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TerraNova Player-Rank: 2 TerraNova is a male
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About breeder planets... Reply to this Post Post Reply with Quote Edit/Delete Posts Report Post to a Moderator       Go to the top of this page

Using breeder planets is a bit odd to me, and feels like an exploit of the population increase system. I have some suggestions to change this, but let me start with how I think of the population increase mechanic (which I'm not suggesting we change).

The way I imagine it is that the "population" you see is really the productivity available to *you*, as overlord, towards the goals of expansion and improving tech. The food supply gets larger and larger because the amount of "support population" grows geometrically in order to eek out more productivity to your own ends. Support people would be manning the grocery stores, building the roads, producing entertainment to keep people happy, building various intermediate products and resources, etc. etc. However, those people are invisible to you.

It maybe also models immigration, with empty planets attracting settlers. The immigration would have to be from the invisible pool of people you can't see or control.

However, the "trick" aspect to breeder planets just isn't satisfying, and is kind of an exploit. Treating it purely as a game mechanic, I don't really like it. But does everything else break if we tamper with it? Hopefully not, hopefully the game would become better and deeper with a different solution.

This would be a major change to the game mechanics, but consider the following:

1. Conversion to military is one-way. Military can't be converted back into farmers and workers.

2. The 30th civilian on a planet converts into far more military personnel than the the 4th. A more populous planet has a far, far larger pool of "invisible support people" to draw on in order to train them to pilot ships. This also balances for the removal of breeder planets.


So, for example, if you convert one civilian on a 30-pop planet into military, you get, say 15 military. Then you'd have 29 civilians left; converting one more on this planet would get you less military, say 14. On a 5-pop planet, the "fifth" civilian would convert into far fewer military, like 1, or maybe none. Getting 15 military from one civilian may sound like a lot, but without breeder planets generating crazy amounts of people, you're going to need high exchange rates. It might even need to be higher; the exact number will be related to the food storage level for a given size.

So you get rid of breeder planets, but can still man large fleets. And it makes a little more sense, at least to me; large planets *should* be the ones generating larger amounts of military, and your empire will truly have the feel of a human empire expanding into space, with core planets being more developed, as opposed to the rapid breeder-fed infusion new systems can get.

You could even use this system to create a different kind of military, maybe at a different exchange rate: marines, for planetary invasions. These would be transported on troop bays exclusively. It would allow for some elaboration of the planet invasion system (eg. need more marines for bigger planets, and heck, let's have marine/planet-invasion tech upgrades). That's several other big changes, but the suggestions I made here would make it possible.

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This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by TerraNova: 20.09.2007 17:16.

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Holy-Fire Player-Rank: 1
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RE: About breeder planets... Reply to this Post Post Reply with Quote Edit/Delete Posts Report Post to a Moderator       Go to the top of this page

This looks like a good framework, and we should try to work on that. Regarding your bullets:

1. I think this is a bit harsh. It makes sense that military can be "discharged" and become citizens, and we wouldn't want to eliminate the possibility to transport citizens entirely. I propose instead that turning citizens to military will cost cash - this makes sense and is very exploit-resistant, since you can't shuffle around military and citizens all you want. It also makes cash a more vital resource which I think is good.

2. This has the same spirit as an idea I thought about proposing. Without going into too much details about the underlying framework, it just makes sense that a citizen that costs you more food will be able to turn into more military. What I propose is that every military unit has a fixed food cost, and you can just take away food (which I take to be equivalent to citizens) as much as you want and turn it into military.

This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by Holy-Fire: 20.09.2007 17:28.

20.09.2007 17:27 Holy-Fire is offline Send an Email to Holy-Fire Search for Posts by Holy-Fire Add Holy-Fire to your Buddy List
chrisadamley Player-Rank: 3
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u are aware that this game is close to completed right?......I think right now Erwin is looking for small little changes, not changing major aspects of gameplay that would unbalance all of the balancing we have already worked to "perfect".....

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20.09.2007 19:54 chrisadamley is offline Send an Email to chrisadamley Search for Posts by chrisadamley Add chrisadamley to your Buddy List
Holy-Fire Player-Rank: 1
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quote:
Originally posted by Erwin [SC]
I ... ask you not to suggest any new features just now...
If you do have any suggestions how to further improve the currently existing features of the game ... then this is the right place.

What we are discussing here is not a new feature. It is an improvement to a currently existing feature (the ability to turn citizens into military). It is a potentially major change, yes, but that doesn't mean we cannot at least discuss it.

And no, if the only effective way to grow population is to do it in planets of size 2 then the balance is far from perfect.

This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by Holy-Fire: 20.09.2007 21:02.

