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Stellaris


Here are all the episodes of "Stellaris YouTuber War "

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Stellaris


Here are all the episodes of "Stellaris YouTuber War "

Category:  Stellaris

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Published by on o'clock

Stellaris


Here are all the episodes of "Stellaris YouTuber War "

Category:  Stellaris

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Published by on o'clock

Stellaris


Here are all the episodes of "Stellaris YouTuber War "

Category:  Stellaris

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Published by on o'clock

Stellaris

Hello everyone and welcome to another Stellaris dev diary. Today's dev diary is about some changes coming to ground combat and armies in the 2.0 'Cherryh' update. This will be the last dev diary before we take a break for the holidays, so there will be no diaries in the next week or the week after that. Stellaris dev diaries return on Thursday January 11th, 2018.

Defense Armies and Fortresses
Constructing Defense Armies have always been largely a meaningless exercise in Stellaris. While they are useful for reducing Unrest and occasionally might be able to beat off an unprepared attacker, the fact that a planet is capped on how many armies can be defending it while the attacker is *not* capped on how many armies are attacking, coupled with the general weakness of defense armies, means that defending a planet against a ground invasion is generally an exercise in futility and will at most delay an attacker by a few weeks. However, if we solved this by just making defense armies a lot stronger or capping the number of attacking units, the result would turn every invasion of a backwater colony into a big affair - something that is not particularly desirable when a war can involve several different actors with hundreds of planets between them.

For this reason, we have decided to rework Defense Armies into something that is actually useful, but requires a significant investment of resources to muster more than a token defense. Instead of being directly buildable by the empire, defense armies are created from certain buildings. The capital building will produce defense armies depending on its level, as will some other planetary uniques like Military Academy. If you want a planet to be well defended, however, you will need to construct Fortress building on its tiles. Fortresses require a pop to work them, do not produce any other resources than a small amount of Unity, but provide a significant amount of defense armies to protect the planet. Armies spawned by Fortresses are also impervious to orbital bombardment, and will not be able to be killed without first ruining the building itself. The armies generated by a building have their species and type set by the pop working it, so a Very Strong Battle Thrall will produce several powerful defense armies if placed on a Fortress, and special pops like Droids will produce their own variants like Robotic Defense Armies rather than the normal ones. Fortified worlds will also be able to be fit with an FTL inhibitor (the exact way they get them is not yet determined) that prevents enemy fleets from leaving the system unless the world is captured, which allows for the creation of Fortress Worlds to protect strategically important systems.
(Building icon is a placeholder)

One more important change related to Defense Armies is a change to Unrest: Armies on planets no longer reduce Unrest directly. Instead, to handle a planet with high Unrest, you will need to construct Fortress-style buildings or take other measures (such as using Edicts) to reduce the planetary Unrest. This means you cannot simply capture a planet and then spam a dozen defense armies to immediately zero out the Unrest. As part of this, we will be balancing certain events and effect to ensure newly captured worlds do not instantly defect back to their former owner.

Finally, as part of all these changes Defense Armies have received a general buff and there are several new technologies that unlock additional tiers of forts and various improvements to Defense Armies' combat ability, meaning that they will grow stronger alongside the invention of new, more powerful assault armies.

Assault Army Management
A major aim of our changes to armies is to reduce the amount of unnecessary micromanagement of armies. For this reason, and to make Assault Armies' role more explicit, we have decided to change Assault Armies to always be based in space. Whenever not directly engaged in an invasion, Assault Armies will now always automatically embark onto their transports, ready to be used to invade another world. We also aim to fix the minor but immersion-breaking bug where transport fleets are giving endlessly increasing sequential names whenever they land and embark again.

