Welcome back everyone for our second dev diary on Evolving Empires! I'm Keith, here today to be your guide as we take a closer look at the game changing abilities you'll soon be able to unlock across this expansion’s Evolution trees!
Note that this particular diary will contain the Evolution sets for the base game races only. Check back for a future diary which will cover the races from Natural Law.
Before we begin, if you haven’t had a chance yet, I’d highly recommend checking out Dev Diary #15 where we take a deeper dive into what Evolutions are as well as how they work.
EVOLUTION THROUGH AFFINITY
A race’s affinity impacts various aspects about a race including the AI personality traits which influence how it behaves as well as some parameters (infrastructure, technologies, etc.) that serve to give it some initial direction. For base game races, their affinity will always match their race, but for custom races you can choose any affinity you have access to (including expansion races, if owned) on the race customization screen.
With Evolving Empires, your race affinity now also controls the Evolution set you’ll have available to you. This connection exists in order to provide the AI with the most suitable personality for the perks it has available to it.
Artificial Directive (Tier 1)
Your empire’s focus on creating intelligent artificial life has led to the creation of android leaders. Far more art than science, not every intelligent android can be trusted as a leader, and as a result you'll unlock one android ship or colony leader of your choice with every culture level-up. The androids you receive are reliable, loyal, and cheap. Their only real downside is their inexperience. However, due to your empire’s focus on leadership, you’re no longer able to dismiss any leaders you choose to employ.
Alien Ambassadors (Tier 2a)
As the galaxy's preeminent diplomats, your empire reaps extra rewards from its relationships. Each of your active mining treaties provides you with additional production and diplomatic relation bonuses. Your true strength lines in the alliances you form though, as each active alliance you have will provide you with a significant empire-wide morale boost.
Achilles Defense System (Tier 2b)
Your efforts to make your ships nearly impenetrable has led to the development of the ultimate shield system. Whenever a shield overload action is taken, your shield will now fully recharge and actually lower, rather than raise, the heat level of the ship. In addition, your ship’s systems have been reinforced giving them increased uptime due to their additional health points.
A Better Tomorrow (Tier 3a)
Your empire sees a brighter future for the galaxy and inspires others to unite behind its cause. As the leader of your alliances, you'll be forced to break off any relations with their rivals. Your partners will however be more likely to accept your requests for coordination. They’ll also provide you with access to their supply range and a portion of all their strategic resources. As your relation grows with your allies over time, your relationship with their rivals will ultimately wither as well.
Multi-Dimensional War (Tier 3b)
Wars are fought and won on many fronts, not all of which are obvious. For every active war your empire is in, you’ll receive additional weapon and defense research bonuses and additional income from your populace. As your political connections worsen relations between your treaty partners and your rivals, your propaganda machine will cumulatively lower the morale of your rivals every turn you remain at war with them. Due to your empire’s focus on war, cultural and planetary engineering matters become much more difficult to achieve.
Supreme Predators (Tier 1)
Your empire believes that “might makes right” and takes great pride in its military prowess. Your ship crews are unparalleled and gain additional combat bonuses. Every weapon and defense technology tier unlocked provides additional culture to your empire. In addition, your predatory warriors hunt the great beasts, and each trophy (kill) they obtain provides even further cultural bonuses. As a society built on strength, weakness and fear are abhorred, and your warriors would sooner die than face the shame of fleeing a battle.
Kinetic Mastery (Tier 2a)
Believing that the most impactful statements can only come from the barrel of a gun, your empire is focused on improving its kinetic weaponry. Your ships have increased accuracy with kinetic weapons, and combined with their crew bonuses, can make more effective use of them and their mods. In addition, your ships do more damage with all kinetic weapons.
Sacrificial Lambs (Tier 2b)
With your journey towards galactic conquest well underway, the only thing that still stands in your way is the willful disobedience of those you conquer. To quickly assert your authority, your empire can now sacrifice a portion of a colony’s population to instantly assimilate it. In addition, from now on any minor civilizations located within your borders will now be assimilated, granting you all their bonuses and removing any risk that anyone can ever take them from you.
Battle-scarred (Tier 3a)
In order to improve their ability to withstand and recover from damage, your empire has integrated biological materials into its ship designs. This built-in special system has no additional cost or space utilization and provides additional armor as well as regenerative capabilities. As scars are seen as the true measure of a warrior, your crews are no longer willing to be seen hiding behind an energy shield. Shields can no longer be equipped on your ships or stations.
