Stellaris Dev Diary #180 - DLC Visibility Experiment

Stellaris Dev Diary #180 - DLC Visibility Experiment

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It isn’t really bad if the DLC are mostly flavor, game-changing DLC would generate even more complaints: “PDX LOCKED this IMPORTANT mechanic behind a freaking DLC! How is this fair?”

In any case, while something like Lithoids isn’t the best DLC ever, it’s no different than a Civ pack in Civilization series, perhaps even slightly more than that.
 
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I think there is over an year I don't look Paradox forum after 3 years looking it every day. I'm glad to see I was right that Stellaris would always feel as an shell of a game for its entire lifetime. My first and only pre-buy in my life that taught me a lesson that was kind of cheap because it opened my eyes to the practices of the company and saved much more in DLCs I didn't buy because I just don't trust the company.

Same big problems from the launch date still persist, but the only metric important is people saying "I have all DLCs because I support the company".
Same dev cycle problems persist since the first DLC, but the only metric that matters...
Same QA problems persist since the first update, but the only metric...
 
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Well said, couldn't agree more.

There have been many threads of new people asking what DLC to purchase, and most of the time the responses are 'get Utopia, everything else is *shrug*'

And as you say, there are many features that come with DLC's that are kind of forgotten about after release. 2.6 has definitely improved on patches 2.1-2.5, but there are many legacy features that need balancing and fixing, and knowing this is the model for DLC releases, it's left me feeling little enthusiasm to continue sinking money into half finished features.
Very, very much agree with this.

Stellaris development has a very "next shiny thing" feel to it. The game's entire life cycle has been a pattern of half-finished mechanics and underdeveloped ideas. They'll stick a mechanic or concept in, and it will sound very cool. You can definitely see how they decided that it would be fun to include semi-autonomous sectors, traditions, ascension paths, trade & piracy, etc.

But time and again they won't fully implement these mechanics. They almost always feel incomplete, as if the devs built out a first draft of their idea and stopped there. Few new mechanics interact or interconnect with the rest of the game, creating this sense that the game just has a bunch of random parts bolted on here and there. Few of them have significant depth or any real gameplay cycle that spans the early, middle and late game. Often it feels like they'll have thought about this on a narrative level, "wouldn't it be cool to have a ship that can make more ships" or "wouldn't it be cool to discover pre-spacefaring civilizations," without thinking through the actual gameplay. (This contributes to Stellaris' enormous reliance on headcanon to fill in the game's major gaps. These narratives are fun to imagine, but the gameplay can't actually tell those stories. At best a pop-up window tells you something happened that would have been cool to do yourself.) Others feel like mechanics that were created as the first step of some gameplay element but never got any further. The system view, for example, is cool, but has almost no role in the game other than right-clicking on the occasional military target.

Edit - Indeed, we know that many mechanics in Stellaris were created as the first step of a larger gameplay plan that later dev teams never implemented. The most glaring example of this is the event system. This was intended to work as a system for early game choices which would trigger border changes, establish ethic drifts that would drive political conflict in the middle game, and set opinion modifiers to define the diplomacy of the middle game. In theory it would then marry the early game exploration stage with the middle game politics/diplomacy stage, by having the choices you make in the one define your options in the other. It became, however, at best a series of in-game mini stories that drive exploration, at worst just a fancy version of Civilization huts.

Many new mechanics focus on the late game, contributing to the ongoing problem of Stellaris' long, dead middle game. And you can see how that happens. If someone proposes a big new toy, that will most likely be an end goal for the player. I.e. build a dyson sphere, or a series of teleportation gateways, or ascend to nation of psionic warriors. That idea needs more, though. It needs the developer to think through the middle of that story, how the player will get there in an interesting, complex way. (This is why the second part of a trilogy is often the worst. The middle is the hardest part.)

"Half finished" is the absolute number one impression I have of Stellaris. Many, if not most, of its features feel like they got no further than a big-picture sketch. They're in the game, but no one thought them through. No one got to the critical details stage of how these mechanics will interact with each other, or how they will develop and change over time.

