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Stellaris: Utopia announced

By Elven - 10th February 2017 - 12:52 PM

We all reach for the stars for many reasons. They challenge us to explore, they dare us to explain. They prod us to expand, but, most of all, the universe offers every space-faring race a chance for a new beginning. This is the perfect opportunity to create the perfect species and to reach new heights of self-awareness, technological prowess or spiritual enlightenment. You can only get to Utopia by moving faster than light.

Stellaris: Utopia is the first major gameplay expansion to Stellaris, Paradox’s critically acclaimed and best-selling strategy game about building an empire in new galaxies. Utopia introduces new options for developing your empire, with new types of space stations and constructions that open alternate avenues for making your species the dominant power in the galaxy.
Source: Paradox Interactive Stellaris utopia announcement page




It is nothing new that Paradox is one of those companies who first release a base game and then starts improving it with free updates, DLCs, and expansions. Every time they release content, it will only get better. It took a while, but here it is, Stellaris first expansion and it will be called Utopia!

As always, it comes with its free update, named after sci-fi writers, and this time it is named "Banks". Putting expansion and free update together, we get a ton of content. Thankfully we have decided to take a moment to actually write down, what we can expect from Utopia and why they are cool!


Megastructures (dev diary)


Build wondrous structures in your systems including Dyson Spheres and ringworlds, bringing both prestige and major advantages to your race.

It is no surprise that megastructures take the cherry on top of the cake. Who doesn’t like huge things? Isn’t it natural that people like most the biggest planets, biggest fleet, biggest ships? It was actually something that many people dreamed of: building something huge and awesome. Maybe in future, we will get big-ass huge ship what is really-really hard to kill. Of course, that would be then mega-project, not popping into starport queue. So, what has Paradox promised us?

The four different Megastructures work as follows:


Ringworld


Can only be built around a planet-rich star in your borders and, once finished, provides four maximum size 100% habitable planets. The Ringworld construction project will consume all planets in the system to be used as building materials. Cannot be built around Black Holes, Pulsars or Neutron Stars.





Dyson Sphere


Can only be built around a star in your borders and provides a huge amount of energy each month, with the amount increasing for each stage of the Dyson Sphere completed. Once completed, the Dyson Sphere will cool down the system, turn most planets there into frozen worlds. Cannot be built around Black Holes, Pulsars or Neutron Stars.





Science Nexus


Can be built around any non-inhabitable non-moon non-asteroid planet (similar to Habitats) and provides a huge amount of science each month, with the amount increasing for each stage of the Science Nexus completed.




Sentry Array


Can be built around any non-inhabitable non-moon non-asteroid planet (similar to Habitats) and functions as a sensor station, providing sensor range in a radius that grows for each stage of the Sentry Array completed. Once fully finished, it will give complete sensor view of e entire galaxy.

Most of these structures will take extremely long time to build and have a special set of quests and missions to finish this. It is very likely that neighbors might not be happy that you have taken on a huge mission like that.



Habitat Stations (dev diary)


Build “tall” and establish space stations that will house more population, serving the role of planets in a small and confined empire.

One of the major issues in Stellaris so far is when you are surrounded by other empires and you really do not want to declare war to your ultimate more advanced empire. In addition, you have already colonised every planet possible, including all those planets what your species can’t habit with droids or other means and now the player is simply stagnating, hoping that maybe something good happens. That usually ends up to being boring gameplay and people tend to go more for warring empire, so they have the possibility to actually advance with their empire and feel the excitement of the game.

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Please note that graphic above will certainly change and is a simple placeholder!


Orbital Habitants will certainly make the game more interesting when you do not have much to do and you want your people to have more possibilities than just those planets. Come on, we do want those huge-ass space stations like in dead space or like in other space horror games/movies. So what are habitats? Let’s quote a bit dev diary again.

