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Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
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16 days ago
Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Posts: 1397
It has been a couple of years and the games meta has revealed some problems that I will try to address in the coming weeks.

The biggest issue I see is that the games fundamental trade mechanic is grossly lopsided. Corporations are able to run at huge Logistics penalties while still making gigantic profits in almost any product they like. Big players can afford to sell t1 products down to 10 demand to boost cities while making up for it by selling t3 products at 500 demand consistently. I don't blame the players, it's the math on the system that is lopsided. I'm going to put in some changes that should slowly bring the game in line.

Volume on higher tiers scaled down more - The Demand is consistently way higher then the game intended. It seems pretty easy to work a city so that you can keep the expensive products in high demand and dump the t1 products to balance out the population. Keeping one t3 product at 500 and selling it slowly makes enough money to allows you to dump several t1 products down to 10 demand to balance the population. It USED TO BE that higher tier products were worth 100 but produced a much larger quantity. that made t almost impossible to dump it all in one city or planet because you would crash demand quickly. Since that was changed to make the higher tiers more valuable the counter balance to keep the volume lower on higher tier products was to literally make them scale lower. The t2 be at 0.75 normal volume and t3 be at 0.5 normal volume. That helps but it wasn't enough. I plan to increase that to match the t2/3/ scale up in value. So probably make t2 be 0.5 normal volume and t3 be 0.20 normal volume. t3 is especially a problem because there are numerous end products and given the way demand ticks up on all of them they simply produce 10x more "volume" . I might end up making their volume scale to 0.10 normal because of it.

Demand ticking up slower at higher levels - The demand ticking up into 5-600s has always been a problem.Its not like there is 5 products in the game that everyone deals with at some level. there are 150 in the game and every single city offers a hundred new demand lines that you can rotate out. I've tried some strategies to make the demand tick up based on population levels but thats not really working. Demand isn't supposed to be past 200 on a good day. I want to try an idea a player had. I will keep the small town limitations in place where the higher tier products don't engage until the city gets 2,3,5 mil population but also The demand will tick up more slowly as the demand increases. Normally the demand goes up 0.1 a turn or 100 points in a 1000 turn week of real time. I plan to make it so it ticks up based on its current level. Maybe the normal 0.1 until 100 demand then it goes up by 0.09 until it gets to 300 then it goes up by 0.08 etc. Maybe even more of a scale down than that. That would greatly extend the time it would take the demand to hit higher and higher levels.

Lower the Corp Location Bonus - There are too many bonuses flying around now. The Spaceports and Hypernet towers are adding 20 and the corp bonus is already 50. You can produce any t1 product at 60 credits or t3 at 300 without even having any corp levels in it. Because of the diminishing returns of the bonuses, the huge ones you get that apply to EVERYTHING from your corp bonus dwarfs the levels. These also are exponentially multiplying with production increases of higher level factories. I want to bring the corp bonuses back to 25, 15, 10 or even 20, 10, 5 for City, Planet, system. Corporations are only supposed to be very profitable in a chosen product or set of products.

I think the demand scaling will be the most effective change to the game. It really doesn't stop anyone from making huge profits on high demand, but you shouldn't be able to mathematically make a "demand engine" out of a city.

I'm also considering limiting the free accounts to being able to use contracts or trade with other corporations at all due to alt account abuse. I mean you can still do it, but at least you'll be paying to do it. Free accounts will also be prevented from being in a guild since we now have guild banks and taxes. I want to try to enforce no trading between free accounts and mitigate it when it comes to attacking to raid products.
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ChaChaCharms
ChaChaCharms
Posts: 163


15 days ago
ChaChaCharms
ChaChaCharms
Posts: 163
I believe that limiting the ability of free players would be the perma-death of this game. There is a rarely a reason to be a paid account as it is. And this would simply force those who are playing together to leave like countless others have.

Instead of limiting t2/3 products simply increase the amount of volume needed for all t1 products. Instead of water and foods make it all t1 products.

There are not that many players left here and if you make these changes they will likely leave and you will be left with a lot of hard work and an unrealized potential for a fantastic game.


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Telios
Telios
Posts: 4


15 days ago
Telios
Telios
Posts: 4
DrDread, it seems that your problem is with large players simply being too large? Wouldn't that be more easily fixed by simply making log penalty more impactful (exponential scaling or larger max but its a hard cap)?

If not, why not do only one of the changes? Demand growth or Volumes scaled down, both changes combined seems pretty extreme. Could your provide an example company for the before and after impact you are a proposing?



