Patch choice: 1.7 versus 2.0

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Aythne

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I get that it's way too far along to actually change things, but I'm very curious about the choice to "re-launch" Stellaris at a pre-2.0 patch level for consoles.

The changes to interstellar travel have such a huge impact on the game, it feel weird to introduce console players to a version of the game that doesn't exist anymore (for many good reasons).

Unless what was meant by "a unique version of the 1.7 patch which will feel a little closer to current 2.0 on PCs.", is that the base game will work as it does now, but with only the content up to 1.7.
 

Peter Ebbesen

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Let me give you the same answer as I posted in the announcement thread:

Since they are presenting a playable version at Gamescon this week, it is a good guess that porting to consoles will have started a long time before 2.0 was released.

And given that it is insane unwise expensive to have a porting team chase a moving goal of "try to catch up with our DLCs before we release any port" rather than pursuing a fixed goal of porting a stable code base and then working on catching up afterwards, my best guess is that real work began some time after 1.7 was considered stable. (Quite possibly with earlier feasibility study.)

But of course there might be other reasons, I'm just guessing. I'd be deeply surprised if any porting team, no matter how good, that didn't have experience with the Stellaris code base in advance, would be able to port 2.0 in the period after release to have a decently playable version these 6 months later. (A shitty port, now, that's another thing).

----

As regards the 2.0 FTL changes, I'm sure PDS have already got a plan for dealing with this issue, though whether it is giving advance warning or something else, who knows? (Well PDS, obviously. :D) The one thing I feel pretty sure of is that PDS has no intention of the two game branches diverging significantly in game play (as opposed to user interface) as that easily gets expensive and a pain in the arse to maintain in the long run - much easier to keep essentially the same track, but with console running behind and playing catch up in DLCs if the console sales warrant it.
 
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Aythne

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Let me give you the same answer as I posted in the announcement thread:

Since they are presenting a playable version at Gamescon this week, it is a good guess that porting to consoles will have started a long time before 2.0 was released.

And given that it is insane unwise expensive to have a porting team chase a moving goal of "try to catch up with our DLCs before we release any port" rather than pursuing a fixed goal of porting a stable code base and then working on catching up afterwards, my best guess is that real work began some time after 1.7 was considered stable. (Quite possibly with earlier feasibility study.)

But of course there might be other reasons, I'm just guessing. I'd be deeply surprised if any porting team, no matter how good, that didn't have experience with the Stellaris code base in advance, would be able to port 2.0 in the period after release to have a decently playable version these 6 months later. (A shitty port, now, that's another thing).

----

As regards the 2.0 FTL changes, I'm sure PDS have already got a plan for dealing with this issue, though whether it is giving advance warning or something else, who knows? (Well PDS, obviously. :D) The one thing I feel pretty sure of is that PDS has no intention of the two game branches diverging significantly in game play (as opposed to user interface) as that easily gets expensive and a pain in the arse to maintain in the long run - much easier to keep essentially the same track, but with console running behind and playing catch up in DLCs if the console sales warrant it.

Oh, I'm very well aware of the complexities in porting a title such as this, that at some point you have to draw a line in the sand and go with what you feel is best.

It's just that... 2.0 wasn't just a patch adding a bit of content. It radically changed the way the game is played on several fundamental levels.

It feels weird on two fronts: workload and player experience.

First, they're doing all this work to port a finnicky, unwieldy FTL and border system that is already obsolete. For all the complaining that they're ruining MY Stellaris in the run-up to 2.0, there's pretty much nobody who would go back to the old system voluntarily [cue several angry posts on the subject]. It was a lot of work to build 2.0, I've no doubt. But now you're asking the console team to re-build one system and then the other in (likely) rapid succession.

