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Shark7 -> Perfecting the near perfect...some ideas (5/11/2012 4:27:07 PM)

While DW is about as close to perfect a 4x game as I’ve seen, there are still some things I’d like to see implemented in a 4x game to ‘Perfect near Perfection’. Legends and the latest betas have fixed a lot of what I wanted, but there are still a few things that I think could improve the game. I will break these down into categories and go into details.

Farming:

1. Food production is an essential yet missing component. Farming supplies the needed food component that every race has need of (in some form…while human food is veggies and meat, mechanoids might need to grow renewable sources of lubricants, etc).

2. Farming can be kept simple or made complex.

A. Simple Method: Food production is directly tied to colony development. At development levels <100 the colony must import food, at =100, the colony is self-sustaining, and at levels >100, the colony produces surplus food. At the producing levels (>100) the resource ‘Food’ is produced at the planet and can be picked up and transported by freighters, sold to alien empires, etc. The production rate for food would be exactly like other resources, only that it must have a minimum of 101 to produce…each 1 point of development above 100 would equal to 1% food production (similar to mining). Since I believe planet quality has a direct bearing on development, it would have a direct bearing on food production by default in this method.

B. The complex method would require gathering raw resources and ‘refining’ them into a finished product. The complex method will become more clear once you read the Manufacturing section below. The complex method would require new components and new resources (such as grains, etc).

Manufacturing:

1. While this does exist in a simplified form already, what I envision entails a system where the civilian economy is involved (thus tying up resources) as well. Imagine the war machine also having to compete with the civilian needs for resources like steel, carbon, etc.

2. Manufacturing need not be overly complex. We don’t need to track every single widget, gadget, and shiny thing built, only a general category called…manufactured goods. Basically with industry, its resources in, widgets out….though more resources come in than widgets come out.

A. Manufactured goods represent a large number of things…from building materials to mink coats. In this way they help with development levels. People need manufactured goods, and the lack of them will hurt colony development and population happiness.

B. We will need a new station component and/or a colony facility…the industrial complex. This will take in the raw resources and turn out the finished product ‘manufactured goods’.

C. There could be two types of output…manufactured goods and food. The difference being what resources is being ‘refined’ into a finished product. This would also fit the complex model of farming from above.

D. Industry could also be tied to development bonuses like farming, but rather than getting an output per point over 100, it instead increases efficiency…so if the base tech requires 5 steel to make 1 widget, as development level goes up you may only need 3 steel to make a widget, etc.

New Techs:

Obviously with adding new areas of the game, that being farming and manufacturing, you’d need to add some new techs to the game as well. This does not necessarily have to add to the research tree, but rather give bonuses at certain levels when existing research is done.
For example, perhaps farms and industry on a continental planet now produce 1.5% extraction rate per development point over 100 once you complete the Continental Colonization research on the high tech tree. This gives you a good reason to research the colonization tech of your home planet type…to increase efficiency and production at your home planet type.

Colonization:

Colonization will likely be affected by the above changes…it should slow it down some since you would need to have enough food to sustain the new colony before establishing it…otherwise the people there starve and revolt.

Anyway, just some of my ideas days past, all tidied up and presented anew. Open to discussion as always.




Cauldyth -> RE: Perfecting the near perfect...some ideas (5/11/2012 8:57:43 PM)

I like it. I'd also like to see the ability to have more colony specialization. You could have breadbasket colonies, which are high planet quality worlds with perhaps some new resources that give a boost to food production. Then you could have mineral-rich but lower planet quality worlds where you put all of those polluting factories.




JCVocke -> RE: Perfecting the near perfect...some ideas (5/11/2012 9:13:23 PM)

I agree whole heartedly with the suggestions, especially since the farming suggestion will let us introduce a soft-colonization range limitation. Instead of just outright declaring some final arbitrary distance as the maximum range for a new colony, new colonies will be limited by your civilian shipping infrastructure and supply creation-consumption and transportation capabilities.

Thus it will be easier to colonize planets that are further away if they are your native type since their development level due to quality will mean they won't have to import as much food. Low Quality or hostile climate worlds will have to be closer to already established worlds in order to be colonized.

However I would suggest a combination of the simple and complex farming system alongside the Manufacturing System. I think that each planet should have a number of natural resources and manufactured resources they can produce. I would make various different types of foods which can be produced in different quantities. Each Species could then have a different type of food they require, so pastoral worlds won't be able to sell grains and vegetables to planets full of carnivores. Each Planet type and Species could be naturally adept at producing different types of food, while having a wide selection (within a species' digestible limits) could provide extra happiness or a boost to development rating or population growth.

