Stellaris Dev Diary #192 : Perfectly Balanced, As All Things Should Be...

Stellaris Dev Diary #192 : Perfectly Balanced, As All Things Should Be...

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Pancakelord

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Oh my god I love it and want it now. Does this mean I can finally make an origin where the species is completely infertile and relies on cloning to reproduce?
I dont think there's currently a way to do it with mods,
but if we could "lock" the portrait of all pops to the initial leader portrait, then rely on cloning and/or bio-assimilation, we'd be able to make our own Horatio empire as an origin:
1605806206984.png
 
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PhD_Fharon

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If I can suggest one change it would be to base that S curve on the total carrying capacity of your entire empire instead of a single planet.

And then divide the growth coming from that over each planet proportionally to the unfilled carrying capacity of each planet.

That would solve a lot of problems regarding gamey systems where people keep partially filled planets around just to be on the sweet spot of that S curve and then migrate/resettle pops from that planet to other planets.

It would also help significantly in the wide vs tall contrast as new colonies would no longer be adding entirely new sources of growth but simply increase the total carrying capacity. This would open the door for tall mechanics that increase carrying capacity without expanding ( like mastery of nature ). A tall empire that's invested significantly in a few planets through ecumenopolis, mastery of nature, a ringworld etc. would be able to achieve the same total carrying capacity and thus growth as a very wide empire that has dozens of colonized systems.
*claps*
 
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Admiral Adama

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Im looking forward to this. Hope it pushes the game pace up a bit so im spending less time waiting for more pops to get more resources etc :)
 

Garfazz Steamfang

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I dont think there's currently a way to do it with mods,
but if we could "lock" the portrait of all pops to the initial leader portrait, then rely on cloning and/or bio-assimilation, we'd be able to make our own Horatio empire as an origin:
View attachment 654189
"They're only ever saw what is in the mirror. I always saw, what is beyond. They saw difformity. I found beauty. They saw madness. I found genius."

I just hope one day we will be able to do something like this in Stellaris...
 
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HighKings_Ruin

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I know there will be issues with every update, but I can say with confidence this will be my new favourite update.

I love almost all the changes here and I'm very happy with the changes to pop growth.
 

Oculument

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Wait a second ... can you not actually cheese that quite easily with vassals? Like say you have an emprie with 2 sectors. Tehn you conquer stuff off of another empire and put it in a new sector. You release one of your initial sectors as a vassal and start building up your new sector. Rinse and repeat.
So vassals might actually return to play? Not a bad thing.
 
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The Founder

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All planets with free sapient unemployed pops that are not locked down by migration controls will have a small chance every month of moving one to another planet within their empire that has jobs that they are willing and able to work, housing, and habitability of 40% or higher. This chance is increased if there are multiple unemployed pops that meet the criteria.

The system now prefers to move higher strata pops first, so rulers and specialists will move before workers, and this system also functions for gestalt empires. It will not relocate non-sapient robots or slaves. It will generally prefer to move pops to the planets with the most free jobs.
I honestly wish we could get some control over it. Migration control is currently a purely binary thing. 3-4 options would not cause undue micromanagement.

Also while non-sapient Robots and slaves would not move on their own, they would be sold to other planets. Wich is the same thing.

We’ve also changed a few buildings to have new or additional features, such as the Spawning Pool and Clone Vats, which have had their Pop Growth modifiers replaced with the new Organic Pop Assembly. This fills the same slot on the planet as Robotic Pop Assembly, so generally you’ll want to pick one or the other. (Clone Vats also picked up a food upkeep cost to represent simple materials to break down.)

1605711370874.png
1605711378849.png

Pops is Soylent Green!

A few other jobs got minor perks added to them, like the Medical Workers from Gene Clinics making it a little easier to live on less hospitable worlds.
As organic pops can now be assembeled, can full rights robots (Synthethic ascension, Citizen Rights) use the growth mechanic as well?

I suggested years ago that the process of "making and raising a child" and "saving for a new robot to be made" are pretty similar from the grand strategic view.

Any chance free, sentient Robots could create simpler, non-sentient robots as workforce using the Assembly plants instead?
What about organics using Clone vats to make nerve-stapeled clones of their own species as a workforce?

They're not mutually exclusive, but only one pop can be assembled at a time, so you'll generally want to build one or the other.
What happens to the yield of the other job, while the assembly of the different type happens?
i.e., could Robot Assemblers produce Engineering and Clone Vats society Research, while they are not working on actually making pops (because they are blocked)? Or could the "Assembly points" be stored similar to stored Research?

