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Stellaris - Paradox new sci-fi grand strategy game

Oct 1, 2018
Out of curiosity is the late game performance still god-awful or did they finally clean that up? The other day I realized it's been 6 years since I played the game last so I was feeling the itch to check out all the patches and DLC, but if it still slows to a crawl I may not bother. That's one of the nice things about CK3 but I assume updating the older games to the newer engine would probably break a ton of shit.
It's better, but it also depends a lot on what you consider late game. I consider it 100 years in, which is when a competent player or high difficulty AIs tend to have the tech tree close to finished and start making huge flees and megastructures. Other people consider it 250 years in, which is when the end game crisis will spawn by default settings.
Been so long since I played last I couldn't tell you, but I'm glad to hear it's better now at least. Sounds like a good reason to give it another spin here in a bit.

Space Satan

May 13, 2013
Space Hell
Actually good developement with minor artifacts

Stellaris Dev Diary #286 - Fear and Archaeotechs in First Contact​

Hello everyone! I am PDS_Iggy, and I’m here to tell you all about Fear of the Dark!

This new narrative origin for First Contact focuses on a people divided. After a planet in your solar system blew up, fear and xenophobia spread to such a degree that a large portion of your population decided to flee your homeworld. Their goal? To hide from the rest of the galaxy.

Incoming Transmission:
You mean, “The sane individuals of our species took the only prudent action possible when being attacked by an alien force capable of destroying planets!

This split in your population is reflected in the effects of the origin. With a sizable section of your empire living on a neighboring world, your research alternatives and choices for leaders are reduced. Yet, even more inquisitive than a regular empire, you will have no difficulty discovering more anomalies as you explore the void.


No doubt you’ll return from your galavantings the next time we reach a breakthrough! Our scientific research is one of the few way we can even hope to delay you from dooming us all. Once you lead the aliens back to our home, it will all be over.

Additionally,Fear of the Dark starts with quite a unique system, one that will have you starting with binary planets - your ‘cousins’ are living just a rocket jump away. (a Sol start will have them placed on Mars).

It will be up to you to make the best of this situation. Your partner planet can be a powerful ally, yet they are also very skittish. Ensure that they don’t torpedo your entrance on the galactic stage.

Perhaps you will stop treating the alien threat so lightly when our upcoming study of ‘the Divider’ is finished. Just you wait. We won’t be hunted.


Whatever happens, remember that you are one people and you are stronger together. Oh, and your partner planet has cloaked ships.


Now off to MrCosmogone and his wondrous archaeo-technologies for this patch's custodian update!

Did you ever think, as you pass by an old laser cannon in a glass case, that not everything belongs in a museum? That perhaps, the Irassian tractor beam could be used for your cause instead of gathering dust?

Well, so do I. And if you own Ancient Relics, I have good news!

Excavated dig sites will now sometimes generate minor artifact deposits that can be exploited by orbital stations, or by colonizing the planet.


There could always be more trinkets to find!
Your income in minor artifacts can then be put to good use with the new archaeo-technologies that will unlock buildings, starbase modules and ship components, all costing minor artifacts to build.
There are several ways to acquire these archaeo-technologies. Completing the Secrets of the [PRECURSOR] special projects will now give you a research option to unlock some unique archaeo-components:



The power of a precursor in the palm of your hand.
Several of our dig sites can now grant you access to one of the new technologies. This is a very reliable way of acquiring them.



Get to work, Oxygal, I want this research on my desk by the end of the week!
All these new technologies are found in the society field, in an all new “Archaeostudies” category which is all about fitting ancient tech into your machines and weapons. Discovering these archaeo-technologies by yourself is a long and hard process, but luckily, you can be assisted by dedicated researchers who share your interest in ancient things.


They largely just make old things go boom.
Should you decide to pick the Remnants origin that starts you on a relic world, you will now start the game with the Faculty of Archaeostudies unlocked and replacing your starting research lab.

And if this still does not quench your thirst for specialization in archaeo-technologies, if you still want to dig deeper, we even have a new ascension perk for you!


For all you history lovers!

With increased minor artifact generation, the scale of the existing economy needed to be increased, but we also took this opportunity to now display artifacts in the topbar alongside the other strategic resources.


Bigger numbers mean better game, right?
And while you still can’t buy them on the market, you can trade them to other empires!


