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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:42 pm 
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One last post on this topic, for today, i swear last one ; -D

I've got a question regarding the one Stockpile problem.


What do you do for empires which become, or are somehow build seperated?

A unlikely scenario, your first colony ship gets transported a sizable distance away from your starting colony, but happens to find natives, so you build a colony which can support it self food wise. over the course of the early game the colony becomes self supporting, and builds a second colony ship, and suddenly you have two sub-empires that where never connected in the first place. This should be a significant advantage, in my opinion. since it allows you to expand on two fronts, explore on two fronts, etc. essentially controlling two empires for the price of one. But with the one stockpile limitation the second sub-empire can NEVER stock/save resources or draw from stocked saved resources. Therefore the second empire is considerably less potent. Since it suffers this IMHO unnecessary, and unfun, handicap.

A more likely scenario, a non directly neighboring empire joins you, surrenders to you, merges with you. See above reasons for why this would suck if you forcibly have only one stockpile. Except this sucks even more since it's not highly unlikely.

I can't see how to get around this?

Anyway, I've typed far to much, and exceeded my right to blab, so I'll stop for now.

Best wishes, and to all a good night *or at least me since it's getting late locally.*
Robbie Price.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:28 am 
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Robbie.Price: You've made a big deal about a single stockpile location implying that capturing that location would instantly destroy or severely cripple an empire. Why do you assume / state that this would be the case? An empire losing its stockpile location would presumably lose its stockpile, which is a blow, but it's not necessarily game ending. Similarly, inability to stockpile if the stockpile location is cut off from an empire or sub-empire is inconvenient, but doesn't prevent planets from functioning entirely. The stockpile really just smoothes out unexpected or fast changes in resource output; a group of planets, or an entire empire, would be quite capable of functioning without a stockpile at all.

We don't want the entire empire to be interchangable, such that capturing a single planet never has any effect other than a proportional reduction in resource output... Rather, we have wonder-like buildings and specials and other means, such as being the political capitol and/or stockpile location that makes some planets more important than others. This is not a bad thing.

Issues of whether stockpile locations can be moved (probably) or what happens if empires merge (a single stockpile location is chosen somehow) are relatively minor implementation details that aren't particularly important to the basic plan discussion.

Robbie.Price wrote:
...as long as the UI does not have to ever show all the stockpiles, and the user doesn't have to care about all the stock piles, then the fact that under the UI there are multiple stockpiles does not make anything more complex.

Hiding information about a complicated system does not make it simple; it makes it like MOO3.

Separate stockpile for each sub-empire adds a lot more numbers for the player to keep track of (amount, consumption, production, net change this turn for each sub-empire for each resource). The user does need to keep track of these, and thus the UI does need to show them because if it / the player doesn't need to keep track, then why do we have stockpiles at all?

If the UI does not "show all the stock piles" then how can there be "[multiple stockpiles] under the UI" ...?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:50 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Robbie.Price: You've made a big deal about a single stockpile location implying that capturing that location would instantly destroy or severely cripple an empire. Why do you assume / state that this would be the case? An empire losing its stockpile location would presumably lose its stockpile, which is a blow, but it's not necessarily game ending. Similarly, inability to stockpile if the stockpile location is cut off from an empire or sub-empire is inconvenient, but doesn't prevent planets from functioning entirely. The stockpile really just smoothes out unexpected or fast changes in resource output; a group of planets, or an entire empire, would be quite capable of functioning without a stockpile at all.


The reason I focus on this is because the time you need most your stockpile is the time when fast changes are going on, as you said. The time which fast changes are going on most is when your at war, especially a sudden unexpected war. Since cutting an empire it two probably is a opening war move, rather then a mid war move. The time which you need the stock hold most is the time we're preventing access to it. True enough, and empire should be able to run without a stock hold, This is true. But The Reason for having stock holds is to have resources on rainy days. . . see above comments.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
We don't want the entire empire to be interchangable, such that capturing a single planet never has any effect other than a proportional reduction in resource output... Rather, we have wonder-like buildings and specials and other means, such as being the political capitol and/or stockpile location that makes some planets more important than others. This is not a bad thing.

