Stellaris: Leviathans Announced

Ryan 2016-09-17

Following the Plantoids cosmetic DLC, Paradox has announced the first piece of DLC for Stellaris. Titled Leviathans, the expansion is likely to be released alongside the 1.3 “Heinlein” update. Leviathans is set to add loot, new adventures, and as you may have guessed from the header, monsters.

In contrast to Plantoids, Paradox is billing Leviathans as a ‘Story Pack’—likely due to the event-heavy nature of the content as opposed to the mechanics-focused expansions of Crusader Kings II and Europa Universalis IV DLC. It is perhaps also partly due to Failbetter founder Alexis Kennedy’s involvement as a ‘special guest writer’. Kennedy’s comments on writing for Stellaris make for pretty interesting reading. They hint at the (no pun intended) cosmic events that will arrive in the game; attention-grabbing tidbits of ancient mysteries and galactic weirdness. It’s a fitting involvement for the creative lead on Fallen London and Sunless Sea.

Paradox promises that this is only the first Story Pack for Stellaris, and will include a pretty wide range of content as players encounter “rich systems defended by fierce creatures, hostile pockets of resistance to your civilization, and the sleeping giants of the universe”:

  • Guardians: Powerful space entities with mysterious origins and motives. Fight or investigate them to unlock technologies and gain access to great treasures.
  • Enclaves: Independent outposts of traders and artists who are willing to make a deal. Exchange resources, purchase information about the galaxy, or commission a great work of art for your empire.
  • War In Heaven: What happens to your fledgling empire if two ancient Fallen Empires decide to renew old grievances?  Will you err on the side of caution and take a side with the stronger power, or will you strike at both whilst they are occupied with their own titanic struggle?

Guardians should sound familiar to anyone who has played any incarnation of Master of Orion, and Enclaves look like a promising optional use for the resources your empire inevitably collects by the midgame. War in Heaven is a uniquely Stellaris mechanic that hearkens back to things like the Vorlon/Shadow conflict of Babylon 5. It will further flesh out the role of Fallen Empires beyond ‘end-game goodie bag’, and players with the base game will benefit too—Paradox is revisiting the role of Fallen Empires with the Heinlein patch, and the relevant dev diary is a must-read for fans of the game.

While there isn’t much detailed information to go on, Leviathans—and the future of Stellaris—looks pretty promising. I can’t wait to get my hands on the new events.

The Leviathans Story Pack will be released sometime in Autumn. No price point has been announced, though the Plantoid Species Pack is on sale at $8 US.

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