Morlic wrote:Is the train of thought clearer to you now?
Absolutely - to be more precise, it's much more clearer now for me where you come from, or rather why we perceive the impact of flat boni so radically differently.
You're looking specifically at the early game, when those flat boni (Adaptive Automation and Nascent Artificial Intelligence especially) have a far greater impact/importance than later on, when more and more of the pop based boni kick in (and in addition to that pop per planet increases too due to advanced growth techs). I'm looking at the whole thing in general, or more at the mid and late game, considering all the techs (a lot of which you don't have in early game, but only get later on). As you said yourself, at that time the pop based boni are of far greater importance.
The other major issue is what you mentioned yourself here:
Of course, all of this does not have to be a problem as there are solutions available. The flat boni may very well be reworked or removed from the game.
Besides that problem that resource output increase in general is far, far
too excessive (an issue which has already been brought up and discussed before), especially AA and NAI are utterly unbalanced and overpowered, and in dire need of revision. The numbers you provided are proof of that, they are far too early in the tech tree and far too cheap to research for the (IMO almost ridiculous) amount of resource output they give you.
First of all, techs that give boni like that shouldn't be early game techs, then they must be sufficiently expensive that they only pay off if you have more than just a few colonies (as it is now, AA and NAI are worth the investment even if you have only a few colonies, a pop independent, flat +2/+5 bonus is a significant boost for a colony in early game). But anyway, the details on how to revise these isn't the topic here, just that they need to be nerfed/changed drastically, which is what is important when evaluating how significant they are compared to pop based boni (which in turn is important for our discussion here, colony based vs pop based influence costs).
So a planet with 1 pop produces 15 pp - equivalent to ~21.4 population.
Mind you, that is a poor environment 1 pop planet with some bad industry species
I've never really done the maths, but looking at that I can only say, these numbers speak for themselves. If that
isn't imbalanced and vastly overpowered, then I don't know what is. We really need to fix this.
However, flat boni for a large time of the game are extremely important (in the current state) and can very much be the base of the economy.
I think this is the crucrial point. Although I wouldn't say that these flat boni are so much more important for a "large" time of the game, they are most certainly far too important for too long during the crucrial early game stage. The momentum they give you in that phase is further amplified by the exponentially growing resource output we have currently going on, giving them even more significance.
Which creates an effect which I don't think I like very much. Where at first the number of colonies you can spam is of far greater importance than the actual pop, later this shifts almost entirely to pop. Which, when trying to design game mechanics that interact with/are affected by these dynamics, makes things harder or even almost impossible to get right.
Consider the actual topic at hand, we have a dynamic during early game, for which colony based, pop-independent colony influence costs would be the better approach. As the game progresses, the dynamic changes so much, that for the mid and late game stages pop based colony influence costs would be the better approach. I don't think that this is a good thing.
By the way, considering that outposts should probably cost some influence, I really think the influence cost per planet might even be necessary (regardless of additional pop modifier or not).
Well, what I had actually in mind was some small base costs per colony/outpost, and some larger additional costs based on pop. Another solution to that would be to simply have a fixed, small influence cost for outposts.
Anyway, the (IMO very interesting and probably superior) idea to base influence costs on star systems of course obsoletes most of the above discussion (at least as far as influence costs are concerned, the whole AA and NAI flat boni are overpowered stuff still applies of course
Personally, I think the concept of really small and bad planets being favorable or at least equally favorable to large planets is weird and not very beneficial to the overall game as it pretty much forces you to get any planet you can get regardless of its characteristics.
I think it's clear that we are in agreement here. I certainly don't want to make all planets equal, that would completely defeat the point of having planets with different characteristics (like size). What I want to avoid is small planets becoming too undesirable.
As long as you are not population-capped influence-wise, you always want to grab any planet.
Not more than that's already the case, without the influence stuff. And currently, even as unbalanced and overpowered as the flat boni currently are, you definitely want to go for the bigger planets first.
Maybe I am overseeing something but in your approach I really would not care about what your planets look like. Just that you can colonize them. That is not much different from before except for the fact that you now are limited in your overall population. Which has zero impact on the kind of planets you choose.
Well, even with all the numbers you provided I still think you overrate the flat boni. Because no matter how powerful they are, a big planet is still better than a small one. The flat boni you get equally on both, but the bigger one will provide more of the pop based simply because it can hold more pop, an advantage that gets only more significant as the game progresses. I don't know what kind of setup you usually play, but in my games I never really can colonize every planet I come across early on, not even close - the costs for a new colony are considerable, especially at that start of the game, when your PP output is very limited. At that stage it can make a substantial difference how soon you put a colony on a large planet - the sooner, the earlier the large planet has significant pop, which yields signficant resource output. You pointed it out yourself:
So overall the only real difference of varying planet sizes would be the amount of PP I have to invest to get the colonies up. 2 Small planets otherwisely are equal to a large one (neglecting the fact that they are currently better because of flat boni and defenses). Not sure if that is very interesting but it definitely is a simple concept.
If the investment required to get a colony up is high enough, it should be interesting enough. Being a simple concept is actually a good thing, simple but interesting is what we aim for.
Don't get me wrong, if by making things simpler you also sacrifice (sufficiently) interesting choices, I'm certainly with you, and in favor of keeping the choices. However, in this particular case, despite the obvious issues with the flat boni as they are now, the fact that we at one point felt the need to give the small planets something that boosted their value (better supply range) is proof that apparently their in-game value was too low. So low that we had to do something about it. You'd only grab them in case of a lack of bigger ones, which in all regards were better. And my concern still stands, that by basing influence costs on colonies and not on pop we would make that worse again.
Even with the idea to base influence costs primarily on star systems these concerns haven't been completely alleviated, because the first implementation TheSilentOne has provided so far has a costs-per-colony factor. I'd rather see a pop based factor instead of that.