Author Topic: Economic Discussion  (Read 5408 times)

MindsEye

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Economic Discussion
« on: July 11, 2012, 05:53:47 PM »
This thread is based on economics.Ga crew has stated that they are working on economics for next release and would not mind some suggestions.

I for one think farming is none existent.Farming needs to play a much bigger role in eco.

Orbitals are not balanced imo.I can build a few and just spam research on all my worlds.

I find little use for freighters and just upgrade my spaceports.

Would like to be able to control the resources on my planets. For example my planets fuel supply.Unless I build a factory It sits at half stock no matter what.Most of the time I want them to fully stock fuel.

Fuel is in the same state as food.I can build a few orbitals or facilities and everything is good.

Would be nice for maintenance costs for fleets.

Not sure of what is possible with this game so maybe some of my suggestions are unrealistic.

PrawnWonton

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 11:52:38 PM »
Yeah, I have never found a use for haulers of any sort.  I've tried using them, but they are just underwhelming at best.  Space ports are just too good.

However, if space ports get nerfed enough to make haulers necessary, that would be a lot of extra tedious micromangement, which is why space ports exist in the first place.

Resources as a whole, I don't know what could change.  It seems that after a few systems are up and running, resources are pretty much a non-issue.  The ONLY time I ever run into resource problems is when I try to build an early ringworld for the lols.

Early game is fun because you actually have to make decisions about what to build and when to build it.  But after the first 15 minutes, you can just poo out as many ships as you can queue up without a second thought.

As for how to fix it, I'm not sure.  Increasing the resource cost of things would only delay the inevitable, so that won't work.

Some things that might work to some degree:
  • Introduce strategic resources.  Games like Civ, Warlock, Endless Space, etc., require rare resources to build advanced or powerful units.  Strategic resources are often a source of conflict, and valuable trading materials.  If higher tech/powerful/specialized/larger sized modules and hulls required X amount of some rare resources, that may be a nudge in the right direction.

  • Population overhaul.  If population actually mattered, it might be interesting.  Looking at something like Armada 2526, where building slots on planets required X amount of population, a lot of that game is spent ferrying your own race's population around to colonies.  Or Endless Space where population is also a pretty big deal. I don't think Star Ruler would need to go that far, but if population played a more important role, and grew at a much slower rate, that could serve to curb indiscriminate expansion, colony ship spam, orbital facility ridiculousness, etc. If population was used to crew ships, then computers (and their counters) would be attractive, and it could also serve to limit fleet sizes.  And there could be lots of racial trait modifiers and economic policies/mandates to population growth to fit many different playstyles.  Being unable to replace a suicide fleet in 10 seconds because you just lost half your race's population would make for some fun gameplay, and more interesting decisions.  Planetary bombs and weapons and whatnot could actually be pretty awesome.  This might also serve to make farms and goods more attractive, if they positively affected population growth.

  • Upkeep-wise, costing resources wouldn't really work, since resources are basically infinite.  So what is finite in this game?  Planet slots.  What if there actually was a "tech tree" of sorts with buildings?  What if to build hulls over size 100 you needed X amount of "military academy" buildings?  What if you had to have X amount of "fleet logistics" buildings to support Y amount of combat ships?  What if to build specialized hulls you needed a certain amount of "advanced engineering" buildings?  The idea being that planet slots could be used for something other than research facilities.  This could be tied together with population requirements, and strategic resources, too, depending how fancy you want to get.


However, I think one thing needs to be remembered at all times:  Star Ruler is supposed to be a game where you can have huge fleets and big ass ships, so too many restrictions would kill that.  But I think some restraint could spice it up and make things interesting.  I think it could be really fun to make choices about how much to expand and what buildings to go for.  Do I use lots of AI controlled ships and stations to take pressure off my population, running the risk of AI rebellion, or do I forgo research labs and build breeding worlds to sustain my expansion?  Do I build a few large ships with lots of crew, or do I mass produce little ships to zerg my enemy instead?  Do I stab my neighbor in the back because they have a strategic resource required to build superlasers?  Should I spam a bunch of suicide bombers to carpet bomb my enemy's planets so his economy goes down the toilet, and if so will I have enough crew left to field a combat fleet?  How many planets can I get away with dedicated to supporting larger fleet counts before my tech race suffers, or military might wavers?  If I can locate and do a surgical strike, eliminating my enemy's key military logistics world so his fleet count goes to shit, how much havoc can I wreck while he is freaking out?

These are the decisions that are fun to make, and are only possible when there are choices because of restrictions.