It belongs in MY museum!
I don’t really have the space here to show you ALL the things, but here, have a tease.


Archaeotitan go brrrrrrrr

Oh and one last thing before we wrap things up. I might have made a Devolving Beam for colossi, to return those pesky humans from the UNE back to their origins:


Return to Monke!


They’ll make good pets.


Nouveau Riche
Apr 19, 2012
So let me get this straight regarding the new origin…
People get freaked out about the possibility of invading aliens and other cosmic disasters so they decide to pack up and hide…on a planet right next to the one they are fleeing, genius! Still, seems an ok origin if you can overlook that slight sillyness.

Otherwise mechanically better surveying= more anomalies aka story events, artefacts and dig sites so that’s nice.
Sure, -1 research alternative means you are more reliant on the whims of rng early on but your research speed in itself isn’t nerfed so i see that as more of a temporary setback.
Jan 7, 2012
Otherwise mechanically better surveying= more anomalies aka story events, artefacts and dig sites so that’s nice.
Sure, -1 research alternative means you are more reliant on the whims of rng early on but your research speed in itself isn’t nerfed so i see that as more of a temporary setback.

10% more anomalies means that if you discover 30 one game you'll discover probably 33 with this. Fairly irrelevant. Anomaly research speed is almost entirely irrelevant (science ships spend most of their time running back and forth, not scanning).

-1 research alternatives is fairly crippling. No one wants to have to spend 30 years trying to draw the techs that let you upgrade your research labs or to the next ship class. Think of it this way: if you can only see 2 techs, there's a 33% chance every time that you could have picked a tech that was better. Sometimes much better. Even at the start of the game getting the right +20% resource tech is the kind of thing that catapults your economy forward. It's bad enough not finding +20% energy in the first few cycles and a big advantage if you can get it immediately.


Nouveau Riche
Apr 19, 2012
Yeah can't argue with the way you put things and definitely undersold how crippling having just 2 choices are to begin with,

Space Satan

May 13, 2013
Space Hell

Stellaris Dev Diary #289 - Hide and Seek​

A staple of sci-fi that has long been missing from Stellaris is the ability to have fleets and stations capable of being cloaked and hiding from enemy sensors. With the addition of Awareness and improvements to interactions with pre-FTL civilizations, we felt that First Contact was the right place to explore how cloaking could be added to the game in a meaningful way, tying into warfare, exploration and espionage.

When we set out to design the cloaking and counter-cloaking systems our goals were that:
  • Science ships should be able to equip cloaking devices to allow exploration of space regardless of if another empire has closed their borders to you.
  • Observation posts should be capable of being hidden from the pre-FTL civilizations they were observing.
  • Military vessels should be capable of cloaking, with limitations. Cloaking should be balanced such that it is better to cloak frigates or cruisers than battleships.
  • Cloaking should interact with the existing espionage system.

So how does this work in practice?

Cloaking Field Generators are a new type of ship component that is limited to one per ship and occupies either an Aux slot (for designable ships) or a special cloaking device slot (for undesignable ships e.g., science ships or observation posts). The first cloaking devices available can only be equipped on corvettes, frigates, science ships and observation posts. As technology improves so does the cloaking strength provided by the cloaking devices and the size of ship they are capable of cloaking.


Basic Cloaking Field Generators unlock cloaking for corvettes, frigates and selected civilian ships.


Advanced Cloaking Field Generators unlock cloaking for destroyers.


Elite Cloaking Field Generators unlock cloaking for cruisers.


Dark Matter Cloaking Field Generators unlock cloaking for battleships and titans.


Psi-Phase Field Generators unlock cloaking for battleships and titans and offer the best cloaking strength in the game.

While cloaked, ships and fleets can ignore closed borders and can’t be detected by normal sensors. This can be useful for a variety of reasons such as having science ships explore and survey systems that might otherwise be blocked off, research anomalies or special projects inside the borders of your rivals or getting a well armed fleet situated to ambush an enemy starbase upon war declaration. Cloaked science ships will also have another trick up their sleeves, being able to perform covert reconnaissance on colonized planets to gather Intel on other empires and increasing the speed at which this Intel is gained. Finally, cloaked fleets and observation posts can’t be seen by pre-FTL civilizations, so using them will minimize your chances of accidentally increasing their Awareness.


