Stellar Monarch version 1.42

Version 1.42 released

A quick update based on the early feedback from the expansion players. I tried to improve here the most confusing and unclear things. The base game got small interface improvements as well.

– [interface] Small improvements and beautification of the interface.
– [interface][expansion#1] New technologies option moved to a separate box to make it more clear and visible.
– [interface][expansion#1] Added terraformation table explaining all the terraformation rules (on astro engineers screen).

– [fix][expansion#1] When all megastructure projects are done the event to select a new one still pops up during an audience.

Expansion for Stellar Monarch “The Age of Technology” available 9th December 2019

In a few days the long time ago promised expansion for Stellar Monarch is out. Here is the list of features.

ABOUT THE EXPANSION:
The Age of Technology expansion focuses on technology and science. New optional research mechanics (random technologies, hidden technologies, additional technologies), terraforming mechanic, new alien races, astro engineers, construction of megastructures and a few minor additions.

There is an option to disable the expansion for people who prefer to play without it and an option to enable only some of the features of the expansion, so everyone can customize the gameplay to his/her own taste.

MAJOR FEATURES:
* Research mechanics improved (hidden technologies option, random technologies option, new technologies)
* New asymmetric alien races (Hyberians, Mechatrons, Exotrians) activating at random
* Astro Engineers who can construct megastructures and terraform planets
* Megastructure: Imperial Battlestar (fearsome mobile battle station to stregthen your defences to ensure internal security)
* Megastructure: Homeworld Reconstruction (turn Terra into Megacity planet)
* Megastructure: Subspace Inhibitor (deal with those pesky The Hive once and for all)
* Terraformation mechanic
* Satellites mechanic
* New planet types (Toxic and Steppe)
* New Scientific Glorious Achievement

Stellar Monarch version 1.41

Version 1.41 released

This version contains a lot of rebalancing, an option to bribe pirates and an improved starmap generator. I was continuing to examine the savefiles you sent me, especially then ones at higher difficulty levels and I was trying to find out why it’s too easy at difficulty 9, that’s when I found a kind of “bug” or to be more precise a dubious design decision regarding difficulty calculations made at an early stage of the development. Basically, not all races were scaled to the difficulty (like pirates) and some races were scaled quite gently (like The Hive). After some deliberation I decided to rewrite that part and unify the difficulty calculations for all races. Now all races scale by more or less the same magnitude based on the difficulty. The intended result is that if you play at the Normal difficulty you should not notice much of a difference but when you play at Hard/Insane it should really shake things up. I also added you an option to bribe pirates with an interesting cost formula which scales to time and number of planets so it should be affordable at the beginning but not so at the end. The next change was the starmap generator. There is a subtle change regarding galactic rim. Now there are fewer connections between edge systems and there are no very long connections (which allowed you kind of “fast travel” if you controlled the galactic rim). Now the edges of the galaxy look much more interesting (shape wise) and is better gameplay wise.

– [feature] Bribing pirates option (intelligence screen).
– [feature] Extra difficulty settings for those who still find it too easy even at the highest difficulty. To enable it go to options and enable “Experimental features”, then, when you select difficulty 9 you will see additional options to make it even harder (note it’s totally not recommended, it’s just an extra option for people who know what they are doing).

– [balance] Changed military power formula (for all races). Now they all scale to the selected difficulty level (previously pirates were not scaled, The Hive was only minimally scaled, etc). This greatly changes the balance at difficulties other than normal.
– [balance] Rifts open much earlier at difficulty 7+ (previously at 8+).

– [misc] Changed starmap generator (nicer looking edges, fewer connections at the galactic rim, no long connections on the galactic rim).
– [misc] Transdimensional aliens and all other races which do not use reinforcements mechanic will disband zero units squadrons (a cosmetic change to avoid clutter of empty units in some very rare cases).
– [misc] Small spelling and linguistic improvements.

– [interface] Added warning notice when selecting difficulty 8+ on the new game screen.
– [interface] Small interface improvements.

– [fix] Added fallback to ugly planet names when nice planet names list is exhausted. It fixes a very rare cosmetic planet names bug on huge galaxies.
– [fix] Open rifts (via audience) was not working properly.
– [fix] Trade with self bug fixed (although, for a moment I was considering if that’s a bug or a feature :)).

Stellar Monarch version 1.40

Version 1.40 released

While I was making the expansion I also took the opportunity to review all the game rules and mechanics. This version includes a lot of changes, tweaks and improvements, usually small ones, to existing mechanics.

