Author Topic: [Research) decreasing research bonuses  (Read 1492 times)

Captain Data

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[Research) decreasing research bonuses
« on: July 18, 2011, 09:57:35 AM »
One thing I wonder about research is it's current (mathematical) function.

Right now it's something like this:

1 x 1.4 x 1.4 x 1.4 x ...

Means:

Techlevel 1 has a base of 1
Techlevel 2 has a base of 1.4 (+ 40% to Level 1)
Techlevel 3 has a base of 1.96 (+ 96% to Level 1)
Techlevel 4 has a base of 2.74 (+ 174% to Level 1)
Techlevel 5 has a base of 3.84 (+ 284% to Level 1)
...

The problem is: low level equipment gets outdated really quickly. A difference of 4 levels means already the player with lower techlevel is outclassed by any means.
It's kinda unfair and gives players with large empires a huge advantage over players with smaller empires: the early bird catches the worm. There is - currently - no way to catch up with more advanced players.

An idea to remove a bit of that unfairness is to decrease growing bonus per techlevel.

Instead of 1 x 1.4 x 1.4 x 1.4 x 1.4 ... it should look like something like this: 1 x 1.4 x 1.35 x 1.31 x 1.26 x ... it's still a powerful progress with each level, but in late game, the player with a smaller empire can catch up to a player with a bigger empire: the difference between techlevel 30 and techlevel 40 isn't that big anymore.

Just an idea ...


Thy Reaper

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Re: [Research) decreasing research bonuses
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2011, 10:16:04 AM »
The cost of technologies increases by a factor of 2 with each level, so this is already the case. Lowering the gains per higher level is essentially the same as raising the cost gain factor.

sirrobdsm

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Re: [Research) decreasing research bonuses
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2011, 10:45:55 AM »
before yous tart a game u can change these "gains" so instead of 1.40 per lvl it can be lowerds to .35 or even to 1.2

One player on these forums said he kills the ai after hes gotten to lvl 10 coz he has all the tech he needs ( the rest is about scale and resouces )


Captain Data

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Re: [Research) decreasing research bonuses
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 11:49:10 AM »
The cost of technologies increases by a factor of 2 with each level, so this is already the case. Lowering the gains per higher level is essentially the same as raising the cost gain factor.

That's the problem.

A huge empire can easily compensate the cost gain factor. A smaller empire will run into the problem that every techlevel will take hours to research while the bigger empire won't see that problem: it will take a couple of minutes, maybe half an hour.

I'd like to see that "decreasing curve" - at least as option to choose from. It shouldn't be too difficult to add ... if needed, I can do the math for you.




GGLucas

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Re: [Research) decreasing research bonuses
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2011, 12:28:14 PM »
Quote
A huge empire can easily compensate the cost gain factor. A smaller empire will run into the problem that every techlevel will take hours to research while the bigger empire won't see that problem: it will take a couple of minutes, maybe half an hour.

That's not quite how it works. An expanding empire can compensate the cost gain factor by expanding exponentially. An empire that is twice as big can only get one tech level higher before running into the exact same slowdown that the smaller empire did, and you need to be four times as big to get just two extra levels.

Captain Data

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Re: [Research) decreasing research bonuses
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2011, 02:53:35 PM »
Okay, maybe I missed a point - or couldn't fully tell what I am looking for. After all, english is not my native tongue ;)

I am not really talking about the growing time requirement for each techlevel but about the efficiency increase.

The game is designed that each level will increase efficiency / power / armor / you-name-it by a defined factor. Standard factor is 1.4 - so a Tech 2 projectile weapon will do 1.4 times more damage than a Tech 1 projectile weapon. Am I right?

In case I'm right the following problem will happen:

Tech 1 Weapon: 1x damage
Tech 10 Weapon: 20.7x damage (20.7x more damage than a Tech 1 weapon)
Tech 20 Weapon: 597.6x damage (28.9 x more damage than a Tech 10 weapon)
Tech 30 Weapon: 17286.7x damage (28.9 x more damage than a Tech 20 weapon)
...

Of course, maybe I'm not right.
But in case of: it seems a bit out of balance - what can a smaller empire do against an empire with 10x more planets (and economy, research etc) ? The difference between both Tech-levels could be around 4 or 5 - which is still enough to make the bigger empire so much more powerful the smaller empire couldn't hope to defeat or even hold its ground.

