Infrastructure based bonuses

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Oberlus
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Infrastructure based bonuses

#1 Post by Oberlus » Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:40 pm

MatGB prepared a PR #1787 intended to balance several learning techs and some production techs.

This thread is to discuss his idea of basing some output bonuses on the planetary infrastructure (it was suggested by Vezzra to open a thread on that for discussion, but I think it was never done).
MatGB used infrastructure on the (currently unique) flat bonus techs: Nascent AI and Adaptive Automation.


Nascent AI:

Currently:

Code: Select all

effects = SetTargetResearch value = Value + 10 * [[RESEARCH_PER_POP]]
Proposed:

Code: Select all

effects = SetTargetResearch value = Value + Target.Construction / 10

Adaptive Automation:

Currently:

Code: Select all

effects = SetTargetIndustry value = Value + 5
Proposed:

Code: Select all

effects = SetTargetIndustry value = Value + Target.Construction / 4
MatGB wrote:I tried the Nasent AI infrastructure change as an experiment and liked it so much I did the same to Adaptive Automation, on balance it's a much more effective change than I was expecting and reduces the incentive to micromanage colony focus settings in the turns after conquest/colonisation.

I've been playing with this for a few weeks now and while the AI hasn't been adjusted I much prefer the tempo it gives the game
Vezzra wrote:I strongly object to the changes to Nascent AI and Adaptive Automation. I realize you have a penchant for basing some of the resource boni on infrastructure instead of population, but AFAIK the (long standing) design decision to base (non-flat) resource boni solely on pop hasn't been revised, so we need to stick to that.

Deviating from that will introduce a quite fundamental change to the intended purpose of population, infrastructure and the basic resource types and how the depend on each other, with far reaching consequences to game dynamics and future game design.

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Re: Infrastructure based bonuses

#2 Post by Oberlus » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:41 am

Vezzra wrote:design decision to base (non-flat) resource boni solely on pop hasn't been revised, so we need to stick to that
The changes on AA and NAI proposed by MatGB were basing a flat bonus on infrastructure (instead of "on nothing"). There was no non-flat bonus based on anything apart from population. So I understand the proposed changes were not violating the design decision of basing non-flat bonuses solely on population.
What I am missing here?

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Re: Infrastructure based bonuses

#3 Post by Ophiuchus » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:02 am

Oberlus wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:41 am
Vezzra wrote:design decision to base (non-flat) resource boni solely on pop hasn't been revised, so we need to stick to that
The changes on AA and NAI proposed by MatGB were basing a flat bonus on infrastructure (instead of "on nothing"). There was no non-flat bonus based on anything apart from population. So I understand the proposed changes were not violating the design decision of basing non-flat bonuses solely on population.
What I am missing here?
The moment you base the bonus on infrastucture (i.e. multiplying with a value) it is not flat anymore.
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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Re: Infrastructure based bonuses

#4 Post by Ophiuchus » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:04 am

Anybody knows where that design decision is documented?
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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Re: Infrastructure based bonuses

#5 Post by Oberlus » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:10 am

Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:02 am
The moment you base the bonus on infrastucture (i.e. multiplying with a value) it is not flat anymore.
Doh! Now I get it.

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Re: Infrastructure based bonuses

#6 Post by Oberlus » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:38 am

Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:04 am
Anybody knows where that design decision is documented?
I can't find it. I've browsed several pages with design principles (.3 and .4 in the FOwiki, several thread here in the forum and in the Archived section). Can't find it.

However, I think it is not relevant to find where that was written down. We can discuss it here.

Is there any reason to not base a bonus on infrastructure?

I can't think of any.

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Re: Infrastructure based bonuses

#7 Post by Vezzra » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:27 pm

The discussion I (faintly) remember has happened long ago. A contributor (Bigjoe5) had implemented a quite complicated scheme where resource/output boni certain techs granted had been based on population and/or infrastructure, depending on what other techs you had researched. The idea had been to offer the player two viable, distinct approaches when developing their empire: either go the increase pop route and base the economy of your empire on high population, or go the "construction route", where you research techs that improve planetary infrastructure, get resource output boni based on infrastructure, basically basing your economy on highly developed infrastructure.

The approach had been rejected for two reasons: first and more obviously, it was too complicated and not KISS. The second one was what is important for our discussion here: It made the game concepts/elements "population" and "infrastructure" too similar, too exchangeable, too less distinct. In FO, we aim for clearly distinct game elements/concepts, because that makes the game mechanics more KISS.

For that reason, there is one, and one element only, that acts as base for resource output: population. Infrastructure is a different, separate concept/element, and therefore should serve clearly different, separate purposes. Using it as a base for resource output boni would go against that principle.

As a sidenote: This is also the reason we changed how shields work long ago. Originally, shields didn't provide a constant damage reduction factor, they simply provided additional structure points like armor parts do.

The only difference to armor had been the way how those additional structure could regenerate: lost structure that has been provided by armor can only be regained by repairing the ship (at an Orbital Drydock), or by the self repairing capabilities provided by the damage control techs - basically the same way base hull structure can be regained (which is how armor still works, no changes here). Additional structure provided by shields however regenerated automatically at a certain rate between battles (usually that regeneration rate was much higher than the self repair rate of the damage control techs). Ships could have several shield generators back then, as their strength would stack like armor does.

That of course had been a much more subtle difference to armor than what we have now. That difference was perceived as not sufficient, so the shield mechanic had been subjected to a major revision: instead of providing additional structure, shields now have a constant damage reduction effect. Which is much more different to armor than the previous mechanic.

We did that because we explicitely want that kind of distinction/difference when it comes to the game elements/concepts/mechanics of FO. And for that reason we have refrained from allowing infrastructure to be used as base of resource output boni, because it would make population and infrastructure too similar.

Of course we can reopen a discussion about that, but there need to be some very good reasons why we should revise that decision and if there is really no other way to make use of infrastructure. IMO there have been enough interesting ideas in the past, we just never got around to actually go ahead with one of them (because there was always something else that had been more important). So I still lean strongly towards keeping that distinction between population and infrastructure.

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Re: Infrastructure based bonuses

#8 Post by Oberlus » Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:16 pm

Vezzra wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:27 pm
clearly distinct game elements/concepts, because that makes the game mechanics more KISS
Fair enough. Now I'm on your side.

I think it will be better for wide strategies based on flat bonuses to have more techs (or give refinements to current techs) so that wide strategy is competitive late game (allowing also to reduce the initial flat bonuses so that they are not the current no-brainer on early-mid game).

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