Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

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robc04_1
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Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by robc04_1 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:05 am

I was playing as the nature faction, the religious and economic factions were left. Everything at default settings. When I only had about 25% progress to economic victory, I decided to just have all of my cities produce wealth. I had 9 cities at that point, 5 of them well developed.

My progress increased about 3 percent per turn. When I hit 75%, the religious faction started getting cranky with my - stopped some agreements, public insult, but never got to the point of declaring war. I don't think they had the time, nor would they have been able to stop me since I was fairly well defended, but not a ton.

I think the produce wealth is overpowered. It allows one to get the economic victory fairly quickly without a good way to stop the player. Maybe it would help if the AI factions started producing wealth as a defense to an economic victory when a player hit the 75% progress towards economic victory. In any case, I think something needs to change with this to balance the game a bit better.
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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by SephiRok » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:49 am

It's always really hard to judge how accurate such posts are. Everyone should have probably gotten a bit more angry at you starting to win, but there's a ton of information missing here. You could have been extremely far ahead already and could have done anything to win.

That's why a save game is always best.
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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by robc04_1 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:48 am

You are right, a save would have helped, but I wasn't thinking it was a bug at the time. I went to create a save for you and loaded the game from slightly before I made my economic victory move. I don't think I did exactly the same steps, but it was close. This time the religious faction did attack me and stopped me before I won with an economic victory. I'm not sure what was different. It is possible I didn't set up my defenses as much, so I may have been weaker militarily. Maybe I gave them a gift earlier and kept them happier, I'm not sure.

I tried again and was able to keep the religious faction happy this time, but for some reason my economic progress stalled at 85%.

I tried a 3rd time and won it, but the religious faction did declare war on me. So I wasn't able to exactly reproduce the results. I do have a save game from when I started my economic rush, and another save from when I achieved victory. They are attached to this post. When my current research completed, I selected planetary council to give my diplomacy a boost. After that it doesn't matter what I picked. Since I had 0 scientists my research went fairly slowly. I pretty much just kept picking end turn. If someone offered some type of treaty or agreement, I accepted it. I did not pay any type of tribute.

What I do know is that my initial statements were accurate for the game I won. I do think the player can generate a huge amount of wealth in a short period of time by setting all cities to produce wealth.
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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by robc04_1 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:12 pm

Well, I won with a rushed economic victory again. This time I even assigned as many of my scientists as workers as my minerals would allow. I was making 4-5% progress each turn some of the time. It did slow down unexpectedly when I was in the 90% range. Factions were still offering me gifts. The red faction probably could have crushed me if they wanted to. They were rated 5 military to my 2. They even had a ton of black hole generators and probably could have erased me from the map. I attached 2 saves. One when I was about 70% of the way to economic victory, and another when I won.

I'm not sure what should happen in this case. I went for the economic victory because I knew the red team had a lot of black hole generators. and I was behind them militarily by a lot. I might have been able to defeat the blue and green factions. When I started going for the economic victory, I was only about 15% of the way there. It wasn't until later I thought of piling on as many workers as I could to speed up the wealth production.

The economic victory does feel like a cheap win with the amount of wealth that could be produced. It is the same way with the diplomatic victory in Civ (at least without Brave new World). Produce wealth and throw a ton of money at the problem.

I really don't know the best solution to the problem. Should the AIs do whatever it takes to stop a player from getting an economic (or research) victory? On one hand it seems like they should, because it is too easy to produce wealth and win. On the other hand, it doesn't seem very believable that people would try to wipe you from the map because you have a large economy. With the speed that I went from 75% to 100%, maybe they wouldn't of even had time to stop me because they would have had to terminate my non aggression pacts and waited through the cool down period.

I may just have to turn off the economic victory, or at least make a house rule that I can't use build wealth to try and achieve it because it really wasn't rewarding to win that way.

Edit: looks like I can't attach my save games since there is a 256k limit. Was this limit set back in 1990?
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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by SephiRok » Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:01 am

It sounds like it all comes all down to if the AI should become more aggressive towards a winning player.

Do you feel that producing wealth is a cheaper tactic than putting everyone into science and going for a research victory?

You could send the save games to pandora@proxy-studios.com
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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by robc04_1 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:14 am

Hmmm, I think it does feel cheaper to get the economic victory because of the ability to produce wealth. I never tested to see how fast one could get the science victory, but since you're limited to 1 tech per turn I don't think I ever made 5% progress per turn. I think it has been 1-2% max. A player can make very fast progress on an economic victory producing wealth. I should have lost the game I won, so it was very unsatisfying to win the way I did.

As to how aggressive the AI should try and stop a player from winning, that is a tougher one. It would feel weird for a faction that I had been friendly with to start black holing my cities just because I'm making a lot of money (or tech). That is what I would do though if another faction was going to win. Most games don't have such a killer weapon that is so easy to use. Satellite recon + black hole = instant death. At the very least, couldn't the AI shift to start making more money to make it harder to get the economic win? Maybe the economic win could be based on a less gamey tactic, such as the amount of tax income a faction would make at 50% taxes, excluding producing wealth. I just think something needs to be adjusted, but I don;t know the best solution.
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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by robc04_1 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:18 am

I sent the save game files to the email address. Thanks!
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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by HitmanN » Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:20 pm

I just generally find the economic victory condition boring. Research kinda too. You just amass as much as possible of one resource to win. It's a bit too simple and straightforward.

