It seems to me that we have reached consensus on the following points.
- Making building decisions should be the exception and not the rule; the majority of building progress and technology that is mirrored on every planet should be 'factored out' into an infrastructure meter.
- We only want control over building things that matter: in this case, ships, wonders, or 'semi-wonders,' which are essentially things that are Really Important and occupy a planetary slot but aren't totally unique.
- #1: Where should you make the decisions about the remaining things we want control over,
- #2: Should you build them somewhere specifically, or build them in purgatory and place them afterwards,
- #3: Should you be able to pool multiple planets' production capacities?
So here are my thoughts:
Initially, I was dead set against an 'infrastructure' element because I thought it sucked the life out of the fun bits of MOO2. But I've been won over to this camp, simply because I realized that MOO2 is really a planet-building game with combat sprinkled in, and that's not what I want; games like Crusader Kings or EU2, while they certainly have their weaknesses, succeed in that you spend very little time dealing with your individual provinces (of which you frequently have several) but there are a few building decisions to make. This keeps your focus Imperial rather than local. So I think we need to factor out most of our tech upgrades into infrastructure. We also have to figure out how this should work; for example, we will still have tech improvements that will fall into the infrastructure category, but how do they apply? If my planet has 100% infrastructure and I research Robotic Factories, does my infrastructure fall to 90% until I build those? Or do I automatically get the factories since the infrastructure is already there? I'm asking for a formula here; it seems to me that the best bet for infrastructure would be to base it strictly off of population. So if my population is at 20/20, I slowly approach 100% infrastructure, but if I get some tech or a wonder that doubles the pop cap to 40, my infrastructure falls considerably since I have to 'expand' the infrastructure to accomodate the new population. How this ties into new techs is what remains to be seen.
That takes care of 80% of building issues. What remains is how and where we build ships, 'slot' items, and wonders. You all seem to be evenly split in terms of whether or not things should be built 'in a place' or in purgatory, or if they should be placed before they are built. I think that, even if we allow you to control this type of production on an Imperial level (and it seems as though that's what most everyone thinks), the specific projects still need to be local. I haven't seen any good method of 'pooling' PP, and I think this creates a game balance nightmare, since it is nearly impossible for the designers to know how many PP you might have available for a particular project when we allow you to use your whole Empire. This also breaks a MOO convention and KISS; one planet, one building project. So, personally, I see no benefit and an enormous cost to 'globalizing' production itself, even if I very much want to globalize control of production.
The way I envision it is that the game would give you a menu of everything your Empire knows how to build, ordered by items you can actually build; so if you have the tech to build Supercapital Shipyard but you don't have any planets with enough people or whatever to support it, then it shows up near the end of the list. If you do meet the requirements, then the location of the project defaults to the planet that can build it the fastest. You can then change the location to anywhere else; a little mini-map showing the location of the star system in the build window would give this a particularly smooth, 'Imperial' feeling to it.
I think this is really the most simple way of going about it, because if you agree that we cannot pool multiple planets' production (which you may not), then you are basically saying that production must occur locally. This especially applies to ships, where production is going to be tied to where your shipyards are, while their deployment may have nothing to do with their build location. We can talk about placing ships another time, but what I'm saying here is that production, unlike research, should not come out of one giant, Imperial pool of PP; the game should figure out where you are most likely to build a thing (probably where you'll get it the fastest) and suggest it, but you should be able to order it built anywhere you want.
I remember reading a post by Drek about meters that I really wanted to include here for discussion, but I can't find it now - so, Drek, if you can briefly discuss how your meters system would fit into this or any of the alternative proposed models, please enlighten us.
For the rest of this thread, please indicate your preference regarding the above choices. If I've left out your proposal and it did get significant discussion in the DESIGN thread or the first public review of this topic, PM me and I will add it. Otherwise, I will delete other proposals because if this thread gets out of control then I will be unhappy.
Thanks for your patience with this.