Stellaris Dev Diary #180 - DLC Visibility Experiment

Stellaris Dev Diary #180 - DLC Visibility Experiment

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VerKer

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Hm, i kinda liked the sleek starting screen so far, but this - why this wasnt rather integrated into the launcer instead, is beyond me.
 
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DrNukeLear

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I decided to test performance on my last game. So, 2611 save, 1000 stars, 21 starting AI. 2.63 - 1 month - 38-42 seconds. 2.7 - 1 month - 2 mins plus-minus 5 sec
So... 40 secs vs. 120 secs approx.

I thought the release post mentioned a bump in performance, not a 3 fold slow down.
 
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DrNukeLear

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Instead of getting a third party to shovel adds into the game, why not hire third party testers? Perhaps they might spot the hard to see bugs like "Selling energy credits for profit".
Or the one where necessary scrollbars were killed in 2.6.3...
Or the one where Juggernauts winked out of existence...
Or the one where Galactic Council members demanded that they debate motions which had previously passed...
Or the one where they cut performance just before a free weekend...
 

Hyomoto

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I understand why you would want to run these experiments, and I have to imagine someone mentioned this is a meeting before receiving a few head nods and potentially a pink slip but ... the problem with visibility of DLC in Stellaris is there's frankly too much of it. I'm not talking about release schedules either. I've said this before, and I recognize the financial viability of the shareholders gets in the way here, but the old DLC should be wrapped up into the main game and retired. If there's one thing I'll never stop giving Firaxis credit for, it's that each expansion they put out is standalone. You buy the one expansion, you have all the expansions. Us old hands pay a new price, the new players can jump right in without having to pick piecemeal chunks of content out.

Most importantly, and this is one of Stellaris' biggest weaknesses, it also means all of the content can be integrated and balanced together thus providing a much tighter experience with, I assume, fewer development resources trying to track down stray bugs caused by unintended conflicts because the compatibility tree is a freaking nightmare. Having the species and ship packs ala carte is fine, but major gameplay systems shouldn't be gated behind individual purchases for the lifetime of the product. At some point you need to grow a spine, bundle up the content and integrate it. You guys have a six year plan, but no amount of visibility is going to get a new player to sift through 38 individual DLC's unless you want to court the fans of Train Simulator (which you might, those people are apparently whales).

On the other hand, it's also not hard to see this as being asked to be an unpaid tester. "Hey, please let us psychologically profile you so we can find a way to maximize our profit potential! You won't be compensated and it might make us look a bit out of touch." I really do appreciate the honesty in this post, and I think the development team does try it's best to stay communicative and telegraph intent. But, much like the, "Don't you all have phones." remarks of Blizzard. It's tone deaf, and it treats us like braying sheep looking to be sheared.

I really tried to have a positive comment here, but I just couldn't do it.
 
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Mr Thursday

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Or the one where necessary scrollbars were killed in 2.6.3...
Or the one where Juggernauts winked out of existence...
Or the one where Galactic Council members demanded that they debate motions which had previously passed...
Or the one where they cut performance just before a free weekend...
Just realised what the first teaser icon is, it's a Stellaris player throwing their hands up in despair!
 

Psyne

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Occasional DLC buyer, frequent lurker here:

I'm still finishing a game in 2.6.3 with some friends, so I'm not sure whether I'm part of this "experiment", but the screenshots others have posted are just awful. If I'm looking for new DLC I'll do it where it lives, and where it is already quite visible: in the store. Packaging this as a helpful feature and not what it is - blatant advertising - is an insult to the intelligence of your playerbase.

After delaying Federations' potential holiday release to bring the game back into shape I had really high hopes that Stellaris development had turned a corner. Dev diaries are usually a highlight of my day, but this is just depressing.
 

Hemothep

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Hello everyone!

We hope you are enjoying your time with 2.7 and the 4 year anniversary of Stellaris! It’s very fun to see how far the game has come, and just as interesting to imagine what the future can hold.

We want to make sure that Stellaris is well-prepared for more content in the future. Something we’ve learned, especially with CK2, is that a long tail of new content can make it very difficult for players to see what kind of DLCs are available for the game. As we recently announced, Stellaris has more than 3 million players, and we want to make sure that players – both new and old – have an easier time finding content that they might like.

In order to improve visibility, starting today and lasting for a couple of weeks, we’re going to be running a couple of experiments that will be looking at DLC visibility within the game. We will be running a controlled experiment that will split up the player base into different groups, where each group will get a slightly different experience (or no change, in the case of the control group). The experiment will only affect the main menu and empire creation/selection, and will not have any effect on the game as you are playing. The purpose of this is to gather some insights into what kind of visibility features are actually helpful.

Before you grab your laser-powered pitchforks and plasma-illuminators, and complain about development focus, rest assured that all of this work has been done by an external team (who has done a great job btw!) and has had no effect on the development of Stellaris as a game :)

I want to emphasize that even though we want to improve the visibility of content for the game, it will never come at the expense of the game experience itself, so you don’t need to worry about that. It is very important for us that our players are able to immerse themselves in the Stellaris universe and to have fun while they play.

And because a dev diary can’t be complete without pictures or teasers, here’s two icons related to some future content. What could it be..?
View attachment 577156
I completely understand, that you as a company want to make the DLCs more visible to increase the chance of new players buying them and I am happy that this marketing experiment does not take time away from the devellopers.
However I am a little bit disappointed that this is all of this DevDiary. You are telling us nothing new about the game, which is the reason, why I read those. This could easily have been a sidenote on a more interessting DevDiary.
 

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If there's one thing I'll never stop giving Firaxis credit for, it's that each expansion they put out is standalone. You buy the one expansion, you have all the expansions. Us old hands pay a new price, the new players can jump right in without having to pick piecemeal chunks of content out.
By the way, Firaxis just changed it. The next expansion is split in 6 smaller parts, released seperatly or in a season pass for 40€.
 

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Uhm really?? After fiasco with performance your write this? Yes other changes are quite welcome but REALLY?????

EDIT: To all those dislikers, try to play MP, unplayable = unenjoyable (early-mid-game insta desync between players)
Especially on low-mid end machines, where game ran nicely on 2.6.3
Yeah, the performance debacle was horrible, axig the game from most of its content. And MP isthe worst offender
 
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Imagine not testing your patches before releasing them, thereby introducing new game breaking bugs, and then write " Hope you are enjoying the game".
During the free weekend and the 4th anniversary nonetheless.
Dont understand why they cant just release a super quick hotfix for the ethic changes that are currently making the game unplayable. Just turn it off and its like before 2.7.1 or do it once per month or so. The other fixes could wait a couple of days but this one is making the game almost unplayable after just a few decades.

I would love to enjoy playing this game but right now I am having my worst time playing a paradox game since I as a kid got crushed in the Svea Rike games from the late 90s before they even became Paradox. I know I could just go back to an earlier version of the game but I actually wanted to finish my current 2.7.1 game and then put Stellaris on the shelf for some time and now I am just sitting F5 on the forum waiting for a fix so I can continue.