Azalrion

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2012, 02:28:05 AM »
Some interesting points Prawn, some which mirror my suggestions on our dev forums quite closely.

All I'll say at this point folks, is well its not just an overhaul of the existing system but a rewrite so you can feel free to suggest things that are nothing like what is currently implemented.
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XTRMNTR2K

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2012, 03:30:20 AM »
Definitely some great ideas here. Keep 'em coming!

crys

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2012, 08:01:03 AM »
i thought about fuel useage

i would like to suggest to increase the fuel useage and storrage by maybe a huge factor
maybe 10, 100 or even 1000?

this would make fuel production much more importand then it is now

dont know so much about the bussard ramscopes, how to change them then
and how the AI would be doing with the largerer need of fuel

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2012, 09:15:31 AM »
i thought about fuel useage

i would like to suggest to increase the fuel useage and storrage by maybe a huge factor
maybe 10, 100 or even 1000?

A factor 100 or 100 increase is probably overkill.

Quote
dont know so much about the bussard ramscopes, how to change them then

The issue with those is that they actually produce fuel from nothing. Instead they should be a modifier type subsystem that simply reduces the fuel consumption of an engine (similar to how auxiliary power works).

crys

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2012, 09:36:30 AM »
i think i run with this the wrong way anyways

this way we would just play with larger numbers of fuel. ok the production would be lower in relation.

it propably would be better to just reduce the fuel production instead. it would be better for moding too, because there are fewer systems generating fuel then consumers.
in addition it would have less of an impact on trading, but the same effect on the value of fuel.

seronis

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2012, 11:01:07 AM »
I disagree with the idea of making ramscoops a modifier subsystem. They are meant to be gathering interstellar dust to use as fuel not as a carburetor to make fuel use more efficient. Now if you decided to have them only work at half efficiency when a ship/station is not moving and to peak out when in motion I could support that idea.
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MindsEye

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2012, 05:29:49 PM »
I agree and think prawn has good ideas about population.Population definitely reproduces to fast.Using them on ships is a good way to make them interesting as well.The ability to load them into haulers would be cool.You could micro manage to get faster population rates by evening out your population.

As for haulers I have used them sort of mini banks before which can be helpful with metal in a pinch.I think one of their main problems is they are to slow.

I totally agree with seronis on the ram scoop issue.

I dont like the rare or strategic resources.It sounds like this will take the most important focus of the game.

I would like to see a soft upkeep as well.When upkeep is expensive it becomes more annoying then anything.

What about culture facilities that increase happiness(revenue) and also spreads to other systems to cause unhappiness to enemy planets?

Resources I think need a balance towards ship construction.I feel like bigger ships are to cheap to build.I think as ship sizes increase cost should increase more so then it does now.I can build ships that can basically 2 shot a planet with railguns way to cheaply.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 05:36:45 PM by MindsEye »

PrawnWonton

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2012, 05:45:45 PM »
Back on the population horse:

Instead of drastically overhauling population, which may be a lot of work, couldn't it be used as a resource?  To crew ships, military training buildings would "consume" raw population, and turn them into "crew", just like ore -> metal.  Obviously, this rate would need to be a lot smaller than population growth.  Additionally, if there was a cap on the total % of your population that could be trained at any time, that could serve to somewhat limit fleets.  Racial traits and mandates could increase or decrease this cap.  E.g., a "conscription" mandate where 50% of your population could be trained.  Well, you just took an awful lot of manpower away from all your factories and mines, so your economy is probably going to tank, but damn if you wont be able to field a large fleet as soon as they are trained.

It would basically serve as another building to take up a planet slot, which is desperately needed.  Also, there currently is no drawback to just suiciding thousands of ships, since they can be replaced in seconds.  Trained crew could serve as a bottleneck, which would make repairing much more attractive, since it takes time to replace them if lost.  Additional types of military buildings could be required to train even more specialized crews for special hulls like ECM ships or large ship sizes.  Sort of the "advanced parts" version of people.

If farms and goods gave a +population growth modifier, you could make worlds dedicated to making babies, which would also take up planet slots, which is a good thing.

seronis

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2012, 06:01:38 PM »
Population issues are interesting but what about people with my playstyle?  I _ALWAYS_ choose the computer dependant society trait. I dislike the idea of having to micromanage lifesupport so I just avoid the issue and dont let stupid meat bags run my precious ships.

