Influence and Happiness, V2

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Cpeosphoros
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Re: Slowing down expansion, economics

#46 Post by Cpeosphoros » Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:19 pm

Just adding a last moment thought, I think Space Elevators should cost influence, the more as the planet is larger.
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Re: Slowing down expansion, economics

#47 Post by Vezzra » Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:22 pm

Cpeosphoros wrote:I like the concept of colonies/population or some combination thereof costing some resource to maintain, but I think introducing one more queue (i.e. influence projects) to the game goes contrary to some principles stated in the game philosophy document, specially in the point of micromanagement. With the two current queues, plus fleet moving, etc., I already spend most of my game time micromanaging those aspects, to min/max techs/ships/buildings output.
I don't know how much 4X (space) games you've been playing so far, but most of them usually have production/construction queues per planet/city, in addition to research queues, screens for diplomacy stuff, queues for intelligence projects, etc. FO has already vastly reduced that by having one global production queue. Having only two queues so far is something no 4X game I've ever known and played can compete with.

It's simply not possible to stick only with the current two queues if we want to have diplomacy, intelligence etc. mechanics in our game. Which we definitely do.
I may be mistaken, of course, but I think simply keeping those things as production costing building projects - may be as something that may only be built in your capital and only one at a time, maybe only buildable if you have crossed some influence threshold, would be simpler, cleaner and cheaper than adding a whole new screen, queue, etc.
I can't imagine how that could work, considering the very different nature of influence projects and the different elements they can be applied to. Furthermore, managing all that via a single queue (which will most likely become completely cluttered) might make things actually more difficult to manage than to have different queues. We've already had complaints that the production queue gets too full in late game. Now imagine putting all influence stuff there too - ugh.
One idea that kept coming to my mind while I read this thread is that maybe - and this would introduce a new concept to the game - influence should not be based either on planets or population, but on systems. That could, if well designed, make the small/large planet discussion moot, or at least better balanced, as the strategic choice for this resource would be between types and quantity of systems, not of planets as it is now for industry and research. Specifically, that could work by not factoring the influence cost for a system on some scale of population, number or size of planets, but instead on distance to capitol, type of star, distance to homeworld of the species therein, multi-culturality (number of different species in a system giving you some bonus), their allegiance to your empire, etc.
Excellent idea. Several of the details we will need to handle differently than you suggest here (e.g. having multiple species is already a bonus, which we need to counterbalance with some costs, not making even more powerful by giving you even more of a bonus).

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Re: Slowing down expansion, economics

#48 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:23 pm

Vezzra wrote:...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.
This makes no sense to me. What is the purpose of population-dependent influence cost for planets? To make players have lower total population?

It seems like the real issue that needs to be addressed is that there are too many large population-dependent bonuses to resource output, particularly in the later stages of the tech tree. Why not just change a bunch of them to reasonable-sized population-independent (but generally location-specific) bonuses. Have a few +1 and +2 things near the start of the game, then some +0.1 and +0.2 per population bonuses in the early-mid game, then have +5 and +10 constant but situational bonuses in the mid-late and late game. Alternatively, have some +sqrt(population) scaled bonuses, or min(+5, +0.1 per population) capped bonuses. Or, have some bonuses that only work on planets within X starlanes jumps of a unique-per-empire building. Or, have a fixed total bonus that gets spread out among planets but doesn't increase with additional planets being added (or additional buildings that indicate where to apply it).

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Re: Slowing down expansion, economics

#49 Post by Cpeosphoros » Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:59 pm

One thing I should say is that when I made the referred post, I was way greener at FO as I'm now. I've changed some of my opinions since.
Vezzra wrote:
Cpeosphoros wrote:I like the concept of colonies/population or some combination thereof costing some resource to maintain, but I think introducing one more queue (i.e. influence projects) to the game goes contrary to some principles stated in the game philosophy document, specially in the point of micromanagement. With the two current queues, plus fleet moving, etc., I already spend most of my game time micromanaging those aspects, to min/max techs/ships/buildings output.
I don't know how much 4X (space) games you've been playing so far, but most of them usually have production/construction queues per planet/city, in addition to research queues, screens for diplomacy stuff, queues for intelligence projects, etc. FO has already vastly reduced that by having one global production queue. Having only two queues so far is something no 4X game I've ever known and played can compete with.