Performing reconnaissance on an enemy can provide a great deal of Intelligence.

Due to the power draw and manipulation of particle fields, cloaking imposes penalties on the shields of ships while cloaked, depending on the type of cloaking device equipped:
  • Ships equipped with a Basic, Advanced or Elite Cloaking Field Generator suffer from 100% Shield Nullification while cloaked.
  • Ships equipped with a Dark Matter Cloaking Field Generator have a reduced penalty of 50% Shield Nullification.
  • Ships equipped with a Psi-Phase Field Generator and any regular shields will suffer from 100% Shield Nullification while cloaked.
  • Ships equipped with a Psi-Phase Field Generator and psionic shields or barriers will not suffer from any Shield Nullification while cloaked.

Spreadsheets are an important part of our design workflow!

The cloaking strength of a fleet is determined by the ship in that fleet with the lowest possible cloaking strength. Thus, in order to be able to cloak, all ships in the fleet must be capable of cloaking. How well a fleet can cloak is described by the stability of the cloaking field of a fleet and can range from Non-Existent to Exceptional depending on the cloaking strength of the fleet.

This stability (or cloaking strength) factors into both how easily a starbase can detect or reveal the cloaked fleet (more on this later) and what penalties (if any) the fleet may suffer from.

It’s worth keeping in mind that, as the cloaking strength of a fleet is determined by the ship with the lowest cloaking strength in the fleet, a fleet of mixed battleships and corvettes will have a lower cloaking strength (and be more easily detected) than a fleet solely comprised of corvettes.

The highest level of cloaking strength and the corresponding cloaking field stability obtainable purely by ship components is 5 (Very High). In order to reach strength 6 or greater and thus the various grades of Exceptional stability, your fleets will require additional sources of cloaking strength, such as finishing Subterfuge traditions or hiding in a nebula.


Cloaking Strength levels and penalties


A UNE science ship makes use of a nebula to boost their cloaking strength.

In order to be detected or revealed a fleet needs to be within sensor range of an enemy starbase with a Detection Strength equal to or greater than the Cloaking Strength of the fleet. Detection Strength is normally gained by building Detection Array modules on a starbase, though certain rare technologies can unlock buildings or orders for science ships to further increase this.


Oh, and we rearranged the starbase UI to list various previously hidden modifiers.

When a fleet is detected by a starbase, it is either detected or forced to decloak depending on these conditions.
  • If the cloaked fleet is outside of your borders, you’ll be able to see it, with the cloaking visuals, but it won’t be decloaked.
  • If the cloaked fleet is inside of your borders, it will be forced to decloak.
If a cloaked fleet is inside another empire’s borders (and thus is not detected) when you declare war, it will not be forced to go MIA like normal.

Now to hand over to @PDS_Iggy to discuss the new civics!

For this story pack we were always on the lookout for flavorful and fun civics we could add to further explore the themes of First Contact. It was thanks to a helpful comment from one of our betas that Alfray and I started to investigate a generic Low-Tech civic. The aim was to add a civic that could be used in combination with other existing origins to get a pre-FTL feel.

After brainstorming and fusing ideas we came up with a low tech civic in which you start with reduced resources and a very limited jumpdrive.


Reaching for the stars, no matter what.


What is out there?

Exploration Vessels are early science ships and Engineering Vessels are simple construction ships.

Alfray and I also wanted to challenge ourselves since civics are often just identical for all government types, so we made a unique one for each government style. In the end we implemented multiple civics that should be able to facilitate many fantasies and builds.


The Stargazers starting info as well as the Jump Range


Look at them go!

And before you ask, you can put these jump drives on your other ships. It's even something you will have to you will have to do if you want to get our new achievement:

The Path Not Taken - Have 10 colonies without ever discovering Hyperdrives.


Déjà vu!

Finally, I'll leave you with an in-game gif of the MSI flagship activating its cloaking field.

Flagship Cloaking.gif


Dec 27, 2008
How many DLCs are there for Stellaris already? Every time I think of playing this game after getting it somewhere, another DLC shows up.

Space Satan

May 13, 2013
Space Hell
This...is good. I mean, really good. I see no downsides to this news at all

Stellaris Dev Diary #295 - Armies, Sectors, Messages, and More​

Hi everyone!

