Maintenance Resource

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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Bigjoe5
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Maintenance Resource

#1 Post by Bigjoe5 »

Krikkitone wrote:Current design has money doing something it Shouldn't do (maintaining buildings built with production)... if something is built withe production points it should be maintained with production points.
Hmm? Why is that? Is that some part of the design document that I missed? It seems natural that it is built with production points (It's being produced) and maintained with money, since you're paying everyone who is actually operating this thing. I don't think a building should be destroyed when theres not enough money for it like in MoO2, but simply cease to function, resuming its function when appropriate funds are available.
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Krikkitone
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Re: Revision: Money vs. Social Control

#2 Post by Krikkitone »

Actually it is FAR more natural that something is built the same way it is maintained.

If you "pay someone" to maintain a building, then why don't you just pay them to build it?.. maintaining is basically just replacing parts of it. (a person walks around and moves things from one place to another, occasionally using some machinery on those parts... that sounds exactly like Industry/production to me.)

But dropping Realism it makes sense that if I want to expand the size of my ... whatever I should increase the maximum (maintenance) in the same way I Reach that maximum (building) [if there is a maintenance cost]

The fact is money... if we have it... should do something significantly different than other resources.

Food->maintains (and builds because population 'self grows') population
Industry+Minerals->builds (and maintains if it is needed) ships and physical structures
Research->builds (I'm pretty sure no maintenance) technologies
Money->maintains (and builds) social 'institutions' (ie governments, spy networks, loyalty, etc.)

so Some buildings I could see becoming Money built/maintained but ones that are PP built should be PP maintained.

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Bigjoe5
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Re: Revision: Money vs. Social Control

#3 Post by Bigjoe5 »

Krikkitone wrote:Actually it is FAR more natural that something is built the same way it is maintained.

If you "pay someone" to maintain a building, then why don't you just pay them to build it?.. maintaining is basically just replacing parts of it. (a person walks around and moves things from one place to another, occasionally using some machinery on those parts... that sounds exactly like Industry/production to me.)
The money that the people who build it get paid is abstracted into the imaginary economy, so you only have to worry about to what use the production itself is being put. In contrast, you're not paying generic workers to maintain the building, your paying specialists to operate it, which is conceptually very different that simply directing the industry under your control towards a specific building project. Spies walk around from one place to another, occasionally using machinery on things. Why not call that production/industry as well?
But dropping Realism it makes sense that if I want to expand the size of my ... whatever I should increase the maximum (maintenance) in the same way I Reach that maximum (building) [if there is a maintenance cost]
It is highly illogical that I receive an penalty to production for having used my production. Its much more logical to have buildings maintained by draining the pool of some resource that can be replenished rather than having it subtract irrevocably from a resource that is completely used up each turn. Having a building should have a price, not a penalty.
The fact is money... if we have it... should do something significantly different than other resources.

Food->maintains (and builds because population 'self grows') population
Industry+Minerals->builds (and maintains if it is needed) ships and physical structures
Research->builds (I'm pretty sure no maintenance) technologies
Money->maintains (and builds) social 'institutions' (ie governments, spy networks, loyalty, etc.)

so Some buildings I could see becoming Money built/maintained but ones that are PP built should be PP maintained.
As long as money remains absolutely essential to the game, I don't really mind if its not used for maintenance. I don't want players to be able to ignore money. However, this means that social institutions will have to be necessary to the game. This sounds annoying to me. Governments should just be there. I don't want to have to deal with bureaucracy like in MoO3... Same goes for loyalty, and spies should be entirely optional. By tying in money with things we use industry for and giving it other myriad functions like in MoO2, it becomes essential to the game without turning it into MoO3. If you can figure out some fun things to use money for, go ahead. In the mean time, I still think it should be used to maintain buildings.
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Krikkitone
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Re: Maintenance Resource

#4 Post by Krikkitone »

I think the biggest problem I have with money maintaining production buildings or ships is that it has the same "gameplay affect".... ie if I want the effect of a building I need Production (Industry and Minerals) AND Money.... Why should I need a third resource for this building... after All I used production to build it.

It would be FAR better to cut money altogether than to use it for maintenance of production buildings.

THe fact is if you can produce a building/ship, then you have production to maintain it.... and if you can't maintain your buildings/ships... well you can't build anymore... you have to scrap some if you want to build new ones.

