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Game Suggestion: Policy

 
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Game Suggestion: Policy - 8/7/2010 11:48:19 AM   
SilverRocket

 

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Hi all. First off, I'd like to thank the developers for continuing to invest in and improve this game…the current version is a lot of fun.

One thing I've appreciated about this game from the very beginning is the design ethos against micromanagement. I think the following suggestion would fit in with that ethos and help extend player control while further reducing micromanagement…

Basically, in my current game I find myself spending approximately 50-75% of my time doing fairly rudimentary stuff, mainly building small spaceports on all the planets I've colonised (and I’ve colonised a lot) and managing taxes. Now I appreciate the AI can do these things, but the fact is that I have a very clear model for how I want to run my empire:

- All new colonies get a spaceport to help promote trade
- Colonies below 1bn population pay no tax, above 1bn population pay 5% tax, above 10bn pay 10% tax, and any maxed out planets pay as much as I can get without pissing people off
- I want to colonise anything of value (quality over 70%) – I've chosen a fairly easy galaxy so there is a lot to colonise.
- The whole idea being I can use existing developed colonies to subsidise new colonies which will eventually grow into large, tax-producing colonies.

Now regardless of whether any of that is a good idea the problem is that the AI cannot know exactly what I want. The solution I propose is to let the player define national 'policy' in a number of areas where they want control but would prefer not to micromanage.

The way I envisage this working is that there would be an extra button at the top to bring the player into a new screen showing policy. The policy screen would be a 'pop-up'screen like the colonisation planner. At the top of this would be various tabs to help the player sort through policies e.g:

- All: show all policies
- War: show war related policies
- Tax: show tax related policies

Etc.

Underneath the tabs would be a list of policies with the option to 'create a new policy' at the top of the list. When the player clicks on this they would get a series of drop-down boxes like on the espionage screen where you choose spy missions.

Using these drop down boxes you would be able to set various policies. For example, to set taxes at zero for small planets with less than 1bn population it would be:

- Set the drop down entitled 'policy area' to 'taxes'
- This opens up specific drop-downs related to tax
- Set the next drop down to 'if population less than'
- Set the next drop down to '1bn'
- The next box will let you set the tax rate: '0%'

Where you choose 'if population less than' you could also choose for example, 'if population higher than' or 'if population is between'

Where you choose the tax rate you could choose other tax rates but also 'maximum without rebellion' or 'maximum without unhappiness'

There could also be extra drop-downs to prevent taxes being levied where populations are unhappy.

Some other examples of how I think this could work:

- Auto-building spaceports if the players treasury is above a certain level (to prevent you being caught short of funds)
- Auto-sending diplomatic gifts (again, with the option to ensure a minimum treasury level before gifts are sent)
- Auto-sending colony ships (ditto)
- Auto-build troops or defences on key planets (i.e. if planet is over 200k GDP, build 1 defence platform etc.)
- Auto-build non-fleet ships, exploration ships, construction ships (I always forget these!)

One of the most crucial things about this idea is that on the policy screen there would be buttons next to each policy to switch them on or off. This would allow the player to quickly change between policy to match circumstances in the game without having to reset policy once conditions have changed back.

An example: The Dhayut (sp?) empire declares war on you. You need some extra cash. You switch on your tax maximising policy and squeeze a bit more juice out of your colonies. When the war ends you switch this policy off and your normal policies back on to support population growth. You might also switch off any auto-build policies at this time to make sure you have enough cash.

I hope all of this makes some kind of sense. If I were a more skilful person I would mock up some screenshots, but alas my photoshop skills are insufficient for the task. I’m not pretending that the above is the perfect solution and it would require some player time to set policy but I think the gains in terms of less micromanagement in the long term would be more than worth it. Perhaps the player could export policies and then import them when starting a new game..? There might also need to be some prioritisation between different policies to prevent clashes.

Any comments definitely welcome.

Cheers
Post #: 1
RE: Game Suggestion: Policy - 8/7/2010 12:51:24 PM   
WoodMan


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Very interesting, also probably quite complex to add into the game.  A suggestion, maybe some default policies that the AI understands how to use (the enemy AI or yours if you have policy automated), but you can also customise your own.

(in reply to SilverRocket)
Post #: 2
RE: Game Suggestion: Policy - 8/7/2010 2:15:44 PM   
rk0123msp@mindspring


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I like micromanagement. Why play a game if you essentially just want to set it to "auto" and let it run itself? Seems to me you can just create a galaxy and choose an AI (non-player controlled) player and just "watch" it like you would a sports game; you'd get the same thing out of it.