Issues of whether stockpile locations can be moved (probably) or what happens if empires merge (a single stockpile location is chosen somehow) are relatively minor implementation details that aren't particularly important to the basic plan discussion.

My suggestion doesn't make the entire empire interchangable, it simply makes it so that as far as resources are concerned races are not forced to have a weak spot.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Robbie.Price wrote:
...as long as the UI does not have to ever show all the stockpiles, and the user doesn't have to care about all the stock piles, then the fact that under the UI there are multiple stockpiles does not make anything more complex.

Hiding information about a complicated system does not make it simple; it makes it like MOO3.


The information is not 'hidden' in the sense that it never matters. We don't hide the damage calculations during battle, where dice are rolled and numbers are compared. We also don't show those numbers because they convey no information value. The same is true for the planet stock holds, There is no information in the amount of minerals a planet has, or amount of food it has. All that matters is the amount of minerals/food the sub-empire has. The use of planet by planet stock holds is only and simply an accounting practice. It is a method, by which sub-empires on both sides of, and inside of, a direct-indirect blockade may have access to some portion of the pre-blockade stockpile. There are many other things we don't show the user, because it's far to much data, and far too little information. WE could do entirely without the planet by planet stockholds, and have each side of the blockade be given a calculated % of the stockhold. This would be UI identical. You look on one side of the blockade, you see the resources available on that side, on the other side you see the resources of that side. On the blockade itself you see the resources of the planet. . .

One of the main questions for the topic was ~approximately~ *Should (in)blockaded planets have any stockhold?* The reason we tended towards the answer no, was only because figuring out how to split the galactic stock hold into sub stock holds was a logistic nightmare. *with tons of case statements for if the empire is split then sub split, then resub split then two of the subsplit groups rejoin what do we do, if two of the join but no to the group they split from what do we do. . . . *
The planet by planet solution is a logistics solution to that logistics nightmare.

But somehow without consensus we dropped the idea of blockaded planets having resource as being too complex to manage. (do mostly to the above) the above no longer needs to be a problem so the proposal that planets on the 'far' side of a blockade should have access to stock set aside for hard times remains open.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Separate stockpile for each sub-empire adds a lot more numbers for the player to keep track of (amount, consumption, production, net change this turn for each sub-empire for each resource). The user does need to keep track of these, and thus the UI does need to show them because if it / the player doesn't need to keep track, then why do we have stockpiles at all?

If the UI does not "show all the stock piles" then how can there be "[multiple stockpiles] under the UI" ...?


When an empire has been split into two, via a blockade. the user treats them in two parts, and the game treats them the same way. The goal is to make those two parts as intuitive as possible. So that users feel they understand what's going on with their game.

Being forced to balance an entire region of your empire so that it uses all the resources it makes, without excess or deficit every turn, until you life the blockade, does not seam intuitive to me. That seams like a Micromanagement nightmare.
Every turn, with the one stockpile suggestion, the food consumption on the 'far' side of the blockade changes (pop grows, shrinks, planets might be taken...). So every turn one has to go to all those planets, on the far side, check that none of them are starving *or have a UI to take you to each starving planet* then run around to the other planets and increase decrease food production to match. And if you finished building a ship that turn, you have to do the same thing. Either you accept the loss of food/minerals each turn, or you run around to most of the planets on the far side and micromanage your economy to be perfectly using everything it makes that turn, every turn.

Conversely with *a* solution where by *some* mechanism *a portion of* stockpiled resources remain usable on the far side. one only has to go to the far side and check that that side will not run out this turn. you look at the resources for that side, see they are not going to be negative. if they are then do as you would always do anyway, find a planet, increase it's resource production till the situation is positive for all resources if possible. If you overshoot that's *OK* because it just means next turn you can undershoot the break even point *if you want* for that resource and produce more of something else. Eventually *perhaps* one side of your empire *might* run out of something, if that side can not produce as much of that as it needs to be 100% productive this is how stockpiles intuitively work. If you don't have enough production *on one side* to match consumption *on that side* you draw from your reserves *on that side* till they are drained *on that side*. Rather then that side becomes instantaneously unproductive because it's no longer connected to the magic fridge so magic that we can only have one in the empire, regardless of the empires size.


