Stellaris Upcoming Update 2.2 Will Bring Major Overhaul To Economy, Trade & Planetary Management
Updated: 11/9/2018 - Added new information on habitats.
Paradox Interactive revealed today in a dev diary that they are working on update 2.2 which will overhaul the economy and trade mechanics. The focus of the dev diary is on resources.
First off, they couldn't say if update 2.2 accompanies a new expansion. Which I'm guessing it is, and to add to that, I'm guessing the new unannounced expansion would be focusing on the economy and trade.
The game's current economy has resources that were scripted and hard-coded. Which meant a lot of things couldn't be modded and changed. For instance, ships would cost minerals to produce (the number of minerals ships cost could be tweaked but not the resource type itself).
This meant it was difficult to introduce new resource types and radically change the way resources were handled by different factions. Game Director, Martin Anward highlighted that the three objectives of the new economy system would be:
1: The new system should make it easy to add new resources and swap the way resources are used
2: The new system should be as open to modding as we possibly could make it
3: The new system should improve performance
He also announced that they've added new advanced resources for 2.2.
Strategic resources such as Dark matter and Living Metal will still be in the game but how many of these will still be in the game and how they are used is still being worked on by the team.
With this resource overhaul, they are completely redoing the top UI bar in the game to be able to display more resources. There will be some consolidation, for instance, the three science resources will now be shown as one, with tooltips used to break it down into the three resources.
The Top bar will also show you resources that are important to your empire, so for Machine Empires, food won't be shown. And to top it off, you'll be able to manually override this and set for yourself, which resources you want to track on the top bar UI.
So with these changes, the Stellaris development team can make different factions that are more unique in terms of how they utilise resources. They will use different amounts of resources and even different resources for different functionalities.
In a new dev diary, game director, Martin Anward shared the changes update 2.2 will bring to planetary management. This is possibly more massive than the changes to the economy.
Thee objectives of completely changing the tile-based planet system was to allow more variety in terms of the type of society you want the planet to have, to reduce micro-management with mass upgrading buildings, to make planets feel more like places where your population lives rather than just resource gathering hubs.
The main difference in 2.2 will be districts. Instead of tiles, now, each planet will have 4 different types of districts:
City District: Provides a large amount of Housing for Pops, Infrastructure for Buildings and Clerk Jobs that produce Trade Value and Luxury Goods
Mining District: Provides a small amount of Housing/Infrastructure and Mining Jobs that produce Minerals
Agriculture District: Provides a small amount of Housing/Infrastructure and Farming Jobs that produce Food
Generator District: Provides a small amount of Housing/Infrastructure and Technician Jobs that produce Energy Credits
As you build more districts, you increase the infrastructure level of that planet. With more infrastructure, you unlock more building slots.
Buildings are not limited to one tile and one pop any longer. Some buildings are limited to 1 per planet, and some can be built as much as you have building slots for it.
What's interesting is that buildings can now give jobs to more than one pop. Buildings can still be upgraded but they will reduce the number of times they can be upgraded to reduce the micro-management.
Deposits are no longer resources that are on tiles that are extracted by your pop. They are more like planetary terrain or feature. These deposits can increase the number of a particular district that can be built (eg. fertile lands increase the number of agricultural districts that can be built).
Other deposits allow the construction of special buildings and some will give a planet-wide passive bonus.
By ditching the tile-based system, issues such as over-population and under-population can be explored (since there is no hard-cap to population). Unemployment also becomes a much more realistic issue.
2.2 will introduce housing, which will dictate how big a population your planet can support (housing depends on the number of districts you have).
There are two types of jobs for your citizens, capped and uncapped. Capped jobs are jobs that relate to resource the planet has, such as the number of mining jobs generated by mining districts. Uncapped jobs depend on the traits of your species such as producing food from livestock (this will be explained in a future dev diary).
One of the big things is reducing the micro-management in assigning jobs to pops. In 2.2, jobs will automatically be filled with pops that fulfil the requirement to work in that job.
Whether a pop holds a job depends on their strata, their social class or a broad segment of the population. This can be different depending on the type of empire you play but for a regular non-gestalt empire, the pops will be divided into the 3 following groups:
Rulers: This stratum represents the government and wealthy elite. Ruler Pops have a much greater impact on Stability (more on this in next dev diary) than the other two classes and require a great deal of Luxury Goods to stay happy.
Specialists: This stratum represents the educated population working in more prestigious and highly paid jobs. Specialist Pops typically work with refining resources or performing intellectual tasks, and require more Luxury Goods than workers in order to stay happy.
Workers: This stratum represents the vast majority of the working population. They generally work with raw resource production and require fewer Luxury Goods than Rulers and Specialists.
The most important factor in determining the productivity and prosperity of your planets. It represents the overall political stability on a planet and is influenced by a number of factors such as Pop Happiness, Housing, Amenities, Crime and more.
Pop Happiness & Approval Rating
The Pop Approval Rating is the average happiness of pops modified by their Political power. Political Power depends on their stratum and living conditions. So if you have a bunch of angry slaves, you can balance it out with a large number of rulers.
Added in the previous expansion, habitats will get a considerable change in 2.2. While you still acquire them the same way, habitats are now size 6 planets (instead of 12) and come with their own unique districts:
Habitation District: Provides housing
Research District: Provides researcher jobs
Trade District: Provides trade value jobs (Non-Gestalt only)
Leisure District: Provides unity and amenities jobs (Non-Gestalt only)
Reactor District: Provides energy-producing jobs (Gestalt only)
Martin stated in the dev diary that update 2.2 is still 'far away', so it won't be going live any time soon. I'd expect the announcement of a new expansion in the next couple of months.
The Stellaris dev team has been on an overhaul patch for the past 1 year, completely reworking some of its core mechanics. And most of the mechanics changes are included as updated to the game which means you don't have to buy an expansion to get it.
I appreciate the team's dedication to evolving the game to be much deeper and better overall. And it has improved my gameplay experience by a mile. I'll update the blog once we have more info on update 2.2.
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