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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:32 pm 
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From viewtopic.php?p=90438#p90438

Vezzra wrote:
First of all, it would be good if as many of you as possible would playtest the new mechanic in particular now, and give your feedback. I consider what went in as still very rough around the edges and in need of polishing before we can deem this ready for release. In particular the content provided needs a major overhaul, IMO. What we have is perfectly fine for playtesting, as it gives you easy access to the new feature in test games. But the Imperial Stockpile techs/tech tree and the fluff explanations can certainly be improved, and being able to use the stockpile definitely shouldn't be something available right from game start.


An obvious remark: maximum efficiency comes from no using IS at all, since that way you are wasting no PPs in conversions.
For particular purposes, like speeding up the production of something that you can not yet produce (requirements not met yet) so that you save for it in advance, or like getting some use for PPs that would have been wasted otherwise (supply lines cut off and nothing useful to do with the PPs of the secondary resource groups, appart from stockpiling them to use in the main group).
The former can be pretty stupid and better achieved by a proper scheduling of your research, so that you meet the constraints sooner (otherwise we are talking about either getting 2 or 5 PPs per turn, ridiculous, or having researched several IS efficiency techs instead of the requirements for your actual production objective.
The latter can be a seldom situation in which you were forced to expand far away via colony ships because there was nothing better than poor closer, and then I wonder why not giving more priority to growth techs. And it could also be, more often, the result of an enemy invasion of imperial space. In such case, I would prefer to produce military ships in each of my resource groups and figure out how to make the forces of each group to strike at the same time and place rahter than stockpiling say 60% of the PPs of the secondary groups for the primary one and waste the other 40%. In case I have 80% efficiency or better and I can spend stockpiled PPs at rates close to 50 or 100 per turn, then I can consider it a viable strategy.

Summing up, I find current stockpiling is a loss of time for any empire that is not struggling to survive an onslaught, and for such struggling empires is more like an entertainment for them to evade the idea they are getting wipped out no matter what they do (yet I prefer to improve weapons instead even if I'm going to die so that it not cheap for my enemies).


Quote:
being able to use the stockpile definitely shouldn't be something available right from game start.
I don't disagree with this. Currently, the availability of IS from start gives no real advantage nor opens new viable strategies to any species. 2 PPs per turn that needed 10 wasted PPs per turn? No, thank you.
Unless the starting stockpiling capabilities are boosted, that won't change with the expected major overhaul and having starting stockpiling will still imply nothing.

Maybe later IS techs could have way stronger capabilities and make the use of IS a viable strategy for scattered empires (probably stealth species).


Still thinking about all this, I may change my opinions without previous warning.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:59 pm 
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I think there is no problem with the rudimentary imperial stockpile capabilities being unlocked at the very beginning of the game, nor a problem with them being very basic.

The efficiency is so low that it is not a big giveaway, and it helps make clear what the related UI elements are really for. But even though the efficiency is very low it's not totally worthless-- it's nothing you'd intentionally want to trigger, but it does still have a small bit of value if a planet of yours gets blockaded by surprise (on that first turn you will have lost PP without a chance yet to put anything into the local queue).

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:57 am 
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Unfortunately, I have same sentiments as Oberius. I have a hard time justifying any use of stockpile when playing.

A good amount of my time in early game is finding somewhere useful to "stash" excess PP until certain techs are complete.
The only time I have any stockpiled PP is once the game is pretty much won (and usually just from forgetting to check).

Would propose to allow some minimum amount to transfer with little or no efficiency loss.

For both stockpile and stockpile transfer, it may lend well to adapt them to a softer max capacity, similar to charging a battery.
For stockpile, exceeding capacity would result in an increasing rate of decay (loss of stockpiled PP), until capacity is reached.
For transfer, exceeding capacity increases the transfer efficiency loss.
Main focus of techs would be on improving capacity of use limit, stockpile, and/or transfer.
Some refinement techs could improve transfer efficiency, if still desired.
Players might start with 10 transfer capacity, and 50 stockpile capacity.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:58 pm 
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Dyson Forest
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I like the batery idea.
IS could have transfer capacities for stockpiling (storing) as well as for using the stockpile (with or without imposing maximum capacities of storage). So at the start, for example, you could store 2 PPs per turn at 100% efficiency as well as spend 2 stockpiled PPs per turn with no loss, for decreasing efficiency rates when storing/spending more than that (formula to be determined, maybe a power law), and transfer efficiency would increase with techs (either by increasing the maximum number of PPs that can be transferred at 100% or by making the decrease of efficiency slower).


