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Brainstorming


Syzygy

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Hello again,

the last article had one important message: Decisions and Options. Room for mistakes. That creates competition, that specializes nations, and make them more individualistic.

What follows is a quick list of brainstormed suggestions which are *incredibly easy* to implement and would greatly benefit the game experience:

1. Make all Wonders useful.

Currently, there are 3 Wonders considered *totally crap* by the majority of the Players. That is why almost nobody buys them and every guide of major alliances advise to avoid them. They make absolute no sense at all and they are a rather waste of time (30days) and money.

Federal Aid Commission - $25,000,000 - Raises the cap on foreign money aid +50% provided that the foreign aid recipient also has a Federal Aid Commission wonder.

Why is that useless? Because the Concept of "Aid" is pretty much *dead* once a nation is in range of national wonders. 3M or 4.5M makes no noticable difference at all, especially since the OTHER nation needs an FAC ALSO. To make it useful here is a VERY SIMPLE way:

Federal Aid Commission - $125,000,000; requires Stock Market; 3,000 infra + 1,000 tech

-raises the Cash Aid Cap by $1,000 per infralevel over 3,000 infra - receiving only.

-raises the Tech Aid Cap by +5% of the nations current tech - sending only.

-allows to send secret aid if the nation has a CIA

Why is that better?

  • sending more cash to new nations to boost them even quicker is impossible
  • payment of war reps is possible even at higher levels to at least cover damages (without eating up months of aidslots)
  • possible payment for art/donations is increased and can be done in 1 slot if the artist/donator has an FAC, VERY benefitial for him, encourages people to be creative or to donate + it rises the prices (=more competition) what leads to the effect that growth is slowed down in the top ranks and increased in he mid ranks
  • the established techbusiness is not touched since techsending only is increased downwards
  • the game *needs* secret aid sooo badly to allow people to take a RISK (no just helping other which are curbstomped is no *risk*, its idiocy because you will be simply killed as well)

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Space Program - $30,000,000 - The space program sends your astronauts to the moon and beyond. Increases happiness +3, lowers technology cost -3% and lowers aircraft cost -5%.

The only thing useful in that is the +3 happiness, everything else is simply not noticable. Boring. People buy that only if they have everything else.

Better:

Space Program - $50,000,000 - The space program sends your astronauts to the moon and beyond. Increases happiness +3, lowers technology cost -15% and lowers aircraft cost & upkeep -15%.

- along with increased Airforce Size and Upkeep, that wonder now serves a purpose: reducing replacement costs

- along with a restructuration of Technology Costs, that wonder now serves a purpose: making a nation more independent from tech imports

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Fallout Shelter System - $40,000,000 - Allows 50% of your defending soldiers to survive a nuclear strike (Does not prevent nuclear Anarchy but does prevent troops from being totally depleted), Reduces tank, cruise missile, and aircraft, losses from a nuclear strike by -25%, Reduces nuclear vulnerable navy losses by 12%, Reduces nuclear anarchy effects by 1 day. Requires 6,000 infrastructure, 2,000 technology.

The main problem with the FFS is the current nuke mechanics. That basically means: A nuke kills 100% soldiers and that leads to "nuke + go in with ground = trigger a defeat alert". So far so good. Now what does the FFS do? It saves 50% soldiers. Fine, now it is "nuke + go in with ground = trigger up to 5 lost battles + a defeat alert". Basically the 50% survivors are often WORSE than 0 soldiers, because they can lose up to 6 battles, while 0 soldiers can only cause 1 defeat alert.

The *system* behind that needs to be changed FIRST. Else an FSS is likely going to HURT you.