Instead of expanding to new systems and colonising new planets, you create new, artificial 'planets' for your Pops to live on. Orbital Habitats are massive space stations that function like small (currently size 12, though this may not be the final number) planets that (like Gaia Planets and Ringworlds) have 100% habitability for all species. They can be built around any non-habitable planet (not asteroid or moon) in your space, and there is no limit to the amount you can build other than the number of such planets you have to build them around. Habitats function exactly like a planet: They can be colonised with whatever Pops you want to live there, they can be worked for resources by constructing buildings there, and they count as a planet for the purpose of empire research costs. In order to build a habitat, you need to have researched the maximum level of spaceport technology and picked the 'Voidborn' Ascension Perk

Habitats mostly do not have tile resources with the one exception that if the planet they are orbiting has a resource that could otherwise be worked by a mining or research station, that resource will be present on one of the Habitat's tiles. Instead, Habitats have their own, unique set of buildings distinct from the normal planetary buildings. Overall, Habitats are efficient when it comes to research and energy general, but do poorly when it comes to food and mineral production. These buildings are 'single-stage': they have a fairly large upfront cost and high immediate research production, but cannot be upgraded. The reason for this is to allow for easier management of systems with several habitats in them. Source: Paradox Stellaris dev diary about Habitant Stations


Rights and Privileges (dev diary)


Set specific policies for which of the many species under your thumb will have the rights and privileges of full citizenship. Build an egalitarian paradise or follow a caste system.

Species rights


Empire Citizenship will get a remake. While they call it “new feature”, We personally would call it pretty much remake. It didn’t really matter before if the empire contained your species or other. This feature, however, will try to give you the power to decide how you will deal with foreigners. Maybe you want to make empire what consist every possible galactic citizen or maybe you want only your citizen to have special privileges and others have to work really hard to be part of your empire.

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Let’s quote exactly how paradox explains “Citizenship”. This feature is part of the free update.

Citizenship is the overall set of rights and privileges given to a species: Whether they are free or unfree, whether they can participate in the political processes of the country, what restrictions can be placed on them and even whether they have the right to live in your empire at all. In addition to rights and obligations, citizenship also affects Pops' migration attraction: A Pop that is currently enjoying Full Citizenship is unlikely to move to another empire where their rights would be curtailed, and Pops living under second-class citizen conditions are more likely to move somewhere that promises them a better life.

In addition to determining what a species is able to do, species rights will also affect a variety of other factors such as happiness and consumer goods (for example, Pops are generally not very pleased about being enslaved or having population controls placed on them). Different factions in your empire will also have different preferences for what species rights you employ, such as Authoritarian pops liking Caste Systems and Supremacist factions being less than happy with granting Full Citizenship to aliens.Source: Paradox Stellaris dev diary about Rights and Privileges


Purge and Slavery Types


In upcoming utopia, you can manage Slavery and how you purge as well. You can choose between 4 different slavery type (Chattel Slavery, Domestic Servitude, Battle Thralls and Livestock (!!!)). Our personal favorite is livestock possibilities. When you truly hate that vegetable neighbor and finally conquer them, you can make them be part of your everyday salad.

Another thing is purging and it will get also small overhaul. You may use method what has a really fast purge, but while it happens, the planet becomes pretty much non-usable. Of course, you can simply use „Displacement”, what basically tells to the citizen „it is our planet now! Get lost!” It also contains old methods as well.

Consumer Goods


By the way, a new thing comes called goods, what basically uses your minerals for your citizenship and depending on how your citizen live, make them happy!


Other improvements and updates

We also found out from Paradox Interactive Stellaris stream evening, that food will become global (empire-wide) resource. When we previously thought that fully build home planet what had like +10 food was pointless, it actually now goes into a global pool. That means new planets will not suffer under food problems straight away. Then again, if your food goes into negative and you do not have foodstock, your whole empire will start having starvation problems. Another war strategy? Take down food giving worlds first?

We don't know about you guys, but we are certainly excited and we all are already making new plans regarding our next galactic adventure. Maybe we should create more story based content when new expansion releases? Maybe we should create extremely aggressive Plantoids who eat meat, and whose sole purpose is to enslave all animals in the universe and convert them into their livestock. Of course, those plantoids do not eat other plantoid species. They can be vegetarians, but not cannibals.

What do you think about the upcoming Stellaris expansion? Maybe you should open up Stellaris and have that one final big game before upcoming expansion? We do not know the release date, but right now people are expecting it somewhere in march.

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