Just like there's been discussion that the research victory could be nicer if you needed to research a special tech or build a special structure to win, economic victory could require things like successful long-term trade pacts, building a network of stock markets in all your cities, or something like that. Essentially, doing something that you wouldn't do unless you were specifically going for economic victory. I produce as much wealth and research as possible in every game anyways, so winning that way just doesn't feel... special enough.

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by jdmillard » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:47 pm

I just disallow economic and research victories because they are boring. I figure that if you have a ton of money and/or a ton of research, you ought to show that you know what to do with it and utilize it to dominate the planet.

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by fortydayweekend » Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:38 am

I just finished a game with Economic victory on Medium, getting 4% progress each turn with most of my cities producing wealth.

I could have probably won a Military victory just as quickly, but Research I was only about 20% towards. I guess if you're far ahead of the competition, economic victory is relatively cheap and will come much quicker than research. It could be different if the other factions were more on par.

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by Dragoon. » Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:43 am

jdmillard wrote:I just disallow economic and research victories because they are boring. I figure that if you have a ton of money and/or a ton of research, you ought to show that you know what to do with it and utilize it to dominate the planet.
Why disallow? It's your personal choice which victory you're pursuing.

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by willgamer » Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:49 pm

Dragoon wrote:
jdmillard wrote:I just disallow economic and research victories because they are boring. I figure that if you have a ton of money and/or a ton of research, you ought to show that you know what to do with it and utilize it to dominate the planet.
Why disallow? It's your personal choice which victory you're pursuing.
I wouldn't want to so much disallow economic victory as replace it with some other kind of victory; perhaps like the space race in Civ. I like having an alternative to military victory, I already turn off research, but I'll keep the (boring) economic until something else is added. :|

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by fortydayweekend » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:39 pm

I played through again on Hard, again winning an Economic Victory. This time the 3 other factions were almost as powerful as me - Togra had more research, Noxium had a stronger economy, and the Imperium had an equally powerful army (on paper, but I had tailored my army to counter his units and was way ahead on tech. And I had nukes).

Building wealth in all my cities gave 4-5% progress each turn. The Imperium were the only faction to get mad at me, but they attacked Togra instead, lost badly, and never declared war on me. Togra and Noxium both GAVE me money as I approached victory.

It was a bit too easy to win this way - maybe wealth should have reduced effect, or the threshold for victory should be higher, or the diplomatic penalty should be more severe. I was kind of looking forward to being invaded by everyone but it never happened!

Edit: And another Economic Victory on Hard with no war. Playing as Terra Salvum. Solar Dynasty were way ahead in military, tech and economy (after they conquered the Ascension early on). They had 5 stars to my 2 in military and 4 or 5 vs 3 in everything else. They stayed on Co-operative, alternately demanding all my money as tribute (with no penalty when I refused) and sometimes offering me gifts instead.. When I saw my trade pact was paying them 200/month I realised this might be keeping them happy, but cancelling it only dropped them to "Polite".

It would've been very interesting if they'd attacked me, on paper they were far ahead. I hadn't made any effort throughout the game to keep them happy so really they should have tried to take me out at least once.

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by jdmillard » Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:58 am

Dragoon wrote:
jdmillard wrote:I just disallow economic and research victories because they are boring. I figure that if you have a ton of money and/or a ton of research, you ought to show that you know what to do with it and utilize it to dominate the planet.
Why disallow? It's your personal choice which victory you're pursuing.
I haven't played the release version because I haven't had time to sit down with it yet; but in the beta you could go to "advanced options" during game creation and uncheck any of the 3 victory types. I simply disallowed research and economic victories. I'll take a look at this in the release version when I finally have a chance to sit down and play it.

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by lsc9x » Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:29 am

jdmillard wrote:I just disallow economic and research victories because they are boring. I figure that if you have a ton of money and/or a ton of research, you ought to show that you know what to do with it and utilize it to dominate the planet.
This is kind of what I was thinking, in fact, I have turned off economic and research victories as well.

HOWEVER, let's not forget some players who just want to build up an empire to win! It is never a good idea to alienate some players. Just leave the options in and not use it. =)

But, along these same lines, I was playing a very large scale game and we are staring down each other's throats with a huge amount of armies, but no one has flinched yet. I started another thread about the "end game" mechanics here:

viewtopic.php?f=173&t=46616

My point with that thread is how to kick the end game into high gear once players reach a stalemate, to make it more exciting and get people fighting. The other victory conditions could still win, but if the aliens go after the most powerful player, that's a problem, and problems are GOOD! =)

Let me know what you think...

