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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 6:08 pm 
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Based simply on population or size of planet etc.;


re: Powercrazy's infrastructure idea. I was thinking money could be a function of infrastructure, augmented by the occasional building.

Leaders with "make money fast" auras and government picks would simulate different taxing levels.

Finally, any excess Industry that isn't spent in a turn should be coverted to Money at (maybe) a 4 to 1 ratio. If we use tzlaine's global build queue this is especially important...don't want to have to force the player to ensure that his industry is completly filled every turn.


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I do see the worry that money may well have a narrower more occasional use than the other resources, so may be more difficult to plan ahead for.


I think there's a pretty big niche for money to fill.

* Upkeep. Limit the player's fleet and Leaders based on money income.
* Hiring leaders/spies/admirals/whatever. It doesn't make sense to "build" a Leader or a spy in a factory.
* Trading resources/ships/planets/whatever with other empires, perhaps on a "galaxy market". This allows an empire to specialize in the production of just a single resource or two, if the player is willing to risk poverty due to market fluctations.
* Diplomatic Gifts.
* Misc. Actions. Money could be used as a cost to perform actions that fall outside of normal gameplay. EU2 style random events, for example:

"The plebs on Seti Alpha Six demand such-and-such....
Do you A: Give it to them (-500 Credits)
B: Give some of it to them (-200 Credits, Unrest +1)
C: Tell them to slot off (Unrest +3)"


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 6:58 pm 
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drek wrote:
Finally, any excess Industry that isn't spent in a turn should be coverted to Money at (maybe) a 4 to 1 ratio. If we use tzlaine's global build queue this is especially important...don't want to have to force the player to ensure that his industry is completly filled every turn.


I'd say the simplest way do deal with excess Industry is to require industry only maintenance on everything built by only industry (unmanned fleets/ground units, Infrastructure, unmanned defensive structures) then allow at least one of those to be built without limit. (other than the industry to maintain it.)

That way we don't have to interconvert resources.

But I think as promoney seems to be unanimous we might want to start moving to the brainstorming thread on what to actually do with our 5 resources. (Research is almost fixed.. although it might boost spying, possibly leader recruitment, Food is fairly fixed...although it might be used for terraforming, Minerals are less fixed.. although they seem to have a role in constructing buildings/fleets either through production or directly, Money and Production are almost totally unfixed with regards to each other.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 8:02 pm 
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Allow me to repost what I was thinking back on page two of the previous thread.

I have a somewhat different idea for a monetary system. It’s not really a radically new system, but more of a different way of looking at things. I think the classic system is that there are factors which add to your monitory stockpile and factors which take away from it. In most games the stockpile must be kept above a certain level and that's the extent of it.

I was thinking of a system which is more inspired by the research system we are using. It would work something like this: Each or your planets produce an income every turn. Every thing you spend money on (research, grants to planets, bribes to other empires, ect) have an expense every turn. The key is that every expense is looked at as taking away a given amount for a given number of turns. It is, of course, possible to have an event take away a given amount for 1 turn. A stockpile would probably still be needed for when your empire has a net income, but perhaps only something like 80% of your surplus would actually make it to your stockpile. Considering that, the fact that there is no interest, and the fact that any stockpiled money doesn’t actually contribute to your empire until you use it, I think anyone who relied on stockpiling money would lose a distinct edge that could not be made up by suddenly spending the money on instant goodies.

The 20% loss on any surplus would strongly encourage you to keep your balance sheet as close to zero as possible in this system.

I think this scenario exemplifies one of the key benefits of this system: You could set a policy (using a single dialog box) that automatically issued an infusion of X credits for Y turns whenever a new colony was created. This is both a simple and powerful macromanaging tool which provides little benefit to the micromanager.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 8:13 pm 
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drek wrote:
Finally, any excess Industry that isn't spent in a turn should be coverted to Money at (maybe) a 4 to 1 ratio. If we use tzlaine's global build queue this is especially important...don't want to have to force the player to ensure that his industry is completly filled every turn.


My point! The ratio could be changed, maybe race specific.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2004 9:59 am 
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drek wrote:
Finally, any excess Industry that isn't spent in a turn should be coverted to Money at (maybe) a 4 to 1 ratio. If we use tzlaine's global build queue this is especially important...don't want to have to force the player to ensure that his industry is completly filled every turn.


How best to put this without it sounding like a personal attack, hmm. My objection to the word "money" was because it inevitably leads to people making suggestions like this. If passing money means inevitably passing an endless stream of unconsidered suggestions about converting X into Y by some ad hoc method, I'll be withdrawing my support for money and go back to arguing that it is the root of all evil. Industry should NOT just go into a slush fund of money, or money just becomes portable production and we end up with all the problems I've probably pointed out several times by now.

