What to do about Infrastructure?

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Dilvish
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What to do about Infrastructure?

#1 Post by Dilvish » Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:43 pm

EDIT: Split from another topic.
eleazar wrote: IMHO Infrastructure needs to be thoroughly revised or removed- it is confusing, overly-complicated, hard to explain.
but this isn't the thread for that discussion.
Well, until a new thread is started, I want to mention that I do like the infrastructure dynamic. It's just about the only thing that keeps territorial control from being an all-or-nothing own it or not own it. For a large planet whose output is driven by target population, getting bombarded is currently meaningless (unless it's followed by an actual invasion). For many smaller planets, though, infrastructure drives the output, not population, and getting bombarded thrashes production. I like the extra layer of complexity it adds. I would think we can get it written up decently.
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eleazar
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What to do with Infrastructure?

#2 Post by eleazar » Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:30 am

Originally the "Infrastructure" meter (or as it was called then, "Construction") was meant to be a streamlined replacement for the dozens of forgettable buildings that you would need to queue in a game like MoO2. It was used to determine the growth rate of Current Meters, before meters became fully scriptable.

What exactly to do with Infrastructure is a long-standing question.

Currently Infrastructure functions as an alternative multiplier for production (not just industry, all production). The method is fairly complex and not transparent, with tech descriptions like "Increases target industry on all planets with the industry focus by the greater of 0.5 per 5 units of population or 1 per 8 units of infrastructure". No doubt it could be more clearly explained in tech descriptions, but i suspect trying to make the tooltips clearly explain what is happening at any given planet would be rather complicated, and fall short of "clearly explain".

Regardless of how well it might be explained, the current implementation is IMHO clearly overcomplicated, i.e. not good.

This post and following discusses the issue, and some alternatives. There are some non-bad idea for things that Infrastructure could do in those threads, but IMHO none of there are compelling enough to justify the existence of the meter, and the meat of most of the ideas could be accomplished without an Infrastructure meter.


My inclination at this point is to rip out all the infrastructure scripting. I'd rather give the benefit of the doubt to the simplest reasonable possibility -- that the game doesn't need Infrastructure. Perhaps, as with the removal of Food&Mining, the idea much less disconcerting after a few games without it. If at some future point, we see a clear need for it, we can script it back to relevance. That should be less work than trying to reform it without a definite vision about what it is for.



Anyway, this is the thread to discuss whether we need Infrastructure or not, and if so, exactly what it is for.

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Re: How to Help with Scripting

#3 Post by Dilvish » Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:06 am

ok, well perhaps I'm an easy sell -- I won't argue further against removing infrastructure.

Um, wait. After writing a couple drafts of the rest of this post, I find myself compelled to argue at least a little against the total removal of infrastructure.
I find it interesting that the original purpose you cite for infrastructure ties in pretty closely with what I like about it -- as a proxy for various minor buildings, it gives some significance to planetary bombardment other than enabling an invasion. In MOO bombardment could destroy buildings, here it burns down infrastructure.

Perhaps instead of being eliminated altogether, infrastructure could be simplified along the lines of "every five units of infrastructure give a benefit equivalent to one unit of population" or something like that. The scripting for something like that would probably no more complicated, perhaps a bit less, than the current scripting involving infrastructure. It would certainly be easier to explain, has some logical sensibility, and still retains a desirable aspect of gameplay. Just my two bits...
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eleazar
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Re: How to Help with Scripting

#4 Post by eleazar » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:34 am

Dilvish wrote: I find it interesting that the original purpose you cite for infrastructure ties in pretty closely with what I like about it -- as a proxy for various minor buildings, it gives some significance to planetary bombardment other than enabling an invasion. In MOO bombardment could destroy buildings, here it burns down infrastructure.

Perhaps instead of being eliminated altogether, infrastructure could be simplified along the lines of "every five units of infrastructure give a benefit equivalent to one unit of population" or something like that. The scripting for something like that would probably no more complicated, perhaps a bit less, than the current scripting involving infrastructure. It would certainly be easier to explain, has some logical sensibility, and still retains a desirable aspect of gameplay. Just my two bits...
I've liked the original purpose for a long time, in theory. I like the idea of a meter that can tell you, if this is an advanced colony. And as I've considered how to implement it, using it as an additional production multiplier, as you describe, is the first idea to come to mind. But as I try to calibrate population and production numbers, it occurs to me that such an infrastructure isn't adding anything unique. Bombardment burning down infrastructure has the same effect as bombardment decreasing population. A tech or building boosting infrastructure has the same effect as a tech or building that increases population, or a production rate. In short it is redundant.