Secondly, and more importantly is the player experience this entails. While I'm sure there will be a sizeable number of current PC Stellaris players who will buy another copy on their console, they're not the target demographic. This is a move to expand the playerbase to a crowd that hasn't had strategy games like this available to them before. And... oh boy, would I *hate* the old FTL mechanics with a controller. Remember galactic whack-a-mole, chasing down enemy fleets? Fighting a war with 4 different movement types on each side, struggling every step/jump/lane of the way? Did you ever put your finger and thumb to the screen to try to figure out *just* where to put your next outpost, only to get none of the systems you thought you would?

It was... fine, on PC, especially when there wasn't really anything better. But now all this new entrant to our galactic community has to do is go online and find out that, by the time it's out there'll have been a better, simpler, more intuitive system out for over a year. And that it'll be coming soon enough that all their struggling will be for naught. It's just not the greatest impression to leave new players and fans of the genre, in my pessimistic opinion.

Listen, I hope I'm wrong. I hope the experience is seamlessly smooth and that the dev team is stoked to keep catching up on the PC version as time goes by. I'm open to be convinced, I'm just... not, yet.
 

Peter Ebbesen

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Listen, I hope I'm wrong. I hope the experience is seamlessly smooth and that the dev team is stoked to keep catching up on the PC version as time goes by. I'm open to be convinced, I'm just... not, yet.
It is the Australian Tantalus Media doing the port. Doing ports of PC games to consoles has been their business model the last many years.

As such, I expect they'll be stoked to keep catching up on the PC version as long as Paradox is willing to pay them to do so. :D
 

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It is the Australian Tantalus Media doing the port. Doing ports of PC games to consoles has been their business model the last many years.
They do the CSL console versions, FYI. I assume PoE too although I haven't checked that.

Whereas Haemimont do their own console version of Surviving Mars.
 

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I feel like 2.0 is still in a rapid state of flux.

I can see why they'd port to a more "stable" or "final" version of the game.

Paradox has made it clear that 2.0 is just the beginning of many many fundamental changes. I can see them wanting to bring in those eventual major changes all at once rather than gradually as they have on PC. Thus making updates a bit more polished and in less of a beta state.
 

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I think once some live footage comes out from the Gamescon floor we will hvae a better idea as to what is in store for the Console version with regards to UI/UX features, etc.

Oddly 1.7 was the 'patch that never was' so maybe they really mean 1.6? 1.7 was mostly for the new MP infrastructure. So its likely that in order to support MP, crossplay (I am imagineing things) etc they want ot base it on the version that has this newer MP netcode as the base.

From a development standpoint, 1.7/1.6.2 was June 5 2017. Given the lead time for developement and the need to feature lock stuff its probably makes the most sense.

Note that things will hopefully get 'better' once its released. But understantalbly they don't want the console dev team to be on a constant treadmill of changes while they sort out quite a lot of technical problems just getting the console version up and running. Hopefully once the game is released it will be easier for them to then make changes to bring them up to sync with the PC version, without having a single xml file break everything every other build.
 
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Davor

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Can someone put a recap or copy/paste what 1.7 did? With so many DLC and or updates added, I don't recall 1.7 is.
 

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It's not a good idea to force the latest version of V1.7 as the console-release-one since everybody knows (NOT guesses or speculates), that it should be at least the latest one of V1.9 ...
It's a perfect example, why a release should be delayed ...

(For what-ever reason, I was previously under the impression, that the latest version of V1.7 would include the Leviathan-/ and the Utopia-DLC, so that the Syntehtic-Dawn-DLC would be the first post-release-DLC, so that paradox would avoid the post-V2.0-controversy in this first post-release-DLC, but as far as I can observe it, the console-players have to purchase all of these DLCs separately, too.)
 

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The more I think about it the more logical it would seem to postpone this console work until after the newest planetary rework has been completed in PC, as the whole production system is now going through a major change. So unless the plan is to keep the console and PC version with separate gameplay mechanics the less sense it makes to release a very outdated version of the game to consoles.

I am also assuming here that the core mechanics (such as movement and planetary production model etc.) of this game cannot be in continues state of change, but at some point they will be mostly finished with some new and interesting things only added to them after that.
 
