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Posted by: Jorgen_CAB
« on: January 20, 2018, 06:07:09 AM »

This may be slightly off-topic (although it's still semi-related), but I've been doing some thinking on this topic lately and... Is there really even that much of a historical justification for a tall empire being capable of truly succeeding as a long-term thing? Why are people so obsessed with this idea across strategy games in general? It seems like a "tall" empire wouldn't even be an empire at all. I think of "Tall" as being more of a transitional state between fully exploiting Sol and conquering the galaxy more than I do as something I'd want to continue indefinitely.

Even if you fix science so that research rates are independent of empire size, the bigger empire should still be at an advantage even with the implementation of tech spread.
Aside from some geopolitical factors (e.g a coalition attacking the large empire on several fronts) and geographical factors (e.g tall empire has nothing but bottleneck systems bordering you), I don't see a scenario in which the sprawl empire doesn't roll over the tall one every single time or at least win the long game. People seem to have this fantasy where that's not the case, or that it shouldn't be "in the name of realism".

This is not how things actually work in reality, if it did then Earth would be governed by one super power by now. No... nothing is really binary and games such as Aurora do not model most of the things that impact any nations ability to influence another. Those you have to do with RP in this game.

The condition you ascribe to any power only exist in games. In real life no one would aspire to be either tall or wide, that would be a state one would be in for some reason or another in comparison with something else.

You sometimes need abstract mechanics to sort of simulate the more dynamic and complex part of life that is difficult to represent in details in a game. Things like politics, philosophies, social factors and the like. There always is a balance between what is fun and what is realistic. In most cases this is due to games allowing the player to simply control too many things and allowing the player to be too many functions at the same time that would otherwise not be able to cooperate as efficiently in reality, thus producing rather binary results that are not even remotely realistic.

Aurora is no exemption from this but the difference between Aurora and most other games is that it is a framework for RP which is why it allow you that freedom to decide when you want to restrict certain part of the game or introduce real life politics, unrest or even revolutions into your games.

This does not mean we can improve om some of the basic ideas such as a changing research or economy to make them less binary by nature but still retain allot of freedom.
Posted by: Person012345
« on: January 20, 2018, 01:42:08 AM »

This may be slightly off-topic (although it's still semi-related), but I've been doing some thinking on this topic lately and... Is there really even that much of a historical justification for a tall empire being capable of truly succeeding as a long-term thing? Why are people so obsessed with this idea across strategy games in general? It seems like a "tall" empire wouldn't even be an empire at all. I think of "Tall" as being more of a transitional state between fully exploiting Sol and conquering the galaxy more than I do as something I'd want to continue indefinitely.

Even if you fix science so that research rates are independent of empire size, the bigger empire should still be at an advantage even with the implementation of tech spread.
Aside from some geopolitical factors (e.g a coalition attacking the large empire on several fronts) and geographical factors (e.g tall empire has nothing but bottleneck systems bordering you), I don't see a scenario in which the sprawl empire doesn't roll over the tall one every single time or at least win the long game. People seem to have this fantasy where that's not the case, or that it shouldn't be "in the name of realism".

Large doesn't necessarily equal powerful, at least not in a linear way. In real life there are lots of bureaucratic inefficiencies in trying to administrate a large sprawling empire, let alone unrest problems. Japan slapped China around pretty good at times in history and there are plenty of other historical instances of smaller more developed nations punching above their weight. All other things being equal then yes, obviously a large empire will be able to take down a small nation, but all other things are rarely equal.

I don't necessarily want technology to "spread" and I don't really think there's much of a problem with Aurora in this regard, but history does not show that the bigger nation always wins and I think games should make an effort to simulate this. It also provides good gameplay with numerous playstyles and decisions and doesn't screw someone over just because they didn't get lots of nice planets so it's good as game design.
Posted by: ChildServices
« on: January 20, 2018, 12:47:12 AM »

This may be slightly off-topic (although it's still semi-related), but I've been doing some thinking on this topic lately and... Is there really even that much of a historical justification for a tall empire being capable of truly succeeding as a long-term thing? Why are people so obsessed with this idea across strategy games in general? It seems like a "tall" empire wouldn't even be an empire at all. I think of "Tall" as being more of a transitional state between fully exploiting Sol and conquering the galaxy more than I do as something I'd want to continue indefinitely.

