As anyone who's played a Paradox strategy game before will probably know, there will be paid expansions in Stellaris' future. Along with these expansions, Paradox will also release some big patches that introduce new features and squash bugs for all players. While the first actual expansion might be a ways off, these patch plans have begun in earnest.
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Stellaris' updates will be named after famous science fiction authors, and the first of them, 'Clarke', will be landing at the end of this month. May's update will mosty be focused on general UI improvements, with the End Combat Summary and Diplomacy screens getting an overhaul, among others. AI improvements will also be landing in the patch, and it looks like Corvettes might get a nerf.
The highlights for the Clarke patch notes are below:
- 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.
- EDIT: Remaining Performance Issues. We know about them; they might even be hotfixed before Clarke.
- EDIT: Corvettes are too good.
Meanwhile, June's update will be focused on improvements to the mid-game, which Paradox admit was rushed over. "One area I was not at all surprised to get flak for is the lack of mid-game scripted content, however," said game director Doomdark on the forums. "We simply took too long getting all the early and late game stuff in, and neglected a whole category of events called “colony events”, which were supposed to be the bread and butter of the mid-game for the Science Ships."
As such, there are some more diplomatic options heading to Stellaris in June's 'Asimov' update, though the colony events themselves might be coming a bit later on. Have a look at the highlights below, but be aware that they could change:
- 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.
Following that, Paradox have also revealed the possible plans for the update following that, although noted with the caveat that these aren't promises. With that in mind, the 'Heinlein' patch could bring the following:
- 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.