Simple Example:

[table][row][cell]Units[/cell][cell]without FFS[/cell][cell]with FFS[/cell][/row]

[row][cell]defending soldiers[/cell][cell]-60%[/cell][cell]-40%[/cell][/row]

[row][cell]defending tanks[/cell][cell]-30%[/cell][cell]-20%[/cell][/row]

[row][cell]in-nation Airforce[/cell][cell]-25%[/cell][cell]-15%[/cell][/row]

[row][cell]CMs[/cell][cell]-25%[/cell][cell]-15%[/cell][/row]

[row][cell]vulnerable Navy[/cell][cell]-25%[/cell][cell]-15%[/cell][/row][/table]

This way, nukes are not longer an "insta win button" for ground battles, but they definitely better the attackers odds. On the other side, an FFS helps limiting casualties AND winning defensive battles.

2. Give Resources / Bonusgoods a PURPOSE.

Right now, the only thing that really matters for a trade setup is: Profit. With just enough Population and Income, you negate ALL other effects of the other setups. That is why the 3BG setup is the by far most profitable. Why should you care that infra-upkeep or unit costs are 20% cheaper with other setups, you make already 25% MORE cash? You can simply pay the more-costs if you want, and you will be STILL better off. Not even counted that you have it by far easier to save up large cash amounts for wonder purchase or warchest.

Quick Changes (decreases in red, increases in green, new stuff in blue):

Aluminum – lower soldier eff boost from +20 to +10. Increase Aircraft Purchase Bonus from +8% to +15% (Alu is indeed the MOST IMPORTANT resource in Aircraft production)

Cattle / Coal / Fish – no change.

Furs - add -15% land cost. Lowers soldier upkeep cost -$0.50.

Gems - lowers technology costs -5% (Gems are often used for optics, laser technology, cutting tech etc..., they are not a bad resource right now, but we should create more independence from the tech-import market, they will do their part)

Gold – Increases citizen’s daily income +$3.00 and lowers technology cost by 10%.

Iron – Lowers soldier purchase cost -$3.00, lowers infrastructure upkeep costs -10%, lowers infrastructure purchase costs -5%, lowers tank upkeep costs -5%. (Tanks are made of steel, not Iron, besides this, Iron is already way more powerful than other resources)

Lead – Lowers cruise missile and nuclear weapon purchase cost and upkeep cost -25%, lowers aircraft upkeep cost -25%, lowers tank purchase and upkeep costs -10%, lowers soldier upkeep cost -$0.50, reduces environment penalties for owning nuclear weapons by 50%, and lowers all navy vessel upkeep cost -25%.

Lumber - add -5% land purchase cost.

Marble – Lowers infrastructure & improvement purchase cost -10%, Lowers improvement & wonder upkeep -10%.

Oil - Lowers soldier purchase cost -$3.00, increases population happiness +1.5, increases soldier efficiency +10%, lowers tank upkeep cost -10%, lowers aircraft purchase cost -5%, and lowers all navy vessel upkeep cost -10%. (Tanks need fuel. And Lots of.)

Pigs – Lowers soldier upkeep cost -$0.50, increases soldier efficiency +15%, and increases number of citizens +3.5%, reduce land purchase costs -10%. (Why do PIGS make soldiers fight better?)

Rubber - increase aircraft purchase bonus from -4% to -8%. Rubber is important for chemical industry and Aircrafts require all kind of plastics.

Silver - add -5% technology costs (same as for gems, silver is often used in making conductors, alloys, vaporization of surfaces and whatnot)

Spices – add -10% land purchase costs.

Sugar - add -5% land purchase costs.

Uranium / Water - no changes.

Wheat - add -2% land purchase costs.

Wine - add -15% land purchase costs.

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Affluent Population - Increases number of citizens +5%, betters Environment by 1.

- Requires Fine Jewelry, Fish, Furs, and Wine

(a wealthy and luxurious society faces less crime and violence, has more clean streets and cities, is an overall better place to live in)

Asphalt - no change, except it requires 50 tech.

Automobiles - no change, except it requires 75 tech.

Construction - no change, except it requires 25 tech.

Fast Food - no change.

Fine Jewelry - no change, except it requires 15 tech.

