DESIGN: Stockpiles

Past public reviews and discussions.
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#76 Post by Thumper » Mon Jul 21, 2003 10:58 am

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.



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#77 Post by Pembroke » Thu Aug 07, 2003 10:21 am

Forgive me if this idea has already been mentioned:

The basic function of a stockpile is to provide a buffer for resources so that local deficits and surpluses can be sorted out and balanced. This is the main purpose and it can be achieved with a simple empire level pile that clears itself at the end of a turn the excess labeled as wasted by inefficiency or alternatively sold for a given amount. That would be keeping things simple.

OTOH it would be nice if stockpiles could be used to buffer resource output and usage over time (i.e. turns), too. Especially if you have blockades or you are simply expanding and putting out colonies at a fast pace. If a stockpile carries over to the next turn without any limits or penalties then this creates the obvious problem of piling a huge reserve of resources and then ignoring the resource harvesting for the rest of the game.

This problem could be solved with maximum sizes capping the piles, but then we would have to think about what's a "good" maximum size and whether technologies, race picks, governments, etc. affected it and how. That's pretty much work and could quickly get complicated. Not to mention that whatever you set the max cap at there would be people complaining it's too low while other people complained it's too high. :)

However, I think that we could circumvent the entire problem by using a self-adjusting stockpile.

This would simply mean that the stockpile is deducted by X% at each turn. Because the depletion is a percentage ratio of the stockpile size and the pile is increased with a fixed surplus amount the net result is that your stockpile will automatically cap out and balance at the point where your per turn surplus equals the depletion ratio.

For example if the depletion rate is set at 10% and you have a turn surplus of 20 minerals (and assuming things stay that way) you would accumulate a stockpile of 200 minerals at which point your stockpile gets deducted by the exact amount that your mines bring in as a surplus. Thus your "cap" would in this particular situation be 200 minerals.

The beaty of this is that your stockpile limit would follow your resource output rate which would already be tied to your tech level and the size of your resource harvesting operations. When you build more mines your stockpiles will automatically grow, too. If you then turn around and switch those mines to industry your stockpiles will dwindle very fast taking care of the Huge Accumulated Stockpile problem.

Self-adjusting stockpiles would keep things very simple from the game engine point of view but still give you stockpiles that follow the game decisions you yourself make.

Also, if you don't like the depletion to be just wasted they could be thought of as sold to the private sector adding to your money income.

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#78 Post by PowerCrazy » Thu Aug 07, 2003 9:51 pm

This seems like a good idea to me. As you produce more more is lost via the self-depletion. It seems rather simple and still allows for stockpiles to be used. Though it doesn't solve the problem of blockading, Local Stockpile vs. Empire stockpile etc. However i think it should be considered.
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#79 Post by utilae » Sat Aug 16, 2003 2:29 am

There's been discussion about pirates, blockading, etc
An idea came up about having lines representing supply routes going between planets and also between starbases and planets. These lines would only be visible in the combat screen.

So during combat, supplies could be stolen or cut off, by ships travelling close to the supply lines and doing raiding actions.

This process would be automatic when a ship is at a system, with no other ships, so no combat there. In that case supplies would be stolen and gained by the blockading ships empire.
Anyway so what is this problem to do with blockading and stockpiles?

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#80 Post by Impaler » Sat Aug 16, 2003 3:20 am

Could we adjust the % of resroces lost each turn in some way??

I belive many are infavor of resorces not being destroyed, they are after all MINERALS (which you must admit dont simply disapear) and Food which we are asuming dose not spoil because are intergalactic space farring civalizations have devlepoled andvanced food preservation tecnologies.

Perhaps the Concept of the "Granery" building which I proposed earlier could be adapted to this proposal as well. A granery would reduce the % of resorces lost each turn and thus drive up the effective Cap. Ofcrose we would call it someing like "Mass Food Iradiation Facility" or "Atomic Disasotionation Recycling Facility" (for food and minerals respectivly).

Basicly this would satisfie the desire for you to comand particular planet to stockpile more of a particular resorce then another planet (so it could survive sieges)
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#81 Post by Krikkitone » Tue Sep 16, 2003 3:39 am

The question of Where the stockpiles are stored can simply be based on excess distributed

All non-blockaded resouces are distributed proportional to non-blockaded need, and any Local excess goes into local stockpiles. (with a % decline)

This way, the food stockpile of a world would be based on population (food demand) and how overproductive the empire has been in terms of food up to this point.

Mineral Stockpiles would likewise end up based on Industry.

Also, the % decline could be based on a cost setting for example

Pay PPs/resource/ turn ::: %Decline/turn
0:::5 (Normal)
1:::3 (Medium)
2:::1 (High Reserve)

That way some worlds could maintain higher levels of 'Reserves' against blockades by setting them on Medium or High Reserves