It's simply not possible to stick only with the current two queues if we want to have diplomacy, intelligence etc. mechanics in our game. Which we definitely do.
I've played a lot of the original MOO games, as well as Anacreon, and a bunch of non-space ones too, mainly Civs or civ-like/civ-clones ones. FO is, by far, the best experience I have had in this genre. The main point which make I feel like that is exactly the simplification of not having to bounce around a lot of screens to manage the game. That's why I made the statement you just quoted. Avoiding undoing that simplification seems to me a very sensible design choice, which is also clearly stated in the wiki's pages on game design.

That said, it's also stated there that adding complication which is sensible and make the game better is desirable. I agree with that, and I quite like the way this whole influence thing is going.
I may be mistaken, of course, but I think simply keeping those things as production costing building projects - may be as something that may only be built in your capital and only one at a time, maybe only buildable if you have crossed some influence threshold, would be simpler, cleaner and cheaper than adding a whole new screen, queue, etc.
I can't imagine how that could work, considering the very different nature of influence projects and the different elements they can be applied to. Furthermore, managing all that via a single queue (which will most likely become completely cluttered) might make things actually more difficult to manage than to have different queues. We've already had complaints that the production queue gets too full in late game. Now imagine putting all influence stuff there too - ugh.
You are quite right here. Probably separating things into a new UI will make production queues less clutery, which is a good thing.
One idea that kept coming to my mind while I read this thread is that maybe - and this would introduce a new concept to the game - influence should not be based either on planets or population, but on systems. That could, if well designed, make the small/large planet discussion moot, or at least better balanced, as the strategic choice for this resource would be between types and quantity of systems, not of planets as it is now for industry and research. Specifically, that could work by not factoring the influence cost for a system on some scale of population, number or size of planets, but instead on distance to capitol, type of star, distance to homeworld of the species therein, multi-culturality (number of different species in a system giving you some bonus), their allegiance to your empire, etc.
Excellent idea. Several of the details we will need to handle differently than you suggest here (e.g. having multiple species is already a bonus, which we need to counterbalance with some costs, not making even more powerful by giving you even more of a bonus).
Yes. As I said above, I was way greener when I made the post you are quoting. Specially, back then, I didn't quite appreciate the impact of having many species in a empire.
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Re: Slowing down expansion, economics

#50 Post by Vezzra » Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:04 pm

The Silent One wrote:How is influence acquired?
- by the planetary focus "influence"
- not stockpiling
- there may be factors that modify the output of influence: species attributes, planetary specials, buildings, techs

Yep. One thing that's probably obvious, but IMO still should be explicitely mentioned is that influence is distributed like research, not dependent on supply connection like production.
What can influence be spent on?
- "colony upkeep"
- per colony, per star system, per population, or a combination of these?
- per star system: favors systems with many planets, systems with many small planets are valuable too
- per colony: favors large planets / colonies with high population
- per population: favors flat (population independent) boni, small planets
- combination pop + colony count: compromise, but complicates formula. small influence cost per planet, so that it's only a factor at the beginning?
- factor in distance to home-world, or nearest other colony?

- influence cost grows exponentially to colony number, or population size, ...
With me replying only now things have already progressed, but still, here's my input:

I think basing the influence costs primarily on star systems is an excellent idea, as I expect that to offer some very interesting choices, and going with that in your first implementation has been the right decision IMO. Side note: it doesn't really fit to speak of "colony" influence costs anymore if those costs are primarily going to be based on other factors, I think "empire influence costs" fits the bill better?

I guess I've already said too much on the per-colony vs. per-pop topic, see above. I wouldn't say per-pop empire influence costs actually favor flat boni or small planets, instead they are kind of "neutral" here, because that approach wouldn't touch the current balance to one side or the other.

I also agree that we should try to avoid anything that needlessly complicates the formula, so coming up with something that incorporates it all - a factor per system, colony and pop is most likely not what we want. That said, we have brought up quite a lot of factors we want to take into account (e.g. species, species-empire relations, etc.), so we're going to have to compromise here.

