The Culture: Stellaris, Utopia & Banks

Posted on 03 Feb 2017 by
Stephen Haselden

The upcoming Utopia expansion (paid DLC) for Stellaris is being released alongside the free ‘Banks’ update. If Paradox have any sense of harmony, these updates will allow you to recreate The Culture, Iain M. Bank’s fictional high tech Utopia, and hopefully some of its enemies too.

Exact details of the Banks update have not been forthcoming yet, but from what we know of the Utopia expansion, some of the more exciting engineering projects will soon be possible, such as Megastructures including: Ringworlds, Dyson Spheres, Science Nexus, and Sentry Arrays. Utopia will also include “tall” space stations, this simply means space stations have higher expansion limits, including expanding population caps too. In the language of Banks these are known as Orbitals.

Access to many of these advanced structure is limited by the player’s choice of Ascension Perk These perks are a way of choosing what a civilizations goal is. Its exciting to have this kind of possibility in a game, to choose how to develop a civilization beyond what is know, and I look forward to finding out what Paradox’s interpretation of “the beyond entails.

Before civilizations can reach an ascended state, there is a lot of work still to be done. The Banks update will be including expanded Species Rights, and related mechanics. This includes everything from Battle Thralls, to Refugees, to new Purge methods and even a new mechanic called Consumer Goods, which scales with your population’s standard of living.

Release dates for Utopia and Banks have not been revealed yet, and nor has the price for this paid expansion, but it’s likely to be with us in weeks rather than months. Stay tuned with Pixel Judge for more news on Utopia as it’s revealed.

Official Press Release

STOCKHOLM – 02 February 2017 – We reach for the stars for many reasons. They challenge us to explore. They dare us to explain. They prod us to expand. But, most of all, the universe offers every space-faring race a new start. This is the chance to perfect the species and to reach new heights of self-awareness, technological prowess or spiritual enlightenment. You can only get to Utopia by moving faster than light.

Stellaris: Utopia is the first major gameplay expansion to Stellaris, Paradox’s critically acclaimed and best selling strategy game about building an empire in new galaxies. Utopia introduces new options for developing your empire, with new types of space stations and constructions that open alternate avenues for making your species the dominant power in the galaxy.

One of the core improvements in Utopia is the introduction of Ascension Perks. As your species advances and gains new traditions, it can choose how it wants to evolve as it is further enlightened. You can choose between a biological path, a psionic path or a synthetic path, with various options within these broad categories. Body, Mind or Machine – how will your species challenge the future?

Utopia also includes:

  • Megastructures: Build wondrous structures in your systems including Dyson Spheres and ring worlds, bringing both prestige and major advantages to your race.
  • Habitat Stations: Build “tall” and establish space stations that will house more population, serving the role of planets in a small and confined empire.
  • Rights and Privileges: Set specific policies for which of the many species under your thumb will have the rights and privileges of full citizenship. Build an egalitarian paradise or follow a caste system.

And even more improvements and updates, including (as is traditional with all of our paid content releases) free updates for every Stellaris owner!

Stellaris: Utopia brings even greater depth and variety to a game already celebrated for its story-telling power and near endless possibilities. Are you ready for perfection?

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