Likewise, for Manufacturing, I would suggest a small pool of different resources, like; Industrial Goods, Consumer Goods, Luxury Goods, stuff like that. More developed Colonies would require more of each, and eventually shift their focus towards the Luxury Spectrum.

Personally, I would like to see each planet have a number of different Infrastructures, one for each type of good that could be produced, with the level of each being added together for the full Infrastructure Level, which must stay under a certain level dependent on Population, Quality, and Technology. Thus a planet might start out producing tons of food, but then shift to Industrial Goods, and even a well developed world might need to import food.

And there's my slightly rambling reply.




Kayoz -> RE: Perfecting the near perfect...some ideas (5/11/2012 9:54:05 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7
Farming:

1. Food production is an essential yet missing component. Farming supplies the needed food component that every race has need of (in some form…while human food is veggies and meat, mechanoids might need to grow renewable sources of lubricants, etc).

2. Farming can be kept simple or made complex.

A. Simple Method: Food production is directly tied to colony development. At development levels <100 the colony must import food, at =100, the colony is self-sustaining, and at levels >100, the colony produces surplus food. At the producing levels (>100) the resource ‘Food’ is produced at the planet and can be picked up and transported by freighters, sold to alien empires, etc. The production rate for food would be exactly like other resources, only that it must have a minimum of 101 to produce…each 1 point of development above 100 would equal to 1% food production (similar to mining). Since I believe planet quality has a direct bearing on development, it would have a direct bearing on food production by default in this method.

B. The complex method would require gathering raw resources and ‘refining’ them into a finished product. The complex method will become more clear once you read the Manufacturing section below. The complex method would require new components and new resources (such as grains, etc).


I'm not sure that I agree with farming being a factor in colonization. You're talking about a culture that can whisk between stars with the ease we take a train to the next town (except in America, where "public transport" is an urban myth); yet you're suggesting that being able to grow food is an issue? Despite all the doomsayers predicting widespread famine from overpopulation since the 60s, we haven't seen the famine they've predicted. Instead, we've seen increased productivity in farming methods and more recently, genetically tailored crops that produce more food-per-bushel than anything natural.

What is the basis of that limitation? Given our current technological level, we're able to make meat in vats, the largest barrier to which is the profitability (land and cows are cheaper than vats and electricity). Given the enormous cost of building, manning and maintaining a colony ship to another star, equipping that ship with a few of the food production vats seems pretty trivial. Remember, what we CAN do is different from what IS PROFITABLE to do.

Also, I'm not sure that the idea of selling food to alien empires makes any sort of logical sense. What you see as "food", an alien may very well see as toxic sludge. Gizureans, for example, might use arsenic the way we use salt - it's all down to biochemistry which is bound to be radically different.

I'm rather fond of abstracting the habitability of planets into "quality", and manufacturing output with the colony's population (though I'd rather see differing qualities for each race, given the same planet). Adding food production to the mix seems to make things more complex, less realistic and doesn't ultimately improve the game.




Kobracan -> RE: Perfecting the near perfect...some ideas (5/12/2012 12:08:57 AM)

I am usually all for more realism and more complexity but I am not sure adding farming would be better for the game or not. I'd have the think about it (I'm a new player :) ).

One thing that bothers me a bit is Humans and Gizureans consider a 77% quality continental world for example exactly same (provided they can colonize). One of the things I liked in MOO3 was each race's planet preference. I thought race preference based on pressure/temperature was really cool. We probably don't need something as complex here but it would be nice if a Gizurean's idea of a nice planet was different from a human's idea of a nice planet. But then again, leaving planet quality same across the races sure makes the game simpler / more playable.




Shark7 -> RE: Perfecting the near perfect...some ideas (5/12/2012 12:13:21 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Kayoz


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7
Farming:

1. Food production is an essential yet missing component. Farming supplies the needed food component that every race has need of (in some form…while human food is veggies and meat, mechanoids might need to grow renewable sources of lubricants, etc).