Even people who dont choose that trait would still start to use more Computer controlled ships if it was significantly faster than training crew from the peasant masses.
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PrawnWonton

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2012, 06:16:02 PM »
Population issues are interesting but what about people with my playstyle?  I _ALWAYS_ choose the computer dependant society trait. I dislike the idea of having to micromanage lifesupport so I just avoid the issue and dont let stupid meat bags run my precious ships.

Even people who dont choose that trait would still start to use more Computer controlled ships if it was significantly faster than training crew from the peasant masses.

That is perfectly fine, and AI will be a very attractive option if an empire has population issues.

It is my understanding that computer controlled ships have weaknesses.  Like being extremely vulnerable to boarding parties.  And don't Mind Sappers do something nasty to ships without crew?

If you stack enough internal defenses to keep boarding parties at bay, that is space not being used for other things, like weapons.

And if AI controlled ship counts still required military logistics buildings taking up planet slots, that is is another form of upkeep to keep things in check.  But even without that, as long as everything has a weakness, I think it could balance out just fine.

edit: my bad, Mind Sappers don't do anything if there is no crew.

double edit:  And when I'm talking about population and military buildings used to bottleneck fleet limits, I should be more clear in saying that the limit should still be pretty big.  This is Star Ruler, massive fleets should be standard operating procedure.  Population and military buildings mostly serve to give players choices in using planet slots, which reduces the rate of research, which provides a mid-game and economic benefits as a whole.  In no way should the limit ever be like "oh shit, I can only field 20 battleships, and if they die I have to wait an hour to train more crew", that would not be Star Ruler.  However, it would be nice if suiciding 1000 battleships actually did cost something, or if to field a fleet of 10000 ships you needed some worlds dedicated to military logistics instead of just all research all the time.

TTTTRIPLE EDIT:  AI ships would probably stack a lot of shields (to prevent boarding parties) and a lot of internal defenses (to prevent boarding parties).  If they go shield heavy, there are lots of anti-shield weapons in the game, and it would be awesome to dust them off and put them to good use.
Computer cores also suck down a LOT of power, making them prime targets for reverse inducers as well.

Everything should have a weakness. As long as there are, it should be spiffy.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 06:46:46 PM by PrawnWonton »

XTRMNTR2K

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2012, 04:13:07 AM »
I'm seeing some very good ideas here.

@PrawnWonton: I think you'll be pleased about how we're going to handle things if everything goes according to keikaku*.



*Keikaku means plan.

MindsEye

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2012, 05:37:51 AM »
If it were possible to tie frieghters to a building on the planet, it might make them more interesting and give the player a reason to build them. Maybe even tie them to tp. The number of freighters in the system gives a bonus tot the tp rates. Maybe even specific frighters(metal,adv parts,and electronic) could give their respective bonus.

PrawnWonton

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2012, 03:22:33 PM »
I'm seeing some very good ideas here.

@PrawnWonton: I think you'll be pleased about how we're going to handle things if everything goes according to keikaku*.



*Keikaku means plan.

You are such a tease.  Any possible spoilers? :)

Azalrion

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2012, 03:37:06 PM »
Not yet, we are still discussing it.
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MindsEye

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2012, 07:59:54 PM »
Not sure if this applies here but making pirates an actual faction would be cool.They could set up home on a random asteroid or moon instead of just some random attacks.If you kill them they could either be dead or randomly resurrect.Strength may be determined along the lines of resource economies of all players combined.All out raids on systems would be based on this number.Realistically pirates would be hijacking ships with hit and run tactics to supply their income.Then they would all out raid when strong enuf.The raid strengths could be based on the empires economies that they are praying on. 

Azalrion

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2012, 08:06:28 PM »
No that does not apply here. Thats a new topic.
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MindsEye

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2012, 10:23:39 PM »
Lol well pirates can be somewhat of an economic road block and are there mainly to damage your economy so i wasnt sure.

MindsEye

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2012, 08:48:21 AM »
Can you guys tell me why you can only have as much import as you have export? I would like to understand import much better as I never found much on it. What I like to do is max my import out on my drydock but when I go to upgrade my dock even if I scuttle the old one my import points are lost and its like I have to start over.

seronis

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2012, 09:17:34 AM »
Lore based answer:

Each star port you build gives you half as much 'galactic import' available to import docks as it gives the planet general trade capacity.  Building a star point assumes you are also building the civilian transport vessels that do all the transportation so it would be unreasonable to have the import docks on random stations and space craft to have no limts to their overall trade capacity.


Technical answer:

If there was no limit on your total galactic import rate it would make planets nearly obsolete after early game. Its a balancing and design decision. Also import points are not lost when scuttling.