As the game runs now we only ever care about the net change and the absolute value of each of the 5 resources. Some of these 5 resources would not be effected by blockades. In fact only 2 and a half of them are if my understanding serves me. So when you get blockaded you have 2 and a half more pieces of information to juggle if you have some form of resource pool splitting, without splitting the pool you have N more pieces of information. where N is some fraction of the number of planets on the 'far' side of the blockades where you have to run around turn by turn to balance perfectly supply and demand.

In short there are two reasons to have a stockpile.

1. rainy days
2. not having to care turn to turn that supply equals demand perfectly.

With only one stockpile, reason 1 is at serious risk, and reason 2 only is valid on the side of the stock.

With *An* alternate; reason 1 and 2 are guarded, for the largest part of the empire. (the blockaded planet(s) it(them)self(s) having less reason 2.)

I say *An* because my solution is not the only solution to this problem, it's just one that as a coder looks easiest, and most intuitive.

My question to you is

What is the point of having a stockpile, if it's all in one place and any well executed blockade will prevent you from having access to it when you need it most?

To each of you the best, always,

Robbie Price.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:30 pm 
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A few more points on the Individual planet stockpiles.

1. There is minimal more information
Each sub empire already has its own production and consumption
what is wrong with its own stockpile (you already have a complicated UI/information, this complication would be no more)

2. The amount of stockpile available (under my plan) is NOT vulnerable to either micromanagement or "soft" management ie MOO3 (any more than oure economic model... which has some micromanagement in terms of changing the focus of multiple planets). The stockpile in any location is always proportional to consumption. so if you have a stockpile of 100 for your empire and you can consume 20/turn in your empire, then you have 5 turns of stockpile at every planet in your empire.

3. Finally, there are MUCH better things that can happen when the capital planet is taken than "loss of stockpile". If Washington D.C. was nuked, we would have plenty of problems (well some people might see it as plenty of opportunities), and None of them would have to do with loss of a supply of Grain or Tungsten... they would have to do with revolts and inefficiency.

In my model, stockpiles are "global" in the sense that an impact at any place is an impact on the whole, and there are no "stockpiles" to manage. no buildings ala MOO2, no "directions/policies" ala MOO3. Just a sensible distribution (same as our global redistribution/production... does every planet have to be connected to the capital to produce... is there a "Shipping nexus" world that produces all the freighters we need? no, all planets produce and dump it into the global pile, and consuming planets take it out of the global pile. Stockpiles whould just be taken out of the global pile like other consumption (just consumption that becomes production next turn)


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:25 pm 
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Robbie.Price wrote:
eleazar wrote:
As for the rest, i will no longer re-explain this topic to people who don't demonstrate an understanding of the major ideas and reasons behind planetary redistribution:
* in the preliminary v 0.4
* in my initial thread on the topic, and
* in this thread, itself.

Thank you once again for dismissing me off hand as an idiot. I'm not, but so be it.

I have re-read, now all off those post, again.

Re the first link, I know where the plan is, I'm disagreeing with the one stockpile rule. That page does not include any explanation, which was what i had asked for.

link 2; I noticed that you yourself dominate that link, which is fine, you started it. but i also noticed A LOT of people bringing up points similar, or even nearly identical to mine. (and that like me you mostly dismissed them out of hand without much thought, or explication, often referring to the link one, as if it were set in stone, and leafed with gold as not to be ever touched lest it's perfection be marred.) Maybe this is true, but i would like to know why it is true, which I've still yet to find an adequate reason.

...

eleazar wrote:
It's a somewhat complicated topic, but an excessively large portion of the activity has been people repeatedly raising the same ideas and questions— which have already been thoroughly addressed.

This is a complicated topic, other ideas then yours might also be acceptable, Please keep an open mind...


As you might have noticed, I do feel slightly attacked by your response, an apology would be accepted heartedly. Additionally it would earn you one in turn for my implications that your behaving as an ogre. (although as member of the "Creative Team", you might consider being more open minded; both in this topic and in several others where I have noted you can come across often more forcefully then you perhaps intend. Just a thought.)