The 3.8 ‘Gemini’ Coop Open Beta we talked about last week is now open! See this message for more details. We’ll be collecting feedback and Out of Sync errors until the end of April.

Please note that the 3.8 "Gemini" Coop Open Beta is an optional beta patch. You have to manually opt in to access it.
Go to your Steam library, right click on Stellaris -> Properties -> betas tab -> select "stellaris_test - 3.8 Coop Open Beta" branch.

Don't forget to turn off your mods, they will break.

This week, we’ll be exploring some of the improvements that aren’t in the Coop Open Beta, but are planned for the full 3.8 release. Here are Offe and kc to tell you all about them!

<Insert Human Greetings>​

Hello again, it’s me Offe, today I will share some information about what I have been working on since my previous Dev Diary about AI. Today I have seven smaller side projects to present that will be coming with the 3.8 free patch: Army Builder, Rally Troops, Ground combat and Bombardment Tweaks, Science Ship Automation, Capital World Designations, Fleet Manager Improvements and Sector Editor.

First I have three changes related to Ground Combat and Orbital Bombardment, seeing how the community is split between a ground combat rework or removing it completely, I opted to instead make everyone disappointed and give you what no one asked for: Quality of Life and slight rebalance.

Army Builder​

First up is the Army Builder, this is a tool designed to make it much easier to build and gather Assault Armies for an upcoming war. This tab is available on any starbase in a sector, and armies recruited via this tab will gather at the starbase.

Army Builder

Note: It's moved one tab to the left since this screenshot was taken.

Construction is spread out across all planets in the sector and there is also a CTRL-click option to more quickly queue up more construction.

Simultaneous Army Building

In cases where you would like to reinforce an existing fleet of Assault Armies instead of simply gathering them at a starbase I’ve also added a mode for assault army fleets called Rally Troops. New troops will then automatically try and merge with this fleet regardless if they are built via the Army Builder or by the old method of recruitment from a planet.

Rally Troops

Speaking of planets, I’ve also added a Deploy In Orbit checkbox to planets for the use case where you want to recruit assault armies to defend a planet on the frontier without them first deploying in orbit meaning you then have to manually go back and land those troops afterwards.

Deploy in Orbit

Bombardment Changes​

Next up is changes to bombardment, if you really hate ground combat then I got good news for you. Orbital Bombardment will now be able to take control of planets, in most cases, when they have completely killed all defending troops. There are some exceptions, for example, your pops will never surrender to an enemy that are Fanatical Purifiers as they would be purged anyway.

Planet Surrendered

There is also a policy where you can refuse enemy planets that would like to surrender to you, however, your defenceless planets will still prefer to surrender to non genocidal/hive minds enemies to spare their own lives.

We do not accept surrender. (Actually, we do. It's allowed in the screenshot.)

Further there are some tweaks to ground combat and orbital bombardments to create a trade off between bombing and invading:
  • Bombarding planets is much more devastating than it used to be, more pops will die and buildings and districts will be ruined in the process. This also adds a trade off between the different bombardment stances, doing selective bombardment will be slower but fewer pops will die in the process compared to indiscriminate bombardment.
  • Orbital Bombardment will now scale with the amount of ships bombarding, the first 100 fleet size ships will do full damage, after that each additional 100 fleet size will add 70% of that efficiency. For example, 300 fleet capacity worth of ships will deal 100% + 70% + (0,7^2 = 49%) = 219% total worth of bombardment damage.
  • This effect is scaled based on the number of pops/buildings and planet’s size, where highly populated small planets will suffer greater losses compared to large sparsely populated planets.
  • Ground Combat is also more devastating to planets than it used to be, but much less so than bombarding.
  • The effect of collateral damage from different army types have also been adjusted, previously the collateral damage on army types was a linear value and not a multiplier, which meant that in practice high damage high collateral units like Xenomorphs could effectively do less collateral damage on the planet compared to normal troops because they would kill the enemy troops very quickly. This is no longer the case as the collateral damage modifier now acts as a multiplier on any damage dealt.
  • Planetary Capital buildings now spawns 0/4/8/16 defensive armies for free based on the tier of the building.
To summarise the Design Philosophy of all the changes to ground combat and bombardment:

Ground Combat and orbital bombardment will now be a bigger part of the game since big planets will automatically have some defences. Building armies and using them to invade planets will be much easier by using the Army Builder and Rally Troops functionality. Small planets with 1-25 pops will be prime candidates to be taken by orbital bombardment alone, removing the need to have to manually invade each small insignificant planet or habitat.