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MindsEye

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2012, 08:15:58 PM »
Where do the points go?

Panpiper

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2012, 09:20:52 AM »
Whenever I play Star Ruler, I always end a game two ways. Either I just get bored with the situation, or I hit the metal wall, the point where my mining has gotten so effective that I mine out the majority of the metal available, and all of it gets rapidly transformed into electronics and then advanced parts. End of game. No more building possible.

Now yes, one can go in to micromanage each and every planet to deliberately destroy most or all of one's electronics and advanced parts facilities to prevent this and preserve at least a little bit of a building stockpile, but that is hardly a solution to what is frankly, an absolutely absurd situation.

From a pure game point of view, I do not see how the game is improved one iota by having a hard limit to how long one can play. You can extend it a little bit with asteroid mining, but that too will run out. One could point to some sort of trickle effect that once again, with MASSIVE quantities of micro-management, one might be able to eek out a tiny fraction of output, but that does not make for a good game, that just makes for massive tedium.

From a realism point of view, this sort of hard limit also makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Planets do not just run out of resources. Yes, they do run out of the easiest to get resources, requiring more expensive extraction methods to get at new sources, thereby increasing the resulting costs of those resources (and encouraging the use of alternatives), but they never actually run out.

What I would suggest for a game mechanic is to absolutely do away with metal the way it is currently implemented. Do not have X amount of metal on a planet that gets used up and then when it is gone, no more metal. Instead have metal richness multiplier that multiplies the metal extraction effect of any metal facilities on that planet. If you want to have some sort of diminishing returns due to long term us (simulating using up easier to access resources), have both a metal richness multiplier 'and' an X amount of metal. Whenever the X gets used up, the metal richness multiplier gets reduced by 1% of it's current total and X gets reset. Note that this does not mean that after 100 iterations the metal richness is down to zero. The metal richness would be down to ~37% of it's original. The idea would be to create a gradual diminution of the metal mining effect, allowing a player to slowly adapt rather than suddenly hit a wall.

crys

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2012, 10:10:49 AM »
idk what you mean.

with no ore left on the planet you produce just 20% metal instead of more

Panpiper

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2012, 11:17:53 AM »
idk what you mean.

with no ore left on the planet you produce just 20% metal instead of more

Say I have a planet with 100 ore. I build on that planet 4 metal mines, 3 electronics and 2 advanced parts faculties. This will work out to a nice bit of surplus of all three of metal, electronics and advanced parts. This goes on for a while, and my tech advances. At some point, the efficiency of my tech will reach such a point that my mines will use up all the ore. At that point my mines produce 20% of what they did previously. That is not just insufficient to generate a surplus of metal, whatever tiny bit 'does' get produced will be 'instantly' consumed by the electronics facilities and that in turn by the advanced parts. There will be NO metal available for construction, none. The only way to avoid that it to manually go in to all your planets and delete 80% of all your electronics and advanced parts facilities and from then on make do with a snail's crawl.

Malebogia

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2012, 12:01:45 PM »
Say I have a planet with 100 ore. I build on that planet 4 metal mines, 3 electronics and 2 advanced parts faculties. This will work out to a nice bit of surplus of all three of metal, electronics and advanced parts. This goes on for a while, and my tech advances. At some point, the efficiency of my tech will reach such a point that my mines will use up all the ore. At that point my mines produce 20% of what they did previously. That is not just insufficient to generate a surplus of metal, whatever tiny bit 'does' get produced will be 'instantly' consumed by the electronics facilities and that in turn by the advanced parts. There will be NO metal available for construction, none. The only way to avoid that it to manually go in to all your planets and delete 80% of all your electronics and advanced parts facilities and from then on make do with a snail's crawl.

This is correct, but it is not a economic problem. It makes perfect sense that at some point the easily accessible resources of an planet have run out. It is something that has already happened on our planet for coal and Oil in many countries.

The real problem is the mess that are the planet govenors, who blissly crash your empire into metal extinction without a care in the world.
http://forums.blind-mind.com/index.php?topic=5156.0
and
http://forums.blind-mind.com/index.php?topic=4982.0(for vanilla)

already try to address this with some success. Personally i would prefer intelligent govenors(as in actually doing what they are supposed to do) over almost any change on the economic side as such. If you have a couple 100 planets than the metal death panpiper describes really is game over for you(well it is for me). I would love to have a proper economic govenor that can keep M/EP/AP ratios in check while keeping an eye on trade capacity and worker population.

