Stellaris is is game that, in my mind, has quickly developing a reputation for fun, well written questlines and little paragraph-long blurbs designed to keep the player engaged and develop a backstory to your galaxy. But nothing is perfect, not even Paradox Interactive and one of the things that has always bothered me about their strategy games is that while they make efforts to give you interesting in-game events, there's very little in the way of an actual story.
The gods of gaming have heard my prayers however, and one of our standard routinely occurring updates to fix bugs and patch little flaws that crop up in the game has come with something extra this time. Guest writer Alexis Kennedy has come and written something for us called Horizon Signal, with inspiration taken from the cult classic horror film Event Horizon about the starship that pierces a hole into an alternative dimension that turns out to be a lot like hell.
Alexis talked on his website a little bit about what it was like writing for Stellaris. I’m used to writing about people with nonspecific gender. He said. Now I’m writing about people that may in fact be bird people or spider people. I just gave a character recurring nightmares and then thought, can I assume fungoid macrocolonies dream? Well, hell, anthropomorphism.
The move is welcomed, though not entirely unexpected. The Leviathans DLC was essentially a narrative pack, which added in quest lines for our new space monsters like the Infinity Machine to spice things up. The fact that this one from Alexis Kennedy (whom the 1.4 Update is named after) is absolutely free, which is sure to make a lot of fans happy and maybe catch the eyes of some people who might be on the fence about the game.
Now Horizon Signal isn't all that we get today, although it is the thing getting the most attention. The Kennedy update is a bit smaller than previous ones but no less important. War goals have been changed so it costs less to take planets or to vassalize them, which is incredibly important. And for those of you who may be struggling through an End Game Crisis, there have been some changes to how the Unbidden work as well.
Instead of spawning reinforcements as soon as a fleet is lost, Unbidden will create new fleets at a fixed rate depending on the number of dimensional anchors that have been built. Dimensional anchors are a type of station that the Unbidden construct, and their main portal is invincible while any dimensional anchors exist in the galaxy, turning what was a surgical strike into a long, costly war of extermination. But hey, don't let that get in the way of you going out there to complete those events.