World Takers (Tier 3b)
Your weak and pathetic rivals have failed their worlds and it is time for your empire to take its place as their rightful ruler. Your siege speed is dramatically increased and you now receive two assault ships every time one is built. You also receive up to two technologies with every successful invasion. As conquerors, your people have little desire to deal with domestic matters and are no longer willing to dedicate effort to building colony, outpost, or survey ships.
Boundless Breakthroughs (Tier 1)
Facing fierce competition, every scientist in your empire struggles to stand-out. Every early breakthrough you achieve inspires your scientists and provides you with a free colony ship they hope will lead to new opportunities. Every research outpost you control provides additional info and increases the odds of a breakthrough occurring. Your scientists also unlock ultra technologies faster than normal. With a taste for science, rather than conquest, your assault ships take significantly longer to build.
Cultural Diffusion (Tier 2a)
As your empire spreads out across the stars, its culture continues to grow and expand along with it. For every unique type of biome you’ve colonized, you’ll begin to generate culture at an accelerated pace. In addition, you can now have early culture breakthroughs, just like early research breakthroughs, and every culture breakthrough also provides a free colony ship.
Energy Adepts (Tier 2b)
Your scientists have focused on improved ways to manipulate energy. Your beam weapons now have additional power provided to them when they are overloaded in combat, allowing them to do substantially more damage for that attack. In addition, they’ve devised methods to incorporate beam modifications in a simpler manner, reducing the miniaturization level requirements for their modifiers.
Extreme Transformation (Tier 3a)
Your people have adapted and evolved to the point that their physical form is completely malleable. They can now live in every biome and gravity type without penalty. Such adaptability is not without consequence though, as your ability to colonize anywhere is seen as a clear threat to other races. Combined with your often grotesque appearance, all empires are now unwilling to conduct any type of diplomacy with you aside from declarations of war or peace.
Interlinked Systems (Tier 3b)
With all your ship’s power systems now interconnected, your empire has eliminated the need to choose how to overload them. Your overload actions are now interlinked, allowing your ships to activate weapon, shield, and engine overloads simultaneously at no additional cost. In addition, refinements have led to an increase in the maximum heat threshold of your ships and a reduction in their overload cooldown timers. Unfortunately, due to the tight integration of components to make this viable, your ships suffer double damage to their systems when hit.
Swarm Specialists (Tier 1)
Like a plague of locusts, your empire prefers to swarm upon its enemies with deadly intent. All your ships now gain bonus damage based on the number of similarly sized ships fighting alongside them. Your frigates and destroyers start at a higher experience level than normal, and your destroyers also use less support points to field. To support the swarm, your colonies also generate additional ship production towards military ships. With a focus on swarm tactics, your empire views its ships as expendable, and therefore sees no value in refitting its existing ships.
Astral Acrobats (Tier 2a)
Capable of death defying feats of agility and breakneck speeds, your ship pilots are true daredevils. Your frigates and destroyers move exceptionally fast, even for their size, and can easily maneuver across the battlefield. These ship classes also have a chance to dodge incoming missiles completely, regardless of the ship attack or ship defense of the ships involved.
Cloak and Daggers (Tier 2b)
Your ships are adept at stealthily seeking out and striking the most vulnerable parts of their targets. Your frigates and destroyers have a chance to cause double damage to any ship larger than themselves. In addition, their ability to avoid detection grants them the chance to dodge incoming kinetic and beam weapons regardless of the ship attack or ship defense of the ships involved.
Death Wish (Tier 3a)
For those seeking the ultimate thrill, it is said that nothing can compare to going out in one final blaze of glory. The salvage action of your ships is replaced with a collide action which allows crashing into larger enemy ships. As both speed and hull play a role, the faster and stronger your ships are, the more damage they will do. With little regard for their own ships, it’s not surprising that your crews are uninterested and unable to collect any combat salvage left behind by others.
Starjackers (Tier 3b)
As ultimate mischief makers, your empire is exceptional at taking things that don’t belong to it. Your empire’s saboteur actions now steal targeted enemy ships instead of destroying them. To help support this, several leaders will gain the saboteur skill or level it up. In addition, your frigates and destroyers can now board enemy ships without requiring they be immobile. Always up to no good, your empire is blamed for every undetected spy action in the galaxy.