Updated Science Ship Automation​

Previously I made the Construction Ship Automation and Planetary Automation Settings which was well received by the community so for 3.8 I’ve decided to also make improvements to the Science Ship Automation.

Advanced Science Ship Automation

Now when you click on the Science Ship automation you can enable or disable the modules you like, Explore Systems simply mean exploring the galaxy by entering systems which will discover any planets and hyperlanes in there, the other settings should be self explanatory. The default settings are Explore Systems and Survey Systems which is the same functionality as before 3.8.

For Science Ships that are already automated you can see which modules they have enabled by hovering the automation button:

Current Automation Settings tooltip

New Planetary Capital Designations​

I have gone a bit outside of my own designation as a Programmer and dabbled a bit with content design. There are 4 new Capital world designations coming in 3.8 for non hive minds. They are: Forge Capital, Factory Capital, Trade Capital and Capital Extraction World.

These designations are not part of the automatic colony designation system and your capital world will never change designation on its own, rather you must explicitly change the designation yourself in order to avoid instantaneous collapse of the player economy when unpausing the game.

They are not revolutionary in their design but rather they are the combined effects of the Capital Designation paired with a specialisation. So, for example, the Capital Forge world designation will give you all the bonuses as the normal Capital Designation, but instead of the +10% output to all jobs it gives +20% Metallurgist jobs output as well as shifting the Consumer Goods jobs into Alloy jobs like the other Forge Designations.

Forge Capital designation

So for everyone like me who wanted to make a Forge, Factory, Trade or Base Resource Capital World, now you can.

Fleet Manager​

Overall the Fleet Manager serves its purpose and works, sort of. Together with KC (more from her later) we made some reorganisation of the UI and fixed some annoying bugs. Here is what the fleet manager looks like now:

Fleet Manager Updates

Some notable changes are that the list of fleets is now much larger than it used to be, now you can see 12 simultaneous fleets instead of 6, there is a new button to copy a fleet template, you can now easily delete fleets templates by using the DELETE + ENTER keys and doing so will no longer select the first fleet in the list and scroll the scrollbar to the top.

The ship designer and the fleet managers have also been merged into one item in the sidebar and are accessible via tabs to easily be able to switch between them.

We’ve also added this new button which originally was designed and implemented for the AI but then I figured it is useful for players too:

Fleet Templates

Sector Editor​

Overlord really made us miss the ability to edit sectors, so better late than never I’ve made a tool which allows the player to freely move systems between adjacent sectors as long as they are in range of the Sector Capitals. The Sector Editor tool can be access either via the Planet view or the Planets and Sector view:

Sector Editor!!!

Opening the sector editor will enter into the sector edit map mode, here you can edit the sector either via the galaxy map icons or by using the UI on the left. While in the sector editor mode you can easily switch between editing different sectors by clicking on these icons in the galaxy map

Editing a Sector

This comes with a few adjustments to requirements of creating Sectors, for example, it is no longer possible to create a sector that is too close to an existing Sector Capital even if the systems in between are unclaimed. Meaning it is no longer possible to release one of your guaranteed habitable worlds as a Vassal.

Further, all of the old counter intuitive rules regarding which planet would belong to which sector capital have been removed which previously resulted in very strange looking sectors when players would try to delete and recreate sectors to attempt to fix their sector borders.

Currently the sector editor gives a lot of control to the players, meaning it is even easier than before to create 1 system/planet vassals, but it is also now possible to fix sector border map gore. I trust everyone here will use this power responsibly.

But Wait There’s More!​

Hey everyone, I'm kc - your favourite UX designer you have never heard of. Usually working from the shadows up in Arctic, I have descended upon you to shed light on some more quality of life things we have been working on for the last few weeks.

Rebindable keys for the side menu, ok, not rebindable but close enough. We have made it possible to customise the order of the items in the menu and thus decide which of them will have the F1-F10 hotkeys. Technology? You got it!

Toggle edit mode by clicking on the little gear icon.

