Paradox have just unleashed an interstellar info-dump for Stellaris, detailing a series of patches planned for late May, June, and even beyond. Each one is going to be named after a famous author of science-fiction, so 1.1 (which will focus on bug fixes) has been dubbed ‘Clarke’.
The dev diary author, Henrik Fåhraeus (doomdark), admits that he was expecting some amount of criticism for the mid-game period in Stellaris, largely because the game shipped without a whole category of events (“Colony events”). These were supposed to entertain and engage your science vessels, post-exploration.
“We simply took too long getting all the early and late game stuff in,” he writes. There are similar clues and half-admissions that Stellaris came in a little ‘hot’ throughout the piece. Problems with sector AI and user-interface design appear to have been more of a surprise, however.
With all that in mind, here’s what’s coming up in the next couple of months. First, 1.1 (‘Clarke’) towards the end of May. These are the ‘highlights’, so there’ll ultimately be more stuff (and some aspects might get bumped earlier or later).
- Fixes to the Ethic Divergence and Convergence issues. Currently, Pops tend to get more and more neutral (they lose Ethics, but rarely gain new ones.)
- The End of Combat Summary. This screen looks bad and also doesn’t tell you what you need to know in order to revise your ship designs, etc.
- Sector Management GUI: There are many issues with this, and we will try to get most of them fixed.
- Diplomacy GUI issues. This includes the Diplomatic Pop-Ups when other empires contact you, but also more and better looking Notifications, and more informative tooltips on wars, etc.
- AI improvements: Notably the Sector AI, but also plenty of other things. This kind of work is never “finished”…
- Myriads of bug fixes and smaller GUI improvements.
- Late game crises bugs. There were some nasty bugs in there, blocking certain subplots and various surprising developments.
Then, in June, we can all expect ‘Asimov’. This update will have more mechanical and gameplay improvements. More diplomatic actions. More treaties. Revisions to border access, and so on.
- Border Access Revision: Borders are now open to your ships by default, although empires can choose to Close their borders for another empire (lowering your relations, of course.)
- Tributaries: New diplomatic status and corresponding war goals.
- Joint Declarations of War: You can ask other empires to join you for a temporary alliance in a war against a specific target.
- Defensive Pacts.
- Harder to form and maintain proper Alliances.
- More war goals: Humiliate, Open Borders, Make Tributary, etc.
- Emancipation Faction. We had to cut this one at the last minute. Needs redesign.
- Diplomatic Map Mode. Much requested!
- Diplomatic Incidents: This is a whole class of new scripted events that causes more interaction with the other empires.
The plans go further still, to beyond June and ‘Heinlein’. These changes and features are for further in the future, so they’re not going to be set in stone or definitive. This is what’s on Paradox’s mind though.
- Sector and Faction Politics: We are working on a design for this. I always wanted to make Factions more closely tied to Sectors, for example…
- Federation and Alliance Politics: As a player, you need more ways of interacting with the other members, push your will through, and get elected, etc.
- Giving Directions to Allies and Subject States.
- Strategic Resource Overhaul: You should need these and search for them far and wide. They should be extremely important.
- Battleship Class Weapons. Some Battleship front sections will be repurposed for an XL size weapon slot. There are currently four ship sizes but only three sizes to weapons, creating an imbalance. Also, Battleships should have fewer small weapon slots and have to rely on screens of smaller ships.
- Fleet Combat Mechanics: Formations and/or more complex ship behavior is needed.
- Mid-game scripted content: Guarded “treasures”, mid-game crises, colony events, etc.
- Living Solar Systems: Little civilian ships moving around, etc.
As always with Paradox grand strategy titles, there will be expansions coming. That said, the developer diary states that all of May and June will be devoted to bug fixes and free updates. All of the aspects listed above will be coming in free patches.