Since launch in May, Paradox's sci-fi 4X grand strategy has bore witness to a slew of enduring mods, updates, and official DLC—much like the rest of the developer's back catalogue. Off the back of its first story pack—and substantial Heinlein patch—the Swedish studio has now outlined where the game stands now, where it's going and what Paradox want.
If you've been following Stellaris' developer diaries over the past wee while, you might have spied mention of a 'Banks'—a major patch which will be accompanied by a "full-sized" expansion. Paradox say that's still the case, however in the interim another update, named 'Kennedy', is planned before the end of this year.
"This will be a small update targeting a few specific key issues, such as precursor event chains and endgame crises, that we did not have time for in Heinlein," reads an update post on the Stellaris blog. "After that will be Banks, and while we will not be providing any details about the Banks update or accompanying expansion at this time, I will say that the author name chosen for this update may offer some clues." (Which might mean the 'Kennedy' update is in reference to Alexis' work on the game.)
As Phil noted in his review, while busy in its early stages, Stellaris stagnates a little come mid-game—which is something Paradox aims to improve with the "addition of more interesting narratives and 'galactic events' akin to Awakened Fallen Empires that shake up the galactic scene."
Improving the internal workings of empires, making pops and leaders more interesting, expanding the ethics system and making empires feel more lived in are also among the developer's top priorities. The developer diary can be read in full this way, however here are the key points moving forward as per the devs themselves:
- Ship appearance that differs for each empire, so no two empires' ships look exactly the same.
- More story events and reactive narratives that give a sense of an unfolding story as you play.
- More potential for empire customization, ability to build competitive 'tall' empires.
- Deeper Federations that start out as loose alliances and can eventually be turned into single states through diplomatic manoeuvring.
- Ability to set rights and obligations for particular species in your empire.
- Global food that can be shared between planets.
- Superweapons and planet killers.
- Ability to construct space habitats and ringworlds.
- More interesting mechanics for pre-FTL civilizations.
- Factions that are proper interest groups with specific likes and dislikes and the potential to be a benefit to an empire instead of just being rebels.
- A 'galactic community' with interstellar politics and a 'space UN'.
- Buildable Dreadnoughts and Titans.
Paradox makes a point of noting the above is not a list of promises per se, yet, having played many an acrimonious multiplayer bout of Stellaris, mention of a galactic community and space UN sounds fantastic and something I probably need to see to believe.
In other Stellaris news, hotfix 1.3.1 landed yesterday.