Who doesn't like a developer who takes time out to keep their fans up to date? Trouble is, the folks behind the Heinlein patch for Stellaris are so keen to keep the world abreast with its latest news, it’s a wonder they manage to find time at all to work on the game. They're forever typing.
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Nevertheless, work on the patch continues unabated, and in the studio’s latest development blog, Paradox Interactive has lifted the lid on yet more details on Heinlein, this time covering “miscellaneous changes and improvements”.
Yes, that’s hardly the sexiest of topic titles, which explains my somewhat bland and uninformative headline for this very article you’re reading. Ho hum.
Key to the changes detailed in the blog post, however, is a shift in the way Stellaris handles diplomacy. “When Federations were given the ability to vote on invites and wars, alliances became a bit of an odd duck in the Stellaris diplomacy. A middle layer between the 'loose' diplomacy of defensive pacts and joint DOWs, they ended up as little more than a weak form of Federation that's usually swapped out the moment the latter becomes available,” offers the studio.
“In Heinlein, we've decided to retire alliances altogether and have Federations be the only form of 'permanent' alliance. When you unlock the technology for Federations, you will immediately be able to invite another empire into a Federation with you, four empires no longer being necessary to start one. Once a Federation has been formed, the technology is not required to invite new members or to ask to join it.”
Paradox also claims it will add a new diplomatic option called 'Federation Association Status' to help build trust with new members. “A country that has Federation Association Status is not actually a part of the Federation, but has a non-aggression pact with all Federation members and will gain trust with them up to a maximum value of 100,” the studio concludes.
Further details on changes to planet habitability, galaxy setup options and sector improvements can be found here. The Heinlein patch is due to roll out in October.