While the Stellaris team may not be working on anything flashy like a new expansion, the sci-fi grand strategy game is still getting new content thanks to the custodians initiative announced back in June. This sub-team is wholly dedicated to free patches, with the goal of tackling a number of areas such as bug fixes, quality of life improvements, and even new content for existing Stellaris DLC.
The custodians team is currently working towards the next free update, codenamed Lem after Stanislaw Lem. According to this week’s dev diary, the team is working towards a September release, and the Plantoids Species Pack is the first to showcase what new content is coming. Two new civics and three new species traits will be introduced for anyone that owns this add-on, one of which will let you create your own Gaia worlds.
The Idyllic Bloom civic lets you build Gaia Seeders, which have four upgrade phases. The final phase will trigger terraforming of the planet it's on into a Gaia world – one of the most coveted types of planet in the 4X game.
The June dev diary that announced the Lem update also mentioned that the Humanoids Species Pack would be getting some additional content as well. It wasn’t referenced this week, but we have the Plantoid additions as a potential framework for what the Humanoids DLC might be getting.
There’s also no word as to what the other team – called the expansions team – is working on, other than it’s new content for the game. This tracks with what was said when we spoke to Stellaris game designer Stephen Murray after PDXCon Remixed earlier this year, who said the team “wasn’t done yet” with the game.
As is customary, with a release on the horizon I imagine we’ll hear more about what’s coming through further dev diaries as the team work towards the September deadline.