Boosting Efficiency

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red
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Boosting Efficiency

#1 Post by red » Jun 04 2007

Quickly boosting the efficiency of one's army by using incredible funding is a balance problem. It should not be possible to make an uberarmy for a six month campaign, then return to a piss-poor mass of conscripts in order to save money. Effects should be much less dramatic and should take effect over longer periods of time. I suggest increases in funding not appearing at all for three months, with six months to take full effect, and for decreases in funding to have most of their effect in a month.

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#2 Post by Legend » Jun 04 2007

I think we agree... we haven't picked the exact time frame or effect but we are thinking of doing something.

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#3 Post by red » Jun 05 2007

Great. :)

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#4 Post by Lightbringer » Jun 05 2007

What? Do you mean that soldiers aren't like vending machines? Where, if you put in $1.25 you get the Giant size Snickers, and 55 cents will only get you a crappy bag of Doritos with 4 chips in it? :P

Sounds good. (the changes, not the snacks!)
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#5 Post by tkobo » Jun 05 2007

Sounds good, i agree.

One thing to keep in mind though, if people dont see any increase for a long period of playtime,more than a few of them will assume its not working.

Sooooo, i would suggest a very slow from the start,instead of a period of time with no increase at all.
Slow enough so that the "instant uber" doesnt happen, but not so slow that people will be unsure if its working.
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#6 Post by nghtmre15 » Jun 05 2007

Maybe even adding a little line of text in the window that tells the player how many days it will take for the new efficiency level to be acheived would be helpful...
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#7 Post by tkobo » Jun 05 2007

I like that, maybe even emails saying that some improvement has occured and will in the future.
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#8 Post by red » Jun 05 2007

nghtmre15 wrote:Maybe even adding a little line of text in the window that tells the player how many days it will take for the new efficiency level to be acheived would be helpful...
If there's one thing I don't like about the 2010 user interface, it's that the game doesn't tell you what kind of effects your changes will make or when this will occur. You just guess and spend time watching for what happens until you learn it. Even a simple tooltip would help.

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#9 Post by Feltan » Jun 05 2007

Actually, not knowing exactly what affects will take place is one of the things I like about the game. Games that give too much insight into the mechanics become boring quickly: it turns into a number crunching game & before long you get a post from an aspiring math whiz plotting every optimal choice that can be made.

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#10 Post by red » Jun 05 2007

I wouldn't want everything given away either, but I think there is a happy medium where the player is not left wondering if X actually has an effect on Y.

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#11 Post by Noble713 » Jun 05 2007

red wrote:I wouldn't want everything given away either, but I think there is a happy medium where the player is not left wondering if X actually has an effect on Y.
Yes, it's one thing to say: "Gee, does increasing property taxes reduce demand for consumer goods?"

and other to say: "If I decrease my property taxes by 1.5% will it decrease my consumer goods demand by 1.2% or 1.35%?"

Most people don't necessarily need the latter, but at least having an answer to the former would help. Part of the problem with sitting and watching all the numbers in the game to see what changes is that many of the policies we can tweak are macroeconomic ones, and the true effects of these alterations tend to only manifest themselves noticeably in the "Long Run" (well, they should at least), which in economic terms means > 1 year. Most players are not going to remember what they did 1 year ago in game-time, and there has probably been so much activity and other changes that they won't be able to discern what caused what anyway.

Note: The manual for SR2010 reads that Property Taxes have an effect on the ability of citizens to own homes and has "subsequent repercussions."
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#12 Post by Feltan » Jun 05 2007

Noble,

I like the use of the term macroeconomic. Yes, I am fine with that too. If a player doesn't have a grasp of basic economics some tooltips or help may well be in order.

What I hope the Goats avoid is divulging that actual algorithms. I don't want to see Excel spreadsheets with optimum rates and purchases. I think we can call that microeconomics just to keep our terms aligned.

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#13 Post by Noble713 » Jun 05 2007

Feltan wrote:Noble,

I like the use of the term macroeconomic. Yes, I am fine with that too. If a player doesn't have a grasp of basic economics some tooltips or help may well be in order.

What I hope the Goats avoid is divulging that actual algorithms. I don't want to see Excel spreadsheets with optimum rates and purchases. I think we can call that microeconomics just to keep our terms aligned.

