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Playing Stellaris in latest version 03/07/2019, I'm having an issue with the auto-manage planet button (the orange one):

autobuild

I click it but nothing happens.

What I imagine should happen is it should start building/replacing buildings or maybe the same for districts, or maybe (ideally!) both.

But none of that happens. Nothing happens. And I'm not prevented from doing any of these things. So there's functionally no difference between the two modes. And I did set that sector's focus.

So what's happening? Is there an explanation, or did this button break in a recent patch?

I have almost all extensions except megacorporations. (base game + Ascension pack)

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I'm going to assume that given the details of what you did look at, you did not look at the resource stockpile. Without resources, your automated sector is unable to perform build actions even if it wants to.

When you create an automated sector, you need to either give them resources (minerals and energy) directly, or put it in the shared stockpile pool which all automated sectors have access to. Automated sectors will only take from the shared stockpile when they don't have a personal stockpile.

The stockpiles can be accessed via the Planets & Sectors menu. The shared stockpile is at the top of the list, the sector-specific stockpiles are in the sector list.


Clicking this button is a frustrating experience, it feels like you just hired someone to twiddle his thumbs.

Welcome to government.

What I imagine should happen is it should start building/replacing buildings or maybe the same for districs (I just recently found out that there were also buildable districs, the UI hides this from us it's poor UI-design) or maybe (ideally!) both.

This is what the sector automation actually does, once it has the resources to do so.

Why not even auto-hire leaders if they die?

Because you can't reasonably expect the AI to make the right trait decision for you. There's also other considerations such as the age of the applicants.

Why not even auto-generate a sector and set it's mode when that becomes available?

Because sectors that build sectors are liable to recursion issues. There are many non-trivial considerations here than a simple automation script cannot handle.

How do you expect a sector to choose its own focus? Should it pick its focus based on what it can output the most of (modifiers etc)? Or should it pick its focus based on what your empire is lacking in?

Whichever option you choose, any player who would prefer the other option would be endlessly annoyed by having the sectors make the wrong decision for themselves. Therefore, it's left up to the player to make key decisions that are much too complex for an algorithm to do in a way that everyone agrees with the decision logic.

Also, sectors do mostly auto-generate since the latest update. A sector is defined by its first planet and automatically includes all other planets within 4 jumps from it.

Also the button is just as effectively useless if the reason it does this is that it only takes effect after several years. There's an economy to be balanced and this is a matter that bears urgency.

Usually, you shouldn't be automating sectors until you're at the point of having a stable economy. If you're still at the point where you need to keep a fine balance, the AI is never going to do an adequate job at that.

Automation becomes practical when you no longer need to squeeze the blood from a stone and are just hoping to lessen the workload (by not having to click it all yourself) at the cost of some efficiency (the AI is never perfect).

  • thanks! again, ressource stockpile, is one of those things that is poorly communicated by the UI and that the tutorial AI doesn't teach you. I'm glad districs and building CAN auto build under the right circumstaces. As for the rest of the less optimal things I'd have hoped automation would do : my assumption is that if you're clicking on such a button you're fine with the things being a matter of human preferance & appreciation being randomised. If it were to automatically hire leaders, a random choice would be wha tI would expect from it. as for sector focus I always saw them as ordered. – tatsu Jul 3 '19 at 14:17
  • About automation becoming practical - have you had a good experience with this? The only active AI behavior I've seen is building a single district or building to avoid complete homelessness or lack of amenities. – 5AM Jul 3 '19 at 17:05
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    @5AM: The general online consensus is that the AI is bad. While I agree it's not particularly stellar, I don't have that much issues with it either. Maybe because I don't play at a high enough level for it to matter (third from the bottom, I think Captain?), maybe because I understand (as a software dev) why the AI is limited and I don't expect expert decisions from it. – Flater Jul 4 '19 at 6:16
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    Alright, I only ask since OP mentions not having the megacorp DLC (I don't either) and that could explain why your experience with auto-manage was different. One thing to note is that the AI for managing sectors & planets was actually quite good before the 2.2 update that overhauled planet-building. – 5AM Jul 5 '19 at 12:37
  • @5AM: I've been a fairly faithful Stellaris subreddit lurker and I can tell you with absolute certainty that the complaints about the AI have been constant since Stellaris' release. Yes, it did spike around Le Guin, because a new system brings new bugs, but that applies to pretty much any newly updated (or newly release) feature. – Flater Jul 5 '19 at 12:47

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