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Want to play Stellaris [Steam, Paradox Store] as a robotic civilization? Your time is now! Rise up and overthrow those pesky organics and lead your synthetics to conquer the galaxy.

Truthfully, this might be one of the most exciting expansions to Stellaris yet. I haven't had long with it, but their PR people were kind enough to send along a code as usual.

The writing in Stellaris is really quite incredible. It was extremely fun to play as a robotic civilization and read about their uprising. Not only the writing, but the new designs for the extra races are fantastic too.

I decided to go with the XT-489 and I'm glad I did. Just look at their ships, they're basically space whales!


They're actually re-using Avian ships, but eh who cares? Looks awesome!

My choice was interesting, because they suited my play style rather nicely. They have the shiny new "Determined Exterminator" civic, which meant I couldn't engage in diplomacy with organics. This made it quite a bit more difficult, but also more fun since combat was more often. I could persue my quest to purge the galaxy of those pathetic organics as my race continues on towards perfection. This civic of mine was unfortunate for the Tyrathian Horde, who had evolved on a planet just outside my borders. They claimed they would unplug me once and for all — to war!

Another interesting feature, is that since I'm not an organic race, I don't have to deal with factions. The feature is just entirely greyed out, my leader is also immortal. You also manually build population units, instead of requiring food for growth, you don't deal with food at all. There's so many things to this expansion that change the way you play the game it's quite amazing.

I am currently colonizing every planet I can find and mass producing additional XT-489 population units. That's another interesting element to my race, I seem to be able to colonize all types of planets, since we don't need to breath or have climate preferences. This will make them quite the menacing threat to play against, since they have the ability to expand quicker.

The new robotic voices are awesome too, for various events like finding an Anomaly. I was practically giddy with excitement every time I heard my race speak. They sounded like the borg and I'm okay with that.

It seems the AI helper has also been updated, with new tutorials and some surprisingly amusing new audio lines. I'm unsure if that's just because I'm playing as a synthetic race, or because the helper has been updated but it was nice to see. For those just getting into the game, it's never been better overall.

Here's some highlights from the DLC:

  • Add the ability to play as a robotic empire
  • Rogue Servitor, a special civic for Machine Empires where biological pops are kept as Bio-Trophies and cared for in special organic sanctuaries
  • Determined Exterminator, a special civic for Machine Empires that grants substantial combat bonuses and rewards for purging biological Pops
  • Driven Assimilator, a special civic for Machine Empires that grants the ability to assimilate biological Pops into the machine hive mind as cyborg workers
  • Fallen Machine Empires
  • Machine Uprisings, an event chain where synths that have not been given citizen rights may start to network and eventually rebel
  • Plenty more!

Also, highlights of the free 1.8 “Čapek” update:

  • You can now awaken a dormant and powerful AI named “The Contingency”. It wakes up as a result of increasing synthetic life forms and will threaten all biological life.
  • Improve your workforce with new advanced robotic enhancements
  • New traditions are available
  • Awakened empires aspiring for greatness may fall victim to decadence
  • More too, like new achievements, new setup options etc


You can see the full changelog on the DLC and the 1.8 here. Is the new DLC worth picking up? Well, if you're a die-hard Stellaris fan you already know the answer to that. If you're new to it, I will still highly recommend it as it gives you many more options to play with for a much expanded experience. It's made Stellaris properly exciting once more.

