Hi all!

As mentioned last week, our plan for today is to go over some changes to automated colony management and pop resettlement. As a reminder, these are still under development, and as such may undergo significant changes and won't be going live for quite some time.

Major goals here were to reduce the micromanagement burden in the mid to late game when individual decisions are less oppressive, and to significantly decrease the need to manually move pops at all. As with the economic changes we were discussing before, a lot of this is still a work in progress to varying degrees.

Automated Colony Management

Some sector management improvements have already been made in the 2.8.1 test branch (you can experiment and leave feedback on it by following the instructions in this thread), but here we’ll be focusing on planetary designations and individual planet automation.

A major pass has been done on automated colony management to improve its effectiveness. After manually setting a colony designation and turning on automated colony management, our intent is for the colony to develop into something you would reasonably expect if you were building it on your own. It should build districts, clear deposits as necessary, and upgrade buildings when there is a need for it.

Planet automation will upgrade capital buildings whenever possible (gotta unlock those building slots!), and will otherwise generally try to build or upgrade from its list if there are less than 3 open jobs. We’ve erred a bit on the side of caution, so it is currently extremely opposed to running deficits. It may require manual intervention if, for example, your energy credits per month are negative, but we figured it was better to leave those sorts of risky economic decisions in the player’s hands.

Code:
automate_foundry_hive_planet = {
    available = {
        has_designation = col_foundry
        owner = { has_authority = auth_hive_mind }
        free_jobs < 3
        has_building_construction = no
    }

    prio_districts = {
        district_industrial
    }

    buildings = {
        1 = {
            building = building_hive_capital
        }

        2 = {
            building = building_spawning_pool
        }

        3 = {
            building = building_clone_vats
        }

        4 = {
            building = building_hive_node
            available = {
                owner = {
                    hive_node_upkeep_affordable = yes
                }
                num_buildings = { type = building_hive_node value = 0 }
            }
        }

        5 = {
            building = building_foundry_1
            available = {
                owner = {
                    foundry_1_upkeep_affordable = yes
                }
            }
        }

        6 = {
            building = building_galactic_memorial_1
            available = {
                owner = {
                    has_valid_civic = civic_hive_memorialist
                }
                NOR = {
                    has_building = building_galactic_memorial_1
                    has_building = building_galactic_memorial_2
                    has_building = building_galactic_memorial_3
                }
            }
        }

        7 = {
            building = building_betharian_power_plant
        }

        8 = {
            building = building_mote_harvesters
        }

        9 = {
            building = building_crystal_mines
        }

        10 = {
            building = building_gas_extractors
        }

        11 = {
            building = building_chemical_plant
            available = {
                num_buildings = { type = building_chemical_plant value = 0 }
            }
        }

        12 = {
            building = building_hive_node
            available = {
                owner = {
                    hive_node_upkeep_affordable = yes
                }
                num_buildings = { type = building_hive_node value < 2 }
            }
        }

    }
}

This script will attempt to build a forge world for a hive empire. If there are less than 3 free jobs and there is nothing currently in the build queue, it will check to see if there is anything that it can build. Planetary automation has a tendency to favor districts over buildings, but will construct buildings if there are 1.5 times as many districts already built than there are buildings. (This ratio is able to be set in 00_defines.txt as COLONY_AUTOMATION_DISTRICT_PREFERENCE.) When selecting a building, it will move down the list until it finds something that it is capable of building and meets the scripted restrictions. The building’s upkeep is always taken into consideration. The scripted “_affordable” checks are to estimate whether you can afford the jobs it creates as well.

Blockers are fairly low priority for planetary automation, and will only be cleared if they are blocking a district slot that it actively wants to construct, or if there are no free district slots remaining. (Thus it will eventually clear all those random blockers once the rest of the planet is finished.) You can, of course, intervene and clear those Sprawling Slums or sleepy Lithoids earlier.

Buildings (other than the capital) will be upgraded if there are no other things that it wants to build right now, it can upgrade without causing resource deficits, and there are pops available that would want to work there. (Either because they’re unemployed or they prefer it to their current jobs.)

The scripts will attempt to handle various issues that may crop up on a planet such as low amenities, high crime, or failure to build buildings dedicated to extra-dimensional beings that love you and just want to be loved in return. These are tucked away in 00_crisis_exceptions.txt.

