Learn more about 'Sectors' in Age of Wonders: Planetfall

By Joe Robinson 28 Jun 2018 0

We haven’t checked in with Age of Wonders: Planetfall since it was announced at this year’s paradox convention, but in the time since they’ve been posting the odd update and development diary looking at various aspects of the game.

This week’s diary looks at one of the bigger changes Planetfall will have over the last Age of Wonders game, AoW3. Each game world, or ‘Planet’ (the map now wraps around so there are no ‘edges’ anymore), is split up in to ‘Sectors’:

A patchwork of bordered areas call Sectors make up the surface of planets. This sector system has a big impact on the world map game flow.

There are different types of sectors and zones:

  • Wilderness Sectors follow natural boundaries and reflect their terrain. A Sector contains one biome and a number of natural terrain features - these define the sector's base resource yield. Players can expand their colonies into Wildernesses and coastal waters and develop them.
  • Landmark Sectors contain high value, large Imperial ruins providing unique benefits. Landmarks “occupy” the sector. This means they can be annexed by your colonies, but you can’t found a new colony on them.
  • Dwelling Sectors: Contain the bases and cities of NPC Natives. Smaller spawner-like camps you can clear through diplomacy or force. Larger habitats work like landmarks in the sense they occupy a sector.
  • Additional Structures and Effects: Next to sector occupying Landmark and bases, there is a collection of secondary structures to be found. They include resource nodes, pickups and visit sites. Then there are defences and hazards that work as status effects for the entire sector.

The sector system changes the traditional ‘hex-based’ strategic gameplay in several ways. The way settlements expand is a basic one, as they expand across sectors, not merely across hexes. Each sector can be specialised in a specific ways, and depending what’s within a sector (landmarks, for example) can unlock new benefits for your faction.


Sectors can also become strategic goals in themselves and form a key part of the diplomatic narrative between you and another faction. In Civilization-style 4X games the only ‘territory’ that really mattered were the cities themselves, so a lot of the discourse would revolve around that – this way you can fight over sectors that have value, without necessarily having to go after the settlement itself.

Apart from that, Sectors also feed into the raw world building that will be a big part of Planetfall;

All Sectors are named (including wildernesses) hinting at their contents. Landmarks such as the Xenolife Institute in the screenshot above have bits of lore added. Sectors have their own mix of inhabitants, resources, dangers or mysteries, this way each Sector tells its own little or big story.

Planetfall was the game that had the most to show at PDXCon, despite also looking at a 2019 release – we’re definitely excited for it, and we can’t wait to find out more.



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