Cost Effectiveness: Ship comparisons

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Cost Effectiveness: Ship comparisons

#16 Post by Geoff the Medio »

Making players select colony locations rather than indiscriminately colonizing everywhere was part of the intent. This wasn't expected to be a complete solution to limit empire size (in number of marginal planets, not breadth), and elsewhere-discussed happiness-type factors are likely still needed. If players need other encouragement to spend resources on interacting with other empires instead of trying to back-fill at any cost, then that can probably be arranged.

I also wonder about how easy it is to capture native planets... My guess is that it's presently too easy for the cost. Notably, troop ship costs don't increase with number of colonies, so invading might become more and more cost-effective with time compared with producing colony ships. This is particularly so if native planets' defenses aren't scaling to empire strength as turns progress...

Happiness could become a big factor in making such planets useful as well, so that players would often want not to invade them, but instead gain control diplomatically, or perhaps leave them independent or remove the natives if it wouldn't be advantageous to control them.

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Vezzra
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Re: Cost Effectiveness: Ship comparisons

#17 Post by Vezzra »

Bigjoe5 wrote:I can't speak for anyone else, but in the test game I just played, I found it more convenient to go in and invade my neighbors to increase my production, rather than trying to colonize every nook and cranny of my own territory.
Well, it's definitely more fun than to continue to colonize your own territory at such a slow pace, and when your neighbors don't put up too much of a fight, it's also the more cost effective way. If however they are strong enough to put up a real fight, then it would be better to first colonize maybe not every nook and cranny, but certainly most of your own territory before you start a war. Which leaves you with the decision to play a game that's either less fun or less optimal.

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Dilvish
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Re: Cost Effectiveness: Ship comparisons

#18 Post by Dilvish »

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Vezzra wrote:...the increase of the colony pod cost with each owned planet ... makes colonizing and expanding a real pain that gets worse the bigger your empire gets :(
So it's working as intended then? The idea was partly to encourage smaller empires. Perhaps outposts shouldn't count, or shouldn't count as much, but rather than colonizing everything possible, players might want to be a bit more selective.
Before I critique, let me say I think it was a good first try at modifying the dynamics. I'm not sure how much it really encourages very much smaller empires, though it certainly at least slows it down a lot (and does leave systems less filled in, so marginal planets are much less used, true). What it does do to an extreme extent, it seems to me, is to very rapidly bring colonization to a near standstill and convert the game to an invasion fest.

I think the increased base cost is both a good idea and probably placed around a good spot, and the idea of exponential growth a good one, but I think the factor should be more like 3% - 5% rather than 10%.

Also, this highlights a general difficulty that has periodically surfaced with AI planning, and which I think the current outposts trigger -- I haven't yet implemented a good way for the AI's to manage items with costs high enough (especially with short build times) that their per-turn cost is around, or even higher, than the empire's total PP generation at the point when the item is typically encountered. This can lock up the production queue for a fair while and partially paralyze the empire's operations. For medium size items I try to just make sure the AI is not taking on too many projects at once, but if the project is too big to manage like that then the empire just holds its breath, crosses its fingers, and hopes to get through it. I first ran into that when AI's would sometimes get locked up for a big spell building an Industrial Center at the same time as a Xeno-whatever orbital, at a time initial productions were a bit lower than now. It left them ripe for invasion for a fairly large window, so I started gating projects more. I have some ideas on planning I could do to allow them to move items around like a human player would and still get smaller projects through the queue, and should probably implement that no matter what. But still, if the outposts are going to be as expensive as they are now, & since I'm not sure how well I'll get their queue re-jiggering to work, it would ease the planning for the AI if they could be given a bit longer build time, such 6 turns
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Re: Cost Effectiveness: Ship comparisons

#19 Post by unjashfan »

...how would you suggest tweaking colony ship costs?
I suggest reducing the colony pod cost to at least half the current cost, and for the upkeep, I second this idea:
I think the increased base cost is both a good idea and probably placed around a good spot, and the idea of exponential growth a good one, but I think the factor should be more like 3% - 5% rather than 10%.
I found it more convenient to go in and invade my neighbors to increase my production, rather than trying to colonize every nook and cranny of my own territory.
We'd want to avoid this. Certainly focusing on invading planets is one way to play the game, but we wouldn't want any invasion contests (exactly why the recent changes were implemented, because we don't want colonizing contests too). Invading a planet and colonizing a planet should roughly be the same cost. Planets you would want to invade are likely to have well established resource production, whereas a new colony would have to start from scratch. Of course, naturally, it requires more effort to invade a planet.

