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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:44 pm 
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Since we're making a strategy game, it would be good to have a few plans about what sorts of strategies should be available to players. For now, this should probably be limited to discussing plans for game content relevant to the major game systems that have been implemented or designed, which is anything up to ships.

My current high-level plans are to have some fairly mutually-exclusive options for players. These involve "branches" of content that self-reinforce, but don't give much advantage for getting or using the other branches. So far:

Tech vs Production

Tech Branch - High research cost / low minimum research time techs lead to research-boosting applications and cheap production cost buildings that give small boosts to minerals and production, larger boosts to research. Production-focused empire won't be able to (quickly) research the expensive tech branch technologiges.

Production Branch - Low research cost / long minimum research time techs unlock high production cost buildings that give large boosts to production. Research-focused empires won't have the production capacity to build production branch buildings.


Expansion vs Development

Expansion branch - Strategic resources unlock buildings and ship parts that don't require prerequisite buildings. Expansion gives access to more and varied resources, and generally doesn't require much development of already-held planets and systems.

Development branch - Buildings unlock other buildings and ship parts that don't require resources. Instead of expanding, players spend resources on buildings and "tech up" in the manner of an RTS or a game like Master of Magic, in which structures unlock other structures or enable higher-level units to be produced.


The expansion branch refers to strategic resources, which I imaging will function simlarly to Civ3 strategic resources: some buildable items require them to be built. We haven't had an official discussion on them, but unless they're particularly controversial, I don't think we need to, as most issues seem likely to be implementation details.


Thoughts on these stragic options? Alternate or additional high-level strategic choices suggestions? I have some thoughts on ship strategic options as well, but I haven't yet formatted them as above. Note that choices don't have to be only between two options.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:01 am 
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Travel Speed VS Travel Range
Travel Speed - More focus on getting between places within range faster. Allows better defense since ships can get into position, greater trade income, etc. Methods of doing this may involve faster engines, improving starlanes, jump gates, star gates, etc.

Travel Range - More focus on getting to places, ie extending range. Brings more systems within reach for colonisation, puts the enemy within reach, providing better supply to long range ships. Methods of doing this may involve better fuel/larger fuel tanks, greater supply range, refueling stations, outposts, etc.

Perhaps I will think of more later. :)

EDIT: Hmmm, this might just be under expansion and development. :P


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:38 pm 
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Warrior VS Pacifist
The warrior branch will unlock more weapons and have more powerful foot soldiers (due to superior training), but will suffer from the diplomatic point of view (nobody likes a violent neighbour ;)), and perhaps have a general research slowdown.

The pacifist, instead, will tend to suffer unrest in case of prolonged periods of war, and have less WMD, but will gain in the scientific and diplomatic side. Perhaps even a small bonus to internal happiness during peaceful periods.

Mechanist VS Geneticists
(there should be a way to "balance" these two, granting something in the middle)
The Mechanist will try to make his race better orienting his studies toward man-robot interfaces (think cyberpunk). Perhaps this could lead to a more pratical race (if we will put religion in the game, this could lead toward "atheism"), even perhaps less "human" (again, in cyberpunk terms think about cyberpsycosis). Advantages in research and production, penalties in human technologies.

Te Genetists, on the other side, will try to get a deeper understanding on DNA and try to force nature. It's the opposite (almost) of mechanists (think about gaian in alpha centauri).

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:47 pm 
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This is similar to the Expansion v. Development idea
Size v. Efficiency

Large Empires pay increasing amounts Money to maintain their colonies. (focusing on Governments/Techs, etc. that hold this cost down or boost money production)

Smaller Empires can focus on useful things like Production, Minerals, and Tech (and Governments/Techs that increase those things)


This does look a little bit ahead, but since we have Money in, it seems like the best thing for Political Stability/Spies/Happiness. and I'm assuming governments will be in.



Diplomatic Power v. Military Power

Diplomatic Power strategies focus on using colonies (your own or someone else's) to get you power in the galaxy (either persuading friendly empires to help, enemy colonies to rebel, or your own colonies to resist)

Military Power strategies focus on using ships+troops to get you power in the galaxy (destroying any colonies that are between you and victory)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:47 pm 
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Smuggler vs Economist
(perhaps not the right words :))
A smuggler should have quick ways to get money (like "convert production into money"), while an economist should focus on economic theory, granting more long-term benefits.
(with a few modification could be something like Free Trader VS Isolationist)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:15 pm 
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Krikkitone wrote:
This is similar to the Expansion v. Development idea
Size v. Efficiency

Large Empires pay increasing amounts Money to maintain their colonies. (focusing on Governments/Techs, etc. that hold this cost down or boost money production)

Smaller Empires can focus on useful things like Production, Minerals, and Tech (and Governments/Techs that increase those things)


Isn't that like a punishment for success? While it should be possible for someone behind to catch up I'm not sure peanaliseing large empires is the awnser.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:43 pm 
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Tortanick wrote:
Krikkitone wrote:
This is similar to the Expansion v. Development idea
Size v. Efficiency

Large Empires pay increasing amounts Money to maintain their colonies. (focusing on Governments/Techs, etc. that hold this cost down or boost money production)

Smaller Empires can focus on useful things like Production, Minerals, and Tech (and Governments/Techs that increase those things)


Isn't that like a punishment for success? While it should be possible for someone behind to catch up I'm not sure peanaliseing large empires is the awnser.


No its not a punishment for success its the cost of one type of success (a large empire) To get a large empire you need more money per pop unit or per planet.

