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 Post subject: Re: Revamped trading
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:49 pm 
AA Warrior
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I agree with instinctsage, but there could be something he's overlooking.

As it is, just changing hulls to a linear growth pattern would create all the problems he just explained. I especially emphasize that at a good bit over 300 hulls, you're paying a few trillion for the same increase in hulls as you were getting at level 100 for maybe a few million. And that would make colonizing planets near impossible.

But here's a solution. I know you guys were planning on revamping attacking too. So here's my suggestion: go ahead and do that. Now let's look at hulls from a military standpoint. As you get higher tech hulls, you pay way more for the same number, but as your hulls tech increases, your fighters and torps techs will probably be a lot higher too. That means that for the same increase in hulls, your carrying more better fighters and torps than you were before, so it really is worth more now.

So that's balanced. Now let's see if we can balance trading the same way:

High priority trading. This stuff has a FAR FAR higher profit per unit than smaller stuff and takes up a proportional amount of space (not exponentially greater in volume than trading organics, for example). So if you trade this with comparable hulls, you make way more money. That seems to really unbalance the game earlier, but that's where the high priority aspect kicks in. Ports don't trust traders with this stuff unless the trader is rich enough. In this case, ports measure how rich you are by how big your hulls are. So with higher hulls, you're paying way more for the same amount of space, but you're trading better commodities for much higher profits, so it evens out.

That solves problems of balanced attacking with linear hulls, balanced trading, but now what about colonization? You still won't be able to bring many colonists to your planet.

Well, I propose not having to. I suggest colonists immigrate to a planet in addition to reproducing, without the person in control making them. The smaller the population is relative to the max population, the faster colonists just show up on the planet. This is the perfect compliment to the logistic growth rate currently in use (which I propose keeping) that has more and more colonists reproducing the higher the population, and then with stunted growth as you approach max population past 50%.

This way, population still doesn't grow really fast later on, since with a higher population, fewer people are going to want to immigrate, and it sepparates building from trading by giving colonization a boost early on without having to trade for it.

And yes, this probably would mean the death of the colonist port. Or, you could keep colonist ports, but not trade at them. The closer the new planet is to a colonist port (and therefore the more convenient it is to the colonists wanting to come), the more the come. So builders still have to take this into account without having to worry about trading with their now much more limited hulls.

I really think this series of changes solves all your problems, lets you do what you want to do with trading, and keeps the game all around balanced.... so please read it.



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 Post subject: Re: Revamped trading
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:45 am 
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That's some major changes right there, Val.
But then switching from logarithmic scale to a linear one is major, too.

But here's the thing. The logarithmic scale being used, and the capacity problem PJ stated is something endemic to exponential growth wherever it's used. For the purposes of the game it works well to scale things so that there's no skycap. 600 tech levels is so ridiculously expensive that on normal server settings, nobody is going to max any single tech even if they concentrate fully on doing so. By running everything on that scale, it's balanced against once another. It doesn't matter that we're dealing in trillions of credits and millions of mine deflectors and billions of colonists, it's all in context.

But by running everything on exponential growth, you're always going to run into problems of huge jumps occurring at later tech levels. Tech levels under 100 are negligible. Tech levels after 400 are astronomical. It must have taken some serious fiddling with the factors to get the balance this good, but it's never going to be right under this system.

I'd support ditching the exponential growth system for something that allowed a more sensible advancement pattern. There's just so many idiosyncrasies with this system.


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 Post subject: Re: Revamped trading
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:34 am 
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InstinctSage wrote:

I'd support ditching the exponential growth system for something that allowed a more sensible advancement pattern. There's just so many idiosyncrasies with this system.


Yes, and it doesn't seem all that realistic for one ship to carry millions of fighters either. The game has undergone many changes since we started it. Its so far different than its ancestors its amazing. Ever get bored and want to see what it used to be like go give blacknova traders a try..UGH! That is one unbalanced game... takes no real effort to play, infact you really dont have to play at all. Get some credits drop it in your IGB, come back in a month or so, you have the credits to take on the universe, not much fun in that :)



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 Post subject: Re: Revamped trading
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:59 pm 
AA Warrior
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Yeah, AAT's been evolving in the short time I've been here... thought I don't particularly like all the changes :P

You say that what I've proposed means some big changes, but the revamped combat system was already planned, and not my idea. I just made up a trading thing to go along with it, and then added in a solution for colonists.