20.09.2007 20:59 Holy-Fire is offline Send an Email to Holy-Fire Search for Posts by Holy-Fire Add Holy-Fire to your Buddy List
TerraNova Player-Rank: 2 TerraNova is a male
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Thread Starter Thread Started by TerraNova
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OK, maybe the military can be converted back, but it would have to be at similar exchange rates.

The idea of a food cost does have its appeal; it would basically have the same effect as just converting a civilian, since you could buy military up to the point of having a civilian almost starve, and the fixed food cost makes things a little simpler. You would be limited to spending as much as your food storage in this case; that might be an undesirable limit, and there is a certain sense in being able to "draft" your civilian en masse if necessary. You could go below your food storage, but that brings in other issues with changing food storage sizes (the food storage size would have to change immediately, unlike the current averaging-over-8-turns method).

I think I would also suggest one more thing for this system: being able to transport food. People seem to like to think in terms of "science planets", "production planets", and "breeder planets". Well, instead of breeder planets, you can have "food planets". This makes a lot of sense, and lets there be a planet devoted to population increase. The food planet would deliver food to the production planets in order to man the ships produced.

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20.09.2007 21:04 TerraNova is offline Send an Email to TerraNova Search for Posts by TerraNova Add TerraNova to your Buddy List
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Actually, I meant that you can effectively convert citizens into food - that is, if your storage is near-empty, you can recruit and have one less citizen but a nearly full box.

The whole averaging-over-8-turns thing, as far as I know, is just a way to prevent exploits in the current system. With a system like we are trying to do here, such exploits would be impossible anyway so we can have the box size depend on the current population.

About food transporting, the idea might be good but UI elements would need to be added to implement it, and I'm not sure this is what we are looking for now.
20.09.2007 21:20 Holy-Fire is offline Send an Email to Holy-Fire Search for Posts by Holy-Fire Add Holy-Fire to your Buddy List
chrisadamley Player-Rank: 3
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quote:
Originally posted by Holy-Fire
It is a potentially major change, yes, but that doesn't mean we cannot at least discuss it.



its not just a major change, it would completely alter the whole game, and everyone would have to come up with a new strategy. but yes u can talk about whatever u like Roll Eyes , i'll shut up.

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20.09.2007 21:42 chrisadamley is offline Send an Email to chrisadamley Search for Posts by chrisadamley Add chrisadamley to your Buddy List
Erwin [CS] Player-Rank: 2 Erwin [CS] is a male
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I do agree that (in the long run) I would like to refine the "breeder" system. What I do not like about it is that players are forced to go the "breeder" path, otherwise their planets won't grow fast enough and they end up not being competitive.

I do like your ideas, they certainly sound interesting! The one concern I have with proposal 2) is that how do you convert military back to citizens? Would you have to select 15 military to receive one citizen again? The current system is simple, and that is something that is important too.

We had a similar discussion a (long) while back, and back then it was proposed to only generate military through training camps (and military academies). Maybe several of them could be built on one planet, and that way the player determines the rate how many military are produced per turn.

I find the "cost per conversion" idea very interesting, because that sounds simple to do, and does sound logical to some degree. One would have to be careful though with automated governors drafting military only when enough money is available.

All in all I consider the breeding problem not an absolute requirement for V1.0, but certainly worth having another go at it for post-V1.0.
20.09.2007 22:31 Erwin [CS] is offline Search for Posts by Erwin [CS] Add Erwin [CS] to your Buddy List
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What I had in mind is that you can convert military to food... So for example, if we decide that a soldier is equal to 50 food, and the current storage size is 100, then you can discharge one soldier to get 50 food, and another to get a new citizen and an empty box. My mental image is that "food" actually means "population". Discharging just one soldier increases your population, but not enough to have a visible icon.

This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by Holy-Fire: 20.09.2007 22:38.

20.09.2007 22:37 Holy-Fire is offline Send an Email to Holy-Fire Search for Posts by Holy-Fire Add Holy-Fire to your Buddy List
Erwin [CS] Player-Rank: 2 Erwin [CS] is a male
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Having thought about that for another 2 minutes, I think I would prefer a system most where military are created through military camps, but you would still have the choice (like now) to convert citizens to military, and vice versa. BUT the cost of converting citizens/military would be much higher, so that "breeding" (that is create people on one planet, and transporting them to another) would not pay off. Most likely this could be done by inflicting a cost per military/citizen conversion - a draft cost if you will.
20.09.2007 22:37 Erwin [CS] is offline Search for Posts by Erwin [CS] Add Erwin [CS] to your Buddy List
TerraNova Player-Rank: 2 TerraNova is a male
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Thread Starter Thread Started by TerraNova
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quote:
Originally posted by Erwin [SC]
I do like your ideas, they certainly sound interesting! The one concern I have with proposal 2) is that how do you convert military back to citizens? Would you have to select 15 military to receive one citizen again?