Lets assume we stick with the per-star-system idea as the primary factor, what I think should be another other major factor is distance to capitol. This is simple, easy to understand, and will already ensure that empire influence costs will scale more than just linearly. Might not be sufficiently "exponential", but before resorting to more complicated formulas like (number of star systems)^2 or something like that, my suggestion would be to go with the simpler formular first and see where this will get us. I'd prefer that over distance-to-nearest-colony, as IMO the latter isn't as simple and straightforward, but feels more complicated. It also won't scale as "exponentially", will lead to more micromanagement prone fiddlind around how and where to place your colonies. And finally, distance-to-capitol will make where your capitol is located much more important. Considering the location of your capitol and if and where you should eventually move it will then actually become an issue. I like that. :D

As a secondary factor I'd rather see a pop-based one instead of the colony-based one you apparently decided on, for all the reasons already mentioned. I think a colony based factor will simply devaluate small planets too much.

And finally what I think we should incorporate in a first implementation is number of different species in your empire. More species should mean higher empire influence costs, which will nicely balance the quite powerful advantages you get when acquiring additional species.
- "fleet upkeep"
- per ship, hull-type or per part?
- per ship favors large ships too much
- per part or per hull
Like you, I'd prefer the per-hull-type approach, for all the reasons you cited. It's simple, yet avoids having the same costs for a small scout and a huge flag ship, can account for special abilities of the hull. More than good enough for a first implementation. If that turns out not to be sufficient or not satisfying, we can always tweak that. Start simple, make things more complicated only when necessary.
- other ways to spend influence
- to be discussed later
Yep. Lets deal with the problems at hand before creating new ones. ;)
How is influence presented to the player?
- influence resource displayed on the top bar and sidepanel resource panel (available influence / total influence?)
- tooltip for top bar that shows what influence is spent on (colony upkeep x influence, fleet upkeep y influence)?
Sounds good. Try to be as close to the already established resource types, only deviate/expand where necessary because of the different nature/application of influence. A tooltip breakdown on where influence is spent is certainly a good idea.
- not necessarily by "influence screen", at least not at this point
- more work on this once there are more uses for influence, like diplomacy, espionage etc.

Influence projects
- discuss further after influence basics are implemented
Yep. Lets leave all those things for later.
My opinion:
I think if would prefer a "per star system" approach for "colony upkeep", offers some strategic choices:
  • position of the star system: sometimes pick a system although it doesn't have large/good planets, because it is in a strategic position, like at a choke-point to the enemy
  • makes systems with many planets, even small ones valuable; can often ignore systems with only few and tiny planets. "hunt for good systems, develop them, ignore the undesirable ones"
  • star color matters for phototropic species. "take the blue star system with two planets rather than the red star system with four planets"
Agree to all of the above.
I'd like to see a "distance cost" to the player's next colony:
  • take far-off systems only if they are very valuable, like because they have a ruins special, or a computronium moon, or gaia worlds
Distance-to-capitol serves that purpose just as well, while offering other advantages over distance-to-nearest-colony (see above).
As for fleet upkeep, I would favor a hull-type approach; surely, both options would work fine, but I see some advantages for a hull-type approach:
  • per hull type keeps influence points (IP) cost simple, e. g. "Standard hull: 5 IP, Titanic Hull 100 IP" rather than "Standard hull (design 1): 4 IP, Standart hull (design 2): 7 IP, Titanic hull (design 1): 68 IP. Titanic hull (design 2): 75 IP"
  • per hull type adds a strategic dimension: "do I pick the small hull type that is less IP-expensive, or the huge flagship hull that offers core slots, but comes with an on-top of the parts IP cost?"
  • per hull type IP cost takes in hull attributes, like base speed, stealth etc.; could also used to differentiate hull lines: organic hulls IP-cheaper than robotic hulls, or something along those lines.
As already mentioned above, agree to all of that.

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Re: Slowing down expansion, economics

#51 Post by Vezzra » Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:28 pm

The Silent One wrote:What happens if there is not enough influence available?
- happiness malus
- production and/or research malus
- ships and/or colonies going rogue
- ...?
That's a crucrial question, otherwise the mechanic is pointless (why bother paying your empire/ship influence costs when nothing happens anyway?).

For a first implementation, I'd simply go with the happiness malus. Of course, considering there isn't much happiness does currently this doesn't help much, but first of all, not much doesn't mean "nothing". When your happiness drops below a certain level, you can't build colony buildings/colony ships anymore. That can already be quite nasty. If, as has already been suggested and discussed, we not only apply that to colony buildings and colony ships, but ships in general, we've already got some serious incentive for the player to pay his empire and ship influence costs, otherwise sooner or later he won't be able to produce ships anymore, and that is a very bad thing. You'll just have to add this min happiness requirement for ship building to your implementation, shouldn't be too complicated (AFAIK can be done purely in FOCS, doesn't need any backend C++ code adjustments).