Best wishes to all, And hopefully we can achieve some form of mutual understanding and respect.


You've decided to take this very personally. That's unfortunate, but i don't see that i've given you reason to take it that way.
The fact is that we get things done on this project by making decisions from time to time. Certain decisions were made, as i tried to explain (i think politely) in response to your first post. The purpose of this thread is to build on previous decisions and make more— not to start from scratch. I'm trying to build the game, not rethink everything.

But even if this was not the case, the fundamental ideas you have brought up are not new ones (as you have pointed out). I have no responsibility to keep an open mind forever— especially when there's no new information to consider. I have given this topic a good deal of thought, and i have no obligation to repeat the process each time someone brings up a previously considered idea. Nor to i have an obligation to explain myself each time.

In this case, i don't see much point in trying to explain— you've taken a passionate position on the topic, and my previous replies haven't seemed to communicate much. If i spent an hour to address your posts, what would be the result? I expect it would not change your mind.

I suggest you find something else to care about... or wait until this system is implemented and proves itself to be the failure that you are confident it will be, and then raise these points again.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:31 pm 
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Krikkitone wrote:
A few more points on the Individual planet stockpiles.

2. The amount of stockpile available (under my plan) is NOT vulnerable to either micromanagement or "soft" management ie MOO3 (any more than oure economic model... which has some micromanagement in terms of changing the focus of multiple planets). The stockpile in any location is always proportional to consumption. so if you have a stockpile of 100 for your empire and you can consume 20/turn in your empire, then you have 5 turns of stockpile at every planet in your empire.

3. Finally, there are MUCH better things that can happen when the capital planet is taken than "loss of stockpile". If Washington D.C. was nuked, we would have plenty of problems (well some people might see it as plenty of opportunities), and None of them would have to do with loss of a supply of Grain or Tungsten... they would have to do with revolts and inefficiency.


Two excellent points, which i can not find anywhere on any of the previous threads a good reason why this are not taken into account.

Also I restate my question
What goal(s) do having an empire serve? Why do we have a stockpile at all?

I proposed previously

1.To prevent the necessity of turn by turn micromanagement
2.To save up for rainy days
3.Being Trade-able between empires (new)

Are their any more goals which having a stockpile function serves?

Once the needs are established,

How do various proposed methods of stockpile control fulfill each goal?

For trading resources between empires, punctually, (one off payments) the single stockpile solution is simpler, Either the empire's stockpile your trading to is in supply range of your stockpile or it is not. If it is not, (because your not connected, or because one of you is blockaded) you can't trade large sums because you can't put them anywhere. With the distributed solution, in the case of trading significant resources while blockaded things are slightly more complex in that you can only trade from the sub-empire which is in contact with another the sub-empire of the other empire. This is slightly, more complex, but not unintuitive.

Two empires both divided the 'far away bits' in contact with each other but the capitals are not. One emprie's 'far away bit' needs food the other makes it. . . This is a valid situation which could be solved using distributed stockholds but is more difficult (impossible?) to solve using the single stockpile method.

For the other two requirements distributed stockpiles make more sense and are more intuitive.

Eleazar your not required to keep an open mind forever. . . but if the debate came up before, and these points came up before then a good response to them was given before. . . But i can't find any evidence of these good counter points to these arguments. The older decisions were made, were they made with these point weighted and considered? If so then you don't need to think just point us to where and we'll be wizer, if not, then we've discovered something new, made new headway, and it's time to open that mind of yours again and re-evaluate decisions made on incomplete data.

Also the opening questions for this topic explicatively raised the question as to weather or not blockaded planets should have or not have resources at the time of the blockade. Therefore this is the correct time and place for that revisiting (if necessary). Waiting till it fails (if it's going to) is a highly counter-productive methodology.


Best wishes all, Robbie Price.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 7:40 am 
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Goodmorning all,

It is not in my habit to revive dead topics, but i've been out of town for two weeks.

I am curious if any final resolution had been reached on this topic, as no discussion, or even posts have occurred since before I departed for Rome.