For me it's why Stellaris is both an enormously frustrating game and still one I keep on my hard drive. It could be such a great game if someone went through and seriously tried to finish all the half-finished ideas, connect all the mechanics that right now just sort of spin out there on their own. Instead I feel like we got several years of development that focused on just rewriting Stellaris from scratch. (Wiz is a talented game dev, but it's clear that he simply didn't want to make Stellaris. He wanted to make an entirely different game, and he was going to do that no matter what name was on the project.) Now we have development that seems ironically overly focused on the little things, tweaking systems that actually might have needed overhauls.
 
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Garfazz Steamfang

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Very, very much agree with this.

Stellaris development has a very "next shiny thing" feel to it. The game's entire life cycle has been a pattern of half-finished mechanics and underdeveloped ideas. They'll stick a mechanic or concept in, and it will sound very cool. You can definitely see how they decided that it would be fun to include semi-autonomous sectors, traditions, ascension paths, trade & piracy, etc.

But time and again they won't completely implement these mechanics. They almost always feel unfinished, as if the devs built out a first draft of their idea and stopped there. Few new mechanics interact or interconnect with the rest of the game, creating this sense that the game just has a bunch of random parts bolted on here and there. Few of them have significant depth or any real gameplay cycle that spans the early, middle and late game. Often it feels like they'll have thought about this on a narrative level, "wouldn't it be cool to have a ship that can make more ships" or "wouldn't it be cool to discover pre-spacefaring civilizations," without thinking through the actual gameplay. (This contributes to Stellaris' enormous reliance on headcanon to fill in the game's major gaps.)

Many new mechanics focus on the late game, contributing to the ongoing problem of Stellaris' long, dead middle game. And you can see how that happens. If someone proposes a big new toy, that will most likely be an end goal for the player. I.e. build a dyson sphere, or a series of teleportation gateways, or ascend to nation of psionic warriors. That idea needs more, though. It needs the developer to think through the middle of that story, how the player will get there in an interesting, complex way. (This is why the second part of a trilogy is often the worst. The middle is the hardest part.)

"Half finished" is the absolute number one impression I have of Stellaris. Many, if not most, of its features feel like they got no further than a big-picture sketch. They're in the game, but no one thought them through. No one got to the critical details stage of how these mechanics will interact with each other, or how they will develop and change over time.

For me it's why Stellaris is both an enormously frustrating game and still one I keep on my hard drive. It could be such a great game if someone went through and seriously tried to finish all the half-finished ideas, connect all the mechanics that right now just sort of spin out there on their own. Instead I feel like we got several years of development that focused on just rewriting Stellaris from scratch. (Wiz is a talented game dev, but it's clear that he simply didn't want to make Stellaris. He wanted to make an entirely different game, and he was going to do that no matter what name was on project.) Now we have development that seems ironically overly focused on the little things, tweaking systems that actually might have needed overhauls.
Yeah changing game director 3 times definitly doesn't helped the game, everyone bringing his ideas and changes. That doesn't serve to the game continuity either and it's really evolving slowly adding mainly, like your said, half finished features.

I dunno how many time they are going to support the game coz it seems that Stellaris is paradox most selled franchise but CK2 had 6 years support, even if we have 8 years of support, i'm afraid that at this path, the game will never have a finished feeling. It's both frustrating coz i really want to love this game and pathetic...
 
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i am crappy manager and economist, i admit that. anyway :p wouldn't the good start for success be fixing the known bugs and then move forward? people can read, there is a forum full of discussions on tons of more or less serious bugs popping up all along. and that is not buying new players, does it? it does not keep ol'fans either, does it? i bought each and every DLC until federations because of my blind faith, but i stopped, i do not believe it is going to be better seeing what is going on in the management. unimaginative android game (i tried it)? in-game self-ads? maybe we should pray for stellaris II, because then they may polish the old one, like with CK2 prior starting CK3. i understand, competition on game market is tough, bills has to be paid, you would like to make some extra money, but wasn't it already some guy hundreds years ago who said, that the best way to get a wool is to shear the sheep, not kill her. i do not mind to get sheared, i mind to get repelled by inattentive approach. sorry, my two pennies.
 