2. Farming can be kept simple or made complex.

A. Simple Method: Food production is directly tied to colony development. At development levels <100 the colony must import food, at =100, the colony is self-sustaining, and at levels >100, the colony produces surplus food. At the producing levels (>100) the resource ‘Food’ is produced at the planet and can be picked up and transported by freighters, sold to alien empires, etc. The production rate for food would be exactly like other resources, only that it must have a minimum of 101 to produce…each 1 point of development above 100 would equal to 1% food production (similar to mining). Since I believe planet quality has a direct bearing on development, it would have a direct bearing on food production by default in this method.

B. The complex method would require gathering raw resources and ‘refining’ them into a finished product. The complex method will become more clear once you read the Manufacturing section below. The complex method would require new components and new resources (such as grains, etc).


I'm not sure that I agree with farming being a factor in colonization. You're talking about a culture that can whisk between stars with the ease we take a train to the next town (except in America, where "public transport" is an urban myth); yet you're suggesting that being able to grow food is an issue? Despite all the doomsayers predicting widespread famine from overpopulation since the 60s, we haven't seen the famine they've predicted. Instead, we've seen increased productivity in farming methods and more recently, genetically tailored crops that produce more food-per-bushel than anything natural.

What is the basis of that limitation? Given our current technological level, we're able to make meat in vats, the largest barrier to which is the profitability (land and cows are cheaper than vats and electricity). Given the enormous cost of building, manning and maintaining a colony ship to another star, equipping that ship with a few of the food production vats seems pretty trivial. Remember, what we CAN do is different from what IS PROFITABLE to do.

Also, I'm not sure that the idea of selling food to alien empires makes any sort of logical sense. What you see as "food", an alien may very well see as toxic sludge. Gizureans, for example, might use arsenic the way we use salt - it's all down to biochemistry which is bound to be radically different.

I'm rather fond of abstracting the habitability of planets into "quality", and manufacturing output with the colony's population (though I'd rather see differing qualities for each race, given the same planet). Adding food production to the mix seems to make things more complex, less realistic and doesn't ultimately improve the game.


It's not so much the inability to produce stuff in vats...its getting the raw resources to start with. When a colony is established, you have people building the needful things, starting the family farms, starting up the mineral extraction, etc. As the colony grows, its becomes less and less dependent on imports because the things that didn't exist at all when the ship landed are now becoming common-place.

Its nothing to do with the ability to can goods (look at how efficient we are at that now) its more about the ability to get the resources in the first place (one bad drought in any given country on this planet causes major food disruptions). Plus not all planets you colonize are going to be high quality, and these planets will likely always be reliant on imports.

It is (and I really hate to apply this to a game) realistic. That is, not every planet is going to be the greatest and you may need to import food to make up for shortages. From a game play point of view, this is just another layer of depth, that should help solve some problems we already encounter. The two that come to mind is the ability to colonize far too quickly, and the fact that resources are so plentiful things are too cheap (the too much money complaint).




Bebop Cola -> RE: Perfecting the near perfect...some ideas (5/12/2012 3:03:25 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7

It's not so much the inability to produce stuff in vats...its getting the raw resources to start with. When a colony is established, you have people building the needful things, starting the family farms, starting up the mineral extraction, etc. As the colony grows, its becomes less and less dependent on imports because the things that didn't exist at all when the ship landed are now becoming common-place.

Its nothing to do with the ability to can goods (look at how efficient we are at that now) its more about the ability to get the resources in the first place (one bad drought in any given country on this planet causes major food disruptions). Plus not all planets you colonize are going to be high quality, and these planets will likely always be reliant on imports.

It is (and I really hate to apply this to a game) realistic. That is, not every planet is going to be the greatest and you may need to import food to make up for shortages. From a game play point of view, this is just another layer of depth, that should help solve some problems we already encounter. The two that come to mind is the ability to colonize far too quickly, and the fact that resources are so plentiful things are too cheap (the too much money complaint).

Personally, I'd think that part of the technology to colonize another world would be scalable technologies to produce simple yet sustaining proteins and other nutritional supplements for the colonists so that they don't have to rely on imports at all. It's conceivable that early colonies may be too far or too off the beaten path to be able to count on reliable deliveries, so it only makes sense that they would need to be as near to self-sufficient as possible.

I think Kayoz makes a good point about simple food production for an early colony. I imagine it would be a mix of vat-grown proteins and perhaps similar vats of engineered algaes to cover other nutritional needs. Relatively speaking these could be more immediately scalable and reliable sources of food for early colonists, as well as being more amenable to transport on the relatively spartan colony ships considering that their "seed stock" would be compact and space-efficient. Actual livestock and farmed foods would be considered luxury items, though they could be implemented as high-demand import goods in that vein for a more dynamic economic system. New colonies have a higher demand for beef and beans than silk and marble.



