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Offline OJsDad

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #1350 on: July 31, 2018, 11:42:28 AM »
Not a fan of these little twitter bursts. They should just do weekly forum posts.

I think the dev diaries are starting again August 9th.
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Offline solops

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #1351 on: July 31, 2018, 11:42:56 AM »
I do still play Stellaris occasionally, just to see how it stands.
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Offline OJsDad

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #1352 on: July 31, 2018, 11:59:26 AM »
I've always liked starlanes and Im having a blast.

If Matrix ever decides to make Distant Worlds 2, Im sure I'll have a blast with it also, even if doest use starlanes.
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Offline OJsDad

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #1353 on: August 16, 2018, 06:11:24 AM »
The first of the Dev Diaries for the Le Guin update was posted last week.  Click the link to see the pictures. 

https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/stellaris-dev-diary-120-new-economy-system.1114048/

Quote
Hello and welcome back to the Stellaris dev diaries! Today we're going to start talking about the next major update, which we have dubbed 2.2 'Le Guin' after Ursula K. Le Guin. Right now we're not ready to reveal anything about the precise nature of the update or whether it is accompanied by any DLC, other than to say that the Le Guin will have focus on trade and the economy, and that its release date is far away. Today's dev diary is going to be a bit on the foundational side, going over the new economic back-end we've implemented for 2.2.

New Economy System

The original economy system for Stellaris has always been something of a limitation for us. It's a sort of hybrid system, with resources being both scripted (and thus accessible to modders) and hard-coded (and thus inaccessible) in about equal measures. For example, under the old system ships would always cost minerals, as the code was set up for them to always cost minerals, and the only thing you could change was the amount of minerals they cost. Similarly, most things in the game that had an upkeep were hard-coded to use energy for upkeep, and again, only the amounts were able to be changed. A few things (such as for example Resettlement or the precise resources produced by a building) were more open than this, but generally the system made it quite hard to introduce new resources or change the way a particular empire might use a particular resource. The old system was also quite performance-intensive.

When we decided that we wanted to make the next major update be about the economy, the first thing we knew that we needed to do was to rewrite this system entirely. For the new system, we set out a number of goals:
1: The new system should make it easy to add new resources and swap the way resources are used
2: The new system should be as open to modding as we possibly could make it
3: The new system should improve performance

From this, we've created a new system that we call Economic Templates. Where previously there would be a jumble of different systems for how cost, production and maintenance of the different features in the game would work, there is now one unified system. Any single object in the game that can be owned by an empire and have an impact on the economy is called an Economic Unit. In the database files, an Economic Unit looks like this:

Code:
resources = {
    category = armies
 
    # Normal empires pay for armies with minerals
    cost = {
        trigger = {
            owner = { is_hive_empire = no }
        }
        minerals = 100
    }
 
    # Hive Minds pay for armies partially with food
    cost = {
        trigger = {
            owner = { is_hive_empire = yes }
        }     
        minerals = 50
        food = 50
    }     

    # If Barbaric Despoilers, produce Energy while on enemy planets
    produces = {
        trigger = {
            owner = { has_valid_civic = civic_barbaric_despoilers }
            planet = { owner = { is_at_war_with = root.owner } }
        }
        energy = 3
    }     
 
    # Normal empires pay army upkeep with energy
    upkeep = {
        trigger = {
            owner = { is_hive_empire = no }
        }     
        energy = 1
    }
 
    # Hive Minds pay army upkeep with food
    upkeep = {
        trigger = {
            owner = { is_hive_empire = yes }
        }     
        food = 1
    }     
}

For those who cannot read our scripting language, this is an example I just created of how the new system can be used. It's for a regular assault army, which normally costs 100 minerals to build and has an upkeep of 1 energy, just as before. However, if your empire is a Hive Mind, the army will instead cost 50 minerals and 50 food, and costs 1 food in upkeep instead of 1 energy. Additionally, if you have the Barbaric Despoilers civic, armies that are located on enemy planets will produce 3 energy/month, paying for themselves and then some through wide-scale looting. This isn't an actual example from the internal build, but something I just created while writing this dev diary to show the possibilities that the new economic system opens up for for both us and modders - we could have fully biological empires that use food instead of minerals to build infrastructure, ships that produce research while in certain systems, leaders that give Unity... the possibilities are endless.
 