Combat Width, Retreating and Collateral Damage
Another change to ground combat is the introduction of new mechanics in the form of Combat Width. Combat Width is determined by the size of the planet, and decides how many armies can be taking and receiving damage at the same time: For example, if 20 assault armies invade a world held by 10 defense armies with a combat width of 10, all 10 defense armies will be immediately engaged in battle while only half the assault armies will be able to deal and receive damage, with additional assault armies joining the fray as the armies in front of them are destroyed. This means that it is no longer possible to take a well defended world without losses by simply throwing a hundred clone armies at it: If you wish to minimize losses (and thus War Exhaustion), you will need to invest in expensive, high-maintenance elite armies.
(Interface not final)

We've also added the concept of Collateral Damage: As armies fight on the planet, civilians and civilian infrastructure is caught in the fighting. Each time an army deals damage in battle, it will inflict a random amount of Collateral Damage, which increases Planetary Damage similar to Orbital Bombardment (see below) and can lead to the death of Pops and the destruction of buildings and tiles. Some armies will deal more Collateral Damage than others: For example, Xenomorph armies are highly destructive and cost-efficient, but will wreak immense havoc on the planet, potentially leaving it in ruins in the process of capturing it for your empire.

While working on combat mechanics we also took the time to change the way Morale Damage works, making it something that is suffered by both sides (instead of just the loser) and making the effects of it more gradual, so that armies suffer a drop in combat efficiency once they are <50% morale, and then another, sharper drop when they are broken (0% morale). This should make certain armies, such as Psi Armies, highly effective against low-morale opponents like Slave Armies, but less effective against an unfeeling army of Droids. Finally, we've also tweaked the damage-dealing algorithm so that damage is less evenly spread among combatants, making it so that even an outnumbered force can destroy regiments and inflict war exhaustion on the enemy.

Finally, we have made some changes to retreats. When an attacker retreats from a ground combat, there is now a significant chance that each retreating regiment is destroyed while attempting to return to space, making retreat a risky endeavour and eliminating the tactic of simply send in the same army again and again in wave attacks, instead making retreats something you do in order to preserve at least some of your army in a poorly chosen engagement.

Orbital Bombardment Changes
Finally, again in the interest of reducing the micromanagement needed during war, we've changed the way orbital bombardment works. Fortifications have been entirely cut from planets, so that there is no need to bombard lightly defended worlds before going in with the ground troops. Instead, we have added a requirement that planets cannot be invaded if there is a hostile Starbase in the system, so that transports cannot snipe worlds that are protected by defensive installations present in the same system. Orbital Bombardment, instead of being something you have to manage and wait for in every single planetary engagement, is now something you do to soften up a particularly well defended target, or simply to wreak havoc on the enemy's planet and drive up their War Exhaustion.

As a planet is bombarded, the fleet will deal Planetary Damage, ruining buildings and killing Pops. Bombarding fleets will also do damage to armies present on the planet (unless those armies are protected by a Fortress), and over a long enough time can decimate a defending force, though doing so will likely cause heavy damage to the planet and may delay the attacker long enough that the owner of the planet has time to build up their forces or inflict enough war exhaustion to force a peace. The rate at which the planet is damaged can also be slowed with the construction of buildings such as Planetary Defense Shield, further dragging out the process.

As part of these changes, we've consolidated the Bombardment Stances into the following:
Selective: Deals normal damage to armies/buildings and light damage to pops. Cannot kill the last 10 pops.
Indiscriminate: Deals heavy damage to armies, buildings and pops. Cannot kill the last 5 pops.
Armageddon: Deals massive damage to armies, buildings and pops. Can turn planets into depopulated Tomb Worlds with enough bombardment. Only available to certain empires such as Purifiers.

Attachments
Finally, on the topic of attachments, we have decided to cut them entirely from the game. We discussed a variety of ways to improve the way you assign them, but ultimately decided that we already have so many types of armies and not nearly enough combat mechanics to justify a significant investment of UI time that could go towards something like the Fleet Manager instead. The technologies that previously unlocked attachments will be changed to give other effects, such as direct buffs to certain army types.

That's all for today! As I said, we're now going on hiatus, so I'll see you again on January 11th with a dev diary about... well, that's a secret, actually. You'll just have to wait and see!

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Stellaris

Hello everyone and welcome to another Stellaris development diary. Today's dev diary is about new interface functionalities for navies in the 2.0 'Cherryh' update that we collectively call the Fleet Manager. Please note that the interfaces shown in this dev diary are early WIP versions that have not yet seen an artist's touch, and will look very different in the finished product, meaning that feedback on their look/layout is pointless at this stage. Thank you!

