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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 7:10 am 
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Well just to be clear

1. population + labor are not 'resources' as used in this game sense. (we only have 4 or 5 Food/Minerals/Industry/Research probably Money)

2. Any time a resource is 'interconvertable' with another effectively you just have a complex way of dealing with one resource*

3. Most of the standard 4x Game uses for money (rush production, maintenance) are probably best done with Industry itself (producing something faster than normal takes extra total cost, maintaining something that took
Basically any use of Money that is basically 'Imperial Industry' should be done with Imperial Industry.

4. Money is not a good 'Resource' for Interstellar trade if it has no other use.

5. That does leave a 'what does money do?' problem, the best I could come up with is "social work" ie its what you use for social engineering, spies, spy defense, preventing revolts, etc. (this would be a use that is not currently in the game but would be a sensible one to have and one that will be needed if the game is to have any political/social/diplomatic component).


*with the Focus idea All resources are 'interchangable' in the long term, a High surplus or stockpile of minerals means that you can change Focus away from minerals to something else, essentially 'converting' from one to another, but only over the long expensive term. In this sense, the ultimate "resource" is Population+Infrastructure...because that is your production base for the 5 Resources.

Finally, the article on wiki is very informative but useless for the game
1. It relies on realism (we've striken that)
2. Even under a realism argument, the point is made that money requires fungibility, ie it requires interconnected markets governed by trust in some non-counterfeitable product.

In the game, I expect to see interstellar empires which might choose never interact with each other other than in war. They will regularly make and break promises to each other with a variety of consequences mostly depending on their power... Real-life money is ridiculously complicated in this environment. and quite frankly I don't want anything like real-life money in the game. (except maybe a reputation rating)

However, a 'soft industry' ie people's labor and infrastructure dedicated to things that are not easily convertible to spaceships, research projects, survival, or the stuff spaceships are made out of.. that could be useful. It is stuff that helps society run more efficiently or happily or safely, (accountants, lawyers, cops, actors, waiters, etc.) and which thereby discourages people from rioting in the streets, or allows change to go forward.

This way "Money" (something most players will need) will be a good medium of exchange because it can more reasonably be stockpiled+instantly moved around than any of the other four resources (a spaceship can't be built with promises, but people can be made happy with promises), and because it actually has a use of its own.

It might still be involved in things like Unit maintenance (keeping the population in those battle-ships/oids wanting to fight for you) or Rush building.. (as part of the extra cost... building it normal speed cost 100 Industry total, building it double speed costs 150 Industry and 50 Money total).. The main use would be political maintenance/political 'Combat' (encouraging my enemy to revolt and discouraging my people.)


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 10:29 am 
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I agree with most of that, barring to things quoted later, but the basic question remains how do we deal with international trade? Unless this is OT in this discussion - but the question deals with 'should we use money in international trade model or not' is relevant to the money thred (IMHO), so I think it can be answered here.

For some players (like me...) ability to form economic alliances and play with interstellar trade on a scale at least as big as in SE4 important part of the 'fun'.

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Any time a resource is 'interconvertable' with another effectively you just have a complex way of dealing with one resource


Let's assume that most of the technologies that allow to do it in one's own empire are high on the tech tree AND not very efficient (few %). That way we preserve the (cool?) tech ideas of clonning or transmutation, but we are unlikely to reach a point where we eliminate the strategic debth of resources.

Second, without 'exchange' you cant have any trade. After all, who is going to trade minerals for minerals or food for food? The whole idea of trade is based on 'interconvertability' of resources.

And if we agree that in internatinal trade you can trade everything for everything (scratch realism, it is logical as well - why would you deny a player an ability to buy or sell a technology for planetary system, intelligence information for ships, minerals for miliary intervention, etc.), then by extension, money will be traded as well. And it is likely to become the logical unit of account.

As for
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Even under a realism argument, the point is made that money requires fungibility, ie it requires interconnected markets governed by trust in some non-counterfeitable product
.

