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Author Topic: Revisiting the Economy  (Read 11511 times)

Goumindong

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Re: Revisiting the Economy
« Reply #45 on: January 27, 2018, 01:04:09 PM »

This is almost certainly late because you’ve already rewritten things but had you thought about using a price system rather than a quantity system?

One of the things that I have found working in economics is that quantity based systems tend to be more difficult to find equilibrium in even if a price based system would produce the same results. My time playing video games has taught me that, in general, the simpler the approximation the better things play.

So my ideal simple system would have each planet have a production price (based on size and unique factors plus say some random fluctuation*) and a purchase price (based on the lowest trade price it can acquire up to a cap, randomly determined) and that every stellar distance has a shipping cost. A trade convoy is generated every x days to travel from the lowest trade price (production plus shipping) to any place it supplies (has the lowest price for). When it lands the planet it lands on records the input and says they’re supplied for x days. If a convoy doesn’t land before they run out then they’re in shortage and pay their cap price. If their production price is lower than their cap price they are not in shortage.

The size of a planet would determine the size of the shipping fleet and the quantity required to supply/day (Which would produce more days of supply). Stability follows naturally (% of time not in shortage).

Quantity production is then indeterminate and can stay that way players will likely not know the difference
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Alex

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Re: Revisiting the Economy
« Reply #46 on: January 28, 2018, 09:21:47 AM »

Hey! I did think about this, yeah. Briefly, I feel like you're talking about two different things here, and it'll be easier to talk about them separately.

The first is using in-game trade fleets to drive the simulation, rather than the other way around. Consider how many fleets it would take, and how much time, to get to anything even resembling an equilibrium for just one commodity, if we have 50 markets in play. It easily gets into thousands of fleets - which is *far* outside what's practical - and would still take a lot of time.

(The time is important because we want to show the player what would happen if they did X (where X can be creating another industry, installing an Alpha Core, changing administrators, changing free port status, etc), and "do it and see what happens a few months later" is not a good answer.)


The second is using price instead of quantity. Briefly, the first two iterations of the economy were different takes on this; it's not specifically problematic, but I think it's more an issue that any sort of "true" economy is too involved and unnecessary.

Also, the nice thing about the new system is that equilibrium is reached just about instantly, which makes a lot of things much more simple, so it's not going to get beat on that point :)
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Goumindong

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Re: Revisiting the Economy
« Reply #47 on: January 28, 2018, 12:01:15 PM »

Definitely. (They would reach equilibrium at about the same speed). My question/suggestion is mainly with understanding how pricing works for the purpose of trading. Understanding how disrupting trade routes work etc. Secondary to that it’s a note on how quantity decisions for markets tend to be harder than price decisions. And this runs both ways for players and AI. Letting quantity be indefinite* fixes this issue

As for “thousands of fleets”. That wouldn’t be an issue if the supply time was long enough. Reinforcement would be quick is fleets only flew when supplies were running low as well. Edit: EG with 50 planets the maximum average number of trade fleets is 49*goods * travel time / supply time. That isn’t actually that much. The solution function is O(n^2); the same as availability.

*essentially all demand and supply are now horizontal lines
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 12:07:24 PM by Goumindong »
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Alex

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Re: Revisiting the Economy
« Reply #48 on: January 28, 2018, 12:43:46 PM »

As for “thousands of fleets”. That wouldn’t be an issue if the supply time was long enough. Reinforcement would be quick is fleets only flew when supplies were running low as well. Edit: EG with 50 planets the maximum average number of trade fleets is 49*goods * travel time / supply time. That isn’t actually that much. The solution function is O(n^2); the same as availability.

Well, if the supply time was long enough, you could get away with using just one fleet :) It also makes the system increasingly unresponsive to changes.

Further, the fewer fleets there are, the more vulnerable it makes this sort of systems to essentially random (from the player's point of view) and massive (because by reducing the number of fleets, we're increasing their importance) fluctuations when a fleet gets nuked by pirates somewhere.

It's just one of those "seems attractive from a distance, utterly untenable in practice given the specifics of the problem at hand" situations, entirely aside from what happens when fleets arrive etc. Basically, you either have too many agents for it to be feasible, or too few for it to be reliable/responsive/etc, and there's no middle ground. It could totally work if there were maybe 5-ish markets total, and might be very interesting in that scenario, though.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 12:47:29 PM by Alex »
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xenoargh

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Re: Revisiting the Economy
« Reply #49 on: January 29, 2018, 09:26:36 AM »

Heh, yeah, the N^2 issues have been obvious in everything from data loads in the macro scale to the micro stuff ;)

One idea just hit my brain, though.  Having arrived at an “economy” that has more in common with MOO2’s system...

Perhaps the best way to deal with conflict past the newbie period is to be able to fund “interference” missions that, abstractly, decrease the distance a Market reaches.  

Essentially, since we can presume that taking down a major location is difficult, if not impossible (I’m imagining that taking down Jangala, for example, would involve a series of major battles) it’s probably uncommon that a player or AI “emperor” is going to attempt direct assaults.  

