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Miners and Farmers - 11/18/2012 9:16:15 PM   
Shark7


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After reading the resource extraction thread ( http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3014945 ) I started thinking, which is of course dangerous.

What we need is a new colony ground facility to help with mining. Yep, Mines. These are not the standard mines you automatically get by colonizing a planet. This is one of those huge corporate backed things that can strip every last ounce of resource from the ground, given time. In game, a mine simply increases the rate of extraction for the planet (not space base mines). When you research fast mining tech, it gets a boost, etc.

Mines, how they work:

1. Each planet has a limited number of mines. My suggestion is # of Mines = planet quality / 10. So a planet that has a quality of 60, you can build 6 colony facility mines.
2. Each mine gives you a 1% boost in extraction rate. So a 100 quality planet gets a 10% once the 10 mines allowed are built.
3. At each tech level, you get an extra 1% to extraction level. There are 4 levels of mining tech, so you end up with a +5% to mining extraction rate per mine on the planet. So a max bonus of +50% or a 150% extraction rate on a 100 quality planet.
4. These should be very expensive. This is not your typical 1849 gold rush, strike it rich prospector, this is a large, state backed corporate endeavor. I'd say a minimum cost of 500k credits.
5. Mines are a starting tech.

Farming. Anyone who knows me knows that I have asked for this before. Generally I wanted a complicated system...well scratch that, a simple abstracted version that would work just as well and not make it so complicated that no one wants to mess with it.

Farms, how they work:

1. We need a new resource: Food. A simple abstraction works. Food need is based on population, lets say that each planet needs 1 unit of food per 10000k of population per day. Keeps it simple.
2. Food affects growth rate of a colony. If you have abundant food, you get a boost in population growth. If a colony is short of food, you have negative population growth.
3. Farms are based on planet quality. Each farm produces 100 units of food per day. Each planet can have Planet Quality / 10 farms on its surface. So a quality 100 planet can have 10 farms and produce 10k units of food daily.
4. When Advanced Coloniztion is researched, each farm gets a 25 unit production increase (total of 125 units per day).
5. A new component for ships/bases: hydroponic farms. These produce 25 units of food per day and get no upgrades. These also give the space living races access to food, as well as the ability for food challenged empires to build excess farming capacity (think a giant farming station). These need to be very large, say taking up 100 ship space each.
6. Food can also be made into a discoverable/mined resource that can be extracted from any planet.

Well that is pretty much it. A simplified way to add in farms and food, and a simple way to increase planetary mining versus space base mining. I may not have the idea in a cut and paste state, but it does give a basis for the system and its open to discussion. And my math skills aren't always so great, so I'm sure the math parts of this will need some tweaking or flat out fixing.



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RE: Miners and Farmers - 11/18/2012 9:47:27 PM   
Bebop Cola

 

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For the purposes of discussion:

In regards to mines, I'd suggest that additional mine output doesn't seem particularly necessary. With the exception of a few resources depending on the galaxy spawn and race type, there is already a general surplus of resource output in the current game. Moreover, scarcity promotes both a more meaningful system of trade as well as a source of conflict to grab up world with those scarce resources. In all honesty, I'd like to see a bit more scarcity, truth be told.

In regards to farms, I'm not sure I see a need for food as a resource. Planetary populations should have a cap on how fast they grow regardless of the amount of food available, so the food supply would only be a throttle on keeping population growth, and thus colony expansion, slow. For example, while insect broods and rodent litters may have a higher survival rate the more food is available, races like humans tend to have a fairly fixed rate of population growth at the upper end. Any population growth boost would need to be tied to race(as a abstract for reproductive strategy) and ultimately would have a ceiling. On the flip side, there is no floor to how the lack of food affects population growth. Without food, it's zero. With a ceiling but no floor, food only serves to throttle the rapidity of growth, not enhance it.


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RE: Miners and Farmers - 11/19/2012 10:21:05 AM   
Bingeling

 

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I suggest they fix it by making sure a colony is an equal or better miner than a mine.

