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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:20 am 
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Dyson Forest
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Here is another question to add to the discussion...
Some of these proposals are along the lines of "only use production from the N highest planets", with the idea of making PP grow slower than linear with the number of planets. Yes?

How should we handle a cut in supply lines?
One of the examples was top SQRT(N). So 16 planets -> use top 4, 25 planets -> use top 5, etc. Someone could micromanage the game, and have an empire with 16 + 9 planets (two separate supply regions), which would then use 4+3 = 7 planets for production. Or if the decision is to use the total number of planets, regardless of being supply connected, then what would be a fair way to split up the points between the two supply regions?

I agree with the idea the production effectiveness should tail off as the empire grows larger, but the possibility of distinct supply zones will need to be considered.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:07 pm 
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Vacuum Dragon
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Would be a good idea to change the flat bonuses to depend on the size of the planet?
The +2 could be +0.5, +1, +1.5, +2 and +2.5 (0.5*SIZE).
The +5 could be +1, +2, +3, +4 and +5 (1*SIZE).

Regarding the pop-dependant bonuses, mem359 raised a good point. Dividing your supply into two groups you could get twice the production than the single-group equivalent. Thus it would always be preferable the splitting (you can have two x5 robocruisers batches in each supply group instead of one x10 batch in the single one and produce way faster). I would say the ideal solution should avoid that, because that strategy would imply that two small supply chains always better than a single one. I'm not sure, maybe that could be a "better" way to play.
But, if not, then the capping of the pop-dependant production should be applied empire-wise, to the total sum. A possible idea:

The production of each planet is weighted depending on the distance (jumps) to the homeworld, something like this PRODUCTION * (1.0 - K*round_up(N_JUMPS/H)). For K=0.05 and H=3 it would be like this:
- 0-3 jumps: 100%.
- 4-6 jumps: 95%.
...
- 28-30 jumps: 50%
...
- 58-60 jumps: 0%
I assume the calculation of such distances wouldn't be a burden for the processor since they can be precalculated at start and recalculated when someone creates a new starlane. BTW, that could encourage the use of starlanes within your own lines to improve supply efficiency, by reducing the number of hops between systems and the homeworld.
The actual values of K and H should be studied a bit, if the whole idea is worth it, and they could depend on the size of the map (as using H=2 for maps with less than 100, 3 for 100-199, 4 for 200-299, etc. so that every star in the system could contribute (more than 0%) even in really huge maps.
This would call for a few more research techs that could affect the value of K (yeah, that would need a better name, something like decay factor or sth) and/or the value of H. And it could also become a species trait, so that some species are capable of better supply chains. Ideas, ideas.

Edit: maybe that H should follow a non-linear formula, to get something like this:
- 0: 100%
- 1-2: 95%
- 3-5: 90%
- 6-9: 85%
- 10-14: 80%
- 15-20: 75%
...


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:04 pm 
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Vacuum Dragon
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LGM-Doyle wrote:
Currently, colonizing everything continuously is the optimal strategy, because each colony nets you the fixed bonuses and automatic growth. The incremental gain [cost?] in colonizing is always outweighed by its benefit. The colony immediately makes a positive impact on the empire.
Not completely true, IMO.
If you keep colonising at full throttle when there is a military menace is a net loss, a present to your enemies.
If you choose to get first growth techs instead of production techs you colonise slower than possible (less wide) but get better pop-dep bonuses from the planets you already have. This decision should be based on how much production/research benefit you get from making current colonies bigger vs getting more colonies.

The main problem I see here (see underlined text) is that fixed bonus techs outperform pop-dep bonus techs in the early to mid game, which makes optimal (and nearly a no-brainer) the wide strategy vs tall strategy, with the caveats of the military menaces (but for that the alternative is not to go tall, with growth and pop-dep bonus techs, but to go military).


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:32 pm 
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Vezzra wrote:
My main objection is, while I've always been in favor of giving more importance/value to small planets and trying to avoid mechanics that make the larger planets too advantageous, this will take things too far.
On what do you base that conclusion? Regardless, the caps on each tech's bonus can be set, depending on the proportionality factor for that tech / effect, so that each tech has a different population at which its cap is reached. Also, not all techs need to be given caps. Thus, it would remain useful to get more population, but just not be proportional forever such that bonuses grow problematically large.
Quote:
And just keeping some non-capped pop-dependent boni so it's not completely pointless to increase your pop is not sufficient IMO, given how extensive our tech tree in the growth department is, in addition to that the growth specials, etc.
I don't follow the argument here. There are a lot of techs, therefore all must have uncapped bonus potential? Why?
Quote:
If your mining output was below your industrial capacity, the surplus industrial capacity was wasted, if your mining output was above industrial capacity, the surplus in minerals was wasted. Which resulted in some micromanagement to keep these two matched, which finally had been deemed a mechanic not fun enough to warrant the micromanagement involved, and therefore mining had been removed.
I don't see the relevance of this comparison. Closest relevance I can guess you mean is that there would be a single population level after which there is no benefit to have more, but this is not at all the suggested change.
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Applying a cap to all/most of the pop-dependent boni introduces something similar. You have two caps - the pop itself of course, and the cap up to which a certain bonus increases with pop. Increasing your pop beyond what most of your boni can increase to is a waste of investment...
No. There is a per-tech (or other effect) limit, with a different cap for each effect, not an overall limit after which more population has no benefit.
Quote:
And for what? Because if the purpose is to limit resource output, this can be done just as well by reducing the boni to pop we currently have. Or making it more difficult to achieve higher pops. I don't see the point of introducing what basically amounts to having several caps which do the same for the same thing.
The problem with just reducing proportionality constants is that it makes the bonuses too small to be useful at the start of the game. That is, or wasn't, considered a problem. The issue was the huge growth in the values between the start and end of the game.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:11 pm 
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AI Lead, Programmer
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
The problem with just reducing proportionality constants is that it makes the bonuses too small to be useful at the start of the game. That is, or wasn't, considered a problem. The issue was the huge growth in the values between the start and end of the game.
Something that this makes me think of, which I don't see above (hopefully I am not just overlooking it), is that instead of a hard cap, the bonii could simply be tiered-- like 0.2/pop up to the first N pop, and then 0.1/pop thereafter.