Overall there are 4 bigger changes:
1) New “suppressed” mechanic. Now The Hive and Parasites can not launch offensive operations from Barren or radiated planets. It adds to your disposal several strategic options, like nuking planets to prevent invasions from those race, make a sanitary cordon around Parasites homeworld or to plan your borders according to presence of Barren planets buffering you from The Hive.
2) Planetary development level works slightly different now, most races will only increase the development level and never decrease it (except some vicious primitive races which will devastate planets they live on). This is a subtle change but it opens new strategic considerations, like you can now hunt for higher development planets than your level so you clam them for yourself (you no longer will degrade those planets to your level) and you will be more conscious what the Hive and other primitive races do in the areas you wanted to conquer eventually.
3) Introduced limit to the number of subsidized planets. It was a bit too micromanagement heavy in some cases, now with the limit it’s more of a strategic choice which planets to subsidize.
4) I was looking through the save files you were sending me (actually, only like 2 people answered my call for those :)) and I examined what was unbalanced, especially in terms what was too trivial to accomplish. With this version I introduced a bunch of balance tweaks based on this examination. Things like trade value, loyalty of planets, resources, budget, glorious achievements, etc.

Since this version introduced a lot of gameplay chanages, I have added Steam beta branch “v1.3”, you can enable it if you liked the old rules better or want to finish your current game under the old rules.

– [feature] Now when you gain the ability to close transdimensional rifts you also gain an ability to open them and trigger the invasion. You can do so by an audience action event (a scientist will attend with this option).
– [feature] You will claim the title of ‘Defender of the Galaxy’ (via audience event) if all rifts are sealed and transdimensional invasion is not possible anymore.
– [feature] All races that use bio ships (The Hive & Parasites) are suppressed on Barren or radiated planets. Being suppressed means those races can’t launch any offensive operations from those planets. So, you can use nukes to hold off invasions of some primitive races or position yourself better if you stop your expansion just before a Barren planet (or you can preemptively nuke an uncolonized planet near The Hive borders to keep a buffer zone).
– [feature] Planetary development level is not decreased by races anymore (only increased). Some primitive races got “Devastating” trait which allow them to lower the value (the old way). This makes development level changes more meaningful and allows hunting for planets with a superior development level since it’s retained after conquest.
– [feature] Limit of subsidized planets introduced which is 8 + 1 planet per 100 prestige (it was too micromanagement heavy since some high income empires tended to subsidize planets massively, now you have a limit on number of planets you can subsidize at once, so it’s more of a strategic choice which one to subsidize).

– [misc] The Hive overmind will never spawn on a Barren planet.
– [misc] Renamed difficulty levels (1-2 Easy, 3-5 Normal, 6-7 Hard, 8-9 got a new designation “Insane”).
– [misc] Altered starmap generator. Outer rim planets (the very edge of the galaxy) have significantly lower chance for rare resources also the best planet types (Terran and Megacity) will never be generated there (to give the feel of inhospitable & dangerous galactic rim).
– [misc] Spellcheck and text cleanup.

– [balance] Planet’s life quality can now fall to 0 (previously minimum 1). It can affect some Barren planets orbiting certain sun types.
– [balance] Slightly reduced planetary loyalty from happiness, reduced planetary security rating from governor’s competence, reduced base planetary loyalty from 20% to 10% (the planetary loyalty/security bars were too much to the right overall, diluting the need to care about those, plus planets were too insignificant when it comes to rebel points generation compared to the court and military).
– [balance] Solar energy works on Barren now (unusable on Ice and Tundra only) which is more intuitive.
– [balance] Blue stars grant +2 research points instead of +1 (the previous effect was too small for you to bother).
– [balance] Planetary development level changes made slower (0.25 to 0.10 per turn) but faster if a very low development level.
– [balance] Nuke also eradicates The Hive’s Overmind if present.
– [balance] Farms, refineries and factories output reduced.
– [balance] Services output doubled (there was not enough income from those to make those a viable focus).
– [balance] Trade income tripled.
– [balance] Increased cost of exerting budget also the cost now scales to number of planets under imperial control.
– [balance] Increased base difficulty for difficulty levels 5-9.
– [balance] Additional rule (difficulty: 8-9 only) Transdimensional aliens open rifts much earlier.
– [balance] Adjusted number of planets for glorious achievements (cosmetic change to make the numbers look nicer).
– [balance] Adjusted number of population for glorious achievements (both a cosmetic change and rebalance, overall, much higher numbers are required for the last two population glorious achievements).
– [balance] Ironman mode: Superstrong Alien Armadas now also affects armadas cooldown (reduced from 50 to 30 turns).

– [removed] Removed Insectoid Tunnels (those were useless anyway).