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Re: How to Help with Scripting

#5 Post by Sloth » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:56 am

eleazar wrote:Bombardment burning down infrastructure has the same effect as bombardment decreasing population.
I think this is the important part that has to be adressed.

Wiping out a planet (i.e. decreasing its population) with bombs should be hard.
Temporarily disabling a planet (i.e. decreasing its infrastructure) with bombs should be easy.

So here is my proposal:
- Infrastructure of 100 or more will make everything work normally. Infrastructure of less than 100 will reduce the target meters of Production, Research, Trade, Defense, Shields, Stealth and Detection Range.
For example a planet with infrastructure 70 will have all these target meters at 70%.

- Target Infrastructure of all planets is 100. Specials can still lower this value (for example Tectonic Instability). Techs and buildings can still raise this value. Infrastructure could move towards target with a speed of 10 (to be balanced).
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#6 Post by eleazar » Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:44 pm

So we need a meter just so there's an easy way to temporarily kill production? That doesn't seem like a feature anybody would miss if it wasn't there.

If you are bombing, you are probably already blocakding, so chances are PP is being wasted weather or not it is being generated. If we really want bombing to cut productivity temporarily, it could directly decrease the current production meter.

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#7 Post by Sloth » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:46 pm

eleazar wrote:So we need a meter just so there's an easy way to temporarily kill production? That doesn't seem like a feature anybody would miss if it wasn't there.

If you are bombing, you are probably already blocakding, so chances are PP is being wasted weather or not it is being generated. If we really want bombing to cut productivity temporarily, it could directly decrease the current production meter.
That's true. Decreasing all the current meters will have a similar effect. I didn't think about that.
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#8 Post by yandonman » Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:58 pm

Based on my play-testing, I concur that infrastructure, in its current form, is redundant with population and (to me) seems to only add confusion. I would not miss it if it were gone, and I am in favor of removing it.
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#9 Post by Zireael » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:10 pm

I think infrastructure can be removed.

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#10 Post by Dilvish » Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:53 am

Seems like a great discussion. I can see that the thing I had liked about it re bombardment could indeed be handled directly by reducing current meters as suggested (if anyone else really liked that, hehe). It also struck me that taking out infrastructure would simplify the effects of enough buildings and techs that the AI planetary Focus planning could probably be done a lot more efficiently than it is now (currently it starts using a significant chunk of time in the later game stages).
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#11 Post by Japool » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:01 pm

2 cents, take or leave as needed:

Infrastructure is also useful as a measure of how developed an outpost is. Perhaps it could be used as an outpost only meter in lieu of population. If used in such a manner, the value it had when the outpost is turned to a true colony (not sure if FO has that at present or future plan) it could be used as a modifier to initial growth on the new colony.

The simplicity of removing Infrastructure vs. modifying its current form lends a strong argument to its removal. Unless used as recommended above for outposts I would lean on the side of removal.

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#12 Post by eleazar » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:04 pm

Japool wrote:2 cents, take or leave as needed:

Infrastructure is also useful as a measure of how developed an outpost is. Perhaps it could be used as an outpost only meter in lieu of population. If used in such a manner, the value it had when the outpost is turned to a true colony (not sure if FO has that at present or future plan) it could be used as a modifier to initial growth on the new colony.
Outpost don't and aren't currently planned to grow. They are essentially unmanned stations, not belonging to any particular species. If you want it to grow, plant a colony on top of it of the species of your choice.

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#13 Post by eleazar » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:18 pm

I've been without internet from just after Christmas until today. It is going to take a while to catch up with FO.

I did work on disabling infrastructure. I should be ready to upload that and production/research recalibrations in a couple days.

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#14 Post by Dilvish » Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:10 am

eleazar wrote:I did work on disabling infrastructure. I should be ready to upload that and production/research recalibrations in a couple days.
ok, looking forward to seeing it. Let me make sure you've noticed another recent change that will need attention as part of this -- regen rates of some planetary defense meter are now at higher tech levels tied to infrastructure (probably its most important current role), though swapping that over to a population dependence should be ok I suppose (will certainly be more favorable towards protecting Capitols and other spots with orbitals).
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#15 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:37 am

If there were no infrastructure meter, there would be nothing for ship bombardment of planets to do after shields and defense meters are reduced. I suppose they could attack population, but that seems like it might be better as a distinct action by specialized content.

Lack of infrastructure will also mean another means will be needed for limiting how many buildings can be put onto a single planet. Presently a few (and could / should be most others) consume some infrastructure when present, and their locations conditions were potentially going to require some level of infrastructure to be present for them to be produced.

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