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 Post subject: Re: Revamped trading
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:08 pm 
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If you guys are seriously happy with making such a major revamp to the system, then I'm all for it. I kind of figured things were the way they were because you liked it this way. It is balanced in so many ways. There's no definitive strategy I can see that completely beats out all, and seeing the differences in experienced players' strategies is testament to that.

The main issue I have is the credit production multiplier, which means you can make ridiculous amounts of cash from building, and from what i can see that's necessary because you couldn't afford to reach the higher tech levels any other way. Even if you could, though, building essentially makes money outside of turns, and so you might as well build AND trade/attack/spy. It's a fundamental aspect of the game that all comes back to the exponential growth formula.

Ditching that system means you could radically alter the strength of building. But I don't know whether you'd want to make it no longer necessary to advance so much though. I certainly would.


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 Post subject: Re: Revamped trading
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:11 am 
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Yeah, I don't know if you want to change building. Hands down, it generates loads of cash better than anything else, but without it you kill every other style of play other than trading.



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 Post subject: Re: Revamped trading
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:54 pm 
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I agree that the building style should be altered. It needs to be much more difficult to maintain over 50 planets at a time so that it becomes more difficult for builders to run away with the game towards the end.

I think Sector Defense techs should be more expensive, personally. I wouldn't want to see credit production slowed down because builders make the credits that attackers go after. The only way for an attacker to move up is to take out a builder. This is nothing I haven't already mentioned to Tarnus so of course I already know you guys plan to make independent planets more aggressive, but that doesn't affect any builder that taps their planets regularly. Tarnus you know it's possible for a builder to never lose a single planet to independent... you didn't lose one last game. Third lost less than 10 planets the entire game with over 500 producing for her. Changing Independents isn't gonna make things any rougher for any builder unless they start going independent more frequently. Making builders tag the planets more often makes it more likely that they'll go independent. Then you make the indies more aggressive like you had planned and you force the builders to pick up the attacker play-style. Just like how holding planets for 4 days forces attackers to pick up the builder play-style.



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 Post subject: Re: Revamped trading
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:30 pm 
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That concentrates the class system into a more singular play style, though.

I like aggressive indies. I think indies should produce, too. That gives attackers and alternate income stream, particularly if you could perform a "raid" rather than capture function. I think further separation of the classes is better than simply forcing each class to adopt one another's play styles.

I'm about to post a new topic in here regarding class traits to further promote separation of classes into distinct play styles. To me, that was one of the selling points of this game that was being touted. You can play the game successfully in many different ways.


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 Post subject: Re: Revamped trading
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:39 am 
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One of the things we discussed was making the genesis device for creating planets based upon something in the game like self worth. You would no longer be able to BUY a genesis device but you would be awarded them by the Federation based upon your self worth or something else in the game.

This would stop the overrun of planets where we have players ending up with 900 planets. The only way they could get that many planets is to take them from other players and that would much harder.

The Federation would award MORE genesis devices to lower ranked players while the higher in score you get the fewer genesis devices you will be awarded. Also at the lower score there would be a limit as to how many you would be awarded. This would prevent players from trying to hover at a low rank to stock up on genesis devices for later in the game. There would be a limit as to how many you could carry as well. It's use them or lose them.

This would add more to the game where everyone would be trying to build their existing planets up to make them more powerful and less likely to be taken and more people attacking in an effort to grow their empire. This is how things REALLY should work. It shouldn't be as easy as throwing as many genesis devices as you can afford like some players have done. They try to hide their wealth in hundreds of tiny planets. They don't care of a hundred planets get taken as they have so many it doesn't really affect them.

If they have just a few planets to take care of they would probably be hurting trying to keep them from everyone. ;)



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 Post subject: Re: Revamped trading
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:47 am 
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That's a fantastic idea. Limiting the number of planets a player can make per day, and total. Though it makes for some tricky situations if you want to quickly build up an SG.


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 Post subject: Re: Revamped trading
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:42 am 
AA Warrior
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Yeah, it's not too bad, but I think people usually build in bursts. Like, when they're working on a new SG, they'd probably use loads in a day, but when they're not, they might not use any in a week. So having a max you can carry isn't bad, but I don't know about a limit they can get. Then, if they get knocked around a bit, and they've reached their limit of genesis torps, there's not much they can do for themselves. Another way to avoid the stocking up problem would be to make the lower level genesis torps useless at higher levels. That way, they could get all the want lower, but as they increase in rank, the stocking up effect dissappears because they can no longer use the torps they got at lower levels.



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