The first major patch for space-flung 4X-meets-grand-stategy ’em up Stellaris [official site] is now live, bringing with it a fair wad of changes and improvements. Update 1.1, otherwise known as Clarke, casts its intergalactic net over UI improvements, tweaks to sectors and diplomacy, and AI behaviours. It also adds platypuses.
Much similar to how developers Paradox tend to handle long-term support for the rest of their catalogue, Stellaris is expected to receive running updates free-of-charge alongside paid expansions moving forward. The next few months will focus on the former, say the Swedish outfit, and that starts with Clarke. While there’s quite a few changes – full patch notes can be found this-a-way – sectors can now manage spaceports, and AI has been improved to give your populace a better sense of what they should be building at any given time.
Likewise, aggression and diplomacy have been tweaked meaning strong AI are far more likely to attack weaker neighbours. As a result, they’re also less cautious about waging interstellar war. Lucky you.
Conversely, AI are now more inclined to open their borders to civilians, meaning you’re less likely to be penned in by stubborn adjacent nations – something I’ve found really frustrating in previous games. All told, these changes should make for a much more fluent game and, crucially, make Stellaris’ mid-game more interesting – something Paradox identified as an issue post-launch. Patch 1.2, ‘Asimov’, plans to work on border treaties further still.
The Empire Builder has also been expanded. Which means platypuses*. Here’s the word on that:
“We also took some time to add a pair of highly requested features to the empire builder. Namely, the ability to write a biography for your species and empire, and the ability to customize ruler titles.
“Ruler titles are customized separately by gender, and will remain even if you change government type, so long as the new government is of the same type as the previous one (so changing from a Monarchy to another Monarchy will not clear your ruler titles, while changing from a Monarchy to a Democracy will).”
Stellaris has split opinion here at RPS Towers – Adam can’t get enough; John tried, but unfortunately failed, to use it as an entry point to the strategy genre; and Alec proclaimed it a Great Strategy Game With Infuriating AI. Perhaps update 1.1 will change his mind?