Influence Upkeep alternatives

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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LienRag
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Re: Influence Upkeep alternatives

#16 Post by LienRag »

The real question imho is whether Influence costs should be static or dynamic : i.e whether a new planet (or whatever) should modify the Influence cost of previous planets or have only its own Influence cost be raised.
I strongly believe that Static is better (and it would make much more strategic the protection of the earlier planets, with low Influence upkeep) but obviously it would make the curve less steep.
It's not necessarily a problem though, and I like the idea of solving Influence deficit by abandoning only a few planets (the most expansive ones).
It would also make conquering enemy planets even when you know that you won't be able to hold them a very valid strategic option, as they would lose their old Influence low upkeep and gain a quite high Influence upkeep when reconquered.

Mathematically, Static influence cost progression would change the calculations made by Oberlus a lot, making the unaffordable cost come later, and only preventing from creating a new colony, not endangering the already-existing Empire.

I wonder also whether Influence focus should cancel Influence cost on a planet ? It would certainly make easier (maybe too easy, I have trouble estimating it) managing Influence deficit, and if we don't implement it that way, it would mean that with exponential Influence cost, the Influence cost of a planet could get higher than its Influence production when on Influence focus, making getting out of deficit impossible (except by abandoning planets).

Note too that imho Influence should not be a constraint for Empires at early game; this would add nothing and make the game only more tedious. It should begin to be something to care for at mid-game, and be a real problem only at end-game.
The "colonize everywhere" only becomes tedious rather than fun at end-game (and is less fun at mid-game, I reckon) and the exponential progression of production and research only becomes a problem rather than a boon at late mid-game.


I think one thing that is omitted in your plans is the exponential curve of Influence production : of course if Influence production is as much exponential than Influence cost, we're back to the initial problem and Influence wouldn't bring anything to the game.
We need an exponential curve for Influence cost, I think there is consensus about that. But also a different, slower (and more dependant on the player's choices and strategic success) exponential curve for Influence production (number of planets put to Influence focus * some IP-boosting techs or buildings or policies) can help diversifying the available strategies and make for a more interesting game.


Oberlus may be right to want to centralize the discussion here, so I'll answer Vezzra here.
Vezzra wrote: Sun Nov 08, 2020 2:22 pm
LienRag wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 1:42 am Also, I get the functional need for the Influence-cost-modifying Policies you mention, but where's the fun/challenge in them if a player only has to choose a Policy that fits his Empire shape ?
The fact that there is no policy that's optimal for all kind of "empire shapes", and that switching policies comes with a cost. Meaning, you have to decide how you want to expand, and how you want to "shape" your empire, then choose which policy you want to go for that's best for your intended strategy.

Of course you can try to switch back and forth between different policies, but as I said, that will come with a cost, and frequent switching of course needs to be made not viable, so you have to stick to a certain choosen strategy. Only switching if there is a really good reason.



OK, definitely people playing a strategic game like FreeOrion are bound to consider planification fun (or at least challenging intellectually), so I accept your argument that trying to predict which Empire shape one should use and then choosing the right Policy accordingly could be interesting (as well as trying to cope with the discrepancies between what was planned and what actually occurred later).
I wonder if it's enough though ? Especially, having too clear-cut Empire shapes and corresponding Policies (I mean, when choosing a particular Policy becomes a no-brainer) would be quite uninteresting and unchallenging.


Ophiuchus wrote: Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:57 am We could have something like no happiness increase if you run out of influence, this would prevent any ROI on adding new colonies.


I like this idea much better that the one of having Influence deficit lower Stability/Happiness as it was proposed earlier; if Stability just doesn't grow anymore but doesn't go down either, it's a real problem for the Empire that is in Influence deficit, but he still can limp on for a while (with the Production and Research of planets already at a high enough Stability) and that makes going in Influence deficit for some time a valid strategy in some situations, which (as I emphasized before) enriches the game.

