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Stellaris Dev Diary #126 - Sectors and Factions in 2.2

Hello everyone and welcome to another Stellaris development diary. Today we're going to continue talking about the 2.2 'Le Guin' update, on the topic of Sectors and Factions. As said before, we're not yet ready to reveal anything about when Le Guin is coming out, only that it's a long time away and we have many more topics to cover before then. Also as said before, screenshots will contain placeholder art and interfaces and non-final numbers.

Sector Rework
Sectors have always been a bit of a controversial feature. Even if you disregard arguments about the general level of competence of the sector AI, the fact that sectors effectively force the player to cede control over all but a few of their planets has never gone down well with certain players. In truth, the decision to force players to give planets to sectors was very much a result of the old tile system - because of the sheer amount of micromanagement that was involved in managing a large number of planets, it was decided that automation was necessary, and also to make that automation mandatory (barring mods) to effectively force players to not make themselves miserable by micromanaging the tiles of a hundred different worlds. With the planetary rework in the Le Guin update, we no longer feel that this mandatory automation is needed any longer, and so we've decided to rework the sector system entirely.

Instead of being autonomous mini-economies, sectors are now administrative units in your empire, with their layout decided by galactic geography, with each sector corresponding to a cluster of stars in the galaxy. Sectors are automatically created when you colonize a planet in a previously uncolonized cluster, and your 'core sector' is simply the cluster in which your capital is located. All interfaces that are relevant to sectors and planets (such as the outliner) are now organized by collapsible sector entries, allowing for better overview and management of a large number of planets. As before, each sector can have a governor assigned to it, but sectors now automatically send all of their production to the empire stockpile instead of having their own fully realized economy. However, since we still want players to be able to offload some of the planetary management when controlling a large number of worlds, it is still possible to allocate resources to a Governor, who will use those resources to develop the planets under their control. This of course means that there is no longer any core sector limit, and anything that previously used to give a bonus to core sector planets has either been changed into a different bonus or removed altogether.

EDIT: Since there's a lot of questions about leader capacity, please read down a bit further in the thread where I address this issue. Thank you!

(Note: Image is highly WIP and has missing elements)
2018_09_20_2.png

Faction Happiness Rework
Factions are also changing in Le Guin, though not to nearly the same degree as sectors. Most of the core mechanics of factions will remain the same, but Faction Happiness is being changed into something we call Faction Approval, measuring how much a Faction approves of your empire's policies. Where previously Factions would only give influence when above a 60% happiness threshold, Factions now always give some influence, with the amount scaling linearly to their Approval, so a 10% Approval faction will give only 1/10th of the influence that a 100% Approval faction gives you (the amount they give also still scales to their share of power in your empire). Faction Approval is also no longer directly applied to Pop Happiness, but rather will affect the happiness of Pops belonging to that faction at different thresholds, with small boosts to happiness at higher levels of approval and increasingly severe penalties to happiness at low levels of approval (effectively swapping the influence threshold for various happiness thresholds).

This should mean that even small boosts to faction approval now directly translates into influence gain, and that factions almost always give *some* benefit, even if that benefit may be outweighed by the unhappiness and unrest they can cause. We're also hoping to have time to review the faction issues, tying them more directly to policies to make them easier to understand. For example, instead of demanding that all species have their rights manually set to Full Citizenship, the Xenophile faction might demand a certain empire-wide policy setting that forces the equal application of species rights across all species.
2018_09_20_1.png


That's all for today! Next week we're continuing to talk about the Le Guin update, on the topic of Trade Value and Trade Routes.
 
Last edited:

FtDLulz

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So sectors are now determined by galaxy layout? I can see this being kind of annoying when colonizing early-game and suddenly having to allocate a leader slot to get extra bonuses from the planet in that sector... but I'll have to actually play it to see how well it works.

The new faction approval system sounds awesome, like everything else in these updates ;P
 

Hapchazzard

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Will there be a 'de jure sectors' mapmode? Also, now that sectors will be more stable political entities rather than something you can redraw/abolish at whim, are there plans for the future to make them act more like vassals in CK2 (in the sense of the local government having it's own interests it might pursue/local fleets/etc.)?
 

FortunaDraken

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Both of these sound amazing. The Sectors always needed something and this sounds really interesting!

I have to admit I'm far more excited about the Faction rework though. The idea that they'll always give you some sort of influence means that even unhappy factions are doing more than just tanking pop happiness. I hated having to deal with them (and they were the main reason I prefer Hive Minds) but this might make non-Gesalt games much more interesting to me.
 

Straga27

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So sectors are now determined by galaxy layout? I can see this being kind of annoying when colonizing early-game and suddenly having to allocate a leader slot to get extra bonuses from the planet in that sector... but I'll have to actually play it to see how well it works.

The new faction approval system sounds awesome, like everything else in these updates ;P
The sector system looks like it will only require a governor leader if you want to automate it like current sectors. Early on, yes it looks like colonising a new sector will add and extra section to the planet viewer, but you will still have full control.
 

Wizzington

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This sector update sounds amazing. Will there be a change in leader cap to tie in with the increased amount of sectors that would need governance or no?

Leader cap is gone, leaders cost maintenance instead, with costs scaling to empire size.
 

Zer0k

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@Wiz I hate to ask this here since you showed us the ring world on twitter, but is the ring world going to be one huge planet, or still sectioned in the same way we have it now?
 

Wizzington

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Will there be a 'de jure sectors' mapmode? Also, now that sectors will be more stable political entities rather than something you can redraw/abolish at whim, are there plans for the future to make them act more like vassals in CK2 (in the sense of the local government having it's own interests it might pursue/local fleets/etc.)?

I definitely think we could do a lot more with sectors now that they have borders the players can't redraw at whim, but no concrete plans at the moment.
 

Tim_Ward

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So, sectors don't really do anything except provide something for governors to do? I mean, I'm not complaining because removing the current sector mechanics will improve the game, but I kinda don't see the point in keeping them.
 

Thimeaux

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Great dev diary, one question though.

How much autonomy do the new sectors have in terms of building districts and buildings?
 

Wizzington

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Allocating resources to sectors means one-time sending of energy/minerals or regular percentage which is deduced every month from sector's income?

You send a lump sum of energy or minerals which is converted into 'sector budget', from which the governor can build, with special scripted costs. We haven't figured out yet how we're going to solve special costs like rare resources. It's also possible that governors might get a small budget each month based on economic strength of sector even if you don't send them resources.
 

LeSingeAffame

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The sector rework seems amazing!

The faction one is also very interesting, but will it be possible to mod other resources it can give instead of just influence? Or just put a modifier (like pop_resource_output = 0.2 or whatever) and have it scale based on the faction's approval, instead of having to rely on event and modifiers?

Leader cap is gone, leaders cost maintenance instead, with costs scaling to empire size.
Does that mean that leaders cost more when you have a big empire (since big empires should have more resources), or that they cost less (since you need more of them)?
 

Wizzington

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Great dev diary, one question though.

How much autonomy do the new sectors have in terms of building districts and buildings?

Sectors will only build if you allow them to.