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With the release of Evolving Empires rapidly approaching, we've got just enough time for one final dev diary.

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Dev Diary #18 : Evolving Empires - Natural Law Evolutions

With the release of Evolving Empires rapidly approaching, we've got just enough time for one final dev diary. I’m Keith, back one final time to cover something we’ve hinted at a few times now, the Evolutions coming for the races introduced in Natural Law!

EVOLVING AN EXPANSION

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When I first sat down to write the biographies and design the lore for the two races introduced in Natural Law, the Cerixx Sentinels and Palacean Assembly, I had grand visions for who they were and how their societies operated. While the concept of evolutions was not yet on the table or in any way set in stone at that time, the groundwork was laid to allow them to evolve into something even greater should an opportunity present itself.

When we later decided to implement Evolutions and began to design the sets for each race, that opportunity finally arrived. There was just no way we could leave the Cerixx and Palacean out of the equation. Even though we knew this would ultimately lead to designing content that not every player got to see, we felt strongly that both of these races deserved the chance to tell their own unique and interesting stories.

The end result of this endeavor was even better than we'd hoped, as ultimately this process led to some truly unique and highly thematic mechanics being introduced into the game. While their core concepts are not too complex to understand, there is a strategic depth to the decisions involved that provides a challenging learning curve to play them at their best.

As alluded to above, in order to use these Evolution sets it is necessary to own both Evolving Empires (which introduces the Evolutions) and the Natural Law expansion (which contains the Cerixx and the Palacean races). While both expansions work wonderfully apart, like chocolate and peanut butter, you may enjoy them even more when they are together.

CERIXX EVOLUTION

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Technophiles (Tier 1)

They say there’s almost nothing that money can’t buy and technology is certainly high on your empire’s shopping list. Your empire can now purchase any technology currently available to be researched (following normal prerequisite rules) using money (BC). Knowing how important and valuable technology is, your empire guards it with its life. Your ships now self-destruct if they’d be captured and your technology can never be obtained as combat salvage, through raids, or through invasion. Lacking any sort of technical knowhow, your empire’s POPs no longer produce any research.

Peacekeeper Protocols (Tier 2a)

In order to protect its investment in technology, your empire has financed the development of a new and unique type of hangar bay. The Peacekeeper Bay is a new equippable special system which houses 4 unique Peacekeeper strike craft. Each Peacekeeper is equipped with a pair of custom PD ion cannons designed to disable the armament of enemy ships. As with other hangar bays, this system can be equipped for free on titans if you have the Command Carrier titan ability.

Empire Patrols (Tier 2b)

Serving and protecting may be important, but so is collecting your fair share. Your empire’s patrols allow you to claim large swaths of galactic space as your own, greatly increasing the size of your borders. For each known system within your borders, your empire collects a protection fee as a result of the inspections and other various services its patrols provide. This extra income comes in quite handy as you seek to purchase the latest technologies.

Extended Hangar Bays (Tier 3a)

By increasing the size of your strike craft hangars, your ships have become versatile and deadly combat carriers. Your cruisers and star bases gain +1 strike craft per bay. Your battleships and battle stations gain +2 strike craft per bay. Your titans and star fortresses gain +3 strike craft per bay. Due to the change in engineering philosophy this requires, all of your ships can no longer use any overload actions.

Galactic Security Initiative (Tier 3b)

Through the Galactic Security initiative, your empire has convinced its people that it is vital they provide you with all the necessary resources to protect them. In order to ensure a fast response to incoming threats, your military ship construction rush costs are significantly reduced. In addition, your ships travel faster when moving to any system within your borders. The contributions of Minor Civilizations are critical to your defenses, and the assistance of each Minor Civilization within your borders provides additional ship support points to your empire. Due to its desire to protect and benefit from their assistance, your empire can no longer destroy any Minor Civilizations.


PALACEAN EVOLUTION

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Natural Allies (Tier 1)

Your empire’s fellowship with nature has allowed you to form unusually close bonds with things that attune with it. As a result, any uncontrolled space monster will now offer to join your empire when encountered. In addition, the ideal living conditions provided by your uplifted (eco-3) colonies will cause an adult space monster to appear and join your cause. All space monsters that join you are ready and willing to fight alongside you in battle. Due to the fact that your people have fully adapted to living in these idyllic conditions, even tolerable biomes are unfortunately now considered hostile to them.

Spawning Grounds (Tier 2a)

The reproductive process of an adult space monster is exceedingly complex, but your empire’s nurturing ways have finally allowed you to begin truly enjoying the fruits of their labor. Your adult space monsters will now begin spawning offspring on a periodic basis. This process is sped up based on the number of strategic resources within your empire available to feed them. Progress until the next spawning can be tracked on the empire overview screen. Keeping your adults alive is key to benefiting from this evolution.

Fertile Deposits (Tier 2b)

When it comes to organic fertilizer, there is simply no substitute for the nutrient rich waste of your space monsters. Your adult space monsters now provide planetary engineering production and population growth to all colonies in your empire. The amount of each bonus provided is based upon the total number of strategic resources available to you to feed them.

Nourishment (Tier 3a)

With an insatiable appetite and seemingly endless potential for growth, the strength of your monsters is bound only by the resources you have available for them. Your space monsters, both adult and offspring, will now be able to grow stronger based upon the number of strategic resources you have available to you. This will provide them with extra armor and structure, ship attack, and even additional weapons. Since your monsters will consume every resource you have available, your empire can no longer make use of any strategic resource based technologies.

Nature's Helping Hands (Tier 3b)

No longer content to sit idle while you do all the work, the flora and fauna of your planets have evolved and are now capable of assisting you in your efforts to serve and protect them. As a result of their efforts, the infrastructure development speed, ship refit speed, and ground combat strength of all your colonies are significantly increased. The benefits provided are based upon the eco level of the planet, with uplifted (eco-3) worlds receiving the most benefits. Unfortunately, your unnatural connection to plants and animals leaves other empires weary of interacting with you and hinders your diplomatic efforts.

YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS

We’ve now covered all the Evolution sets available, both for base game races as well as those in Natural Law. We’ve also covered the many wondrous Minor Civilizations you’ll soon be able to discover, survey, and exploit. And with that, our chapter of the Evolving Empires story comes to an end, and yours shall soon begin.

We’re just a few days away from the release now, so please be sure to wishlist and prepare yourself for the release of Evolving Empires! I can’t tell you how excited we are to finally get this into your hands!

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