Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.

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Sliders. Knobs. Checkboxes. Such is the spread-sheet roots of strategy games. Let's fix that.

Going back 15 years to Galactic Civilizations I for Windows, players managed their economy like this:

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GalCiv I: Sliders.

 

In Galactic Civilizations I, you would set your tax rate. Your tax rate affected the approval rate on your planets.  You could then decide how much of your GDP the government would take control of with the spending slider.  From there, players would direct their civilization's output between Military, Social, and Research.

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In Galactic Civilizations III, we had changed it to the Production Wheel: Manufacturing, Wealth Generation, Research.

 

I actually don't have a problem with sliders to be honest.  But they have a serious user interface limitation: The more sliders you have, the more confusing the screen and the more difficult it is to communicate the results.

 

 

Let's talk about economics

Our economies are a lot more complicated than Money making, Research and Planet manufacturing and Fleet construction.  Obvious real-world examples would include food production, consumer goods,  social programs and international affairs.  In a space game, there are even priorities you might have: Mining, espionage, soldiers, Precursor archeology, and so on.  Imagine all that as sliders. Oye.

 

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What are Galactic Citizens?

Across your entire civilization, an individual of great potential will rise up and join your government.  When this happens you decide an area for he or she to specialize in.

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A new citizen has joined you. What will you do with them?

Now, there are some...provisos here that will make each game play a bit differently. 

  1. How often you get a free citizen is not dependent on the size of your civilization.  It is, by default, one citizen every 10 turns. So each citizen is pretty important. A 200 turn game will leave you with 20 natural citizens.  Use them wisely.
  2. The areas of specialization are based on what technology you have.  At the start of the game, if you are playing as the Terran Alliance, your options are a Leader or a Commander.
  3. You can choose to keep them safe in your capital providing a global bonus (great for large empires) or you can send them to a specific planet to really boost that planet's production in a given area (great for small empires) but also makes them vulnerable if they are assassinated or the planet is invaded (once they settle, they're not leaving).
  4. They level up over time. Thus, the order in which you specialize them matters.

 

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The govern screen with some citizens there. Leaders act as wild cards and can be placed in any category.

 

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Citizens can also be sent to planets to greatly boost it in a specific area.

 

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Citizens can't teleport. When sent to a planet, a VIP transport takes them from your capital world to the planet in question.

 

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Worried about micro-management? Don't. We also include easy ways to move citizens from your capital to your empire if necessary.

 

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Not just icons. Each citizen has a name and where they're from and a picture (and yea, we do this for all 12 races, Drengin females...you do not want to attend their march).

 

 

Citizen Specialties (so far)

 

 

Specialization

Strategic Benefit

Tactical Benefit

Special

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Leader

Provides 3% boost to target civilization priority.

Cannot leave the capital.

Can be moved around to any priority category.

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Administrator

Reduces all colony maint by 3%

Reduces target planet’s maintenance by 25%.

Increases administration resource by 1 plus 10%.

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General

Improves global planetary resistance by 3%.

Provides 5 legions to target planet for defense.

Can be converted into an invasion transport holding the General and his legions.

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Commander

Improves global starship HP by 3%

Increases planetary defense of orbiting ships by 25%.

Can be converted to a Flag Ship that is added to a target fleet to give it a combat boost.

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Spy

Improves global security by 3%

Can be sent to eliminate a spy on a planet.

Can be assigned missions targeting foreign powers.

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Worker

Increases global manufacturing by 3%

Can settle on a planet to boost its manufacturing by 25%

 

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Scientist

Increases global research by 3%

Can settle on a planet to boost its research by 25%

 

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Farmer

Increase global food production by 3%

Can settle on a planet boosting its food production by 25%

 

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Engineer

Increases global fleet production by 3%

Can settle on a planet boosting its fleet production by 25%

 

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Entrepreneur

Increases global wealth production by 3%

Can settle on a planet boosting its wealth production by 25%

 

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Celebrity

Provides a global 3% bonus to planetary goods and services.

Can settle on a planet providing a 25% boost to planetary goods and services.

 

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Diplomat

Provides a global 3% boost to influence.

Can settle on a planet and boost that planet’s influence by 25%.

Can be converted into an Emissary and sent to a target civilization boosting your relations.

 

 

 

A living civilization

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If you're a Galactic Civilizations player you might be thinking "This is going to require a lot of changes to existing balance."  And you would be right.  Take a very close look at the screenshot below.

 

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Still early game and lots of new resources to play with

 

Look at the top of the previous screenshot.  Notice how many resources there are?  Your citizens are your principle lever for deciding what matters (and what doesn't) in your civilization.  But how you will likely use your citizens will change from game to game because of the new resource system and their connection to what improvements you can build, what planets you can colonize, what your starbases can and can't do.  Resources accumulate (unlike in GalCiv III) and they result in a vibrant galaxy for your citizens to play in.

Next week: Resources!