More importantly, given we have multi-turn production projects with minimal limits to the number of queued/parallel projects I just don't think that players will be "forced to ensure their queue is filled every turn". Given how most 4X games go I should imagine that players are nearly always going to have lots more stuff to build than they can manage in that turn, so the queues will naturally be over-full (after all if not why are we calling it a "queue"?), and if the queue actually becomes not full, this will almost certainly indicate the player either; has better things on their mind than maximising their empire productivity; or should really be rethinking their strategy (use those ships, boost that research, colonise those planets - i.e. DO something). Essentially I just don't think this is a problem we need to fix, particularly not with a potentially unbalancing arbitrary rule.

Quote:
I think there's a pretty big niche for money to fill.

Oh, I agree entirely, plenty of stuff for money to do.It's more the consistency and predictability of your need for money (or rather the lack of it) that was a small niggling worry in the back of my mind.


P.S. small side point:

Quote:
* Hiring leaders/spies/admirals/whatever. It doesn't make sense to "build" a Leader or a spy in a factory.
Makes perfect sense to me, but that's probably because I spend all day working next to weird economists... (now there's a tautology :) )


Last edited by emrys on Thu Apr 29, 2004 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2004 10:06 am 
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Ablaze wrote:
Every thing you spend money on (research, grants to planets, bribes to other empires, ect)


I thought that under the current system you spend research points on research, production on building stuff on planets, so the only one of those things you might do with money is bribe other empires. (of course that brings us back to no-money type questions; like why the hell they'd want your money, but I'm sure we can find enough things to do with it to make it worth having.)


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 1:51 pm 
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There hasn't been too much participation in the 'where does money come from' part of this review (the stork?) so I'd like to breathe some life back into this.

Right now, my inclination, based on our system, its intended purpose, and the discussion here, is to say that money is simply a focus like any other, and that -- for now -- excess industry will not be turned into money, but we will keep this option open for future gameplay balance. I am personally inclined to agree with Drek that we should simply say 'excess industry goes to money at some modifiable ratio' but I'd rather be cautious with respect to everything emrys said on this subject and only do this money conversion idea if we really need it down the road.

-Aq

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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 3:31 pm 
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I agree with Aq. - Money as a focus (focus are all resources and resources only). And leave the option open to convert, but better not to.

I'm not opposed to money feeding research like minerals feed industry. SMAC does this.


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 4:31 pm 
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I also think that "production->money" conversion should only be used if it's needed for balancing purposes, e.g. if we don't find any other use for excess industry.

The important thing is that - like with any other ressource - there has to be a way to increase money production at some cost.

That could be done by

a) making money a focus, or
b) applying some kind of industry or population taxation

I can live with both methods ;)


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 7:02 pm 
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I prefer the Focus as the only method for generating a resource in the galaxy (an empire could get them from another empire, but that wouldn't generate any)

If we must, then we can start interconverting resources, but I think it should be Very last resort.

(as long as Ships take primarily Industry for both maintenance and construction, then we shouldn't have any problem absorbing excess Industry short term)


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 12:07 am 
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It seems to make sense to have money as a focus. So far our primary resources are PP, RP, food, minerals and money.

Still, it may be worth considering a tax system. We could have tax rates set empire wide, per sector (if we have them), per system, or per planet - depending on how many options we want to give the player. Basically, a portion of labour before it is converted into PP, RP, food or minerals is taken to the Imperial coffers.

With money as a focus, how will income work? ie, will a world with farming as a primary and secondary focus provide any income for the empire? If so, where does that money come from and how does it get calculated?


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 1:00 am 
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re: my social meters idea from the brainstorming board.

Each resource is a meter, including Money. Focus adds to the meters on the planet level, leaders on the system level, buidings on a variety of levels, technologies/government picks/racial abilities on the empire level, and diplomatic agreements on the inter-empire level.

Under this paradigm, an increase in the money meter could be generated though the following methods:

* setting Focus to Money at the planet level
* bringing in a Leader with a money-making "aura"
* building economy structures
* technologies
* picking certain government types (like Free Market under SmaC)
* natural racial advantage
* trade agreements

There should be more than enough variety in the above methods to model a wide range of economic effects. Certain goverment picks might model tax rates, for example, as might a "Tax Collection" building--penalizing happiness whilst increasing money across a range of systems.


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 2:51 am 
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Well, we could just make excess industry spark layoffs, which generates unemployment, which ads to unrest and decreases your tax base. I really don't see how industry could possibly generate money, except as a tax on the goods it produces. If it's not producing anything, it can't be taxed, and thus doesn't generate money. Therefore, excess industry is completely meaningless. And yeah, I think money could fuel research in the same way minerals fuel industry :) It could also go to fund "black ops", spies, and other fun government stuff ;)


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 6:14 am 
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That way, money would become DP: diplomatic points. We already have minerals and PP for construction, food for population, RP for tech, but we dont have a ressource for society/diplomacy.
For diplomacy, instead of trading ships, minerals and technologies for information and other alliance stuff, we could give money (as a "population wealth" something that is useful for the population, as ships and troops are a "military wealth")
I wont get into realism, but it doesnt make too much sense to have factories maintaining spy agencies and cv ops. These are human ressources, and to buy them as such, we could use a social currency ("population wealth").