This might already be sufficient for the first round.

Another thing would be colony riots. Geoff has already implemented rebel troops in the backend code (at least partially) , IIRC the idea is that if a colonies happiness drops below a certain level, rebel troops are generated each turn, the amount of these troops dependent on how far the happiness meter has dropped below the treshold. E.g., if min happiness for a colony to be stay peaceful is 10, then a happiness of 7 would mean 3 rebel troops are generated each turn. Planetary combat would take place and resolved the same way as invasions (the one with more troops wins, and is left with his original troops minus the troop strength of the enemy). In our example that would mean, each turn the planetary garrison would loose 3 troops, and eventually (depending on how strong it originally was) be worn down. Once the rebel troops win, the planet either becomes independent (would become like a native planet, unowned), or maybe joins an enemy empire. As the latter can only be implemented sensibly with species-empire relations in place, and is more complicate anyway, I'd go with the former (for now).

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Re: Slowing down expansion, economics

#52 Post by Cpeosphoros » Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:56 pm

Vezzra wrote:
The Silent One wrote:What happens if there is not enough influence available?
- happiness malus
- production and/or research malus
- ships and/or colonies going rogue
- ...?
That's a crucrial question, otherwise the mechanic is pointless (why bother paying your empire/ship influence costs when nothing happens anyway?).

For a first implementation, I'd simply go with the happiness malus. Of course, considering there isn't much happiness does currently this doesn't help much, but first of all, not much doesn't mean "nothing". When your happiness drops below a certain level, you can't build colony buildings/colony ships anymore. That can already be quite nasty. If, as has already been suggested and discussed, we not only apply that to colony buildings and colony ships, but ships in general, we've already got some serious incentive for the player to pay his empire and ship influence costs, otherwise sooner or later he won't be able to produce ships anymore, and that is a very bad thing. You'll just have to add this min happiness requirement for ship building to your implementation, shouldn't be too complicated (AFAIK can be done purely in FOCS, doesn't need any backend C++ code adjustments).

This might already be sufficient for the first round.
I like this. However, my lawyer instincts kicked in here and I feel that having ships costing influence and also indirectly being capped by influence would amount to some kind of "double jeopardy". I don't know whether this is or not desirable, but I thought it merited to be mentioned.
Another thing would be colony riots. Geoff has already implemented rebel troops in the backend code (at least partially) , IIRC the idea is that if a colonies happiness drops below a certain level, rebel troops are generated each turn, the amount of these troops dependent on how far the happiness meter has dropped below the treshold. E.g., if min happiness for a colony to be stay peaceful is 10, then a happiness of 7 would mean 3 rebel troops are generated each turn. Planetary combat would take place and resolved the same way as invasions (the one with more troops wins, and is left with his original troops minus the troop strength of the enemy). In our example that would mean, each turn the planetary garrison would loose 3 troops, and eventually (depending on how strong it originally was) be worn down. Once the rebel troops win, the planet either becomes independent (would become like a native planet, unowned), or maybe joins an enemy empire. As the latter can only be implemented sensibly with species-empire relations in place, and is more complicate anyway, I'd go with the former (for now).
Also very nice, but would require some kind of adjustment on how new colonies/conquered colonies start their happiness meter. Otherwise, every new colony would start in riot. Maybe some combination of actual happiness and target happiness could be used. I don't know.
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Re: Slowing down expansion, economics

#53 Post by Vezzra » Thu Mar 03, 2016 4:00 pm

The Silent One wrote:[*] can set planets to influence focus
[*] imperial palace creates (arbitrarily) 40 IP
[*] influence resource indicator at top of map wnd; shows total generated and available influence
[*] tooltip of influence indicator: shows what influence is spent on (colonies, systems, ships)
[*] fleet wnd shows influence upkeep cost of ships&fleets
Sounds very good and promising so far. Especially like the idea of the imperial palace giving a considerable IP bonus, seems very fitting.
[*] colony upkeep = number of colonies * 4
Well, I've said a(n awful) lot about this topic already, no point in reiterating all that.

