Stellaris Dev Diary #142 - Sectors

Stellaris Dev Diary #142 - Sectors

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grekulf

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Hello everyone!

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!

The goal
  • 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
Problems
  • 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”
I CANNOT PROMISE THAT ALL THESE CHANGES WILL HAPPEN, OR THAT THEY WILL APPEAR IN THE SAME UPDATE.

Sector types

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.

Sector budget
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.

Sector geography
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.

Planet designations
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.

Governors
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.

Space stations
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.
 

morangias

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It would be great if instead of having to set a sector focus, we could designate the planet type and expect the AI to build it up accordingly.

EDIT: The big problem with sector focus is that unless you're a gestalt empire turning everything into machine/hive worlds, you don't usually get a couple of, say, good mining worlds clustered close enough to form a sector. Assigning each planet its individual focus based on type would solve this issue.
 

grekulf

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It would be great if instead of having to set a sector focus, we could designate the planet type and expect the AI to build it up accordingly.
Why not both? That is the intention, at least.
 

Hairy Dude

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One thing that always stopped me using sectors in 2.2 is that you can only set specialization for a whole sector, but different planets lend themselves to different specializations. I'd like to see the ability to set specialization on a per-planet basis.
 

Metztli

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Great news, definitely the best thing that should be reworked next! Please consider "internal management/crisis" with the new sector system mixed with the various empire factions who are kinda "meh" for quite a while already.
 

nestorius

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Hi automation of sectors would be great the problem at present is that the ai does some silly stuff for instance it uses up all your nanites. I find it quite easy to have a template for a planet type and this would be great to setup if we could for example plan the production of a planet what it will build. For Example concentrate on mining districts till full when population is needed before switching to city, or just build alloy factories and certain core buildings on a certain planet etc. another way of course would be to have a ck2 version so you cant control sectors directly but this is complicated. At present 10+ planets start to be hard to manage and 80 or so is terrible.
 

faljen_isus

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besides the pure functionality of the sectors you should look into making them feel alive, and not just administrative blobs of your space
 

Olterin

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Sounds good, although I do hope sectors will also pose as autonomous entities should any future "internal politics" update surface. ... It would be nice if they also tied in to democratic leader mandates somehow (such as instead of "build x districts" it becomes "build x districts in y sector"). Overall, sectors should matter more to an empire beyond being "just" (good) management tools - which they sorely need to be.

I would propose tying sector sizes to administrative capacity, as that just makes intuitive sense.
 

NarkasisBroon

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Don't know if it already does this, but if you are automating planet building, can it take into consideration it's planet designation (agri world, etc) when deciding what to build?
 

grekulf

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Don't know if it already does this, but if you are automating planet building, can it take into consideration it's planet designation (agri world, etc) when deciding what to build?
That is the intention, yes.

One thing that always stopped me using sectors in 2.2 is that you can only set specialization for a whole sector, but different planets lend themselves to different specializations. I'd like to see the ability to set specialization on a per-planet basis.
That is what the designations are for.
 

Sifer2

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This is what I have been waiting to here. Hard to come back to the game right now with late game micromanagement being so out of control. I do hope they take the opportunity to add some events, and roleplay stuff to the Sectors while they are focused on giving them an overhaul. Though I guess some of that may have to wait for the Diplomacy expansion. One question I have though is it completely optional to use Sectors now? Do they never automatically form if you don't designate a Sector capital? Do AI use them at all?
 

Robokiller2500

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I have a few questions: A) Will we be able to lock sectors so they won't expand once you conquer new systems?; B) Even thru it is probably a long time before we will have it, if we have it at all, but will sectors have their own garrison fleets?
 

avsbes

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I really like the Idea of Automated Construction Ships, but i think then there should be a policy that allows you to limit the amount of ressources all automated construction ships together can use (from your pool/all-sector-pool) for auto building. Also there should be settings / policies (sector specific and for your own automated construction ships) if automated construction ships are allowed to build Outposts.
 

Spaceception

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This sounds a bit like you can automate your planets now! Very interesting. And I'm also hoping the governor changes is a foundation for some deeper changes in the future.