Microchips - Reduces technology cost -25%, increases population happiness +3. Requires Gold, Lead, Oil, and a technology level greater than 150. Lowers Frigate, Destroyer, Submarine and Aircraft Carrier navy vessel purchase and upkeep cost -10%, Purchase of Nukes, Airforce, CMs -10%. Cost of spying operations -10%. Spy strength +5%.

Radiation Cleanup - no changes, except it requires 75 tech (like nuclear weaponry).

Scholars - Increases population income +$1.00 per Bonusgood the nation produces. Requires a literacy rate greater than 90%, Lumber, and Lead.

Steel - Reduces infrastructure cost & upkeep -2%. Lowers all navy vessel & tank purchase cost -15%. Requires Coal and Iron and a tech level above 10.

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Now, why is that better than the current System? Because people can get BETTER results, depending on what they CURRENTLY need. You can of course still focus on ONE trade setup and keep that for eternity. But others who change their trades to fit their requirements (military, technology, land, infra) will perform better. It forces interaction between the nations. Especially the right now rather weak resources are part of Bonusgoods which grant big benefits on special fields (technology and military). They will become more important, he more nations grow.

And it opens the possibility for a better MARKET in CN:

In the current system for example, the maximum Cost Reduction for Airforce Purchase is:

Alu + Oil + Rubber + Space Program = 0.92*0.96*0.96*0.95 = 0.8054784 = -19.45%.

In the new system, it is:

Alu + Oil + Rubber + Microchips + Space Prgram = 0.85*0.95*0.92*0.9*0.85 = 0.5683185 = -43.17%

Nations with such a setup can simply OFFER to EXPORT aircrafts to other nations for profit. That even creates a political side, because selling Military Units to enemies of other alliances is dangerous, it creates tension, good reasons for war.

The exactly same is possible for CMs, Tanks, Navies. Create a flourishing market and let nations buy and sell stuff.

But, to prevent market flooding, you HAVE to implement another thing:

3. Purcase Limitations.

Of course such a market would be nonsense, if a small nation can simply work out a deal with a big one, to produce 10,000 level 9 fighters cheaply and just "sell" them on one day to the bigger alliance. Every nation must have a "Production Capacity" for all things. Be it infra, tech, units - every nation should have a base limit and abilities to increase the efficiency of its factories and limits. The more it can produce, the more it can sell and the more profits it can make. Another way to fill all the empty improvementslots.

More thoughts about Unit Production and a Global Marketplace later. Because that is a rather difficult field. Limits must ensure that smaller nations can still fight, but on the other hand market-flooding must be prevented.

/Syzygy

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Why do PIGS make soldiers fight better?

Salt pork? :P Incidentally, how would pigs make land cheaper? Not sure I want to picture that ;)

Back to srsbzns mode, even as a dinky nation that is growing only by profits from tech deals, I like your suggestions that would make tech a bit more cost-effective for larger nations to purchase on their own. This would be even easier to swallow with something like those marketplace ideas you presented in a previous post, so new, itty-bitty nations might have other ways to make quick cash, too.

Not sure what I think about only allowing secret aid from nations with wonders, but the idea that possessing the FAC and CIA could trigger the ability for secret aid (or perhaps increase the amount of secret aid that can be sent if all nations were allowed the ability to send secret aid) seems like a good one. I seem to remember secret aid being a feature for a brief time, but not sure what became of it.

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Salt pork? :P Incidentally, how would pigs make land cheaper? Not sure I want to picture that ;)

Pigs require space for farming / barnyards, the more a nation deals with Cattle, Pigs and all other kind of Agricultural goods, the more skilled the population is in urbanizing land :). You will see that I have applied a more or less small land-bonus to all of the agricultural resources in my suggestion. That would give Nations focusing on Agriculture a benefit when purchasing new land, while industrial nations focus more on infra and high-tech nations focus on technology.

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I agree on the wonder changes, and the idea of selling weapons/anything would be great, open up foreign aid to be more than just money/tech/soldiers, possibly requiring improvements/wonders to be able to sell/buy other things...