As for a change I'd like to see; in games like this I've always found it to be a challenge to be a military goods broker. Let's say I've set my empire up to maximize manufacturing, I'd like to be able to produce baseline ships and products to supply other empires in exchange for military and economic concessions. Of course, I'd want to be able to easily tailor the goods I produce to not give them an unfair advantage over myself, so I'd like a simple way of throttling my ship designs to a particular tech level so as to produce ships in bulk that won't be much good for analyzing for tech advances. Currently I'd need to manually design ships with old technology components, or refrain from obsoleting old designs and muck up my design lists.

The way I imagine it, I could use the Legends tech level slider to choose a tech level and either let the AI design a ship at that level or design one myself. It would then be flagged outside my own ship designs so as to not muck up my own design progression. This design could then be produced in bulk and sold to empires in need.




Kayoz -> RE: Perfecting the near perfect...some ideas (5/12/2012 5:10:11 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7

It's not so much the inability to produce stuff in vats...its getting the raw resources to start with.


No shortage of raw resources. Dump some dead plants and animals into it to get it started, then pump in the sewage from the colonists. Not a big deal - you don't need family farms to feed these sorts of vats. We might have to at our current technological level, but given a few hundred years of development - it should be a largely self-sustaining system.

If you're going to a truly desolate planet (or as oceanic races might see a volcanic colony) that you can't pillage the local flora and fauna to prime your vats - haul along some biomatter for the vats. You're talking about a HUGE ship that's carrying 30 MILLION people in it as a minimum. Plus all the materials, factories and niceties for an advanced society such that people would WANT to move there from the homeworld. What's a few hundred tons of frozen bio matter compared to all that?

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7
When a colony is established, you have people building the needful things, starting the family farms, starting up the mineral extraction, etc. As the colony grows, its becomes less and less dependent on imports because the things that didn't exist at all when the ship landed are now becoming common-place.


Farms? You're expecting colonists from a highly advanced, space faring civilization to be grubbing around in the dirt? USA farm workers amounted for about one half of one percent of the work force in 2004. How many people do you seriously expect a farm would need to have grubbing in the dirt, given the technological advances of a space-faring society?

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7
Its nothing to do with the ability to can goods (look at how efficient we are at that now) its more about the ability to get the resources in the first place (one bad drought in any given country on this planet causes major food disruptions).


Modern-day famine is a product of economics - not food production. There's more than enough food to go around, that it's inconsequential in terms of food production capacity, to feed some place like Ethiopia. It's just that they can't PAY for the food, so nobody takes it there to sell.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7
Plus not all planets you colonize are going to be high quality, and these planets will likely always be reliant on imports.


You'd need to be able to produce your food as soon as the colony is founded, or it would starve if pirates or an enemy fleet blockaded it. You'd also need to be able to produce your food regardless of the planet type, as higher tech colonization can have aquatic races living on volcanic planets, which are hardly able to grow the sorts of food they can eat (or not without heavy genetic modification).

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7
It is (and I really hate to apply this to a game) realistic. That is, not every planet is going to be the greatest and you may need to import food to make up for shortages. From a game play point of view, this is just another layer of depth, that should help solve some problems we already encounter. The two that come to mind is the ability to colonize far too quickly, and the fact that resources are so plentiful things are too cheap (the too much money complaint).


I don't think food is an appropriate method to deal with rapid expansion in DW, nor is it appropriate to use it as an economic nerf-stick. Money and expansion problems can and should be addressed within the framework of the game. Adding another mechanism to the mix - food in this case - will inevitably introduce other balance issues.

Look at board games - many institute "line of supply" rules to limit how you advance and where you fight. Overextend yourself, and your units cut off from supply are easy meat for your opponent. DW has no "line of supply" - if you want to attack someone halfway across the galaxy, all you need to do is pull out a few weapons and strap on a few more fuel tanks, and any loss of firepower is trivial to make up for by building a few more ships.




Shark7 -> RE: Perfecting the near perfect...some ideas (5/13/2012 3:59:36 PM)

One could go the route of making it a toggle, much like other things in the game where you can have a advanced economy or normal economy. Let those of us that want the added complexity have it, while not forcing anyone to play that way.




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