Fleet Manager
The fleet manager is a new interface accessible from the top bar, that as the name implies, allows you to overview and manage your navies. The fleet manager lists all fleets in your empire, filtering away small splinters that are in the process of being merged into another fleet. Each fleet has something we call a Fleet Template, which is a stored configuration of what that fleet *should* look like. Fleet Templates keep track of not just ship sizes (such as corvette or cruiser) but also of individual designs, so a Fleet Template might be set up to contain 10 Torpedo and 5 Interceptor-class corvettes alongside a mix of Picket and Gunboat style Destroyers, for example. Templates can be edited directly through the Fleet Manager without needing to build ships, by for example deciding to add another 5 Interceptor-class corvettes to the above listed fleet. Templates can be created directly without making a fleet first, and then reinforced to create the actual fleet. We are also planning to add template duplication and copy/paste functionality in order to be able to quickly set up a new fleet or make your fleets conform to a desired standard.

Whenever a fleet is missing ships that are listed in its Template, the option exists to Reinforce that fleet, which can be done either from the Fleet Manager or directly from the fleet view itself. Issuing a reinforce command will start production of as many missing ships as you can afford at your current amount of minerals, which will be automatically distributed among appropriately placed shipyards and sent to join and merge with the fleet once finished. In addition to the ability to reinforce fleets individually, there is also a Reinforce All button, which will attempt to reinforce missing ships in all fleets up to the amount you can afford with your current level of minerals, and can be used to fully replenish your navy in a single click if you have enough resources on hand. The Fleet Manager also offers the option to Retrofit ship designs. Let's take the example of the mixed Interceptor and Torpedo-class fleet above, where you have 10 Torpedo and 10 Interceptor-class ships. If you decide that you no longer need the Interceptors, you can use Retrofit to easily switch one class to another, selectively upgrading the Interceptor-class ships into Torpedo-class ships.

Home Bases
Also being introduced along with the Fleet Manager is the concept of Home Bases. Each fleet will be able to have a Home Base set, with any friendly upgraded Starbase being valid as a Home Base. This is where the fleet will return when the Return Home order is issued, gets slight priority for actions such as reinforcing (though the focus is on distributing production sensibly rather than always using the home base), and is intended to tie into other fleet mechanics planned for Cherryh that we are not quite ready to talk about yet.

That's all for today! Next week we'll be continuing to talk about Cherryh, on the topic of armies. See you then!

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Stellaris

Hello everyone and welcome to another Stellaris development diary. Today's dev diary is about two topics: Technology in the 2.0 'Cherryh' update, and the release of the Humanoids Species Pack that is coming out today and will be available for purchase around 15:00 CET.

Humanoids Species Pack
We already covered the details of the Humanoids Species Pack in Dev Diary #95, so rather than repeating myself, I am simply going to post the changelog, along with a short excerpt on the new prescripted empire, the Voor Technocracy, that we modeled on the 'loading screen aliens' and which are coming in the species pack along with the portraits, ships, city graphics, new advisor voices and music.

On the Voor Technocracy:
The Voor were once a carefree people. They evolved during an extended interglacial period, in the lush, temperate woods on their homeplanet Hiverion, where resources were plentiful. But as the planet began to revert back to a glacial state, they too had to transform to survive. The harsh climate hardened the Voor and gave rise to an authoritarian technocracy bent on dominating its surroundings through scientific advancement and the acquisition of new technologies.

Soon they had conquered their homeworld, but survival came at a steep price for the Voor people who lost autonomy of both their bodies and minds in the process. To guarantee their submission, their brains were forcibly enhanced with crude cybernetic implants, transforming them into willing instruments of science.

The Voor's deep-seated contempt for inferior intellects coupled with their need to control make them unwanted neighbors. This is unlikely to bother them, however, as what limited interest they take in other lifeforms is primarily of a scientific nature. Secretive and calculating, the Voor prefer to observe the world through the lens of a microscope, carefully plotting out their next step on the path to supremacy.
Click to expand...
That's it as far 1.9 and the Humanoids Species Pack goes. I'm personally very happy with how Humanoids turned out, and I hope you'll enjoy using it for your Stellaris empires as much as I am. On to the Cherryh update!

