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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:51 am 
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Space Dragon
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Once you get the technology for GG generators the only decision you have to make is for systems with 2+ GGs (which one I will build the generator? not a real decision) and for GGs in systems with no other planets (again not a real decision, you just will not build the generator there).
The real decisions related to GG generators are when changing focus of planets (and sometimes which species to use for colonisation): in systems with no GG, you can stick to the research focus or research species, on systems with GGs you better have industry focus and industry species.

So I suggest to make the GG generator effect depending only on having the tech (probably increasing tech cost) and an owned/allied GG in the system and remove the building itself from the game.

Not forgetting the pending suggestion of nerfing the bonus you get from inhabited GGs.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:12 pm 
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That is actually an ancient issue we never got around to address properly. Years ago I suggested to drastically increase their build costs, which would make the GGG a huge investment that takes a while to provide profit. That way the player at least had to decide if building one in a certain system is going to be worth it. A big factor for that decision how much planets in a system you're able or intend to switch to industry focus. The more industry focused colonies you have in a system, the faster the investment for the GGG will pay off.

For that to work, the build costs for a GGG must be high enough to make it not worth for systems with only one or even two non-GG planets that could be switched to industry. E.g. if the GG costs 300PP, that would give one industry focused colony an additional 10PP max industry. Which means more than 30 turns before the GG has paid for itself (more, because it takes some time to build the GG and then for the colony to build up the industry meter to the increased max). Two colonies would need more than 15 turns, and so on.

Raise the cost to 500PP, and in a system with only one non-GG planet it will take you 50 turns to break even.

Or do a more drastic redesign of the GG and come up with certain disadvantages so the player has to weigh the benefits against these disadvantages.

Or do as you suggested, just remove the building, and have the GGG effect for all GG you have an outpost on.

Bottom line, currently the GGG is a no-brainer, build everywhere building, which only creates annoying micromanagement and definitely needs to be fixed.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:26 pm 
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Space Dragon
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Vezzra wrote:
I suggested to drastically increase their build costs, which would make the GGG a huge investment that takes a while to provide profit. That way the player at least had to decide if building one in a certain system is going to be worth it. A big factor for that decision how much planets in a system you're able or intend to switch to industry focus. The more industry focused colonies you have in a system, the faster the investment for the GGG will pay off.
Problem I see with that approach is that it can't be balanced for every galaxy setup. Depending on the cost to assign to the GGG, If map is big enough you want them in every system (no-brainer), if map is small enough you want it nowhere (no-brainer, 50 turns to make it worth it means it's not worth it, you better conquer more planets with those PPs).
But it would work relatively well (and better than currently) for average/recommended settings, in which the other considerations you make would be worth it and players would have to actually make decisions.

Given that I do like to play maps with non-recommended settings (from tiny to huge maps, and also from cluttered to sparsely populated maps) I would prefer a more universal solution.

Quote:
Or do a more drastic redesign of the GG and come up with certain disadvantages so the player has to weigh the benefits against these disadvantages.
I'd like to come up with something along this lines. Nothing yet.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:43 pm 
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Oberlus wrote:
Problem I see with that approach is that it can't be balanced for every galaxy setup.
Yes, you're right of course. This would certainly not be an ideal solution, just, as you said yourself, a (quick temporary) improvement to the current setup. The reason why we didn't implement that solution back when I suggested it was because of the required AI adjustments. The GGG is one of the things the AI can use comparatively efficiently, and apparently changing it would impair the AI more severly than you'd might expect.

Aside from all that, there are a lot of things currently in our game that can't really be balanced for every galaxy setup. Most things tend to get unbalanced in one way or another with more extreme settings.

Nevertheless, a proper, final solution would be to come up with something where you have benefits and disadvantages to weigh against, which do not depend on/change with the scale of a game.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:46 pm 
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Vezzra wrote:
Bottom line, currently the GGG is a no-brainer, build everywhere building, which only creates annoying micromanagement and definitely needs to be fixed.
I think that "only creates annoying micromanagement" is an overstatement. For me, placing a GGG is a satisfying pleasure, a minor culmination of a bit of colonization work. Of course, I have the "custom" GGG construction reminder enabled, so there is no worry about forgetting to build one, and it makes it very simple to locate the system that is ready for one also. I can't remember why anyone insisted that sitrep be disabled by default, but I think it should be reconsidered-- if you take the hassle out of building them, then it is just a pleasant minor accomplishment, not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe they are still just enough of a minor hassle that it would fit best with our design vision to eliminate them, but I would miss them *sniff*....

