Vezzra wrote:I mean, we're talking about a player realizing that e.g. 2PP get wasted, and they decide they don't want to waste even that small amount, so they try to enqueue something to use up those excess PP. Happens, but not frequently enough to consider it a micromanagement issue.
But the IS decisions you are complaining about don't happen any more often than this-- they happen pretty much exactly at the same times. And in these situations, a decision to put PP into the IS is generally trivially easier to justify and make than trying to decide which is the least-useless thing out of a bunch of near-term-nearly-useless-and-long-term-who-knows things. Complaining about the IS option really doesn't make any sense to me.
Um, what do you mean by "complaining about the IS"? I wasn't complaining about the IS, maybe you misunderstood me. I merely wanted to point out that the IS doesn't really help with micromanagement in these cases. Lets take a step back and rewind to the start:
I proposed to not unlock IS capabilities for all players right from the start, because it is supposed to be an optional special case mechanic, and those shouldn't be available to all players right from the start. That quite thoroughly contradicts the idea of "optional special case".
The objection to this proposal was: not a good idea, because that would give some incentive to spend in-game resources to alleviate micromanagement (assuming the IS does help reducing micromanagement on a scale that this is actually an issue, because you have to spend RP to unlock the feature).
I then tried to point out that this perceived allevation of micromanagement doesn't exist, what actually happens is a shifting of tresholds. That (IMO) things might actually get a bit more micromanagy with
the IS than without was merely a sidenote, not really relevant for the point I tried to make (ok, admittedly a sidenote that grew into a probably overblown side discussion
). And my statement above, which you quoted, wasn't intended to compare how often the issue occurs with IS compared to without IS (because I completely agree, of course that happens with just as often than without - that's my point!), that was just to point out that the issue itself doesn't happen frequently enough to constitute a micromanagement issue (at least not one severe enough to cause concerns regarding buying micromanagement reduction with in-game resources).
Anyway, the more I mull over the issue, the less sense the "lets keep the IS unlocked for everyone from start to prevent players from spending in-game resources to reduce micromanagement" argument makes to me:
First of all, I don't see that as a micromanagement issue at all
. Having to decide what to do with your PP, how and where to invest them to achieve optimal results, and confronting the player with challenging, difficult, hard decisions is a vital part of the game. One of which e.g. is the decision, when building new ships and there is some ship tech related research close to completion, if you should start building immediately with soon to be outdated designs or wait a few turns (and maybe waste some PP) and be able to build a bleeding edge design.
A tech like the IS, which gives you more flexibility in that regard, doesn't reduce micromanagement, but provides you with an option that offers actual in-game advantages. No buying micromanagement reduction at all here. You get a real, tangible in-game benefit.
But lets assume, for the sake of the argument, that the IS indeed provides a substantial reduction of micromanagement, and it is as bad as you described it. In that case unlocking the IS for everyone right from start will only address the issue for the very early game phase. With expanding empires and raising PP output the initial stockpiling capacity won't be enough to provide sufficient means to keep the micromanagement reducing effect, players would have to invest RP to research IS tech to prevent an increasing need for micromanagement.
At that point we would have to concede a major design flaw. Moreover, judging by my past playtesting experiences, the cases you cited where the IS helps reducing micromanagement rarely happen in early game, where you constantly lack PP to do all the things you want to do. It's only later in the game, once your PP output picks up that these cases start to occur more often. Which means, giving the players IS capability right from game start doesn't really change much wrt micromanagement, and when those cases start to occur, players will have to invest in-game resources to buy them some micromanagement relief anyway.
So, if Geoff and you still think that we're dealing with a potential buy-micromanagement-reduction-with-in-game-resources issue here, then we've got a serious problem, a fundamental design flaw that needs to be fixed.
But insisting that we have this kind of issue just at game start, which can be properly fixed by unlocking the IS for everyone right from start (which wouldn't be a proper fix at all anyway IMO), doesn't make any sense at all to me.
I suspect you are just really, really not used to the IS yet, and so are WAY overthinking it.
I'll give you the not being used to the IS, after all, I've admitted that already before (my lack of playtesting). But I still think that I've presented sound, logical reasons to support my position.
For a non-stockpiling species the most significant use-cases for putting PP into the IS is when you have some tech (for a new shippart like Lasers or some building) you'll be completing within a small number of turns, and so rather than continue to put PP into building ships that are about to be outmoded, or in order to save up some extra PP for the building you are about to start on, you let some PP go into the IS.
That might be, but if anything, that's just an unintentional side-effect of the IS. The original idea behind the IS was to enable a different, more "distributed" expansion strategy (by being able to provide (at least limited) support to colonies beyond your normal supply range). Which conveniently also provided the means for "stealthy empires", which became the second major purpose for the IS. And, at least to my understanding, we had also reached consensus that the IS is an exception to the default supply based PP distribution, an optional special case mechanic.
IMO, the decision if IS capability should be unlocked at game start for everyone needs to be based on this context, any other effects/benefits the IS provides aside from that should be considered unintentional side effects, irrelevant to this decision. And, as I already said before, optional special case mechanics which are meant as an exception to a default mechanic should not be available for everyone all the time, for the reasons cited.
You can simply have a rule-of-thumb that if you have extra PP for which no particular good use immediately comes to mind, and your current IS amount is less than 10x your per-turn-max-use, then just let your excess go into the IS. That is very close to what I'd say is the rule of thumb I follow myself.
So basically the point where I'm confronted with the uncomfortable decision if I should pour PP into something I don't really need or want right now or let them go somewhere I won't get them back at all, or only in the distant future, shifts. Without IS, if I have excess PP I'd rather save for later use, I need to decide what to do with them. Let them go waste, or start building something I don't really need, or something soon to be outdated, or whatever. With the IS, I have a buffer, but once that buffer reaches a certain limit (whatever that limit might be), I'm confronted with basically the same decision (only difference that I might get back my "wasted" PP eventually, just not reasonably soon, so for the foreseeable future they count as lost).
I really don't perceive that as a micromanagement
issue, see above. What the IS provides here, and what you apparently like very much, is the added flexibility, you've got more options/choices, but these are in-game advantages/benefits, which allow you to play a more optimal game. Exactly the kind of thing a tech is supposed to give you.
Try it, you'll like it!
No doubt! But there are probably a lot of other techs which provide something which would be nice to have right from start, and not have to acquire by investement of in-game resources. Having to put effort into gaining these things are an essential part of the game, and the IS, especially as long as it remains an add-on to the default supply based PP distribution, is a powerful extra feature which should be earned.