A puny colony is a rather large investment in a colony ship. A mine is a tiny investment in something built by a constructor. I am sure the colony people brought a mining rig, and can build more if necessary. If a mine is supposed to be a planet spanning mining operation that would hamper the use of the planet as a colony, it should be a tad more expensive to build.

Food is abstracted in planet qualities and colonization techs. I rather see no other sign of it than possibly some luxuries.

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RE: Miners and Farmers - 11/20/2012 12:57:24 AM   
feelotraveller


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The quick fix is to make colonies mine at 2x mining engine speed.

(Silly me assumed this to be the case after discovering that my starting colony mined at a rate of 6... should have done more testing... or even better been provided the information by Matrix so that testing was unneccessary. )

Then the exception to mines and colonies extracting resources at the same rate would be early game mines with 3 or 4 engines.  And that's fair enough, I reckon.

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RE: Miners and Farmers - 11/20/2012 10:40:12 PM   
Bebop Cola

 

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There needs to be some account of the resources used for the planetary population. People aren't building their houses and cars out of caguar fur and natarran incense, after all. If it's not the mining rate then it needs to be in consumption of the resource stockpile in a way that scales with population. I currently don't see the latter happening in a meaningful sense.

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RE: Miners and Farmers - 11/20/2012 11:40:03 PM   
Bingeling

 

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You can simply assume that all colonies are able to generate food (planet quality and size decide population caps), and muster enough resources for basic planetary needs.

It is not like iron and carbon (steel) is found on a selective few planetary bodies around the galaxy. But it could be that only a few have excessive amounts of it worth mining on distant bodies of rock.

I must admit, though, that compared to planets, the need for steel for a few destroyers seems rather insignificant...

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RE: Miners and Farmers - 11/21/2012 3:54:44 PM   
Fishers of Men


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Bebop, I got the impression from Erik that planetary resource usage will be part of the Shadows expansion. This is a good improvement of the economic model. I remember the use of farmers, miners, and scientists was part of the MOO2 game design, but it required the player to be involved in a great deal of micromanagement.

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RE: Miners and Farmers - 11/21/2012 5:36:08 PM   
Shark7


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Yep, and I like the concept of mines and farms and personally the management doesn't bother me that much. However, a hands off system that the AI could handle, but that would have some effect on gameplay woudl be even better.

The whole thing with food is that for your species, not every planet you can colonize will be able to support your population. IE Ackdarians will struggle on desert planets even when they are capable of colonizing them due to not having their natural food sources. So where the food comes in is to simulate this basic need of having a food source rich world to help support the colonization efforts. Also, it gives your freighters something else to have to haul, stretching your logistics capability.

My original request many months ago was for there to be a need for food, building materials, etc as well as having a more in depth manufacturing model (the whole resoruces make widgets that make gadgets that make end user goods thing). However, that is my perfect game, and most people would find it incredibly monotonous I'm sure.

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RE: Miners and Farmers - 11/21/2012 5:42:40 PM   
Bebop Cola

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Fishers of Men

Bebop, I got the impression from Erik that planetary resource usage will be part of the Shadows expansion. This is a good improvement of the economic model. I remember the use of farmers, miners, and scientists was part of the MOO2 game design, but it required the player to be involved in a great deal of micromanagement.

That's true. I made the above post before reading Erik's reply about that.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7

Yep, and I like the concept of mines and farms and personally the management doesn't bother me that much. However, a hands off system that the AI could handle, but that would have some effect on gameplay woudl be even better.

The whole thing with food is that for your species, not every planet you can colonize will be able to support your population. IE Ackdarians will struggle on desert planets even when they are capable of colonizing them due to not having their natural food sources. So where the food comes in is to simulate this basic need of having a food source rich world to help support the colonization efforts. Also, it gives your freighters something else to have to haul, stretching your logistics capability.