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:26 pm 
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Dyson Forest

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Im happy that finally people have tried and came to the same conclusion - that the stockpile in its current form is way underpowered.

I would like to know where the stockpile gets usable or overpowered before changing mechanics.
I suggest we individually change the tech settings and see where the point of usability is currently in our games.

I think having one ratio for controlling the payoff and one limit for controlling the immediate use is enough.
I still dont see evidence theres a necessity to differentiate between transfer and main supply.
I still dont see evidence theres a necessity to add a stockpile limit (personally i doubt that it will do better than the extraction limit).

Besides finding the finding the point of usability - discussing new ideas how the stockpile could be improved is great :)

I like the idea of a more flexible stockpile like a battery. So my take on it - How about a having a flexible extraction limit?
So that you can extract less if you already extracted PP before.

E.g.
Lets say the basic "stockpile-battery" can be recharged PP for ten turns, so with first tech
industry/stockpile ratio 0.6
use-limit-regeneration adds 5 PP to the current use-limit per turn
flexible-use-limit 50 PP/turn
You spend 200 industry PP on your stockpile. If you have fully charged your battery.
  • turn 70: 120PP in stockpile - 50PP/turn flexible use - you start building something 120PP/4turns using the stockpile
  • turn 71: 70PP in stockpile - 25PP/turn flexible use - 90PP to go
  • turn 72: 45PP in stockpile - 5PP/turn flexible use - 70PP to go
  • turn 73: 40PP in stockpile - 5PP/turn flexible use - 65PP to go
    ...
  • turn 85: 5PP in stockpile - 5PP/turn flexible use - 5PP to go
  • turn 86: 0PP in stockpile - 5PP/turn flexible use - nothing left to build, battery actually starts recharging
  • turn 87: 0PP in stockpile - 10PP/turn flexible use

If you want to nerf remote usage, you could also apply different limits remote (only 5PP/turn extraction if remote).

Another idea. We could also change the global input ratio into a global output ratio. That would mean that researching techs would make your existing stockpile more useful (so you could safe PP and hope you dont need them so soon). That would also help a bit counter PP inflation (production increase).

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:08 pm 
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For me, the current IS limits on use of Stockpiled PP are useless. In my most recent game I was at a point where my total PPs generated were 2.3K and my Stockpile was at 7.3K but all I was allowed to withdraw was initially 2 points per turn which increased to 7 points per turn after I had built a building (name not remembered but related to the IS. It increased amount of excess PP to IS ) and later on that increased to 10 points per turn (Not sure why)

I must be missing something. But it is not anything I can see me using.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:13 pm 
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Ophiuchus wrote:
Another idea. We could also change the global input ratio into a global output ratio. That would mean that researching techs would make your existing stockpile more useful (so you could safe PP and hope you dont need them so soon). That would also help a bit counter PP inflation (production increase).
No;
Geoff the Medio wrote:
...the indicator of how much is in the stockpile should indicate how much is in the stockpile, not some abstract amount of PP that gets modified through complicated mechanics by location to determine what is actually usable.
... or through a changing tech situation.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:16 pm 
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My understanding is that part of the motiviation behind the introduction of the Imperial Stockpile is to make stealthed expansion more viable, and in fact, this is the only case where i found IS useful.

Playing as the laenfa, i was able to get some extra utility out of isolated planets that i colonized behind enemy lines.

But, in general, i agree with the sentiment that i mostly keep my stockpile at zero throughout the game.

@ghealy, I'd suggest you start using your stockpile as soon as it becomes non-zero. The Use Limit discourages letting the stockpile grow very large.

Sidenote: I find the current method of enabling/disabling the stockpile on individual items to be somewhat tedious. I'd rather just have a single toggle on/near the main screen's stockpile icon. If the toggle is on it applies the stockpile at the top of my production queue, if off no stockpile is used.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:47 pm 
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Dyson Forest

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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Ophiuchus wrote:
Another idea. We could also change the global input ratio into a global output ratio....
Geoff the Medio wrote:
...the indicator of how much is in the stockpile should indicate how much is in the stockpile, not some abstract amount of PP that gets modified through complicated mechanics by location to determine what is actually usable.
... or through a changing tech situation.

Understood and i like the reasoning.

Ok. I'm not sure if we have a problem with PP inflation or not. If we have we could also amend it by having a dividend, like having techs which increase your current stockpile by a certain percentage. Probably a bad idea.