Code:
automate_amenity_management = {
    available = {
        free_amenities <= -5
        owner = {
            NOR = {
                has_authority = auth_machine_intelligence
                has_authority = auth_hive_mind
            }
        }
        OR = {
            NOT = { uses_district_set = city_world }
            free_district_slots = 0
            has_resource = { type = exotic_gases amount < 75 }
        }
    }

    crisis = yes

    buildings = {
        holo = {
            building = building_holo_theatres
            available = {
                owner = {
                    is_spiritualist = no
                    is_megacorp = no
                }
            }
        }

        temple = {
            building = building_temple
            available = {
                owner = {
                    is_spiritualist = yes
                    is_megacorp = no
                }
            }
        }

        commerce = {
            building = building_commercial_zone
            available = {
                owner = {
                    is_megacorp = yes
                }
            }
        }
    }
}

This "exception" will intervene if a planet’s amenities are -5 or below, and it’s either not an ecumenopolis or if it is an ecumenopolis, it’s either totally full or you’re running low on exotic gases. Based on your ethics and authority, it’ll pick one of the amenity buildings to add to the queue.

A few jobs, buildings, and planet designations have gotten a bit of a touch-up during this pass. Notable examples of designations include the Urban World, which now has a Trade Value bonus, and the Colony, which is now intended to satisfy the needs of a newly colonized world rather than provide pop growth bonuses.

1605094446038.png
1605094456491.png

Urban and Colony Designations

The old Colony bonus was changed because it was a bit problematic - growth bonuses made it somewhat stronger than many other more specialized bonuses. We’d greatly prefer if you could flag that newly settled Mining World as such right away and immediately turn on automation, rather than it being optimal to manually develop the world until it reached 5 pops and no longer qualified for Colony.

Due to its inherent terror of deficits, the automation scripts tend to be a little bit more conservative than players may be, but I’ve personally enjoyed the dramatically reduced mental burden my mid to late game colonies require. It’s also convenient that several designations (such as Forge, Factory, Tech, and Urban) will build out colonies that qualify for the Arcology Project decision. In our dev multiplayer games, I've been making a point of using colony automation as much as possible in order to give everyone else a chance get a feel for what it's doing. (Except my capital. I'll admit that I do manually build that so I can take care of sudden shifts in priority.)

If you're using planetary automation but it doesn't seem to be doing anything, the three most common things to check are:
  • Is the colony in a Sector?
    • Colonies have to be in a (non-Frontier) Sector in order to use either sector or planetary automation.
  • Am I running an energy deficit?
    • Most districts and buildings have energy upkeep. While it's possible for the district or building to theoretically produce enough energy to overcome that and help work off the current deficit, the automation scripts are as light as possible and without deeper analysis can't assume that pops moving into those jobs wouldn't worsen the shortage. Manual intervention is necessary to dig out of an energy crunch.
  • Do I have resources in the automation pool for it to use?
    • There's a notification for this, but if the pool is running low it might not be able to afford whatever it is it wants to build. Remember, you can hold Ctrl to change the units moved from hundreds to thousands.
      1605096055953.png

      Save mouse-clicks, use Ctrl.

Resettlement

Manual resettlement and the mitigation of unemployment is a huge burden in mid to late game Stellaris. It is generally our belief that manual resettlement should be an extremely rare occurrence, not something done expected to be done as part of the core game loop. When you must, it should be a simple process, but it should be an unusual act.

One quality of life change we’ve made is to filter Unemployed pops up to the top, and highlighted them. The pops underneath are then sorted from lowest stratum to highest.

1605096681033.png

You're unlikely to see this specific scenario unless you intentionally create unemployment problems by turning off jobs in every pop strata.

We've also adjusted resettlement costs, and added an Influence cost to many pop types. These influence costs are nominal for worker tier pops, but get fairly expensive when you're forcing Rulers to move.

1605097705361.png
1605096840037.png

Slave Resettlement and Worker/Drone/Bio-Trophy Resettlement

1605097458581.png
1605097513050.png

Specialist Resettlement and Ruler Resettlement


Slaves and unintelligent robots can still be moved without expending Influence, and certain civics permit you to waive these Influence costs.

1605096949504.png
1605097021942.png
1605097088504.png

Hey wait, what's that about colony abandonment?

