written by Alfray Stryke
Before I delve into the new systems for interactions with pre-FTL civilizations, I'm handing over to one of our newest Content Designers PDS_Bojj
to discuss an example of the types of events that will feature in First Contact.
Pre-FTL Observation Events Hey, I’m PDS_Bojj! I’m a Content Designer on Stellaris. I’m jumping in to talk about the new observation events we have in First Contact!
The new Story Pack introduces a bunch of new events for those who build Observation Posts in orbit of pre-FTL worlds. These events give you the opportunity to gather research on pre-space-faring civilizations in various technological ages, and- if it takes your fancy- interfere with the development of their society.
Your chosen ethics will affect the types of events you can be presented with, along with the choices you will face when dealing with the inhabitants of these worlds. There are a variety of rewards to gain from studying the pre-FTLs, including the brand new Tech Insights.
While surveying the galaxy, if you discover a pre-FTL civilization world in any of the ten technological ages (Stone, Bronze, Iron, Medieval, Renaissance, Steam, Industrial, Machine, Atomic, or Early Space Age) - then I’d recommend claiming that system and building an Observation Post in orbit of the planet. That’ll add the module for that Post in the Observations section of the Outliner, and allow you to toggle between Passive Observation and Aggressive Observation.
There are also some brand new non-age-related events that have a chance of firing in any technological age, but I’m particularly hyped about the age-specific events which give you a chance to better understand (or manipulate) the pre-FTL civilizations within your borders. There is some cool content for players to sink their teeth into.... Is for us?
So… When I became a developer on Stellaris, one of the first things I noticed was the lack of options for committing an interplanetary train heist. Well, I’ve fixed that. If you’re observing a civilization in their equivalent of the Steam, Industrial, or Machine ages, there is a chance they will construct a network of land freighters for transporting cargo across their planet. What happens next is largely up to you, but just to be clear: you can officially now commit an interplanetary train heist in Stellaris
I hope you have fun playing through these events. It’s been a lot of fun developing them, so I’m very excited to see how they are received. That’s all from me for now.
Hello again! As part of the First Contact Story Pack, we wanted to make sure that interactions with pre-FTL Civilizations were connected to all the various systems that they were previously not part of. As Eladrin mentioned a few weeks back, most of the previous functions of Observation Post have been moved to overt Diplomacy or covert Espionage interactions with the civilizations in question.
A core part of how interactions with pre-FTL Civilizations now function is their Awareness. Mechanically-speaking, Awareness is a country-level value that ranges from 0-100 in five stages.
- 0: Completely Unaware
- 1–30: Low Awareness
- 31-60: Partially Aware
- 61-99: High Awareness
- 100: Fully Aware
This can be influenced in a variety of ways and has the appropriate script effects, triggers and values in the defines file for our modders to make use of.
Narratively-speaking, Awareness is a measure of not only the civilization’s observations that “something is out there”, but them correctly attributing it to interstellar, alien life. Thus Renaissance-era (or something akin to it) astronomers might observe your uncloaked observation post in orbit of their world, but are unlikely to attribute its presence to an alien civilization. On the other hand, an Early Space Age civilization that has constructed a planetary array of radio telescopes will almost certainly correctly attribute the light pollution and radio traffic from your colonies in their solar system to be evidence of alien life.Our recent test firing of our planet cracker may not have gone unnoticed.
Although there aren’t any events directly triggered by a change in Awareness of pre-FTL Civilizations, aside from them reaching out to contact you if they become Fully Aware, Awareness itself is used both to determine which events can fire while you are observing a pre-FTL Civilization and can be influenced by the events themselves.
In addition to the numerous new events alluded to above, we’ve gone back and ensured that all of the existing observation events tie into the new systems of First Contact, for example shooting down a rogue asteroid on course to impact a pre-FTL world may increase their Awareness.
In order to engage with either Diplomacy or Espionage with pre-FTL civilizations you will need an Observation Post in orbit of their homeworld and the types of interactions your empire has access to is determined by your relevant policies on both Interference and Enlightenment.As an Observation Post in orbit of an Early Space Age civilization, currently engaging in Passive Observation. We could switch to Aggressive Observation and gain more knowledge, but our interference could cause long-lasting effects.
Before we reveal ourselves to the Sathorians, we have the opportunity to carry out a number of Espionage Operations. However, once they are Fully Aware of the existence of alien life, some of these Operations will not be available to carry out.The various Operations available to carry out against the unaware Sathorians that our Observation Post is in orbit of.
After a pre-FTL civilization becomes Fully Aware of alien life, be it by their own observations or a spacefaring empire revealing their presence, the Observation Post in orbit of their homeworld will stop observation efforts and instead be repurposed as an embassy.Our Observation Post has been turned into an Embassy.
One of the new additions to the list of pre-FTL interactions is being able to form a Commercial Agreement with them, this will have a minor upkeep in minerals, but your Observation Post will generate some local trade value. The benefits of such a partnership will scale with how advanced the civilization you’re trading with is, so it might be useful to teach a Stone Age society what exactly economics is before trading with them. Additionally, if a civilization is in the Atomic or Early Space Age, signing such agreements will allow MegaCorps to open branch offices on these pre-FTL worlds.The Sathorians are experiencing some minor culture shock due to us revealing our presence. We should probably send an Envoy to Improve Relations, so they’ll be willing to accept a Commercial Agreement.
Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to be able to decide on how to interact with the pre-FTL civilizations within our borders without the Galactic Community having an opinion. As such, the GalCom now has access to three mutually exclusive Resolutions.Turns out the Galactic Community is not in favor of passing the Equal Standing Act, which is a good thing since we’d be in Breach of it!
Each of these Resolutions makes different types of interactions considered to be in breach of Galactic Law and refusing to comply will impact the usual sanctions and fines.
Next week PDS_Iggy
will be showing off a new style of starting system unique to the Fear of the Dark origin alongside some archaic Custodian updates from PDX_Cosmogone