What to do with the stockpiling techs

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Dilvish
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Re: What to do with the stockpiling techs

#31 Post by Dilvish » Fri May 18, 2018 8:56 pm

Looking back over the previous discussions, I'm currently thinking that the Target vs Max meter type for stockpiles was probably mostly just an implicit assumption I had made but never stated explicitly. It probably shaped this discussion at least somewhat, since it led to some scripting changes that don't actually seem to matter with the current MaxMeter behavior for stockpile but perhaps that doesn't really matter much substantively-- folks seem reasonably content with how the Stockpile is working, and I certainly haven't noticed any requests for it to get the TargetMeter behavior. So tentatively I'll plan to clean up the superfluous penalty change clauses that I noted in PR 2114 (but no special rush on that, I believe they simply have no effect at all).
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Re: What to do with the stockpiling techs

#32 Post by Ophiuchus » Sat May 19, 2018 8:52 pm

Oberlus wrote:Just increase it so that it can be useful enough to be preferred over more production/research.
However, if I can only use stockpiling focus on homeworlds, I will not use it:
Hm. I think you are right.
Just cant think of a sensible way to code a restriction of the number of planets for the focus.

Edit: Maybe we could add those planets with any growth specials to the list of possible candidates.
Oberlus wrote:I'll try those Fulver, are they already in the test version?
No, they are not merged yet.
forum discussion
PR-2086

I extracted the minmum set of necessary files you can just copy over to your scripting directory (note that stringtables are missing):
sp_fulver__great_stock__scripting.zip
SP_FULVER with great_stockpile (minimal set of necessary files without stringtables)
(5.87 KiB) Downloaded 40 times


Before there was the difference between the growth focus bonus and the stockpile focus bonus that growth was really really slow to kick in but was damn fast with stockpile focus. We removed the difference so now for the basic technologies, you would always choose growth focus.
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Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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Re: What to do with the stockpiling techs

#33 Post by Ophiuchus » Tue May 22, 2018 1:36 pm

Suggestions for adapting the stockpile techs and focus. Make all focus effects work be based on stockpile focus and growth focus and restrict them all to the same condition (growth is currently not restricted to the location condition!). After all effects are applied double the stockpile if stockpile focus is set.

In a game here i have an average_stockpiling and industry native species homeworld around turn 70 with generic supplies. Switching from industry to stockpile focus would trade ca 16 PP industry for about 9 PP stockpile. This feels like starting to be useful (although of course not for retrieving PP for that supply-group. industry loss must be smaller than stockpile gain for that). On another planet with Silexians i actually trade 1.3 RP for 8 stockpile.

Expanding the location condition to all homeworlds, capital and planets with any growth special could also make sense.
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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Re: What to do with the stockpiling techs

#34 Post by Dilvish » Tue May 22, 2018 3:15 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:Make all focus effects work be based on stockpile focus and growth focus and restrict them all to the same condition (growth is currently not restricted to the location condition!). ... Expanding the location condition to all homeworlds, capital and planets with any growth special could also make sense.
I think I am not quite following you. It seems to me that the growth focus availability is already subject to a particular set of conditions, and I don't see how it could make sense to add any further restrictions to its availability. Did you mean to note that stockpile focus is not currently restricted?
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Re: What to do with the stockpiling techs

#35 Post by Ophiuchus » Wed May 23, 2018 8:36 pm

Dilvish wrote:
Ophiuchus wrote:Make all focus effects work be based on stockpile focus and growth focus and restrict them all to the same condition (growth is currently not restricted to the location condition!). ... Expanding the location condition to all homeworlds, capital and planets with any growth special could also make sense.
I think I am not quite following you. It seems to me that the growth focus availability is already subject to a particular set of conditions, and I don't see how it could make sense to add any further restrictions to its availability. Did you mean to note that stockpile focus is not currently restricted?
Regarding not restricted: I meant that getting stockpile bonus from growth focus should be subject to the same restriction as the growth focus is. Didnt want to touch the restrictions for setting growth focus. So that means either extending stockpile focus location to growth specials or restricting the effect to homeworlds and capitals.