Now what I would propose money be used for is building and maintaining "Social Effects" ie

Government (each planet you have requires a certain amount of money or you lose the benefits your government gives)
Changing government requires money)

spies (building them, maintainin them, doing their missions)

Social Buildings (building a Galactic UN should take Money... production is minimal)

Propaganda... can spend to make planets like you more (in a limited sense)

All those are totally different from the effects Production produces (buildings for Economy and ships)


Reverse reply to Geoff: I do agree that No maintenance for buildings would be better than Money Maintenance.
But I do think maintanence is a good idea... it depends whether one wants to focus on rate of growth or on 'stable amounts'.

I personally prefer the latter (equilibrium), but the former is similar to the idea of having infinite max population of planets... you just see how fast you can grow, rather than how to expand what you have.
Last edited by Krikkitone on Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Maintenance Resource

#5 Post by Geoff the Medio »

I'm actually quite skeptical that there's any need for maintenance in the game at all. It's not particularly fun or interesting, and I've never felt my 4X gaming experience was enhanced by having to set tax rates or such while taking into account my maintenance costs.

The only motivation for having maintenance I've seen was to slow down players from building too much, but there are plenty of other ways to do this, and it's not necessarily a desirable goal anyway.

A major issue in the earlier Civ games was ICS / Infinite City Sprawl, in which many undeveloped cities are produced because it's more effective to make new cities than it is to improve existing ones. Having buildings, which are part of developing cities (or planets) cost maintenance just makes infinite expansion more desirable.

We won't necessarily have this problem in FO, but the point is that we shouldn't include static maintenance costs by default or without good reason.

A possible alternative way to introduce similar costs is to give some buildings (or ships) abilities that can be manually activated by players which have a cost to use. These could cost any resource deemed appropriate, and would work quite similarly to espoinage or cultural missions, except would presumably have different effects. Costs and/or effects could be single-turn or multi-turn / ongoing, as appropriate. An unactivated building or ability would cost nothing to maintain.

A concern with this is probably extra micromanagement, but since our buildings are supposed to be relatively few and individually significant, and by analogy with espionage-type missions, I don't think it would be a huge issue.

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Tortanick
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Re: Maintenance Resource

#6 Post by Tortanick »

Geoff the Medio wrote:The only motivation for having maintenance I've seen was to slow down players from building too much, but there are plenty of other ways to do this, and it's not necessarily a desirable goal anyway.
Well without maintenance there is no reason you can't have an infinite amount of ships (a hard unit cap is worse) and makeing the dominant strategy to win by outnumbering your opponent. Then again you say there are other ways to deal with it, I'll hold judgement until I hear them but for ships we definitely need something to stop players winning simply through numbers, there's just no fun.

For buildings I wouldn't bother having any maintenance at all, it would be more interesting if each building has its own unique penalty rather than sharing a small drain on your finances, these could also be carefully chosen to increase the strategicness of where to build buildings.
Economic sinkhole: drains nearby planet's economies including your own.
Bioterror labs: If discovered creates lots of unrest, and foreign citizens might pressure their government to pressure you.
Psycorps: A Nazi organisation that trys to overthrow you and create a telepath centric society. Basically they start espionage missions against you.
Geoff the Medio wrote:A possible alternative way to introduce similar costs is to give some buildings (or ships) abilities that can be manually activated by players which have a cost to use. These could cost any resource deemed appropriate, and would work quite similarly to espoinage or cultural missions, except would presumably have different effects.
I wouldn't make buildings with an on/off switch. It removes the risk from a strategic decision, but a building that has a passive and an active effect could work. Bioterror labs for example may require you to order a tailor made virus before they do anything, but can be discovered even while idle.

I'm not sure what you mean by ships with special abilities, I wouldn't want ordanary ships to have any abilities the player has to activate, its fine in a turn based game, but the battles are real time. Rare flagships that provide something like Age of Mythology god powers would be cool


For colonies themselves, I'm positive towards the idea that in the early days they're a financial drain but unless you've picked an inhospitable environment they become net contributors later, it stops colony spamming from being a good idea. (Some races may even be the exception, if we could balance them out in some other way)

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Re: Maintenance Resource

#7 Post by Tsenzouken »

Actually [directed to BigJoe5] slowing down industrial production as a consequence of using it makes perfect sense--so long as it is limited to reasonable and believable levels. This is of course one of the DAFRAs. (Dreaded and Forbidden Realism Arguments.) Although personally, I think realism arguments should only ever be made on the grounds that doing it another way will just confuse players or make things unfair/imbalanced.

