Bring Back Circular Sensor Range

stellaris 5 - Bring Back Circular Sensor Range

First off, I'm not saying that the current system is "bad" or "must be changed". Tying sensor-range to how many jumps away a system is is fair. What I am saying (the tldr) is that there are several interesting tactical reasons to bring it back that fit with the themes of the current game.

My main reasons are:

  • It looks good. Currently, there's not much visual feedback on what visibility you actually have beyond icons for ships. While I think a nice circle clearly defines what you can and cannot see, I get that the elevations of some stars can make it harder to be sure about edge-systems.
  • Adding to this, if Paradox could add a Sensor Coverage map-mode, it'd be easier to zoom our and get an idea of your visibility.
  • It allows for the map to matter more. Remember when they were talking about the Apocalypse expansion adding more "terrain" to the galaxy map? Circular sensors would let you move a ship into an distantly connected constellation and spy on the enemy. Or have visibility on tightly packed stars, but not across a galactic arm.
  • I kinda liked how the sensor circle of the Sensor Array megastructure got wider and wider until it filled the galaxy.

Some related suggestions:

  • Systems in the last 10% or so of sensor range would automatically be obscured (as above).
  • Add an internal starbase building that acts as a jammer; it hides or obscures sensors. Same tech level as enemy jamming = shows a (fleet?) symbol, but what it is exactly is obscured. Better tech level than enemy jamming = see everything. Worse = see nothing. Jammers / Listening Posts could also affect To Hit values.
  • Systems in the last 10% or so of sensor range would automatically be obscured (as above).
  • Add a special corvette / science ship module that takes up a main slot, so the corvette has no conventional weapons. It drastically improves sensor range (maybe 50 – 100% better?) and its "attack" is cone (or maybe just targetting the nearest 5-10 ships) of ECM interference that drastically reduces enemy To Hit chances and shuts down missiles. Or improves friendly Evasion & To Hit chances slightly (like 0.5% or something) for each ship included into the fleet. Otherwise, they can't do damage. Imagine adding a few to every one of your fleets or having a small scout squad that can keep an eye on things, but if threatened they can often evade fire long enough to jump away (given the right conditions, like Admiral traits and Policy choices)
  • Adding onto this, a Cloaking Device rare tech would be pretty cool. Just don't get too close to a black hole, neutron star, or pulsar or you'll be spotted. Naturally, if the enemy / rival has better sensors that you, they'll just attack them / eject them from the system. These devices take a lot of power, so the ship has to rely on armor instead of shields.
  • If / when we get Diplomacy / Espionage expansion, I'd like to be able to buy / trade / steal sensor data for a particular sector. It'd at least give me a snapshot of what's where and where it might be going.
  • Finally, and mostly unrelated, but when we click on a moving enemy fleet, it'd be nice if we got a line showing its path towards its destination so we don't have to go searching to system names. It'd also help make their decision-making a bit more transparent.

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