Modifying the Sidebar

Message Onslaught​

Something of a pet peeve of mine since I started on Stellaris a couple of years ago, was the lack of different scales of urgency when the game presents information. Since everything is considered equally important, in order to cut through the noise every new message has to scream as loud as the others, or louder. This has led to the barrage of popups and notifications we all know and love, and love to hate.

So what we decided to do to fix this is of course to make even more notifications. OK, rather;
  1. Make a new system to add even more different notifications
  2. Allow you to disable notifications. Yes, Message Settings is coming to Stellaris.
The new notifications are called toast notifications (cue bread-related puns!) because of how they pop up and disappear automatically (like bread in a toaster.)

This system will be used to communicate things that are low priority, things you don't need to act on but might want to know about. And feedback on things you've done. Ding! Leader ready!


More Toasts!

My hope is that we can convert old messages to use this system when it makes sense to do so (System Surveyed, Build Complete, etc.), as well as allow for customization on how different messages should be presented. Pick your poison! Or just turn it off completely.

Message settings can be accessed directly from the notification/toast you no longer wish to see, (by Ctrl-Clicking on it) or from the game menu, under Settings/Messages. Some messages, such as the toasts shown above, also have a cogwheel to adjust seetings.

Message Settings

More Message Settings

But Wait There’s More... More!​

No really, there’s actually more. But since this was chonky enough, I guess we’ll be back later. Stay tuned.

What’s Next​

We’ve got a lot left to go through before the Gemini release, so we’ll see you next Tuesday with our next Dev Diary.


Sep 10, 2021
It's a good update and long-awaited too considering Stellaris army combat and interface are rubbish.
AI loves building them everywhere, be it a backwater planet or a godforsaken habitat. Here you can see a Stellaris equivalent of Cadia fortress world with 7 goddamn fortresses and one military academy which also spawns defence armies. This fortress world has ~5000 garrison power which means I have to throw my assault armies into a titanic meat grinder like Verdun or waste years with even a pathetic "indiscriminate" planetary bombardment, not to mention it distracts one of my fleets. Planetary FTL inhibitor of fortresses means my fleets are stuck in this system unless I have a jump drive or waste time carpet bombing.

Now I'm in the role of Failbaddon the (H)armless in front of Cadia and I don't like it one bit. At least it takes me one or two Black crusades to conquer empires instead of 13. Fortress spam makes me want to really really crack fortress worlds. Paradox is guilty of making me a virtual war criminal!


Non-Edgy Gamer

Grand Dragon
Glory to Ukraine
Nov 6, 2020
Strap Yourselves In
Its a pity Pdox was too cowardly to give us a true Primitive start, but at least we got something.
Isn't a primitive start basically a whole new game? It's Civilization with aliens.

What I'd like would be if they made conquering worlds more intricate. Have several key points on a world you need to control before you trigger capitulation of its defense forces. More unit types required - infantry, armor, air.

They or a mod could wrap that into a pre-space minigame if you like.

I'd also like to see a the pre-interstellar game expanded, for that matter. Creating moon or Mars outposts seems to be a missing step to colonizing a neighboring star systems using FTL.


Dec 26, 2014
On the internet, writing shit posts.
It would be nice if your invasion progress depends on what districts your opponent has and different unit types are better at fighting in certain districts.
Like, mechanized divisions are better at fighting in agricultural districts due to the terrain, but urban and industrial districts are better suited for infantry.

Right now it's just spam clones or if you're a machine empire, mega-warforms.

Non-Edgy Gamer

Grand Dragon
Glory to Ukraine
Nov 6, 2020
Strap Yourselves In
It would be nice if your invasion progress depends on what districts your opponent has and different unit types are better at fighting in certain districts.
Like, mechanized divisions are better at fighting in agricultural districts due to the terrain, but urban and industrial districts are better suited for infantry.
Yah, it seems like this would be a pretty simple system to setup. The more districts a world has, the longer it could potentially take - if they're all properly defended.

This would incentivize the use of WMDs like mass drivers and other war crimes, which currently are just for larping evil, since most worlds are easy to conquer with a doomstack of clone troops anyway.


Shoutbox Purity League
Dec 2, 2016
Land of the Great Steppe
I mean I enjoyed it when it first came out, but then I set to wondering why it was my job as galactic emperor to balance water use throughout my empire. Surely it's some poorly paid serfs' job?

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