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Stellaris Dev Diary #100 - Titans and Planet Destroyers

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Hello everyone and welcome to this very special triple digit Stellaris development diary! Today's dev diary marks the start of talking about the Apocalypse Expansion that will be accompanying the 2.0 'Cherryh' update. We still can't give you an ETA on the release of either, and there's a fair bit to cover in the expansion before then, but we're getting closer. As this is the start of talking about paid features, I just want to take a moment to reiterate that everything talked about in dev diaries 91-99 (with the exception of Dev Diary #95 which was about Humanoids) were about the Cherryh update and all features and changes mentioned in these previous dev diaries are part of the free update, NOT the expansion. Everything mentioned in this dev diary will be part of the paid Apocalypse expansion, however. Please note that some of the screenshots in this dev diary feature placeholder art and icons.

Planet Destroyers (Apocalypse Feature)
As mentioned all the way back in Dev Diary #50 and again in Dev Diary #69, Planet Destroyers have been on our wish list for quite some time, but wasn't something we could make work with restrictive nature of the old warscore system. Now that this is no longer a concern thanks to the new war system we talked about in Dev Diary #93, we finally have our chance to implement this beloved sci-fi staple.

Planet Destroyers come in the form of a new ship class called a Colossus. Though nominally a military ship, the Colossus has no actual fleet combat capability, but is instead a single massive weapon solely dedicated to the purpose of laying waste to enemy planets. To build a Colossus, you must first already know how to build Titans (more on those below) and then take the Colossus Project Ascension Perk, which unlocks a special project to research and design your first Colossus. Each Colossus mounts a single World Devastator-class weapon, and during the course of the project you will be given the option to choose which such weapon you want to focus on, with five potential options to choose from:
World Cracker: Shatters a planet, leaving behind a broken debris field that can be mined for resources. Available to non-Pacifists.
Global Pacifier: Encases the planet in an impenetrable shield, permanently cutting it off from the rest of the galaxy. A research station can be built to study the planet afterwards.
Neutron Sweep: Destroys most higher forms of life on the planet but leaves the infrastructure intact for colonization. Available to non-Spiritualist, non-Pacifist empires.
God Ray: Converts all organic Pops on the planet to spiritualist and destroys all machine/synthetic pops, as well as massively increasing spiritualist ethics attraction on the planet for a time. Available to Spiritualist empires.
Nanobot Dispersal: Assimilates all Pops on the planet, causing it to defect to your empire with its newly cyborgized population. Only available to Driven Assimilators (and thus requires Synthetic Dawn as well).

Additional types of World Devastator weapons that are potentially available to your empire can be researched as rare technologies after finishing the Colossus project. Once the project is complete, you will be able to build a Colossus at any Starbase with a shipyard where you have the Colossus Assembly Yards building built. Once built, the Colossus functions similar to a civilian ship, in that it is own fleet, and cannot be merged with other fleets. Each empire can only have a single Colossus active at the same time, but can build a new one if their active one is destroyed.

Colossi have no conventional armaments (though we are discussing a few medium/PD turrets to them), and their real purpose is to target enemy planets. When a Colossus is ordered to target a planet, it will travel straight towards it, ignoring enemy ships entirely even if they fire on it. The Colossus will travel to the planet, take up position and begin charging its weapon. The weapon takes quite some time to charge, giving enemy fleets a chance to try and destroy the Colossus to stop it from firing (though Colossi naturally can take a great deal of punishment, they are not invincible). Once the weapons is fully charged, it will fire, executing its effects (as described above) on the hapless planet. The Colossus is then free to continue on to the next planet if you so wish. Most Colossi weapons can only target planets owned by empires you are at war with, though some of them can target primitive worlds and the World Cracker can be used on uncolonized rock-type worlds (but will not always generate a mineral deposit in that case).

The system for creating World Devastator weapons is fully scriptable, and modders will be able to create their own planet-destroying/changing effects.

Titans (Apocalypse Feature)
Titans are another new ship class available in the Apocalypse expansion, but unlike the Colossus they are much more like conventional warships. Titans are researched through a regular tier 5 technology, and can be built in any Starbase with a shipyard and the Titan Assembly Yards building. Titans are massive flagships that come equipped with an array of heavy long-ranged weaponry and layer upon layer of shields and armor. Their front section has a single Titanic-size slot that can fit weapons even stronger than XL weapons, such as the immensely powerful Perdition Beam that can fire across a whole system and potentially destroy a battleship in a single shot. Titans also have an aura slot that can fit a single offensive or defensive aura that can buff friendly ships in the same fleet or debuff nearby enemy ships. Titans are intended to be the flagships of your fleets, and as such are limited in number: You can always field at least one Titan, plus an additional amount dependent on your overall naval capacity.

Ion Cannons (Apocalypse Feature)
Finally, there is one last Apocalype feature to talk about for today: Ion Cannons. Ion Cannons are stations that can be built as part of the defense platform fleet of a Starbase. Each Ion Cannon is essentially a single massive gun emplacement that mounts a single Titanic weapon, allowing the Starbase to engage enemy fleets at massive ranges and greatly improving the Starbase's ability to deal with enemy Battleships and Titans.

That's all for today! Next week we'll continue talking about Cherryh and Apocalypse expansion, on the topic of Marauders, Pirates and the Great Khan.

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Category:  Stellaris


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Stellaris Dev Diary #100 - Titans and Planet Destroyers