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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 1:15 pm 
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As if banning the realism argument has actually supressed it. yargh. I think the realism argument to me what a screen full of a huge sliders must be to drek...

Re: Tyreth's question, yeah, money as a focus makes it work like everything else we have as a focus. That's why we have the focus sytem. I don't agree with having a tax system unless it's something very basic, like 'low / medium / high' where that affects the utility of the money focus, perhaps at the expense of unrest (if, later on, we have unrest).

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 2:29 pm 
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Gameplay wise, want I want very much with money is something instantly exchangeable to other empires that is always useful and that you can give without giving too much, as opposed to thing that must be freight (minerals...), moved (ships) or things that are too valuable for the situation (tech, strategic information).


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 2:54 pm 
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emrys wrote:
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.)


You are, of course, right - my mistake. You can view the requirements doc here:
http://www.freeorion.org/wiki/index.php?title=V.2_Requirements
A planet without a focus in money anywhere would still produce a bare minimum income.

So, this (using focus for money) does seem like the best solution.


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 3:30 pm 
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As for Uses of Money,


I favor B+D: the Spy+Social use*, It could still be a portion of fleet/troop maintenance, in a sense that highly depended on government type (ie it is the way you 'persuade' your people to go and die and your troops to stay loyal)
I really don't think it should feed Research, as there is almost no gameplay reason for that (Minerals feeding Industry has little going for it other than the Realism argument, so I don't think we should extend that model.)

*I agree it needs to be more than an annoyance.. I like the idea of the empire always in danger of 'breaking up' and Money stopping it (because Trade and Mutual Security are about the only two reasons to belong to an empire)..Add in Enemy Money Encouraging it, and 'Money' becomes more like 'Culture' in Civ3. You could also use Money for 'Social Engineering'/Government Change or at least to make such changes less dangerous (because you should probably have a high chance of breaking up when they happen.)

That would make Industry and Money the two 'Competitive' Resources (The 'Hard' and 'Soft' power respectively)..you have to balance your opponents to survive.
Food and Research would be methods of Generic Improvement (Quantity and Quality of Population respectively)
Mining would then essentially be the 'Second Part' of Industry




As for maintenance costs and Tech. I feel that Balancing the tech tree should work on controlling the relationships rather than adding extra ones. (since tech improves productivity, higher tech weapons should cost more production and only be Slightly more cost efficient.. so everyone is hamstrung by their economy...for two players tht have the exact same production, the small high tech one would have the edge but barely(and they would probably lose that edge because they have to have a higher Research focus and a smaller Industrial focus to maintian the Technological lead.))

The Best way to balance the tech race is to 'fix' their tech lead, such that an empire with X % more tech will always have a Y% bonus to their efficiency/effectiveness.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2004 2:14 pm 
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Krikkitone wrote:
The Best way to balance the tech race is to 'fix' their tech lead, such that an empire with X % more tech will always have a Y% bonus to their efficiency/effectiveness.


That's pretty easy, the hard part is ensuring that it doesn't spiral off into infinity, i.e. that a race with a Y% bonus to efficiency/efectiveness can only maintain an X% tech lead, rather than obtain (X plus a bit), which means they get further ahead (and round and round). Equally we have to ensure that X% tech giving Y% bonus doesn't lead to (X minus a bit) tech lead, because that kind of makes tech a pointless investment.

All in all it's generally easier/more successful to do this kind of balancing by introducing restoring forces, so that the game balances itself within a reasonable range (i.e. progressive drag factors on an empire with huge tech lead, and increasing boosts to one with a huge tech lag, and let players messa round inside that range according to their perception of the benefits or strategy), rather than try and square the circle by perfectly balancing the benefits/costs of techs.

That said, this is pretty much a side point, since balancing in detail is not going to be worth worrying about until v0.9 at the earliest. So I ought to be slapped for brainstorming in a review thread... tut tut.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 1:26 am 
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I feel I may be late for the discussion here, but...here it goes.

Stockpiling production is bad - you cant 'stockpile' labour hours.

But hurrying production for money or stockpiling money is bad as well - no matter how many credits/latinum bars u have, you cant transform them into a battle cruiser by waving a magic wand - if you dont have enough skilled labour, you are toasted.

In my pov (heh...studied economy), both of these things are incomple without each other. Money is used to buy production factors - minerals (which can be stockpiled), and labour, which cannot (the other, land, we can live aside, as well notions of human, leadership or know-how capital).

