utilae wrote:Excess stockpiles should be sold to those with the highest demand or need. So if you have heaps of food and the Klackon forgot how to farm, then you could make billions of $$ selling them your stockpiles of food. The player should be able to set how much excess stockpiles to keep for their own empire and how much to sell to other empires.
Food and Mineral production in excess of need first and foremost produce reserves. The Empire's needs are dynamic and the player needs to stay on top of future needs especially if they are in a phase of rapid expansion. What you're selling as excess today may be the difference between starving and growth tomorrow.
I try to balance this in my design of the BQM. And still give the player lots of room for balancing, and or pushing the limits... whatever they turn out to be.
The Empire pays the production planet a fee based on the production cost of the items. It places them into storage and tries to build a reserve based on the BQM settings. It is only after the reserve is full and the Empire has excess that it starts looking for a trade partner.
If the player sees that there are a lot of new colonization and even tho the reserve is met the player may decide to not allow any inter Empire trading for a few turns. On the other hand later in the game when the same reserve percentage is millions of units of food or minerals then selling to trading partners is a good way to build bigger and better fleets, add new schools, build new research campusses... etc.
Food and Minerals should not be considered as excesses and they are not just basic items, they are strategic goods and can add great depth to overall game play.
As for mineral excesses... one thing I have noticed is that "ships" don't consume minerals when built. A simple modification and volla! Now when you start building your super fleets with moon sized ships they consume large amounts of minerals.
As for your excess food... as your tech improves they too may be turned into building materals for your empire.