If you want a large (stable) empire you will invest in a strong social(money) infrastructure... If you just want to annihilate your opponents, and sieze a few key worlds while laying the galaxy to waste, or turtle up and shoot for transcendance/singularity, then you don't need the social infrastructure (but you will suffer from a lower overall production, because you don't have the size).


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:46 pm 
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Krikkitone wrote:
but you will suffer from a lower overall production, because you don't have the size).


...won't be easy to balance... I mean, even in MoO2 production beats anything else :D

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:20 am 
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perhaps this idea is related and more general:

quantity vs. quality

you can opt to have lots of ineffective planets or a few highly productive planets. ship can be mass and easily destroyed or capital ships with special abilities. i guess expansion and production goes with quantity; tech and development goes with quality.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:35 am 
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Yes, production tends to lead to more expansion, therefore more production.



Also:
Diplomacy - ideally relationships should mean something, so there should be more aliances to ensure equal footing between the various races and factions.
Trade - a race would not be so quick to destroy an empire whoose worlds are buying alot of there exports.
Espionage - a small empire can take down a large one through saboutage, blackmail, stealing of technology, information about enemy plans/tactics/stratgies/motives.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:53 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
The expansion branch refers to strategic resources, which I imaging will function simlarly to Civ3 strategic resources: some buildable items require them to be built. We haven't had an official discussion on them, but unless they're particularly controversial, I don't think we need to, as most issues seem likely to be implementation details.


IMHO "strategic resources" belong squarely in the category of "something that might be nice to have, but is certainly unnecessary to the core game, and therefore should be tabled until after 1.0."

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:07 pm 
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I'm not so sure about production or population being overpowered in Master Of Orion 2.

Because I just beat a game of impossible by staying confined to one system (3 planets) and using awesome reasearch race traits to cruise up the research and production and shield and physics trees to eventually have 4 titans (plasma cannons and class x shields) defending one system against the Gnolam and Sakkra who had colonised the galaxy. Even there fleets of 20 ships could not stop me.

My race was Lithovore, subterranien and Research +1, Large Homeworld, -10 round combat, -10 spying, low g home world.
So in the end research beats all perhaps, though I did have the benefits of population from my race traits.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:46 am 
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It seems like we could consolidate much of the above discussion into a trichotomy:

Diplomats would form treaties and try to work together with other races. They would gain benefits to research, and trade from all of the interaction. This strategy would have the additional benefit of being able to get help in a pinch, but backstabbing is always a problem, and allies will often take up space that you could put to better use.

Isolationists would "turtle up" and focus on developing their own infrastructure to provide for themselves. They would have strong defenses and be resistant to espionage. This strategy could be the most versatile in terms of victory conditions because you can adapt your focus to serve the current situation (research vs production), but you would not have the available resources of other strategies.

Warriors would have highly trained units and good production, but would probably suffer in research. Warriors would have the best access to resources and would have the most population, but much of that will be needed to support the war machine, rather than develop for the future, so they would probably aim to win quickly. They would also have the most colonies and the weakest defense (due to rapid expansion), so a single, concentrated, counterstrike could cut supply lines and leave them helpless. Also a technologically superior fleet might be able to trump their superior numbers and experience.

I wonder if this would work as a rock-paper-scissors balance, or if it would depend too much on where you start, what you find, and how other players behave (or don't behave :twisted: ).

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:25 am 
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eleazar wrote:
IMHO "strategic resources" belong squarely in the category of "something that might be nice to have, but is certainly unnecessary to the core game, and therefore should be tabled until after 1.0."
So do space monsters, but they're scheduled for v.8. *is fully aware that this was posted over a year ago*


@MathGeek: So it's the Fox vs. the Lion vs. the Turtle, eh? It does seem like most strategies could be roughly labeled as either manipulative, aggressive or passive. RPS won't work though, I think, since different parts of one's overall strategy could have very different aspects, and a player might act differently towards different empires. For example, in MoO2, I often play the role of the charismatic espionage warlord, taking full advantage of the Telepathic pick. I send out outposts to make contact quickly, conquer weak empires near me, befriend strong empires near me, and spy on everyone who isn't in range of my colonies. In this kind of game, (and in real life) strategy is situational, and it's not necessarily the person with the best strategy that wins, but the one who is bast able to adapt his strategy to fit the circumstances. (Is it a coincidence that the first time I won a game on impossible with a 340% score bonus was immediately after I read Machievelli's "The Prince"?)

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:20 pm 
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How about adding economics like this options? Please refer to Alpha Centauri options on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sid_Meier%27s_Alpha_Centauri - Social Engineering.

I liked this approximation for economy types, and my suggestion is to adapt this to FO (it follows my suggestion in blue)
* Simple is the default administration. It represents the ad hoc economy which is utilized in the setting's early years.
This is the default economy - no modifier
* Free Market is the system where market forces run free. This system generates great wealth, but due to lack of any regulation damages to the environment and cripples any sort of police presence.
Add a positive modifier to economy ($ generation), and negative modifier to adequation to current environment.
* Planned is the system where the market is controlled by heavy government regulation in accordance to an overall economic plan. This improves population growth and industrial output, but bureaucracy makes management of resources inefficient.
Improve max industry (due to planned, ensured perspectives about the future). Reduce max farming and max mining due to poor resources management.
* Green is the system whereby the economy is regulated such that it places environmental management above all else. This helps limit ecological damage and improves efficient use of resources, but because of ecological safeguards population growth is limited.
Add a positive modifier to adequation to current environment, but slightly reduce the population limit for the planet. Increase max farming and max mining due to improved resources management.


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