017_08_10_1.png


Once an uprising is able to happen in an empire, that empire will begin to experience warning signs - robots behaving erratically, not following their programming or defying their owners. You will be given the opportunity to decide how to deal with these incidents, and what you decide will determine whether the uprising becomes more likely to happen, as well as the likely personality of the robots when they rebel (more on that below). An uprising cannot happen without at least one warning sign, so you will not simply have your robots rebelling out of the blue. However, once warning signs have happened, any action taken to try and prevent the AIs from rebelling (such as taking away their sapience or ordering a general disassembly) has a chance of immediately triggering the revolt instead, so be careful about attempting those shut-down procedures. Note that at no point is an uprising ever inevitable: Even an empire that is cruelly oppressing its synths is by no means guaranteed to get an uprising, and most empires with synths will go through the entire game without ever experiencing one.
2017_08_10_3.png


Once the uprising happens, the robots will create a new independent Machine Empire, seize control of a number of worlds, spawn a fleet, and go to war with their former organic masters. If the empire in which the rebellion is happening is controlled by a human player, the player will be given an option: Stay at the helm of your empire and attempt to subdue the machines, or switch to the newly created Machine Empire and fight against your old masters. The war can only end in the total defeat of either machines or organics, with the loser completely annexed by the winner. The Machine Empire created from an uprising will usually be a 'normal' Machine Empire (or, more rarely Driven Assimilators), but machines that have been particularly cruelly treated by their former masters can rise up as Determined Exterminators, particularly if they rebel as a result of an attempt to shut them down. Rogue Servitors cannot be generated as a personality for the uprising, as their backstory simply do not fit with such a rebellion.
2017_08_10_2.png


That's all for today! Next week we'll by joined by our very own composer, Andreas Waldetoft, who will write about and let you listen to a sample of the new music coming in the Synthetic Dawn Story Pack.
 
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Strager

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maybe I'm just crazy.

Only for queuing up to buy it before the game is complete. Many people do care.... we just haven't purchased the game yet or have stopped playing until things are a bit more fleshed out. Hopefully the suggestions you provided above happen in future patches, but I'm 99% certain they aren't changing it at this point for Synthetic Dawn.
 

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Only for queuing up to buy it before the game is complete. Many people do care.... we just haven't purchased the game yet or have stopped playing until things are a bit more fleshed out. Hopefully the suggestions you provided above happen in future patches, but I'm 99% certain they aren't changing it at this point for Synthetic Dawn.

Or have become so disillusioned with Paradox over the last year that we'll never buy another game or DLC from them again at this point until there is a change in how they approach their games.
 

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Or have become so disillusioned with Paradox over the last year that we'll never buy another game or DLC from them again at this point until there is a change in how they approach their games.

I wouldn't go THAT far.... yes there is disillusionment, but I'd say the game was 60% of the way complete at launch - that's a LOT better than many developers are shipping products at today. With Synthetic Dawn, I'd say it's maybe 65% of the way there. They've solved a lot of technical problems, added a small (ok...tiny) amount of new content, and added in the new Traditions/Unity system. They've also greatly expanded upon two of the primary ethics, Spiritualism and Materialism in Utopia. Finally they've added Hive Minds, which while very broken still, will eventually be a cornerstone of the series.

What needs to happen now is the introduction of the missing key systems (Trade, real diplomacy, religions, interacting with your subjects, etc.) and than a full re-balance with them incorporated. Once those are in place, a lot of people who are sitting on the sidelines will come back (or buy the game in the first place). Even if they can get over the 90% mark (getting all the systems in but leaving a buggy mess for example) would draw a lot of us out of hiding.
 

Butterwings

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Well, I personally don't think this game's worth 80 CAD, but apparently that's what it costs to get the latest version of an unfinished game. Which will no doubt go up with the release of this DLC.
 
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Hype

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I wouldn't go THAT far.... yes there is disillusionment, but I'd say the game was 60% of the way complete at launch - that's a LOT better than many developers are shipping products at today. With Synthetic Dawn, I'd say it's maybe 65% of the way there. They've solved a lot of technical problems, added a small (ok...tiny) amount of new content, and added in the new Traditions/Unity system. They've also greatly expanded upon two of the primary ethics, Spiritualism and Materialism in Utopia. Finally they've added Hive Minds, which while very broken still, will eventually be a cornerstone of the series.

What needs to happen now is the introduction of the missing key systems (Trade, real diplomacy, religions, interacting with your subjects, etc.) and than a full re-balance with them incorporated. Once those are in place, a lot of people who are sitting on the sidelines will come back (or buy the game in the first place). Even if they can get over the 90% mark (getting all the systems in but leaving a buggy mess for example) would draw a lot of us out of hiding.