However, after reading Geoffs reply and thinking more about it, and also all the things Morlic said, I can begin to see how that approach can make sense after all. I'll go into more detail in my reply to Geoffs post (which I probably won't get to today, but hopefully soon).

One thing I'd want to suggest here is that this could be where we can factor in the number of species in the empire. Something like (number of colonies) * ((fixed value) + ((number of species in empire) / 5).
[*] translinguistics tech reduces muliplier to 3, mind of the void to 2, unified consciousness to 1
I assume that's just a stop-gap solution before introducing separate, dedicated techs for that purpose?
[*] system upkeep = (number of systems)² (techs to reduce system upkeep will follow)
What do you think about my suggestion earlier, to just make system upkeep dependent on distance to capitol? E.g. 3x jumps to capitol, this would result in system influence costs of 9 for a system 3 jumps away. As you can have only one capitol, with your empire growing in size you'll get more and more systems that are farther and farther away (and therefore increasingly more expensive to maintain), effectively increasing your empire influence costs exponentially. Simple and effective. :D

As I said earlier, maybe not "exponentially" enough, but I'd like to see how a simple formula like that is going to play out. It might turn out to be already fairly effective...

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Re: Slowing down expansion, economics

#54 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Mar 03, 2016 4:18 pm

Rather than a penalty to happiness when there is insufficient influence, I think it should be expressed as a bonus to happiness when there is extra influence available.

Most planets would be substantially unhappy by default, and then by having surplus influence available, the empire would increase those planets' happiness. Use up too much influence on other stuff, an the planets' happiness drops gradually.

Also, some of those population-dependent resource output bonuses could depend on happiness. Make getting the biggest (population-dependent) bonuses require maintaining a high influence output. (Non-happiness dependent alternatives could also exist and be usable as a strategy...)

Also, rather than happiness a sort of %-like value, where 20 happiness is "content", 10 is "restless", 5 is "angry", and 0 is "revolting", consider having it be more Civ-like, where you need 8 happiness to pacify / satisfy a population of 8, and anything below that starts to have negative effects, such as for the population-dependent resource meter effects only adding the lesser of population or happiness, or the number of rebel troops generated (eg. rebels_per_turn = (happiness - population)/3 with a substantial penalty to happiness on recently-conquered planets, and dependent on species tendencies and opinion of the empire).

That not being effectively a population-dependent influence cost for a colony would require a population-dependent happiness bonus, likely dependent on species preferences and relevant historical events.

I would attempt to implement things like a penalty for more species using such species tendencies and opinions. If a species doesn't like some other species that is in the same empire or that lives on a nearby planet, then give that planet a penalty to happiness.

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Re: Slowing down expansion, economics

#55 Post by Vezzra » Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:14 pm

The Silent One wrote:
Cpeosphoros wrote:Maybe an ideal influence cost for ships would be per actual parts in actual built ships? Eg., a mass driver would cost .01 influence, a laser .03, a engine coupling .015 (made up numbers).
I'm not so fond of this approach; I think having one standard value per hull is so much less complicated, and with this it would also be possible to take the hull stats into account, which will not be represented if we just add up the cost for the individual parts of the design.
After reading and thinking about the discussion on that point, I want to throw in my support for your original approach here. As I've said already in one of my earlier posts above, I think your reasons for going with hull-type dependent IP costs are very sound.

Sure, making the IP costs dependent on slots used, or even more, dependent on the actual parts used, sounds interesting and will offer much more very fine-grained choices when it comes to ship design, but it will also make things a lot more complex - much too complex and detailed I think. Our goal is to give the player simple, but meaningful and interesting choices. However, if the IP costs for a ship are determined on the part level, where each type of part has different costs, your options and choices become very detailed, to the point where I'll expect ship design becoming more of a chore than fun.

There is a reason why we don't use sliders, and bringing so much detail into ship influence costs and thereby to ship design will get close to the slider concept. You have many detailed, fine-grained options which are only gradually different. Figuring out how many slots to fill and with which parts will become a very complicated consideration: do I use the more advanced plasma cannon, which has higher maintenance costs, or stick with the laser? Maybe a mix of one plasma cannon and two lasers is more optimal, then deciding how much external slots dedicating to armor - one weapon less, for one additional armor? Or the other way round? Shall I sacrifice/add a laser or a plasma cannon?

