Ophiuchus wrote:Combining transfer limit and extraction limit basically are the battery idea, right? So that you spend many turns transferring you can extract a lot and if you dont spend many turns transferring you can extract only a little?
I guess you can say that you'll get a similar dynamic with the transfer limit idea, although the other "battery" ideas are more (IMO too) complicated. Anyway, you're right of course: if you put a lot of PP in your stockpile, then you have a lot to draw from, but that's a trivial conclusion.
However, to avoid possible misunderstandings about what I meant with my transfer limit idea: It's not
that you can fill the stockpile only at a limited rate, but then withdraw all PP at once. The limit applies to both
transferring into and
extracting from the stockpile. Meaning, if you spend 10 turns filling you stockpile at a rate of e.g. 10PP/turn, giving you a stockpile of 100PP, you can then withdraw 10PP/turn for 10 turns, before it runs dry (assuming you don't put any more PP into it). You can't withdraw those 100PP at once. Unless of course you research better stockpile tech in the meantime that increases your transfer limit.
However, just to make sure that there isn't any confusion about this, I don't meant the transfer limit to apply to the total
of PP put into and PP drawn from the stockpile, but to apply to both separately. Meaning, if you have a transfer limit of 10, you can transfer up 10PP into the stockpile and at the same time withdraw up to 10PP from the stockpile each turn. I guess that's how you understood it anyway, I just wanted to make sure.
If we do not want to make distributed empires possible with the IS I dont really see why we didnt choose the stealthy supply like ovarwa said. That was interruptable with detection at least. [...] The main complexity there was different empires with different stealth and detection values with different relationships (e.g. allied) and the basic decision if you want to be hidden or disrupt enemies supply lines.
I think that those stealthy supply problems are solvable.
Maybe not in the technical sense (as in, impossible to come up with something and implement it), but I think that would require a rather complex (and potentially confusing) set of rules, which goes against our trying to make things KISS. The appeal of the IS mechanic is it's simplicity, which is why I'd very much prefer if we could make it work for the stealthy/distributed empire idea.
So, this is not about not wanting
to make distributed empires possible, it's about being able to within the established rules and mechanics. With the new suggestions I've read so far (and I'm now in the process to wade through and reply to
) it looks promising, I think we're moving in the right direction.
Oberlus wrote: IS should be a valid tool to make viable a full pacifist, scattered, hidden colonies strategy for early/mid game (e.g. with Laenfa).
This is basically what I want.
Agreed. We'd just have to figure out/come to an agreement on what's the right way to do it.
Vezzra asked what the basic advantage of a distributed empire is.
The basic resource a distributed empire has in comparison to a sphere-shaped one is reach. How to build one? You basically pressure your expansion to go the long way, outposting and colonizing exceeding your supply range. What does reach mean? It means access to "better" planets, trying to claim faster.
The downside is that you can't reap the many benefits you get in a supply-group because you invest your energy outside of it.
Exactly. I think you summarized the essential challenge of distributed empires pretty well here.
The challenge is to make the costs/efforts/limitations for being able to expand beyond your supply range affordable enough so that the tangible benefits faster access to better planets give a distributed empire make that a viable strategy. And at the same time make those costs/efforts/limitation expensive/strict enough so whatever game mechanic we invent to make that possible (the IS) doesn't change the way normal expansion and gameplay works.
bounty planets which work on their own (like computronium moon, ancient ruins); distributed empire has a better chance of claiming them first (problem is claiming means bringing down the defenses and afterwards then you probably have to hide it)
Assuming "work on their own" means being able to make use their benefits without them being supply connected, I don't see much difference here to "normal" empires. What you call "distributed" empires has already been possible wrt these game elements (in my games, if I don't find usable planets nearby, I frequently colonize outside my supply range and set those planets to research).
Of course, the IS is going to be an interesting option to make more of such disconnected planets.
specials etc which boost your whole supply network provide a great incentive to connect all production systems to it no matter how effective the stockpile is. E.g. black hole generator, growth specials.
