Stellaris Dev Diary #13 - Primitive Civilizations

Stellaris Dev Diary #13 - Primitive Civilizations

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Goosecreature

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Excerpt from lecture on Pre-Space Sentients by Professor Xirg Ta’Nolek
Royal Science Academy, Nishga VI
Galactic Stardate 394.41 (Post-Upheaval Reckoning)

<recording starts>


Settle down, class. Ah, as I look around the lecture hall and gaze upon your youthful visages, I am reminded of a younger, larval-stage me. Let’s hope you lot have more brains than I did back then!

Today we’ll be going over civilizations that have yet to develop the technology necessary for space travel. Such primitive civilizations fall into one of two broad categories - Pre-Industrial and Industrial. These categories have a number of subcategories, such as Bronze Age and Post-Atomic Age, that help us more clearly define a primitive civilization’s level of technological progress.

A spacefaring empire that has discovered a primitive civilization can deal with such a scenario in a number of different ways. The first way is the most straightforward, and the one typically favored by aggressive, expansionist empires. Can anyone guess what it is? Yes, Miss Choggrah-Zu?

Just so - outright conquest! As you can imagine, primitive civilizations have few means to resist a technologically advanced invader. Industrial and especially post-atomic civilizations can prove harder nuts to crack, but their weapons are still markedly inferior to those of a typical spacefaring culture. The big prize of such an invasion is the planet itself, of course, but the primitives are also a source of cheap labor once enslaved.

Now, there are many in the galaxy who frown upon such behavior. Let’s not pretend otherwise!
Whether due to a noble but misguided instinct to ‘shield’ primitive sentients from the horrors of the universe, like a Jaktagarian brood mother protecting her young, or for more sinister research purposes, many empires prefer the construction of hidden Observation Posts in high orbit over primitive worlds. This allows for the safe study of the primitives and their society, which can be quite a boon to an empire’s research efforts in the field of Society.

stellaris_dev_diary_13_02_20151214_primitive_civilization.jpg

The Neborite civilization of the Kahalajom system. They destroyed themselves shortly after entering the Atomic Age a few decades after this picture was taken.

Observation Posts typically have four exclusive missions that can be undertaken. I will now go over each of them in turn, so please take notes. This WILL be on the exam.

Passive Observation
Certain studies have shown that interfering with the natural development of a primitive civilization can have... detrimental effects. The scientific staff of an Observation Post operating under the Passive Observation mission will make every effort to conceal their presence from the primitives. The primary directive of the scientists is to safeguard the natives from any cultural or technological contamination, while studying them in secret.

Aggressive Observation
My own species was subjected to this one a long time ago, when we were still in our technological infancy. Yes, Mr. Igir-Zat, I can see your plumage rustling nervously over there in the back row. Don’t think we’ve forgotten what your kind did! At any rate, the Aggressive Observation mission calls for regular abductions from among the primitive population. The objective is typically to acquire genetic samples and to surgically attach implants on promising test subjects, among other naughty things. This provides more research data than what a more passive approach would, but it also tends to rile up the primitives a bit. Isn’t that so, Mr. Igir-Zat?

Technological Enlightenment
There are some who just can’t stand the sight of a primitive civilization wallowing in their muck. For whatever reason, they decide to bring the primitives up to the level of technology a spacefaring empire enjoys. This can be a monumental effort, of course, especially if the primitives are… well, especially primitive. It will require a significant investment of time, patience and Society research. Once the primitives have achieved space flight however, they will be turned into a Protectorate of their benefactors.

Covert Infiltration
This is an interesting one. Essentially, agents that have been surgically altered to resemble individuals from a primitive species are sent to infiltrate their society. Political and military leaders are gradually replaced, until a point is reached where the primitives can be made to willingly accept an offer of annexation. This spares the need of a messy ground invasion, but more importantly, the primitives will be more positively inclined towards their new overlords, since they are living under the illusion that they accepted their rule willingly.

stellaris_dev_diary_13_01_20151214_observation_station.jpg

An Observation Post in high orbit over the serene ocean world Lancord. Subspace modulation fields hides it from ground-based telescopes and primitive detection systems like radar.

Well, well... Mr. Zeq-Zeq! How nice of you to finally join us. Unfortunately for you, this lecture is just about to end. No, Mr. Zeq-Zeq, I don’t want to hear it! Save your excuses. For your sake, I hope that you will arrive on time for next week’s lecture, which will cover the uplifting of pre-sentient beings and how mutation and self-alteration can create new subspecies.

Class is dismissed.

<recording ends>

Stellaris Dev Diary #14 - Uplifting and Subspecies
 
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Goosecreature

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As for research under passive observation. Is there a limit on how much research you get from industrial vs. non industrial etc or they are the same? Is there a maximum limit per civilisation you study or you get the ongoing bonus until they become space faring?

An Observation Post in Passive Observation mode acts essentially as a more powerful Research Station, providing you with Society resources. There are various events that can trigger for them, of course.

If the primitives become a spacefaring empire, the station will be dismantled.
 
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Goosecreature

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  • Do civilizations naturally progress, and does Technological Enlightenment work by rapidly moving them through the various stages?
  • Can civilizations actually wipe themselves out in nuclear war, (with a possibility to intervene perhaps) or was that just fluff?

Civilizations can and will progress between the ages, but it's a fairly slow process so you're not going to see a Bronze Age civilization work their way up to space technology within the span of a single game... on their own, at least. Technological Enlightenment does not move them up through the various ages, it's essentially a progress bar (with associated events). The time it takes depends on how advanced the primitives are.

And yes, there is always a risk of civilizations wiping themselves out in a nuclear war if they have reached the Atomic Age.
 
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Goosecreature

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Also far too big, i imagined listening orbital posts to be more like a probe rather than Spaceport sized (unless that planet is really small) I know that the devs wants to make everything big but there should be a minimum sense of scale.

That screenshot is deliberately zoomed in and angled to make the Observation Post appear large in the foreground, with the planet in the background. They are actually smaller than a Spaceport.
 
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