– [interface] Simplified planetary development level display on Economy page (it was a bit too detailed for the needs here, especially when a full information is given on the planet overview level anyway).
– [interface] Added ”Find” to some reports (Rebels take over, Hive Overmind killed). NOTE: reports might be slightly messed up the first time you load an old save (next turn those will be displayed properly)
– [interface] Rearranged minimap buttons (Astronomy moved before Specialization map mode) and adjusted descriptions.
– [interface] “Strategic Bombardment” button renamed to “Strategic Action” and enabled for all planets.
– [interface] Hotkeys for Conquest order [e] and Strategic Action [q]. Also hotkey to cancel Priority Exploration order changed to [e].
– [interface] Hotkeys 1-5 to switch options (so options behave like the rest of the interface).
– [interface] Planetary tabs can by switched by pressing 1,2,3 keys (consistent with the rest of the interface).
– [interface] Separate markers for planets with Overminds (brain icon).
– [interface] Small interface adjustments.

– [fix] Planetary development level tooltips were inconsistent (one took into account moon and one did not).
– [fix] Empire age was unchecked after changing map size on the main menu.

Expansion for Stellar Monarch “The Age of Technology” can be wishlisted!

When I released Stellar Monarch I promised you that one day I will make at least one expansion for it. That day is near! Here is goes, the Steam page for the upcoming expansion!

Planned release December 2019.

ABOUT THE EXPANSION:
The expansion Stellar Monarch: The Age of Technology focuses on technology and science. It will have an improved research mechanic (optional random and hidden technologies, additional technologies, etc), terraforming mechanic, new alien races and an option to construct a fearsome mobile star fortress. Possibly other minor things will be added as well.

There will be also an option to disable the expansion for people who prefer to play without it and an option to enable only some of the features of the expansion, so everyone can customize the gameplay to his/her own taste, especially for the most game changing features.

PLANNED MAJOR FEATURES:

  • Research mechanic improved (hidden technologies option, random technologies option, additional/alternative technologies)
  • Terraformation mechanic
  • New alien races (probably around 3 new races)
  • Ability to construct Star Fortress, a fearsome mobile station
  • Smaller features (new planet type, a new Scientific Glorious Achievement, etc)
  • What exactly will be in the expansion is determined by the final tests, so some of the planned features might be removed from the final version if those prove to be not fun.

    Legends of Amberland version 1.13

    Version 1.13 released

    This version focused on spells balance adjustments and improving 3D perspective (by popular request “make it look more like in those old games” and making it look better on odd resolutions). In addition the first linguistic QA was completed, it’s a bit rough but like 95% of spelling mistakes should be dealt with in this version.

    – [balance] Power Heal / Mass Power Heal higher efficiency and lower cost.
    – [balance] Offensive spells adjusted, especially the high level ones which got cheaper.
    – [balance] Rebalanced target all enemies vs single target spells.
    – [balance] Cold spells rebalanced (overall those have now a bigger range of damage but slightly higher average damage than fire spells).

    – [misc] 3D perspective greatly improved. Now it looks more like in the old games and overall feels more natural.
    – [misc] Minimum screen resolution changed to 1280×720 (so, one more screen resolution supported).
    – [misc] Spell check (all text files), first QA pass completed.

    – [fix] End screen was showing an incorrect years passed count.
    – [fix] In some cases the monsters damage marker disappearing too fast.

    I’m working on the first expansion for Stellar Monarch

    A long, long time ago I promised that one day I will make an expansion for Stellar Monarch. This day is near, in a few days I’m starting to work on it.

    Actually, I have it like half done already since between releasing new versions of the base game I was testing various concepts. I plan to release it somewhere this year.

    BASIC INFORMATION:
    * name of the expansion: Stellar Monarch: The Age of Technology
    * planned release date: December 2019

    ABOUT THE BASE GAME:
    Stellar Monarch is a grand strategy 4X where you are the emperor not a logistics officer. It focuses on the grand scale of things with no micromanagement. There are rebels, assassins, court factions, disloyal admirals. In addition to traditional 4X mechanics you also deal with internal affairs of the empire.

    ABOUT THE EXPANSION:
    The expansion Stellar Monarch: The Age of Technology focuses on technology and science. It will have an improved research mechanic (optional random and hidden technologies, additional technologies, etc), terraforming mechanic, new alien races and an option to construct a fearsome mobile star fortress. Possibly other minor things will be added as well.
    What exactly will be in the expansion is determined also by the final tests, so some of the planned features might be removed in the final version if those prove to be not fun during tests.

    There will be also an option to disable the expansion for people who prefer to play without it and most likely an option to enable only some of the features of the expansion, so everyone can customize the gameplay to his/her own taste, especially for the most game changing features.

    MAJOR FEATURES:
    1) Research mechanic improved (hidden technologies option, random technologies option, additional/alternative technologies)
    2) Terraformation mechanic
    3) Ability to construct Star Fortress, a fearsome mobile station
    4) New alien races (probably around 3 new races)
    5) Smaller features (new planet type, maybe a new Scientific Glorious Achievement, etc)