If a final decision has been reached what is it? If not does anybody care?

Best wishes all.
Robbie Price


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:05 am 
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I've been busy, but I'll get to it eventually.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:38 pm 
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to be honest, i'm not involved in this topic because it's 5 pages long and some of your posts take a long time to read. I just never felt like sitting down, spending half an hour to an hour reading, formulating an opinion and saying something that hasn't already been said. That's just me, but I'm saying this because it might be the reason other people haven't said anything. It could also be that they forgot about this, or that we can't implement it at the current game state.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 4:53 pm 
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Goodmorning all,

I admit to being long winded. My apologies for having put you, and anybody else off from this discussion.

Best wishes all

Robbie Price


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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 8:47 pm 
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After reading the last few posts and deciding I thoroughly agree with Robbie.Price, I read the rest of the thread and realized that it was my idea in the first place. I'm still waiting for a reason why it won't work, you know.
Geoff the Medio wrote:
Hiding information about a complicated system does not make it simple; it makes it like MOO3.

Separate stockpile for each sub-empire adds a lot more numbers for the player to keep track of (amount, consumption, production, net change this turn for each sub-empire for each resource). The user does need to keep track of these, and thus the UI does need to show them because if it / the player doesn't need to keep track, then why do we have stockpiles at all?

If the UI does not "show all the stock piles" then how can there be "[multiple stockpiles] under the UI" ...?

Hiding information about a complex system that actually affects gameplay makes it like MOO3. Showing it to the player only when it actually becomes important is logical and intuitive.

Saying that a separate stockpile for each sub-empire adds too many numbers implies that we already have too many numbers in our stockpile. We don't. Stockpiles aren't for directly keeping close track of, they're to act as a buffer for excess resources and to save for a rainy day. The game needs to keep track of each stockpile in case a blockade occurs. The player does not because when a blockade occurs, part of his stockpile will be in one part of the empire and the other part of the stockpile will be in the other part of the empire. It's logical, intuitive, simple, and best of all, the player can't control where his stockpile goes, so he can't micromanage it. It just automatically divides itself evenly (possibly based on consumption).

The part about "multiple stockpiles under the UI" is usually the kind of thing we let slide because it's really obvious that he means the game is keeping track of multiple stockpiles and it has nothing to do with the UI.

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Last edited by Bigjoe5 on Sat May 10, 2008 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 9:03 pm 
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eleazar wrote:

The fact is that we get things done on this project by making decisions from time to time. Certain decisions were made, as i tried to explain (i think politely) in response to your first post.
Except for the slight detail that no decision has been made on this and Robbie.Price, myself, and (I think) Krikkitone are all in favor of a stockpile that divides in the case of a blockade.
Quote:
But even if this was not the case, the fundamental ideas you have brought up are not new ones (as you have pointed out).
No, they're mine. Brought up in this very thread.
Quote:
I have no responsibility to keep an open mind forever— especially when there's no new information to consider. I have given this topic a good deal of thought, and i have no obligation to repeat the process each time someone brings up a previously considered idea. Nor to i have an obligation to explain myself each time.
I'm under the impression that you have an obligation, or at least a responsibility to explain yourself at least once.

Quote:
In this case, i don't see much point in trying to explain— you've taken a passionate position on the topic, and my previous replies haven't seemed to communicate much. If i spent an hour to address your posts, what would be the result? I expect it would not change your mind.
This is a debate over the points of this game. If you managed to fit good reasons for your opinions, better than our reasons, I expect you would change all our minds and we would live happily ever after. However, you have not given reasons or counterarguments in anywhere near the detail or quality that we, particularly Robbie.Price, have. All you have done is cite previous posts that don't solve anything. I think you would have a great deal of trouble trying to repeat yourself even if you did feel obliged, seeing as you haven't said anything substantial on the subject at all.
Quote:
I suggest you find something else to care about... or wait until this system is implemented and proves itself to be the failure that you are confident it will be, and then raise these points again.
Simply forgetting about this would be silly, as no definite decision or consensus has been reached. If "this system" is implemented, it's likely it won't be a total failure, and thus, even if the system we propose now looks like it would be much better in that context, it will be shrugged off as a time wasting attempt to revisit past decisions.