Food -- Once produced, it is first assigned to population who need it, then stored.
After: Macro-management bar lets you stimulate trade by assigning a certain amount of food to it rather than hoarding it all. Can also be used for humanitarian missions. (Could lead to some Machiavellian plotting if you use spies to paralyze their food production, then send food to them)
Minerals -- Produced, then used by Industry, returned to storage if not used.
After: Same as food, except I can't think of any relevant missions off the top of my head.

Industry -- Used to produce, but un-used points are lost.
After: Military takes surplus industrial output to maintain, and this is subtracted from excess production before any other cost is levied. Also, can be used to stimulate trade. Anything not covered by excess production is subtracted from industrial capacity of planets, starting with the highest producers so as not to cripple any particular colony. Also, excess production capacity can go into an 'empire pool' that is distributed (at a scalar loss to the colonies that are weakest industrially.)

Research -- Assigned to projects, no waste.
After: Seems fine the way it is.
Trade -- Generated, saved. Not used yet.

Maintenance for buildings... The idea that a building falls into ruins seems silly. Unless your civilization is in utter decline, there seems to be no reason why this should happen (a la Moo2/3/Civ) Geoff's on the money with ICS. I think building maintenance can be abstracted into reduced production values based on conditions like blockaded and environment type, and should always be percentage-based NOT linear so they never actually cause things to go negative. Simple, sensible, game-affecting but not requiring of micro-management. Can easily be combined with other similar variables and hidden under the hood.

As for empire surplus industrial capacity, as long as you have line-of-supply to a colony, it seems completely reasonable to think that one would want to send them aid to help them get started. By the same token, this would need to be balanced carefully. Also, there isn't really any need for a player to actually control it. Large scale military hardware like orbital bases wouldn't be shipped, ships can be manufactured elsewhere. This means that it is NOT intended to serve as a way to 'rush' production.

Industrial capacity which would otherwise be lost could be applied to aid new colonies with a two-pronged approach. First, it would boost their effective production capacity by a small amount (a small +current/+max on the construction infrastructure meter) after this, if there is further excess production it is assigned on a matching basis like a 401k. This would need to be increasingly inefficient the farther the planet is from your capital and the higher it's driving the output. Planets above a certain production value would cease to be eligible.

While not strictly related to a maintenance resource, the whole of it would prevent an additional resource from being necessary or desirable, and giving only one part of it would make the specific uses seem somewhat out of place, so it was all included.

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Krikkitone
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Re: Maintenance Resource

#8 Post by Krikkitone »

One point... ALL industry is empire wide... and it doesn't increase planetary economic development (that happens automagically)... and it should NOT be used increase the generic construction meter.
Also, If ships are maintained with ONLY production then you should never worry about excess production, because more ships can always be built if you have excess production... and more ships is always useful for Something. (you can scrap them if you need the extra production... and you should get the minerals back)

I would say it is allocated

Maintenance of ships/buildings (subject to prioritization)
Producing ships/buildings (subject to prioritization)
[excess can go back to minerals but should be non-existent...theire should be a "infinite build" option for things in the build queue where all extra production at that point will go into producing more ships... or possibly expanding shipyards.]

If maintenance is Always done first, then it just slows your industry

something that isn't maintained should probably just become inactive, and should spring back to 'activity' once you can pay maintenance for it.

and so if you Lose a high industry world, then some of your fleet is 'dead in the water' or some of your buildings stop giving benefits. (and you can't build anything)

the solution would be then to increase your industry OR scrap some buildings/ships.


(you might add an additional cost for 'bringing it out' of storage.... or say that if maintenance wasn't paid for 10, 20, or 50 turns it is destroyed.... but the first option [no maint=inactive, maint=active] seems simplest for now.)

Tsenzouken
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Re: Maintenance Resource

#9 Post by Tsenzouken »

Perhaps if I provide a visual example of what I mean, things will be clearer.
Resources.PNG
Resources.PNG (4.95 KiB) Viewed 1812 times
If your military maintenance exceeds the amount of excess production you have, it is then subtracted from your 'actual' industrial production.