Comments (Page 4)
on Feb 18, 2017

MacsenLP


You realize there are difficulty levels right?  If the AI's are still "uncatchably" ahead for you on the easiest level then maybe the devs could make a difficulty level just for you otherwise I don't get what you expect them to do.

A comment like this explains while you've only acquired 4 Karma in 13 years on this forum.

on Feb 18, 2017

Go4Celerity

Every time I get a good game going I'll meet some race that is uncatchably ahead in tech by turns 50 to 100. 

This happens to me because I am playing on either Incredible, or at the moment being masochistic, Godlike.  Except for the uncatchable part.  It is indeed possible to leverage my knowledge of the escalation built into the economy to a point where I catch up and exceed the AI in technology.  Their bonuses give them an obscene head start, but they cannot keep up in the long run with a determined scheming human.

On levels below that, it becomes a lot easier to overcome any initial head start the AI gets.  It is especially easier to out colony rush them if you have a sparsely settled galaxy.

So, I am not sure I understand what your point here is.  You don't sound like a beginning player, but don't seem to be aware of the ability to out manage the AI.  Depending on your level of difficulty, I'm not talking about extreme micromanagement here, just applying basics consistently and creatively.  I'm too lazy for the check-every-turn type of management some folk use.  Your objection to yet more micromanagement advice is noted and agreed with.  But there has to be something that makes your experience different than mine.

Can you, without ranting please, despite the frustration, clarify what is happening and what you mean by "uncatchable"?

on Feb 18, 2017

Go4Celerity

I like the promise of the features laid out in this post, but I don't think they'll un-break the game for me.  Every time I get a good game going I'll meet some race that is uncatchably ahead in tech by turns 50 to 100.  It's discouraging.  (not an invitation for min/maxing advice, I've read it all and am not interested).  Considering the volume of feedback regarding the disparity between AI and player tech growth, I hope the devs either have a plan for addressing it or are brainstorming one.


This comment is just utterly bizarre and deserved more contempt than I gave it, your previous paragraph was incorrect as well it had been mentioned although perhaps not in great detail.

The comment just screams of a massive ego I don't know what your intention was but it comes across as: I think too much of myself to play at a lower difficulty level where I can compete so that's the devs fault and don't give me your advice it's worth nothing to me, there isn't any good advice it's the games fault why I can't compete they should fix it.

I shouldn't have wasted my time replying probably.  I just found it annoying, was hoping to get more discussion on the economy features mentioned in the dev diary which I really care about.  There's tons of sources to help people improve at the game and catch up to the AI's on harder difficulty levels there's really zero need to be discouraged but since you don't want help I won't offer it.

Hopefully this thread can now get back on topic. 

on Feb 18, 2017

 

erischild

Can you, without ranting please, despite the frustration, clarify what is happening and what you mean by "uncatchable"?

Here's a link to the save for the last game I gave up on:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/gn7i180ogsmj64h/mak%27n%20money.GC3Sav?dl=1

Here's a screenshot of the trade screen:  https://www.screencast.com/t/EE6GHag3fp

It is turn 77 and the Iconians have 44 techs I don't possess.

I'm playing on gifted with global growth reduced to 0.05, population to production exponent at 0.94, a slight increase in the occurrence of bonus tiles on planets, and tech inflation set to:

 <!--Each time you research a tech in any tree the cost of all techs are raised by this exponent-->
  <TechInflationExponent_All>1.15</TechInflationExponent_All>
    <!--Each time you research a tech in any tree all techs cost is increesed by this multipyer.-->
  <TechInflationMultiplier_All>0.05</TechInflationMultiplier_All>
   
    <!--These values allow us to further inflate techs on a per tree basis, this is to discourage the
    player from drilling down a single branch of the tree too quickly, and over specializing.
    I have removed the exponent, and have only a small multiplier, since it is added to the overall inflation settings.-->
  <TechInflationExponent_Tree>1.25</TechInflationExponent_Tree>
  <TechInflationMultiplier_Tree>0.05</TechInflationMultiplier_Tree>

Tech brokering is disabled, I have vigilantly traded techs.  My Research hubs are not fully set up yet, and I did not, as I usually do, make my homeworld an early manufacturing hub to boost my initial production.

With the AI wasting development potential by auto-upgrading improvements while it possesses empty tiles I cannot see how they could be 44 techs ahead unless the Tech inflation values are not being applied to the AI players.

 

 

 

on Feb 18, 2017

I am sorry, but you have a heavily modded environment and I can only comment on vanilla rules at best.  I have no skills to offer in trouble shooting mods at the level you are playing with, or ability to guess at what hidden consequences could be triggered.  Good luck with your games.  We each play it differently, and you are one very good example of that.  Enjoy!

on Feb 18, 2017

Go4Celerity

I'm playing on gifted with global growth reduced to 0.05, population to production exponent at 0.94, a slight increase in the occurrence of bonus tiles on planets, and tech inflation set to:

So it turns out you're playing a heavily modded game that is near 100% the cause of your issues but you only mention it now after claiming the game to be broken.  Wow that's really priceless.  I'd wager the AI's aren't 44 techs ahead on turn 77 on gifted in an un-modded latest patch game.  Why wouldn't you just ask for help in the modding section?  lol ffs.

on Feb 18, 2017

Umm, if you are using a modded game it is pretty ridiculous to expect the devs to change their game to fix issues with your modded game.  I mean seriously, your post now comes across as nothing more than a trolling post.

