Whether you want to assimilate organic life, purge it from the galaxy, or coddle it like helpless spacebabies, Stellaris [official site] has your robotic fantasies covered in its Synthetic Dawn add-on. Launched today, it lets players create their own robotic empire from the start (as opposed to transcending their flesh in the late game) with their own civics, buildings, events, perks, and so on. It’ll also bring eccentric Fallen machine empires, the risk of machine uprisings creating their own empires, and more.
In the usual Paradox way, the DLC launch is accompanied by a huge patch bringing changes and new bits to all players of the space strategy game.
Machine empires are the main feature of Synthetic Dawn, letting spacemen play them and play against them. They have their own unique civics, letting them be driven to purge biological life, try to assimilate it to create cyborg workers, or venerate the meatbags who created them and keep them in sanctuaries as ‘Bio-Trophies’. Bless. They also have some neat perks like the ability to create Machine Worlds (if you have the Utopia expansion too).
Synthetic Dawn is out for £6.99/€9.99/$9.99 on Steam. That’s not a terrible price – a bit less than Leviathans, half the price of Utopia, and only a little more than the cosmetic species pack.
As for update 1.8, codenamed Čapek, that’s out now for everyone and brings some welcome changes. Awakened Empires will now start growing ‘Decadent’, which increasingly reduces their income and fleet power while making their subjects more rebellious. This is to stop the risk of games stalling after Empires subjugate half the galaxy, instead starting a timer that will eventually lead to rebellion and another fall. Should’ve stayed in spacebed, idiots.
The Ascenion Paths introduced by the Utopia expansion are loosened up too, removing some ethics restrictions while buffing Paths to compensate. Utopia’s megastructures become more exciting as the Dyson Sphere and Science Nexus get huge upgrades (respectively producing 1000 energy and about 750 science) while becoming unique so each empire can build only one.
Other changes include making missile weapons more useful by letting them retarget at least once if their target is destroyed before they reach it, making genetic modification simpler with templates, popping in new policies, tweaking balance, fixing bugs, and improving AI.
Check the patch notes for full details on everything.