In a recent dev diary from Paradox Interactive, the developer detailed some of their future plans for Stellaris after the 2.0 release. One of the biggest changes to a core gameplay mechanic is the removal of the failure chance from researching anomalies. As it stands now, failure risk is a flat chance that’s dependent on the skill level of your scientist. After the Niven update, researching anomalies will always be successful, but the time it takes to investigate them will be heavily dependent on the level of your scientist relative to the anomaly level. Paradox justify this change by saying that the failure risk added nothing of value to player choice and just meant that players would put off researching those anomalies they could fail.
In 2.1, we’re changing the way anomalies work in a few ways. First and foremost, we are removing the concept of failure risk – we found that the possibility to fail on anomalies added little to the game in terms of interesting choices, and mostly frustrated players or made them wait with researching said anomalies until their chance of success was maximized. As such, instead of making it so that anomalies have a failure risk based on scientist skill level, we’ve instead made it so that the time it takes to research an anomaly is heavily dependent on the scientist skill versus the level of the anomaly – researching a level 2 anomaly with a level 2 scientist will be a comparatively quick affair, while attempting a level 10 anomaly with the same scientist can take a very, very long time, and might mean that it is better to return to it later with a more skilled scientist, so not to hold up your early exploration.
Another big addition is a rework of the way Stellaris generates the Hyperlanes for any given map. The current method for drawing the connections between stars simply works to connect nearby stars to one another. The problem here is that this leads to the formation of dense pockets of systems with multiple ingress and egress points, making the formation of border defenses much more difficult. Paradox want both players and AI to be able to better form their defenses around natural chokepoints, so a new algorithm is being written that makes systems less inter-connected. Of course, you can change this setting via a slider at map generation if you want something different.
Another thing that is changing in 2.1 is the way the Hyperlane network is generated. Rather than simply attempting to connect stars to nearby stars, we’ve created a new generation algorithm that builds up ‘clusters’ of stars with a high degree of internal connectivity, that are connected to each other by thinner ‘highways’ which form natural chokepoints. These chokepoints are also registered as such by the game, allowing us to find actual chokepoint systems and avoid placing Leviathans and other powerful space monsters there, as well as improving the AI’s ability to detect suitable spots for defensive starbses. The hyperlane connectivity setting will determine the level of connectivity between clusters, and thus how frequent and easily circumvented chokepoints are.
One final change is detailed in the forum post, the inclusion of new star system types to the game. This includes new multi-star systems, multiple asteroid belts and other features. There’s also going to be new resource-rich unique systems guarded by powerful space nasties.
It looks like the overall goal with this update is to shift the gameplay focus towards a more expedient path to conflict. With the AI being better at setting up defenses, and the player having more options for resources and military might; new rounds of Stellaris post-update are going to be quite the slugging match.
Update 2.1 for Stellaris currently has no release date.