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Re: Influence Upkeep alternatives

#17 Post by Ophiuchus »

LienRag wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:33 am The real question imho is whether Influence costs should be static or dynamic : i.e whether a new planet (or whatever) should modify the Influence cost of previous planets or have only its own Influence cost be raised.
So there are two questions actually monotonic (static) vs non-monotic expansion (dynamic) and if this is local/stateful/historic or global.
Monotonic means adding an input will not decrease the output (a reasoning we follow with techs for example). So adding a colony would not decrease the global influence output.

Simple monotonic expansion does not need to be stateful (like now: you get a new colony and if you switch it to influence focus you get some extra influence based only on local properties).

But if you want to preserve local monotonicity like - influence output is dropping with each added colony, but not affecting the influence output of other colonies. This gets messy and difficult with our system. You would need to track/calculate the intended global output and know how this relates to the existing and the added colonies. The best way would probably be adding up all current meters, substract that from the indended output, add up the possible growth from all target meters and divide the difference from before between all candidates with non-maxxed-out target meters.
That would buy us a nice UI per planet (influence output is stable for old colonies) but at what cost - debugging such a formula will be a nightmare.

Local monotonicity gives nice UI - the newly added planet will have some negative influence value, so you see the effect (but not before colonisation though) and also the decrease each time you add a new colony.

With global non-monotonic expansion this should be decoupled from the planets. We would need a good empire UI for showing the effects.

With all of these it would be good if influence formula could predict influence when giving colonisation/invasion order. For non-monotonicity this is of course more important as you could shoot yourself in the foot.

Shifting negative production values to higher cost mostly hides the non-monotonic effect. It is still there but you cant reason about it.
LienRag wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:33 amEspecially, having too clear-cut Empire shapes and corresponding Policies (I mean, when choosing a particular Policy becomes a no-brainer) would be quite uninteresting and unchallenging.
If this is challenging is not the right question. Important questions are: is the policy a commitment? does having a policy affect on expansion in a meaningful way (there should be a feedback loop)? do you need to change policy when growing?
LienRag wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:33 am
Ophiuchus wrote: Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:57 am We could have something like no happiness increase if you run out of influence, this would prevent any ROI on adding new colonies.
I like this idea much better that the one of having Influence deficit lower Stability/Happiness as it was proposed earlier; if Stability just doesn't grow anymore but doesn't go down either, it's a real problem for the Empire that is in Influence deficit, but he still can limp on for a while (with the Production and Research of planets already at a high enough Stability) and that makes going in Influence deficit for some time a valid strategy in some situations, which (as I emphasized before) enriches the game.
Yes, also shooting in the foot would not be such an issue. There would be situation which could be called abuse though. E.g. in the 3-alliance vs 3-alliance game, the middle empires do not have any hostile neighbors. So those could go deep deficit with those, not having the intention of ever getting out of that. Very specific set up for sure. Maybe abuse, maybe interesting strategy.

Side-issue: With planet gifting in such an alliance we generally may run into a micro issue, larger empire gifting planets to the smaller ones to keep influence cost down. Micro can be stopped here with a higher gifting game cost (e.g. gifting halves the current meters, which plays with the no-happiness increase idea) and with a lower gifting UI cost (gifting without having to send a ship there). What is nice as compared to now: currently the best move is actually merging the empires into two mostly from the start, having one research/production empire with almost all the planets and one which gets gifted all the produced ships and maybe producing colony ships for the other empire in order to keep upkeep costs down - very boring. With exponential cost increase having multiple empires about the same size is an effective strategy.
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Re: Influence Upkeep alternatives

#18 Post by Krikkitone »

I think you should be able to "shoot yourself in the foot" by having an influence cost > your maximum influence production.
However
1. if you do the situation should eventually resolve itself by having planets move toward rebellion* when you are in deficit (losing planets should decrease your influence maintenance costs)
2. You should be able to abandon planets, turning them into independent worlds that stay independent/choose to join another empire. (basically choose some planets to "peacefully rebel")


*ie if you in deficit long enough you Will lose planets, even with no other empires interfering/ideal happiness policies/powerful antirebel troops, etc. those would all just delay it.