Now in order to facilitate the game - unless we want to add finance stuff like exchange rates and such (and we want to keep trade, right) - I will have to say that yes, you can pay for stuff with minerals. What is gold or latinium if not minerals? But I agree that it would be an irritating simplification, so I hope it wont come to that. But if the choice is given between money OR minerals/production, I'd have to chose the m/p, since I feel they give more strategic depth.

But if I had my way, I'd leave all three things:
- minerals, produced on planets/asteroids/etc. stockpiled on planets/star systems/can be traded for other minerals or money (preferably several types of minerals, including food-organics)
- labour, produced on planets/cannot be stockpiled/cannot be traded/can be converted into money (sounds strange? - think of producing services)
- money, produced on planets (taxes), can be stockpiled, can be traded

This way, the empire gets money from taxes or surplus production, can stockpile strategic minerals, can trade minerals, can pay with money for what it needs.

Without money, we would be dealing with barter economy. With money and minerals, we can have convoys of strategic resources *and* instant money transfers. We can have money stockpiles rotting away and empires dying becouse they have no minerals to sustain industry (think IIWW and United Kingdom dependency on colonies vs uboot warfare). We can make players chose between units cheap but labour/mineral expensive or expensive but labour/mineral efficient (think IIWW, Germany tech vs USSR mass production). Etc - it would be like real world, not some abstract concept.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 4:16 am 
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Prokonsul Piotrus wrote:
But if I had my way, I'd leave all three things:
- minerals, produced on planets/asteroids/etc. stockpiled on planets/star systems/can be traded for other minerals or money (preferably several types of minerals, including food-organics)
- labour, produced on planets/cannot be stockpiled/cannot be traded/can be converted into money (sounds strange? - think of producing services)
- money, produced on planets (taxes), can be stockpiled, can be traded

I agree with this

money-mineral-labour to production could be balanced with race/empire/planet developpement characteristics. Thoses three ressources would be spacially different:
-labour force: can only be moved through colonisation/migration (takes time to be settled)
-minerals: can only be moved through freight (takes time to be freight in space)
-money: instant (think banking transactions)

Those three ressources could be converted from one through another with very low efficiency, at the cost of production (mineral->money:luxury goods, money->mineral:mineral alchemy, money->labour:cloned labour force, labour->money=services, mineral->labour:robot operated factory, labour->minerals:extra mining), so a system lacking one ressource but is ripe of another could do not so badly.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 7:23 am 
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Prokonsul Piotrus wrote:
Stockpiling production is bad - you cant 'stockpile' labour hours.

noone was serious talking about stockpiling production.

Prokonsul Piotrus wrote:
But hurrying production for money or stockpiling money is bad as well - no matter how many credits/latinum bars u have, you cant transform them into a battle cruiser by waving a magic wand - if you dont have enough skilled labour, you are toasted.

But you can encourage your workers to work 14 hours a day if you give them some money :wink: Also, it's planed that overdriving production needs a lot of money.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:12 pm 
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vishnou00 wrote:
Those three ressources could be converted from one through another with very low efficiency, at the cost of production (mineral->money:luxury goods, money->mineral:mineral alchemy, money->labour:cloned labour force, labour->money=services, mineral->labour:robot operated factory, labour->minerals:extra mining), so a system lacking one ressource but is ripe of another could do not so badly.


Nice ideas, althoug I'd argue about low efficiency. Trade is related to profit - a good trader can trade minerals for money, money for minerals - and end with more minerals then he started with (this can be divided into racial bonuses AND spice multiplayer diplomacy - think of email diplomacy in Stars, trading techs, minerals, special ships...).

noelte wrote:
But you can encourage your workers to work 14 hours a day if you give them some money :wink: Also, it's planed that overdriving production needs a lot of money.


I dont mind some hurrying production. But there is a diffrence between doubling output (I can live with that) and increasing it by 10000% - I believe that in MOO1 there was some limit on how much you could hurry production, but in MOO2 and entire Civ series, enough money = magic wand. No matter how much you pay the workers and how motivated they are, theire is only that much they can do withing given timeframe - no money can make a person work 25h in a day :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 2:53 pm 
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Quote:
- no money can make a person work 25h in a day


What if your planet has more than 25 hours in a day? :P


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 4:02 pm 
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Sandlapper wrote:
What if your planet has more than 25 hours in a day? :P


Touche. I should have said: 'no money can make a person work 25 standard Earth hours in the timeperiod of 24 standard Earth hours'

:d

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 8:09 pm 
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Well one thing to remember Piotrus, is in this talk about money, you don't buy anything from your people. You are 'the empire' ie you have everything you empire produces alrready.. your people 'work for you' 24 hr per day (or 100% of the time). Now you May choose to spend some of that labor on keeping them happy and healthy (and not revolting), but you don't need to Pay them anything.


