skdiw wrote:My whole point is no designing freight trade ships. Freebie tech effects is already pushing it as you add a little here and here, the variables propagates into a enormous formula then multiplies over by different lvls, and all of sudden we get Moo3.
I agree with you whole-heartedly about not designing freighters.
However, formulae don't necessarily have
to be enormous - Utilae's proposal is basically (Base Score + Bonuses - Penalties) * Ships, and that is by no means hard to follow. Besides, as long as the game trends
that the formula causes are well understood (ie the player *knows* that if they deploy more ships and better tech, their blockades will be more effective) the actual details of the resolution aren't that important (to the player). People don't need to solve discrete difference equations to understand that building new colonies will increase their Empire's growth rate, even though calculating the precise growth rate of their empire over time would require doing exactly that.
(Aside: is there an Official Policy on game formulae? I know we're supposed to be able to explain the game rules to a kid, but does that mean explaining the causal relationships in the game (better tech means higher growth rate!) or having the kid be able to do all the math behind the scenes? If the latter, we're restricted pretty much to arithmetic for game formulae, which significantly reduces the descriptive power of the modelling; I'd certainly think that use of logarithms, exponents, and so on would be called for as well.)
Even a little laser cannon cost a lot. Weapons cost much much more than commerical goods or services. Adding a little technology to freights increases the cost of trade and therefore decrease the amount of profit.
All true, and an excellent argument. Of course, there are always those specialists who are experts in getting around people who want to stop trade... they're called smugglers, or sometimes blockade runners
(I wonder where they got the name?
) and it would
be economical for them to invest in good engines and stealth. Han Solo anyone?
Of course it can easily be argued that this type of ship is far too rare to make blockade running effective for feeding a starving world or importing/exporting bulk goods (ie PP). So these "arguments from realism" don't really force the decision one way or another.
That gain in security in cases of blockade is in no way anywhere close to being worth the trouble. otherwise, blockade is meaningless and the whole military aspect of 4X is obsolete. Players can just focus on growth and ground defense and won't bother with any expensive ships. It will seems too much like SimCity as the economy side is overpowered--assuming trade is integral part of the game.
Well what you're really arguing here is that any complexity we introduce will automatically be poorly balanced. I don't think that's a justifiable statement. In any case, I think it's less
well balanced for a military player to plonk one barely-armed ship in every enemy system, staying a long way away from the ground-based defences, and say "Look! I'm blockading you! Ha ha ha!" which could arise if we don't pay some attention to the blockade mechanics.
You'll note that I have an entire thread devoted to thinking up ways to discourage turtling
, so I'm certainly not interested in making the game stagnate or discouraging players from starting wars. Feel free to contribute any other ideas you have there as well.
In any case a militarily strong player will be able to easily *conquer* systems, not just blockade them. Mainly, I just want numbers and tech level to contribute to your security/strength in economic matters, just like they do in a fight
. I don't see why your tech level should affect only the military side of the game or your legal build orders.
(Aside 2: Anyway, my personal bias is that the economy side of a game cannot ever be overpowered, because major wars are pretty much fought between economies, not nations. But that's another argument entirely and irrelevant here.
IMO, the main advantage of a very simple binary blockade mechanic is that it would be consistent with the supply line rules. Consistency is a wonderful thing that should be encouraged in every conceivable way, as it allows a player who has learned one element of the game system to extend that knowledge into other elements of the game system.