Stellaris

Could megastructure capacity be tied to administrative capacity and remain balanced?

stellaris 7 - Could megastructure capacity be tied to administrative capacity and remain balanced?
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TL;DR at the bottom because wow I'm great at making things bigger than they need to be

Megastructures, and the mechanics surrounding them, haven't changed all too much since they were introduced. This includes the capacities for how many megastructure projects you can have at once, and how many of certain megastructures you can build (namely Dyson spheres).

However, with the existence of Administrative Capacity, these limits can possibly be translated to Admin Cap. This would allow for larger empires, who may need to build several Dyson spheres to keep up energy demand or ring worlds to handle population growth, and help to reduce seemingly arbitrary limits. Even in-game, it says you can't build more than some number of megastructures at a time due to the immense coordination needed to handle the construction. If you go over AC, megastructure build speed drops proportionally to how much over your AC you are.

I'd imagine this may be a little tricky to balance – you wouldn't want players to be able to just slam down 30 Dyson spheres and not have to worry about energy ever again forever, so instead of each megastructure having a set amount of necessary admin cap, it'd be either a linear or exponential admin cap requirement. Here's an example of what I mean:

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You want to build 2 ring world segments simultaneously, so you start the first one. This takes, say, 300 (arbitrary value) admin cap, since it's your only project. Then, you start the second one, and now the admin cap needed to maintain the projects is 900, or 32 × 100. If you wanted to build a third one at the same time, it'd be 2,700 AC, and the fourth would be 8,100 AC. If you have the ability to handle all this AC, great! But if not, then you're gonna experience some awful penalties by exceeding AC.

This essentially retains the general limit of 3 or so megastructure projects at once, but it's not a hard cap anymore; it just becomes more and more difficult to maintain.

Single megastructures such as Dyson spheres should probably require an AC upkeep that grows less harshly and more linearly – maybe 1000 AC per sphere and the cost for each growing by, say, 1.5x for each additional one you have?

The existing ascension perk granting an extra megastructure project would probably just give a discount on the simultaneous construction cost.

TL;DR: Have exponentially increasing Admin Cap costs for both building and maintaining multiple megastructures at once, to allow for larger empires to build more megastructures and possibly maintaining mechanical balance.

NOTABLY, I am not great at the game and I would very much so like to hear what people who have a better understanding of the game's balance have to say about this.

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