High-tech trade-offs

General discussion for the game Anacreon
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george moromisato
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Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:16 pm

As mentioned in this tread, I'd like to add trade-offs (penalties) for various specialization strategies. Most of these won't happen in this sprint, but I'd like to think about adding some high-tech trade-offs.

The most important change, I think, is to disproportionately discourage large (Law & Order) empires from building high technology. My original thought is to increase the probability of high-tech disasters on high-tech worlds proportionally to the total number of high-tech worlds.

A high-tech disaster would temporarily (a few cycles) lower the tech-level of the affected world (at least for purposes of productions).

The counter would be adopting a Science & Technology doctrine, which would also give you some advantages (e.g., level 8 or 9 capital; capitals act as foundations; etc.)

Does anyone have any other ideas? Let me know in responses to this thread.

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Xephyr
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Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:36 pm

Here's some of my thoughts:

1. Discourage connected clusters of high TL worlds.
Such clusters are needed for building advanced fleets, and its reasonable that a disaster (nanotech outbreak etc) would start on one world and travel only to worlds connected by trade. This also encourages high TL empires to partition their empire better, rather than connect everything. Counters to this would be low TL worlds (which probably wouldn't import nanotech) and Trade & Enterprise which would have better customs to prevent outbreaks.

2. Ambrosia!
This is probably the best way to give smaller empires an edge against larger ones. Ambrosia would be very difficult to produce, so only large, high TL empires would produce it. Its boost in productivity would be too tempting to ignore (I know I would use it). To cripple the sector then, the smaller empire just needs to take out one critical world in the trade network. I like this sort of idea better than random disasters because its a double edged sword; the player can weigh the risks/rewards easily.

3. Amplify the innate consequences of high tech levels
I've never had an issue supplying enough luxuries to my high level planets. Upgrading a planet's TL to 10 should result in the planet's population wanting huge amounts of luxuries until the population stabilizes. Maybe we could even model this somewhat realistically - if an empire with lots of high TL empires conquers a low TL planet, then the citizens on the low TL planet would expect technological advances right away. Productivity will suffer if the planet's TL is not raised, but low TL worlds have high populations and it would be risky to uplift them right away.
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Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:16 pm

In current game mechanics, if a planet with a high-TL habitat structure loses TLs while part of an empire it undergoes a population crash because the hab structure doesn't provide any population bonus for a planet that isn't advanced enough to have built it (they don't turn into ruins unless the world is independent). Ministry. This is more of a problem for players trying to bring planets down intentionally (since they have to demolish the hab structure and then build a lower tech one) but merits thought if more reasons for planets to change TL like disasters will be in the game. Maybe planets could retain lower tech hab structures when high tech ones are built?

Also note that changing TLs messes up production allocations, and if something like a starship autofac loses TLs the connected yards are not smart enough to shift labor into ship classes that can still be built. For example if a tl9 autofac supplying 3 tl9 yards building 100% Gorgos drops to TL8, the yards waste labor rather than building Minotaurs or Victories. Ministry. So an active player (who can adjust things manually immediately) is harmed much less by a TL-depressing disaster than an occasional one (who could lose several days of production on multiple worlds.)

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