If you're trying to create the 30th person on a 29-pop planet, yes. Or even simpler, go with my first change and just don't allow it, but I can see how that might be too inflexible for some. Smile That said, I think converting them back to food works equally well, and is simpler.

Training camps and expensive drafting would also be neat, as long as you get the conversion cost right. That might have to be a function of empire size to work properly; if it's a fixed cost it might become trivial to a large enough empire.

I'm glad you're considering changing the system, if not now then later, to disallow breeder planets as they are now.

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20.09.2007 23:29 TerraNova is offline Send an Email to TerraNova Search for Posts by TerraNova Add TerraNova to your Buddy List
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ok...i guess that is a REALLY good point....u basically are forced to use breeder planets if u want any chance in being a contender for the win....

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21.09.2007 00:16 chrisadamley is offline Send an Email to chrisadamley Search for Posts by chrisadamley Add chrisadamley to your Buddy List
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Yeah, it's so powerful you can't not do it. It's the biggest difference I see, between new players who know about breeder planets, and new players who don't. It's also counter-intuitive.

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21.09.2007 20:18 TerraNova is offline Send an Email to TerraNova Search for Posts by TerraNova Add TerraNova to your Buddy List
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Well you don't have to phase out breeder planets, another alternative would be to make it so that using breeder planets or making the pop at every planet strategy turns out to be even, then you would have the choice depending on your overall strategy and style.

This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by The Phantom: 21.09.2007 20:51.

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pratap had no bread planets and did just fine. so its only depends how players plays the game
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chrisadamley Player-Rank: 3
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quote:
Originally posted by sacra
pratap had no bread planets and did just fine. so its only depends how players plays the game


U really cant make a case out of pratap......look at the last galaxy he played, the game is changed much since then. I want to see him play a galaxy now without using breeder planets and see how far he gets......

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I don't really mind the idea of breeder planets.
I mean you;re people are born.
they are young,
living in a wonderful world of parks and green, wide open spaces, childrens creshes, schools and things of that sort.
A world where people can enjoy family life, and live life to the full.

Then it comes time for them to get a job and off they go to the industrial worlds.
with no parks or green, wide open spaces or childrens creshes or schools or things like that.
No. industrial words have factories.
lost of factories.

and if they dont like it, there is always nerve stapeling or punishment spheres!

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quote:
Originally posted by chrisadamley
U really cant make a case out of pratap......look at the last galaxy he played, the game is changed much since then. I want to see him play a galaxy now without using breeder planets and see how far he gets......


hehe big time , You would get an absolute ar*e kicking if you didn't use breeder planets.

Changing how this works now would be a massive change , probably about the biggest change to mechanics you could do. Having military camps producing troops would make sense , but they would have to produce at least 1 troop per turn to make up for having no breeding planets. And i think people would just end up with breeder planets with lots of military camps on instead of what we have now.

I'm just so used to breeder planets now. I'm not against the idea , i quite like the idea of a military camp producing troops , definetly be a big change though.

This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by gingerbill: 22.09.2007 17:58.

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Until we figure out what to do with the ideas above, I have a simpler suggestion. It is trivial to implement programmatically; it should be easy enough to understand; and, while it will probably have a profound effect on the strategy, it will do so in a direction which I think is good.

The suggestion is: Change the formula for calculating storage box size to a simple linear. I suggest simply 10 * Pop, but it can be tweaked if desired. The major effect is that, while breeding on low-pop planets would still be effective, it will be much less so - so players won't be virtually forced to use it. It will actually make sense for each planet to grow its own population.

I think it will make a good compromise between (especially new) players who think the current system is bizarre, and more veteran players who will probably be able to maintain much of their current breeding tactics. It should also make the transition to one of the systems suggested here smoother.

Any thoughts?
22.09.2007 19:23 Holy-Fire is offline Send an Email to Holy-Fire Search for Posts by Holy-Fire Add Holy-Fire to your Buddy List
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I too find Breeders to be bizarre...

I would like to offer the following suggestion:

Make food collection global. and amke pop growth also global.
The actual mechanics of it I have not given enough thought to present but in principle as the global food supply increases then each planet gets a fractional person... this is of course hidden until the fractional person exceeds 1 in case you get a new citizen and you start anew on another fracional person.

This way specialized food producing planets will be realistic but not really the poeple producers we have now.

If I missed a similar suggestion before sorry... I admit to having skimmed this thread rather quickly... see I'm busy getting my arse handed to me!!! Ouch! Mostly I think for turning too many Breeders into Trainers and thefore not building enough ships... Doh!

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This post has been edited 2 time(s), it was last edited by Gedrin: 22.09.2007 21:45.

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