Anyhow, my suggestion is something like this:

Tech 1 Weapon: 1x damage
Tech 10 Weapon: 12.8x damage (12.8x more damage than a Tech 1 weapon)
Tech 20 Weapon: 80.8x damage (6.3 x more damage than a Tech 10 weapon)
Tech 30 Weapon: 253.3x damage (3.1 x more damage than a Tech 20 weapon)
...

Formula I used: with each level increase, efficiency / gain factor gets multiplied with 0.95

So if you start with an gain factor of 1.4 (level 1 - level 2), the next levels will have a gain factor (rounded):

Level 2 - 3 --- 1.38x
Level 3 - 4 --- 1.36x
Level 4 - 5 --- 1.34x
Level 5 - 6 --- 1.33x
Level 6 - 7 --- 1.31x
Level 7 - 8 --- 1.29x
Level 8 - 9 --- 1.28x
Level 9 - 10 --- 1.27x

I actually like that idea and it also will give the player an opportunity to skip late levels because time isn't worth to spend it - if you have a small empire - without getting squished in a second.

But as I said before: maybe I entirely missed that point.
In that case I'm sorry.

Thy Reaper

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Re: [Research) decreasing research bonuses
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2011, 03:10:16 PM »
The time it takes to unlock something is very important for balancing, however. For example, if the level gain curve was 1.183 and the cost per level increase was 1.414, the end result would be identical, except that you would end up going through twice as many tech levels for the same time spent.

The way to express the efficiency of research at a tech level is approximated by ((level gain curve)/(level cost curve))level. For the current game, this is (1.4/2.0)level. What this means is that, as the level increases, the relative efficiency of your time spent plummets.

What you suggest is a bit different, but really overall the same. Your relative efficiency is (roughly):
(Π(1.4-0.02k) for k=0 to level-1)/2.0level.

At level 3, our efficiency is .343, yours is .328. At level 10, ours is 0.028, yours is 0.014. So, at level 10, it would basically mean a 2 tech level difference. A fairly close approximation of your system with ours is a level cost curve around 2.1, which reaches 0.017 at level 10, but costs a bit more early on.

At level 20, unless you can give a better explanation of how you're coming up with your numbers, your tech advancement stops, while ours continues at about 1/1000 efficiency.

Garthor

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Re: [Research) decreasing research bonuses
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2011, 06:14:02 PM »
If you want small empires to not be squashed by larger empires, then you are barking up the wrong tree.  Even if you removed all research, an empire that's twice as large is still precisely twice as powerful, due to being able to produce twice as many ships.  Research is simply an additional, lesser benefit on top of that: they're also (actually a bit more than) 1.4 times as powerful on top of that, due to their research, so they are effectively 2.8 times as powerful.

What you are looking for is something that would make additional planets less valuable the more planets you have.  Options might be to have inefficiencies for large empires (planet production is multiplied by (0.9 ^ #planets)), or much larger, ongoing start-up costs for colonies (in which case you would need to counter expansion with early aggression), or some sort of logistical issues (which jump-drives would negate) to sink more costs into defending systems.

Alternatively, something that would have a major benefit for long-held planets, but would be interrupted by colonization efforts.  For instance, population growth would instead be modeled primarily as migration from older planets to newer planets, with a small amount of automatic growth.  In this case, a small empire wouldn't have expanded as much, and so would have a more concentrated (and therefore productive) population, and a large empire would be more spread-out, with less-productive core planets in exchange for more colonies.

Actually, I really like that last idea.


Captain Data

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Re: [Research) decreasing research bonuses
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2011, 05:28:48 AM »
The time it takes to unlock something is very important for balancing, however. For example, if the level gain curve was 1.183 and the cost per level increase was 1.414, the end result would be identical, except that you would end up going through twice as many tech levels for the same time spent.

The way to express the efficiency of research at a tech level is approximated by ((level gain curve)/(level cost curve))level. For the current game, this is (1.4/2.0)level. What this means is that, as the level increases, the relative efficiency of your time spent plummets.

What you suggest is a bit different, but really overall the same. Your relative efficiency is (roughly):
(Π(1.4-0.02k) for k=0 to level-1)/2.0level.