Hub and Spoke (Tier 1)
The use of a hub and spoke distribution system has greatly enhanced your empire’s ability to support remote colonies. Your capital becomes the central hub of your empire, providing a portion of its production capabilities to all your other colonies. The capital’s production and research output is further increased with every space culture level-up. To defend it, your capital gains a built-in Capital Defense Force which defends it from attack and which grows in strength with each unlocked evolution perk. This system requires absolute obedience and has no room for strong personalities, including leaders, who you are no longer able to employ.
Network Assembly (Tier 2a)
Assembly line techniques and automation have improved the efficiency of your empire’s ships. Your empire can now apply a colony’s refit production simultaneously to any number of ships at the same time, allowing you to very quickly upgrade and redeploy them. Due to efficiency improvements, battle pods equipped in your ships now provide additional space as well.
Structural Masterminds (Tier 2b)
The innovative structural design techniques of your engineers are a clear indicator that practice makes perfect. The use of insulating materials throughout your ships grants them a complete immunity to ion weapons and has significantly reduced the costs involved in hull reinforcement. You also receive more infrastructure development speed for every production asteroid exploitation controlled by your empire.
Telepathic Command (Tier 3a)
Your population has developed the means to learn, communicate, and receive commands telepathically. As a collective mind, your ship crews are immune to crew stunning and mind control effects. Every experience is shared, causing all your ship crews to receive XP whenever any of your fleets engage in battle. Outsiders are easily identified and independent thoughts unwanted, causing your empire to be immune to all spy actions. With no room for creativity, your empire is no longer able to achieve any early research breakthroughs.
Supercolony (Tier 3b)
Having reached the pinnacle of the hub and spoke paradigm, your capital’s influence transcends the bounds of a single system. Your capital can now be relocated to any colony within your empire. The capital generates additional population growth and ground combat strength and also extends these benefits to all nearby colonies. In addition, nearby colonies also receive access to their own Capital Defense Force. Given the ultimate importance of your capital, losing it either forces a surrender (for the AI) or acts as a loss condition (for the player).
Relics of the Past (Tier 1)
Your race's history is deeply intertwined with an ancient relic of unknown origin that it possesses. When you unlock this perk, you receive a research bonus across all research categories as well as bonus research from any data core artifacts you possess. In order to find other artifacts, the relic immediately reveals the location of all ancient ruin throughout the galaxy. As it guides you to these artifacts, your chance to discover them also increases. Unfortunately, the relics power is fickle, and it seems at time to enjoy meddling in your affairs, leading to an increase in negative events for your empire.
Giving Spirits (Tier 2a)
Through the generous power of your ancient relic, it truly is better to give than to receive. All diplomatic gifts now provide you with bonus effects in addition to the standard diplomatic benefits. Whenever you send a gift of BC, your empire will receive a significant amount of space culture in return. Whenever you gift a ship, you will reduce the cooldown of your unique abilities a number of turns based on the ship size. Whenever you gift a system, you will receive an empire-wide morale boost based on the number of pops and the amount of infrastructure gifted.
Web Weavers (Tier 2b)
Your relic opens every door to you and grants you unfettered access to far away places in your, or perhaps its, quest for further artifacts. Your empire immediately gains full knowledge of every system containing a wormhole revealing all wormhole paths. In addition, the relic will open any wormhole, even closed ones, for your ships to travel through.
Spiritual Awakening (Tier 3a)
After resisting its destructive temptations, the ancient relic cleanses your spirits and opens your minds to endless possibilities. Adventure, Wealth, and Knowledge space culture perks are no longer mutually exclusive and all strategic resource techs, regardless of path selection, are now immediately available to use. Your empire receives production bonuses for each of its data core artifacts and additional space culture for each colony it has containing ruins. The relic no longer provides additional negative events and provides additional positive ones instead. With your most destructive tendencies removed, your empire will no longer take part in bombing, invading, or raiding colonies.
Unbridled Power (Tier 3b)
With the true power of your relic finally unleashed, your empire has been granted incredible destructive powers. Your unique abilities can now be freely swapped at any time as long as they aren't on cooldown. In addition, for every colony you have with ancient ruins, you receive additional ship support points, and for every data core artifact you've collected, your ships will do increased damage. Unleashing these powers is not without consequence though, and your capital is immediately and permanently turned into a barren wasteland.
HIDDEN CIVILIZATIONS AWAIT YOU
Now that you know about the Evolution sets coming to all base game races, you may be anxious to hear more about this expansion's other key feature, Minor Civilizations. If so, come back later this week for a deep dive into how they work!
Also, if you like what you've seen, please don't forget to wishlist so you'll be informed when Evolving Empires releases!