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

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Tech Noir Synth

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I've never gotten nivlac before on any empire, hive mind or no. Is it really that important to making an empire competitive?

As long as no one else has it, no. However its an amazing 50% bonus habitability and 50% pop growth bonus or somethign crazy. The worst part is that Rogue Servitor and Driven Assimilator can get the Event. But for Hiveminds, its disabled entirely. So as a DA, you find that species and your text says "Excellent, more slaves!" There is no justification to just disable this event for Hiveminds. All you have to do is copy the text box and make it the same for Hivemind.

Another thing that makes Hivemind not be able to compete with other organics are the free rapid breeders + strong traits. Thats 2 free trait slots and 3 free trait points which Hiveminds will never get. You get this as a non-Gestalt empire by settling on a low habitability planet and eventually your main species will create a new species with new habitability and get strong + rapid breeders.

Ontop of this, the new species will have different habitability, depending on that planet. And if you settle a Tomb world, that species will have Tomb world habitability and 60% habitability ANYWHERE which is crazy strong.

This 60% minimum habitability is the same you get from the Horizon Signal Event chain. And, you guessed it, Horizon Signal event is simply disabled for Gestalts! Why? Because apparently Paradox thinks Gestalts and Hiveminds must be excluded from most amount of content!

This is why, for many years, tons of players keep asking Paradox to finally treat Gestalts and Hivemind players equally and give them the same amount of content. Sadly, they don't care. See Necrophages, which are disabled for Hiveminds, which upset tons of players. They are only hurting themselves with anti-Gestalt and anti-Hivemind bias. See the links in my info box below this comment. We have been asking Paradox to give Gestalts the content they deserve for a long time. So far they have not done it.
 
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currylambchop

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As long as no one else has it, no. However its an amazing 50% bonus habitability and 50% pop growth bonus or somethign crazy. The worst part is that Rogue Servitor and Driven Assimilator can get the Event. But for Hiveminds, its disabled entirely. So as a DA, you find that species and your text says "Excellent, more slaves!" There is no justification to just disable this event for Hiveminds. All you have to do is copy the text box and make it the same for Hivemind.
To be fair, Hiveminds aren't supposed to accept 'outsiders' as they're not connected to the hivemind, which I think is a reasonable justification. Although I agree with your sentiment in general.
 

Tech Noir Synth

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To be fair, Hiveminds aren't supposed to accept 'outsiders' as they're not connected to the hivemind, which I think is a reasonable justification. Although I agree with your sentiment in general.

They do accept the Baol pops from the Baol event chain just fine. It should be the same with Nivlac. As soon as you finish Bio Ascension you can make the Baol Hivemind pops, just like you can do with Nivlac if you get the pops (from someone else that is) since the event is locked for Hiveminds for no reason.
 
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Silyus

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Very good changes. I'm especially glad that you decided to include the automatic migration as a core mechanic, with the transit hub providing just a bonus to it. This way, the necessity of building a starport over every system is largely diminished. Migration is an ubiquitous problem, but not all systems are equally affected, so this solution makes sense.

I'm loving these latest dev diaries, keep them coming :p
 
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TimeMask

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I've never gotten impossible organism myself or seen ai gotten it, so hard to comment on that <_<
 
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currylambchop

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They do accept the Baol pops from the Baol event chain just fine.
To be honest, I wouldn't want to tempt the devs into disabling the Baol pops for hiveminds lol given that the devs don't like hiveminds.

Also, a distinction between Baol and nivlac can be drawn in that the Baol were originally a hive mind, which I guess is more 'acceptable' to hive minds.
 
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methegrate

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There are some things, like technologies, that mitigate the production reduction to some degree.

Although, personally, I don't think cutting resource output overall would be a bad thing. It would be nice to have to make more choices in the middle game, where right now the economy shifts into a post-scarcity model pretty early on.

Plus, then those huge, expensive battleships could be a bigger deal. At the moment you just whang together a few of those for every fleet. With fewer resources overall they could shift from the standard complement to the intimidating powerhouses they should be. After all, most fights should be over when the Enterprise shows up on the scene. At least, in my mind that's how I have it. Galaxy/Sovereign class would be a battleship, with Borg cubes probably as a juggernaut.
 