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:08 pm 
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Dilvish wrote:
I think that "only creates annoying micromanagement" is an overstatement. For me, placing a GGG is a satisfying pleasure, a minor culmination of a bit of colonization work. Of course, I have the "custom" GGG construction reminder enabled, so there is no worry about forgetting to build one, and it makes it very simple to locate the system that is ready for one also. I can't remember why anyone insisted that sitrep be disabled by default, but I think it should be reconsidered-- if you take the hassle out of building them, then it is just a pleasant minor accomplishment, not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe they are still just enough of a minor hassle that it would fit best with our design vision to eliminate them, but I would miss them *sniff*....
I understand your POV. When I played MoO2 or GalCiv2 I had "pleasure" building each research/production/growth/farming/etc. facility in every planet that could make proper use of it. But I like way more the FO phillosophy. Would you get any pleasure from having to build, say, industrial centers on every colony if the supply-group-wide effect is removed? Don't think so, so it strikes me as odd this fond you have to GGGs :)

BTW, I think that custom GGG reminder is enabled by default. At least, in my games, I always see them, and actually it was them, the reminder sitreps, that made me realise the GGG is a no-brainer.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:22 pm 
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Dilvish wrote:
I can't remember why anyone insisted that sitrep be disabled by default, but I think it should be reconsidered
I have to agree with Oberlus - I don't see that custom sitrep disabled by default. I certainly don't enable it, and I always get that sitrep. And appreciate it a lot, because having to comb through all your systems to find the locations where you should build a GG but haven't yet has been a major PITA.

Which is exactly why I think the GG needs to be fixed. If you need a dedicated sitrep to remind you to build that thing basically everywhere, then the building in question certainly does not conform to our design philosophy... ;)
Quote:
Maybe they are still just enough of a minor hassle that it would fit best with our design vision to eliminate them, but I would miss them *sniff*....
As much as I can understand your sentiment, our design philosophy is quite clear when it comes to buildings: there should be no "build everywhere" buildings, they are actually more like the Wonders in Civ (and civ like games). Besides, we don't need to eliminate them, we can redesign them in a way that building them isn't a no-brainer anymore, and building them everywhere not feasible.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:49 pm 
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I agree that the current implementation of GGGs is rather uninteresting and should strongly be reconsidered.

Quote:
For that to work, the build costs for a GGG must be high enough to make it not worth for systems with only one or even two non-GG planets that could be switched to industry. E.g. if the GG costs 300PP, that would give one industry focused colony an additional 10PP max industry. Which means more than 30 turns before the GG has paid for itself (more, because it takes some time to build the GG and then for the colony to build up the industry meter to the increased max). Two colonies would need more than 15 turns, and so on.


I am not sure I like that approach very much. If I want to build GGGs only at certain systems at a certain time but later on may want to build GGGs at other systems as well, then I will have to keep track where I did or did not build those GGGs and double-check that decision-making regularly.
It seems not very well suited for our general design approach.


How about we streamline GGGs with how the rest of the buildings in FO work:
Let's only build a single, "central" GGG which then acts as GGG for all supply-connected, owned gas giants.

Basically a mix between the industry center (or similar buildings) and the asteroid +5 PP tech. With some substantial cost to the building, we have the same decision making as Vezzra suggested - we only want to build it if we have a sufficient number of planets with gas giants in the system. However, we only have to make that decision once per game (unless invasions get in the way).

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:48 pm 
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Morlic wrote:
Let's only build a single, "central" GGG which then acts as GGG for all supply-connected, owned gas giants.
This is the best option, I guess. Removing altogether the GGGs (as I suggested) kinda takes out some stuff from the game, while Morlic suggestion doesn't and attains the same benefits I was looking for.


I suggest to name that central GGG something like "(Imperial) Interstellar Beaming Stations Coordinator", with the fluff explanations stating that it is a central building that manages the different energy beaming stations that emit energy between different solar systems, so that the energy goes to where it is needed and in an orderly and accident-free fashion (we don't want to scorch the surfaces of the planets to which we want to send the energy).

I've prepared a suggestion to improve balance of industry-focused bonuses that draws from this suggestion.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:52 pm 
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Perhaps....

make GGG a central Building... (requires a system with 3?4 GG) and it allows output from GG outposts to increase Slowly
(ie the central building has a separate GGG meter that determines the output of GG outposts... how fast it goes up could be related to how many systems you have.. say 20/(10+#systems) so a 90 system empire's GGs would increase by 0.2 output per turn, wheras a 10 system empire's GGs would grow by 1 output per turn)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:36 pm 
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Krikkitone wrote:
make GGG a central Building... (requires a system with 3?4 GG) and it allows output from GG outposts to increase Slowly
(ie the central building has a separate GGG meter that determines the output of GG outposts... how fast it goes up could be related to how many systems you have.. say 20/(10+#systems) so a 90 system empire's GGs would increase by 0.2 output per turn, wheras a 10 system empire's GGs would grow by 1 output per turn)
I like this one too.
It makes the GGs themselves the producers of PPs, unrelated to the planets on the GG systems. This change of mechanics have many implications.

Same as my suggestion, this eliminates the micromanagement of the no-brainer building.

But this also eliminates some other source of (micro?)management: you no longer need to consider de presence of GGGs on the system when setting focus of colonies. Some could think this is bad, but I would be happy with it.

