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Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn

By ScuttleShip - 6th November 2017 - 18:25 PM

The latest in Paradox Interactive's belt is the new downloadable content (DLC) for Stellaris, titled Synthetic Dawn. This update saw a complete rebuild for the third and the rarest of the Endgame Crises, the AI Rebellion, into the newly named "The Contingency".

The AI Rebellion was only triggered by the Synthetics within the Galaxy that were not granted the full citizen rights edict. This is something that is actually counter-intuitive to not be provided as I have noticed that I've never seen the other Civilisations not grant them it, including Slavers.

Synthetic Dawn has thus reworked this particular crisis into a more polished and upgraded one, which I was happy to see appearing as my first crisis in a new game. Previously, I have found that any given play through within a patch would result in a similar crisis appearing each time. For a number of patches for example, I have found it exceedingly rare to come across the Prethoryn Scourge when prior to that it was the Unbidden.

The Contingency is certainly not to be trifled with, but sadly there is one thing really lacking from this patch so far in my opinion. That is that the AI that powers the game, and thereby the crisis and all the other empires, is really somewhat confused. It even goes to the extent that the different civilisations of the galaxy still do not logically combine their forces into attacking the crisis. On top of this, there now seems to be additional issues with the AI not properly attacking in wars if they do not think they can beat your amassed fleet.

At this point in the below picture the AI should really be focusing on taking out my stations or even my resource stations but instead they held back in their own territory waiting, despite this being very much a war they themselves started.

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The new machine factions are truly unique though, and I was impressed with the fluidity and the naming conventions within the faction and the synergy with the crisis. I had not even considered this until the crisis was already upon me and changing my very nature, but this was a great experience. I felt like I was really involved with this crisis, rather than it being something that was just present in the galaxy.

With the addition of the machine faction came three unique governing civics: Rogue Servitors, Determined Exterminators and Driven Assimilators. Each of these different civics offers a new perspective on the galaxy as a robot.

The Rogue Servitors will do anything they can to ensure that Xeno species are preserved. They will incorporate populations of biological species as trophies and herd them into sanctuaries. They were initially built by there creators to make their lives easier but they quickly overtook them and the species became subject to their own creation.

The Determined Exterminators have one sole purpose, to exterminate. They are hated by all other biological species and will attempt to wipe out anything in their path. They have a unique ability to bombard a planet to Armageddon and any organic pops they capture will/must be purged. The Exterminators were initially created as a defence system for their organic masters but when they tried to turn the system off it turned on them and wiped them out. I guess the machines weren't quite ready to be discontinued.

Finally, the Driven Assimilators. The Assimilators wish to incorporate everyone into their species. They will upgrade pops to become cyborgs over time. Whilst still feared by the organic masses this species is not as hated as the Exterminators and some populations will even be friendly with your species. They will attempt to bridge the gap between organics and machines trying to further there understanding.

I wont spoil it for all of you by going into the details of what happens exactly in Synthetic Dawn. Personally I believe that this patch is really something you should experience first hand and not through my shenanigans and bumbling. There is certainly a lot of potential in this patch and I'm excited to see where this takes us in the future.

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My main criticism of the game remains however, unfortunately this is something that will only be addressed in time. Thankfully, there are mods that fill the gap that for this. The gap that I speak of is the current lack of events throughout the whole of the game. This patch however has addressed one of greatest issues since the initial release and I must admit that I have been rather impressed by it. Whilst there are still problems due to the lack of events I am glad to see that Paradox Interactive are addressing the issues presented in front of them rather than blindly ignoring them.

In conclusion, the latest DLC has some fantastic new material, however there is still room for improvement on the Events side of things. I must admit I would still very much like to see more specific ship types as well though, this would include things like dedicated Carriers and Flagships. Whilst there are several mods already out there that do this, the integration with the game isn't always the best and there can be overlap with other mods as well. Hopefully we will be seeing more DLC's like this in the near future.

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