Stellaris Dev Diary #190 : Leading Economic Indicators

Stellaris Dev Diary #190 : Leading Economic Indicators

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Eladrin

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Hi everyone!

Way back in Dev Diary 152, we discussed some planetary changes that we experimented with during summer 2019. At the time, we decided that while we learned a lot from the experiment, they required significant additional refinement before being something we wanted to incorporate into Stellaris.

Summer 2020 gave us the additional time we needed to revive these (and some other) experiments. Our primary objectives were to reduce the mid to late game micromanagement burden and provide quality of life improvements, including generally making the prebuilding of planets more viable, making planetary automation reliable enough to be trusted in the mid to late game, and making dealing with unemployment and pops easier.

We’ll be talking about these subjects in multiple dev diaries over the next couple of months.

Industrial Districts

Planet View Showing Industrial Districts

Azure Chalice is… er, was... a lovely place.

The planet view has shifted things around a bit and now supports the display of up to six district types. Most planets will have five district types available. This extra real estate could also be of special interest to modders.

The new brownish-orange district next to the City District is the revived Industrial District. Industrial Districts are treated as urban districts (and as such are not limited by planetary features), but rather than the Laborers that split their output from the original experiment, we’ve decided to have the districts provide regular empires one Artisan and one Metallurgist job. Gestalts have either two Foundry Drones or Fabricators as appropriate.

Industrial District tooltip (regular empire)

Work, work, work.

Factories and Foundries will still exist but are now planet unique, with the first tier building adding 2 jobs to the planet just like the old versions. The upgraded versions, however, will now add either 1 or 2 jobs of the appropriate type to each Industrial District on the planet.

Ecumenopoli will retain their specialized districts, but can be boosted by the Foundry or Factory buildings. The number of jobs per district on ecumenopoli have been adjusted somewhat as part of an overall economic balance pass. Since Industrial Districts are considered urban, a planet with a mix of City and Industrial Districts can be paved over and turned into an Ecumenopolis using the Arcology Project decision.

Since districts are now much more critical to the development of your civilization, the average size of homeworlds has been increased by 2, and as an additional side effect, the Mastery of Nature Ascension Perk may also become a bit more desirable.

Building Slots

I’m sure you’ve already noticed from the above screenshot, Building Slots no longer list population counts. Instead of relying on population, they're opened up by increasing the infrastructure of the planet. This is generally done by building City Districts (or their equivalent) or by upgrading the colony's Capital building. As a pleasant side effect of this, your buildings will no longer get ruined when a pop gets resettled, ritually killed, or eaten by mutants.
City District tooltip
Planetary Administration tooltip

Build up that infrastructure.

Two new technologies that unlock additional Building Slots have also been added, Ceramo-Metal Infrastructure and Durasteel Infrastructure. They represent the civilian adoption of military technology, and as such require some government techs and the associated armor technologies. The Adaptability tradition tree, for those that have it, still has a tech that grants a Building Slot as well.

As specialized and advanced worlds, Ecumenopoli, Ring Worlds, Hive Worlds, and Machine Worlds start with all of their building slots unlocked.

Habitats are intended to feel a bit cramped, so while Habitation Modules do not open up Building Slots, the Voidborne Ascension Perk will continue to grant two Building Slots to those that choose to embrace living in space.

The MegaCorps out there may ask “but what about our Branch Offices?” - we’ve got you covered.

Locked Branch Office building slot tooltip

Insider Trading. Institutionalized corruption exploited by the upper classes, or just greasing the wheels of trade?

Branch Offices will tie their slots to the level of the colony’s capital building. For example, a Planetary Administration building will grant one Branch Office Building Slot, a Planetary Capital will grant two, and a System Capital-Complex would grant three. If the target empire has the Insider Trading tradition, you’ll have one extra Branch Office Building Slot. (This may grant you a Branch Office building even on newly colonized worlds, if your business plan expects it to be profitable.)

But Why?

By decoupling the building unlocks from population growth, it makes it much easier to “prebuild” a planet to varying degrees. It removes some of the tedium of waiting for that last pop to finish growing before a slot unlocks, as well as the negative experience that occurred when a critical pop moved or died right at the wrong time. This change went through many iterations - in one of them the rural and industrial districts added "fractional" slots, in another the capital buildings gave more slots at each upgrade. The combination of having both City Districts and the Capital Building contributing to the slots, along with the additional techs, finally felt right. It's nice when even a newly founded Colony possesses at least one open building slot since it lets you immediately begin construction of a Spawning Pool or other high value building right away.

Moving the essential secondary resources of Consumer Goods and Alloys to districts frees up the building slots a little bit and creates a greater differentiation between heavily urbanized or industrial planets and resource generating colonies. Qualitatively we also felt that it "feels nice" to be getting more of your physical resources from the district level, leaving the Building Slots for more unique and specialized needs.

