The makers of Stellaris have given us the ability to craft our own style of space empire, shown us new wonders in every part of our galaxy, and given us the tools to create our own perfect society. Now, with the announcement of the upcoming expansion, “Apocalypse,” they’re letting us burn it all down.
The expansion, which will be released alongside version 2.0 ‘Cherryh,’ is one more step in Paradox Development Studios’ effort to Paradox the crap out of their first ever 4X game. The update includes major reworks of virtually every game system, from space stations and borders to faster-than-light travel and planet-killing starships. Let’s dig into a few details, shall we?
Reworks as part of Cherryh update:
- Starbases, frontier outposts, and defense stations are all being combined into one diversifiable class of station, and now each of your star systems will require their own massively upgradable outpost
- In the battle of the FTL drives hyperlanes now reign supreme, allowing for more of a large-scale strategic landscape, and making the “terrain” of space more meaningful
- Since we now need an outpost in every star system, war needed a major rework. Warscore is out, and a “status quo” victory option is in, making Stellaris much more like nearly every other 4X in terms of war outcomes
- Warfare itself is getting a real shake-up, making lopsided fleet engagements less frequent and less, well, lopsided. Stellaris is also reworking ship design somewhat and adding a fleet manager and maybe even making planetside combat more consequential
- Pirates will now spawn in unsettled systems on your border – especially if there’s an unclaimed system surrounded by your territory. This keeps you from passing over some of the less-valuable systems as you spread throughout the galaxy
All of the above is free and will be part of the base game when 2.0 drops. So what does Paradox plan on selling us in order to pay for all of this work? Nothing short of Apocalypse.
- Titan class spaceships are now available for standard empires to build – late in the game, of course. They specialize in hitting large structures very, very hard, and you can only have a limited number at any one time
- World-ending Colossus vessels are now available behind an ascension perk. These monsters can inflict a few special effects on unsuspecting planets, including mass-assimilation for the assimilators, mass conversion to spiritualism for spiritualists, full elimination of the population in preparation for your subsequent colonization, and, of course, planet cracking
Beyond pirates, you now have to deal with Marauders – spaceborne raiders who can extort you for resources or get paid off to raid a rival of yours. If you’re not careful, however, the divided tribes can unite under a Khan who will terrorize the galaxy in the mid-game.
A number of changes and additions have also been discussed, but their status as reworks or expansion material hasn’t been entirely revealed. There will be more Civics and Ascension perks, significant changes to planetary bombardment and defenses, increased perks from settling Gaia worlds, and, of course, new music.
For even more news about Apocalypse, check out the upcoming developer Let’s Play at the Paradox Interactive Twitch and YouTube sites, keep watching for new dev diaries every Thursday, or you can always stay tuned right here at eXplorminate, where we always have news on your favorite 4X games.
Now, go forth and don’t let the World Cracker get you!