And while this isn't exactly a economic thing(its a govenor thing though), i would love to have an civil act like "War preparation/Diggin in/No Quarter" that makes all my govenors install shields, bunker and planetary weapons on my planets(Obviously at the expense of their respectitive primary buildings). Would be kinda nice to have civil acts for increased fuel/ammo production etc aswell.

And it would be absolutely fantastic if civil acts wouldn't just magic resources and labor around, but actually affect the building queues of the govenors. I.e. if you activate metal mandate they would remove some metal mines and AP fabs on each planet in favor of EP fabs. That would also put a small dampener on the orbital production, making it a tradeoff between flexibility and efficency.

Edit: I really think there should be racial traits that affect what and when planet governors build. I.e. a militaristic empire should have govenors that like to build planetary weapons, and a paranoid defensive monarchy could have a faible for building bunkers and planetary shields here and there. Though i have no idea at all if its actually possible to have the govenors check for civil acts or traits in their respectitive built queues.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 12:09:51 PM by Malebogia »

crys

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2012, 12:56:12 PM »
youre edit idear would make the governors even worse then they are now. most players wouldnt use thouse governors then. the result propably would be, that the AI is the only one using thouse and doing worse because of it.
i actualy dont realy like to use the governors now, because they would scrap the shipyards, i like to have on each planet.
maybe we could hope for an ingame editable governor editor in SR2.


about the metal problem.
i run into this problem too, but i never had it in SR 1.2.0.0 or in GA 1.8.2.

so i guess that something was changed for the production values of m/e/p, in favor for e and p or the trade capacity of starports has growen.

either way we just have to adjust our way todo things - using different production queues or go the best way to mine only metal and use orbitals for e and p.

another solution might be to use a metal mandate, this could work with deminishing returns for youre industry.


you said with this problem, you cant build anything anymore - this is not true
on all worlds which produce their own metal, it will be used for construction, before going into e or p production.

Panpiper

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2012, 01:02:37 PM »
This is correct, but it is not a economic problem. It makes perfect sense that at some point the easily accessible resources of an planet have run out. It is something that has already happened on our planet for coal and Oil in many countries.

It does not seem to me like you read my post above the one you quoted. It does not make sense at all to me, nor is it in the slightest bit similar to what has happened on earth in reality, for resource refinement to suddenly go from 100% to 20% in a single instant. And it certainly is an economic problem. I think the change I suggested is VASTLY preferable over the existing system.

Quote
The real problem is the mess that are the planet governors, who blissfully crash your empire into metal extinction without a care in the world. ... Personally i would prefer intelligent governors(as in actually doing what they are supposed to do) over almost any change on the economic side as such.

Well, I micromanage everything myself. I NEVER use governors because they are completely inept. Even the attempts at rewriting them and making them more appropriate fail. The only way for them to be able to work would be for us to be able to check (when re-writing them) substantially more game conditions and change decisions appropriately. I would want to be able to check planet size, ore content, planetary conditions like geothermal, rich, etc.. I would want to be able to include If-Then-Else statements, check if a technology is available... A planet governor aught to know to replace planet cannons with missile silos and later with planetary particle guns. It aught to be able to check even things like the rate of resource accumulation in the galactic bank.

And despite micromanaging everything myself, I still hit that metal depletion wall at a certain point. Having intelligent governors could indeed help, if we could program them as I outlined. I dare say even that such an intelligent governor system might make AIs a heck of a lot tougher, without having to cheat.

youre edit idear would make the governors even worse then they are now. most players wouldnt use thouse governors then.

Sorry Crys, but I have absolutely no idea why you would think that and I absolutely disagree. Having more intelligent governors could not possibly harm the game or make using governors 'less' useful or attractive.

Azalrion

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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2012, 01:06:14 PM »
It does not seem to me like you read my post above the one you quoted. It does not make sense at all to me, nor is it in the slightest bit similar to what has happened on earth in reality, for resource refinement to suddenly go from 100% to 20% in a single instant. And it certainly is an economic problem. I think the change I suggested is VASTLY preferable over the existing system.

It doesnt go from 100% directly to 20%, read the thread about metal production in the GA: Help & Support sub forums.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 01:08:59 PM by Azalrion »
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Re: Economic Discussion
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2012, 01:09:15 PM »
with edit idear i ment the part Malebogia stated in his/her edit, about traits triggering the governors to build more planetary weapons or bunkers.
i think thouse would be used only from the AI, because im happy to play without thouse buildings=)
maybe i would like them against human players idk