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Resolving the issue of starting the game at the wrong time


Instr
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At the current moment, population tends to spike as the game starts, but soon afterwards players stop joining as they join at a severe disadvantage. Compared to existing players, they start with nations that are too small to make any significant contribution to the game. Consequently, players tend not to make nations once the round has started.

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I am suggesting that this problem be resolved in two ways.

The first is that nations start with starting cash based on the number of days that have elapsed since the round started.

I suggest 20m as a peak, for 60 days of gameplay, and for the function to work on an exponential basis. This means that, if day 1 is counted as day 0, the formula should be 5 million * 1.02337^number of days since day 1. This means that after 30 days, nations will start with about 10 million cash as starting capital.

The curve can be adjusted as needed, but I think an exponential curve best matches the exponential growth rate of nations in this game.

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The other suggestion is that infra costs be reduced over time also as a exponential function. That is to say, currently, the space between infra jumps increase by 1.161944% per day, and the cost of infra is reduced by 1.161944% per day. This means on day 60, costs of infra are reduced by approximately 50%.

The easy way to program it is to first feed the current infra amount into a discount function before new infra-costs are calculated.

This means that it's a lot easier for nations that have lost growth due to spending time at war to catch up with the current leaders, and by evening out the nation growth of all nations, the number of possible alliance wars increase.

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You're right, that's a concern.

The idea isn't to make it so that there's no penalty for starting out late, but to make the penalty more subtle and to give nations that start out later a chance to be important in the game, so if an alliance wants to come into being on day 20, they can do so without being that far behind the curve.

I'm not really familiar with growth curves these days, if the curve is being set too aggressively (set the end of the curve to 3, or 15 million by itself, or set the end of the curve to 2 in combination with infra-cost scaling), let me know, but I think the problem is real and the idea is fundamentally sound.

The second idea I'm a lot more enthusiastic about, because it deflates initial infrastructure advantages and also lets nations fight at higher NS levels. You always wanted to nuke rogue a 6,000 infra nation, didn't you?

In combination, however, the numbers need to be tweaked because the second idea slows down effective nation growth significantly, making the rogue threat a lot more severe.

For 3: the base of the exponent is 1.018479 , or 8.66 million on day 30 and 15 million on day 60
For 2: the base of the exponent is 1.011619 , or 7.07 million on day 30 and 10 million on day 60

Edited by Instr
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