Last week we started talking about some of the changes we’re making to establishing first contact, and as promised, today we will continue talking about how you can learn more about alien empires.
All of the things we are talking about today is work in progress and may not accurately reflect the finished product. That said, we still want to hear your thoughts and read your feedback!
It always felt like there was so much missing potential when it came to learning more about alien civilizations in the game. We didn’t like that you had so much information as soon as you established communication with an alien empire – all of their borders would be revealed, and the diplomatic window would reveal most of the other information. We aim to change a lot of that.
We want alien civilizations to feel more mysterious and unknown. We want the experience of learning more about alien empires to be an equally important and fun aspect of exploration.
Fog of War
As we briefly showed last week, we are making some changes to fog of war, and what type of information you will be getting about other empires.
You will no longer see all of the systems and borders occupied by the empire you have recently contacted, but it will now instead be tied to how much Intel you have. This really makes alien empires feel way more mysterious, which is something that we really like.
The information on the empire to the galactic south-east is very limited. We can see their homeworld and the borders explored by our science ship.
The galaxy as seen from the yellow empire in the top-right. There are a bunch of empires that we know very little about, and there are still more that are undiscovered.
Like mentioned above, our primary objective is to make alien empires feel more mysterious and unknown. We wanted to hide information and allow you to learn more about other empires as you gain more Intel on them. Our goal is to make the Intel game a part of the exploration aspect of Stellaris.
An alien empire recently established communications with us. Friends..?
Let’s take a look at how we have designed the Intel game to work.
First off there is Intel, which is a value between 0 and 100. You have a current Intel value, and you have a “target” Intel value, up to which it can grow. You usually have an Intel floor, which is the lowest value it can be, depending on a couple of factors such as:
- Diplomatic Pacts (Research Agreements, Commercial Pacts etc.)
- REDACTED (doesn’t look like anything to you)
Depending on things like diplomatic pacts, trust or other things, your Intel will grow over time.
Information is split between different Intel Categories, such as Government, Military, Diplomatic, Economic, Technology. Categories can have different Intel Levels as well, ranging from None to Full. The Intel categories and their levels are what determines what information you have access to. Here are some examples:
- Low Government Intel (Intel: 10) would reveal basic things like empire name, authority, ethics, capital location.
- Low Military Intel (Intel: 40) would reveal starbases and relative military power.
- Medium Government Intel (Intel: 40) would reveal civics and origin.
- Medium Diplomacy Intel (Intel: 50) would reveal the opinion breakdown and let us see which diplomatic pacts they have with other empires.
Intel Reports allow you to gain more information in a certain category, on a timed basis. It would be, for example, possible to gain an Intel Report which lasts for 720 days and gives you a High level of Military Intel, whereas otherwise High Military Intel might require you to have 80 Intel on the empire.
It is said that knowledge is power, and intel is a form of knowledge. Power usually fades, and so does Intel. It is possible to lose access to information that was previously accessible. In some cases, this information will now be displayed as stale.
Intel, now in the scent of working from home for months.
The last information you had about the empire was that they were far weaker than you on many accounts, but perhaps they have strengthened their fleets by now? Stale Intel can also mean that you may no longer see if the borders for an empire change or not.
That's it for this week! Hopefully you've gained some Intel into how the game is changing for the upcoming expansion