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Well, I'll have to disagree there. When I took Econometrics last semester (a form of statistical modelling applied to economics) all of the models and variables we looked at were of a macroeconomic nature, so there are definitely plenty of numbers to crunch there. :-) By macroeconomic I'm referring to things that affect the aggregate economy:

GDP, interest rates, unemployment, imports/exports, government spending, price levels, and economy-wide tax levels. When you play around with these things it has an effect on the whole country and most of the effects aren't noticed for a long time (unless you are dealing with exchange rates/interest rates, those are usually more fluid and take effect in the short run, <=6 months).

Microeconomic refers to more to individual personal/corporate behaviour and decision-making:

capital investment costs, per-unit production costs, demand functions (how much people are willing to buy at certain prices), the effects of taxes and subsidies on individual goods, etc. These variables determine what companies produce, how much they produce, and how much people pay for it.

The micro side of SR2010 is reasonably transparent IMO. The game tells you your production costs for every commodity and you can easily compare it to the costs of everyone else on the market and get a general idea of what things you have a comparative advantage in and which you don't.

The only thing lacking is information on worldwide demand (we get news reports only if there are shortages in certain countries). You could dig the numbers out of the log file if you really wanted but it would be nice to know how much oil/consumer goods/whatever everyone in the world wants in-game.



If it costs you $20,000/unit to produce consumer goods and everyone else on the market is selling theirs for about $15,000 you probably shouldn't set your production to 100% capacity; it would be better to either produce just enough for domestic demand or not at all. That's pretty straight-forward microeconomics. Government spending, a macro issue, doesn't have that transparency. Will we increase GDP by cutting taxes by 5%, increasing disposable income and therefore corporate income? Would it be better to increase government spending by 5%? We have few or numbers to facilitate decisions like these and that can only lead to economic mismanagement. Fortunately most economies (real-world, and especially in SR) really run themselves but drastic changes should definitely screw the pooch.

So now that I think about it, I'll have to re-assess my position on this issue slightly. The player shouldn't need the macro data to play the game, but if they want to use it to help make their decisions it shouldn't be too difficult to access. Right now we don't really have the macro decision-making tools at all.
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mystic versus cartesian

#14 Post by Jan » Jun 06 2007

Feltan wrote:(...)

What I hope the Goats avoid is divulging that actual algorithms. I don't want to see Excel spreadsheets with optimum rates and purchases. I think we can call that microeconomics just to keep our terms aligned.

Regards,
Feltan
i'm the kind of player that always have excel open in background for any game where figures are displayed since i like to compare the possibilities i have to make the most effeciant choice.

So i would like to have more precise infos about game mechanics displayed in game. On the other side i understand that for someplayers it can "kill the magic" so i suggest to have an option that display, or not, detailed tooltips and descriptions, more or less like the "realitic" or "simplistic" fog of war option that is already in game.

cheers,

Jan

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#15 Post by Legend » Jun 06 2007

Many things in our game do not allow for the use of spreadsheets or precise tool tips displaying information.

We have effects that are logarithmic calculations and are therefore applied as a curve. So we can't say that the exact effect will be a certain number.

We also have variables in the game that effect many other variables. For example if you increase your infrastructure rating supply levels will increase which will affect rate of resupply for units, and production levels for industries. The full effect can't be tallied for the player because they affect so many areas.

For areas like, social spending the same things apply, where the effects are many and the formulas are not straight A+B=C type formulas. Increase spending in health care and people start to live longer, and that means more tax revenue. How much? It depends on your population size and how much you are taxing people as well as GDP/c and other factors.

We do plan to make the learning curve of the game easier on the player with a few new GUI improvements but we won't be spelling out every aspect of the game to the player.

An example of this is "units in battle"... we have many unit stats and we plan to improve the information provided to the player. For instance we may say the stat for "soft attack" relates to the Unit Specialty of "Soft Target" and it's value for "surface defense". But we won't offer the actual calculations used because we have to take efficiency, morale, entrenchment, experience, terrain defense values, movement penalties, supply levels, specialty training and more into account.

The new Starcraft II has it's races very balanced to the point where you could figure out if the enemy has 3 of unit type "X" I should bring in 7 of unit type "Y". SR2020 is modeled on real world concepts and equipment so there are many variables at play.

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