Even if you fix science so that research rates are independent of empire size, the bigger empire should still be at an advantage even with the implementation of tech spread.
Aside from some geopolitical factors (e.g a coalition attacking the large empire on several fronts) and geographical factors (e.g tall empire has nothing but bottleneck systems bordering you), I don't see a scenario in which the sprawl empire doesn't roll over the tall one every single time or at least win the long game. People seem to have this fantasy where that's not the case, or that it shouldn't be "in the name of realism".
Posted by: QuakeIV
« on: January 19, 2018, 02:22:57 PM »

I don't mind the leap size personally.  With engines, you are moving between fundamentally different technologies, so it makes sense that the improvements wouldn't appear iterative.  With the other techs the jumps are more reasonable afaik.
Posted by: Jorgen_CAB
« on: January 19, 2018, 02:16:25 PM »

It would be quite interesting to have diminishing returns for throwing resources at a particular research line... but to some extent that is already taken care of by exponentially increasing research cost, in a mechanically simple and elegant way.

It does not work well for reducing the gap much between small and low industry empires though because you still need the same amount of research and labs increase in effect linear not according to a logarithmic scale.

With direct diminishing return you can stave of the worst kind of pure specialization and speed ahead of the opposition with raw industrial power. The current system have a huge snowball effect which is not quite a realistic model.

I thin kit would be more interesting if you had diminishing returns and the administration level could sort of change the curve a bit instead of limiting the amount of labs on each scientist. This way you both encourage spreading the science and focusing it on those with the best administrative skill. Simply allow specialization to double the science output and leave it at that, no extra fuss needed for that.

I also like the scientists on ships exploring being able to provide research bonuses somehow.

And of course, no instant upgrade of stuff, that is only perpetuating the snowball effect. The more complex and bigger a society is the more costly it will become to spread innovation to all corners of said society.

I also would no mind less huge leap in research in general, quite often one level feels very superior to the level before.
Posted by: JacenHan
« on: January 19, 2018, 01:40:49 PM »

There's also a bug in the game where you can queue unavailable projects (in the "All Research" section) with the "Queue Top" button, which is probably supposed to gray out. You could potentially use this to cheat by, for example, researching 25cm lasers when you haven't researched 20cm, but I don't have any personal qualms with using it to queue long, low-RP lines of research in the intended order.
Posted by: Iranon
« on: January 19, 2018, 01:31:34 PM »

Yes, when practical. Thanks for the tip; I just have a rather low tolerance for busywork in games.
Posted by: JacenHan
« on: January 19, 2018, 01:00:34 PM »

Currently, a minor annoyance is that keeping up with unimportant tech lines is annoying... researching 20 1000-RP tech isn't much of an investment by the midgame but still interrupts your game 20 times and requires a few clicks each time.
Do you queue projects? That usually cuts down on the clicking, though it will still interrupt auto turns.
Posted by: Iranon
« on: January 19, 2018, 12:26:28 PM »

It would be quite interesting to have diminishing returns for throwing resources at a particular research line... but to some extent that is already taken care of by exponentially increasing research cost, in a mechanically simple and elegant way.

Currently, a minor annoyance is that keeping up with unimportant tech lines is annoying... researching 20 1000-RP tech isnĀ“t much of an investment by the midgame but still interrupts your game 20 times and requires a few clicks each time.
Posted by: TheDeadlyShoe
« on: January 18, 2018, 10:26:44 PM »

i always heavily limit my infrastructure and usage of labs, i think the game plays better without exploding research.

particularly, the direct link between economic strength and research strength is IMO problematic, creating a never ending virtuous circle that balloons power.  In terms of Aurora-as-Game, you also end up with weird incentives like turtling on Conventional Earth until you are very high tech.  Anomalies were a great step away from this, but they arn't enough to really show a benefit to doing actual expansion. 

My ideal looks something like having global research, and anomalies provide % bonuses to categories; scientists study anomalies via some mechanism to provide the bonuses, and act as subordinate staff on science vessels. Thus aggressive exploration results in better research than turtling, potentially with farflung outposts that are tough to effectively defend.



Posted by: Jorgen_CAB
« on: January 16, 2018, 08:15:09 PM »

I'm not sure I see why it would take longer to upgrade mines or factories in a large but compact empire rather than a small sprawling empire? But you did inspire me to think about an alternative, that each such change has a fixed implementation time (lets say 3 months) irrespective of empire size, before the gain happens. And during that implementation time wealth is consumed based on total number of facilities being upgraded?

So the time to implement for a large empire is the same as for a small empire, but it costs a lot more wealth.
 