Advanced Resources

With this system in place, we've been able to add several new 'advanced' resources to the game. They are as follows: Alloys, Rare Crystals, Volatile Motes and Exotic Gases. These resources are either manufactured from basic resources or found in rare planetary deposits (or both!) and are used to construct more advanced things in the game, such as ship components, megastructures, certain buildings and so on. There is also still a number of strategic resources such as Dark Matter and Living Metal that provide unique benefits, though precisely how many of these we will keep and how they are used is something we're still in the process of figuring out.

As part of these changes we're also in the process of reworking the top bar. Since we will now have rather too many resources to show them all, the top bar will now only show individual entries for resources that are important for your empire to always keep track of, with the rest shown as a consolidated entry that can be tooltiped for greater detail. Science is also consolidated into a total output of all 3 sciences, with tooltip showing the individual production of each. We're going to ensure that only relevant resources are shown individually, so most Machine Empires wouldn't have Food appear as an individual entry in the top bar, for example. We're also considering letting the player manually override this and decide which precise resources they want to keep track of within the available topbar space.

That's all for today! I know this dev diary was rather technical and perhaps primarily of interest to modders, but I felt it was important to explain the fundamental changes that have taken place in the game's back-end, both in relation to the changes coming in 2.2, and the possibilities that this opens up in the future for having empire types with radically different approaches to resource production and consumption. Next week we're going to finally start talking about the new Planetary Management system. See you then!
'Here at NASA we all pee the same color.'  Al Harrison from the movie Hidden Figures.

Offline OJsDad

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #1354 on: August 16, 2018, 06:16:07 AM »
Today's diary for Le Guin.  Again, click the link to see the pictures. 

https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/stellaris-dev-diary-121-planetary-rework-part-1-of-4.1115043/

Quote
Hello everyone and welcome to another Stellaris development diary. Today, we're going to start talking about the Planetary Rework coming in the 2.2 'Le Guin' update - the complete redesign of the planetary management system and replacement of planetary tiles. This is going to be a really big topic, so we're spreading it out across four dev diaries, with today's dev diary being about Deposits, Buildings and Districts. Please bear in mind that everything shown is in an early stage of development, and there will be rough-looking interfaces, placeholder art, non final numbers and all those things that people assume are final and complain about anyway no matter how many of these disclaimers I write.

Planetary Rework

Before I start going into details on the actual rework, I just wanted to briefly talk about the reasons and goals that are behind this massive rework, and why we're removing tiles and building a new system instead of iterating on the existing systems. For me, getting away from the constraints of tiles has been my single most desired long-term goal for the game. It's not that I think the tile system is inherently a bad system - it works well to visualize your pops and buildings and for the early game it works well enough in giving the player some interesting economic management decisions. However, the tile system is also very constrictive, in a way I feel is detrimental to the very core concepts of Stellaris. The hard limitation of one pop and one building per tile, as well as the hard limitation of 25 tiles/pops/buildings to a planet, it severely limits the kind of societies and planets that we can present in the game.

Do we want to make city-planets, with enormous numbers of pops concentrated onto a single world? Not possible. Do we want to have a fully automated post-scarcity empire where robots do all the actual work? Can't be done without losing out on valuable building space. Sure, we could fundamentally alter the tile system in a such a way to allow these, by for example making it so each tile could support several sub-tiles with additional pops and buildings, but by doing this we will inevitably lose the easy visual presentation that makes the system attractive to begin with, and even then we would continue to be held back by the limit of one pop per building. In other words, we'd end up with something that superficially might resemble the old tile system but offers none of its main advantages and continues to be held back by most of its drawbacks.

