... a thread for debating what changes to make to the current model, if any.
Tax rate is a decisive factor in determining a colony's growth rate - in fact, probably the most decisive one. A colony with a tax rate of 0% will grow much faster than if it has just a measly 10% rate (this is something you new players should try out: Disable automatic taxes in options, set all colonies other than homeworld to 0% tax and behold the population boom!).
The problem I see with the current model is mainly that taxes actually aren't very useful and aren't worth harming your population growth over. This is because money is not the limiting factor to your empire's size, growth is. The way taxation works in DW is in fact better understood as if it were a slider bar: Depending on your tax rate you are toggling money vs growth - setting this all the way to max growth (0% tax) will normally be better:
- Helps the 'control % of total population' victory condition
- Colony happiness/stability (no defections from rebellions)
- Research rate. Strategic value is what determines your maximum research rate and strategic value comes from population. Larger population = faster research
- Colony defense: It is much more difficult to conquer a planet of 10 billion than 50 million.
- Troop recruitment rate: Larger colonies recruit troops faster
- Construction speed: Colony size determines the rate at which you can build ships, especially important for faster colony ship production. Colony ships can't even be built with less than 500M.
So, while growth has numerous advantages, money is the only reason to tax colonies - but, once again, money usually isn't what limits the size of your empire so isn't useful. What really limits you is resources, you can't build ships (even if you can afford them!) if you have no steel. This means in most scenarios there is no reason to tax the population and lose all the advantages of growth because the extra money still won't let you grow faster.
Therefore, we arrive at the question of: How should this model be changed? It doesn't seem right to have a system where money is of negligible value. More importantly, it puts the AI at a severe disadvantage - the competitiveness of the AI could be improved a great deal if it could enjoy the same high growth rates the player can.
Personally, I think the solution is to simply reduce the currently very large effect taxation has on growth rates. Lower tax rates would still have an effect on growth but race reproduction rate and colony development level would both play a greater role.
< Message edited by Apheirox -- 9/17/2012 8:40:20 PM >