Stellaris' galaxy menacing Nemesis expansion comes to PC on 15th April and, as is the norm, it'll be accompanied by a free update for all players on the same day. In the run-up to next week's launch, publisher Paradox has now offered a quick taste of Dick, as the update is officially known, in a handy new video summarising the various changes it'll bring.
Stellaris' 3.0/Dick update (which, as with previous free updates, takes its name from a famed sci-fi author, in this case Philip K Dick), offers a number of notable reworks, starting with the game's First Contact system. Currently, the options players are able to select from when encountering a new alien civilisation for the first time have minimal impact on future relationships - something Paradox aims to remedy with Dick.
Come Stellaris 3.0, initial contact promises to be "more engaging and impactful", presenting players with more options and decisions to make across multiple stages, differing depending on whether their First Contact Protocol is proactive, cautious, or aggressive.
Now, as an example, aggressive xenophobic empires may choose to abduct and vivisect members of a newly encountered civilisations, which might result in the discovery of new scientific data but will also be seen as an act of war - having serious consequences later on.
Notably, once contact is made with a new alien species in Stellaris 3.0, players will need to work to gain a clear picture of the systems they occupy. Fog of War will hide information about systems and borders, with more being revealed as players complete Intel Reports in specific categories using Stellaris' new Espionage features. Paradox says this "enhances the feeling of exploring the galaxy as new information is revealed by your efforts."
Elsewhere, Paradox promises a "major pass" on Stellaris' planet-side economics systems, affecting how planetary infrastructure is developed, how industry is built up, and how pops are grown and resettled. Additionally, an Outliner update brings improvements to planetary and sector organisation, and the whole thing is topped off with bug fixes and other enhancements.
Those eager for some further reading can check out more extensive Dev Diary posts on Paradox's First Contact changes and Intel additions ahead of 15th April, when, as an accompaniment to Stellaris' Nemesis expansion, Dick will be freely available to all.