Next week w̷e̵'̸l̸l̴ ̴b̸e̴t̵̮̄ǎ̸͈l̷̠̈k̴͔͂i̴̞͒n̷̪͊g̸̳͗ ̸͚̎a̵͉̐b̵̤̿ȯ̴̲ṵ̵̀t̸͇͂ ҈҂▒©╛⅜

1605711927580.png
It should be friendly questioning, not questioning. They are Blorg after all!
 
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So psionic ascension has the fewest pops and the weakest pops but thats ok because they are good at espionage. Yeah just like they've been fine for the past 2 years. It is nice to be able to clearly see how superior your opponent is compared to you. I really struggle to find a strength for psi ascension that can match massive early pop growth modifiers combined with quite weak pop bonuses. And way too much of psi strength is tied in lengthy rng shroud events.

Also we are now placing an even greater amount of pop productivity in technologies where spiritualists are weak and materialists are strong. Is there any plan to do something to make unity useful and tech less massively overpowered
 
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Birdos

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This was a great DD, especially seeing how you worked with feedback from past DDs and came up with some neat changes!

The biggest change is that producing a new pop no longer costs a static amount of pop growth - it increases as the empire population does.
So the bigger your empire, the slower the growth? Could you please tell usthe "in lore" justification for this?

I understand that this is a "anti-snowball" mechanic, but it does not feel right at all. I can understand slower tech spread, increased production overheads, etc. but people making less babies because they're in a big empire? So you grant them independence for a bit, have them go at it like rabbits and reconquer?

The downside of big empires should be the increasing logistical overheads to manage it all and the struggle to keep unity: waring internal factions that grow apart, independence movements, etc.

We’ve also changed a few buildings to have new or additional features, such as the Spawning Pool and Clone Vats, which have had their Pop Growth modifiers replaced with the new Organic Pop Assembly. This fills the same slot on the planet as Robotic Pop Assembly, so generally you’ll want to pick one or the other. (Clone Vats also picked up a food upkeep cost to represent simple materials to break down.)
Again, I understand that this is due to limitations of the code and/or balancing. But is there any reason why a civilization capable of FTL travel cannot run a cloning program and a robotics facility at the same time?

Maybe their energy need is so high that they come with an inbuilt geothermal plant that is so massive, that running a second one at the same time could destabilize the planet. Idk, please come up with something somewhat coherent so it doesn't have the "playing a boardgame" feel.
 
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Great work! I've been waiting for a tweak in pop number for a while, this could bring me back to the game.
 

Ixal

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Won't the automatic resettlement drive up computation times by a lot (exponentially with the size of the empire)?
 

Echo Candor One

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I remember reading somewhere (a previous dev diary?) that building upgrades would add jobs to existing districts. IE, forge building would add jobs to industrial districts. Is that no longer the case?
 

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So psionic ascension has the fewest pops and the weakest pops but thats ok because they are good at espionage. Yeah just like they've been fine for the past 2 years. It is nice to be able to clearly see how superior your opponent is compared to you. I really struggle to find a strength for psi ascension that can match massive early pop growth modifiers combined with quite weak pop bonuses. And way too much of psi strength is tied in lengthy rng shroud events.

Also we are now placing an even greater amount of pop productivity in technologies where spiritualists are weak and materialists are strong. Is there any plan to do something to make unity useful and tech less massively overpowered
Psi Ascension itself is sadly weak. As is the ethos behind it. -10% Edict cost is frankly, completely useless. And +20% Monthly unity is much, much, much weaker than it initially sounds. At this point, they should change the edict cost reduction for something else entirely, and maybe give Spiritualist a -20% reduction to bio pop upkeep in line with robots?

Psi Ascension could also add "Psionic Constructs" or something similar to fill the assembly slot.



-And while I risk sounding like a broken record. Steal Relic war goal when?
-Being able to turn robots/droids/synths you conquered from another empire into yours so you can declutter the species screen when?


Look around you in the world today. More pops in a civilization that reaches a certain standard of living leads to a collapse in family sizes and reproductive ratio of less than 2 (shrinking population). See also the rat utopia experiments.
Rat Utopia had other issues. Such as space becoming scarce. Then again. Many of the nations fighting declining birth rates are not actually overpopulated. While many of those who are overpopulated still have a booming population growth. There are a lot of very complicated factors playing into all of this.
 
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I have some questions, concerns, and random thoughts.


