View Full Version : Computer abuse
October 30th, 2000, 06:14 PM
Over on the ezboard Space Empires Triad forum there are a couple of Posts by Saben (whom I notice is now posting here--welcome, Saben) that are well worth reading. In one of them he points out that bonuses to research from computers are cumulative! I had assumed that you would only benefit from one computer per planet. Cumulative effects from multiple computers allow for incredibly high research output very early in the game (check out Saben's hotseat game log). So, shoud the bonus be made non-cumulative in a patch, or is the expense of building computers enough of a counter-balance?
October 30th, 2000, 06:28 PM
This is an interesting question. In "Real Life" terms is certainly does make sense for computers to be cumulative to a degree. After all, building more computers does let you get more work done if it involves computing. But there ought to be some sort of limits. If you fill a medium planet with 10 "System Computer Complexes" and you've got two or three large/huge planets filled with research centers in the same system that's going to be one HUGE boost in your research output. How about a compromise on system computers? It seems ok to me for a single system computer complex (or "databank" on the intel side) to be cumulative with each planetary computer complex, but after that it seems too much like cheating. So, ONE system computer complex per system. As for planetary computer complexes being cumulative... I dunno. Like I said, it seems logical that building more computers would help you more. Having just ONE per planet doesn't seem right, but how do you decide the limits? Maybe one per research center also present on the planet? If you've got a large or huge planet a 1:1 ratio of research centers and computer centers could still be very powerful.
October 30th, 2000, 07:40 PM
Anyone who uses supercomputers (SCs) knows that they can only service a certain number of Users effectively. After a point, you get "traffic jams" just like roads. So, definitely, SC complexes should be limited in how many research facilities they can augment. However, 1-to-1 is too limiting, since SCs are generally used to eliminate "roadblocks" to research progress. For example, the entire US research establishment has only ten to twenty SC centers. Lastly, the number of SCs in our world depends on one's definition of a SC, which of course changes as time goes by. Yesterday's SC is today's doorstop. So I think that SC centers in SEIV should have a maintenance cost, or should only Last a set number of years (getting less and less useful as time goes on).
To summarize, I would recommend:
1) Limit # of research facilities supported.
2) But make it something like 5-to-1, not 1-to-1.
3) Account for obsolescence somehow, most easily in the form of a maintenance cost.
October 30th, 2000, 08:32 PM
How about a model like this:
Suppose one supercomputer center (SC) gave 100% boost to one research center (RC). Then, to account for overloading of the SC, SEIV could have the boost decrease by 10% for every additional RC supported, up to a max support of 10 (by which point the support of the overloaded SC has decreased so much that it is as if only one RC were being supported).
1 SC with 1 RC = 2.0x1 = 2.0 research
2 SC with 2 RC = 2.0x2 = 4.0 research
1 SC with 2 RC = 1.9x2 = 3.8 research
3 SC with 3 RC = 2.0x3 = 6.0 research
1 SC with 3 RC = 1.8x3 = 5.4 research
5 SC with 5 RC = 2.0x5 = 10.0 research
1 SC with 5 RC = 1.6x5 = 8.0 research
10 SC with 10 RC = 2.0x10 = 20.0 research
1 SC with 10 RC = 1.1x10 = 11.0 research
Of course, this model could be modified, if MM wanted to make SCs more/less powerful. For example, perhaps a level 1 SC could only support 5 RCs (going down by 20% each time), level 2 could support 10 as above, level 3 could support 20, etc. Or, for example, the basic boost could be 150% rather than 100%, so that building a SC would be advantageous even if it were only supporting one RC.
The programming for this would be very easy if all RCs were the same. In general, though, some RCs might be level 1, some level 2, some level 3, etc., and obviously, it would be best to assign one's SCs to high-level RCs, which would complicate the programming some.
November 1st, 2000, 08:01 AM
Thanks Jeb, glad to be posting here. Been lurking for a long time, but a little while back I saw a post I absolutely had to reply to. Wasn't long to get registered.
Regarding the research, I should point out that the computers themselves are not quite cumulative. Let me try to outline it.
You have four research facilities level one. This is 2000 points per turn. Then, you get 1.2 times for your morale, and 1.2 for your race, and say 1.3 for your population. This makes out to be 3744 points. Now, we calculate for your culture, seperately from your racial bonus. 2000 * .05 * 1.2 * 1.3 = 102.5
Added together, you make 3847 points per turn. Now, lets add one computer, level 1. It will generate 10% of the total, which in this case is 385 points. Our total output is now 3847 + 385 = 4232. If we add a second computer, it will NOT generate ten percent of 4232, but rather will generate annother 385 points. Each additional computer will generate this 385 points. But if we added annother research facility, it would raise our baseline from 3847 to 4809. Each computer will then generate 10% of 4809, yeilding 481 each.
