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Income Weirdness - 8/31/2010 2:33:19 PM   
Arcanum

 

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I've been playing Distant Worlds for a bit over a week, and I like it, except for one particularly frustrating behavior. Eventually my games will get to a state where my available funds will oscillate wildly between -10K credits (or worse) and +10K credits (or more), on roughly a monthly basis. It's very difficult to tell whether I actually have positive or negative overall income when this starts happening, not to mention making spending money more a matter of timing than anything else.

My best guess for the cause of this is that income and expenses are applied in uneven chunks spread over the whole game month. Ship and base maintenance is applied at one point, tax income at another, troop maintenance at yet another, and so on. If that's the case, it seems like a better option would be to accumulate all the expenses and income over a month, then apply it all at once. Most of the income and expenses would cancel out, leaving the player with a clear net gain or loss in funds.

In any case, it's getting frustrating enough that it's spoiling the game for me. Proper money management is a huge component of 4X games; if you can't do that, you can't really do much of anything.

Does anyone else have this problem? Am I missing something that will correct it?
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RE: Income Weirdness - 8/31/2010 2:47:17 PM   
2guncohen


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Where you building something special on that moment ?




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RE: Income Weirdness - 8/31/2010 2:53:59 PM   
Arcanum

 

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Nope, I don't think I was building anything. It's not something that happens once in a while, either. We're talking game years of this money oscillation. No fuel costs either, at least none displayed in the empire summary screen. According to the expansion planner screen, I have ample supplies of just about everything.

Edit: Also, I'm controlling ship construction, agent recruitment, and diplomacy manually.

< Message edited by Arcanum -- 8/31/2010 2:56:59 PM >

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RE: Income Weirdness - 8/31/2010 3:27:34 PM   
2guncohen


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Good tip is to check your "Starbases" maybe they are not "Cost effective" enough ?
It has to be something in the setup of your empire. (station, building queue of a special design with not enough resources. )

^^ I know its not always easy to find.






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RE: Income Weirdness - 8/31/2010 3:39:53 PM   
Arcanum

 

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I don't think that really addresses my problem, though. If it were a simple case of losing money, sure, but it's hard to even tell if I'm actually gaining or losing money at this point.

At one point during a game month I'll have 10,000 credits, then later in the month I'll be 15,000 credits in debit. The next month my cash on hand will jump back up to 15,000 credits, then it will drop back to 10,000 credits in debt. The cycle will just keep repeating.

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RE: Income Weirdness - 8/31/2010 6:10:53 PM   
torrenal

 

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My money is on a few construction ships set to Auto.

It's one reason why the early part of the game I leave them off...

What race/government are you using?
//Torrenal

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RE: Income Weirdness - 8/31/2010 7:06:08 PM   
b0mber

 

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Maybe those changes of your economy are related to Space port income. Those benefits also affect your balance ((+income) below your current money), but they are only given once, when the private sector builds ships at your space ports.

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RE: Income Weirdness - 8/31/2010 7:31:02 PM   
Arcanum

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: torrenal

My money is on a few construction ships set to Auto.

It's one reason why the early part of the game I leave them off...


I'm getting relatively late into the game, but that could be now that you mention it. I'll check it tonight. Mining base construction comes from state money, right?

quote:


What race/government are you using?


Human/Republic

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RE: Income Weirdness - 8/31/2010 8:20:54 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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The biggest sources of income fluctuation are Spaceport income and Resort income.

Spaceport income is primarily from ship building as stated earlier.
Resort income just tends to happen when it does, there's really no way to forecast it.

Mines are built from STATE money, but they are maintained from PRIVATE money.

Military and Construction ships are STATE money on both building and maintenance.
Spaceports are STATE money on both counts.
Freighters and Passenger ships are PRIVATE money on both counts.


Generally, I judge my Economy by stripping out whatever the bottom line is minus Spaceport and Resort income - I look at these as bonuses.



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RE: Income Weirdness - 8/31/2010 11:01:32 PM   
torrenal

 

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I suppose the best info would be the balance sheet for the empire...