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Davor

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The more I think about it the more logical it would seem to postpone this console work until after the newest planetary rework has been completed in PC, as the whole production system is now going through a major change. So unless the plan is to keep the console and PC version with separate gameplay mechanics the less sense it makes to release a very outdated version of the game to consoles.

I am also assuming here that the core mechanics (such as movement and planetary production model etc.) of this game cannot be in continues state of change, but at some point they will be mostly finished with some new and interesting things only added to them after that.

I agree, but I can understand why it's not. I believe it's just too late to hold it back since 1.7 was what is intended. To try and "catch up" wold mean a longer delay. The very worst that would mean all the time spent on getting 1.7 to where it is now, would be wasted since I am sure this was started last year and the changes now can't be implemented.

Even if it is another year delay, it might be good. The ill will that might/could happen when 2.0 comes out can just turn people off and never get a Paradox game on console again. Look how many people stopped playing on PC when then happened. Why go through all that again.
 

Peter Ebbesen

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Even if it is another year delay, it might be good. The ill will that might/could happen when 2.0 comes out can just turn people off and never get a Paradox game on console again. Look how many people stopped playing on PC when then happened. Why go through all that again.
Because PDS knows that controversial changes always offends somebody, but that's not an argument in favour of not doing them? Because what you are talking about has had little, if any, long term impact on the number of concurrent players and was mainly a case of forum drama? Because PDS is mostly inured to forum drama after seeing time and time again over the years that it seldom is reflected in sales?

Here are the steam charts for daily players of Stellaris on Steam.

As you can see, the average numbers of players of Stellaris for the past three months of summer and vacations (June-August) are about a thousand higher than the numbers for the same months last year, and two thousand higher than those months in 2016. I don't doubt that some players will have been turned off by 2.0, swearing loudly to never buy a PDS game again, but based on the number of players it would be really strange if PDS were to conclude that they'd lost a lot of players with the 2.0 release.

(Of course, what really matters is the DLC sales figures, but those we can't see. All we know is that so long as PDS is announcing new DLC it is still profitable for them to do so.)
 

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I am also assuming here that the core mechanics (such as movement and planetary production model etc.) of this game cannot be in continues state of change, but at some point they will be mostly finished with some new and interesting things only added to them after that.
Whatever gave you this quaint idea?

Based on PDS DLC model over the last six or seven years, PDS will continue changing fundamental game mechanics whenever they feel it makes sense for the game's long term prospects as long as it remains profitable to make new DLC.

It might be different for Stellaris, but I'd be really, really, surprised if this rework was the last major rework during Stellaris development timeline. In fact, given the more experimental nature of Stellaris and that it is a new franchise outside their historical grand strategy RTS, I've all along been expecting that the title would see more major overhauls of game mechanics than their other titles as the devteam learns from its experiences.
 
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Orion88

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Whatever gave you this quaint idea?

Based on PDS DLC model over the last six or seven years, PDS will continue changing fundamental game mechanics whenever they feel it makes sense for the game's long term prospects as long as it remains profitable to make new DLC.

It might be different for Stellaris, but I'd be really, really, surprised if this rework was the last major rework during Stellaris development timeline. In fact, given the more experimental nature of Stellaris and that it is a new franchise outside their historical grand strategy RTS, I've all along been expecting that the title would see more major overhauls of game mechanics than their other titles as the devteam learns from its experiences.

The general way games are usually developed where most companies usually eventually move on to either sequels or other projects instead of just continue work on one of their older titles. Don`t get me wrong, personally I think it is great that Paradox has had the patience to keep developing Stellaris beyond the usually couple of patches most companies would do (and if they wouldn`t have done that I most likely wouldn`t be here now), but still don`t think this will keep on happening forever.

Also as a personal opinion not that big of a fan of DLC (that costs money) in general, but if they turnout to be interesting enough additions to Stellaris I will buy them.
 