My original request many months ago was for there to be a need for food, building materials, etc as well as having a more in depth manufacturing model (the whole resoruces make widgets that make gadgets that make end user goods thing). However, that is my perfect game, and most people would find it incredibly monotonous I'm sure.

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of a more complex trade system involving not just raw materials but trade goods. I'm also not particularly opposed to the farming/food suggestion. I tend to like games where expansion is slower, and if food slows it down I'm all for it. Just wanted to express my thoughts on it for conversation purposes.

< Message edited by Bebop Cola -- 11/21/2012 5:46:34 PM >

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RE: Miners and Farmers - 11/21/2012 6:47:33 PM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bebop Cola

quote:

ORIGINAL: Fishers of Men

Bebop, I got the impression from Erik that planetary resource usage will be part of the Shadows expansion. This is a good improvement of the economic model. I remember the use of farmers, miners, and scientists was part of the MOO2 game design, but it required the player to be involved in a great deal of micromanagement.

That's true. I made the above post before reading Erik's reply about that.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7

Yep, and I like the concept of mines and farms and personally the management doesn't bother me that much. However, a hands off system that the AI could handle, but that would have some effect on gameplay woudl be even better.

The whole thing with food is that for your species, not every planet you can colonize will be able to support your population. IE Ackdarians will struggle on desert planets even when they are capable of colonizing them due to not having their natural food sources. So where the food comes in is to simulate this basic need of having a food source rich world to help support the colonization efforts. Also, it gives your freighters something else to have to haul, stretching your logistics capability.

My original request many months ago was for there to be a need for food, building materials, etc as well as having a more in depth manufacturing model (the whole resoruces make widgets that make gadgets that make end user goods thing). However, that is my perfect game, and most people would find it incredibly monotonous I'm sure.

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of a more complex trade system involving not just raw materials but trade goods. I'm also not particularly opposed to the farming/food suggestion. I tend to like games where expansion is slower, and if food slows it down I'm all for it. Just wanted to express my thoughts on it for conversation purposes.


Conversation is the whole point. I was just citing some additional pro's to having the system.

In fact it could be as abstracted as it was in the MoO series, only in DW you actually have to haul the 'bioharvest' goods around.

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RE: Miners and Farmers - 11/23/2012 1:27:37 AM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7

Farming. Anyone who knows me knows that I have asked for this before. Generally I wanted a complicated system...well scratch that, a simple abstracted version that would work just as well and not make it so complicated that no one wants to mess with it.


This idea is so bad, that I'm not sure where to begin in the target-rich environment that Shark7 presents me with. But I feel obliged to try...

1. Micromanagement - there's already enough micromanagement with building mining, research and resort stations. That's my view - but it seems that Shark7 wants MORE micromanagement. As if it wasn't tedious enough to repeatedly check my expansion planner for shortages, my map for research and resort locations - now Shark7's proposal would require that I check EACH AND EVERY planet for food production shortage. I can hardly contain the joy with which I'd greet the tedium with.

2. micromanagement squared - not only do you have to contend with food production as above - Shark7 wants you to contend with it on a RACE-BY-RACE basis. Each race's food production efficiency is directly affected by how far the planet environment is from their "native" type. No mention is made of how players are supposed to deal with planets with multiple races inhabiting it. Nor is there any mention of any reduction in penalties for colonization tech advances. Nope, Shark7's joy would be a DW where you pause every few minutes, and pick through your colony list one by one to determine if it needs more farms, and manually build those farms. And for EACH RACE present on EACH PLANET - since as he stated, food is not a universal resource. I'm giddy with expectation for how much joy this would be.

3. essential - unlike the research locations, which ignoring will lose you out on potential bonuses; or resort bases which ignoring will lose you potential income - Shark7's proposal is that food micromanagement is REQUIRED. If you don't pause every few minutes to build your farms, your populations will begin to STARVE. Unlike other aspects of DW, you won't lose out on potential bonuses - or find your production bottlenecked (strategic resource shortfall) - you'll actually begin to CONTRACT. What joy. Micromanage or die.