At level 3, our efficiency is .343, yours is .328. At level 10, ours is 0.028, yours is 0.014. So, at level 10, it would basically mean a 2 tech level difference. A fairly close approximation of your system with ours is a level cost curve around 2.1, which reaches 0.017 at level 10, but costs a bit more early on.

At level 20, unless you can give a better explanation of how you're coming up with your numbers, your tech advancement stops, while ours continues at about 1/1000 efficiency.

Hmm, okay. Maybe I didn’t understand your idea about gain per level.
I thought it’s kinda like this:
Tech 1:  Base factor 1
Tech 2:  Base factor 1 x 1.4
Tech 3:  Base factor 1 x 1.4 x 1.4
Tech 4:  Base factor 1 x 1.4 x 1.4 x 1.4


Besides that:  my formula was something like this:
Tech 1 – Tech 2: Gain 1.4
Tech 2 – Tech 3: Gain 1.4 x 0.95
Tech 3 – Tech 4: Gain 1.4 x 0.95 x 0.95
Tech 4 – Tech 5: Gain 1.4 x 0.95 x 0.95 x 0.95

Results:
Tech 1:  Base factor 1
Tech 2:  Base factor 1 x 1.4
Tech 3:  Base factor 1 x 1.4 x 1.4x0.95
Tech 4:  Base factor 1 x 1.4 x 1.4 x 1.4x0.95x0.95

But whatever: it seems I got a totally wrong idea about gain factor and leveling up, am I right?

If you want small empires to not be squashed by larger empires, then you are barking up the wrong tree.  Even if you removed all research, an empire that's twice as large is still precisely twice as powerful, due to being able to produce twice as many ships.  Research is simply an additional, lesser benefit on top of that: they're also (actually a bit more than) 1.4 times as powerful on top of that, due to their research, so they are effectively 2.8 times as powerful.

What you are looking for is something that would make additional planets less valuable the more planets you have.  Options might be to have inefficiencies for large empires (planet production is multiplied by (0.9 ^ #planets)), or much larger, ongoing start-up costs for colonies (in which case you would need to counter expansion with early aggression), or some sort of logistical issues (which jump-drives would negate) to sink more costs into defending systems.

Alternatively, something that would have a major benefit for long-held planets, but would be interrupted by colonization efforts.  For instance, population growth would instead be modeled primarily as migration from older planets to newer planets, with a small amount of automatic growth.  In this case, a small empire wouldn't have expanded as much, and so would have a more concentrated (and therefore productive) population, and a large empire would be more spread-out, with less-productive core planets in exchange for more colonies.

Actually, I really like that last idea.



I like that idea as well, but I think it won't make it into the game, except as available option to choose from when starting a new game.

Blind_Rifleman

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Re: [Research) decreasing research bonuses
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2011, 08:59:25 AM »
Judging by your post, and the fact that you are still only posting gain numbers and leaving the cost numbers out, I think you are missing some key element of thy reaper's post. Allow me to try to explain it. This is just to help you out if you didn't understand, feel free to ignore it if you do.

Your system involves a GAIN that drops each level. All research is a curve between GAIN and COST. For each Y research (COST) you dump into a tech, you get X increase (Gain) to systems once you hit the next level.

If we use a base example tech:
subsystem stat = 100
Cost to research to level 2 = 100

Your curve ratios (GAIN / COST): [.4, .19, .09, .043, .02]
Vanilla curve ratios (GAIN / COST): [.4, .2, .1, .5, .025]
Thy Reapers suggested curve ratios (GAIN / COST): [.4, .19, .09, .043, .020]

I hope this helps to clear up any confusion, you can do the same thing that you are suggesting just by increasing the cost from 2.0 to 2.1 at game start, the only difference is that you will be going through fewer tech numbers for the same result.