 

on Feb 19, 2017

Besides a mod is not the vanilla game. As gifted the Ai. is given economic bonuses. The problem here is not the game, but you are playing a level that the game has stated as having economic bonuses. Assuming you are using a stock faction, and not a customised faction. The Iconians, and every other vanilla faction has techs other vanilla factions don't have. If this is the case then the Iconian tech tree is doing all right with 44 techs no one else has. If you are playing more than the 12 vanilla factions upwards of a 100 factions there are probably redundancies with similar factions with the same tech trees. So in this case it is significant if you are playing a vanila, and if you are playing a custom faction. 

On a different note gifted provides a economic bonus. The research speed is significant here. If you are playing the fastest research then a research bonus caused by an economic bonus would be increased of research speed. 

On this note the problem is how the difficulty levels are done. I would like a harder Ai at higher levels, but instead the game gives economic bonuses to the Ai above normal this is not broken I just disagree with how they do this. It may not be possible to have harder levels above normal. I don't know. Your answer would require a entire redesign from how everyone programs Ai. I think it can be done. It's not broken. I just suggest a different way to program the Ai from what anyone has done.

on Feb 19, 2017

Although the game is heavily modded I don't see why an AI should be that much ahead techwise at turn 77. I see such thing in my games (always insane map, all AIs gifted, tech brokering off, but without modding tech-related values, tech speed very slow) also, it became better with 2.0, but still some AIs have unexplicably advanced tech (or warship numbers) although most of the time their planets look pretty crappy ...

What doesn't keep me from playing on usually

on Feb 19, 2017

The modifications I made  are part of global defines.  They should be effecting all races equally.  I do not see why these should have altered my progress relative to the AI's.

The mods are the result of my dissatisfaction with the pacing options provided.  I want a slower game, and I could not mod PacingDefs.xml to adjust game pacing with these values instead of it's flat +/- %'s.  The values, other than Growth, were not enumerated for that .xml.

I'm going to do a controlled test of Tech inflation today to see if it effects the player only, or both the player and the AI.

My apologies to the author for getting this thread so far off topic, but since we're already here, here is where I'll post the results.

on Feb 19, 2017

Go4Celerity
...My apologies to the author for getting this thread so far off topic, but since we're already here, here is where I'll post the results.

 

Oh for God's sake please don't! You already derailed the thread with your epic rant and now you want to continue to do so with your personal tests of your mod? Seriously? I for one (and I'm sure I'm not the only one) could care less about your mod test results. Go to the modding section and start a new thread and stop polluting this one please! This is about Crusade, not your personal mod and the issues you have with it...

on Feb 19, 2017

Avatar137

Oh for God's sake please don't! You already derailed the thread with your epic rant and now you want to continue to do so with your personal tests of your mod? Seriously? I for one (and I'm sure I'm not the only one) could care less about your mod test results. Go to the modding section and start a new thread and stop polluting this one please! This is about Crusade, not your personal mod and the issues you have with it...

Exactly. Jafo, please intervene!

on Feb 19, 2017

Speed difference would only affect anything above normal, but my point is defeated if you are playing slowest. Awhile back someone who will remain nameless wasn't building factories and wondered why his world was undeveloped. The issue is probably something like that, or maybe the fact you don't care about adjacencies. Gifted does affect everything swith an economic bonus.

on Feb 19, 2017

They level up over time. Thus, the order in which you specialize them matters.


This could be very significant, many of the leaders have a global bonus 3% and a local planetary bonus of 25% in their specialized field.  I'm more interested in the local bonus.  Hopefully each time they level up the percentage amount could go up.  If they level up frequently perhaps each time you get a new leader those percentage amounts could be significant.

e.g. 3% local bonus each new leader.  After 20 leaders your first local bonus leader say a scientist would be 25 + (3 x 20) = 85%. A significant amount that would actually make specializing worlds in one area very worthwhile the bigger the bonus (e.g. science planet mostly science buildings if scientist is there) which would allay my previous fears about permanent evenly split production rendering the adjacency bonus mechanic a limited consideration since you'd want to split between factories, research and wealth near equally.  Assuming my previous assumptions have been correct in previous posts i.e. raw production/buildings haven't changed how they work and the leader bonuses take alter raw production and is e.g. not like another building.

Would be nice to get some fine detail info from dev's on how things actually work also how moddable is it? 

on Feb 20, 2017

Noone jumped on that screenie that is showing the resource bar on top? It seems there is a "food" resource? I mean there's a small symbol looking like a green apple, what else would that be....