The problems I have in the game are related to the game not letting me override auto (not letting me micromanage), such as when I try to take direct control of C-ships, or troop loading transports, or not allowing me to build bases where I want.

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RE: Game Suggestion: Policy - 8/7/2010 5:40:02 PM   
Texashawk

 

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This sounds somewhat along the lines of what MOO3 tried to do, on a broader scale. You could create 'development plans' based on planet classifications; i.e. if it was a mineral-rich frontier world, you could emphasize defenses and mines. It was actually a very powerful system, but like so much in MOO3, most people gave up after 5 minutes and called it stupid because they didn't understand it. (Actually, I consider the design of MOO3 near-genius (the patched version!) but that's a whole other thread. :-)

But regardless, ideas like these will only help manage this game.

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(in reply to SilverRocket)
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RE: Game Suggestion: Policy - 8/7/2010 7:47:21 PM   
SilverRocket

 

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rk0123msp@mindspring, I think you're missing the point a little. I want to get rid of the boring stuff because I want to play the game. At the moment if I'm at war with someone I still feel like I have to stop every time a planet is colonised to tell them to build a small space port and reduce the tax rate to 0%. That's not my idea of fun and it basically means I have less time to concentrate on the interesting stuff: diplomatic relations, espionage, war etc. Anyway, the point would be to make this optional as with the other auto-functions already in the game so that micromanagers like yourself can still get stuck into the details if you choose.



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Post #: 5
RE: Game Suggestion: Policy - 8/8/2010 10:50:25 AM   
Gertjan

 

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I side with you on the desire to focus on macro issues and not too much micro. Although I don't really see the problems you are facing. Usually the AI recommends building space stations and handles taxes quite well. Perhaps if you have suggestions for improvement, then these could be used to improve the automation that already exists.

(in reply to SilverRocket)
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RE: Game Suggestion: Policy - 8/8/2010 11:05:44 AM   
WoodMan


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From: Ol' Blighty
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I play more like rk0123, I manage everything myself and I prefer it that way, but this idea, if implemented and there are some templates already available (nothing to stop you setting your own custom policies) maybe it would beef up the AI opponents.  Only problem is that making it more complex like this might actually make them worse though, if they don't know how to use it properly.

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Post #: 7
RE: Game Suggestion: Policy - 8/8/2010 3:14:48 PM   
Shark7


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I support this. Would rather concentrate on my fleets and bug exterminations than the domestic stuff.

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Post #: 8
RE: Game Suggestion: Policy - 8/9/2010 3:24:34 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Hi SilverRocket,

Some good suggestions there, thanks for your post. In general, we do want to give players more options to "macro-manage" and reduce micro-management for those who don't want to be involved in that (while keeping it available for those that enjoy that playstyle), so you can expect future improvements to keep those design goals in mind. We think there is a lot more gameplay we can unlock on the "macro" level in the future.

Regards,

- Erik

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Post #: 9
RE: Game Suggestion: Policy - 8/17/2010 7:01:05 AM   
the1sean


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Thanks Erik, I like to Macromanage everything but my fleets and ship design. I think Silver Rocket has a good point, it gets overwhelming to get a dozen new colony notifications in the middle of a war. Having an optional dialog box that pops up and allows players to:

1: Name planet (text field), and name system (text field) (I think that if you are the first player to build a colony in a system you should get the option to rename the system, I think that having to open the game editor to do it is fiddly)
2: Order initial ground troops checkbox (check in order to enable immediate troop reruitment, with field set at some default, maybe amount of troops from last colonization dialog)
3: Construction checkbox (check in order to order something immediately constructed, with the dropdown menu defaulting on a "small spaceport")

On the same note, can we do the same with spying missions? All the fields being blank when I go to issue spy missions is frustrating, it would be nice if the player could just tweak order based on that spy's previous mission straight from the mission complete popup, and send the spy back out to wreak more havok

I like SilverRocket's policy suggestiong, the idea of allowing players to set policies just makes things smoother and reduces the tedium that a player has to deal with, expanding the fun-factor. Personally, I love this game, but it can bog down with all the minutiae just as it gets exciting with tons of war and conflict. Policies and a few more decision boxes that pile up in the fashion of the new diplomacy boxes would streamline things immensely. The new diplomatic boxes on the left side of the screen really beat the pants off of the old "popup boxes" for research, spying, colonization, etc. Is there anyway that these notification popups could get the same treatment as the left-side diplomatic boxes? many times the popups resolve all at the same time and you cant even see them all, let alone handle them without navigating away from the main window.