Technological Progression
In the 2.0 'Cherryh' update, we have made a number of changes to progression when it comes to technology. First of all, we have expanded on the number of technologies that empires start with. Rather than only starting with one type of weapon and no defensive or auxiliary utilities, all empires now start with basic Red Lasers, Mass Drivers, Nuclear Missiles, Deflectors and Armor, as well as a basic aux slot component in the form of Reactor Boosters that was covered in last week's dev diary. The reasoning for this is that we wanted to eliminate false choices and have some depth to ship design and counter-design available immediately on game start, rather than having to unlock several basic technologies before you could even start to vary your designs. With missiles moving to a dedicated torpedo slot (also covered in Dev Diary #96, this also means that the Torpedo/Missile Boat corvette layout is also immediately available.

Secondly, we have decided to increase the number of tech tiers in the game to make technological progression a more consistent experience. For those that do not know, each technology currently belongs to a tier between 1-4, with a certain number of tier 1 technologies being required before you can research tier 2 technologies in the same field, and so on. However, because the 4th tier is only used for end-game technologies like Mega-Engineering, this means that technologies with more than 3 steps such as reactors, shields and armor are spread haphazardly over the tiers, and it's not uncommon to have Cold Fusion research come up as available immediately after researching Fusion, for example. To better fit the tiers to the technologies we have, we have decided to increase the number of tiers to 5, with the tiers looking roughly like this:
Tier 1: Basic Early Game Tech (Fusion, Automated Exploration, Robotic Workers, etc)
Tier 2: Advanced Early Game Tech (Cold Fusion, Destroyers, Planetary Capital, etc)
Tier 3: Basic Mid Game Tech (Antimatter, Cruisers, Wormholes, etc)
Tier 4: Advanced Mid Game Tech (Zero Point Power, Battleships, Empire Capital, etc)
Tier 5: Late-Game Tech (Mega-Engineering, Ascension Theory, Repeatables, etc)
We have also added a large number of new technologies to the game, both in the form of techs that handle new features (like Wormhole Stabilization and Space Trading) and to improve on existing ones, like a line of techs for each ship hull (Corvette, Destroyer, etc) that improves hull points and construction speed. Additionally, we have changed the general progression of ship components so that each upgrade is now more significant. For example, blue lasers now offer approximately 30% higher damage than red lasers, rather than a mere 10-15% as in the current live build. This should mean that focusing on technology is now an actual valid alternative to simply massing ships, though we still want to avoid the tech-as-only-viable-path-to-victory problem that many 4x games suffer from. Finally, we've also added some new highly advanced 'tier 6' technologies to Fallen Empires that cannot be researched normally and are only attainable by scavenging the wrecks of their ships.

Another thing that is changing in 2.0 'Cherryh' is tech costs and the tech penalty. Because of the new Starbase system and the fact that planets are no longer needed to control space, we felt that the old tech penalty based entirely on planets and pops was overly punitive and strongly encouraged having as few planets as possible and relying on space-based resources instead. For this reason, we have changed the Tech and Unity penalties to no longer be based on pops, but rather purely on the number of owned planets and systems, with each owned system and colonized planet adding to your tech and unity costs, and planets overall having less on an impact on tech costs than before. We have also raised the base cost of techs, particularly high tier techs, to compensate for the lowered penalties and slow down late-game tech progression so an empire doesn't have all technologies unlocked within the first century. This should not be taken as playing 'tall' now being unfeasible, just that it is no longer strictly about keeping few planets, but rather limiting the number of systems you expand to in order to benefit from lower tech/unity penalties and the ability to maintain a high ratio of upgraded starbases.

That's all for today! Next week's dev diary will also be about the Cherryh update, talking about a little usability feature that we call the Fleet Manager. See you then!

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Stellaris

Hello everyone and welcome to another Stellaris development diary. Today's dev diary is about the 2.0 'Cherryh' update, and will delve into the long-awaited topic of Doomstacks, combat balance and some changes coming to ship design and components.