The way i see it in the beginning the main problem with the imperial stockpile is that conversion ratio is too bad to be useful except in extreme circumstances.
How about we add an early tech/building comparable to the automatic history analyser which produces every turn some stockpile PP?
Research the 40 RP tech, build the (only-once-per-empire-)building for 100PP and get every turn 5PP added to your imperial stockpile (the extraction limit should be at about 10PP/turn then).
I think it would be realistic to get this around turn 20 if you really intend on early disconnected expansion.

Later on I think the extraction limit is the key. How about we increase the extraction limit and in order to nerf remote production add some specials which are necessary. E.g. building the incubator for organic ships needs an organic flora special (and every planet with organic homeworlds should have that one), building a transformer or stargate needs some Rarelyobtainabium special in the supply network.
That means dangerous production in the back of your enemy is only possible in some cases you have to consider strategically.

alleryn wrote:
My understanding is that part of the motiviation behind the introduction of the Imperial Stockpile is to make stealthed expansion more viable
yes, thats the main one.
disconnected unstealthed expansion would be also interesting, but I dont know how one could pull that off as soon as you are getting close to your neighbors
alleryn wrote:
, and in fact, this is the only case where i found IS useful.

Playing as the laenfa, i was able to get some extra utility out of isolated planets that i colonized behind enemy lines.

Could you be more specific please? How did it help? I usually still find it more useful to slowly build shipyards and orbital drydock to prepare some invasion.

alleryn wrote:
Sidenote: I find the current method of enabling/disabling the stockpile on individual items to be somewhat tedious. I'd rather just have a single toggle on/near the main screen's stockpile icon. If the toggle is on it applies the stockpile at the top of my production queue, if off no stockpile is used.

This is an interesting idea. Reordering your very important project to the beginning of the queue does make some sense.
Do you mean only for single top project? (Because if the extraction limit was higher you could build more than one imperial stockpile project at the same time)

It could also apply to mulitple projects, but probably on needs a visual separator between the imperial and the normal projects. How about not using a toggle but having a separator bar in the production queue which you can drag and drop. All projects above are imperial, all below are normal.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:12 pm 
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Dyson Forest
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alleryn wrote:
Sidenote: I find the current method of enabling/disabling the stockpile on individual items to be somewhat tedious. I'd rather just have a single toggle on/near the main screen's stockpile icon. If the toggle is on it applies the stockpile at the top of my production queue, if off no stockpile is used.
Ophiuchus wrote:
This is an interesting idea. Reordering your very important project to the beginning of the queue does make some sense.
IMO it makes all the sense, and viceversa. That's in fact the way I always manage my production queue, with or without IS.
I like Alleryn's idea a lot, and find it better (in terms of clicking and micromanaging) than current one, and probably easier to spot for new players (I remember I had to ask how to use stockpiled PPs).

Ophiuchus wrote:
Do you mean only for single top project? (Because if the extraction limit was higher you could build more than one imperial stockpile project at the same time)

It could also apply to mulitple projects [...]
I assume it could be applied to any project beginning from the top one, and if more IS PPs are available they would go to the next one on the queue. What source (IS or local production) would be preferential? I guess local production, so that top project would try to fill up their maximum PP/turn from local production, if not enough draw from IS, then apply same logic to the next project on the queue. If this is possible, then I think the mechanics would be easily understood and flexible enough to not need the visual separator.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:21 pm 
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Ophiuchus wrote:
Could you be more specific please? How did it help? I usually still find it more useful to slowly build shipyards and orbital drydock to prepare some invasion.

I suppose this is a matter of taste. Personally i find building ships behind enemy lines is too risky of a proposition, since against proper play, those ships would likely be picked off before they were able to group up with a 'main force'. I suppose the AI doesn't really do that, but i try to play as though my opponent were playing intelligently, so i prefer to use the PP (via stockpile) to augment my colonization/expansion efforts.
Quote:
Do you mean only for single top project? (Because if the extraction limit was higher you could build more than one imperial stockpile project at the same time)

No, i mean from the top of the queue. I.e., when toggled on, it would be the equivalent of simply adding the Stockpile Use Limit (or the remaining stockpile if less than the limit) to your PP for the next turn.
Quote:
It could also apply to mulitple projects, but probably on needs a visual separator between the imperial and the normal projects. How about not using a toggle but having a separator bar in the production queue which you can drag and drop. All projects above are imperial, all below are normal.

I like the separator idea. With the Stockpile Use Limit quite small, i've never run into the situation where i'd actually need the separator (generally it's just the few points of stockpile i've accumulated on the previous turn making a tiny dent in my production needs), but i can see that it would come up every so often.