When designing the new planetary management system we set out a number of design goals:
- The new system should be able to simulate a wide variety of different societies, to build on the roleplaying and diversity in play-throughs that is such a fundamental part of the Stellaris experience
- The new system needed to offer more interesting choices about how to develop your planets, while simultaneously reducing the amount of uninteresting micromanagement such as mass-upgrading buildings
- The new system should make your planets feel like places where Pops actually live their lives, as opposed to just being resource gathering hubs
- The new system had to be extremely moddable, to make it easier both for us and modders to create new types of empires and playstyles

We believe that this new system that we have created will not only vastly improve many of the features in the game that we couldn't get working properly with the tile system, but together with the resource rework discussed in the last dev diary will also make it possible for us to create truly weird and alien societies that play entirely differently from anything the game currently has to offer, or would ever have to offer if we had remained constrained by the tile system.

Deposits

Under the old tile system, deposits were simply clumps of resources placed on a tile, which would be gathered by a pop and determined what kind of buildings were most efficient to place there. Under the new system, deposits are more akin to planetary terrain and features. Every habitable planet will have a (semi-randomized) number of deposits, with larger planets usually having more deposits. Deposits represent areas on the planet that can be economically exploited, and most commonly increase the number of a particular District (more on this below) that can be build on the planet. For example, a Fertile Lands deposit represents various regions of fertile farmland, and increases the number of Agriculture Districts that can be built on the planet, and thus its potential Food output.
 
Not all Deposits affect Districts however - some (such as Crystalline Caverns or Betharian Fields) are rare deposits that allow for the construction of special Buildings (more on this below) on the planet, while others yet may simply provide a passive benefit to the planet, such as a spectacularly beautiful wilderness area that increases happiness for Pops living on the planet. Deposits can have Deposit Blockers that work in a similar way to the Tile Blockers of old, cancelling out the benefits of the Deposit until the Blocker is removed through the expenditure of time and resources. A planet can have multiples of the same Deposit, and there is no hard limit to the number of Deposits that a planet can hold (though there is a cap to how many will be generated under normal circumstances). The types of Deposits that can show up on a planet is affected by the planet class, so where an Ocean World might get its Agriculture from Kelp Forests, an Arctic World would have Fungal Caverns instead.
 
Districts

Districts are at at the core of how planets are developed in the Le Guin update. Districts represent large areas of development on the planet dedicated towards housing or resource gathering. For most empires, there are four basic types of Districts: City Districts, Mining Districts, Generator Districts and Agriculture Districts. There are exceptions to this (such as Hive Minds having Hive Districts) but more on this in a later DD. The total number of districts you can build on a planet is equal to its size, so a size 16 planet can support 16 districts in any combination of the types available to you. Additionally, the resource-producing districts (Mining, Generator and Agriculture) are further constrained by the Deposits on the planet, so a planet might only be able to support a maximum of 8 Mining Districts due to there simply not being any further opportunities for mining on the planet. City Districts are never limited by the deposits on the planet, so you can choose to forego a planet's natural resources and blanket it entirely in urban development if you so choose.

The effects of each District is as follows:

City District: Provides a large amount of Housing for Pops, Infrastructure for Buildings and Clerk Jobs that produce Trade Value and Luxury Goods
Mining District: Provides a small amount of Housing/Infrastructure and Mining Jobs that produce Minerals
Agriculture District: Provides a small amount of Housing/Infrastructure and Farming Jobs that produce Food
Generator District: Provides a small amount of Housing/Infrastructure and Technician Jobs that produce Energy Credits
There will be more details on most of the concepts mentioned above coming in the other dev diaries. For now, suffice to say that the way you develop your planets with Districts will shape that planet's role in your empire - a heavily urbanized planet will be densely populated, supporting numerous Buildings and specialist Pop Jobs such as Researchers and providing Trade Value for your empire's trade routes (more on this in a future DD), but at the expense of not being able to produce much of the raw resources that are needed to fuel your empire's growth and manufacturing capacity.

A planet's Deposits and Planetary Modifiers may influence this decision - a large planet with High Quality Minerals and numerous Mining Deposits will certainly make for a lucrative mining world, but what if it also sits in a perfect spot to make a heavily urbanized trade hub? No longer are choices regarding planets simply limited to 'Where do I place the capital for the best adjacency bonuses?' and 'Should I follow the tile resource or not?' but will be fundamental choices that create diverse and distinct planets that each have their own role to fill in your empire.
 