I think some of the suggested bonus resource changes would hurt tech sellers though (maybe this is by design since all of the tech cost reductions you've added in other resources), eg needing 75-150 tech for some things... a 50tech requirement would reward tech sellers who plan ahead and collect before shipping tech.

Oh, and Soldiers fight much better after a big meal of Bacon and Pork before they go a pillaging :)

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fat soldiers don't fight good :P You would wonder what starving people can do if they know that they will only get something to eat if they pillage it out of the attacked city :P

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The only use I've been able to come up with for the FAC is for rebuilding from ZI. A nation with a FAC could sell tech at 4.5M/150T and use the profits to rebuild faster. I haven't seen anyone do this yet though.

If it was much cheaper, say 5M or so, tech sellers might buy one before quitting selling in order to be able to offer deals on that basis.

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So, I enjoy reading your blog, but I'm surprised that you don't take issue with even some of the more basic parts of the game that should be changed. Governments should have a purpose - there should be some kind of reason to go for any of the governments, not just monarchy/revolutionary/capitalist. Also, I think there needs a greater "random" factor in the game, which can make the game more exciting. We already have events, but we need more and in varying degrees. Just my two cents.

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I could start up a blog on changing religion, government, etc. The vast majority of my suggestions are aimed at that lol.

Absolutely amazing suggestions (DAC), as unsurprisingly expected. Your in-game suggestion making expertise is the golden standard that all should strive for.

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I would increase the cost reduction for aircraft if you have the Space Program. 15% is not *that* much and certainly not enough to justify a wonder.

I'd have to buy about 2500 aircraft for that to come close to equally the 20 million extra it costs than the other +3 happiness wonder. Not even close to making it worthwhile :)

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I would increase the cost reduction for aircraft if you have the Space Program. 15% is not *that* much and certainly not enough to justify a wonder.

I'd have to buy about 2500 aircraft for that to come close to equally the 20 million extra it costs than the other +3 happiness wonder. Not even close to making it worthwhile :)

You are probably right, I have thought about reducing the costs to 30,000,000 and increase the effect to 20%.

Besides this, 2500 aircrafts is not THAT much, thats 25x rebuilding a complete set of 100 planes (and you can easily loses 100 planes per day at a top level). But i Agree, after ~1000-1500 planes the wonder should have paid for itself.

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I'd have to buy about 2500 aircraft for that to come close to equally the 20 million extra it costs than the other +3 happiness wonder. Not even close to making it worthwhile :)

Huh? The Movie Industry (the other +3 happiness wonder) costs 26 million - that's a 4 million difference.

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I'd have to buy about 2500 aircraft for that to come close to equally the 20 million extra it costs than the other +3 happiness wonder. Not even close to making it worthwhile :)

Huh? The Movie Industry (the other +3 happiness wonder) costs 26 million - that's a 4 million difference.

I had made the Space Program cost $50.000.000 in my suggestion. That would be a $24 Million difference just for 15% Airforce Purchase bonus.

However, I made some calculations and actually the balance is just not that bad:

If a nation has no WRC, a level9 fighter cost 50k base, that means 15% discount is 7.5k per plane. 3,200 planes must be purchased to equal out the 24M more-costs.

But, if a nation has a WRC, the costs for military goes up:

Lets say a nation has 5,000tech + WRC, all its military costs are increased by 50%, so a Level9 fighter would cost $75,000 base. A 15% discount would be $11,250 per plane, and to equal out 24M more costs he would need to purchase 2133 planes.

At 10,000 tech, that would be only 1600 planes to 'pay off'.

Basically it would be a clever decision to buy a normal +3 happiness wonder first, and the Space program later when a nation is more tech-heavy.

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One addition after seeing alden peterson's comments on the wonder discussion:

Anti Aircraft Defense Network,... upgrade it to Missile Defense Network, with the addition of reduction to CM damage.

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