Despite their best efforts the Servitors still haven't found a good way to get their Bio-Trophies to shift their consciousness to a different planet using OTA updates, so you still have to pay for them.

Manually resettling the last pop off a colony you own carries an additional influence surcharge in our dev builds. There will very likely be an exception made for Doomed planets and Holy Worlds that are risking initiating a war with a Fallen Empire. A planetary decision to abandon a recently conquered planet is under consideration, though it'll likely use displacement purging to do so. (With the diplomatic penalties associated with it.)

1605097811856.png

But we just finished building it!

With Federations, we introduced a galactic resolution in the Greater Good line that provided limited automated resettlement called Greater Than Ourselves. As noted by some, that was partially intended as a means to allow Egalitarian leaning empires a way of handling resettlement without forcing it on their pops. There have been many requests to make that core game functionality, but we’ve been somewhat wary of doing so without some restrictions.

We've come up with a way for every empire to have easier access to a similar effect. The following new Starbase Building will handle it, unlocked by the Hyperlane Breach Points tech. (The Hyperlane Registrar has moved to Interstellar Economics.)

1605098298007.png

They like to move it.

1605098342337.png

The tooltip effect is a bit of a mouthful.

The Transit Hub will operate as a limited variant of Greater Than Ourselves, moving unemployed low strata pops between planets that are in systems with Transit Hubs. (This will allow movement within a system as well, for example if you have a bunch of habitats in a single system.) We're investigating ways to expand the scope of pops it's willing to move - the original Worker limitation was put into place because while a Worker could promote themselves to fill any free job, a Slave or Specialist might find themselves restricted from the free job on the new planet. We're currently experimenting with a more robust variant - if it works out without performance concerns, the Transit Hub will prioritize high strata unemployment and then move down the ranks.

Building out the Transit network does function best when you have a developed starbase above most of your colonies since it will only move pops between nodes on the network.

Tangentially related, we've also cut demotion time in half across the board, and made some changes to give each Authority type a unique bonus.

1605098685353.png

Yes, Shared Burdens pops demote pretty much instantly.

We have some other experimental changes going on that have significant effects on the number of unemployed pops in the late game, but we're not ready to talk about them quite yet.

The empire type that perhaps faced the most obnoxious burden of frequent manual resettlement were Terravores, the Lithoid Devouring Swarms. When devouring planets, they occasionally created pops on the consumption world. As a quality of life improvement, when they’ve finished the planet off we now resettle them back to the capital. (Since gestalts can also use the Transit Hub, I highly recommend that Terravores build one in their main system to send those drones someplace where they can be of use.)

Oh, and we also clear that pesky red habitability planet marker from completely consumed planets that was unnecessarily cluttering your map.

1605094492379.png

HP/MP restored! ...But you're still hungry.

As a reminder, we have an ongoing feedback thread related to AI improvements we have in beta on the stellaris_test branch. We'd love to get more people on it and telling us what they think about them. (Please note that 2.8.1 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" branch.)

Next week we plan on going through some more of the remaining economic balance changes. See you then!
 

MichaelJanuary

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On the starbase front, what if we retooled the concept behind starbases. Currently, a base that specializes as a trade hub uses the same capacity as one specialized to be a shipyard, another specialized to be an anchorage and another that is intended to be a naval stronghold in a choke point. What if starbase capacity only applied to what would be considered militarized starbases.

Generally in favor of something like this. My take would be that there should be no arbitrary limits on what you can build. Let the limit be upkeep.

Allow for starbase specialisation, with each type and level having different costs associated with it. Available modules can vary by specialization. Trade should not be automatically collected. It should require a trade module. This you can safely soak low level starbases, but star holds would have to be specialized, and citadels would cost a fortune to maintain.

FOR TRANSIT MODULES.
Make them a sector bonus. 1 transit module in a sector allows for 1 pop to auto migrate every X months to another planet in that sector.

Having 2 transit modules in a sector, allows for 2 pops to auto migrate, between planets in that sector only.

Have a different module that allows pops to auto migrate to a different sector that has the same enabled.

This way you can have intra-sector and inter-sector auto migration, and it would be limited by the number of appropriate starbase modules in the respective sectors.

No need to calculate range or jumps, and this will serve as a cap on the number of pops auto migrating, which is also in the players control (building the required modules without having to spam starbases in every system). It can alsonallownfornspecialised modules .... increase frequency/speed of migtation, etc.
 