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Re: Influence Upkeep alternatives

#19 Post by LienRag »

Ophiuchus wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:20 am
LienRag wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:33 am The real question imho is whether Influence costs should be static or dynamic : i.e whether a new planet (or whatever) should modify the Influence cost of previous planets or have only its own Influence cost be raised.
So there are two questions actually monotonic (static) vs non-monotic expansion (dynamic) and if this is local/stateful/historic or global.
Monotonic means adding an input will not decrease the output (a reasoning we follow with techs for example). So adding a colony would not decrease the global influence output.

Simple monotonic expansion does not need to be stateful (like now: you get a new colony and if you switch it to influence focus you get some extra influence based only on local properties).

I don't really understand the vocabulary you use, alas.
What I meant is that we have consensus on the fact that Influence cost should grow as the Empire grows, and grow more than it does right now (we have consensus that each new planet should cost more than the preceding one, too¹).
What we do not have consensus on AFAIK is whether a new planet should modify the Influence cost of older planets or not.
Is that what you're calling local/historic ? Then indeed there is the question imho, I don't understand what your other axis (static vs dynamic) is ?

I don't understand why you keep talking about influence output rather than cost either. Is Influence production per planet also supposed to diminish ? Why ?

Ophiuchus wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:20 am
But if you want to preserve local monotonicity like - influence output is dropping with each added colony, but not affecting the influence output of other colonies. This gets messy and difficult with our system. You would need to track/calculate the intended global output and know how this relates to the existing and the added colonies. The best way would probably be adding up all current meters, substract that from the indended output, add up the possible growth from all target meters and divide the difference from before between all candidates with non-maxxed-out target meters.
That would buy us a nice UI per planet (influence output is stable for old colonies) but at what cost - debugging such a formula will be a nightmare.

I thought that was me being sleepless that prevented me from understanding what you wrote here, but even after re-reading it calmly I can't figure what you're talking about.
Would you mind explaining differently and maybe with more examples ? Thanks in advance.

Ophiuchus wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:20 am Local monotonicity gives nice UI - the newly added planet will have some negative influence value, so you see the effect (but not before colonisation though) and also the decrease each time you add a new colony.

With global non-monotonic expansion this should be decoupled from the planets. We would need a good empire UI for showing the effects.

With all of these it would be good if influence formula could predict influence when giving colonisation/invasion order. For non-monotonicity this is of course more important as you could shoot yourself in the foot.

Shifting negative production values to higher cost mostly hides the non-monotonic effect. It is still there but you cant reason about it.

Here I at least understand some of the words you use, but I still don't get where you're going with them. Sorry for my cluelessness...


Ophiuchus wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:20 am
LienRag wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:33 amEspecially, having too clear-cut Empire shapes and corresponding Policies (I mean, when choosing a particular Policy becomes a no-brainer) would be quite uninteresting and unchallenging.
If this is challenging is not the right question. Important questions are: is the policy a commitment? does having a policy affect on expansion in a meaningful way (there should be a feedback loop)? do you need to change policy when growing?

I don't know if I fundamentally disagree with you or just again don't understand what you mean.
The way you say it, it looks to me like a very good way to make a bad game...
Why does it needs to be a commitment ? What makes the game better by having all big decisions be commitments ?
I understand the part where a player needs to have a coherent strategy rather than aimlessly wander from one whim to the next, but coherence should come imho from the incitations that the game design gives to coordination of different parts of Empire management in one strategy, not from rigidifying artificially the player's choices.
Also, being ready to adapt is not opposed to having a coherent strategy, nor does it makes for a less interesting gameplay ; the commitment you want to impose on the player should not prevent this adaptability, at least not without bringing real value to the gameplay.
"You can't have everything, so choose wisely" is fun (or at least challenging, and those who do not like intellectual challenges should not play strategic games).
But "You can't have everything, so take this obvious choice and you won't be able to get what this obvious choice discards" is certainly not, and we should never design the game such as to allow similar situations.