The other possibility is not to use the separator. This would require the player to pause all production below where the separator would be.

Example: I have 4 items in my queue -- two colony ships each with 41 PP left, and two warships both with just a little production done on them. I have 80 PP next turn, a substantial stockpile, and a stockpile use limit of 10. So i really want to add 2 PP from my stockpile to finish those two colony ships, but i don't want to add the full use limit, because that would allow the additional 8 to come off of my stockpile towards a warship that i'm not in a hurry to build.

Current system: I enable stockpile use manually on the two colony ships.

Global Stockpile with the separator: I globablly enable stockpile use, then drag the separator between the colony ships and battleships.

Global Stockpile without the separator: I globally enable stockpile use, and pause production on the two warships.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I like the separator due to it's flexibility. I think that this particular case comes up infrequently enough that going without the separator would be OK, but there might come some times when you want to pause a lot from the bottom of the queue. A possible solution would be an addition to the right-click context menu 'Pause this item and all items below' and another one 'Unpause all production'.

Personally, i think the separator is an ideal or nearly-ideal solution.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:58 pm 
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Dyson Forest

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Ophiuchus wrote:
What source (IS or local production) would be preferential? I guess local production, so that top project would try to fill up their maximum PP/turn from local production, if not enough draw from IS, then apply same logic to the next project on the queue. If this is possible, then I think the mechanics would be easily understood and flexible enough to not need the visual separator.
The implementation already uses PP from the supply group first before using any PP from the stockpile.

alleryn wrote:
i prefer to use the PP (via stockpile) to augment my colonization/expansion efforts.
Ok but what do you build with then? Colony/outpost ships?

alleryn wrote:
I globablly enable stockpile use, then drag the separator between the colony ships and battleships.
You wouldnt need to enable/disable stockpile globally. Just drag the separator down if you need it. If you dont - leave it/put it on top of the list.

How about having a "VIP star" (five stars?) next to the separator which is similar to the icon currently used for stockpile. Something similar to this https://stars.tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/images/intro-stars.png (probably only yellow/golden)?
It has this nice recycling ring and getting something from/to everywhere.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:36 pm 
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Ophiuchus wrote:
Ok but what do you build with then? Colony/outpost ships?

Yes, i'm building outpost ships (in safe areas), outpost bases, and colony-migrations (not sure exactly what to call this like "Laenfa Colony"). In some cases i'm building colony ships to try to colonize deeper, but generally i try to colonize the deeper ones first before it gets too dangerous, then fill in the safer areas afterwards, on stealth species (laenfa).

Ophiuchus wrote:
You wouldnt need to enable/disable stockpile globally. Just drag the separator down if you need it. If you dont - leave it/put it on top of the list.

Oh, right. That's even better.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:20 pm 
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Dyson Forest

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From my local games I found a more usuable setting for the stockpile:
Code:
                           cost Tu  Transfer Ratio  Use Limit
Predictive Stockpiling      0RP  1   +0.2 -> +0.4   +2 ->  +3
Generic Supplies           40RP  4      +0.20       +3 ->  +7
Transcendent Design       150RP  5      +0.00          +0
Interspecies Academy (6x)  30PP  5      +0.05       +2 -> +15
Interstellar Entangle Fac 200RP  5      +0.20       +5 -> +15


Made a branch/PR out of it:
https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/pull/1912

From the start building things costs now 2.5 times as much as it costs using PP from the supply group (Before was 5 times as much).
Early tech has improved transfer ratio and later tech has improved use limit.

NB: didnt play until late game with these settings yet, early and midgame seem to be fine

edit: fix: old generic supplies ratio was +0.2 not +0.3

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Last edited by Ophiuchus on Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:58 pm 
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Ophiuchus wrote:
Code:
                           cost Tu  Transfer Ratio  Use Limit
Predictive Stockpiling      0RP  1   +0.2 -> +0.4   +2 ->  +3
Generic Supplies           40RP  4   +0.3 -> +0.2   +3 ->  +7
Transcendent Design       150RP  5      +0.00          +0
Interspecies Academy (6x)  30PP  5      +0.05       +2 -> +15
Interstellar Entangle Fac 200RP  5      +0.20       +5 -> +15


Generic Supplies is currently at 0.2 in /master, not 0.3

The transfer ratio in your new setup would max out at 1.1 (of course we don't want this higher than 1.0)

0.4 + 0.2 + 6*0.05 + 0.2 = 1.1


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