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Tech Noir Synth

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I've never gotten impossible organism myself or seen ai gotten it, so hard to comment on that <_<

See. Its already a rare event. But then locking content away from Gestalts means your playthroughs end up feeling more of the same. Its time that Paradox treats Gestalt players equal and gives them the same events. Atleast Horizon Signal. It even works as a Synth empire and your Synths get the intelligent trait (which has been confirmed to be a bug). But the event works nonetheless and so it should work for everyone.

Does the Worm not love Gestalts?
 
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TimeMask

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I would honestly prefer more unique events to gestalts, though I guess them having rewritten versions of normal events is second best thing. Impossible organism event seems to be all about adaptibility so would make sense that NIviacs can connect to the hive mind since they would "adapt" to them
 
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Eladrin

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More Pops = less Pop growth = I don't understand.
Logistic pop growth is a real formula used to simulate biological growth. Normally growth starts off very slow since the population is low, 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.

Psionic Ascension will now be the only one without pop growth bonus.
Yes, this is true. They'll have some pretty potent bonuses when it comes to R̵Ę̶͐D̵̩̄A̸͙̓C̶̢͝T̶̩̆Ę̸̈D̴ though, we'll talk more about that in a few weeks.

Does this mean I can finally make an origin where the species is completely infertile and relies on cloning to reproduce?
Yeah, should be possible.
 
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methegrate

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Espionage will be amazing! I am really looking forward to it. I think the next DD will be the most important one!

I've got high hopes for espionage and internal politics. After all, if we're readjusting how pop growth works (which sounds like a series of fantastic ideas), I'm seriously hoping that step two is then making those pops matter more.
 
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DrFranknfurter

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There's a lot to take in and a lot of potentially very good changes. I can see a few issues:

1. Automatic Resettlement and the mystery of the shrinking Resort world.
Planets currently have thresholds where new jobs are created, automatically resettling below that threshold will remove jobs, potentially deleting jobs you really want to keep when the extra job is worth far more than the unemployment (those Gas Plant Engineers are amazing).
20, 40, 60, 80, 100, 120, 140, 160, 180, 200... For Synapse Drone/Maintenance Drone/Subterranean Liaison Officer/Cave Cleaner/Gas Plant Engineer/Dimensional Portal Researcher Jobs.
50, 150, 250... For Merchant Job per 50 Pops.
2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18... Clerk job per 2 Pops on Resort Worlds.

Dropping below the thresholds above causes that extra job to be lost, or +1 unemployment, which is then resettled away. For most situations this just means you'd get an annoying unemployed ruler with nowhere suitable to go or miss out on one extra cool job. But for resort worlds it could lead to a cycle where they keep shrinking and the shrinking causes them to have more unemployment which makes them shrink even faster.

A similar annoyance could occur if the unemployed pop was pushing the planet over the 10/40/80 pop threshold required to upgrade the colony capital - in this case resettling would cancel the build and stop you from adding the +1/+2 jobs the upgrade would provide. And there'd be a 70+% chance of this happening in the 900 day build time potentially causing AI empires to get stuck in a loop wasting all the built time on a building that never gets completed.

I like the concept of those scaling jobs and the colony upgrade thresholds used to make sense. The problem is that it has anti-synergy with pop numbers decreasing for any reason. Every solution I can think of has significant downsides:
Making the jobs permanent would incentivise mass-resettling for the purposes of unlocking jobs (or mass unemployment whenever they're recalculated)
Preventing resettling when it would delete a job would break resettlement from worlds you want to resettle from,
Making all the currently scaling jobs tied instead to the level of colony capital would dramatically reduce their scaling power in the late-game,
Changing Colony Capital requirements from pop numbers to district numbers would lead to empty worlds.

So I'm not sure what the best way to fix this issue is... I just hope you're aware that the issue exists and have some way to prevent it from being too large a problem.


3. Tile blockers and the perils of Dangerous Wildlife
Small thing. I hope that with a carrying capacity solution to pop-growth that these tile-blockers reduce the carrying capacity of a planet significantly. Dangerous Wildlife, Active Volcanoes and Radioactive Wastelands shouldn't be ideal places to raise children just because the planet is huge and has a lot of room to grow.