Ophiuchus wrote: Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:57 am We could have something like no happiness increase if you run out of influence, this would prevent any ROI on adding new colonies.

There would be situation which could be called abuse though. E.g. in the 3-alliance vs 3-alliance game, the middle empires do not have any hostile neighbors. So those could go deep deficit with those, not having the intention of ever getting out of that. Very specific set up for sure. Maybe abuse, maybe interesting strategy.

Very specific indeed, also if the enemy is able to infiltrate a strong enough raiding party in the middle empire then it's game over for him (all planets conquered by the raiders, even if they get easily conquered back, will never regrow happiness²).
I tend to consider this more a strategic bet (and consequently strategic opportunities for the various players) than abuse, but maybe that's my lack of multiplayer experience talking.



Also, re-reading myself I noticed that if we allow Influence-focused planets to cancel their own Influence cost, it makes possible to keep colonizing everywhere (duh ! not rocket science, I know) just by putting all the new planets to Influence, whatever the Empire size may already be, and whatever the quality of its Influence management.
Whether the economic cost of doing so while reaping only the benefits of Deep Thought Computing, Nascent Artificial Intelligence and Adaptive Automation (and the logistic and military advantages of having more planets) makes it a sustainable enough option to be a real problem, I can't say.


¹ not counting exceptions where a new planet being closer to the Capitol would cost less than older further planets with Policies basing Influence cost on distance, or similar very special situations that do not contradict the general idea

² actually this points to the need of a "war policy" for raids of stealthy (or not, by the way) conquerors behind enemy lines. If this is just forbidden by the high Influence cost these newly conquered planets would extoll on the conquerors, it would seriously hampers the game's diversity and keeping one's backyard planets undefended would be too easy.

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Re: Influence Upkeep alternatives

#20 Post by Oberlus »

LienRag, keeping different influence upkeep per colony depending on the order on which you colonized them is a bad idea, for many reasons.
Imagine your first colony costs 1, the second one 2 (so total 3, average 1.5), the third one 3 (total 6, average 2)... What happens if you lose second colony? Does third colony cost less influence?
Or you can assign the same colony ship to every colony and keep the same total and average values, with one colony 1 IP per colony, with two colonies 1.5 per colony...

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Re: Influence Upkeep alternatives

#21 Post by Ophiuchus »

LienRag wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:52 am I don't understand why you keep talking about influence output rather than cost either. Is Influence production per planet also supposed to diminish ? Why ?
Currently we have no influence cost separated from influence production.

We have a global meter to keep track of balance.

What we have a planetary meter which all add to the global meter (like imperial stockpile).

And we have effects which increase/decrease that planetary meters. Maybe we also have direct access to the empire meter, but there is no UI for showing effects.


Global monotonicity/non-monotonicity is regarding the global meter growth per turn.

Local monotonicity/non-monotonicity is regarding the planetary meter value.

If the planetary meter is not allowed to decrease if another planet is added, also the global meter is monotonic.

The standing decision is that the global meter growth is non-monotonic: the more planets you got the more the growth decreases.

If we try to not decrease planetary meter when adding an extra colony, from a certain point on a newly added colony will have negative influence production.

Oberlus gave the reasons why trying this in the general case is not feasable/opening a box of cans of worms. Where this does work is if influence production does not depend on timeline/order of colonisation but on something sufficiently static like distance from capital.
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Re: Influence Upkeep alternatives

#22 Post by Ophiuchus »