It also brings down noticeably the PP output of the Orbital Generation tech as a whole, since now a single GGG won't produce +10*N PPs (number of planets in system) but just +10 PPs. This means the current costs of the Orbital Generation tech would be way more balanced than currently, and the whole change would help for the snowballing problem.

Yeah, I really like it.

I would not use any complex formula for the speed at which it grows, not before checking that it needs such balance, because compared with the previous mechanics it will already grow slower enough (+1 PP per turn and outposted GG, up to +10).
For now, I don't like the requirement of having N+ GGs in the same system.


It needs a fluff explanation for the building.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:15 pm 
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Oberlus wrote:
It also brings down noticeably the PP output of the Orbital Generation tech as a whole, since now a single GGG won't produce +10*N PPs (number of planets in system) but just +10 PPs. This means the current costs of the Orbital Generation tech would be way more balanced than currently, and the whole change would help for the snowballing problem.

That is something I dont like. I think that location should be important. And some systems (or clusters of systems) should be more valuable than others.

Right now having a high number of planets in a system with a gas generator makes it much more valuable.

Setting focus of planets should also matter IMHO. Setting focus of a planet should be important. I think the current mechanism does this nicely.

There is a simple recipe against micro-managing focus switching: make the switch more expensive or slower.

Related to snowballing: Simply halving the bonus of GGG would have a similar effect i guess.

So how about target snowballing by doing a split? Remove the GGG building, give a +5PP bonus system-local for every gas giant outpost without the building (So exactly like now, just you dont need the building and the bonus is halved). And add a (once-per-supply-group) gas refinery building which adds bonus PP scaling up to a certain number of GG outposts (e.g. the basic building supports up to four gas giants in your empire, so if you have three gas giant outposts in the supply group it would bonus target +15PP).

The number this scales with could be upgraded by tech and/or an more expensive building. E.g. the basic building supports 4 gas giants and costs 200PP, the upgrade building supports up to 10 extra gas giants and costs 400PP).

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:59 pm 
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Ophiuchus wrote:
I think that location should be important. And some systems (or clusters of systems) should be more valuable than others.

Right now having a high number of planets in a system with a gas generator makes it much more valuable.
However, if we are decoupling the GGGs effect on each system from the presence of a given building in that system (because the current GGG effect is triggered by a central building that affects many systems), we are effectively removing the locational importance. I mean, some systems will still be better than others, but you won't need to take care of that, you just build your GGG central building somewhere and make sure it is connected to every system with an outposted GG on it.

If we want to make necessary to think about where to place the central GGG (as we are supposed to do with the collective network building) we need to come up with something new. But we don't have to think about this with the current GGG mechanic.

If we want to make necessary to think which GGs do we outpost... This is more interesting. Right now we don't do this neither (just outpost at least one GG on each of your systems with one or more colonies, and build a GGG on it; only thing you need to decide is which one put upper in the the queue, the one with more colonies in its system; yeah, the no-brainer issue), so if the solution we devise to fix the no-brainer issue has this same problem, then we wouldn't be worsening anything, only improving. But since we are here it would be nice to give it more strategic importance to all this.

Ophiuchus wrote:
Setting focus of planets should also matter IMHO. Setting focus of a planet should be important. I think the current mechanism does this nicely.
Agree. It forces/invites you to open the objects window and do some filtering to quickly find the systems that will get more benefit from switching planets from research to production, in those moments when you need more production; and viceversa, if you need more research you prefer to first switch the planets that are not in GGG systems.

The problem then is that we need/want the GGGs to have some effect on the production of the planets in systems with outposted GGs. So I like you suggestion:
Ophiuchus wrote:
So how about target snowballing by doing a split? Remove the GGG building, give a +5PP bonus system-local for every gas giant outpost without the building (So exactly like now, just you dont need the building and the bonus is halved). And add a (once-per-supply-group) gas refinery building which adds bonus PP scaling up to a certain number of GG outposts (e.g. the basic building supports up to four gas giants in your empire, so if you have three gas giant outposts in the supply group it would bonus target +15PP).

The number this scales with could be upgraded by tech and/or an more expensive building. E.g. the basic building supports 4 gas giants and costs 200PP, the upgrade building supports up to 10 extra gas giants and costs 400PP).
What I don't like about this is that it uses fixed numbers, that can be balanced only for specific galaxy setups.

I say it would be better to just give a fixed bonus for the industry-focused planets with an outposted GG in the system (if supply-connected to the central GGG building), either a fixed +5 (balanceable) or a number dependent on the size of the planet (+2*Size, this I like it more because it alse makes importante the size of the planets, not only their number). Dividing this bonus between the planets and the GGs themselve would be optional, not really necessary to fight the snowballing problem).
Making this bonus upgradeable with more techs is an option, of course, but that would need new techs (a new branch hanging from the Gas Giant Generator tech, independent of the Solar Generation tech that currently follows the GGG tech), and doesn't really add much to the game (but hey, I have nothing against it, the same could be thought of the upgrades for the industrial center building and we have them).


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