Whether you’re willing to spare the brain cells for grand strategy or not, it’s hard not to respect Paradox. Its forums have hosted busy back-and-forth with fans since the first Europa Universalis went live in 2000, the team handling cock-ups with alarming honesty and assimilating feedback into their games. I like the community atmosphere that teasing information through their own message boards maintains, and they’ve gone to town for upcoming procedural 4X/strategy/space opera Stellaris: we’re now on the twelfth entry in a series of Stellaris dev diaries and the phrase ‘orbital bombardment’ caught my eye.
Policies and Edicts details the legal framework of your galactic empire (or lone, defeated solar system, as may be the case). For players of Paradox Development Studio’s historical strategy sims, policies and edicts correspond to laws and decisions. Policies are empire-wide, dictating your race’s stance on migration, voting rights and obliterating enemy forces from space, while edicts are more focused, potentially affecting your empire but zoning in on single planets too. In exchange for resources such as Energy Credits, you’ll gain temporary effects to bolster the likes of propaganda campaigns. Knowing Paradox, of course, you could well end up with a choice between two terrible options—would you rather your colonists be digested by sarlacc pits or sandworms?
It’s not the raw maths of the system that has me excited, but the stories the new sci-fi setting enables. I’ve never been able to choose my stance on xeno abduction in a Paradox game before, and even though that likely translates into a ‘5% abduction bonus’ I’m willing not only to suspend by disbelief but launch it into a galaxy far, far away.
You can read the whole dev diary and more besides here, and if you have even a passing interest in strategy then it’s worth checking back from time to time.