Ultra-wide Outpost Bonus

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Ophiuchus
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Ultra-wide Outpost Bonus

#1 Post by Ophiuchus » Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:22 pm

In the exobot discussion the ultra-wide empire/bonus from outposts idea was mentioned but not thoroughly explained so i think it is misrepresented a bit.

The general idea is to have to make strategic choices for empire layout (e.g. distributed,ultra-wide,wide,mixed,tall) via using policies. For ultra-wide it would be possible to get production/research/influence bonus from outposts but only for empires committed to such an ultra-wide layout. In order to enforce this policies have to be made exclusive or combine in a way that you do not have enough policy slots and you would add a well combining policy instead of a outpost boost policy if you get another free slot.

Also switching policies should be costly.

So for what kind of empires would ultra-wide be a good strategy?
For those who can not or do not want to spend the PP on colonies.

When does that happen?
  • You want to expand faster because you are an expansionist empire and want to spend the PP for the fleet instead on colonies
  • You do not want to hassle with side-issues of colonies: colonies are juicy targets for enemies, maybe rebellions are unlikely to happen on outposts, colonies have problems with neighbors (i.e. xenophobes)...
  • You have a lot of planets where you can place outposts but no right species/tech to use these (could happen frequently to e.g. Trith or Sly empires)
  • You want to expand faster e.g. in order to switch later to a tall strategy for which you need rare/good/big planets
Related concepts are environments/degree of habitability (as higher population maximum implies more value from a colony), natives and exobots (expands the range of habitable planets). One definition of wide empire layout (having only a few colonies) can easily mix with the ultra-wide empire layout (having lots of outposts).

Main balancing issues would be cost/upkeep and availability of colonies vs outposts and the other available policies/techs etc for acquiring boosts.
Cost of switching empire layouts should also be considered.

Building colonies buildings (after using a outpost part) costs currently (50+50) * (1 + 0.06 * SpeciesColoniesOwned empire = Source.Owner) * XX. As colonies cost double as much as outposts do, balancing of comparable boosts for outposts could start at half the boosts from colonies.

Flat bonus like from Nascent AI and Adaptive Automation are currently wide empire layout concepts. Keeping the values we have NAI could give +1 research and AA could give +2 industry to outposts if you adopt "outpost enterprise initiative" policy. The downsides of this is spending one policy slot and either not getting bonus from population (because you do not have a colony on the planet) or not any bonus from the policy (because you do have colony on the planet).
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.

Ophiuchus
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Re: Ultra-wide Outpost Bonus

#2 Post by Ophiuchus » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:35 pm

Another case where some kind of outpost bonus might make sense - if we think the galaxy changes from an rather empty place with just a few spots where, then too a place where living beings are quite common and then to a place which is kind of crowded.

If there is a point where it is a no-brainer to colonize any available spot it might make sense to substitute the colonization mechanic. Having ephemeral species which can effortlessly travel space and the starlanes (maybe on an ascension path) and grow with the available planet-space might instantly settle on outposts without the need to build a colony. Outposts would give one kind of bonus. One could still build colonies displacing the ephemeral species with a normal species. If you have this species available it could be possible to build ships on outpost (crewed with the ephemeral species) etc.
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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Oberlus
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Re: Ultra-wide Outpost Bonus

#3 Post by Oberlus » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:55 pm

Outposts could be used for some tall empires: few colonies boosted by outposts.

My first idea regarding this is for centralised empires: one big inhabited planet (homeworld, probably) that gets boosts to targetPopulation (or some other meter, maybe) for each outposts on supply range, via a policy. The outposts could be seen as resource sources (like mines, farms or whatever).
A variant of this for non-centralised empires could be possible too, I guess, if the boosts are smaller but apply to the colonies on the same system, or to every colony in supply range. This one would be something in between ultra-wide and tall empires.

This way we'd have uses for outposts for different strategies (tall/wide, distributed/centralised), depending on the applied policies, that should be incompatible in some way (mutually exclusive, or that require more policy slots of a given type than what will ever be available).

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