Doomstacks
'Doomstacks', the concept of rolling all your ships into a single stack in order to be able to beat your opponent's single stack has long been a popular discussion topic on these forums. It's a fairly common design problem in strategy games owing to the principles of force concentration outlined in Lanchester's Laws: A larger force engaged with a smaller one will not only win the battle, but take disproportionately less casualties. In other words, if a 13k force engages a 10k force (all components being equal so there's no other factors at work), the 13k force will not only win, but will inflict far more than 1.3x the casualties on the inferior force that the superior force inflicts on the lesser force. This, combined with the high decisiveness and lethality of combat in Stellaris (and many other strategy games) means that bringing an inferior force to battle is always a no-win situation: Not only will you lose tactically, you will also lose strategically, as whatever damage you inflict on enemy is outclassed by the damage they inflict on you in turn.

Many people have proposed solutions to Doomstacks. Some have been simple, others complex, but what most of them have missed (and the reason we have taken so long to address this) is that there is no one solution. It is a complex problem with multiple causes and problems, and the only way to begin to address it is to tackle those problems individually. To that end, what the Stellaris designers did was break down the Doomstack issue into its component problems, and then create solutions for those problems. I will now list the problems we identified, as well as our solutions to them.

Problem 1: Disproportionate Casualties
Disproportionate Casualties is the problem we talked about above: Engaging a larger force with a smaller one is virtually always a losing proposition because of the disproportionally greater casualties taken by the smaller force. Naturally, a larger force should more powerful, but the fact that a force twice the size will annihilate the enemy while barely suffering any losses makes combat and warfare far too pain-free when you have the advantage in numbers. For this reason we have decided to introduce something called the Force Disparity Combat Bonus. The Force Disparity Combat Bonus is applied when a smaller force is engaged with a larger one in battle ('force' being every ship engaged on one side of a battle, regardless of how many fleets and empires are involved on each side), and gives a bonus to the firing speed of all ships belonging to the smaller force. As an example (example numbers only, likely not final numbers) a force that is half the size of the enemy might gain a 50% bonus to its firing speed, representing the fact that the smaller force has an easier time manuevering and targeting the larger enemy force. The larger force is still more powerful and will likely win the battle (unless the smaller force has a significant technological advantage), but will almost certainly suffer losses in the process, making it possible to force an enemy to bear a cost for their victories even when they have overwhelming numbers.

Problem 2: Decisive Battles
In Stellaris, fleets that are not ordered to make a manual retreat will fight to the death. Combined with the disproportionate casualties problem, this means that wars are often decided in a single battle, with the loser being at best diminished to the point of no longer being able to offer effective resistance. It also encourages excessive caution in warfare as every minor skirmish turns into a bloody battle of annihilation. To address this problem, we have introduced the concept of Ship Disengagement. Rather than always fight to the death, ships can now flee battle and survive to fight another day. In combat, any ship that takes hull damage while already below 50% health will have a chance to disengage from battle, depending primarily on the amount of damage inflicted, and secondarily on the ship class (smaller ships have an easier time disengaging than larger ones). A ship that disengages will instantly leave the battle and can no longer attack ships or be attacked, though it will still show up in the combat interface, with an icon clearly indicating it as Disengaged.

If a fleet engaged in battle contains only Disengaged ships, it will be forced to make an Emergency FTL jump and become Missing in Action, limping home heavily damaged. However, if the combat ends without the fleet making an emergency FTL jump (manual or forced), the Disengaged ships will rejoin the fleet at the end of the battle, damaged and in need of repair certainly, but otherwise normally operational. The intention with this feature is that generally, more ships should Disengage than outright be killed in battle, making it so that an empire that loses a battle can pull back, repair their ships, and stay in the fight rather than having to replace every ship involved in a combat loss. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the chance for a ship to Disengage is also affected by various modifiers such as terrain (see Dev Diary #92 for details on Galactic Terrain), War Doctrine (more on that below) and whether the ship is in friendly territory or not.