LienRag wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:52 am
Ophiuchus wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:20 amImportant questions are: is the policy a commitment?
Why does it needs to be a commitment ?
Because it provides momentum. It might take you somewhere you did not intend to. Your enemies can build their strategy on it. This results in depth of choices and good storytelling.
LienRag wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:52 amWhat makes the game better by having all big decisions be commitments ?
If you can decide this turn one way and decide next turn the other way - it is not a big decision. Doing a strategic sacrifice is commitment. So "big decision" and "commitment" in many cases means the same.
Ophiuchus wrote: Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:57 am Very specific indeed, also if the enemy is able to infiltrate a strong enough raiding party in the middle empire then it's game over for him (all planets conquered by the raiders, even if they get easily conquered back, will never regrow happiness²).
There are easy workarounds for this in the game (no-cost gifting). That strategy basically has no drawbacks currently - so its rather obvious and boring.
Ophiuchus wrote: Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:57 am Also, re-reading myself I noticed that if we allow Influence-focused planets to cancel their own Influence cost,...
Whether the economic cost of doing so while reaping only the benefits of Deep Thought Computing, Nascent Artificial Intelligence and Adaptive Automation (and the logistic and military advantages of having more planets) makes it a sustainable enough option to be a real problem, I can't say.
That scenario is monotonic on the global level (which i like).
I also am not sure if this is a problem. At one time exponential explosion kicks in. With high benefits earlier, with lower benefits later. But no matter what, the resource ratio between two empires on the same exponential curve is constant (so both have the same doubling time: if one empire has 10% more resources than the other empire in the beginning, it will have 10% more resources in the end).

With low benefits i think this becomes more statistic (as it does not matter much if you colonize a few turns earlier or later).
Maybe the explosion problem we saw is mostly related to changing the exponential curves by better tech. And the steamroller advantage.
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Re: Influence Upkeep alternatives

#23 Post by LienRag »

Ophiuchus wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 2:37 pm
LienRag wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:52 am
Ophiuchus wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:20 amImportant questions are: is the policy a commitment?
Why does it needs to be a commitment ?
Because it provides momentum. It might take you somewhere you did not intend to. Your enemies can build their strategy on it. This results in depth of choices and good storytelling.
Well, you spin it in a convincing way, I'll give you that... The part where it allows other players to build their strategy on it is especially interesting, I confess I hadn't seen things from that angle.
Not sure if I'm entirely sold though.
Mostly, it seems to me that your arguments are valid when this commitment has been well designed, while you clearly envision this commitment to be beneficial by itself.


Ophiuchus wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 2:37 pm
LienRag wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:52 amWhat makes the game better by having all big decisions be commitments ?
If you can decide this turn one way and decide next turn the other way - it is not a big decision. Doing a strategic sacrifice is commitment. So "big decision" and "commitment" in many cases means the same.

Well, yes and no.
Playing haphazardly is indeed not fun on the long run, and yes the temptation exists to play "à la pousse-pion" as the French wargaming lingo says it (moving one's armies turn after turn without a real plan) which produces very dull games.
But playing one move on the left and then one move on the right can definitely be a valid strategy (taken literrally, that's the basis of a pincer move for example).
The big decision would be the general plan, and it's not obvious that the commitment that it implies in terms of strategy can be translated to a commitment to (necessarily rigid) game rules without losing much in the process.
I mean, the problem is that if you designed the game so that moving on the left is supposed to be a commitment, then you deprived the player of creative options...
So the big decisions should be left to the players, and the rules should mainly ensure that the game offers the possibility of big decisions; and the less commitments the rules force the player to take, the better imho.

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Re: Influence Upkeep alternatives

#24 Post by LienRag »

Oberlus wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:22 am LienRag, keeping different influence upkeep per colony depending on the order on which you colonized them is a bad idea, for many reasons.
Imagine your first colony costs 1, the second one 2 (so total 3, average 1.5), the third one 3 (total 6, average 2)... What happens if you lose second colony? Does third colony cost less influence?
I don't see any problem here.
If influence cost is historic, then in your example if you lose second colony, the third colony's influence doesn't change, but when you settle a fourth colony, since it's actually a "new third" colony it has an influence cost of 3.
And if after that you retake the second colony, it's now a "fourth colony", so it gets an influence cost of 4.
Simple and easy I think ?