Setting growth focus now brings for the basic techs the same bonus as the stockpile focus which obviously is stupid. If we dont restrict it we should probably remove the bonus for growth focus. So if we keep stockpile bonus by growth focus, it should come from all techs. And the only extra effect of the stockpile focus compared to the growth focus is doubling the local stockpile maximum.
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Re: What to do with the stockpiling techs

#36 Post by Dilvish » Wed May 23, 2018 8:51 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:Regarding not restricted: I meant that getting stockpile bonus from growth focus should be subject to the same restriction as the growth focus is. (Or it should be done away with).
Unless you are referring to the supply-connectedness constraint or the metabolism constraint, neither of which seem to me make sense or even matter to try extending to these stockpile bonuses, then I am not aware of there being any restriction on getting bonuses from growth focus-- there is simply a restriction on the growth focus being available at all, and so that already automatically constrains its applicability for stockpiling bonuses.
the only extra effect of the stockpile focus compared to the growth focus is doubling the local stockpile maximum.
I agree that it seems we should either give an extra bonus for the stockpiling focus (might not need to be a 2x multiplier, but I'm OK with trying that), or we could look at just merging the stockpile focus into the growth focus (and leave it called growth focus). The whole story behind the growth focus, at least those for planets with the growth specials, already seems to me to be a sort of stockpiling & distribution sort of thing, so it does seem to me that it could fit well enough to just merge the two.

And I think that although it could maybe seem OK to me to very slightly expand the availability of growth focus so that it is always available at an empire's capital, it would probably be best not to. The main reason not to would be that would create a pretty strong incentive to always move the capital from the original homeworld, to get an extra growth focus source. Since at least all starting capitals are homeworlds, it seems to me it should be OK to just leave the growth focus availability constraints the same way they are now.
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Re: What to do with the stockpiling techs

#37 Post by Oberlus » Thu May 24, 2018 9:12 am

To me, it seems odd to couple growth and stockpiling: one goes for food/cybernetics/drugs production and distribution, the other for storage and distribution of construction materials). But as Dilvish says, both have a role on distribution.

Is the issue with allowing every planet (not home worlds, no growth-special worlds) to set the stockpiling focus (after relevant tech is researched) that it could allow an empire to exceedingly bypass the supply mechanic? Is it something else? I think we could playtest it (maybe after 0.4.8 release, in a later fine-tunning round for the IS system) to really find out if it is a good idea.

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Re: What to do with the stockpiling techs

#38 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu May 24, 2018 12:30 pm

Oberlus wrote:To me, it seems odd to couple growth and stockpiling:
I have a similar reaction... "Huh? What? That makes no sense..." What does stockpiling have to do with growth, and why shouldn't the player have to chose between them? I've skipped (edit: "skimmed" /edit) previous post in this thread looking for a clear statement of the idea, but couldn't fine one. A bunch of posts about focus-changing penalties that seemed unrelated. Some posts seemingly about growth of other meters, rather than growth focus itself...

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Re: What to do with the stockpiling techs

#39 Post by Dilvish » Thu May 24, 2018 5:12 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:I have a similar reaction... "Huh? What? That makes no sense..." What does stockpiling have to do with growth, and why shouldn't the player have to chose between them? I've skipped previous post in this thread looking for a clear statement of the idea, but couldn't fine one. A bunch of posts about focus-changing penalties that seemed unrelated. Some posts seemingly about growth of other meters, rather than growth focus itself...
You're not finding so much here on the links between the two focii because that basic aspect was introduced months ago. I couldn't remember just when but now did a bit of history sleuthing, it was merged back on January 8 in Imperial stockpile round 3 #1928

I see that in the discussions there you had raised a concern about PRO_VOID_PREDICTION giving benefits for Growth and Logistics focus, and although the reasoning of your comments was not inherently restricted to PRO_VOID_PREDICTION, neither did it explicitly mention anywhere else, and you hadn't commented on the other places where stockpiling benefits were given for Growth Focus. A few hours later agrrr3 introduced some commits that changed PRO_VOID_PREDICTION, but didn't change other references to Growth Focus, and then without further discussion you merged the PR.

The time lapse between that initial raising of concern and the merging of the PR was so short that I don't remember even seeing that discussion until now. I've been just taking that basic link between the two focii as a tentative 'given' for the past while. I did have the same kind of "Huh?" reaction when I first noted it, but as I mentioned above, after mulling on it a while, our Growth Specials do seem to have a sort of stockpiling & distribution aspect to their explanation at least, and the link wound up growing on me.