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I want to enable or disable mods from the main menu screen or the settings.
Only being able to do that in the Paradox launcher window feels kinda silly.
My 2 cents
 
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Willy Waggler

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i am crappy manager and economist, i admit that. anyway :p wouldn't the good start for success be fixing the known bugs and then move forward? people can read, there is a forum full of discussions on tons of more or less serious bugs popping up all along. and that is not buying new players, does it? it does not keep ol'fans either, does it? i bought each and every DLC until federations because of my blind faith, but i stopped, i do not believe it is going to be better seeing what is going on in the management. unimaginative android game (i tried it)? in-game self-ads? maybe we should pray for stellaris II, because then they may polish the old one, like with CK2 prior starting CK3. i understand, competition on game market is tough, bills has to be paid, you would like to make some extra money, but wasn't it already some guy hundreds years ago who said, that the best way to get a wool is to shear the sheep, not kill her. i do not mind to get sheared, i mind to get repelled by inattentive approach. sorry, my two pennies.
It looks like general paradox strategy is release game/dlc and fix around half the bugs, while introducing whole host of new ones. Then in next diary keep promising\fixing small batches of them. This keeps players interested in checking current status of the game constantly. Stellaris will never come out of open paid beta. At some point they just call it quits with some big bang dlc leaving game in buggy state.
Like they did with ck2.
 
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And thats a reason to skip it entirely? I guess today is no holiday... or tomorrow.
I believe we already had this several times. They usually skip the week if a holiday falls on the day of a dev diary. I don't like it also, but this is the way they do it. Don't shot the messenger. ;)
 
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And thats a reason to skip it entirely? I guess today is no holiday... or tomorrow.
You should probably reevaluate your attitude. You're coming across as kind of entitled, and it's a bad look. A missed week for a dev diary isn't a big deal.
 
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Bro, they didn't fly you to Tuskegee and give you syphilis; they changed your interface.
Yup, next we'll get a change of in-game interface. How long until you can purchase DLC in-game, then how long until in-game purchases.

The mobile app doesn't inspire confidence that Paradox will maintain their current model indefinitely, especially with its biggest cash cow...

I mean sure, it's not the biggest deal, but I really do like these games, and I really don't want to add them to my 'never purchase from' list like EA, Epic and other glorified gambling firms.
 
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You should probably reevaluate your attitude. You're coming across as kind of entitled, and it's a bad look. A missed week for a dev diary isn't a big deal.
The Dev-Diaries are a fan service for the very interested players here in the forums, like you and me. Its always an interesting read and a view whats going with our loved game.
Take a look on these forums and other platforms, the mood is shifting again to a bad state. There are many people absolutely not happy with the game right now. And you are totally right to say its not a big deal, but it would be even better if would get something.

For some poeple not posting a dev diary is coming across as kind of entitled, and it's a bad look for all unhappy customers out here.
 
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It's totally fine that there weren't a dev diary this week, but I wish they had warned us about that. It's not like Swedish holidays are that well-known around the world :)
 
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It's totally fine that there weren't a dev diary this week, but I wish they had warned us about that. It's not like Swedish holidays are that well-known around the world :)
This! Just a little "no dev diary next week" at the end of the previous one would've been nice.
 
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  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars Pre-Order
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II
Perhaps the missing Dev Diary is a "lack of visibility" experiment.

Or maybe the Dev Diary will now be on an App (includes in App purchases, spend Paradox Dev Coin to reply/ask questions)
 
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JFMongrain

Second Lieutenant
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Sep 12, 2008
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Please, keep the publicity in the laucher!
I hate ads in my games, and let us be honest, that is what "visibility" means in that case.

At the very least, make it possible to mod them out, or maybe you could disable them when we already own the content.
 
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