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Infinityball

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The general way games are usually developed where most companies usually eventually move on to either sequels or other projects instead of just continue work on one of their older titles. Don`t get me wrong, personally I think it is great that Paradox has had the patience to keep developing Stellaris beyond the usually couple of patches most companies would do (and if they wouldn`t have done that I most likely wouldn`t be here now), but still don`t think this will keep on happening forever.

Also as a personal opinion not that big of a fan of DLC (that costs money) in general, but if they turnout to be interesting enough additions to Stellaris I will buy them.

Just FYI, this is precisely the route they took with Crusader Kings 2. Except with CK2, they didn't rework the fundamentals this much, probably because it wasn't as experimental.

It does seem that they're taking Stellaris in the CK2 path rather than the Hearts of Iron path. All the language of "role playing" or styles means they can add endless DLC flavors for years to come.
 

badgr

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The general way games are usually developed where most companies usually eventually move on to either sequels or other projects instead of just continue work on one of their older titles.

The beauty of Paradox is that we're not most companies. :) On a very general note - because it's veering slightly off the main topic - we will continue to support and develop for a game so long as it makes sense to do so. We always want to have a long tail on our games' life cycles because then we can keep developing for it. I think this is something that many of the teams here at Paradox live by because we're making games that, first and foremost, we love. The longer their lifespans, the longer we get to develop them and spend our time and energy on them. :)

To answer the OP directly with regards to the Console Edition's versions...
We know. It's one of those high-level decisions that had to be made. There needed to be a branch at some point where we began development of the Console Edition and stopped chasing ever-changing and evolving posts. 2.0 was a massive impact, yes, but by this point we'd already made a lot of progress on the Console Edition that it's just not a sound move to pull the rug from under the development team at Tantalus and start shooting for different versions. This would have been a perpetual thing, because 2.0 was also quite contentious among some of the community.

Anyway, a decision needed to be made and we always have to try and be smarter with our development resource. Money is not infinite, time is not infinite, and throwing more programmers at something does not always make it roll along faster. It was just a wise move, in our opinion.

Catching up with the PC's versions (and probably skipping a few versions in between perhaps!) will be a far easier task with the solid base that Tantalus have built with the core UI, gameplay experience, and overall conversion to console. The decision of what happens next is out of my hands and not within the remit of my role, though, so the rest we'll wait and see. :)
 

Orion88

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The beauty of Paradox is that we're not most companies. :) On a very general note - because it's veering slightly off the main topic - we will continue to support and develop for a game so long as it makes sense to do so. We always want to have a long tail on our games' life cycles because then we can keep developing for it. I think this is something that many of the teams here at Paradox live by because we're making games that, first and foremost, we love. The longer their lifespans, the longer we get to develop them and spend our time and energy on them. :)

To answer the OP directly with regards to the Console Edition's versions...
We know. It's one of those high-level decisions that had to be made. There needed to be a branch at some point where we began development of the Console Edition and stopped chasing ever-changing and evolving posts. 2.0 was a massive impact, yes, but by this point we'd already made a lot of progress on the Console Edition that it's just not a sound move to pull the rug from under the development team at Tantalus and start shooting for different versions. This would have been a perpetual thing, because 2.0 was also quite contentious among some of the community.

Anyway, a decision needed to be made and we always have to try and be smarter with our development resource. Money is not infinite, time is not infinite, and throwing more programmers at something does not always make it roll along faster. It was just a wise move, in our opinion.

Catching up with the PC's versions (and probably skipping a few versions in between perhaps!) will be a far easier task with the solid base that Tantalus have built with the core UI, gameplay experience, and overall conversion to console. The decision of what happens next is out of my hands and not within the remit of my role, though, so the rest we'll wait and see. :)

And I do appreciate the fact that some companies still continue to support and develop their games beyond those reqular couple of patches. :)

Anyway I hope you are then also prepared for all the work it is going to take to keep these two separate Stellaris products up and running instead of a just a single version running on different systems. And like some have said here as that 2.0 on PC (apparently as I wasn`t here yet) divided the Stellaris community a bit go through that again on consoles.