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Tamwin5

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Generally in favor of something like this. My take would be that there should be no arbitrary limits on what you can build. Let the limit be upkeep.

Allow for starbase specialisation, with each type and level having different costs associated with it. Available modules can vary by specialization. Trade should not be automatically collected. It should require a trade module. This you can safely soak low level starbases, but star holds would have to be specialized, and citadels would cost a fortune to maintain.

FOR TRANSIT MODULES.
Make them a sector bonus. 1 transit module in a sector allows for 1 pop to auto migrate every X months to another planet in that sector.

Having 2 transit modules in a sector, allows for 2 pops to auto migrate, between planets in that sector only.

Have a different module that allows pops to auto migrate to a different sector that has the same enabled.

This way you can have intra-sector and inter-sector auto migration, and it would be limited by the number of appropriate starbase modules in the respective sectors.

No need to calculate range or jumps, and this will serve as a cap on the number of pops auto migrating, which is also in the players control (building the required modules without having to spam starbases in every system). It can alsonallownfornspecialised modules .... increase frequency/speed of migtation, etc.

They actually started out with no limit on the number of upgraded starbases you could have, in one of the dev versions. It was a micro nightmare and people felt obligated to upgrade every starbase in every system.
 
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TheArchduke

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Hmm, I love Stellaris, I really do to death.

But if you need such an automation for the player, a system seems more superflous to me. Something to consider for future games.

Personally I abandon my games after 100 years and seldom look back.
 
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Hemothep

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Considering it. I'll experiment with replacing it with a planet-side building later on today.

I'm not terribly keen on making it a planetary decision, I like the feel of building out the network.

I hope I'm not too late to be considered for this changes... He says almost a week later.
Starbase-building and planet-side building both have their pros and cons.
I feel like planet-side has the major advantage of the possibilty to give every world access to this system, however you are using a building slot that is going to be a lot more valueable in the future and already is a lot more valueable than a starbase building slot.

However: This doesn't need to be the trade off. I realy like the starbase building version and there is only one change that needs to be done, so it too can cover the entire empire: The Levels variable in the starbase repeatable needs to be -1!

tech_repeatable_improved_starbase_capacity = {

area = society
cost = @repeatableTechBaseCost
cost_per_level = @repeatableTechLevelCost
tier = @repeatableTechTier
category = { new_worlds }

levels = -1

prerequisites = { "tech_galactic_ambitions" }

weight = @repeatableTechWeight

weight_modifier = {
factor = @repatableTechFactor
}
ai_weight = {
factor = 1.0
}
weight_groups = {
repeatable
}
mod_weight_if_group_picked = {
repeatable = 0.01
}
modifier = {
country_starbase_capacity_add = 1
}
}

This way you have the decision "do I fortify choke points or do I provide my planets with this building?" while also putting a cost to covering your entire empire with this mechanic (you have to research the repeatable more often) and more importantly you give machines another worthwile society repeatable. Unless they're servitors they realy have the option between 15 admin cap and making ground armies stronger (while already having the strongest ground unit in the game). Both are of very limited use most of the time.
 

Millbot

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If it was possible to build a starbase in every system in the past and they reigned that in because people felt compelled to develop the starbases in every system. Then having a split between militarized starbases and civil infrastructure starbases (or as I like interstellar hubs) would be the way to go; especially, if the only limit on interstellar hubs was that they could only be built in inhabited systems.

This is the best of both worlds because now there is room to further expand and elaborate on the concept of a macro civil infrastructure system. Where interstellar hubs are all about maximizing economic potential of inhabited systems. Military starbases are all about defense. Either you have one up on a border or a chokepoint to slow down invasions or maybe you have a few that exist purely to have hanger bays to cut down on piracy and free up resources for other things.

Either way, the setup means you don't feel compelled to build up a citadel in the backwater system that as like only one resource node that yields the minimum amount and it's one of the less desirable resources, has one entrance and is far enough within your borders that even the greediest invader isn't going to want to burn influence or resources taking it. You don't have a colony there that would want infrastructure found on starbases and you still have a cap on military bases because of the upkeep malus, that you just don't want to invest in a a system you don't need to.