Buildings

In the Le Guin update, Buildings are specialized Facilities that provide a variety of Jobs and Resources that are not suitable to large-scale resource gathering. For example, instead of having your scientists working in a Physics Lab on a Physics Deposit (whatever that is supposed to be...) you now instead construct a Research Labs building (representing not a single laboratory but rather an allocation of resources towards the sciences across the planet) which provides a number of Pop Researcher Jobs that conduct research for your empire. Buildings are limited by the planet's Infrastructure, with one building 'slot' being unlocked for each 10 Infrastructure on the planet. Some Buildings are also limited in the number you can build on a planet, while others can be built in multiples (for example, a planet can only support a single Autotchton Monument, while you can have as many Alloy Foundries as the slots allow). Buildings can still be upgraded to more advanced versions, but generally there will be far fewer upgrades to do and those upgrades will often require an investment of rare and expensive resources, so it's more of an active choice than something you simply have to click your way through after unlocking a tech.
 
Infrastructure comes primarily from constructing Districts, with City Districts giving much more Infrastructure than resource gathering districts do (6 as opposed to 2 in the current internal build, though non final numbers and all that). In addition to unlocking additional Building slots, a higher Infrastructure level also makes some Buildings more efficient, as the number of jobs they provide is fully or partially determined by the planet's Infrastructure level. For example, in the current internal build, Research Labs and Alloy Foundries both have the number of jobs they provide determined by the infrastructure level, meaning that concentrating your research and manufacturing to your heavily urbanized planets is generally more efficient than trying to turn your agri-worlds into science hubs. In addition to Buildings that provide resource-producing Jobs, there is also a wide variety of buildings that provide for the material and social needs of your Pops, such as Luxury Housing for your upper class Pops, Entertainment Buildings to make your populace happy and Law Enforcement to quell unrest and crime. Densely populated planets tend to require more such buildings, as the need for Housing and Amenities scales upwards with Pops and Infrastructure. 

Whew, that was a lot of words. Still, we're only just getting started on the Planetary Rework and next week we'll continue talking about it, on the topic of Stratas, Pop Jobs, Housing and Migration.
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Offline OJsDad

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #1355 on: August 16, 2018, 06:25:38 AM »
I got a good chuckle out of this reply

Quote
At the risk of fan-girling....

Oh hell, who cares anymore.  I'm LOVING every single change I'm reading here. I've got to hand it to you PDX guys, I've gone from a jaded modder to one that is hyped for every major release. 

This new rework is already giving me a ton of ideas I can use in our mods. We have a lot of unique planet type stuff as well and these changes will help us make them even more unique. Really looking forward to implementing the changes when the release hits!

I know it hasn't been covered yet but jobs for pops! I'm sensing more outfits will soon be needed!  Maaybe I'd better start drawing some more outfits!! (Maybe I'll have art assets ready to go BEFORE a release for once! )
'Here at NASA we all pee the same color.'  Al Harrison from the movie Hidden Figures.

Offline sandman2575

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #1356 on: August 16, 2018, 08:00:40 AM »
If Matrix ever decides to make Distant Worlds 2, Im sure I'll have a blast with it also, even if doest use starlanes.

I would be thrilled if a Distant Worlds 2 got made. DW is still for my money the deepest, most engaging space 4X out there.

The game that has become my de facto Distant Worlds 2 isn't Stellaris, though -- it's Endless Space 2.  If ES2 had a system akin to DW's autonomous civilian economy, it'd be my perfect space 4X game.

Anyway, not to derail. In my mind, Stellaris sits with good company in the 'solid but not spectacular' space 4xs, along with Polaris Sector, Galactic Civilizations 2-3, Star Ruler 2. 

Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #1357 on: August 16, 2018, 12:18:09 PM »
I used to love DW. It was my goto space 4x game and was easily one of my top rated games in the genre. I put literally hundreds of hours into it. However, over the past couple of years, I've tried several times to pick it up again, and for some reason, it does not hold my interest. Not sure why exactly it is not holding up for me...
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Offline glen55

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #1358 on: August 16, 2018, 12:40:24 PM »
Wow, that latest DD sounds like a massive rework, and a very attractive one to boot!   :bd:

I dare say it will be a jumbled, broken mass on release but I have high hopes that it will seriously rock six months later.
Things are more like they are now than they have ever been before.
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Offline sandman2575

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #1359 on: August 16, 2018, 12:52:24 PM »
No question that DW is long overdue for a makeover. I personally don't have a lot of confidence DW 2 is actually going to get made at this point. There is a  "Distant Worlds 2 News?" thread on the Matrix forums that is now two years old. Maybe they're just keeping tight-lipped about development progress, but it sure seems like the 'progress' is negligible if indeed the project is still alive.

It has been a long while since I played DW and quite possibly the game doesn't hold up as well in 2018 as I suppose. But conceptually it just did so much right. The living civilian economy was the masterstroke. Why no other space 4x games have tried to emulate it is beyond me.

I wish Stellaris had been a little more ambitious in that respect. I like the game, but it also feels pretty generic space 4x to me.

JH -- when you've attempted DW recently -- do you start in the "Pre-Warp" era?  I've always found that the most engaging way to play -- you really get to build everything the way you want it from the ground up. To me, more advanced starts often felt like too much was immediately going on from the press of "Start" and it could be disorienting.

Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #1360 on: August 16, 2018, 01:42:39 PM »

JH -- when you've attempted DW recently -- do you start in the "Pre-Warp" era?  I've always found that the most engaging way to play -- you really get to build everything the way you want it from the ground up. To me, more advanced starts often felt like too much was immediately going on from the press of "Start" and it could be disorienting.

No. I typically begin at the "just starting" point, having already discovered warp tech. I never seriously experimented with the pre-warp option as I thought working within a single system would get boring fairly quickly, no?
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Offline OJsDad

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #1361 on: August 16, 2018, 01:51:51 PM »
Sandman, your are correct, the civilian economy was a great feature in DW. 

I think many people are very disappointed with no real information on DW2.  One would think that, by now, Matrix would have started to put some information out.  What's staying, what's getting updated, what's new.  Even if there is no release date. 
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Offline OJsDad

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #1362 on: August 16, 2018, 01:58:46 PM »
This was posted by Erik Rutins end of last month.  Also, someone noted that they had hired some graphic artists for DW2, so maybe some hope.


Quote
Wish I could share more, but we are still hard at work every day on DW2 getting it ready for testing. Good things come to those who wait
'Here at NASA we all pee the same color.'  Al Harrison from the movie Hidden Figures.

Offline sandman2575

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #1363 on: August 16, 2018, 02:29:37 PM »
No. I typically begin at the "just starting" point, having already discovered warp tech. I never seriously experimented with the pre-warp option as I thought working within a single system would get boring fairly quickly, no?

It does sound like it would be boring, and I used to always start on the 'standard' start timeframe as well.  But once I tried some campaigns on the Pre-Warp -- from the very beginning of everything, just your home planet, no stations or mines etc., no civilian economy established yet -- I found it really engrossing. When you finally research the Warp drive, it feels like a big accomplishment. In the meantime, I found it fun just to explore my solar system and start setting up the economy, designing ships, etc.

It's totally counterintuitive, but for me at least, Pre-Warp made the game a lot more engaging and manageable and strategic --

Offline sandman2575

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Re: Stellaris
« Reply #1364 on: August 16, 2018, 02:32:46 PM »
This was posted by Erik Rutins end of last month.  Also, someone noted that they had hired some graphic artists for DW2, so maybe some hope.
Quote
Wish I could share more, but we are still hard at work every day on DW2 getting it ready for testing. Good things come to those who wait


I don't want to completely abandon hope because a DW 2 would be fantastic. But the pace of development sounds glacial at best. The project sounds like it's on life support and not much better than that, unfortunately --