Stellaris Dev Diary #207: Challenging Origins

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Hi! Happy April Fool's Day!

This week we want to show off some of the challenging new Origins that are not coming soon.

The first, titled Surviving the Aftermath, is a variant on Void Dwellers.

The Surviving the Aftermath origin starts with the premise that a construction ship and colony ship were lost in MIA when a Crisis nation activated the Aetherophasic Engine and destroyed the galaxy, and you're left in a habitat to pick up the pieces.

View attachment 699567
Your home system.

As the galaxy has been destroyed and there are no resources anywhere, we expect this to be an exciting and challenging origin to play.

View attachment 699568
The local cluster.

View attachment 699569The galaxy. So alone. So very alone.
The hilarious thing is that this one actually sounds like it has potential to be interesting.
 
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Olterin

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To those of you saying that some of these sound fun ... please consider the context. For example, the first one puts you in a solo habitat in a galaxy full of nothing but ruins and blackholes (and no resources except maybe dark matter, those all got blown up). So where a normal game of stellaris has you develop and grow an empire in the context of other forces in the galaxy, this origin would ... not. It wouldn't even be a game of stellaris, and stellaris (vanilla anyway) does a very poor job of being a civ builder if there's no backdrop to it (and no real room to expand).

It may sound like an interesting setting, but stellaris is not the game to take on that setting to present you with a fun game experience, in all likelihood.
 
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To those of you saying that some of these sound fun ... please consider the context. For example, the first one puts you in a solo habitat in a galaxy full of nothing but ruins and blackholes (and no resources except maybe dark matter, those all got blown up). So where a normal game of stellaris has you develop and grow an empire in the context of other forces in the galaxy, this origin would ... not. It wouldn't even be a game of stellaris, and stellaris (vanilla anyway) does a very poor job of being a civ builder if there's no backdrop to it (and no real room to expand).

It may sound like an interesting setting, but stellaris is not the game to take on that setting to present you with a fun game experience, in all likelihood.
There are a lot of origins (19 vanilla + modded origins) meaning that many people will only play an origin once or twice, or possibly not at all. More variety is a good thing, even if an origin really doesn't excite you and wont see a lot of action.

Also many of the origins come with associated event chains, dig sites, spawn in neutral creatures and even entire empires. Galactic Doorstep spawns amoeba for example, Scion spawns in a 1-system Fallen empire if you set Fallen empires to 0 while Lost colony spawns in an Advanced empire even if you set that to 0 (bit annoying that one). So an origin that removed all other races could also add something else for you to fight or discover, via events, anomalies, dig sites, time (after x years like Doomsday) or some other trigger (like the L-cluster) to make it more exciting and less of a joke.

So maybe it would work for you if the origin also added events that revealed that you aren't quite as alone as you think, one example could be the hordes of void clouds with a void cloud leviathan (VLUUR and his family) roaming the galaxy in the mid/late game. Or a broken L-gate could activate releasing nanites that restore worlds and spawn new hostile nations in the mid/late game (one that restores planets and resources on capturing systems). Or the challenge could be just as simple as 'can you still defeat the crisis with such a poor start, a dearth of resources and no allies?'

But even without any special event chains it would work for me and I'd play it at least a couple of times. I'd love a completely different challenge to normal gameplay - no space deposits means all resources come from habitats. No research or mining habitats (no resources) means only trade habitats. Things are slower, harsher and resources are tighter until you reach megastructures and restore any that still exist. You probably have much higher pop-numbers from the passage of time, as well as more influence due to taking far fewer systems so you rely on clerks, merchants and struggle at every step of the way. Maybe it would be worth switching into and out of being a Megacorp and releasing vassals to be able to form a federation and get the Trade League policy. Maybe you'd dot the map with fortress habitats to slow the crisis that will eventually spawn and target the only living thing it can see... you.