Adding more things that require supply connection isn't a proper compensation for the IS making PP distribution via the supply network less relevant. We need to avoid the latter anyway, this isn't about the supply network mechanic becoming less important. It's the PP distribution requires supply connection mechanic that needs to be preserved and kept as important and relevant as it has been without the IS.
The way to go are suggestions you picked up yourself already: to tie a usage of the IS that allows it to replace normal PP distribution partially or completely to something that makes it a very specific, special case strategic choice the player has to make (like chosing a specific starting race), and that comes with drawbacks/limitations/restrictions that make it impossible for "normal" empires to use.
No need then to add more things that require the supply network to keep it important enough. I mean, of course we can add such things, but we don't need to in order to compensate for the changes introduced by the IS.
We could give the imperial palace some supply-group benefit. This would make your first supply-group "special" in a sense.
If I understand correctly, that can only work if we make the transfer limit meter local instead of global. Which is something I'd like to see anyway, so the idea to give colonies in the same supply group as the Imperial Palace some extra stockpile bonus sounds reasonable.
How about tuning the stockpile unusable for most species, have some species have a small bonus which makes it more viable and have one "stockpiling" species.
I wouldn't go so far as make the IS unuseable
for most species. They should still be able to use the IS as alleryn suggested: not as a means to establish a split empire, but as something that could help if parts of your empire get cut off by an invading enemy, or to be able to store some PP to a limited degree in cases where you just don't have enough reasonable things to build to use up your PP output. Won't help if you have a lot of PP you don't know what to do with, but I often enough found myself in situations where I had some small surplus I'd like to have been able to save for later instead of building something I didn't really need just to avoid to waste those PPs. There might be more situations/cases where the IS might prove to be a nice extra for normal empires.
The some species with a small or moderate stockpile bonus you suggest could be species that won't allow for fully distributed empires, but allow for empires where the IS, while nowhere near being able to replace normal PP distribution, at least can make it less relevant. Such empires would be a bit better at being able to make use of planets out of their supply range than normal empires, but not good enough to be a fully distributed empire.
The last option (what you call the "stockpiling" species, I'd call the "stealthy empire" species, as that is what they are about, giving them the extra big bonus for stockpiling is just one of the things you need to give them to work) is exactly what I had in mind too.
That "stockpiling" species could be the Sly (self-sustaining gas giant dwellers, bad supply (which makes -1 supply on the gas giants), high stealth, good detection, high stockpiling bonus, really bad attack troops, good defense troops, bad pilots, 7PP production malus for all your other species in the same system as a sly planet).
Yep, sounds like a good start, but why that 7PP malus thing for your other species in the same system as a Sly planet thing? Don't see a need for that, what did you have in mind?
The good thing about gas giant dwelling is that you dont have to compete for living space.
And you have a greater chance of going unnoticed for a while, which is the whole point of a stealthy empire.
The bad thing is the uniqueness - acquiring gas dwellers for any empire is probably as important for everyone as acquiring exobots (or another radiation species).
Yep, to the point where this could be a real balance problem. Everyone would be out to get you, and I can think of some other implications that could be problematic.
One solution would be to make them asteroid dwellers instead, but I kind of like the idea of gas giant dwellers. Other solutions could be to make them xenophobic, giving them ultimate defensive ground troops, or make it completely impossible to invade them, only to wipe them out with special gas giant bombard weapons, etc. And once we add Influence and species-empire relations, there will be even better possibilities to counter that problem.
The low supply means you will probably not get any supply-group benefits without capturing natives, so stockpiling must be playable really soon.
Well, the Sly are supposed to get great stockpile bonus, so they should be able to start with basic stockpile capabilites right away. That's the idea, isn't it?
Probably this should be a player-only species, as the strategy probably needs to be very different from the normal AI strategy.
That, or we can ask the AI team to implement the required changes to the AI so it can play the Sly. Since I don't want Dilvish to send his assassins after me, I think we should go with your suggestion...
I hope I could explain why a distributed strategy could reap benefits.
Yeah, I think we've got some good ideas here.