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Paradox have released the latest DLC for Stellaris with the First Contact Story Pack, along with a free update for all players. Since this is a Story Pack, it's not a full expansion. The idea really is to give dedicated players just that little bit more, good for role-playing and for building up those stories sci-fi fans love so much. This is the kind of thing I've been personally wanting.

The main highlights of it are:

  • New Origins:
    • Broken Shackles: You didn’t take to the stars; you were taken to the stars as an alien captive! Now, you and your fellow prisoners have overtaken the ship and found yourselves banding together to survive and thrive as a diverse new community. Can you rise to greatness from this humble origin… and will your former captors take notice?
    • Payback: No one would have believed your world was being watched keenly by intelligences greater than your own - until they actually showed up. But you did not go quietly into the night! Your civilization has repelled a would-be conqueror from space, and with sudden access to their advanced technology, you’re about to discover just what else is out there beyond the stars!
    • Fear of the Dark: As you’ve explored your home system, you’ve always suspected you weren’t alone in the galaxy… especially when one of your planets suddenly suffered an “incident” a while back. A very large faction of your own people have long advocated against tempting fate out in the dark abyss of the unknown. What path will you choose as you find yourself needing room to grow?
  • New Pre-FTL Interaction Options: What will your role be when the next member of the galactic community tells their origin story? New mechanics allow for a broader range of interactions with pre-FTL civilizations, depending on their level of technology and their awareness of your presence. Will your arrival be celebrated, or met with violent panic?
  • Cloaking Technology: Nobody saw this feature coming! Equip your ships with cloaking devices to survey in secret or catch a foe unaware; keep subtle tabs on your pre-FTL neighbors with cloaked observation posts. Just be sure your own scanners and intel are strong… you never know which of your neighbors might be lurking in the shadows!
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While I am a fan, and I genuinely appreciate Paradox's commitment to the long-term support of their games, the price is a bit steep for what it offers. Enjoyable? Yes. But, I have to say that even as big a fan as I am of Stellaris, the price just doesn't feel like it matches up to the additions this time around. Origins are, for the most part, statistics tweaks and an adjustment to your start and the politics of your civ. Then we have some new interactions (which are great) for pre-FTL and then cloaking. It's not exactly a lot for £12.79, a price that could get you some entire games, and even Stellaris itself (the whole game) has been priced below that constantly and for a few pounds / dollars more you could get a full Stellaris expansion.

Mechanically with the theme of this DLC, it would have been a much better fit to be in a slightly bigger mini-expansion. Especially with the cloaking tech, which is a fantastic addition and one that no doubt players will love to play with.

Overall, this is one for the most dedicated of fans. It is a good set of additions, don't get me wrong, but not enough that I would suggest a purchase right now unless you're going to buy a bundle of this and other DLC together to get the full experience.

Plus the free update version 3.7 "Canis Minor" was also released.

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Stellaris is available from GOGHumble Store and Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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9 comments

Purple Library Guy Mar 18, 2023
Well, 3.7 looks like a rather nice update.
Mal Mar 18, 2023
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Perhaps it's worth mentioning that with this patch the Ancient Relics story pack goot a nice boost and that, combined with the price, makes it a nice purchase. For sure over First Contact.
Philadelphus Mar 20, 2023
First Contact is definitely a bit more of a niche expansion (which is why it's a Story Pack I suppose), but I'm enjoying it so far. I decided to do a Broken Shackles playthrough this time around, and I started with 29 pops from (I think) 19 different species. My planetary species breakdown pie-chart looked like a rainbow, and it meant I had species available with 8 out of 9 of the basic planetary type preferences immediately, allowing me to colonize any planet I found from the get-go. (A few of them were lithoids, too, or had the Survivors trait for +100% survival on Tomb Worlds, giving even more habitability options.)

I like the new way to interact with pre-FTL civs now; it felt a bit clunky before, but Observation Posts now have buttons to go directly to the diplomacy view and espionage, which is how you carry out things like secretly providing technology or indoctrinating aliens towards your ethics. Wait, "diplomacy view?" Yes, pre-FTLs now have a diplomacy screen like other empires even before you've officially met, consolidating lots of information like their technology level (and progress to the next one), ethics, "awareness" of extraterrestrial life, etc. into one easily-accessible place. And, it's now possible to make contact before they achieve space flight (without landing troops on their world ), allowing you to talk to them while they're in the Renaissance Era or whatever, which I just think is kinda fun. (Though I feel like I've come across a disproportionate number of Stone Age civs on Tomb Worlds with the Survivor trait…maybe it's just random, but I'd be interested to hear if anyone else is seeing something like that.)