Problem 3: Lack of need for Admirals
Though not directly related to Doomstacks, one of the issues we identified and wanted to address was the fact that empires generally only need a single Admiral, regardless of whether it is a small empire with a handful of corvettes or a sprawling empire with hundreds of ships. To solve this problem, we have introduced the concept of Command Limit. Command Limit is a limit on how large any one individual fleet in your empire can be (right now it's a hard-cap, though we might change it into a soft-cap), and thus how many ships an admiral can give their combat bonuses to. Command Limit is primarily given from Technology and Traditions, Admiral Skill does not impact it. The reason for this is that we do not want a fleet's command limit to suddenly drop due to the death of an Admiral or other temporary factors that would force frequent and annoying reorganizations of your fleets. Note that Command Limit is not meant to solve the problem of Doomstacks itself, but combined with the other changes (and the FTL changes that makes it so it's harder to cover your entire empire with a single fleet) it should naturally encourage keeping several fleets, as it is now possible to skirmish and fight delaying actions without risking the entire war in a single battle. As a part of this (and the FTL changes) we have also made it so that fleets that are following other fleets will now jump into FTL together, making it possible to have fleets following each other without becoming 'decoupled' as they travel across multiple systems.

We believe that these changes, together with many of the other changes we are making (Starbases, FTL rework, etc al) will naturally change the way wars are fought away from Doomstack primacy. Certainly, there will still be wars decided by large-scale engagements of both sides' navies, and certainly it will sometimes be advantageous to keep all of your fleets in one place. But this should no longer be the only way to play, and there should be many new tactical and strategic opportunities available to players in how they use their navies.

Moving on from the topic of Doomstacks, we're next going to cover some changes coming to the ship designer and the way ships are built.

Ship Reactors
The first and possibly most significant change is that we have changed the way Ship Power works. Instead of reactors being a component like any other, requiring a fiddly excercise of swapping reactors for shields/armor and vice versa, each ship now simply has a reactor with a certain power output depending on ship class and technology. For example, a starting Corvette has a Corvette Fission Reactor, outputting a measly 75 power, while a Zero Point Battleship Reactor gives you a massive 1550 power to balance between weapons, shields and Aux utilities. To add a little bit of flexibility into this system, we have created a new line of utilities called Reactor Boosters that go in the Aux slot and provide some extra power for the ship, allowing smaller power deficiencies to be addressed without needing to downgrade components. Basic Reactor Boosters are available directly at the start of the game, and better ones can be researched as you improve your reactor technology.

Armor, Shields and Hull
Armor has always been a somewhat problematic mechanic in Stellaris. Originally, Armor was a direct damage reduction (where 1 armor negated 1 damage from any shot), but this effectively resulted in high-armor battleships being completely invincible, so we changed it into the percentage-based reduction system that is currently in the live version of the game. However, we couldn't simply map 1 armor to 1% damage reduction, as you once again ended up with invincible battleships and barely armored corvettes, so we created a formula for mapping armor to damage reduction that pretty much nobody understands, but largely can be broken down into 'put some armor on your cruisers and battleships, ignore it on corvettes and destroyers'. Add to this the fact that you can still get very high damage reduction numbers on bigger ships, and you begin to understand why plasma has frequently been the dominant weapon in the combat meta.

To address this issue once and for all, we have decided to rework Armor to work more like Shields and create a more direct trade-off between the two. Each point of Armor is now effectively one extra hit point for the ship, forming a new health bar between Hull and Shields. Armor generally offers the same amount of extra 'health' as Shields of the same level, but unlike Shields will normally not repair itself over time, instead requiring the ship to head to a Starbase for repairs to restore its armor. However, Armor has the advantage of not costing any power, and is a more reliable protection, as unlike Shields it cannot be bypassed by missile weapons. Different weapons will do differing amounts of damage to Armor, Shields and Hull (for example, Autocannons shred shields and hull, but are very weak against Armor), and there are new components and resources that reward specialization (by for example making you choose between boosting all armor OR shields on a ship), making it so that specialized ships are more effective but vulnerable to other ships built to counter them. Finally, the direct effectiveness of Armor and Shields relative to hull has been increased, and a ship can now have Armor/Shield hit points directly comparable to its hull hit points.

