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How to increase trade volume between empires?

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How to increase trade volume between empires? - 1/14/2015 2:40:05 PM   


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In my games there never seems to be any trade between my own and other empires. Usually what happens is that, in the early game when contact with a new empire is made a string of freighters make their way to foreign stations to trade some goods but then the trade volume quickly declines to near zero. Does anyone have any tips/strategies to increase trade volumes?

I looked into this a bit to find out what the problem was and in my opinion it has to do with resource abundance and lack of resource consumption. I'll post my own understanding of resources so far:

Strategic Resources: Primarily consumed during construction, while some are consumed for colony growth as well.

Luxury Resources: Increase Development Level and thereby happiness and GDP. Are constantly consumed by colonists.

Super Luxury Resources: Same as above, but higher bonus to Development Level.

The first problem is that resources are far too abundant. There is simply no need to trade if all the resources you need are at your doorstep. I tend to build 2 - 4 construction ships and set them on auto, I never manually build any mining stations, but the private sector will order as many mining stations as it needs. The only exception to this are fuels where I sometimes experience localized shortages due to demand spikes. With (normal) luxuries it's a similar story, as your empire expands there just seem to be enough sources inside your empire to make trade with other empires unnecessary.

The second problem is lack of demand. Especially with strategic resources there simply isn't enough consumption to overtax local sources. Although, looking through the game files I've found that there are some strategic resources that are required for growth (seven resources to be exact). The description states that these resources are consumed during growth, what happens when the colony has reached it's pop limit?

Luxury resources are supposed to be constantly consumed by the colonists. One would think that might create enough demand to make trade viable, but I'm not seeing any luxuries traded in my games either.

That leaves super luxuries as seemingly the only viable resources to be traded between empires. As a luxury there is constant demand and their scarcity makes them viable to export/import. I have never really played far enough into a game to see if their scarcity allows for surpluses to be traded though.

On the issue of scarcity part of the problem is that most resources are available everywhere, which means that no region is ever really in need for resources from other regions. I understand that strategic resources need to be readily available to everyone as otherwise growth could be choked off at infancy, but the same isn't true for luxuries. If there was a regional distribution bias for luxuries in the galaxy that would create much greater incentive for inter-empire trade.

Finally a quick question that arose from my going through the resource text file.

- ColonyGrowthResourceLevel: numeric value indicating level of resource required for growth at colonies, range from 0 (not required) to 1.0 (lots of this resource required)

' - ColonyManufacturingLevel: numeric value indicating whether resource is a manufactured resource at colonies. When greater than zero then resource is not naturally occurring but rather is manufactured at sufficiently developed colonies. Value indicates required population and development level before resource may randomly appear at a colony: value = population in billions * development level

I understand the first part to mean that every time the population at a colony increases a quantity of this resource is consumed. If the resource isn't present, no growth can occur. Is this correct?

The second part seems to simulate the creation of new resources in form of manufactured goods that can only come from highly developed colonies. Sounds like a great idea that would create trading opportunities as the game progresses. The only problem is this value is zero for every resource, so in fact it seems that this feature is not implemented. Anyone know whats going on here?

Sorry about the wall of text, but I hope some of you can shed some light on the trade mechanics for me, thx!
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RE: How to increase trade volume between empires? - 1/15/2015 1:41:05 AM   


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i agree with a lot of what you said. I may be ignorant but I find the exploitation part of this 4x to be pretty lacking. It's one of the reasons I consider this game more to be a grand strategy game than a 4x game. Are strategic resources even used when you build ships? I don't believe so, right? I don't play on extreme or anything but I'm coming to the same conclusions of you. You can use 3 construction ships on non auto and completely satisfy the needs of your empire outside of luxuries and have no problem aside from fuel. Resource shortages are local more than anything, i.e. I cant build this base. And thats a logistical thing that you barely even can influence. I like the game, but I think it needs some harsher criticism. I see it being praised other places as like the greatest 4x game of all time. It isn't. Sorry. It's an incredible achievement for 1 man. I could not do it myself. But that does not mean it does not have a myriad of flaws. Anyways, I find the economic side of the game completely lacking and once you read on the internet not to build spaceports all over theres basically nothing you can do to screw it up. I dont design the private sector stuff myself because I don't think it makes sense to go and hand design the ships and bases of the private sector. It's the private sector. The government has regulations on automobiles but it's still legal to put a bigger turbo in your car. It doesnt make sense for the government to FORCE you to put a new turbo in your car. But that's just me.

I think people talk a lot of stuff about the game that just isnt necessary. Like I read stuff about overexpanding. How exactly do you overexpand? Why the hell wouldnt you colonize something asap? The quicker you colonize it the faster it makes money. You don't even have to guard the damn colony other than war just build 4 garrisoned troops. There's no such thing as overexpanding unless you set the sector range for colonization extremely high. Maybe thats a bit of an exaggeration Im sure there are some problems from over extension but its honestly not worth taking into consideration. At least imo as an intermediate player. I find people talk a lot about things that you would think are an issue in the game, but in reality they just aren't a problem. Whats the worst thing that happens if you build 3 extra colonies 'too fast'? They get raided? You lose them in a war? Ok if you didn't colonize them someone else would anyway, so the war part is moot. Youd have to present some sort of evidence that I havent considered to get me to not colonize things that are in range, because the potential upside is much greater than the downside.

The same goes with mining. Use the resource planner, pick out some stuff you think you need and then let it do it by itself. It might not be the min maxiest but it has the plus side of not freaking micromanging construction ships when you have 45 colonies without much of an effect.