I dont think it is a question of realism - the fact remains, that we are likely to deal with questions 'what is our medium of exchange? what is our unit of account? what is our store of value'? And while we dont have to stick to 'realism' argument 'that has to be money', we have to answer them.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 8:54 am 
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tzlaine wrote:
Look through the money and resource discussions for Emrys' post on why resource interconversion is a Bad Thing. He makes the case extremely convincingly.


Woo! I convinced someone of something... There truly is a first time for everything :lol: :D :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 9:01 am 
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Krikkitone wrote:
However, a 'soft industry' ie people's labor and infrastructure dedicated to things that are not easily convertible to spaceships, research projects, survival, or the stuff spaceships are made out of.. that could be useful. It is stuff that helps society run more efficiently or happily or safely, (accountants, lawyers, cops, actors, waiters, etc.) and which thereby discourages people from rioting in the streets, or allows change to go forward.


This is essentially how I've seen the decision to not stockpile industry and instead have money as nother resource: It means 'Industry' = heavy constructional industry and 'money' = all other economic output that isn't heavy industry, farming or mining, rather than 'money' = simply medium of exchange.

prokonsul priotus wrote:
if we agree that in internatinal trade you can trade everything for everything (scratch realism, it is logical as well - why would you deny a player an ability to buy or sell a technology for planetary system, intelligence information for ships, minerals for miliary intervention, etc.), then by extension, money will be traded as well. And it is likely to become the logical unit of account.


I shouldn't imagine anyone has any objections to empires' trading anything for anything else, since in bilateral trade the fact that the other person must have what you want to get, intrinsically ensures that you can't break the game rules or balance this way.

The issue is the "likely to become the logical unit of account" bit. What we call 'money' in the game (which bears no necessary relation to 'Money' in the real world) would only "become the logical unit of account" if it were more freely interchangeable and strictly positive in benefit over a reasonable range (i.e. more is always good, and prefereably 1000 more is always a tenth as good as 10000 more, and there' s not really a point at which you just don't care about getting more) than any other unit.

I.e. if in the game players can only really productively use 10,000 units of 'money' a turn, and any more they'd have to trade for something else actually useful, but they can productively use as many minerals(or food, or ships or techs or planets or population or anything else) as they can get their hands on, and they can still trade it back out if they don't need it, then minerals(or ...) will be the natural unit of account, not what we choose to call 'money'.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 7:57 pm 
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Prokonsul Piotrus wrote:

I dont think it is a question of realism - the fact remains, that we are likely to deal with questions 'what is our medium of exchange? what is our unit of account? what is our store of value'? And while we dont have to stick to 'realism' argument 'that has to be money', we have to answer them.



I think the idea is your 'unit of value/account' for something is How much is this going to help me win the game, because that is Highly variable we can't have a simple unit of account.

The idea behind non interconvertible resources, is there is No single unit of account... if you want technology No amount of farming will get it for you (unless someone Else both has farming and Needs Technology) You can't just look at your 'Treasury' and say I've got 10,000 and am producing/using 1,000 per turn I'm doing well. You have to look at 5 different 'Treasuries' to see how well you are doing.

For the Purposes of the game (and the use of money I propose), it would probably be primarily Two different 'treasuries'. Industry and Money would be your main 'combat/Comparison' resources, that would tell about your Military and Political resources respectively. (Minerals would essentially be a way to support Industry). Research and Food would be generic Improvement Resources.

Now for a common unit of exchange, it should be
1. Stockpilable (probably eliminating Research and Industry)
2. Usable in all quantities (probably eliminating Food and Minerals)

This leaves Money (as described) as a good Common Unit of exchange.

For some way to model International Trade (aside from the simple bartering portion of exchanging resources), I'm sure Money can do that as a system like Civ showed with its Luxuries. If money is 'soft Industry' then it would be particularly sensitive to special resources and so the efficiency of Money Production could easily be tied to interacting starports, Trade treaties, etc.


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