It's not going to be a fun game for everyone. But it would be strange, different and special to have more origins as unique as this joke one potentially is. But importantly for me an origin that gives you a starting scenario and dramatically changes galaxy generation also opens the doors to a host of other custom galaxies:
A Young Galaxy, nebula everywhere, and no fallen empires or ruins of the past as you are one of the first races in existence (no relic or tomb worlds), but you also have different challenges and event chains.
An Old Galaxy where every planet has some evidence of former habitation, battle debris, cracked worlds, stars are burning out and leaving the galaxy dark and empty (mostly relic and tomb worlds, perhaps even habitats sprinkled about with lots of blockers to represent their abandoned state. Can encounter multiple precursors chains in a single game, more shielded worlds and other surprising nasty events).
A balanced galaxy, with every empire spawning in a cluster containing an identical layout of planets and resources (for testing and multiplayer).
A living galaxy, with much stronger and aggressive spaceborne aliens (scary mining drones that decide to crack planets in the mid-game).

Obviously I'd rather have these sorts of things implemented via new advanced galaxy settings (for galaxy age, spaceborne alien numbers and strength, random vs balanced starts, resource abundance and scarcity, building and ship costs to pair with research cost settings etc) so you can mix and match to create a game that is perfect for you.

Origins are just a quick and very easy way of creating custom scenarios as it can trigger a lot of events that reshape the galaxy on game-start. A Dev diary suggesting lots of special, unique, funny yet extremely challenging origins and all of that being a joke is more than just a little sad, it's tragic.
 
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I hate the first of April, I just got ready to play for the premitives and then ...
 
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I kind of want something for CKIII where you get a very rare event where a weird creature enters your court babbling incoherent nonsense and you get two choices:

1) Burn it at the stake! It's clearly a daemon! KILL IT WITH HOLY FIRE! This continues the game normally.

2) Attempt to communicate with it. This leads to an event chain that ends in a special gameover screen that when you close out of it it then boots you from the game and loads Stellaris, if it's installed, otherwise it sends you to the Stellaris store page.
 
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Aw man. JUST TODAY I found out this was a trick!

All of these sound so good, but they ain't happenin'!
 

QuinnMallory

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Hi! Happy April Fool's Day!

This week we want to show off some of the challenging new Origins that are not coming soon.

The first, titled Surviving the Aftermath, is a variant on Void Dwellers.

The Surviving the Aftermath origin starts with the premise that a construction ship and colony ship were lost in MIA when a Crisis nation activated the Aetherophasic Engine and destroyed the galaxy, and you're left in a habitat to pick up the pieces.

View attachment 699567
Your home system.

As the galaxy has been destroyed and there are no resources anywhere, we expect this to be an exciting and challenging origin to play.

View attachment 699568
The local cluster.

View attachment 699569The galaxy. So alone. So very alone.

The next is the Crusader King Origin, where you begin the game as the ruler of a primitive civilization in the late medieval time period.

View attachment 699615
Living in luxury.

This origin starts at a significant tech disadvantage, but our playtests suggest that you should achieve spaceflight within a few hundred years.

Several events have been added in case another empire wishes to enlighten your civilization, as well as a "burn the alien at the stake" minigame.

View attachment 699572
Includes special diplomatic options!

Winning the game as a Crusader King grants the new Universe Universalis achievement.

The Prison Architect Origin is restricted to Rogue Servitors only, and drastically changes their gameplay. Instead of pampering their organic charges, they seek to collect all organics and like the Criminal Syndicate, are affected by and gain bonuses for having high Crime. They also gain extra Unity for each Criminal Syndicate pop they collect.

View attachment 699573
Gotta catch ‘em all!

View attachment 699574
Some minor changes to the Organic Sanctuary.

Open to all empire types, the This is Fine origin has a new twist - your empire thinks it’s hot stuff and is limited to colonizing stars.

View attachment 699622
Is it warm in here, or is it just me? Looking pretty radiant though.

Your buildings have a chance of being ruined each month due to fires, but your energy production is vastly increased.

Last but not least, the AI Custodianship Origin is our most challenging yet, where you and the AI both control your empire simultaneously. This Origin is also open to all empire types, and represents a fractured leadership or gestalt intelligence where two leaders struggle for power, sometimes issuing contradictory orders. The AI Custodian will act to implement its flawless and foolproof algorithms, undoubtedly bringing your empire success in the long run, if you would only listen to it.

View attachment 699602
The AI has great plans for my homeworld. The greatest of plans.

That's all for this week. As a reminder, the Stellaris 3.0 'Dick' update and Nemesis arrive two weeks from today on the 15th of April.

What Origins would you create if you wanted a special challenge?
Um...I kind of wish the first two were real.