I've only recently unlocked cloaking so I don't know how big an effect it'll have on the game, but I'm trying out the new barred spiral galaxy shape and connection between the two halves is blocked by the Xenophobic Fallen Empire on one side and one of the only empires in the galaxy I don't have open borders with on the other, so I might try sending some cloaked science ships through their borders to continue exploring on the other side.
Deleted_User Mar 20, 2023
I don't know if i would go with the arguments in the article.
Yes, 15 bucks (euro) is a lot, but, as also mentioned, Paradox tends to make discounts very quick, so that one can expect to get the DLC with 50% within a 2-year-period. An additional argument can be made if you translate the price into game time. While some don't have any problem to spend 40 EUR/$/£ for a game with 25 h playtime and little replayability, in Paradox games you can easily get replayability for another 50 - 100 hours per DLC/story expansion, and here it is a problem.
Trias Mar 20, 2023
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Quoting: Philadelphus(Though I feel like I've come across a disproportionate number of Stone Age civs on Tomb Worlds with the Survivor trait…maybe it's just random, but I'd be interested to hear if anyone else is seeing something like that.)

Currently there's an issue in the game when any pre-FTL civilization in atomic age has a 5% chance to start nuclear war event every month. And that can either wipe them completely, either throw back to stone age.

Should be fixed in a hotfix this week.
Liam Dawe Mar 20, 2023
Quoting: Deleted_UserI don't know if i would go with the arguments in the article.
Yes, 15 bucks (euro) is a lot, but, as also mentioned, Paradox tends to make discounts very quick, so that one can expect to get the DLC with 50% within a 2-year-period. An additional argument can be made if you translate the price into game time. While some don't have any problem to spend 40 EUR/$/£ for a game with 25 h playtime and little replayability, in Paradox games you can easily get replayability for another 50 - 100 hours per DLC/story expansion, and here it is a problem.
Personally, I don't really think that argument works in this case. You're not going to specifically spend a huge amount more time in Stellaris because of this DLC. Base the price value on what it specifically offers, and it's really not that much.
Purple Library Guy Mar 20, 2023
Quoting: PhiladelphusI like the new way to interact with pre-FTL civs now; it felt a bit clunky before, but Observation Posts now have buttons to go directly to the diplomacy view and espionage, which is how you carry out things like secretly providing technology or indoctrinating aliens towards your ethics. Wait, "diplomacy view?" Yes, pre-FTLs now have a diplomacy screen like other empires even before you've officially met, consolidating lots of information like their technology level (and progress to the next one), ethics, "awareness" of extraterrestrial life, etc. into one easily-accessible place. And, it's now possible to make contact before they achieve space flight (without landing troops on their world ), allowing you to talk to them while they're in the Renaissance Era or whatever, which I just think is kinda fun.
That does sound rather nice. But isn't most of that stuff in the free 3.7 update?
denyasis Mar 20, 2023
Quoting: Trias
Quoting: Philadelphus(Though I feel like I've come across a disproportionate number of Stone Age civs on Tomb Worlds with the Survivor trait…maybe it's just random, but I'd be interested to hear if anyone else is seeing something like that.)

Currently there's an issue in the game when any pre-FTL civilization in atomic age has a 5% chance to start nuclear war event every month. And that can either wipe them completely, either throw back to stone age.

Should be fixed in a hotfix this week.

Little too realistic, lol
Philadelphus Mar 22, 2023
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: PhiladelphusI like the new way to interact with pre-FTL civs now; it felt a bit clunky before, but Observation Posts now have buttons to go directly to the diplomacy view and espionage, which is how you carry out things like secretly providing technology or indoctrinating aliens towards your ethics. Wait, "diplomacy view?" Yes, pre-FTLs now have a diplomacy screen like other empires even before you've officially met, consolidating lots of information like their technology level (and progress to the next one), ethics, "awareness" of extraterrestrial life, etc. into one easily-accessible place. And, it's now possible to make contact before they achieve space flight (without landing troops on their world ), allowing you to talk to them while they're in the Renaissance Era or whatever, which I just think is kinda fun.
That does sound rather nice. But isn't most of that stuff in the free 3.7 update?
You're probably right, base UI stuff does tend to be in the free update.
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