Exobot colony origin wasn't affected by the recent changes; spamming these really helped empire expansion in my recent playtest.
Making players select colony locations rather than indiscriminately colonizing everywhere was part of the intent
I think the recent changes to the population mechanics resolve this problem somewhat, since it's a big RP investment to unlock inferior planet types, and those planets would not be producing a lot of extra resources due to the lower population.
I also wonder about how easy it is to capture native planets... My guess is that it's presently too easy for the cost.
Agreed. I find it a bit odd that most of the better native species (Kobuntura, Tae Ghirus, Scylior) have fewer ground troops than other natives. I also think Kobuntura should not be able to colonize planets. Self-sustaining + great industry is pretty OP.

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Re: Cost Effectiveness: Ship comparisons

#20 Post by Dilvish »

I'd also like to say, I think that the cost ratio between regular colony pods and suspended animation pods should not continue at the same ratio as it was when they were both much cheaper than now -- the current cost really renders suspended animation prohibitively expensive it seems to me, and forcing people to use single colony pods instead does very little (and that only indirectly) to further the goal of slowing empire planet count growth.

I'd suggest increasing the RP cost of Lifecycle Manipulation and then then allowing the suspended animation pods to be the same cost as regular colony pods, or something like only 10% more expensive.
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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Cost Effectiveness: Ship comparisons

#21 Post by Geoff the Medio »

Feel free to commit 4% colony pod cost growth rate and colony pod 2 cost adjustments...

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Re: Cost Effectiveness: Ship comparisons

#22 Post by yandonman »

If the goal is to make colonizing planets more of a decision (as opposed to always being the right choice to colonize everywhere), there are other ways besides cost to accomplish this. The main one that comes to mind is to spread out the habitability growth tech and increase their RP costs. Moving that first growth tech further down the line OR making it condition on the environment being good, would help make colonization choices more meaningful.

An RP "research upkeep" (based on how many researchs have been made) might be interesting.
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Re: Cost Effectiveness: Ship comparisons

#23 Post by Dilvish »

*discretely kicks yandonman's shins under the table*
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Re: Cost Effectiveness: Ship comparisons

#24 Post by Vezzra »

On a sidenote: Aren't we completely off topic for quite a while now in this thread? This entire discussion actually belongs here I think...

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Cost Effectiveness: Ship comparisons

#25 Post by Geoff the Medio »

Vezzra wrote:This entire discussion actually belongs here I think...
Not really... that thread's about adding a new mechanism for colonization, not balancing the existing one. Colony ship costs, and thus the reason for changing them, were brought up in the first few posts of this thread, so are relevant, I think...

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Re: Cost Effectiveness: Ship comparisons

#26 Post by yandonman »

Well, colony ships and the fact that the robotic line is useless under the current fleet upkeep.
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Re: Cost Effectiveness: Ship comparisons

#27 Post by yandonman »

What if, instead of fleet (and colony ship) upkeep, we had an empire upkeep (per planet upkeep applied to all industry focused planets)?

Or, what if we flat out reduced the production capabilities across the board? Or, gave a malus to production on non-good planets?
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Re: Cost Effectiveness: Ship comparisons

#28 Post by Vezzra »

yandonman wrote:Or, what if we flat out reduced the production capabilities across the board?
That's what I'd suggest too. Because, all these cost-increasing mechanisms that suddenly appear (ships, colony pods, stargates) basically aim at one thing: to counter the apparently overwhelming production capacity empires develop in the course of the game. By having you pay increasingly more to get the same, instead of being able to buy 10 times more apples when you have ten times more money, you just get 5 times more apples.

I wonder if it wouldn't be easier to just follow your suggestion here and rebalance the numbers so production grows a lot slower to achieve this goal.

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Re: Cost Effectiveness: Ship comparisons

#29 Post by Dilvish »

Vezzra wrote:... instead of being able to buy 10 times more apples when you have ten times more money, you just get 5 times more apples.
Though you appear to be comparing apples to apples, you're really comparing 10 apples to 5 Ultra-Oranges. If the only change was 10 times more production, in our mechanics would indeed let you buy a batch of 10 x 10 = 99 apples. Of course, we're no longer buying apples, we're buying Ultra-Oranges, and it's a sellers market so if we want them in volume the price goes up.

I don't really think anyone has much of a problem with higher productivity tending to be accompanied by higher costs, and inflation as economies grow is pretty much a universal thing (maybe some of the cost increases could be due to an inflationary effect based on the entire galaxy's total economy to fit better with our natural expectations). I think mostly we're just struggling with the difficulty of balancing various aspects.

That balancing might be a bit easier if productivity & cost growth was slower, but not hugely so. I do think a bit slower growth might be good to help somewhat mitigate the large race pressure here, but I dunno, it might be unavoidable, and I think a decent rate of growth is a fairly large part of what tickles the imagination when playing these games..
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Re: Cost Effectiveness: Ship comparisons

#30 Post by Dilvish »

Geoff the Medio wrote:Feel free to commit 4% colony pod cost growth rate and colony pod 2 cost adjustments...
ok, done, cost to research colony pod 2 increased to 150RP / 6 turns, ships part cost put same as colony pod 1 but with build time of 10
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