Stellaris Dev Diary #11 - Research & Technology

Stellaris Dev Diary #11 - Research & Technology

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Doomdark

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Hi folks!

It’s Monday and you all know what that means! Today I am going to talk about the technology system in Stellaris. If you have stayed up-to-date with the information flow, you probably know the basics already: there are three types of technology: Physics, Society and Engineering. Each one has its own research track, and each department is headed by a scientist character. You thus normally research three technologies in parallel.

stellaris_dev_diary_11_01_20151130_research_view.jpg


Now, I want each new game of Stellaris to be a new and different journey. That is why the game does not have a “tech tree” in the classical sense. Instead, each time you start up a new research project, you are presented with three semi-random choices. This is a bit like drawing three cards from a deck of cards, picking one and returning the other two to the deck. However, to continue with this metaphor, the trick is in the shuffling... The deck is very much stacked, so to speak. Especially in the early game, some cards are extremely likely to end up in the top, so that all players get a fair start. What happens in the background is a complex weighting of various factors, like the ethics of the empire, the traits of the scientist character in charge of the department, the techs you already have, etc. I guess you could say the result is something like a fuzzy, hidden tech tree.

Certain technologies are considered rare or very rare, and these are clearly marked so that you know you should probably pick them lest you never see them again... There are also “tech cards” outside the deck (this card metaphor is really useful!), that can only be drawn in special circumstances, like when researching certain Anomalies, investigating debris, etc.

Of course, there are only so many normal technologies to research, so you will eventually have most of them. To keep things interesting even in a very long game though, there are also many procedurally generated “improvement technologies”. For example, techs that improve all types of laser weapons by a small degree. These technologies are a bit like the “Future Technologies” in Civilization except that you can start getting them long before you’ve actually run out of scripted technologies.

stellaris_dev_diary_11_02_20151130_research_complete.jpg


As with any game like this, techs get progressively more expensive, meaning you cannot neglect building research labs and stations lest you fall behind the other empires of the galaxy (however tempting it might be to use your precious real estate to produce more Minerals and Energy Credits…)

Stellaris Dev Diary #12 - Policies and Edicts
 
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I think you nailed this. This seems to avoid the problem with everyone having the same technologies, which is illogical in a game with different species and ethos. Good job, as always.
 
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quicksabre

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So basically, you get three proposals, and have to decide which one to fund?

Also, even if there is no tree, are there prerequisites or modifiers to the likelihood of getting certain technologies? So I can't get tech B unless I have tech A, or it's more likely for me to get a proposal for tech Y if I already have tech X?
 
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grekulf

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... So I can't get tech B unless I have tech A, or it's more likely for me to get a proposal for tech Y if I already have tech X?
Both. Sometimes there is a prerequisite, sometimes you need to already have unlocked a certain amount of techs and sometimes a tech is extremely unlikely of appearing unless some condition is met.
 
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Sounds very promising.
 
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Szenszely

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Awesome! I really like your solution for the long games. Also Power Armor! :)
 
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kreissig

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Excellent. Very much a departure from other space 4x's I've played. Paradox....we like you.
 
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Well done guys! Sounds like a nice twist to the usual way of researching techs!
 
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DeveronMagi

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ah very nice! so in love with this game!

what does the S/M/L stand for in the tech description of nanocomposite materials? (small,medium,large....something)
 

grekulf

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How moddable whole Technology&Research is going to be?
Should be very moddable. It's easy to add or change new technologies. The only real difficulty is keeping track of the randomness and how likely techs are to actually appear.
 
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So sentient AI would be an unlikely card draw for one's first Physics tech? ;)
 
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Elfryc

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Certain technologies are considered rare or very rare, and these are clearly marked so that you know you should probably pick them lest you never see them again...
Wouldn't it be more strategical to have the weight for each technology (instead of the lone rareful ones), with a convenient tooltip explinaing the weight for each one?
I'm thinking to something like:

Chance of appearance:
Xenophobia: +10%
At war: -10%
Only 3 technologies in this field of reseach: -20%
Disgruntled Pops: -20%

This way, it could help to decide if such or such technology may be worth to be returned to the deck, at the risk it won't appear at all, or much later.
 
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External factors (previous techs, ideologies, being at war or whatever) weighting on your chances to research certain techs reminds me of the invention system in Victoria 2. Did you draw inspiration from that ?
 
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kreissig

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What is the focus of the December 7th DD? May I ask...??
 
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Power armor and the Holy Terra in the same picture: now i'm totally in love with this game :):)
 
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HerrderGezeiten

I just came here to find some turnips, I swear!
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The S (small) M (medium) L (large) by Nanocomposite Materials means the Ship Classes ?
The 120 / 150 / 240 are research costs? -> Nanocomposite Materials 24 turns

(Maybe it seams way to easy to decide for the Offworld Construction maybe 180 for Nano would some let try it. Most likely no but maybe in Danger,..)
 
Last edited:

poisonmushroom

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Nice. This is great!

With this system I can definitely see myself foolishly forgoing 'Critical Space Medicine - 2 days' for something rare like 'Giant Laser Robots - 5487 days'.
 
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