All my little helper app does is tell me how many computers to build to yeild the best possible ammount of research. I tell it how many facilities I am devoteing to research, and what my research point modifiers are, and how many people this world will someday hold, and it spits out how many of each level computer it would take to maximize my output. Used to do that by hand, let me tell you it sucked.
As an aside, the text files have a setting in them for maximum resources generated by a planet. In .99, it is set to half a million points. Not sure if this is actualy implemented though, I haven't paid attention. By the time my research worlds are filled to the brink, the game is either over by conquest, or over by demo time limit.
Probably a bit over long, but then I always am.
November 1st, 2000, 07:42 PM
Another thing to remember is that research colonies with less than 10 facility spaces are actually costing themselves if they build a planetary computer complex. The complex can only boost their output by 10% and if they've built it instead of 10% or more of their research facilities, well, it's a net loss.
I do notice B.Munch. mentioned System Computer Complexes. That's not in the demo but I assume it's a full Version item. I also assume, however, that they would take some research to get to, alleviating an overbalancing early game research boost if they aren't available too soon.
November 1st, 2000, 07:44 PM
I think you need to keep in mind that computers take a LOT longer to build than research facilities. (It's a factor of 6 difference, if I recall correctly). So while you might ask when (1.1x > x + 500) and say that level 1 computers are better to build than level 1 research facilities when x > 5000 (in other words, when you have 10 level 1 research facilities), that's not usually the right question if computers take six times as long to build--the right question is when is (1.1x > x + (500*6)), which comes out to SIXTY level 1 research facilities being the switch-over point. If you have level 1 research facilities and level 3 computers (which is normal for me), you should have twenty research labs before switching to computers.
However, the math changes once you run out of room. Then the "factor of 6" goes away (at least mostly).
So what I often do is build research facilities until I hit the breakpoint (usually 20 for me, as I say above), start building computers until I run out of room, and then start SCRAPPING research facilities and replacing them with computers.
How abusive is THAT?
Saben: it seems to me that the morale, race and culture modifiers cancel out. To modify the calculation above, if I ask when (1.3x > x + 500*6*1.2*1.2), I get 14400 instead of the 10000 I got before, but now I need to divide that 14400 by (500*1.2*1.2) to turn it from a number of research points into a number of research facilities, and that gets me the exact same value of 20 I got before.
And my classmates said that algebra was useless.... http://www.shrapnelgames.com/ubb/images/icons/tongue.gif
November 1st, 2000, 09:39 PM
Yeah, I know the bonuses have no effect on how many facilities it takes for max impact. I put them into my program so it could spit out the number of points the colony will generate at max development.
With some construction rate advantages, a space yard, and a modest population, you can reduce the computer to a four turn construction time. Reduce to two with speed building, and kick out five of them in a row. Then build ten more research facilities (still one turn each under slow), then kick out the Last five computers under haste. At least, thats how I do it.
November 2nd, 2000, 12:53 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Saben:
With some construction rate advantages, a space yard, and a modest population, you can reduce the computer to a four turn construction time.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Construction rate advantages and population bonuses I understand. But you're really saying that planets with SPACEYARDS build computers faster? That's... that's... EW, that's horrible. Can ANYONE describe to me how that has any basis in reality?
Thanks for commenting that level 1 research facilities take only 1 turn to build even under slow, though. That's useful. I'll have to contemplate how that can be abused. By the way, does being in a rush/slow cycle hurt a planet's happiness?
November 2nd, 2000, 02:57 AM
Actualy, all construction rate boosts only apply to space yards. You build a space yard, and it has a built in construction rate of 2000 or 2500. 2000 for a planet with no yard. If you don't build a yard, you don't get any bonus for Hardy Industrialists or racial construction points. you will, however, be affected by population and morale. If you take signifigant bonus points or the hardy industrialists special, it is vital that you put a space yard up on just about every colony.
Here are a few sample construction rates, with the turns to build a computer noted.
< 100 pop, no yard, no bonus = 2000 (6)
> 2000 pop, no yard, no bonus = 2600 (5)
> 2000 pop, no yard, +20% and hardy = 2600 (5)
> 2000 pop, yard 1, +20% and hardy = 3500 (4)
> 2000 pop, yard 2, +20% and hardy = 4375 (3)
Level one research facilites take 1500 points. You can see that any colony with a yard will be able to build them every turn even under slow build, given you have production boosts.
Lastly, rush / slow doesn't hurt morale, and there is every reason to use it all the time. x*2.5 > x*2. Your total possible construction rate goes up if you use rapid build all the time. Personaly, I'd like to see slow build be reduced to zero. That would certainly make it somthing used only occasionaly.
vBulletin® v3.7.0, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.