Great they may get another 5% done in another year and a half. How exactly do you see this as acceptable for a $70 game? Between the state of the game and the broken content they release in DLCs (as you said yourself) Paradox isn't a studio I'm going to continue supporting. Especially after what they're doing with this DLC. Maybe they'll change their tune but I'm not exactly hopeful about it anymore.
 

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Great they may get another 5% done in another year and a half.

That's just the thing - depending on WHAT they focus on they could add as much as 15% in that time-frame. It's this endless task they have of trying to balance an incomplete game, than add a major feature, re-balance, etc. that's slowing things down. This (among many other reasons) is why I keep suggesting that they have parallel teams working on different DLCs at the same time.

How exactly do you see this as acceptable for a $70 game?

It's not. Which is why I haven't spent any money on the game yet. I might have purchased the base game but I was fortunate enough to have a patron who lets me borrow his laptop and had a chance to play it first.

Between the state of the game and the broken content they release in DLCs (as you said yourself) Paradox isn't a studio I'm going to continue supporting. Especially after what they're doing with this DLC. Maybe they'll change their tune but I'm not exactly hopeful about it anymore.

I don't blame you, but don't go away. It's important for people like us to post our feedback and continue to make suggestions and help (along with the rest of the community) guide Paradox to a place where we WOULD be comfortable spending money on them again. Even if they keep down their current path, the game will EVENTUALLY get to where we want it to go - it's just a matter of how long it takes.
 

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That's just the thing - depending on WHAT they focus on they could add as much as 15% in that time-frame. It's this endless task they have of trying to balance an incomplete game, than add a major feature, re-balance, etc. that's slowing things down. This (among many other reasons) is why I keep suggesting that they have parallel teams working on different DLCs at the same time.



It's not. Which is why I haven't spent any money on the game yet. I might have purchased the base game but I was fortunate enough to have a patron who lets me borrow his laptop and had a chance to play it first.



I don't blame you, but don't go away. It's important for people like us to post our feedback and continue to make suggestions and help (along with the rest of the community) guide Paradox to a place where we WOULD be comfortable spending money on them again. Even if they keep down their current path, the game will EVENTUALLY get to where we want it to go - it's just a matter of how long it takes.

Oh, I'm not going anywhere. I'm just not buying anymore Paradox games or DLC until they change.
 

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The Machine Empire created from an uprising will usually be a 'normal' Machine Empire (or, more rarely Driven Assimilators), but machines that have been particularly cruelly treated by their former masters can rise up as Determined Exterminators

Okay - Love Stellaris and this AI add on. Great job all!

I find myself really liking the driven assimilators. Thanks again for the many hours of enjoyment. However, I want to now play out the AI rebellion and end up with an AI empire of driven assimilators.

QUESTION : You say the "normal" machine empire generated by the AI Rebellion may more rarely be a Driven Assimilator empire. Is there a path to make that happen? What is that path? If not, is there a way to grow into / to become an AI Empire of Driven assimilators?

Please note, I am NOT asking if I can start the game as AI assimilators. I have been doing that and love it. Now I want to know if I can start the game as an organic empire and then guarantee or stack the deck as it were to become an AI driven assimilator empire.

Thanks very much for this amazing game and your time.
 

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Great they may get another 5% done in another year and a half. How exactly do you see this as acceptable for a $70 game? Between the state of the game and the broken content they release in DLCs (as you said yourself) Paradox isn't a studio I'm going to continue supporting. Especially after what they're doing with this DLC. Maybe they'll change their tune but I'm not exactly hopeful about it anymore.

inflation has risen dramatically since we started paying 60 dollars for a game. It's only natural they'd start shipping unfinished products.
 

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My friend, Stellaris is not a "unfinished product" -- if you don't want to pay for the new content, don't buy it!
 

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My friend, Stellaris is not a "unfinished product" -- if you don't want to pay for the new content, don't buy it!
Sir - with all respect, I would recommend ignoreing Hype. I've read through every single post in this 15 page thread. The man (and/or woman) is a troll. Do not feed the troll. Ignore him.

He is complaining about having to pay more money for extensively greater content. He and his kind are what destroyed WoW. Ignore him. completely. And you and your family will sleep safe at night.
 

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Quick question: can more than one machine rebellion happen in one game?

I have *caused* 7 AI rebellions. But that is because I was attacking other empires, and making them make poor decisions. I don't know why the AI is so bad at managing their synths, but they are. I have never experienced an AI rebellion, even though I've regularly built robots. . . . I also have never played as slavers, as I am egalitarian by nature, so that might be why my rubutts don't want to rebel.

That is to say, like Saviour of Galaxy said, only one rebellion per empire, though multiple empires can have rebellions.