I think of something like EU2's system as a nice happy medium, except I don't think EU2 did a good job of conveying to the user how everything comes together - having to check ledgers, tooltips that didn't get updated with the patches. But there is one thing I'd like to think about stealing from EU2, and that is the combination of basic tax value plus resources.
This isn't 'resources' in the sense of minerals or food - resources in the sense that a planet has a primary resource which can be sold. The only real game effect is that it affects the amount of money generated by a planet (essentially a 'trade income' as well as a 'production tax' like MOO2)
This sounds similar to what i've planned for COW. My model is based on the Moo1 paradigm of sliders to determine the percentage of the planet which is devoted to each economic activity, but ive added a slowdown factor (you cant instantly switch from 100% production to 100% research in 1 turn, it takes time and money to refocus). I've also got a different set of economic activities:
Farming - produces food (duh)
Mining - produces minerals (double duh)
Industry - produces PP
Commerce - produces MONEY (requires
Research - produces RP
Government - quells unrest (among other things)
Military - determines number of ground troops in empire
Most of that is irrelevant to FO - but the way commerce works is this:
Any excess PP, food or minerals produced by your empire (i.e. any PP which arent going towards building ships etc, any food not being eaten) would, in Moo1, be converted into cash and placed in your reserve. I've got the same thing going on, but the spare industry has to be converted to cash via commerce
. If you dont have enough commerce, all of that overproduction will be wasted (although i may allow minerals (and possibly food) to be stockpiled).
So, within your empire you will have to balance commercial activity with everything else. You would still have income without commerce, since everybody gets taxed anyway, but i'm hoping to balance it so that you will need a certain amount of commerce if you dont want money to be tight (although this may vary based on Government type).
[Edit : oh i forgot to add why it was similar]
I'm also hoping to have stuff like high biodiversity planets in there (this was in Moo3) which increase the value of commerce derived from food, planets with rare minerals (which increase the value of commerce derived from minerals) etc. So its similar. Kinda.
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