From talking to people in the discord, it definitely seems that the biggest issue with the game is that more players are needed. I would recommend making an effort to market the game more and grow the player base before making changes to make it harder for the big players you do have to play the game the way they have become accustomed to playing it. This change won't grow the game and will only drive away players that are used to the current system.
edited by Telios on 11/5/2018


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Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Posts: 1397


15 days ago
Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Posts: 1397
The changes are not there to punish anyone, the game is broken mathematically. The game was balanced when t3 factories were making 5x the product. Now that they are not you have to make the volume for t3 product be scaled down to 20% of what it normally is. That should correct the "demand engine: exploit happening everywhere.


The game will get more players when the game works, it loses players when its horribly imbalanced
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Telios
Telios
Posts: 4


15 days ago
Telios
Telios
Posts: 4
Doctor Dread wrote:
The game will get more players when the game works, it loses players when its horribly imbalanced


Build it and they will come? That is rarely a winning strategy in business.


Games always have player loss; real life, they get bored, schedule changes, etc. But the good games keep new players coming in. Look at Ogame, similar game in that it is a space empire building game. I just Googled "space browser game" and several variations and Ogame was always on page 1. I went in 16 pages without seeing Barons until I stopped looking. It is not an easy game to find or I would have been here years ago.

Also, much of your player base seems to disagree with your assumption that there is a problem, perhaps if you gave a concrete example of the a hypothetical corp in a city that currently exists and how you believe it is broken. And how your changes would impact that hypothetical corp. If it is easier, use an existing corp, as we can all see each others assets regardless.
edited by Telios on 11/5/2018


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Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Posts: 1397


15 days ago
Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Posts: 1397
Telios wrote:
Doctor Dread wrote:
The game will get more players when the game works, it loses players when its horribly imbalanced


Build it and they will come? That is rarely a winning strategy in business.


Games always have player loss; real life, they get bored, schedule changes, etc. But the good games keep new players coming in. Look at Ogame, similar game in that it is a space empire building game. I just Googled "space browser game" and several variations and Ogame was always on page 1. I went in 16 pages without seeing Barons until I stopped looking. It is not an easy game to find or I would have been here years ago.

Also, much of your player base seems to disagree with your assumption that there is a problem, perhaps if you gave a concrete example of the a hypothetical corp in a city that currently exists and how you believe it is broken. And how your changes would impact that hypothetical corp. If it is easier, use an existing corp, as we can all see each others assets regardless.
edited by Telios on 11/5/2018



The money you make selling a t3 product at 500 demand is enough credits to sell down at least 3 t1 products into the floor at 10 and still make a profit while making the population go up. The big corps literally prevent players from buying low demand products or oversell high demand products at the cities they are working this magic on.

Most of the player base complains about the things I am about to change. For every complaint from a veteran with 100b+ and 6 alt account I get , there have been 5 by smaller players
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Telios
Telios
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14 days ago
Telios
Telios
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Honestly, i think most of the money i have made as a new player was because big players pushed the price of products to the floor in a given city. Created the opportunity for me to buy at 10%, move it to another city and sell at a much higher rate. Way more money as a new player than I would have been able to make any other way. And given enough time of me doing that trading, I have definitely raised those rates...

If you take away the trading opportunities created by the big players, you will merely widen the gap between new and old players. Especially since they had months with their "demand engines" to create powerful empires and new players wouldn't have any way to catch up or even duplicate what the big players have done.
edited by Telios on 11/6/2018


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Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
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Posts: 1397


9 days ago
Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
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Posts: 1397
So far, the changes I'm making her on the dev box looks quite world shaking. Like, its paradigm shift in the way you will be making money, the way it was originally intended. The old ways of exploiting a demand engine is going to be impossible. I akin it to some sort of Gamma Ray Burst hitting the economy of the planet. You won't notice much at first but soon, everything starts changing.

The biggest change is that the volume for the components is less then before, the End products is a lot less then before, because end products are 5x the money and threes 3x as many of them, there volume is being set to 10% of normal instead of 50% normal that it was set to last time. Also, and I had to do this, there is now a volume scale down on the Civilian Services products. Its now 50% of normal. Lowering the volume of the higher products causes the same effect it originally was supposed to have back when they actually produced 5x more quantity.

There is another heart breaker change also. The threshold for positive population is now 100 demand not 200 demand. That means to increase pop on a planet you need to get average demand Below 100 and at 100 average demand population will standstill. That brings average demand to 100 which is what all the math in the game was geared towards. Building a city to millions then holding demand at 200% is actually game breaking.

