Wanted to talk about another exciting change that will be in release .410 that I have been kind of keeping under wraps, but it will be huge to the gameplay – the idea of autonomy for your leaders. Going forward, you will be able to set the autonomy level for each viceroy and governor in your empire. You will do this in the Character screen, as action options (RAISE AUTONOMY) or (LOWER AUTONOMY). There are 4 different levels of autonomy, described as follows:
NONE – Essentially, you rule the planet by fiat. You will not even be able to take this action unless you have a military suppression strength from units loyal to you on the planet (and stance set to suppression) equal to the planetary value that the charater’s AOR is based times ((Character Will + Character Power) / 20). If the character has any ground military units under their command, their defense values are added to this calculation. By taking this action, you are essentially micromanaging the planet. The viceroy must do everything you ask, without question, and they may not adjust taxes or sector builds. They may not also control military units (duh) or any other action. They are certainly free to gnash their teeth and plot to kill you, however, and especially Intelligent and Willful characters will attempt to reclaim their authority if the military presence lessens for any reason. This action will obviously be Tyrannical in nature, and create Fear on the planet in question, and to a smaller extent, throughout your Empire. You can also depose a character, and they will go, but they will actively look to form a coalition or plot to kill you.
NOMINAL – This is what your characters begin with at the start of the game. They can adjust taxes, and build/contract sectors of the economy, and are free to decline your requests. This is essentially what leaders have been doing since the first versions of Imperia. Leaders who are given this level of autonomy aren’t thrilled per se, but they are much happier than being given none.
SIGNIFICANT – At this level, characters may build military units of their own need to control either unrest or riots, or to appease their populace if the garrision level is too low and their people are afraid that they are not being protected. If there is a starship production sector on a planet that is under their AOR, they may also build starships to protect their system or sector (if they are governors). They may also open or close emigration to and from the planet. If people are leaving in droves, a viceroy may lock down their planet in order to preserve needed labor, at the risk of increased unrest. While characters may build these units, the units are still considered loyal to you and are still designated Imperial units. This is a big step, and will significantly increase a character’s Loyalty towards you, but seriously limits your ability to run the planet. Other characters who are on the lucky character’s level may be jealous of your largesse. This is seen as a nominally Nationalist act, unless the character is extremely Tyrannical or cruel.
FULL – At this level, while the planet may technically be ‘yours’, you have virtually no say over how it is run beyond conversation and suggestions. Your characters may enact Edicts at this level, in a manner which they feel will best serve their planet (depending on their traits and personality of course!) Unfortunately, they will also delegate the ADM needed as they see fit. Fortunately, they may not use Empire ADM – they are limited to the level at which they serve; i.e. if they are viceroys, they may only use their planet’s ADM; system governors may use the system ADM, etc. They also have full control over any military stationed on the planet, system capital, or sector, depending on their level. So if you give a sector governor full autonomy, they will control all planets in that sector, as well as all military, both ground and space, stationed within their sector. This is a titanic step, and will send shockwaves throughout your Empire. The character will be automatically 100% loyal to you. Depending on the continuum rating of the character, it may be seen as a very Nationalist act (if the character is benevolent) or Tyrannical (if craven and cruel) and will make all characters at and above the level of the character given full autonomy very jealous, potentially leading to plots and certainly requests for their own planet(s).
You will see the character’s level on tooltips, on the character screen, and on the intel screen. This mechanic will finally allow you to reward your loyal characters, while giving you another option to wrest control of planets that are in need of some love without killing a character outright. Each tool that drops into place will give you a little more shape for the clay that is your Empire.