Also going argue this could lay the work to declutter the megastructure build icon on construction ships. It dawns on me that we'll get the blackhole system that doesn't have any planets in it and a player may want a starbase there to get the blackhole research or because their is a curator or artisan enclave there. Last I checked, you can't build habitats around blackholes or starts. So we could first break off habitats into their own icon, but introducing the concept of blackhole habitats that could on be built in blackhole system, where normal habitats can't be built and those could be built around blackholes. Split gateways off into their own icon. Probably have galactic wonder in their own icon as well. Then that would still leave the megastructure icon less cluttered, we have 6 baseline researchable megastructures that aren't habitats or gateways, IIRC. it's not like their isn't space for three more icons on the construction ship menu.
 
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-Marauder-

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Out of curiosity, "Take Relic" war goal when?
 
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tremor3258

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"Unemployment shouldn't be happening" massive energy and influence costs - combined with late game changes for this to moderate moving unemployed populations to limit how much that can be done... we were playing the game wrong again, weren't we?

This is REALLY hard to judge without seeing the changes to employment, especially as higher planets with starbase limit makes resettlement more likely outside transit hubs.
 
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HugsAndSnuggles

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One quality of life change we’ve made is to filter Unemployed pops up to the top, and highlighted them. The pops underneath are then sorted from lowest stratum to highest.
Cool. Another decade and we might actually get a drop-down list that sorts planets by sector, so that the player would have a vague idea where that planet is.
We've also adjusted resettlement costs, and added an Influence cost to many pop types. These influence costs are nominal for worker tier pops, but get fairly expensive when you're forcing Rulers to move.
So, players will be forced to suffer unemployed specialists/rulers when game decides to jungle their jobs around or pay a hefty influence price? Can't say I like the idea.
Manually resettling the last pop off a colony you own carries an additional influence surcharge in our dev builds.
200? Seriously? Grabbing planet full of pops from AI often costs less (not to mention, some megastructures). All you do here is punishing players who want to tidy up their colonies, resulting in a bunch of 1-pop worlds that add to the lag way more than an empty planet would. I understand that peaceful empires could use some influence sinks now that edicts are togglable again, but those empires unlikely to come in posession of worlds they want to abandon.
The Transit Hub will operate as a limited variant of Greater Than Ourselves, moving unemployed low strata pops between planets that are in systems with Transit Hubs.
I suppose that is good (especially since it supposedly works for gestalts), but what about fixing the root of the problem: pop growth (and migration)? It takes like 5 minutes to adjust values in order to make growth migration pool usable and ensure that unemployment doesn't happen in the first place.
we've also cut demotion time in half across the board
Finally. It only serves to punish player for poorly coded job priorities. Speaking of: are they getting another adjustment?
 
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Mímisbrunnr

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@Alfray Stryke

That said, it feels wrong that relics should fully disappear if we conquer an empire without triggering a 10% chance. Should we perhaps get a 100% chance if we fully conquer their empire?

EDIT: I mean, its not like the physical object would disappear when the empire does, unless its damaged/destroyed by battle damage.
 
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-Marauder-

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Note that currently whenever you successfully invade the capital of an empire with a relic there is a 10% (15% for Barbaric Despoilers) chance to steal it.

1. You can't even see which relics they have, if any.
2. A 10% or 15% chance is frankly, a joke. Unless you have a total war casus belli and can invade their capital, then the next capital, then the next capital, and so on. You have a 1/10 - 1.5/10 chance to get one of their relics. Let's say you'd keep them around and keep attacking them. You would need about 6-7 wars just to have an about average chance to nab one relic. That's 60-70 years of truce alone.

I'm not saying it should be easy, or simply to get a relic. Hell, the Ai should be really reluctant to give it up. Making it require a high warscore and potentially occupying their homeworld. But it should be possible. Just to remind you. Months ago when this came up the devs said they would introduce a claim relic war goal if interest for that existed. The feedback to that was overwhelmingly positive and quite numerous. Since then we haven't heard anything about it. :(

Cool. Another decade and we might actually get a drop-down list that sorts planets by sector so that the player would have a vague idea where that planet is.

That will happen by the time the game gets an "auto-upgrade" feature for buildings. Once Paradox hits the 90s level of developement. Seriously I love Stellaris despite all its fault but it lacks basic convenience features that have been a staple of other games for 20-30 years.
 