To me the game seems pretty paint by numbers other than building ships. To me this is a ship combat arena, combined with logistics.

Sorry to rant in your post but ive been playing the game a lot lately and thinking about it a lot with a critical eye. And it doesnt help that youre CONSTANTLY fighting with the interface to do things you want to do, while it makes sure they must be done in almost the least convenient way possible 40% of the times. That isnt particularly endearing to me as someone who is a sticker for UI's (endless legend's UI is what every strategy game should aspire to)

I understand this was a 1 man project. I also understand its been out for 4 years and it cost me more than civilization beyond earth, or the fantastic Endless Legend. Point being, as a fellow software developer my hat is off to elliot for an achievement I could never do myself, but that doesn't mean the game is above reproach.

< Message edited by UnfriendlyBG -- 1/15/2015 2:48:50 AM >

(in reply to DarthFreddy)
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RE: How to increase trade volume between empires? - 1/15/2015 10:03:17 AM   


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Ignoring mods...

Want more resource struggles? Fewer stars and larger galaxy means that less resources are nearby. More empires in fewer stars means it is harder to find your own sources for everything.

Do you want to feel overexpansion? Increase difficulty a bit, slow down research, play pre-warp, have normal or stronger pirates that you don't pay off, and play one of the slower reproducing races. Avoid doing exploitish stuff to gain money fast, and remember to colonize as fast as you are able to.

I agree that resources are unlikely to be much of a problem unless you over-expand early. They can possibly be an issue in late game, but I have never gotten that far :)

(in reply to UnfriendlyBG)
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RE: How to increase trade volume between empires? - 1/15/2015 12:46:46 PM   


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This is why I never tend to use the money from trade and tourist revenue. It changes all too often from click to click. It's not a real world economy so you can't depend on it either way. Trade basically is setup like you said and there is a glut of resources. I find just increasing production constantly to be the way to control tax income as the civilian ships will keep building new ships as long as there are more resources to be gathered. It's "storage" facilities you need to be worried about. Keep building spaceports with high storage facilities. Keep adding them often throughout the game. As long as there is empty space the civilian ships will keep filling them. When you stop producing and storing is when you get into an economic crisis. Much like the real world.

(in reply to Bingeling)
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RE: How to increase trade volume between empires? - 1/15/2015 4:49:17 PM   


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just a comment about that. I could be mistaken but I dont think you need spareports to have large cargo. They share the cargo of the planet they are on. I'm not sure if that is unlimited or what but you don't need ANY cargo bays to build a spaceport thats built at a planet. I'm not sure about star bases, and if you really want lots of empty space at them anyway... I thought the function of spaceports was kinda to centralize your resources but I dunno like I said the economic side of the game is kinda a mystery to me.

At one point in the games development did it actually require you to have the resources on hand when building ships? I think thats a giant portion of the game that is just straight up missing. Maybe it was too unwieldy but it seems like why am I even mining this stuff to begin with if I dont need it to build ships? You only need it for bases right? Or am I mistaken?

If you could go in and cripple an opponents resources (not just their gas) so they couldn't build a new fleet I think that would build a whole lot of strategy to the game. Now again with the kinda 'point and shoot' version of war it might just not be fun trying to defend everything under the stars and maybe it was done that way for gameplay considerations.

(in reply to aaatoysandmore)
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RE: How to increase trade volume between empires? - 1/15/2015 6:52:56 PM   


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From where do you have the impression that ship building does not require resources? I have not played in a while, but I doubt that has been messed up.

Resources are mined, transported, and consumed by colonies and construction.

If you are in doubt, start a fast breeding race in a very easy game prewarp. Build a spaceport and spam explorers (no mines/construction ships) and see how long that can be done until you run out of resources. You just need to outbuild the few mining ships that appear, I expect you to struggle with helium early on as long as you got all the basic components researched.

If you can play the game for quite a bit and not notice that ship construction requires resources, I figure that the freighters are doing their work quite well these days :)

(in reply to UnfriendlyBG)
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RE: How to increase trade volume between empires? - 1/15/2015 7:41:10 PM   


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That's what I was told when I started playing the game. That you just paid the price for the resources when building the ships, not that actual resources were consumed in the production of ships... If im wrong, good!

(in reply to Bingeling)
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RE: How to increase trade volume between empires? - 1/15/2015 7:57:04 PM   


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It should be easy to see as long as it is a quiet place. Watch the first ship you order in a pre warp game.

When you order construction the resources are reserved (rsvd) in the cargo list. If rsvd i higher than the amount, there is a shortage. When the components are created, the resources are removed, both from the reserved, and from the amount stored.

I don't know who told you ships had no resource price, but that is not true. If you click the construction summary in the design screen (below the central part, I think), you can see what resources are required (the sum of the resourced needed for all the components).

(in reply to UnfriendlyBG)
Post #: 8
RE: How to increase trade volume between empires? - 1/15/2015 8:10:26 PM   

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Ship and Base building definitely uses resources. I have had builds hung up waiting on resources all too often.

To help my economy I build few and far between Space Ports, but EVERY world gets a Star base kitted out with Commerce/Medical/Entertainment facilities, as well as weapons enough to deter the casual attacker. (5-10 Fighter Bays dampens any Pirates spirits)

(in reply to Bingeling)
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RE: How to increase trade volume between empires? - 1/16/2015 12:25:53 PM   


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by the way, I ran into the fact that ships do indeed take resources to build and I ran into it HARD. Glad to see the guy who told me that was mistaken =P

(in reply to CyclopsSlayer)
Post #: 10
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