Firstly, let's go over the DLC. It's not a big one, but it still sounds pretty nice. The Humanoids Species Pack will include:
- 10 new Humanoid portraits
- A completely new ship set inspired by classic western sci-fi
- A new city set for Humanoids
- A new pre-scripted empire, the Fanatic Authoritarian/Materialist Voor Technocracy, with a portrait inspired by the 'loading screen aliens' from our own official art
- 3 new advisor voices offering alternative takes on existing ethics, based on the United Nations of Earth ('Dignified Xenophile'), Commonwealth of Man ('Disciplined Militarist') and Voor Technocracy ('Ruthless Materialist'). Samples from each of the new voices has been attached to the bottom of this post.
- 3 new music tracks that are remixes of classic Stellaris songs
The Humanoids Species Pack will release on December 7th for $7.99.
As for the next big update, named Cherryh, it doesn't seem to have an exact release date set. However, it sounds like it's really going to be a huge update. I won't go over everything, since there's just so much changing, but here's what I found seriously interesting.
First of all, the way Ascension Perks work will be changed. They want to expand on it, so they're making the basic Ascension Perks such as Mastery of Nature, Defender of the Galaxy and so on free for everyone. Others will still require specific DLC, but having the basic set open to everyone is a good move for future content updates.
The way Surveying works will also be changed, to be less of a nuisance. In the Cherryh update, any system inside the borders of an empire you have communications with will automatically be considered surveyed, so you waste less time since you can't discover anomalies inside another empire's space anyway.
The borders and system ownership system has been completely changed! It's no longer dependent on where you have colonies, instead it will now depend on who owns a Starbase in that system. Of course, this means they needed a decent upgradable Starbase system, so that's coming too (see the teaser image above). These Starbases completely replace the old (and quite rubbish) Frontier Outposts feature. It also replaces the original Spaceports feature, with the Starbase now building military ships, while civilian ships are built from each planet.
To expand, you now build an Outpost, which is considered the lowest level Starbase. There will be five levels of a Starbase including: Outpost, Starport, Starhold, Star Fortress and finally a Citadel. The Starport is unlocked at the start of the game, with further levels requiring tech research.
On top of that, Starbases also replace the defence platform system. Instead, a Starbase can build defence platforms to surround themselves with like this:
See more about Starbases here.
They will also be overhauling how you go to war. You can now make a claim for territory, which will cost influence and you can increase your claim multiple times on a system (for when you're allied and in war). The Wargoals system will also change, with you picking a specific reason for war, instead of a list of goals.
They've totally removed the War Score system too, since it ended up creating an all or nothing situation when it came to war, even if it was only meant to be a minor skirmish. Instead, there's a new War Exhaustion system going from 0-100% depending on what's happened during the war. More on the war changes here.
Are you looking forward to the DLC and the big patch? I'm extremely interested in it once again, as I'm absolutely loving everything I hear about this major upgrade. It all makes sense too and sounds like it will be a much better and more interesting game overall.