Missiles and Hull Damage
Missiles, even with the buffs they were given in Čapek, occupy a bit of an odd spot in Stellaris, with no particular role of their own other than simply being somewhat more efficient weapons that are hard-countered by Point Defense. The one exception to this is Torpedoes, that have their own dedicated slot and purpose (bypassing shields and destroying heavily armored ships), but even that slot has the rather ill-suited Energy Torpedoes that aren't Torpedoes at all but just a regular energy weapon, resulting in even more confusion and diffusion. In Cherryh, we've decided to make all missiles more similar to Torpedoes, making it so that the Torpedo slot is the only slot in which you can put missile weapons, and making it so that all missiles bypass shields entirely. In addition to this, we've also made a change to ships that have taken hull damage: Damaged ships will have their speed and combat ability reduced, all the way down to a ~50% reduction when they are nearly dead. This means that missiles, unless stopped by PD, are now a weapon explicitly for softening up the enemy by damaging and reducing the effectiveness of their ships, slipping through shields and wreaking havoc directly on enemy armor and hull. It also means that empires that want to invest heavily in the power of missiles will need to use designs and ship classes that can pack torpedo slots, instead of simply putting missiles on everything that would normally mount a different weapon. There are still different missiles with different roles: Torpedoes are slow and inaccurate but excellent at punching through armor, while Swarmer Missiles are poor against armor but wreak havoc on hull and (as before) are ideally suited to overwhelming enemy PD. Energy Torpedoes have been removed from the Torpedo slot and now instead a Large slot weapon, the equivalent of Kinetic Artillery for Energy weapons.

Combat Computers
Another change to ship design in the Cherryh update is the reintroduction of choosing combat computers for your designs. Rather than there being Corvette, Destroyer, Cruiser etc combat computers, there are now four broad categories with their own tactics:
Swarm: Ships with Swarm computers charge at the enemy and make 'attack runs' on the enemy, similar to strike craft
Picket: Ships with Picket computers advance forward and engage the enemy at close range
Line: Ships with Line computers remain at medium range and fire at the enemy
Artillery: Ships with Artillery computers hang back and fire at the enemy from maximum possible range

As we still do not want one ship class to be able to fill every possible role, we have still restricted which computers are available to which classes (for example, Corvettes can choose Swarm or Picket) but there is always at least two choices available for your design.

War Doctrines
Lastly for today, I just wanted to mention the introduction of War Doctrines. This is a new policy that becomes available once the Interstellar Fleet Traditions society technology has been researched, and allows you to pick an overall strategic military doctrine for your fleets based on how you intend to fight. For example, the Defense in Depth doctrine gives a bonus to ship combat ability inside friendly territory, ideal for defensive wars, while the Hit and Run doctrine increases the chance of your ships Disengaging from combat and the time you need to be in battle before using Emergency FTL, perfect for players that want to use raiding or skirmishing tactics.

That's all for today! Next week we're going to be talking about technology in Cherryh, and how tech tiers and progression is changing. December 7th also happens to be the release date of the Humanoids Species Pack, so you can count on us saying something about that as well. See you then!

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Stellaris

Humanoids Species Pack
Over the last year or so, and especially in the last few months, there has been a lot of clamoring for more portraits and another ship-set like the one we added in Plantoids. Because of the amount of coder and content designer time we're putting into the major overhauls in the Cherryh update, we ended up with a lot of extra art time, and so we decided to oblige. Back in the Heinlein update, we added a bunch of free humanoid portraits that proved to be immensely popular - close to half of games started is with some variant of humanoid. Combine with there seeming to be a demand for a more 'classic western sci-fi' ship-set with sleeker lines and curves than the Mammalian one, and the design for the Humanoid Species Pack was born. Our artists have been quietly working away at it behind the scenes, and now it's almost ready.