Making tile-blockers something the player and AI tries to clear ASAP would also make the AI clear those slums at the start of the game rather than waiting a century to clear them and get the bonus pop.


3. Scaling Pop Growth with Empire population shifts max growth from Colony Spam to Vassal Spam (1-planet vassals).
Currently 10 planets grow 10x as fast as 1 planet, the new system sounds as though it could limit this. But if growth required to generate a new pop scales with the total empire pop count, then it follows that:
10x Empires grow 10x as fast as 1 Empire.

Result:
Players will be incentivized to reduce enemy empires to 1-Planet during wars. Farming the one remaining planet for pops every 10 years (truce period) for max pop growth (i.e. you would have +2000% growth required per pop from having a massive empire population if you captured that world, the tiny 1-planet empire grows at full speed and can be harvested at will).

For less warlike empires the cycle would be instead: create Vassal/wait/integrate/resettle down to 1 pop/create vassal shenanigans (worst case scenario).

I wonder if experimenting with moving the scaling to being based on Total Galaxy Population would remove this exploit? Though that would cause additional unwanted consequences - letting the crisis ravage the galaxy to improve the player's pop growth rate, late-game enlightened primitives growing significantly slower than early game primitives etc.

Sorry that I don't have good answers, I just worry about unintended consequences of the changes.
 
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I've got high hopes for espionage and internal politics. After all, if we're readjusting how pop growth works (which sounds like a series of fantastic ideas), I'm seriously hoping that step two is then making those pops matter more.

I've low expectations for espionnage and I'm not even sure they teased anything about internal politics so...
I'm looking forward to it though
 
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Zetesofos

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Hello!

This week we’re going to look at some more changes we're planning, as well as a review of how some of the experiments mentioned in the last few dev diaries have evolved.

Thank you for the massive amount of feedback in those threads.

Reduction in Pops

Due to the effects on performance and a desire to reduce the micromanagement burden in the mid to late game, some of the things we’ve been deeply looking into are different ways of dramatically reducing the number of pops in the galaxy.

These experiments have generally revolved around modifying the growth (or assembly required) for pops as an empire’s population grows, with some variants trying a logistic pop growth (where growth follows an S-shaped curve as planets develop, based on a carrying capacity of a planet). These experiments have reduced the end date pop count to somewhere around one half of the old numbers with the expected performance improvements.

Organic pops will follow a curve where they begin at standard population growth, increase growth as the approach a midpoint between population and the planetary carrying capacity, then slow down to zero as they reach the top of the curve. Pop Assembly, on the other hand, is generally slow but consistent. 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.

A significant reduction in pops has a cascade of major implications for the overall economy, production, and other gameplay effects. As such, these also require a pass on buildings, technologies, and even seemingly minor ripple effects like what the value should be for the trade value generated by pops.

There will be a lot of patch notes.

So, something I've been curious about. Has there been any thought to making pop growth an empire-wide modifier rather than a colony-based metric? It just seems like the incentive still is always to have more smaller colonies than one large one; or am I missing something?
 
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methegrate

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Planets currently have thresholds where new jobs are created, automatically resettling below that threshold will remove jobs, potentially deleting jobs you really want to keep when the extra job is worth far more than the unemployment (those Gas Plant Engineers are amazing).

I'm not familiar with this mechanic... Afaik, jobs are created entirely by districts and buildings. The only relationship to population growth is unlocking building slots.

Could you unpack this for those of us eating paste in the corner?
 

Netherim

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Wait, just +1% habitability for medical worker?! Are you kidding? It seems too small and useless

And what's for Synthetic Evolution, its Pop Assembly is much faster than other, and will not be reduced by carrying capacity of a planet(What's more, they can grow organic pops and assemble pops at the same time)
I think this should be 2-3%
 
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Andy_Dandy

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How hive can kill VD ? mb need boost VD MORE!?
I hope the carrying capacity of planets that will influence pop growth now will be bad news for voiddweller pop growth. If not they just went from crazy OP to the ultimate definition of OP with all these juicy traditions on the top of the cake.