Spinning up ye olde new game to see how the human-republic likes to spend money....
(note to self, building 30 colony ships all at once may not be fiscally sound...)

Hmm, it ordered up a fair number of defense bases for me, pushing my funds from borderline to deep-red (-200k deep). After that order, cashflow will still be positive, but I'm guessing it didn't stop ordering for lack of wanting more bases...

Go to your Empire Summary screen (F12)

Look at 'Other Bases', you get 3 numbers. For finances, the 3rd one is important, that's how much you spend upkeeping a number of bases, including defensive bases. (I normally only put defensive bases at my capital, and the very-rare of rare luxury resources.

1: Sort defensive bases by firepower, scrap the weakest ones.

2: An easy money trap to run into is paying tribute to pirates... if you are doing this, I might suggest stopping. If it bothers the pirates that you don't pay them, then go blow up their bases.

3: Look at your Empire Summary screen to spot the big-ticket line items. Troop maint? Base maint? Fuel costs? What about for income, do you have decent port and resort income? Any trade bonuses?

One key to income is to put a port as near as possible to planets owned by another empire. This will encourage ships to trade at it.
//Torrenal

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RE: Income Weirdness - 9/1/2010 12:20:52 AM   
rk0123msp@mindspring


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arcanum

I don't think that really addresses my problem, though. If it were a simple case of losing money, sure, but it's hard to even tell if I'm actually gaining or losing money at this point.

At one point during a game month I'll have 10,000 credits, then later in the month I'll be 15,000 credits in debit. The next month my cash on hand will jump back up to 15,000 credits, then it will drop back to 10,000 credits in debt. The cycle will just keep repeating.




This fluctiation is normal in this game. The spaceport income (money from new private sector ships), resort income, and money from foreign trade are too variable in this game to give you a fixed amount to count on. The only things you can do are:

1) try to keep ships maintenence cost under tax income .. a rough cap on the size of your fleet.

2) I've never been able to get as much from resort income as I'd like .. I recomment redesigning your "resort bases" to include at least 2 labs of each of the 4 research types. This way, if you build a resort base near a scenic black hole & it doesn't pay off in resort income, you're at least getting a 600% boost in science (in other words, you're getting 6 times the value of each research lab for the cost of one lab: 6 labs for the price of one).

3) I've noticed that foreign trade income doesn't pick up dramatically until you get the "rare" luxuries. Once you get a rare luxury you'll be on easy street as far as income goes ... just make sure you have at least one foreign trade rout.

4) Keep taking more & more planets, each planet you get increases your income. This is the only "sure fire" method of income increase. You don't need spaceports in every system .. I usually build them only in the most strategic & far flung systems as a direct aid in exploration.

5) Early in the game you get a lot of donations or gifts from some independant colonization or defeated pirates. This trickles off to zero as the game goes on.

6) I've found way of the ancients government to be the most income friendly government, but I only tried one other gov type and my income tanked quickly: way of darkness (or something like that), it also resulted in numerous defections and uprisings. I think democracy & way of ancients are the most favorable for both income & minimizing revolts.

7) I never pay tribute to pirates or what not, haven't since my first game and don't ever plan to .. the consequence is that it requires extra military planning on the players part to avoid serious damage, especially early in the game .. My opinion on pirates is that a good offense is the best defense.

< Message edited by rk0123msp@mindspring -- 9/1/2010 12:26:01 AM >


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RE: Income Weirdness - 9/1/2010 2:34:46 AM   
torrenal

 

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I've found Way of Darkness to be more fiscally conservative than Way of the Ancients -- least wise, my spendable funds hit 8 figures in darkness, but never got there under Ancients (probably because they build too many ships on a 1400 star map to be playable on my PC).  You may just need to keep an eye on losing planets when you switch government types I had no trouble moving from Military Dictatorship to Way of Darkness.

Late game, having those 3 ultra-rare resources helps, but early/mid game, just having a port in the right spot helps just as much.  It's simple: Merchants will go to the closest port for a resource.  If your port is closer than a port inside your neighbors empire, they will go to your port.
//Torrenal

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