Both of these changes also happen to make some planetary automation decisions a little easier - your Tech Worlds should clearly build a mix of City and Industrial districts, for instance, to make room for Research Labs as well as to provide the Consumer Goods needed to pay for them. We do recognize that it may be difficult - or even impossible - to unlock all Building Slots on a planet that has not been urbanized, but those resource generating planets often do not have quite as strong a need for a large number of buildings.

Ideally in the mid to late game you could colonize a planet, set the colony designation you want for the planet, turn on automation, and reasonably expect the planet to be in decent shape - and doing what you told it to - the next time you look at it. (In the early game it's certainly possible, but your empire's economy may not be stable enough to support dedicated worlds and your colonies may be better off with direct caretaking.)

We have a few other experiments that are still ongoing that affect the relationship between urbanized vs. less developed planets that are not entirely conclusive yet. If they prove out we'll discuss them later on in this series of diaries. Our current plan for next week's diary is to talk more about the automated colony management overhaul as well as the automatic and manual resettlement of pops.

As a reminder, we have an ongoing feedback thread related to AI improvements we have in beta on the stellaris_test branch. We'd love to get more people on it and telling us what they think about them. (Please note that 2.8.1 is an optional beta patch. You have to manually opt in to access it. Go to your Steam library, right click on Stellaris -> Properties -> betas tab -> select "stellaris_test" branch.)

Thanks!
 
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Can you elaborate on the espionage that was revealed on the necroids trailer, or do we have to scavenge for details?
 
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Since districts are now much more critical to the development of your civilization, the average size of homeworlds has been increased by 2
Does this also apply to Earth and Mars with the Sol start? I feel that we should get to start on a 18 or 20 size Earth and with a terraformable 15 or 16 size Mars, instead of only 16 and 13.
 
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Hi.

Good change. Looking forward to giving it a go. Also, nice dev diary title.

Although this may be complicated to implement, can I strongly suggest that the availability of building slots take into account queued districts as well as those presently existing?

Otherwise you have replaced the annoying process of checking back on planets, waiting for their pops to grow with the admittedly less annoying but still annoying process of checking back on planet to see if city districts have completed.

Edit: also starbases
 
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This will be a real difference to the old system. Especially the industrial district will help standard empires/mega corps a lot in the early game. I'm really looking forward for this changes to go live!

Can you elaborate on the espionage that was revealed on the necroids trailer, or do we have to scavenge for details?
Be patient... I want espionage too, more then anything else. But give it some time.
 
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Sending good waves to the devs who are fixing the 30% loading bug.
 
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I did like the industrial districts when it was first teased, and this new system looks really interesting overall.

Since you're likely going to see closed buildings slots for longer (or even indefinitely), what about changing the background art to look like the planet's texture/features instead of red locks, which may make the player feel like they need or should unlock all buildings?
 
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waiting for their pops to grow with the admittedly less annoying but still annoying process of checking back on planet to see if city districts have completed.
TBF at least in the Outliner you see if the planet is building something. If it doesn't you at least know your queue is done. :p
 
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This sounds good! I really like the Industrial Districts, and I like that there's more focus on Districts too. Sounds like really positive changes. Looking forward to hearing more.
 
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TBF at least in the Outliner you see if the planet is building something. If it doesn't you at least know your queue is done. :p
True, but the outliner can be quite bad when your get a lot of planets. Waiting for stuff to complete isn't so much of an issue in the early game as you're usually quite aware of what you three planets are up to.
 
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The unsaid news that people might miss: They are teasing this now. Immediately after a DLC. Not going silent or giving us technical updates (this is how we do the music!). That means we will be getting this relatively soon and before the next DLC.
 
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I really like this idea. I wish I could get this right now.
 
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Finally some interesting things!
 
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The unsaid news that people might miss: They are teasing this now. Immediately after a DLC. Not going silent or giving us technical updates (this is how we do the music!). That means we will be getting this relatively soon and before the next DLC.
Well, in the dev diary he says they are going to be showing things over the next couple of months (so in the lead-up to Christmas), and I doubt they'll release anything just before the Christmas break. So I'd wager another patch for mid to late January at the earliest.
 
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How will this affect the Player and Ai in terms of Min/Maxing. As an example, say I'm at war, or an AI is at war, is it possible to shift production away from consumer goods and mostly or soley to Alloys? I would also like to see the AI do this rather than it generate 1000s of consumer goods per month with nothing to do with them.
 
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How will this affect the Player and Ai in terms of Min/Maxing. As an example, say I'm at war, or an AI is at war, is it possible to shift production away from consumer goods and mostly or soley to Alloys? I would also like to see the AI do this rather than it generate 1000s of consumer goods per month with nothing to do with them.
The “Militarised Economy” policies change how much consumer goods/alloys you produce.
 
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Habitats are intended to feel a bit cramped, so while Habitation Modules do not open up Building Slots, the Voidborne Ascension Perk will continue to grant two Building Slots to those that choose to embrace living in space.
So... In practice, what can we expect? By the total number of buildings available in the habitats with the voidborn perk ? If I remember correctly there is only one upgrade on the main habitat building...

Things like this :
Will not be possible anymore ?
 
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