Instead, we’re going to see more Cold Wars (espionage and insurrection) and direct conflicts mainly via proxies.  This would give the mercenaries and most especially the Pirates a much-needed role to play, besides being minor irritants on the periphery of civilization.  Pirates might serve as cats’ paws; they’ve never gotten eradicated largely because they’re too convenient for launching... unattributable, regrettable incidents, that make trade lanes untenable.

The opportunity here is pretty interesting.  Going back to my Suggestion that Pirates shouldn’t be like other Factions, it’d give them a role and give the game design a good tool for players to act as Pirates, profitably (take contracts, hit stuff, dodge the Defense Fleet and inevitable Bounty Hunter response).  

At any rate, I think the core idea (input resources, select a target, cause the “reach” of that Market to contract, maybe, and not get caught, maybe) as an abstract method to handle day-to-day Cold War conflicts might have legs (and not get into N^2).
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 09:28:16 AM by xenoargh »
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xenoargh

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Re: Revisiting the Economy
« Reply #50 on: January 29, 2018, 09:55:17 AM »

Ooh, and that led to another fun idea:  perhaps one of the settings players would pick, besides Free Port (I’m presuming that’ll be a thing) is whether or not their Outposts allow open docking of Pirates, Bounty Hunters, the Guilds, etc.

There would be an obvious tradeoff there, as the Market would suffer a bit, but it’d also be more resistant to attempts to... interfere, and the player’s Faction would get cheaper hire rates (but probably not much loyalty, lol).

Obviously, hosting Pirates wouldn’t make one popular, but you’re running a space empire, not being Mr. Nice Guy.  I can totally see the Sindrians hosting the Mercenaries Guild, too, because their diplomatic answer to, you know, being surounded by far-larger empires is probably, “Flood Market with AM, buy mercs, any time we feel threatened”... they’re basically just Libya in space, after all...
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Megas

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Re: Revisiting the Economy
« Reply #51 on: February 08, 2018, 09:39:49 AM »

Ooh, and that led to another fun idea:  perhaps one of the settings players would pick, besides Free Port (I’m presuming that’ll be a thing) is whether or not their Outposts allow open docking of Pirates, Bounty Hunters, the Guilds, etc.
I will like to vet who comes in if I do not opt for Free Port.

No Luddites allowed!  Do not want to have "Luddic Majority" on my planets (for that awful stability penalty since my character is presumably not a Luddite wizard).  If that pops up and I cannot get rid of it, I may try to find a way to burn my colony to ground like say... install an Alpha core and try to let it take over.
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Drokkath

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Re: Revisiting the Economy
« Reply #52 on: February 08, 2018, 01:10:15 PM »

I have steamrolled all Luddics multiple times thanks to Nexerlin giving the ability to properly do that... and still the invaded Luddic Church/Path planets have that 'Luddic Majority' tag. Not feeling happy about it either because I too feel like completely razing the whole civilization on those planets to glass puddle. I don't need those anti-tech lunatics to infect my territories.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 01:17:08 PM by Drokkath »
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Megas

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Re: Revisiting the Economy
« Reply #53 on: February 08, 2018, 02:37:36 PM »

I hope high class Terran planets with good resources will not attract mostly the Luddites and little else.  They should attract, well... everyone equally.  Aside from spacers who earn a living killing things in space, who does not want to live on a nice habitable class V Terran planet with fresh air and plentiful resources?
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Drokkath

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Re: Revisiting the Economy
« Reply #54 on: February 08, 2018, 04:02:38 PM »

Yeah, it'd be a treasure trove for all (human) factions hence why I'm careful who to sell that data to even though the game currently doesn't have the colonization feature yet. I can imagine the factions would even fight over who gets to such a planet first if more than one faction is aware of its location. Depends of the location though, if it is at the fringes then trading routes will be quite costly and the trip to there is lengthy and even dangerous so it would make such a place more of a perfect home/hideout place and probably the safest if it isn't visited by the redacteds.

Come to think of it.. I guess that's why we'd need to make large gates working again. It's they only other direct way to get there but faster for trading purposes.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 04:05:38 PM by Drokkath »
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Goumindong

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Re: Revisiting the Economy
« Reply #55 on: February 16, 2018, 01:31:12 PM »

To further explain how the math on a price system with indeterminate quantity works out with trade and the like.

Every planet has an integer value for "production price". Every planet to planet connection has an integer value for "travel cost" which is equal to a set value of credits per day in the average burn distance plus a set cost of fuel at the global minimum(or average or maybe first quartile) price*. The base price a planet BUYS and SELLS at is the same and is equal to the smaller of Production Cost OR (Production Cost plus travel cost x 1+tariff) for any other planets. The quantity that any planet has of this is indeterminate. It will buy or sell in any quantity which meets those values.

If there is a link between a planet(I.E. for a product its cheaper to import) Then at some point during the cycle or month a trade fleet will be created to travel between the planets and drop off goods. The amount of goods it drops off doesn't really matter. The type can be singular or a mix of goods which are traded between planets. If this fleet is intercepted then the link is broken and the planet moves into shortage and now buys and sells at its production price only.

Every month/cycle the production price for each planet can be randomly regenerated, creating new trade routes and new price disparities. Or the whole thing could be static, with the number of trade fleets scaling so that there were never too many fleets on the board at once.

*these more or less can be tweaked to determined how easy it is for players to "make money" on running trade routes.
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