This is why I support money as a totally seperate resource, and am generally opposed to interconverting resources.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 9:46 pm 
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Krikkitone, are you opposed to to hurrying production? I dont think it is a matter of paying, but even 'the empire' may need to do something out of ordinary to make a part of it work faster - like injection of adrenaline into a living organism. Of course, there are limits defined by physics on how much can be done (not to mention stuff like economic rule of lessening gains).

And what is your reason for opposition to interconverting resources? As long as the tech is less then 100% efficient, it should leave the motivation for trade intact, and it seems logical (like ideas of vishnou00).

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 10:02 pm 
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Prokonsul Piotrus wrote:
And what is your reason for opposition to interconverting resources? As long as the tech is less then 100% efficient, it should leave the motivation for trade intact, and it seems logical (like ideas of vishnou00).


Look through the money and resource discussions for Emrys' post on why resource interconversion is a Bad Thing. He makes the case extremely convincingly.

For example:

http://www.freeorion.org/forum/viewtopi ... c&start=15


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 11:05 pm 
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Tnx for the link - I read it and agree. My mistake for reading certain parts to fast.

I never liked the 'rush building' / 'hurry production' idea as well - I can accept it speeds the time a little, but as I said, waving magic (money) wand and creating a Death Star in a turn (when normally it takes 20) is BAD. If we lose them - I wont mind.

Buying resources from a black box is oh-so-BAD. Using money to buy it from other players (and they deduct it from their stockpile) is ok. But I will adress trade at the end.

To quote emrys:
Quote:
CANNOT CONVERT IT TO OR FROM ANY OTHER RESOURCE UNLESS THAT MECHANISM AND ITS IMPACT ON EVERY ASPECT OF THE GAME HAS BEEN THOUGHT THROUGH IN TRIPLICATE BY FOUR SEPARATE PEOPLE.


I totally agree with this. One more reason - money is a term of value, by itself it can do nothing and we already have access to 100% efficiency of our empire systems.

But we are still left with several non-money resources, some of which should be plausibly converted into one another (preferably at low efficiency) - especially: food, minerals, labour, population
Consider:
food <-> minerals : energy to matter conversion/matter to matter
minnerals and/or labour -> population : cloning
labour <-> minerals, food : emergency (less efficent) works in mining/farming
food, mineral <-> labour : short living nanobots?

Of course it all depends on how those values are calculated, by imagine that in a system where normally population produces population/labour, labour produces everthing but more of itself, food/minerals as well, the above convertions (with, let me stress, low efficiency especially in the begining of the game - as low as few %) would be logical, beneficial and not threatening to balance.

Now that I read emyr's post one more time, I am begining to see more problem with money.

It is generated on turn basic and amounts are more or less fixed (dependant on taxation levels), yes?
And it is spend on some maintenance fees...and interstellar trade.

But wait.
In Civ, money was spend on rushing/hurrying. In Stars! or SE4 there was no money. I begin to see a serious problem here!

Problem is, I see a recipe for INFLATION - we will end up producing lots of money and few ways to spend it - prices will skyrocket. Now that I think of MOO1 money (BC was it?), it is the same variant - in late game I had huge amounts of BC, even through it was spend on miliary/espionage.

But there it was just a usless thing. In FO, we are talking multiplayer and trade. And nobody wants to deal with inflation in trade, right?

If we scratch money from interstellar trade, the nice auction/trade ideas are in trouble - we need some determinant of value to serve as unit of account (btw - if you cant list functions of money, read this).

After careful consideration, I see two options, each with pros and cons. Both concern money and international trade.

A. We leave money in, and use it in interstellar trade
Assumption: money is spend on maintenance and not on hurrying.
Problem: inflation is likely, although auctions should function all right (inflation exists in RL economy as well) - players will just have to get used to bidding/paying bigger and bigger sums for the same amount of stuff as the game progresses.
Solution: figure out a way for maintenance to stop inflation - sip off excess oney from the economy.

B. Scrapping money entirely
Lets pay maintenance from labour or minerals and treat minerals as a money in international trade. After all, money evolved from the precious resources.
Problem with that is that if minerals are not stockpiled but consumed, international trade will collapse. And if minerals are stockpiled, they will act exactly like money (go to A :) ).

So in the end, my reasoning about money goes down to what is best as a unit of account and medium of exchange - and to answer that, we would need to look at mathematical models involving maintenance and mineral production.

On gut feeling, I *think* that leaving money is better - if maintenance its it, one can alwyas try to bid for it by selling minerals or other things, so it is like having one more safety level before our model of economy collapses.

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