4. realism - while I'm hesitant to bring this up, I believe a comment is required. This proposal is utterly and completely ridiculous. Shark7 proposes that a race which has mastered the sciences such that it can fling it's ships between stars with such ease that even such frivolous activities as space tourism is an economic factor; races that can build controlled environments to allow aquatic species to live in the hellish environment of volcanic worlds; that these races cannot figure out how to FEED THEMSELVES? These races can clone their soldiers so that they not only retain their physical advantages - but all their memories and experience as well; but these races can't figure out how to make protein and carbohydrates for mass consumption without grubbing about in the dirt?

Food resource is a BAD IDEA, which was rightly IGNORED in it's various incarnations for each of the putrid variations that have blighted the forums.

Mining you say? Yes, let's have MORE micromanagement. 500k for a +1% mining from one planet. I have to say, that if you have this sort of cash lying around that you're considering building ten of these buggers on multiple planets - that IT'S TIME TO END THE GAME. You've WON. The fact that you're even CONSIDERING mines is a sign that the game is NO LONGER A CHALLENGE.

-edit note-
If you accept his proposal, then you must allow for complete control of population movement. Food production pre-race and per-environment will REQUIRE the player to control what race is on each planet, and use colony ships to take advantage of excesses and ameliorate the effects of shortages. The food resource model ONLY works if you have COMPLETE control of populations. That's fine with MOO2's population model, but it does NOT work with DW's.

< Message edited by Kayoz -- 11/23/2012 1:37:36 AM >


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RE: Miners and Farmers - 11/23/2012 6:13:52 AM   
Shark7


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Micromanagement? A food resource that the civilian AI picks up and moves right along with the other required resources it already moves. This isn't micromanagement, this is just an additional layer that can add some more depth to the game. And it could even be used to give the AI empires an advantage...just a thought.

If you want micromanagement, I can give you micromanagement. Please play WiTP: AE as Japan with PDU on...that is micromanagement.

Besides I said not every one would like to play my perfect game, since I do love logistics.

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RE: Miners and Farmers - 11/23/2012 6:47:43 AM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7
This isn't micromanagement, this is just an additional layer


Let's examine that "not micromanagement" claim, shall we?

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7
3. Farms are based on planet quality. Each farm produces 100 units of food per day. Each planet can have Planet Quality / 10 farms on its surface.


Yup - you have to manually go around to each and every planet to MANUALLY BUILD the farms. Fun. Or let the computer do it for you. Some choice - game-breaking micromanagement, or reliance on a the AI to handle it (fingers crossed that it won't blow it).

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7
The whole thing with food is that for your species


Potentially build farms for EACH AND EVERY RACE on EACH AND EVERY PLANET. Woo! Fun!

Egads, and you're making it a resource to be shipped around?!? Say hello to mass starvation, as we both know how well the civilian freighter fleet responds to short-term needs. To say nothing of the genocidal effects of blockades (yes, the classic "one escort blockade from across the galaxy" and I can eviscerate someone's homeworld population). Yup, this is certainly balanced and adds depth to the game.

I can see oodles of fun and strategic depth coming from this suggestion.

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RE: Miners and Farmers - 11/23/2012 7:50:16 AM   
Shark7


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Must you always be so abrasive in your interactions with others?

Let's examine this deeper.

Farms could even be represented simply by an amount of food produced based on a planets quality and type. So lets not even build anything, we can abstract it further. Planet type modifier (for race) times the food base multiplier (how much food produced) times planet quality (as a percentage). Plus in my opinion the native planet type should always be able to sustain itself as well as produce some excess...so no home worlds being decimated by a blockade. Food resource can be used to help slow colonization, plus put more strain on your freighters. Making it more important to defend the lines of communication.