Extending the stockpiling benefits to Growth Focus is, in my view, a pretty significant part of the current value proposition for the revamped techs. If we were to remove it, I think we'd have to go back to brainstorming how to make the techs worthwhile. Even now they are kind of medium, I don't always research them, but I usually at least go for PRO_GENERIC_SUPPLIES, and I've been meaning to add that into the AI's research plan before RC1.

The actual Stockpiling Focus itself is still kind of lackluster, which is why Ophiuchus was proposing an extra stockpiling boost for it but not Growth Focus. The more I think about simplifying things and merging the two Focii, though, the more I like that idea, it really seems more KISS to me.

Although my proposal above was to just merge Stockpiling Focus into Growth Focus and drop Stockpiling as a separate focus, I think it would make more sense to actually merge Growth Focus into Stockpiling Focus, and drop Growth Focus as a separate thing. So Stockpiling Focus would start out available on Homeworlds and at planets with growth specials (and be available at all planets after PRO_GENERIC_SUPPLIES), and would give tech-dependent IS bonuses and at appropriate places it would give the population growth benefits currently provided by Growth Focus.
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Re: What to do with the stockpiling techs

#40 Post by Oberlus » Thu May 24, 2018 6:52 pm

The distribution part of that reasoning may be sound, but coupling growth specials with the stockpiling focus is odd and counterintuitive.
Also, removing the choice between growth and stockpiling seems to me a bad idea, a loss or choices that bring in "fun".
I'm sure there are solutions that have all the benefits of that one and none of its awkwardness.

Option 1:
Let the stockpiling focus bonus like it is now (with first tech, it gives a fixed bonus, +3, maybe more after rebalance) but allow every colony to set that focus (instead of only homeworld and/or growth-special planets).
Thus you can set crappy planets to stockpiling focus. But it's a bit of micromanagy. Better something else.

Option 2:
Make the stockpiling focus possible only on the empire capital (nowhere else), but make it more effective by giving stockpiling bonus to the other (supply connected?) imperial colonies. The first tech giving you a only fixed bonus might be enough for early game but at least the second tech should give you something more dynamic, that sizes up with the empire. I suggest a bonus to the stockpiling species trait: it could be pop-based or fixed (+1 per planet?), but I think pop-based is easier to balance. If regular stockpiling species are 100%, good are 300% and great are 1000%, make the second tech give you a +100% bonus to every (connected?) planet when the homeworld is set to stockpiling.

Option 3:
Like 2, but allow any homeworld instead of only the empire's capital, and make it affect only the species of that homeworld (exactly like the homeworld growth bonus).


Options 2 and 3 mimic the way homeworld growth focus is managed now: you have to choose between getting a nice PP/RP output from the homeworld or give a small bonus to all the connected colonies. I expect them to be no concern regarding micromanagement or balancing. Also, they are KISSer than the growth+stockpiling coupling and certainly less nonsensical.
Comments?

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Re: What to do with the stockpiling techs

#41 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu May 24, 2018 7:43 pm

Oberlus wrote:...allow every colony to set that focus (instead of only homeworld and/or growth-special planets).
Thus you can set crappy planets to stockpiling focus. But it's a bit of micromanagy.
How is this "micromanagy"?

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Re: What to do with the stockpiling techs

#42 Post by Ophiuchus » Thu May 24, 2018 7:59 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Oberlus wrote:...allow every colony to set that focus (instead of only homeworld and/or growth-special planets).
Thus you can set crappy planets to stockpiling focus. But it's a bit of micromanagy.
How is this "micromanagy"?
Hm. I already wrote three times or so about the focus-dance. The solution to getting your stockpile extraction limit up the fastest is to set all your planets to stockpile focus and then after reaching the extraction limit you need to set back some of the planets to their original focus... repeat that setting back of some planets every turn until you reached a stable situation you are happy with.

Im somebody who doesnt think himself being a micromanager, but if i see enemies approaching and i really need the PP on a (soon-to-be) disconnected planet... i will do the focus dance. Thats why i want the focus be constrained to some planets.
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Re: What to do with the stockpiling techs

#43 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu May 24, 2018 9:46 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:I already wrote three times or so about the focus-dance.
Doesn't mean I saw it, read it, understood it, and remember it now...
The solution to getting your stockpile extraction limit up the fastest is to set all your planets to stockpile focus...
So the problem is that the rate of increase of an empire's stockpile extraction extraction limit depends on the number of planets set to the focus (that haven't yet reached their individual limits on the meter). To get the limit to increase as fast as possible, you need to set many planets to the focus for a few turns, even if you don't need / want them all to stay on the focus.