Last note, thanks to you guys for implementing the suggestion that previous custom game settings are saved and reloaded at the beginning of a new custom game. That has saved me a ton of time!

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 10
RE: Game Suggestion: Policy - 8/17/2010 2:58:41 PM   
Shark7


Posts: 7819
Joined: 7/24/2007
From: The Big Nowhere
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quote:

ORIGINAL: the1sean

Thanks Erik, I like to Macromanage everything but my fleets and ship design. I think Silver Rocket has a good point, it gets overwhelming to get a dozen new colony notifications in the middle of a war. Having an optional dialog box that pops up and allows players to:

1: Name planet (text field), and name system (text field) (I think that if you are the first player to build a colony in a system you should get the option to rename the system, I think that having to open the game editor to do it is fiddly)
2: Order initial ground troops checkbox (check in order to enable immediate troop reruitment, with field set at some default, maybe amount of troops from last colonization dialog)
3: Construction checkbox (check in order to order something immediately constructed, with the dropdown menu defaulting on a "small spaceport")

On the same note, can we do the same with spying missions? All the fields being blank when I go to issue spy missions is frustrating, it would be nice if the player could just tweak order based on that spy's previous mission straight from the mission complete popup, and send the spy back out to wreak more havok

I like SilverRocket's policy suggestiong, the idea of allowing players to set policies just makes things smoother and reduces the tedium that a player has to deal with, expanding the fun-factor. Personally, I love this game, but it can bog down with all the minutiae just as it gets exciting with tons of war and conflict. Policies and a few more decision boxes that pile up in the fashion of the new diplomacy boxes would streamline things immensely. The new diplomatic boxes on the left side of the screen really beat the pants off of the old "popup boxes" for research, spying, colonization, etc. Is there anyway that these notification popups could get the same treatment as the left-side diplomatic boxes? many times the popups resolve all at the same time and you cant even see them all, let alone handle them without navigating away from the main window.

Last note, thanks to you guys for implementing the suggestion that previous custom game settings are saved and reloaded at the beginning of a new custom game. That has saved me a ton of time!


All good ideas, the only problem is some one like me who prefers to build a medium starport on the first (or largest) populated planet in a system, then smalls on the rest. I design small ports with no LR sensors, while medium has it so that I don't have a dozen different sensor sources per system (that does seem to affect performance for some reason).

Another thing I would add is the ability to have a defense base auto-built when the planet reaches a certain population. I'm not talking just a "Build at 1 billion", but rather something that would be to the affect 'build 1 defense base every 3 billion population gain' etc. That way small planets, don't get over-defended, but larger, more important planets get adequate defense and the AI can manage keeping them defended for me.

Edit: You know, starports could be handled the same way, simply have a check box that allows the AI to auto-retrofit a starport to the size of your choice when a population milestone is met.

< Message edited by Shark7 -- 8/17/2010 2:59:48 PM >


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RE: Game Suggestion: Policy - 8/18/2010 2:34:26 PM   
the1sean


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From: Texas, USA
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I build my small spaceports the same way! Otherwise it wastes too many resources putting extraneous stuff on every port at every planet. I dont see how my suggestion would make this tactic invalid, I would want the dropdown menu to list all current designs, including user customs.

I like the defense base suggestion, another cool "policy" idea. That would ensure that players dont have to babysit their planets, they can rest assured that at "X" population increments the important things will get taken care of. Heck, troop levels could be automated the same way! Of course players wouldnt be forced to even use these tools. Just like the current AI automation settings, it would be there ready to take up the slack. There could be multiple "policy type" settings that a player could apply to a planet, ie: "typical" for run-of-the-mill colonies, "strategic" for colonies with important rare resources or ruins, and "armed" for frontier/border planets and planets that handle the largest volumes of ship construction and troop recruitment...

(in reply to Shark7)
Post #: 12
RE: Game Suggestion: Policy - 9/6/2010 8:53:35 PM   
SilverRocket

 

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Hi Erik, thanks for your feedback...good to know you guys are listening

Shark7 and the1Sean, yes I definitely think that automating colony defence could be a really good way to use this kind of feature - building troops and bases if e.g. planet has over Xm population or important resources (Loros Fruit etc.)

(in reply to the1sean)
Post #: 13
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