Also, scrapping ships should never directly give you industrial capacity. Shaping matter takes time and energy, and industrial capacity represents the raw ability you have at making that happen. When you scrap a ship, it has to pass back through the industrial machinery before the resources used in its construction can be re-used. (Unless you're a sentient self-adapting nanobot consciousness hive or some such) The rate-of-return on minerals should never be higher than 1:1; and should be ruinous to begin with. (It's easier to start fresh than completely deconstruct the alloys and microcircuitry, etc.)

If industrial production is consolidated, there's no need for the other bit. Quite handy for massing defenses at worlds with nil production capacity but an important strategic location.

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Krikkitone
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Re: Maintenance Resource

#10 Post by Krikkitone »

OK, so you are saying maintenance should require Industry, but not Production (Industry+Minerals)

I'd be fine with that (although I think requiring just production would be simpler)

As for the result from scrapping a ship, I think it should just give minerals directly to the pile (and definitely never better than a 1:1 ratio) I do disagree with having to use Industry to get the Minerals out... I would say the Industry required for making Production from a scrapped ship would be the same Amount as the Industry required for making Production from raw minerals

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Re: Maintenance Resource

#11 Post by Tsenzouken »

Actually I'd be fine with it requiring industry or production, although I think production does make more sense (was in a hurry)

Using industry to scrap was simply a reason why clicking scrap should not give you extra production (IND+MIN), I agree that going directly to mineral storage would be best.

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Re: Maintenance Resource

#12 Post by nyquist »

And why not put maintenance related things with supply (at least for spaceship)?

I have seen a supply meter in the last svn so it make some sense.

Military logistic must think to fuel, ammo, salary, spare-part and everything that a ship requiere to be "fully war readiness".

The way to generate supply have to be discuted, but i suppose that some building can provide support (shipyard, headquarters, military-industry...) and somehow we can convert some ressource (let's say industry and money for exemple) into supply if needed.

This put maintenance building aside, but as far as i have seen, building have an effect in ratio with population so if there no pop, no effet, so no need for maintenance. Let's say that population pay some kind of locate tax which pay the maintenance needed by there infrastructure.

... or may be i'm wrong :)

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eleazar
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Re: Maintenance Resource

#13 Post by eleazar »

Geoff the Medio wrote:I'm actually quite skeptical that there's any need for maintenance in the game at all. It's not particularly fun or interesting, and I've never felt my 4X gaming experience was enhanced by having to set tax rates or such while taking into account my maintenance costs.
I tend to agree for buildings,

but i think it's very likely we'll need some sort of limiting factor for ships. I tend to prefer "maintenance" as a limiting factor rather than a hard number as in MoO2, but there are probably other possible ways to create a limiting factor.

Both / either / neither of these kinds (ships & buildings) of maintenance could be added whenever the need was apparent.

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Nighthawk
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Re: Maintenance Resource

#14 Post by Nighthawk »

The construction and Maintenance should cost money because unless the government is a hive mind, the people wont work for free. Maybe that would be the major advantage of Hive minds, but the disadvantage being Lack of creativity and research.

Seriously, no one I know wants to work for free, and I sure as hell wouldn't be doing manual labor for a pat on the back!

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Krikkitone
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Re: Maintenance Resource

#15 Post by Krikkitone »

Nighthawk wrote:The construction and Maintenance should cost money because unless the government is a hive mind, the people wont work for free. Maybe that would be the major advantage of Hive minds, but the disadvantage being Lack of creativity and research.

Seriously, no one I know wants to work for free, and I sure as hell wouldn't be doing manual labor for a pat on the back!

Well that would mean ALL resource production would require money (no one will work in the farms / labs / mines / factories / or even the marketplaces for free) which would be a BAD Idea

However I would make that more simply, money is the cost for keeping people loyal (Money would be the resource you use to maintain loyalty... and THAT would be the advantage for hive minds, the people/planets are naturally more loyal)

so
Minerals->consumed by industry
Food->maintains population+Health, improves environment
Research->'builds' techs
Industry->builds and maintains fleets, massive infrastructure, etc.
Money->builds and maintains loyalty of populations, government structures, etc.

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