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 11:13 am 
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Essentially, the proposals so far seem to suggest four, not necessarily exclusive, possible uses for money.

A) As an "input" type resource, to feed research, parallel to the way minerals will feed industry. Follow up things that tend to flow from this line of thinking are; money should be a focus; planets should have either generally variable aptitude for money production (similar to mineral richness, e.g. "natural tourist attractiveness".) or a fair variety of money enhancing specials; Needing to gain control of Money Producing planets would provide the map based strategic part of the research strategy.

B) As an "output" type resource, to pay for spying/diplomacy type stuff. I.e. to enable you to wage covert/economic warfare, to provide another arena to play the game in (in parallel to the military and industrial sides of the game). Flowing from this; we really need to develop a pretty complex diplomacy/spying side to the game to make this viable, as we'd need to make players actually be desperate enough to get their hands on some money that they'd be willing to trade techs/alliances etc. for it, so It'd have to be useful for some pretty good stuff.

C) As a way of paying maintenance costs, possibly on ships; This essentially makes available money supply a cap on economy/military size. (Personally I'm not so keen on this, since I'd have thought having maintainance take industrial output would do this job just as well, but it seems like more people like the idea of upkeep taking money, so who am I to argue. I suppose it does serve to give money more value).

Oh, I've just had a thought. If money were needed to feed research, what if money was required alongside (production or minerals(i.e. "materials")) to maintain a fleet, with large low-tech ships needing more (minerals or industry), and higher-tech ships requiring more money. This would mean that low-tech industrial giants are eventually hamstrung by maintenance, but so are high-tech players, at about the same relative effectivenes in their strategie, thus avoiding the "if the tech race stays alive till halfway they'll be unstoppable" maxim, and making it a straighter fight all through the game. Actually this would work even if money were a spying resource rather than feeding research, it'd just be a bit less aesthetically pleasing.

D) Needing it for "social" reasons, i.e. to reduce unrest on your planets, or to increase (nebuluous) social ratings (health/education etc.). The difficulty I see here is that we'd need something that was a more relevant gameplay mechaninc than unrest was in Moo3 or Civ, or players will just see it as an annoyance. Perhaps we could incorporate this idea into the spying/diplomacy part, and use money to keep your empire together and working (It might be in continual danger of splitting apart for various reasons, unrest, independancy movements, fear, rebellion of newly conquered worlds.), but allow opponents to use money to encourage that splintering. Then it could become a move and counter move part of the game, looking for opportunites to target vulnerable parts of an enemies empire, raiding their borders to scare the populace, funding independance movements, supporting piracy to increase unrest etc... Might be fun?

I'm generally against having money only echo the size of your population, since that ties anything you do with money inot being essentially based on your empire size, which limits a player's strategic options, i.e. they can't be forced to choose/trade off between following whatever strategy money supports (research/spying/fleetsize etc.), or following a conquest/expansion strategy, since they must do the latter to increase their money supply. So I'd support money as a focus.

Tyreth wrote:
With money as a focus, how will income work? ie, will a world with farming as a primary and secondary focus provide any income for the empire? If so, where does that money come from and how does it get calculated?


If we went with money as a focus, I presume we'd treat it in the same way as all the other focii, so how would we answer the equivalent: "With food as a focus, how will food supply work? ie, will a world with money as a primary and secondary focus provide any food for the empire? If so, where does that food come from and how does it get calculated?". I.e. I'd assume the double-farming world wouldn't produce any money for the empire, since it's busy doing other stuff (or would produce minimal money if the equivalent farming world would produce minimal food, I haven't checked the Req. Docs. I'd personaly prefer it if you produced nothing of anything else on a "double focused" world.)

I'd also like to advise caution before heading into tax rates, particularly where there's a danger we'd end up with multiple interacting levels of taxes (e.g. imperial,system,planet). The corollarly to the "steal what works" rule is "stear clear of what didn't" and MOO3 showed that it's easy to turn that into a stinking mess if we're not careful, so let's make life easy for ourselves if we can.

[Tangent]
vishnou00 wrote:
I wont get into realism


Good job, because this is a 'realism' argument that is specifically banned by Aq. (I should admit that's mostly because I (and others, but I won't name names) get real prickly about it because we see the realism argument pointing in exactly the opposite way on this point..., so it tends to derail the argument into petty squabbles.)
[/Tangent]


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