Today we’re back with a dev diary and we want to take the opportunity to be more open with how we will attempt to tackle one of our more difficult systems – the sector system. The sector system was originally added to help players manage their planets, so that you would not need to micromanage everything once your empire gets large. We’ve often felt sectors are in a bit of an awkward place between different playstyles and what they actually should do for the player. Sectors have gone through a couple of different iterations, but never felt quite right.
I will start by outlining some of the goals with the (new) system and problems with the old one. This probably doesn’t include every concern for every player who ever used sectors, but it should cover some of the larger things. If you have something to add, we certainly want to hear about it!
- Sectors should help to alleviate the player’s need to micromanage everything
- Sectors should feel like a more unique part of the player’s empire
- Sector geography can feel wrong
- There are too many sectors in late-game
- Wars and rebellions can mess up sectors
- Player has to micro the sector economy
- No manual control of sector area
- Sectors don’t manage space stations
- No “sector capitals”
The Core sector will be the sector that is formed around your homeworld and any system within range. A regular sector is formed around a Sector Capital, which you will be able to assign. It will also include all systems within range. Any system or planet not within a sector will be considered to belong to “Frontier Space”.
We are looking into also having different sector types, or sector policies, in which you could have different settings for sectors. Potentially, a sector could perhaps adjust its range in inverse relation to something else, like Administrative Capacity. Occupation Zones might also be a valid sector type, to make it easier to manage conquered territory.
Sector range simply means all systems within X jumps from the sector capital.
Players will have the ability to give resources to a shared sector pool, both as one-off grants and as monthly subsidies. This will convert minerals/energy into a sector budget, like it currently does. The new thing being automated monthly subsidies and a shared pool. It will still be possible to give a specific sector grants. Sectors will first attempt to use resources from its own pool, then from the shared pool.
Players will also be able to set planet automation to on/off. Planets in sectors will have automation turned On by default. This means you should be able to turn off automation for a specific planet in your sector, which you may sometimes want to do.
Sectors can have a sector focus, similar to how they do now in 2.2. The automatic control of planets should take sector focus and planet designation in consideration.
The current plan is to have systems be automatically added to a sector within range. If a system could belong to two different sectors, it should be possible to nudge them to decide which sector they belong to. This important for players being able to set a sector geography that looks good to them in their game.
Moving sector capital will also redraw the sector, and could potentially remove or add new systems to it. You cannot add systems to a sector if they are outside its range. Systems must also maintain cohesion to a sector, so it's not possible to cut off parts of a sector.
We really like the planet designations, i.e. “Mining World, Agri World, Forge World”, but we also want the player to have more control over them. We want to add the ability to manually set a planet designation, in addition to the automatic setting. If you designate a planet to be a Mining World, it should perhaps also be quicker to build mining districts there. It should generally feel cooler to colonize a world, and based on its features, immediately be able to decide it should be an Agri World – and designate it accordingly!
We also hope this will make it easier for the AI to specialize their planets a bit more in certain cases.
Although governors will remain mostly the same as to how they are now, we will try to remake the governor traits to be a bit more generic and applicable to a sector as a whole, as opposed to being so planet-specific with their bonuses.
We have discussed adding an auto-build function for construction ships, similar to auto-explore, which should hopefully solve this problem better.
I CANNOT PROMISE THAT ALL THESE CHANGES WILL HAPPEN, OR THAT THEY WILL APPEAR IN THE SAME UPDATE.
Our goal is to be able to able to get as much of this done by the next update as possible, but I cannot promise what will get in when. This sector rework is fairly ambitious, so it might be deployed in sections over a few updates. I very much like the design though, and I think it's a good foundation to build upon.
Since the launch of 2.2 we've been a little quiet, with a focus on extensive post-launch support. Going forward however, I'd like to increase our interactions with you, our community. While we want to have a more open communication, we want to avoid over promising or disappointing you if ideas change radically.
This is also a good chance for you affect this great game, so I hope an open discussion will lead to some constructive exchanges.