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by player1 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:54 am

Wealth is overpowered, not due to victory conditions, but due to how much it earns money.

First, it generates 50% of rush buy costs, which is a lot (much more then values, for example, in Civ4/5), and gives a lot of flexibility.

Next, a single automated factory (+2 prod), with no workers, will give you 8 credits, if set on wealth, which is enough to pay upkeep for itself (+2prod), cultivating facility (+2food), refining array (+2minerals) and quantum physics laboratory (+2research), and this will encourage Infinity City Sprawl strategies.


In my opinion, this value needs to be halved.

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by fortydayweekend » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:39 am

player1 wrote:Wealth is overpowered, not due to victory conditions, but due to how much it earns money.

First, it generates 50% of rush buy costs, which is a lot (much more then values, for example, in Civ4/5), and gives a lot of flexibility.

Next, a single automated factory (+2 prod), with no workers, will give you 8 credits, if set on wealth, which is enough to pay upkeep for itself (+2prod), cultivating facility (+2food), refining array (+2minerals) and quantum physics laboratory (+2research), and this will encourage Infinity City Sprawl strategies.


In my opinion, this value needs to be halved.
It's even worse with the later era buildings, +4 bonus (16 credits) with only 3 maintenance cost, and then +8 bonuses (32 credits) for 4 cost. It encourages lots of cities with every production building built, regardless of location or surrounding tiles or specialisation. (A science city shouldn't need factories or refining arrays, a city that doesn't have any farmers shouldn't need farming infrastructure etc).

Halving the wealth production value would be a really good start, and also maybe halving the "+x" bonuses of the buildings.

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by SephiRok » Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:52 pm

Let me present the technical info.

Value (purchase):
1 production = 8 credits
1 research = 4 credits

Build (Wealth) multiplier: 0.5
Sell multiplier: 0.25
Buyout multiplier: 0.25

As it is now you are already 50% less effective if you produce wealth. If we reduce it to 25% the more optimal thing to do is make units and sell them the first turn they're done because you'll gain the same credits as when building wealth.

We could increase the buyout multiplier, so it's harder to achieve the economic victory.

But in the end, if you keep up good relations and the AI doesn't go for you as you close to the victory, you'll will win it eventually.

We had the building bonuses halved at some point in the beta, but players didn't feel there was enough meaningful stuff to build with +1, +2, +4. Maybe we can half them once we get some more buildings in. Also though, while it is true the first production building gives you +2, you also need the +2 minerals building to effectively get anything -- so it's 5 upkeep for 2 production (8 credits from Wealth).

P.S. You easily tweak the xmls for these changes: "Data/World/Buildings/" and "Data/World/InfiniteProducables/".
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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by fortydayweekend » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:44 pm

SephiRok wrote:Let me present the technical info.

Value (purchase):
1 production = 8 credits
1 research = 4 credits

Build (Wealth) multiplier: 0.5
Sell multiplier: 0.25
Buyout multiplier: 0.25

As it is now you are already 50% less effective if you produce wealth. If we reduce it to 25% the more optimal thing to do is make units and sell them the first turn they're done because you'll gain the same credits as when building wealth.

We could increase the buyout multiplier, so it's harder to achieve the economic victory.

But in the end, if you keep up good relations and the AI doesn't go for you as you close to the victory, you'll will win it eventually.

We had the building bonuses halved at some point in the beta, but players didn't feel there was enough meaningful stuff to build with +1, +2, +4. Maybe we can half them once we get some more buildings in. Also though, while it is true the first production building gives you +2, you also need the +2 minerals building to effectively get anything -- so it's 5 upkeep for 2 production (8 credits from Wealth).

P.S. You easily tweak the xmls for these changes: "Data/World/Buildings/" and "Data/World/InfiniteProducables/".
Does the buyout condition depend on the AI's bank balance? Maybe the AI could try to block an Economic win by building wealth itself, so you'd need to be a lot further ahead and not able to win against factions with bigger economies. Then it might make sense for the *player* to declare war to distract them..

Personally I think the buildings have become *too* meaningful, they're worth building in every city so the only strategic decision needed is what order I build them in. But I do love the pace of the game right now so maybe there would need to be other buildings to choose from. Either that or de-power field training so that I need to build it more often than 7 times per 20 units :)

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by robc04_1 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:58 pm

I wonder if it would help to have the buildings require some type of worker in them for them to operate, let's call them employees. Instead of a pool, maybe make the number of employees based on the city size. Could keep it simple and have each building require 1 employee to be functional, or have some buildings require more than 1 employee. Maybe allow the player to disable some buildings to make sure the most important buildings are active. Or, could let the player prioritize them in the city's built building list. Just a thought. The idea is to limit the number of useful buildings in a city and force the player to have to make choices.

One other idea related to the economy is to have some type of production penalty when I person is moved from one job to another. Move a worker to a farm and he doesn't produce 100% of the food he normally would until x turns have passed. The idea is to make the player have to decide if the short term penalty is worth the long term benefit of changing the worker.
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