The same going on with all parts, that compete for a certain type of slots, force me to weigh build costs, maintenance costs, etc. against which benefits, etc. I forsee that to become some kind of art, where you could spend hours to optimize just one design. And that's definitely not the kind of mechanic we want in FO. Ship design already can be quite intricate with the current options, we should not add complexity. All additional choices we decide to offer to the player need to be clear, simple to understand, distinct, while still meaningful and interesting. Having to do too much calculations to figure out which choices/selections are more optimal for what I want to achieve isn't interesting and no fun.

Therefore, I suggest to stick to hull-type dependent IP costs. That already takes care of the biggest problem of the current system, is simple, yet flexible (in some aspects even more than the other, more complicated approaches, because it very elegantly allows to factor in special abilities of hull types). We loose nothing by trying that in a first implementation, and see where it gets us. If it turns out to be not satisfactory, we can always change it.

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Re: Slowing down expansion, economics

#56 Post by Krikkitone » Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:32 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:Rather than a penalty to happiness when there is insufficient influence, I think it should be expressed as a bonus to happiness when there is extra influence available.

Most planets would be substantially unhappy by default, and then by having surplus influence available, the empire would increase those planets' happiness. Use up too much influence on other stuff, an the planets' happiness drops gradually.

Also, some of those population-dependent resource output bonuses could depend on happiness. Make getting the biggest (population-dependent) bonuses require maintaining a high influence output. (Non-happiness dependent alternatives could also exist and be usable as a strategy...)

Also, rather than happiness a sort of %-like value, where 20 happiness is "content", 10 is "restless", 5 is "angry", and 0 is "revolting", consider having it be more Civ-like, where you need 8 happiness to pacify / satisfy a population of 8, and anything below that starts to have negative effects, such as for the population-dependent resource meter effects only adding the lesser of population or happiness, or the number of rebel troops generated (eg. rebels_per_turn = (happiness - population)/3 with a substantial penalty to happiness on recently-conquered planets, and dependent on species tendencies and opinion of the empire).

That not being effectively a population-dependent influence cost for a colony would require a population-dependent happiness bonus, likely dependent on species preferences and relevant historical events.

I would attempt to implement things like a penalty for more species using such species tendencies and opinions. If a species doesn't like some other species that is in the same empire or that lives on a nearby planet, then give that planet a penalty to happiness.
I guess that works...I think the problem is the idea that happiness can simply be bought.

Perhaps a cap to how much happiness you can get with extra influence, the remainder being wasted. (so you need to do something besides just switch planets to influence focus if you have big happiness problems... like actually follow species preferences)

Essentially your system would work if "total population of empire" was a negative for happiness (as in civ)..and additional unhappiness/happiness for a planet based on local factors.

Someone had a good idea for a system based on that you had
local happiness->target was species allegiance + "local" factors (including total empire population)
Species allegiance->target was the average happiness of all worlds with that species in your empire
(there would also be one time effects to species allegiance+happiness based on things like atrocities, etc.)

So if the "local factors" for all the worlds of a species were an average negative, then happiness would continually fall for all worlds of that species, the most unhappy ones would revolt first, allowing you to bring the average up. (and also removing some pop from your empire bringing happiness up for everyone)

also I would far rather have revolts than production penalties....
Production penalties are what you get when you plan ahead (switch productive planets to making influence for happiness).

For the costs
.. each system costs "Distance in jumps from Capital"
.. each species costs "# colonies of all Other species in the empire" x "# colonies of This species"*
.. each hull based on hull type

so having 1 dominant species at 90% and 9 minor ones at 1.1% won't cause much problems... but having 10 species at 10% each would have big problems.
*could also be pop instead of # of colonies, maybe divide by total empire pop (or # colonies) as well


Also those costs mean that if you only colonize your home system with one species and don't have a navy, you don't need any influence.