That said, sieges and blockades are a part of warfare, and quite effective in reducing a defenders ability to defend. Why are we bothering to blockade at all if it has no effect? Using blockades and sieges to starve out a population is a perfectly legitimate tactic that has been practiced since man first started building palisades around the village. The best way to defeat a well fortified defense is to cut off supplies. When the people inside start to suffer, they suddenly become far more open to the idea of surrender.

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RE: Miners and Farmers - 11/23/2012 8:49:36 AM   
Gareth_Bryne


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Being a pusher to the side of realism, don't we kinda ignore that different races may have different metabolisms? What is food for one race may not be food for another (Kladians vs. Shandar, for example). The home planet difference is a pointer to that fact.

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RE: Miners and Farmers - 11/23/2012 10:40:19 AM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7
Planet type modifier (for race) times the food base multiplier (how much food produced) times planet quality (as a percentage).


Twenty times over, as you need it for EACH AND EVERY race. This is going to require a whole additional panel per planet - which the player will have to evaluate for EACH AND EVERY race inhabiting - or potentially inhabiting, the planet. Putting this into an easy to understand interface will be a nightmare and no matter how well it's done - it won't be fun to pick through this interface.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7
Plus in my opinion the native planet type should always be able to sustain itself as well as produce some excess...so no home worlds being decimated by a blockade.


In that case, given the early game reliance on the homeworld for economics - the same is likely to apply to colonies. Mass starvation on colonies for the tiny cost of one escort. Done to ALL an opponent's planets - and there's no reason I couldn't - I could devastate an opponent with a handful of escorts; a tactic for which there is no defense till my escorts actually get there. And I'll just add escorts at regular intervals - this can't be stopped.

No matter how you look at it, this will make civilian freighters immensely more important and require that the game mechanics be entirely reworked to take this into account. You can't just shoe-horn this into the DW model - it'll require that the THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE GAME BE REDESIGNED. This will turn DW into "Railroad Tycoon in Space". RRT is a great logistics game, but I can't say it's fun in the same way DW is.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7
...sieges and blockades are a part of warfare, and quite effective in reducing a defenders ability to defend.


You can't compare DW blockades to medieval siege warfare. You aren't talking about a town that relies on the harvest from the countryside to feed its inhabitants. You're dealing with a high tech industrial civilization that has mastered genetics and biology to the extent that it can reproduce soldiers in body AND MIND. And somehow, in your vision, this society can't figure out how to feed its people using that technology?!?? Given the DW numbers, we're talking an Earth with at least triple the population it has now - and in your mind, still reliant on digging around in the dirt.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gareth_Bryne
...don't we kinda ignore that different races may have different metabolisms?


If you read through Shark7's posts, he covers that. Food is unique to each race.

"The whole thing with food is that for your species" - brilliant. Freighters have to carry 20 (how many races are there in DW? I think it's 20) individual types of "food" around, in trying to stave off mass starvation throughout the empire. And if you don't keep up with the deliveries of these 20 different foodstuffs, the affected populations will starve - and ostensibly rebel. Anyone who's played DW for any length of time has experienced a fuel shortage when freighter activity out-paces gas mining operations. Now think of what effect this will have on your empire's integrity.

Sound like fun?

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RE: Miners and Farmers - 11/23/2012 1:19:09 PM   
Bingeling

 

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I have an easier argument then Kayoz:

If you can't feed yourself, you don't colonize. You don't migrate somewhere with no food available.

And since these people colonize a lot, and also never hesitate to migrate to another specie's planet/colony, food is not an issue. Since research is needed to colonize certain environments, what could one possibly think that research is about? For desert - better sun screen?

The questionable area is mining bases, but who say they are populated? We are not far off doing some nifty stuff without people present today, and building mining bases all over the solar system is quite some way off, even if some dreams about asteroid mining exist. And if we build a mining base on some moon/asteroid whatever that does include humans present, I figure that green house research in preparation for future space missions has paid off and provide the necessary locally produced food.


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Post #: 17
RE: Miners and Farmers - 11/23/2012 3:28:07 PM   
Gareth_Bryne


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Ah, sorry my bad

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