  1. Is the increasing cost in an Empire just for robotic/machine growth or is it for any pop? If any are these separate factors for each type?
  2. Seems like you can cheese this for organics and jobless relocation by having a few places where you build up a bunch of housing or otherwise have a good growth planet/habitat, and then just don't make more jobs beyond getting to the sweet spot for growth.
  3. Related to (1), if Machine Empire Growth increase is mostly linear and empire wide, it seems like this will be very hard to balance against organic growth. This might also lead to machine empires needing to play a certain way in terms of wide/tall in order to be competitive. Maybe it's best to just have them use the same system even if it isn't entirely realistic (increasing cost isn't realistic anyway).
  4. I'd be tempted to say if we were going to have a realistic machine empire cost increase, it would be upkeep. Everything is networked together, which necessarily means the more devices on the network, the more resources need to be spent on network infrastructure (particularly energy which is always running the infrastructure) -- and this isn't going to be linear. But overall, I am not sure on how easy it is to balance different system and outside of Machine Empires, robotic pops aren't necessarily all connected.
  5. Related to (2), maybe growth should be Empire-wide. Population is abstract as it is, one unit is a lot of actual people. Internal movement is naturally going to have a full pop appear where opportunities are. Or if (1) is for all Empires then I guess this can handle it. You can balance tall/wide by making it much easier for a Civ with fewer people to hit capacity.
  6. I am concern about how this might lead to Empires feeling empty if they have trouble filling up. If you have 2 times as much housing on a planet as people, and it's easy to have a bunch of empty jobs, that would seem weird if it's just how things always are. If excess housing represents empty houses too, this is odd. I wonder if extra housing shouldn't provide a bonus (happiness/stability or something) in this new system, and indicate citizens on that planet have large houses (e.g. 5 pops and 10 housing mean they enjoy twice as much space as 10 pops in 10 housing).
  7. Rogue Servitors seems like they might be in an awkward place. How is housing considered for their organic pops in terms of growth or is this going to be changing?
  8. Related to (7) If we're relooking at habitability, I wonder if they should have an option to build Sanctuaries that provide full habitability but cost extra upkeep (basically completely contained environments) so that they could use Machine Worlds and have organic pops. Just always seemed strange to me. Honestly, they just seem to be in a bit of a strange place regarding "ultimate worlds".
  9. Related to all the above, I notice you are making it so only one pop type can be grown at a time, and that makes sense in terms of balance, but I am concerned that this will result in a system that heavily favors populations with a mix of organics and robots, who can rapidly fill up with organics and then churn out some synthetics to hit a population cap. I just want to make sure you are testing how they compare with each other (or in general use robot pops where organic growth is slower and then switch to organic growth when it is faster).
  10. Lastly, is it intended that this will make immigration and emigration a much bigger deal? If pop is harder to get in general, this emigration and immigration are a way to fill up planets more easily.
  11. Is it intended that upgrading buildings to provide more jobs supposed to be a bigger decision now? It seems like it is going to be harder to get rare resources, since we're talking about 1 job per building for those structures. I get the impression we might generally have fewer building slots and they'll be more precious. But it is hard to tell from the sidelines how that will all play out.
  12. Why can't Rogue Servitors have migration treaties? It seems like they'd want to try to lure people in by offering a luxurious life free of want and that fits their programming even if they might lose some people.
 
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LivingFood

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then it grows faster and faster until resources start to limit growth, at which point it slows down and sometimes even ends up going negative at times. In our experiments we've modified the curve somewhat so new colonies aren't incredibly slow to grow.
Wouldn't this be a great time to think about food as a resource then? Let's say you wanted to mitigate this slow down when resources limit growth.

Having a large stockpile of food could be spent to keep growth up. It could get exponentially more expensive as the population increases to keep growth up.

I hate to say it but bringing back the planetary decision to spend some food resources when your pop growth slows down would make sense here.
 
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Echo Candor One

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People talking about gaming the system by moving pops to keep planets at the ideal pop-growth point seem to be forgetting that moving a pop manually will now cost influence.
 
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arosenberger14

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People talking about gaming the system by moving pops to keep planets at the ideal pop-growth point seem to be forgetting that moving a pop manually will now cost influence.
Except for slaves and robots, which is really gonna buff both slavery (arguably good) and robot assembly plants (already the single best building in the entire game).
 

Pale Blue

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People talking about gaming the system by moving pops to keep planets at the ideal pop-growth point seem to be forgetting that moving a pop manually will now cost influence.
Slaves don't. Also you can just close jobs on planets and open them on others and wait until the system moves them for you. If you are impatient corvee system basically would read +500000% pop growth but could cause suicidal thoughts.
 
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