I understand you don't want to have your mind open to this topic forever, but try to wait until a decision has been reached before closing it.

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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 9:48 am 
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Thank you Bigjoe5!

Yes I acknowledge that you suggested a similar or identical system before I took up the flag and tried to rally the cause.

Thank you again, I was beginning to worry I had scarred everybody off by being too verbose.

Best wishes all.
Robbie Price


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 2:31 pm 
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Bigjoe5 wrote:
Saying that a separate stockpile for each sub-empire adds too many numbers implies that we already have too many numbers in our stockpile.

??? Please explain what that meant.

Quote:
The game needs to keep track of each stockpile in case a blockade occurs. The player does not because when a blockade occurs, part of his stockpile will be in one part of the empire and the other part of the stockpile will be in the other part of the empire.

That didn't make much sense, but if you're trying to say what I think you were, then it's beside the point. The issue with having lots of stockpiles arises when the empire is split up. Each sub-empire will have a separate stockpile the player will need to be shown and/or keep track of. This could be a lot of numbers to show and (for the player to) keep track of.


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 10:20 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Quote:
The game needs to keep track of each stockpile in case a blockade occurs. The player does not because when a blockade occurs, part of his stockpile will be in one part of the empire and the other part of the stockpile will be in the other part of the empire.

That didn't make much sense, but if you're trying to say what I think you were, then it's beside the point. The issue with having lots of stockpiles arises when the empire is split up. Each sub-empire will have a separate stockpile the player will need to be shown and/or keep track of. This could be a lot of numbers to show and (for the player to) keep
track of.


As far as i see it, as long as the user never has to be concerned with, or see, more then one stockpile at any given instant, and in total never has to know about more stockpiles then their are sub-empires, then there isn't a UI problem.

The user clicks a planet-> the stock pile from the sub-empire of which that planet is a part of is displayed. *rather then that of another sub-empire or an amalgamation of all the sub-empires.*

In the event of a split empire, the user 'probably' wants to focus their attention on re-uniting their empire. Thus anything which makes it easier to focus on that is probably better. Additionally empire splittings can be described being either short term(1-3 turns) or long term(4+).

If the split is short term, then the user doesn't have to really care about the stock holds of the smaller sub-empire. If non zero(and not descending TOO quickly), good enough. Simmularly they don't have to care overly about the larger sub-empire any more then they usually (even if the stock dips a bit over 2-3 turns when the empire is re-united the stock hold will be refilled to it's normal levels since they other side was, by definition collecting surplus). However if there is no stock hold on the other side the user is obliged to decided weather or not they are going to try to balance consumption and demand on both sides. On the 'large' side the User may have to change consumption over the medium term because even thought they don't 'Run out' the 'surplus' from the smaller side is lost, so the stock hold drops permanently, rather then just temporally. On the 'small side' the user has to worry about not producing 'A Lot' more of any given resource then that side can use/turn, and additionally has to concern him/her self with supplying enough of everything until the blockade is lifted.

In short, even for Short term empire devisions the user is forced to focus on otherwise unnecessary tasks, and has to concern him or her self with the side effects of a *possibly significant* resource loss. These tasks do not contribute to 'fun', and are not necessary(IMHO). Having an empire cut, temporally, shouldn't, IMHO, force additional tasks, and medium term strategy plans.

For long term, or super long term, empire devisions, the need for multiple stockpiles is even greater. The reason for having a stock hold at all is to eliminate the need to check, turn by turn, that supply matches demand. If one side of an empire can't stockpile goods, then the user if forced to check that side every turn, which we want to avoid.

To simplify the question, Is there a way to make it so the user doesn't have to check, ever turn, that the 'far' side of the empire is not 'waisting' resources, or 'starving'(industry without minerals included) without multiple stockpiles? and, Which is worse: having a UI which has multiple stockpiles but never needs to show more then one at a time, or the possibility of a part of your empire existing without a stockpile and having to do all the turn by turn adjustments which having a stockpile is expected to prevent?

Best wishes as always

Robbie Price


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