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<snip>

That will happen by the time the game gets an "auto-upgrade" feature for buildings. Once Paradox hits the 90s level of developement. Seriously I love Stellaris despite all its fault but it lacks basic convenience features that have been a staple of other games for 20-30 years.

To be fair, it's hard to build in QoL stuff when you keep ripping out and replacing the basics. Someday, they'll keep a lead long enough to keep the systems intact long enough to work on QoL stuff.
 
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To be fair, it's hard to build in QoL stuff when you keep ripping out and replacing the basics. Someday, they'll keep a lead long enough to keep the systems intact long enough to work on QoL stuff.

Someday indeed....

Next week we plan on going through some more of the remaining economic balance changes. See you then!

I've kind of alluded to it in this one and the last one, but the experiment that is not to be discussed yet has major ramifications on pop growth, immigration, and the like. I'm just not sure if I'm going to keep it yet or if it needs to bake a while longer, so it doesn't get a dev diary yet.

and today is not that day!
 
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Note that currently whenever you successfully invade the capital of an empire with a relic there is a 10% (15% for Barbaric Despoilers) chance to steal it.

Please please make this a 100% chance, or give us a war goal to take relics. It's just from a gameplay perspective its a solid and fun goal. Maybe it could be threaded into the upper level goals of the AI to make empires that hate each other much more likely to focus on relic conquest. It's just at the moment with a ~90% chance that a relic would be lost in a war it makes there very little point to ever think of it as an actual reason to go to war.

Maybe the answer to this is very simple. A little poll of players to see if they'd like a 100% chance of capturing relics to create relic wars. Hey - if the players overwhelmingly want it (and it only adds gameplay, not screwing up game balance), surely thats some good data right there for the direction to take?
 
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FOR TRANSIT MODULES.
Make them a sector bonus. 1 transit module in a sector allows for 1 pop to auto migrate every X months to another planet in that sector.

Having 2 transit modules in a sector, allows for 2 pops to auto migrate, between planets in that sector only.

Have a different module that allows pops to auto migrate to a different sector that has the same enabled.

This way you can have intra-sector and inter-sector auto migration, and it would be limited by the number of appropriate starbase modules in the respective sectors.
This kind of defeats the purpose of having this as a solution to pop micromanagement. It introduces a whole bunch of new micromanagement and arbitrary limitations the player has to contend with. Making this a solution that doesn't really solve the issue at hand.
 
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FOR TRANSIT MODULES.
Make them a sector bonus. 1 transit module in a sector allows for 1 pop to auto migrate every X months to another planet in that sector.

Having 2 transit modules in a sector, allows for 2 pops to auto migrate, between planets in that sector only.

Have a different module that allows pops to auto migrate to a different sector that has the same enabled.

If we had more control over sectors I could see this as a solution if they really want to tie this to starbases.
 

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If I play a Fanatic Purifier and I want disperse conquered aliens across my empire in order to efficiently dispose of them while keeping unrest down, and I can't use the conquered planet (low habitability) so I plan to abandon it; how will this affect me? If I have to pay 200 influence to abandon a useless world that's going to be pretty annoying. Honestly, resettling hundreds of pops in order to evenly distribute them for extermination is the reason I use resettlement more than on account of unemployment.

From the sounds of things, undesirables shouldn’t cost any influence to move, and so as long as you leave the last pop you don’t incur the 200 influence hit, and after a month tick it will be yeeted away by whichever purge type you have enabled, and no more low-hab world.
 
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That will happen by the time the game gets an "auto-upgrade" feature for buildings. Once Paradox hits the 90s level of developement. Seriously I love Stellaris despite all its fault but it lacks basic convenience features that have been a staple of other games for 20-30 years.
Paradox has a seriously wacky way of filling out the game dev tech tree. They haven't even discovered key re-binding yet, and that's like tier 1!
 
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Regarding transit modules giving a sector wide pop migration function.

This kind of defeats the purpose of having this as a solution to pop micromanagement. It introduces a whole bunch of new micromanagement and arbitrary limitations the player has to contend with. Making this a solution that doesn't really solve the issue at hand.

Requiring one starbase per sector is better than one per system. Adding an extra module or two in sectors with lots of planets to keep up with high migration demands is hardly micro.

And you do want to cap the processing overhead (volume of pops migrating).