There are a few workarounds or fixes for that. Some already suggested, but as I see it:

-Limit the number of planets that can use the focus. This isn't ideal, as you'd still want to find and switch all of them to get the growth rate to be as fast as possible. If doing this, I'd prefer to add a separate strategic resource special, or some (suitably limited) buildings, or some native species that can't colonize, that enable planets to use the focus, rather than making it homeworld or growth-bonus related.

-The planet stockpile meters could contribute to the empire's max/target withdrawl limit, rather determine it's actual withdrawl limit. The rate of increase or decrease of the imperial meter would be independent of the number of stockpile-focused planets that contribute to the max/target meter.

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Re: What to do with the stockpiling techs

#44 Post by Ophiuchus » Fri May 25, 2018 7:21 am

Oberlus wrote:..I'm sure there are solutions that have all the benefits of that one and none of its awkwardness.

Option 1:
...but allow every colony to set that focus.. But it's a bit of micromanagy. Better something else.

Option 2:
...only on the empire capital (nowhere else), but make it more effective by giving stockpiling bonus to the other (supply connected?) imperial colonies. ... I suggest a bonus to the stockpiling species trait: it could be pop-based or fixed (+1 per planet?), but I think pop-based is easier to balance. If regular stockpiling species are 100%, good are 300% and great are 1000%, make the second tech give you a +100% bonus to every (connected?) planet when the homeworld is set to stockpiling.

Option 3:
Like 2, but allow any homeworld instead of only the empire's capital, and make it affect only the species of that homeworld (exactly like the homeworld growth bonus).
About option 2 i like that its easy to remember where you set it. It allows for fast increase of the limit (+1 per planet up to the local max). I find the part about the species trait ambiguous:

Option 2a: A bonus (+100%) only on the species trait effect: I.e. average_ with focus would have 0.04, good_ would have 0.12 and great 0.4 per population. This would be only amplifying the effect for an empire which has access to stockpiling species. So it wont allow a non-stockpiling empire become a stockpiling empire. I think we we are shooting for making a non-stockpiling empire a stockpiling empire if it commits itself to it, so we are missing the mark here.

Option 2b: A population based effect (+100%): I.e. average_ with focus would have 0.04, good_ would have 0.08 and great 0.22 per population.
I like this more, but rather with +200%. This would make an average_ with focus the same as a good_ without focus.

Option 3: i like that its similar to the growth mechanic and that it takes effort to scale to multiple species. It is less costly for an homogenous-species empire, which is an interesting effect. What i dont like is that you have to choose between the growth bonus and stockpile bonus. But maybe thats just commitment.

About all that options i am quite unsure if the commitment fits the scaling (empire commitment decreases with the number of planets); i would prefer option 3b (homeworlds set to focus give a +0.04 per population of that species) if these were the only choices.
Geoff the Medio wrote:the problem is that the rate of increase of an empire's stockpile extraction extraction limit depends on the number of planets set to the focus (that haven't yet reached their individual limits on the meter). To get the limit to increase as fast as possible, you need to set many planets to the focus for a few turns, even if you don't need / want them all to stay on the focus.
...fixes...as I see it:

-Limit the number of planets that can use the focus. This isn't ideal, as you'd still want to find and switch all of them to get the growth rate to be as fast as possible. If doing this, I'd prefer to add a separate strategic resource special, or some (suitably limited) buildings, or some native species that can't colonize, that enable planets to use the focus, rather than making it homeworld or growth-bonus related.
I think adding another thing to find/remember (the stockpile strategic resouce special/buildings) is not really good. Everybody knows where their capital is. Homeworlds probably. Growth specials ... not so. Stockpile specials.. probably even less? Good about buildings is that you can choose where to put them (maybe easier to remember) and scaling horizontally needs some initial commitment (the building cost).
Geoff the Medio wrote:-The planet stockpile meters could contribute to the empire's max/target withdrawl limit, rather determine it's actual withdrawl limit. The rate of increase or decrease of the imperial meter would be independent of the number of stockpile-focused planets that contribute to the max/target meter.
The main gripe with this is that we dont have an explanation to the user what is going on here. If we restrict the imperial meter to lets say +5 per turn and the player switches some planets to stockpile focus, the player cant directly see if a planet has an effect or not. Thats why i was messing with the local growth rate initially (start with a useless +0.1 on the first turn, then doubling each turn) - you have the effect of setting the focus directly explained on the local planet (next turn estimate). The argument against it was that this different/more complicated than the other focus growth. I think messing with the imperial meter is even more different than what we have and in need of an explanation component. So what you think of messing with the local growth?