Here are the numbers:

Code: [Select]
Your system has the following ratios from level 1 to level 6, where each level gain = 1+(X*.95), starting with X=.4 at level 1:

Level 1-2 (100 cost): 1.4 GAIN / 2.0 Cost: Subsystem now: 140; Tech now: 200
Level 2-3 (200 cost): 1.38 GAIN / 2.0 Cost: Subsystem now: 193.2; Tech now: 400
Level 3-4 (400 cost): 1.361 GAIN / 2.0 Cost: Subsystem now: 262.945; Tech now: 800
Level 4-5 (800 cost): 1.343 GAIN / 2.0 Cost: Subsystem now: 353.122; Tech now: 1600
Level 5-6 (1600 cost): 1.326 GAIN / 2.0 Cost: Subsystem now: 468.170; Tech now: 3200

Your systems ratios look like this (.4, .19, .09, .043, .02):

Level 1-2, spent 100 points, gained 40% = .4% increase per research point spent.
Level 2-3, spent 200 points, gained 38% = .19% increase per research point spent.
Level 3-4, spent 400 points, gained 36.1% = .09% increase per research point spent.
Level 4-5, spent 800 points, gained 34.30% = .043 increase per research point spent.
Level 5-6, spent 1600 points, gained 32.58% = .02 increase per research point spent.

-----------------

Vanilla system has the following ratios from level 1 to level 6, where each level gain = 1.4:

Level 1-2 (100 cost): 1.4 GAIN / 2.0 Cost: Subsystem now: 140; Tech now: 200
Level 2-3 (200 cost): 1.4 GAIN / 2.0 Cost: Subsystem now: 196; Tech now: 400
Level 3-4 (400 cost): 1.4 GAIN / 2.0 Cost: Subsystem now: 274.4; Tech now: 800
Level 4-5 (800 cost): 1.4 GAIN / 2.0 Cost: Subsystem now: 284.16; Tech now: 1600
Level 5-6 (1600 cost): 1.4 GAIN / 2.0 Cost: Subsystem now: 537.824; Tech now: 3200

Vanilla systems ratios look like this (.4, .2, .1, .05, .025):

Level 1-2, spent 100 points, gained 40% = .4% increase per research point spent.
Level 2-3, spent 200 points, gained 40% = .2% increase per research point spent.
Level 3-4, spent 400 points, gained 40% = .1% increase per research point spent.
Level 4-5, spent 800 points, gained 40% = .05% increase per research point spent.
Level 5-6, spent 1600 points, gained 40% = .025% increase per research point spent.

-----------------

Thy Reaper suggested system has the following ratios from level 1 to level 6, where each level gain = 1.4, but the COST is 2.1:

Level 1-2 (100 cost): 1.4 GAIN / 2.1 Cost: Subsystem now: 140; Tech now: 210
Level 2-3 (210 cost): 1.4 GAIN / 2.1 Cost: Subsystem now: 196; Tech now: 441
Level 3-4 (441 cost): 1.4 GAIN / 2.1 Cost: Subsystem now: 274.4; Tech now: 926.1
Level 4-5 (926.1 cost): 1.4 GAIN / 2.1 Cost: Subsystem now: 284.16; Tech now: 1944.81
Level 5-6 (1944.81 cost): 1.4 GAIN / 2.1 Cost: Subsystem now: 537.824; Tech now: 4084.101

Thy Reaper suggested systems ratios look like this (.4, .19, .09, .043, .020):

Level 1-2, spent 100 points, gained 40% = .4% increase per research point spent.
Level 2-3, spent 210 points, gained 40% = .19% increase per research point spent.
Level 3-4, spent 441 points, gained 40% = .09% increase per research point spent.
Level 4-5, spent 926.1 points, gained 40% = .043% increase per research point spent.
Level 5-6, spent 1944.81 points, gained 40% = .020% increase per research point spent.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2011, 11:37:59 AM by Blind_Rifleman »
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Captain Data

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Re: [Research) decreasing research bonuses
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2011, 09:43:18 AM »
Yeah ... something like that. So it's my fault: I was suggesting something that's already in the game. My fault, I'm sorry.

Firgof

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Re: [Research) decreasing research bonuses
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2011, 09:44:22 AM »
No problem; it's a complex piece of software with a lot of knobs and dials, not even to start speaking of what's possible in the new game window and settings.txt given how large of an impact those settings can have. :p
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Captain Data

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Re: [Research) decreasing research bonuses
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2011, 10:10:06 AM »
No problem; it's a complex piece of software with a lot of knobs and dials, not even to start speaking of what's possible in the new game window and settings.txt given how large of an impact those settings can have. :p

Hehe, okay.

Just one last question (even if it's not topic related): did I miss special characters (heroes and such) in the game - same with "experience" for ships? Or aren't those features added / planned yet?

I'm just wondering ... if needed, I'll start a topic discussing this idea ...