So what's in the Humanoid Species Pack? Here is the feature list:
- 10 new Humanoid portraits
- A completely new ship set inspired by classic western sci-fi
- A new city set for Humanoids
- A new pre-scripted empire, the Fanatic Authoritarian/Materialist Voor Technocracy, with a portrait inspired by the 'loading screen aliens' from our own official art
- 3 new advisor voices offering alternative takes on existing ethics, based on the United Nations of Earth ('Dignified Xenophile'), Commonwealth of Man ('Disciplined Militarist') and Voor Technocracy ('Ruthless Materialist'). Samples from each of the new voices has been attached to the bottom of this post.
- 3 new music tracks that are remixes of classic Stellaris songs

Of course, the 5 Humanoid portraits that are already in the base game will remain free and available to everyone.

The Humanoids Species Pack will come out on December 7th, 2017 and will cost $7.99 US dollars or your regional equivalent. For those who want to buy it right now, pre-orders are available through the Paradox Shop. To pre-order, follow this link.

Next week we'll get back to talking about the Cherryh update on the topic of doomstacks (for real this time).

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Published by on o'clock

Stellaris

Hello everyone and welcome to another Stellaris dev diary. Today's topic was supposed to be ship balance and doomstacks, but because certain things weren't ready to show off yet, we're instead going to be doing a smaller dev diary talking about some changes coming to Ascension Perks and Surveying. We'll get back to the doomstack topic in a couple weeks.

Ascension Perks
Ascension Perks were added in Utopia as the paid component to the Tradition system to create a set of interesting choices for the player to take as they went through the Tradition tree, choosing between simple but powerful bonuses and more elaborate 'unlocks' such as the ascension paths and Megastructures. However, since then we have noticed that this is a system we keep wanting to build on (for example by adding unique Ascension Perks for Machine Empires as we did in Synthetic Dawn), and found the requirement to depend all of this on Utopia too limiting. For this reason, in the Cherryh update, we are going to make the basic Ascension Perks such as Mastery of Nature, Defender of the Galaxy and so on free for everyone. Biological/Psionic/Synthetic Ascension Paths and Megastructure Ascension Perks (including Habitats) will still require Utopia and Machine Empire Ascension Perks will naturally still require Synthetic Dawn (but not Utopia). The core system itself however, will become part of the base game, so everyone will be able to get at least the basic set of Ascension Perks even if they don't own a single piece of DLC.

Surveying & Communications Trading
The way surveying, anomaly generation and star chart trading works has never really worked very well. For one, it's very unclear to players that for example, you cannot discover anomalies in other empires' space, or that star chart trading can actually be a bad idea since it can in some cases stop you from finding anomalies in those systems. For this reason, we've decided to make some changes to the way surveying works. In Cherryh, any system inside the borders of an empire you have communications with will automatically be considered surveyed, without any need to send a science ship into it and waste a bunch of time scanning planets that have no chance of yielding anomalies aynway. There are some exceptions to this, such as Fallen Empires, whose space will need to be surveyed manually and can in fact yield anomalies.

As part of this we have decided to remove Star Chart trading as well as the ability to buy Star Charts from Curators, and instead replace this with the option to trade Communications with another empire - acquiring Communications from an empire in a trade deal will automatically put you in comms with any empires they have comms with that you do not. This should mean that there are no longer any 'traps' in surveying, while also requiring the need to explore every little nook of the galaxy even when that nook is held by your ally since a hundred years back.

Terra Incognita Changes
Finally, I just wanted to mentioned that we have done some changes to Terra Incognita to make it more clear and make it work properly with bypasses (Wormholes and Gateways). Instead of Terra Incognita being based on which physical pixels on the map your ships have 'seen', it is now based on which systems are considered visited. Visited either means that you have been to the system with a ship, or that the system is inside the borders of an empire that you have communications with. As such, Terra Incognita no longer needs to be manually lifted on empires you have met in order to not make them appear grey and washed out on the map, also making it easier to see important galactic features such as nebulas.

That's all for today! I know it was a short one, but don't worry, we still have a long way to go and plenty of major things to talk about for Cherryh. However, next week we're actually going to be talking about something that's§ unrelated to Cherryh, but exciting nonetheless. I'm not allowed to spoil what just yet, but stay tuned!

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