Stellar Monarch 2 version 0.70

Version 0.70 released

The game entered the stage where I’m focusing more on making all the things work together and less on introducing new features. There are some major features not ready yet, but with this version the priorities shift to gameplay, balance, reexamination and redesign of existing features. In short I try to tie all the loose ends and make it all work together as a complete unit. This also means in some areas there might be regressed compared to v0.6x branch if some features are evaluated to be substandard and removed/partially redesigned (like Great Council that is being redesigned right now). This version introduces many small changes and adjustments aimed at finishing existing mechanics (like ministries bonuses), streamlining stuff that might be needlessly complex or confusing (like colonization mechanic or Old Empire mode), explaining things better (tooltips improvements) and rebalancing numbers to provide a better challenge (like food consumption).

– [feature] Diplomats & Xeno Experts get bonus to Competence & Charisma from Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
– [feature] Available additional Extra Rules: Population consume less food, Population consume more food, Minerals processing efficiency reduced (so 3 optional extra rules that let you adjust how much of a problem managing food and minerals will be).

– [remove] Removed unused “Wild” rulesets (now there are 3 rulesets).
– [remove] Removed rebels as a political entity (rebels will be portrayed as an imperial planet property/modifier in future versions).

– [misc] Renamed rulesets to better convey the playstyle for each of those. Also listed additional core rules (not implemented yet, I added those to avoid confusion that those rulesets are only about technologies, now it will give you a better overview what those rulesets are meant to represent) and extended the ruleset tooltips.
– [misc] More logical and intuitive rules how a noble house votes (relations based).
– [misc] Conquest orders will change into establish outpost orders if a planet lost ownership for whatever reason before the conquest was completed (so it assures the planet will be taken over by the player as desired regardless of potential rare cases).
– [misc] Civilized races at peace/truce with the Empire will not target for conquest any planet that has imperial space forces on (this will avoid rare cases when both Empire and a civilized race targeted the same planet for conquest). This rule applies to aliens only, not the player.
– [misc] Outpost speed and Colonization speed redone into a +X% modifier (for consistency with other technological bonuses).
– [misc] Overmind will never spawn on Toxic or Barren planet upon game start (consistency with after game start overmind placement rules).
– [misc] Great Council obligatory bills changed to “Minsters approved” and “Taxes approved” (penalty to efficiency of all ministries and penalty to tax efficiency).
– [misc] On “Old Empire” mode all megalopolises are already placed.
– [misc] On “Old Empire” mode the game starts at turn 1 but aliens starting technology is calculated as if 50 turns have passed, same for base bureaucracy cost and corruption. This will make things less confusing (I noticed some players being puzzled why the starting turn is 50 instead of 1) while achieving the same effect.

– [balance] Slower colonization (previously even on the Young Empire mode with the penalty to colonization it was only two turns, far too fast). But also simplified colonization and now all colonization ships provide an identical pace (so having more colonization ships has a bigger impact now since each one counts as a full efficiency colonization ship).
– [balance] Slightly slower outpost construction speed (also adjacency to colony has lower effect on the outpost speed).
– [balance] Doubled penalty for core worlds adjacency to non core worlds (after analyzing the saves beta player provided, I noticed people don’t care too much about core world placement, while it’s not a big deal and not a hard rule I wanted to give more incentives to make people want to clump core worlds together).
– [balance] Laws rebalance (no bonus to extension of Ministry of Protocol since it made no sense, no extra bureaucracy cost from Administrative Act, added more extension of a ministry effects to existing laws, some laws removed, some numbers adjusted, etc).
– [balance] Food consumption increased by 20%.

– [content] Techs that grant bonus to Diplomats & Xeno Experts Competence.
– [content] Law which grants bonus to Diplomats Charisma.

– [interface] Added “Political capital” section on house screen (replaces/extends old “Favors” section). It lists favors, secrets and vote promises acquired towards this house.
– [interface] The Great Council screen shows a simplified list of passed bills when there is no voting in progress (showing which house voted on what last time was too confusing and not really needed).
– [interface] The Great Council screen now lists below each crest % of votes the house holds (color coded so you also see the “relations of the votes”).
– [interface] Outpost progress tooltip to explain how outposts construction works.
– [interface] After coring a world max cities and cities output bonus are updated instantly.
– [interface] Beautified planet tooltips (since these were one of the oldest tooltips not up to date with the newer ones)
– [interface] Added an exact tax income effect for each tax slider tooltip on Finances/Tax screen.
– [interface] Beautified Finances/Budget tooltips.

– [fix] The Great Council bills not cleared properly upon new council voting (which made bills not on agenda voted on as well).

Compatibility note: INCOMPATIBLE, this version will not work with old saves (note that each time a savefile compatibility is broken a new Beta branch with the old version is created so you can always finish your game in progress).