The corp HQ bonuses are being reduced back to what they were at launch. Although I might up the level bonuses to compensate.

I also re-worked the demand to population code again, I think there was still a bug. I made it so I can see every variable affecting the population to debug it. I plan to have a screen that details the population growth and all the bonuses affecting it since its really difficult to calculate at a glance. The math now works correctly in results . For example there are 144 products if about 12 of them are at 1000% demand and the rest are at 10% the average is about 100 and the planet is about standstill on population. And that's if the overall population is low. The higher the total population the less effective the low demand affect the population but the higher demand still negative at full amount. You can only realistically sustain a city that has a dozen products in the 500s if everything else is 50. and 50 isn't going to be easy anymore.

As far as the paid account changes. I'm still on the fence about it. But since these changes are going to be so jarring, I will probably leave them alone for now. Trading with other players for example might be necessary to make high tier products effectively going forward

These changes might go in next week or over Thanksgiving.
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Serenity
Serenity
Posts: 9


9 days ago
Serenity
Serenity
Posts: 9
I would like to make sure I understand the changes clearly in the planned “Gamma Ray Burst” update.

Volume changes
Raw material: no change
Components: lowered to …?
End products: lowered to 10% of current value
Civilian services: lowered to 50% of current value

Planned volume changes applied to Silva
Civilian services: 88,000 -> 44,000 (about 2,450 per service)
End products: 189,000 -> 18,900 (about 235 per product)
Components: 79,000 -> ...?
Raw materials: 130,000 -> 130,000 (about 5,200 per product)


Other changes
Population growth threshold: lowered to 100 (from 200)
Corporation HQ bonuses: lowered to 25/15/10 (from 50/40/25)


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Telios
Telios
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8 days ago
Telios
Telios
Posts: 4
Please verify above, I thought end products were already at 50% and are going to 10%; therefore 20% of current volumes.

Please don't implement the reduction of the Corp HQ bonus without also doubling the research bonus to somewhat offset the spike in production costs!
edited by Telios on 11/12/2018


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Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
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Posts: 1397


7 days ago
Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Posts: 1397
Serenity wrote:
I would like to make sure I understand the changes clearly in the planned “Gamma Ray Burst” update.

Volume changes
Raw material: no change
Components: lowered to …?
End products: lowered to 10% of current value
Civilian services: lowered to 50% of current value

Planned volume changes applied to Silva
Civilian services: 88,000 -> 44,000 (about 2,450 per service)
End products: 189,000 -> 18,900 (about 235 per product)
Components: 79,000 -> ...?
Raw materials: 130,000 -> 130,000 (about 5,200 per product)


Other changes
Population growth threshold: lowered to 100 (from 200)
Corporation HQ bonuses: lowered to 25/15/10 (from 50/40/25)



Its not a change to VALUE, its a change to VOLUME. All products are worth the same, its the VOLUME that is being lowered on higher tier products.

If the volume is 500 on Supercars at some city today, after the update the volume is going to be 100. That means it will take 5x less to lower the demand on it by a point.

It used to be all products were worth 100 value but the higher tier factories would produce 20 and 50 qty instead of 10 like raw mats did. A long time ago it was changed so that the higher tier products produced the same qty but were worth more, 100, 250, 500, 750. That caused the current problem with the Demand Engine exploit. You used to have to sell 5x the qty of tier 3 products to make the money and you would crash a cities demand if you tried to sell it all in one place. TODAY that isn't a problem and it allows for the exploit to work. So to bring the math back in line without changing the value of the products, we instead lower the volume on the higher tier products by 2x and 5x so selling 10 qty is like selling 50 of a normal product when it comes to how much the demand will fall.End products should go to 20% (5x value) but its going to 10% because theres 3x as many end products (which should really make it 6% of normal volume 5 x 3 = 15) .

I think that was a tangent.....

So anyway The products were already scaled down a LITTLE several months ago, now they are being scaled down a lot more to match their value

Its currently 1x normal for raw mats, 75% normal for components and 50% normal for end products.

The update will make it 1x normal for raw mats, 50% normal for components, 50% normal for Civilian Services, and 10% normal for end products.

Civilian Services should probably be lowered more than that, they are 7.5x the normal value but they can't be sold elsewhere and their aren't many different products in the category so it's kind of a guess as where they should be.

LONG STORY SHORT.... there will be much lower volume on the higher tier products making the demand drop quickly on a handful of quantity.
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