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Re: Slowing down expansion, economics

#57 Post by Krikkitone » Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:57 pm

Cpeosphoros wrote: Also very nice, but would require some kind of adjustment on how new colonies/conquered colonies start their happiness meter. Otherwise, every new colony would start in riot. Maybe some combination of actual happiness and target happiness could be used. I don't know.
Well new founded colonies could start with a happiness of say 20 (if 10 was the rebel threshold)

Newly captured colonies could start at 0 (in riot)...the troops you put on the planet to capture it would stay there until happiness got up to 10 (or whatever the threshold is).
(If happiness never gets to 10, then you have a quagmire)

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Re: Slowing down expansion, economics

#58 Post by Vezzra » Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:29 pm

Ok, back to continuing this discussion...
The Silent One wrote:
Cpeosphoros wrote:[...], but I still think the influence cost should go up for each tech tier you use in ship improvements - not only weapons, but also shields, scanners, drivers, fuel tanks, etc. [...] I'm working here under the assumption that the goal of this entire new mechanics is to slow down expansion (as the title of this topic says). Giving a flat cost for higher tech parts, in comparison to lower ones, will not accomplish that goal. There would still be an incentive for rushing into the late techs and spamming cheap cruisers with the last available tech.
I see your point, we should just try it out. I'll wait for a couple of days before implementing it, so there's time for discussion if someone wants to contribute their ideas how to handle ship influence upkeep.
For the reasons I've already given in my posts above, I propose to stick with the simpler hull-type based IP costs approach for now. That, and a thorough revision of the resource output boni (to significantly tone them down) should already go a long way to accomplish the goal of slowing down the current excessive growth. If somewhere down the road we realize that these measures weren't sufficient, we can still consider further tweaking/expanding the IP maintenance mechanics.

The probem I see with Cpeosphoros' approach is that if you put too high a price tag on using new technologies, you might end up rendering the investment necessary to get them not worth it. I mean, better techs are supposed to give you more benefits for the same costs. If you try to balance e.g. the more powerful weapons (you get by researching the higher weapon tiers) by making them more expensive to produce (PP) and to maintain (IP) so that their advantage over the lower tech, but cheaper weapons gets too small, why bother investing RP to get them? Currently more powerful ship parts are usually already more expensive to produce, if you make them more expensive to maintain too, I think this will be too much.

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Vezzra
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Re: Slowing down expansion, economics

#59 Post by Vezzra » Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:56 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
The Silent One wrote:Which brings me back to: do we want an influence cost for buildings, or should we "leave it to infrastructure"?
If you don't have a specific / strong reason to, no.
Seconded. Even if we reconsider this idea, there is no need to incorporate this in the first implementation. Another case of we can always expand later.
Generally part of the idea of a city / planet upkeep costs system is to slow down horizontal expansion (more cities / colonies)
IMO that's the actual main goal.
and encourage vertical development (bigger cities / colonies with more buildings in / on them), and to encourage / force players to choose their settling locations carefully, to avoid investing a lot of upkeep into a city / colony that won't end up adequately productive in the medium-term to make up for those upkeep costs.
This however is a closely related, but still kind of separate goal that isn't strictly necessary. Just slowing down horizontal expansion is already good enough, and has been all I had in mind when discussing these mechanics till now.

That said, including that concept sounds like a very interesting and appealing idea, which made me reconsider my stance on colony-based vs pop-based empire influence costs. My main concern is that small planets will become worthless (or even worse). If we can provide elements/mechanics that make them an interesting, viable choice again (which I think we can e.g. by providing more, better balanced flat boni like you suggested), I'm now very much in support of that approach (I'll go into a bit more detail in a later reply).
That said, there are probably cases where giving a specific building influence costs would make sense, even if it's not done in general. For example, it might make sense to require planets to have a building on them to have a non-trivial defense meter, but that can't be something that players will want to produce everywhere, and giving it a substantial influence cost could be a way to discourage that.
The idea sounds interesting. However, the concept introduced by this is a fundamental one, buildings will then be classified in three categories (wrt influence): a - buildings which generate influence (or boost IP output, e.g. Imperial Palace or Megalith), buildings which are "influence neutral" (neither generate nor consume IP, this will be the default case and the majority of buildings) and buildings which consume IP (like you suggested above).

However, that's a concept I suggest to postpone for later, and don't bother with now, for the first implementation.

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Re: Slowing down expansion, economics

#60 Post by The Silent One » Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:00 pm

Vezzra wrote:For the reasons I've already given in my posts above, I propose to stick with the simpler hull-type based IP costs approach for now.
I second that (big surprise ;))! As for the other points (system and colony upkeep, distance, cost for many different species in one empire), I will rejoin the discussion once I have my PC back.
Agree to not give buildings an influence upkeep for now.
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