The question I didn't anticipate is what happens when changing Policies bring new Influence calculation methods for the Empire.
Obviously it should affect all Colonies, not only the new one (though, having some Policies affect only the Influence cost of new ones should be interesting too).
So I'm a bit at a loss about how to save this historicity of Influence cost which I do think is interesting to have.
Maybe have it only be the default formula and have some Policies remove it entirely while other would keep this historicity ?
Or have Influence Cost be the sum of a historical cost and a Policy-defined one ? I mean, we could have a constant for the planet (h for hisoricity) that the Influence cost formula could factor in, with different values for the factorization depending on the Policy, eventually multiplying it by zero for some of them ?

Anyway what we also could have is a "soft power mechanism" for Influence : each turn where Happiness on the Planet would be higher than, let's say, 10, its Influence production would grow by 0,01 (maybe make it 0,05 under some Policies, and/or add a 0,01 per turn when happiness is over 15, another 0,01 per turn when some Social tech - "Self-government" for example - is researched, another 0,005 each turns the Empire aligns its values with those of the inhabiting Specie). This Influence production would be acquired once and for all (I mean, it could grow again under the right conditions, but not be lost - people remember good times) and maybe would be reset by Conquest.
It's even a way to differ Conquest effects along Species-Empire relations and/or Influence projects use : the more the new masters are despised, the more this historical Influence production gets wiped out, but for quite similar new masters, some of it could remain.
I think we should keep that even if you end rejecting my historical Influence cost above.

Oberlus wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:22 am Or you can assign the same colony ship to every colony and keep the same total and average values, with one colony 1 IP per colony, with two colonies 1.5 per colony...

I don't understand this part, are you talking about what happens when many colonies are settled in the same turn ?
That is easy to solve, either by giving them all the average cost, or if we're mean by giving them all the maximum cost...

If that's not what you're talking about, what do you mean then ? I don't get it.


Ophiuchus wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:48 pm
LienRag wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:52 am I don't understand why you keep talking about influence output rather than cost either. Is Influence production per planet also supposed to diminish ? Why ?
Currently we have no influence cost separated from influence production.

We have a global meter to keep track of balance.

What we have a planetary meter which all add to the global meter (like imperial stockpile).

And we have effects which increase/decrease that planetary meters. Maybe we also have direct access to the empire meter, but there is no UI for showing effects.


Global monotonicity/non-monotonicity is regarding the global meter growth per turn.

Local monotonicity/non-monotonicity is regarding the planetary meter value.

If the planetary meter is not allowed to decrease if another planet is added, also the global meter is monotonic.

The standing decision is that the global meter growth is non-monotonic: the more planets you got the more the growth decreases.

If we try to not decrease planetary meter when adding an extra colony, from a certain point on a newly added colony will have negative influence production.

Oberlus gave the reasons why trying this in the general case is not feasable/opening a box of cans of worms. Where this does work is if influence production does not depend on timeline/order of colonisation but on something sufficiently static like distance from capital.

I don't want to be a pain in the neck, but I still have trouble understanding your vocabulary and consequently your explanation (I think that I start to understand your point and then the next phrase sends me back to confusion, and I don't know if that's because you're wrong on some point or because I actually didn't understand what you wrote).
It would really help if you had the time and patience to give detailed examples.

At the UI level at least we get two clearly different values for the Influence cost at each planet and the Influence production that appears there (which is usually none if the planet is not set on Influence focus, save for the Imperial Palace).



Another thing that I thought of yesterday while playtesting, is maybe different Policies may also have different formulas for establishing their total cost from the number of colonies, i.e. the cost formula for the Policy could take for some of them Empire shape into account, for others Happiness of each planet, whatever.

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Re: Influence Upkeep alternatives

#25 Post by Oberlus »

LienRag wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 2:41 am I don't see any problem here.
If influence cost is historic [...]
Nonsense. Much more complicated than what others are saying.
It won't happen.