Edit:
After taking in the feedback once more a suggestion:
  • keep growth and stockpile distinct: remove the effects of growth focus to stockpile completely
  • free choice: allow all planets to set stockpile focus
  • homeworlds are cool: setting stockpile focus on homeworlds give a +0.04 per population of that species (or boost that species one stockpiling level bad to average, average to good, good to great, great to hmm ultimate?)
  • focus has benefit: on all planets stockpile focus gives some (fixed/population based bonus) and maybe doubling the species trait bonus
  • counter the focus-dance: by messing with the local stockpile meter growth - locally wait for five turns for the effect to kick in, then give maximal bonus +0,+0,+0,+0,+0,+max,+max,+max
p.s.:
Alternatives for focus-dance:
  • direct restriction: restrict the imperial meter growth...
  • make short-term commitment useless: start local meter growth uselessly low and double each turn, e.g. +0.05, +0.1, +0.2, +0.4, +0.8, +1.6, +3.2, +6.4, +12.8 (exponentional growth breaking even with linear growth after 8 turns))
  • starting stockpile focus growth with +0.01, +0.02, +0.04, +0.08, +.16, +.32, +.64, +1.28, +2.56, +5.12, +10.24, +20.48 would break even after 11 turns.
  • make short-term commitment useless: Also with maximum of local stockpile limit 10; wait four turns, then always move halfway up to the maximum: +0,+0,+0,+0,+5,+8,+9,+10
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Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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Re: What to do with the stockpiling techs

#45 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri May 25, 2018 10:26 am

Ophiuchus wrote:I think adding another thing to find/remember (the stockpile strategic resouce special/buildings) is not really good. Everybody knows where their capital is. Homeworlds probably. Growth specials ... not so. Stockpile specials.. probably even less?
At some point this type of argument breaks down, though. Not everything can or should be dependent on homeworlds or capitals. The objects list can be used to find planets with particular specials or buildings, and if necessary an indicator on the map could be added.
Geoff the Medio wrote:-The planet stockpile meters could contribute to the empire's max/target withdrawl limit, rather determine it's actual withdrawl limit. The rate of increase or decrease of the imperial meter would be independent of the number of stockpile-focused planets that contribute to the max/target meter.
The main gripe with this is that we dont have an explanation to the user what is going on here. If we restrict the imperial meter to lets say +5 per turn and the player switches some planets to stockpile focus, the player cant directly see if a planet has an effect or not.
There is an imperial stockpile indicator, and it can be made to list what planets are contributing to the max/target stockpile level.
Thats why i was messing with the local growth rate initially (start with a useless +0.1 on the first turn, then doubling each turn) - you have the effect of setting the focus directly explained on the local planet (next turn estimate). The argument against it was that this different/more complicated than the other focus growth.
This would also be prone to unexpected quirky interactions with other sources of meter growth. If the size of this bonus is dependent on the turns since focus change, then players would want to pre-switch focus before an unrelated increase in stockpile meters in order to speed up that growth as well. If the time-dependence is based on something else... then I'm not sure how that would work. I don't immediately see an easy way to only give time-dependent growth of meters just to the parts of a target/max meter value that are due to a focus change and not anything else.
I think messing with the imperial meter is even more different than what we have and in need of an explanation component.
Stockpiling is a different mechanic than other stuff, so I don't think it having somewhat different internal mechanics is a huge issue...
counter the focus-dance: by messing with the local stockpile meter growth - locally wait for five turns for the effect to kick in, then give maximal bonus +0,+0,+0,+0,+0,+max,+max,+max
I assume this means make the bonus to the max/target meter take 5 turns to start, then immediately by full-strength. Meter growth would still be +1 / turn towards the planet's local max. This seems very unsatisfying for players... switching focus doesn't produce any benefit for 5 turns.
make short-term commitment useless: start local meter growth uselessly low and double each turn, e.g. +0.05, +0.1, +0.2, +0.4, +0.8, +1.6, +3.2, +6.4, +12.8 (exponentional growth breaking even with linear growth after 8 turns))
As above, the actual implementation of this is unclear regarding how it would interact with other stockpile max/target meter bonuses.

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