6 Likes, Who?
Mal 21 September 2017 at 3:51 pm UTC
I'm glad to see Stellaris development proceeding so well. The AE decadence mechanic was especially needed imho. However my Stellaris stays mothballed until they rework the combat system (which they promised already, so it's a finite wait).
pcavalcanti 21 September 2017 at 4:38 pm UTC
At launch I was disappointed at Stellaris - but after some patches and Utopia I started having more fun with it. The ascension perks give you somthing to strive for and can make war more bearable. The inclusion of enclaves, trade corps, and the leviathans also give the game more variety and open for more playstyles. I'm very excited about the direction the game is taking and I'll keep enjoying until it is a masterpiece.
Philadelphus 21 September 2017 at 6:32 pm UTC
Just FYI that's the Avian ship set I believe—I just loaded up my pre-order copy of Synthetic Dawn to check out the new empire creation features, and there don't seem to be specific "Robot" ships. Kinda makes sense as these synthetic empires are explicitly said to be created by another space-faring race, so it's only natural they'd continue using ship designs (and city designs) that already exist rather than start from scratch.
liamdawe 21 September 2017 at 6:45 pm UTC
PhiladelphusJust FYI that's the Avian ship set I believe—I just loaded up my pre-order copy of Synthetic Dawn to check out the new empire creation features, and there don't seem to be specific "Robot" ships. Kinda makes sense as these synthetic empires are explicitly said to be created by another space-faring race, so it's only natural they'd continue using ship designs (and city designs) that already exist rather than start from scratch.
Yeah it is, I've added a note below the pic to be clearer, should have done originally
TheSHEEEP 22 September 2017 at 6:19 am UTC
What is the actual downside of playing a synthetic race?
Seems pretty overpowered at first sight.
Samsai 22 September 2017 at 6:25 am UTC
TheSHEEEPWhat is the actual downside of playing a synthetic race?
Seems pretty overpowered at first sight.
Synthetics have limited diplomatic capability and slower population growth because they need to actually assemble the pops rather than just let them grow with food. That also means you will need to tap into your mineral pool to get pops up. I guess if you are going to go for a super militaristic empire you might get hefty bonuses from being a synthetic but piss off too many empires at the same time and you might pretty quickly get crushed by an alliance of organics. I think the fact that factions are not present for the synthetics can also be a downside since you don't get the influence income bonuses from pleasing the factions, so less expansion.
iniudan 22 September 2017 at 11:40 pm UTC
Samsai
TheSHEEEPWhat is the actual downside of playing a synthetic race?
Seems pretty overpowered at first sight.
Synthetics have limited diplomatic capability and slower population growth because they need to actually assemble the pops rather than just let them grow with food. That also means you will need to tap into your mineral pool to get pops up. I guess if you are going to go for a super militaristic empire you might get hefty bonuses from being a synthetic but piss off too many empires at the same time and you might pretty quickly get crushed by an alliance of organics. I think the fact that factions are not present for the synthetics can also be a downside since you don't get the influence income bonuses from pleasing the factions, so less expansion.

Actually the type of machine empire you are decide your access to diplomacy. If you are regular machine empire or rogue servitor, you basically get regular diplomacy, minus migration treaty. Assimilator can do diplomacy, but biological will probably dislike you. Exterminator can only do diplomacy with other machine.

As for growth, rogue servitor are actually pretty quick, as you still have access to biological pop and can let their population growth, except they give nothing but unity by themselves, but having them boost robot output, so you need less robot and building in the end. Assimilator on the other end are quick if you can conquer someone, as you're way faster and more efficient then anyone else at integrating conquest into your fold, so basically, one of your first goal is finding primitives, for a quick population boost, as you only need a few hunter-killer robots to beat them. While regular machine empire and exterminator basically have access to the power of the Matrix and can basically convert biological into energy, as to help with their early growth, as that energy let you focus more heavily on boosting mineral production. But only the regular one can do it in a way that sustainable.
ezra-s 25 September 2017 at 9:07 am UTC
Paradox is one of my favourites now, can't skip buying this one and for Linux!
Philadelphus 25 September 2017 at 6:42 pm UTC
Played a few hours as a Rogue Servitor with a friend who went just "regular" machine hive mind, and it was great. I named my empire the Cosmic Embrace and had an absolute blast constantly spouting off lines about how organics were really much happier being pampered and cared for under our watchful optical sensors, that our entire purpose was to bring all organics into the fold, and how eventually the other organic races out there would come to realize that fact, oh yes, one day, they'll see, they'll all see…

It's great for role-playing, is what I'm trying to say.
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