Also, while I think that it had been expected that in the future the Influence system would give us another way to "tax" expansion, the IS possibly does also. Every owned planet could impose a restriction on the IS-- just to brainstorm I'll toss out the idea of having it be a reduction of max IS output (but not actually draining the IS), proportional to the square of planet size (so that smaller planets could grow past the incremental reduction but larger planets would maybe not), and doubled for populated planets. So all outposts would cause a reduction to max IS output, and newly populated planets or larger planets would also, unless until their pop grew enough (if even possible for that size planet) to counterbalance the fixed reduction. So perhaps the base reduction being a sum over
Code:
1.5 * [[STOCKPILE_PER_POP]] * LocalCandidate.HabitableSize

I think I'd also propose that the Imperial Palace provide a small IS max use boost, enough to cover the reduction from the Capital and maybe partially covering the first couple colonies, so perhaps like a flat +1. And/or there could be a small floor below which this reduction did not kick in, nor would it carry you below that, so that an empire could always get at least some bit of the small-waste-headache relief from the IS, with a floor of 2 or something, perhaps max(2, 0.02*TotalPP) (of course, at the very beginning of the game many empires might have a max IS use that was already below that level, and that's fine also).

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:27 am 
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Dilvish wrote:
...instead of a hard cap, the bonii could simply be tiered-- like 0.2/pop up to the first N pop, and then 0.1/pop thereafter.
This effect would be, in my suggestion, accomplished by having different techs with different proportionality constants and limits. It's easier to understand that "Refractive Research" gives +0.5 RP/pop up to 6 RP / turn, and "Inquisitive Chewing" gives +0.2 RP/pop with no limit. "Refractive Research" would be an early-game tech which is initially useful but caps out, requiring later techs to be researched to keep getting proportionally smaller but overall larger bonuses as population keeps increasing.

Quote:
Also, while I think that it had been expected that in the future the Influence system would give us another way to "tax" expansion...
Not sure why you're suggesting this in this thread (I suggest making another), but the proposed limits of meter bonuses are not a "tax". There is no penalty for growth, and growth remains beneficial in that meters keep increasing with population. This suggestion just reduces the extreme scale of growth in resource meters over the course of a game to something more reasonable. Limiting the scale of meter change would also make it more feasible to have other ways to boost resource output, besides population (or infrastructure) dependence, such as a (soft-capped by production cost increases) fixed per-building bonuses linked to government policies or some kind of research or production-generating ship mechanic.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:15 am 
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Space Floater

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Geoff the Medio wrote:
The issue was the huge growth in the values between the start and end of the game.

The rate of growth is the problem. Because, really, for good game scaling, in the end you do want production points to go from 10/turn to beyond 10e20/turn. Thus huge growth of values is not the root cause of the concerns in my opinion.

In my opinion the root cause is the high demographic growth rate. I understand why it's so high, so that early to late early game there are things for players to do, to not have that phase of the game be slow. But because demographic growth rate is so high( and gets higher), it makes the primary resource(population) not be the limiting factor at mid to late game. At end game the limiting factor becomes how many colonies does an empire have. Production growth rate becomes driven by growth of colonies/turn.

So without addressing the demographic growth rate, only symptoms will be treated. Creating an overly complicated mess that is very hard to balance and doesn't scale. In my opinion population should be the key and limiting resource throughout the whole game. The best way to make population the limiting resource is to nerf its growth rate.

Imposing limits on pop dependent production whole scale is counter-productive. It will be work that will need to be un-done.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:01 am 
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Gault.Drakkor wrote:
The rate of growth is the problem. Because, really, for good game scaling, in the end you do want production points to go from 10/turn to beyond 10e20/turn.
This doesn't make much sense. In addition to the impracticality in the UI and for balancing such a huge range of resource output values, having such a big range would require a large rate of growth to be possible during a game. Slow growth just can't reach huge values during a limited duration game.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:35 pm 
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Space Floater

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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Gault.Drakkor wrote:
The rate of growth is the problem. Because, really, for good game scaling, in the end you do want production points to go from 10/turn to beyond 10e20/turn.
This doesn't make much sense. In addition to the impracticality in the UI and for balancing such a huge range of resource output values, having such a big range would require a large rate of growth to be possible during a game.


I think you are focusing on the wrong thing. My point is that if you drop demographic growth rate down. The option of having a game that is still balanced 1000 turns in is actually possible, it does not need to be supported.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Slow growth just can't reach huge values during a limited duration game.

I agree. But you have mentioned Kardashev scales. currently game goes from ~0.8 ->1.0 using production as proxy to energy production. If you want to ever go more then that you will need to have better scaling. Which I fully agree would be over thousands of turns. Not a limited duration game.

I have played games where I had demographic growth rate of 2%/turn, with some flat multipliers on population to production, no natives. AI keeps up much better in this scenario. Empires are much closer in power even after 200 turns. Starting position is less critical. Initial decisions are less critical. Its just better game play in my opinion. At that low of demographic rate tall empires are plausible.


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