What’s The Nemesis Expansion?
In case you haven’t heard about the Nemesis Expansion, read up on my article about it.
Oh! And quick update about that expansion: It’s coming April 15th, pre-orders are live now, and there’s a second story trailer!
What’s In The 3.0 Update?
Before we can get into what’s in the 3.0 Update, let’s address why the next update is going to be marked as 3.0.
According to the developers in their recent dev diary…
We felt that the changes introduced with the new Intel system and the reworked First Contact system has enough impact on how different the game feels to warrant the change. Early- and mid game feel quite different now, in a very positive manner. Alien empires feel so much more mysterious, and charting the entire galaxy is no longer so easy. Changes like the pop growth system and the addition of industrial districts also felt impactful enough to want us to make the change.Daniel Moregård, Game Director for Stellaris – Dev Diary #205
What this means is that Stellaris is going to feel like a brand new game, while also still being Stellaris. Instead of just telling your science ship to go forth and scan the galaxy, you will have more of a challenge exploring unknown space, as it very well should be if you’re playing an empire that has never gone outside of their solar system.
Encryption, Codebreaking, and Spies
You also won’t have immediate knowledge of how more powerful or weaker your neighboring empires are in terms of technology, economy, and military, as every empire as an Encryption Level that locks that information away from prying eyes.
As one might expect, if there’s encryption in play, there must also be some form of hacking to counter it, too. Enter: Codebreaking. Codebreaking, as stated by the developers, will be the offensive equivalent of encryption. The best way to remember encryption versus codebreaking in the Espionage System is as follows:
Encryption is always used as “Espionage Defense”
Codebreaking is always used as “Espionage Offense”Daniel Moregård, Game Director for Stellaris – Dev Diary #205
This is all well and good, but how exactly do you engage in espionage? Well, how do you think? With spies!
Spies and espionage was always a fun, little side mechanic in Sid Meier’s Civilization V that helped me get a better idea as to what my enemies–I mean my fellow international colleagues were up to. Such a system was lacking in Stellaris for the longest time, and, so the game always felt a bit lacking. Not anymore! Introducing: The Spy Network!
From this screen alone, we can see that there’s a way to assign some sort of envory or other kind of unit to this task, how much “spy points” (mmy term, not theirs) you’ve gotten, and what you can use that resource on. The most interesting is the options to really mess with the empire in question by sabotaging starbases or arming privateers.
Like I mentioned earlier, first contact with new alien empires has been greatly reworked. Instead of just getting a speical project that detracts from your society research, encountering a new empire looks to be similar to clearing our ruins; you assign an envoy, they do research, and there’s a breakthrough chance for each stage in this process.
However, just like with combing through ruins, things can go terribly wrong it seems. The investigation can come to a complete hault, and a war can even errupt between two nations that don’t even know what the other is called.
The Most Important: The Outliner Update
Like many Stellaris players, I sometimes get frustrated with the Outliner window, as it felt rather clunky, and there was no real way to organize it outside of just choosing what to hide. That all changes with a simple quality of life update to this window that allows you to better organize your worlds by population, function, and more!
That’s About It!
What a crazy update, right? This will no doubt make a lot of those story-driven Stellaris Let’s Plays a whole lot more to work with! It’s especially nice to know that we’ll have to work to get that sweet, sweet data on nearby empires through the use of a spy network.
As a last reminder, the Nemesis Expansion is available for pre-order now through whatever storefront you bought the base game through, and will release on April 15th!
Have fun and good luck!