Did I say it would take longer in a more compact empire than a more spread out one. I said it would be based on some algorithm based on whatever parameter that would impact the rate it would take to upgrade.  ;)

Adding an additional Wealth cost seem pretty appropriate as well as a slightly diminished capacity during the upgrade in the beginning.
Posted by: TCD
« on: January 16, 2018, 04:43:18 PM »

Steve have commented on this before and he would not want to have something complicated or something that cause micromanagement.

Something simple would be a tech level on each category for the empire and when you increase to a new level the time for implementation would scale with some algorithm based on number of colonies and population that carry installation of that technology, or some such mechanic. Then that would decide the time it take to implement the new technology. Under this time you first start with a penalty of -15% and then end up with the +20% you get for the new tech (if that is the increase) slowly over time.

This would produce a more costly implementation for larger empires and less costly for smaller empires. It would be automatic and easy to implement since the end result is an empire wide modifier to all colonies.

You could make the modifiers time stamp individual for each colony based on an algorithm which would only add one extra parameter per colony.
I'm not sure I see why it would take longer to upgrade mines or factories in a large but compact empire rather than a small sprawling empire? But you did inspire me to think about an alternative, that each such change has a fixed implementation time (lets say 3 months) irrespective of empire size, before the gain happens. And during that implementation time wealth is consumed based on total number of facilities being upgraded?

So the time to implement for a large empire is the same as for a small empire, but it costs a lot more wealth.
 
Posted by: Jorgen_CAB
« on: January 16, 2018, 01:47:57 PM »

While I would applaud the realism of having a time/cost to roll out new tech, there is a danger of horrible micro-management. I imagine we all remember the tedium in other 4x games of researching "Mining 3" and then having to click on every planet in the empire to upgrade their level 2 mines to level 3 mines. No thank you.

So any suggestions here would need to be automatic for me. I can't think of an easy to way to do that without adding a whole load of extra calculations and mechanics for Steve to have to implement.

As a simple example, if you have a time lag for implementation of a new tech is that centered on your capital, or where the tech is researched? Is implementation solely based on distance? If so is it modified by engine speed? Are new facilities automatically going to be built with the new tech or the local tech?

Steve have commented on this before and he would not want to have something complicated or something that cause micromanagement.

Something simple would be a tech level on each category for the empire and when you increase to a new level the time for implementation would scale with some algorithm based on number of colonies and population that carry installation of that technology, or some such mechanic. Then that would decide the time it take to implement the new technology. Under this time you first start with a penalty of -15% and then end up with the +20% you get for the new tech (if that is the increase) slowly over time.

This would produce a more costly implementation for larger empires and less costly for smaller empires. It would be automatic and easy to implement since the end result is an empire wide modifier to all colonies.

You could make the modifiers time stamp individual for each colony based on an algorithm which would only add one extra parameter per colony.
Posted by: TCD
« on: January 16, 2018, 09:56:12 AM »

While I would applaud the realism of having a time/cost to roll out new tech, there is a danger of horrible micro-management. I imagine we all remember the tedium in other 4x games of researching "Mining 3" and then having to click on every planet in the empire to upgrade their level 2 mines to level 3 mines. No thank you.

So any suggestions here would need to be automatic for me. I can't think of an easy to way to do that without adding a whole load of extra calculations and mechanics for Steve to have to implement.

As a simple example, if you have a time lag for implementation of a new tech is that centered on your capital, or where the tech is researched? Is implementation solely based on distance? If so is it modified by engine speed? Are new facilities automatically going to be built with the new tech or the local tech?
Posted by: Zincat
« on: January 15, 2018, 01:30:11 PM »

I think he means more in the sense of stuff that literally is just an arbitrary game balance decision, like the flat research penalty in Stellaris.

To be honest, in stellaris it is mostly justified. The rationalization is that the cost of research also include the cost of adoption throughout the empire. Keep in mind that a lot of the Tech in stellaris (most of them in fact) give immediate bonuses, or cost very little to implement.

A lot of techs give flat bonuses or unlock new possibilities instantly. Once you research better weapons, the cost to retrofit old ships is negligible. And the like. In this scenario, making tech cost more for larger empires is justified, because you're also paying the cost to spread the usage of the technology throughout the nation.

Aurora is a mixed bag. Components and weapons are hard to improve, because retrofitting is harsh in Aurora, and as such you'll most likely have to build new ships. Not a cheap option.
General tech instead is immediately available when researched, like factory production and so on. So, frankly speaking Aurora is not simulating very well this particular scenario.


And yes, the cost of adoption is actually SIGNIFICANT. It took decades or centuries for a lot of technological discoveries to be applied in the real world.
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