LienRag wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 2:41 am
Oberlus wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:22 am Or you can assign the same colony ship to every colony and keep the same total and average values, with one colony 1 IP per colony, with two colonies 1.5 per colony...
I don't understand this part, are you talking about what happens when many colonies are settled in the same turn ?
No, I kept talking about what you were talking: all colonies have same influence cost depending on number of colonies or each colony has it's own colony upkeep. Let me walk you through this:

It's turn 50, an empire a la LienRag has 3 colonies, each one has it's own influence cost:
1st col -1 IP
2nd col -2 IP
3rd col -3 IP
Total empire influence upkeep: -6.
Average colony upkeep: -2
If second colony is lost:
1st col -1 IP
3rd col -3 IP
Total empire influence upkeep: -4.
Average colony upkeep: -2
If thrids colony is lost:
1st col -1 IP
3rd col -2 IP
Total empire influence upkeep: -3.
Average colony upkeep: -1.5


OR

It's turn 50, all colonies have same upkeep:
1st, 2nd and 3rd col -2 IP each
Total empire influence upkeep: -6.
Average colony upkeep: -2
If any one colony is lost:
Two col -1.5 IP each
Total empire influence upkeep: -3.
Average colony upkeep: -1.5


That the order matters is bad, complicates calculations and estimations, forces to track more data (order of colonization or invasion), possibly prone to micromanagement, much harder to explain... Plus it makes no sense. If influence grows with size, reducing size should reduce influence in the same percentage regardless of the order in which you take planets out of the empire.

But as I told you there is a solution: dismiss that idea and do not consider order of colonization, just assign the same influence cost to each colony when based on number of current colonies.
That is easy to solve, either by giving them all the average cost
Exactly! That's what I was saying in the post you quoted and also here. Ha! And I was thinking you couldn't understand it in plain English, such a fool I am. I'm glad I was wrong. Kudos to your intellectual prowess.

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Re: Influence Upkeep alternatives

#26 Post by Ophiuchus »

LienRag wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 2:37 am the less commitments the rules force the player to take, the better imho.
As explained "commitment" for me is mostly "big decision".

"the less big decisions the rules force the player to take, the better imho" does not make sense to me.
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Ophiuchus
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Re: Influence Upkeep alternatives

#27 Post by Ophiuchus »

Oberlus wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:33 am
LienRag wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 2:41 am I don't see any problem here.
If influence cost is historic [...]
Nonsense. Much more complicated than what others are saying.
It won't happen.
Agree with this. No clear benefit if the result is the same (see Oberlus detailed example) in exchange for more complicated/costly computations and corner cases/complexity.

What one needs to know is how building/acquiring a new colony/-ship affects your influence budget.
One way to get a good UI could be to have that influence cost already based on what colony ships/buildings you have in your build queue (you already have a preview of the final effect). OTOH that only works for e.g. count based influence cost. Distance-based ones (especially if short distance to own planet is bad) would be rather weird/punishing. OTOH lets say for higher distance means worse influence, your colony ship produces has a higher and higher influence cost for every turn it jumps. As a workaround, we could take only a tenth of the final influence cost. You get a preview and it is not affecting game too much.

Locality makes sense if the policies have a very KISS mechanism like we have now (-1 per planet). As soon as we figure in effects based on the whole empire (e.g. count of other colonies), locality stops making sense.
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Krikkitone
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Re: Influence Upkeep alternatives

#28 Post by Krikkitone »

For when the influence cost applies

For planets, I don’t think colony ships should have an influence cost. Instead, when considering founding/invading/abandoning a colony you get some info on how much it will raise/lower your influence costs.

For fleets, Have it apply when they are built.
Information should be available on how much the cost will increase/decrease for building/scrapping when you look at the ship under construction/in the field.

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Vezzra
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Re: Influence Upkeep alternatives

#29 Post by Vezzra »

Oberlus wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:33 amThat the order matters is bad, complicates calculations and estimations, forces to track more data (order of colonization or invasion), possibly prone to micromanagement, much harder to explain... Plus it makes no sense. If influence grows with size, reducing size should reduce influence in the same percentage regardless of the order in which you take planets out of the empire.
I have to back Oberlus here. That's a lot of issues for no real benefit IMO, so I strongly recommend going with a model where the order in which colonies are acquired (and lost, and re-acquired) does not matter.

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