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A little thought I just had about SE

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  • A little thought I just had about SE

    What if the costs to change SE settings depended on the number of cities in your empire? The more cities you have, the more energy you would have to pay to change SE settings. This makes sense, since it is more difficult to make big social changes in large societies than small ones.
    'There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way. The war we fight is not against powers and principalities, it is against chaos and despair. Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams. Against this peril we can never surrender. The future is all around us, waiting, in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain.'"
    G'Kar - from Babylon 5 episode "Z'ha'dum"

  • #2
    Yeah, that's one of the weaknesses in SMAC SE implementation. It wouldn't just be cities. It should take more to change a big city than a small one, so make it proportional to sum of base sizes.
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    • #3
      Too bad that the innumerable mile-long threads that debated SE and all the other game aspects in width and depth back at original alpha.owo site, are all long gone....
      I don't exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it (Holden Caulfield)

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      • #4
        Is SE costs hardcoded, or can it be changed in one of the txt files?
        'There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way. The war we fight is not against powers and principalities, it is against chaos and despair. Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams. Against this peril we can never surrender. The future is all around us, waiting, in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain.'"
        G'Kar - from Babylon 5 episode "Z'ha'dum"

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        • #5
          Hard coded, AFAIK. I assume the higher cost for aliens is from setting "Alien" attribute...
          Ofcourse it also depends on difficulty level.

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          • #6
            What exactly defines the cost? Efficiency and the amount of changes the modification has?
            Cake and grief counseling will be available at the conclusion of the test. Thank you for helping us help you help us all!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kassiopeia
              What exactly defines the cost? Efficiency and the amount of changes the modification has?
              If this question pertains to the game as it is -

              Cost for changing a single line equals 8*DIFFICULTY.

              I think the genneral form of the equation is:

              Cost=((#changes+1)^3 )* DIFFICULTY

              Where DIFFICULTY at Citizen =0, at Transcend = 5.

              Thus, SE costs at Transcend are 40, 135, 320 and 625 for one change, two changes, three changes and four changes respectively.

              EFFICIENCY is no part of the calculation, nor is Empire size.

              EDIT: Typos

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              • #8
                Which, effectively, simply means that a four-stage SE change will just take four turns instead of one. Hardly world-shaking...

                I liked the old CivII (sorry) model of falling into anarchy for a few turns every time you had a revolution. I know the same thing wouldn't exactly happen in SMAC, but a little more disruption would've been nice. It's just too easy - oh wow, one click and my empire is no longer a police state but a nice friendly democracy.
                Hn.
                "Love the earth and sun and animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown . . . reexamine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency" - Walt Whitman

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                • #9
                  Ideas: You could have a special "Transittion" Government/Economy etc. which is a special button on the right of the SE choices in which you enter for a couple of turns (depending on your empire size) during which you gain no benefits or penalties from any of the choices until the "Transittion?" period expires. You can compare transittion periods in the real world, especially in ex-communist countries that are getting to grip capitalism.
                  ... This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality...
                  ... Pain is an illusion...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cybergod
                    ...a special button on the right of the SE choices in which you enter for a couple of turns (depending on your empire size) during which you gain no benefits or penalties from any of the choices ...
                    please confirm a non-native speaker interpretation:

                    We already have the basic SE default settings on the left, which give no modifiers *for that line*.
                    Do you mean that when you change SE, your faction will use the default no-mod choice for ALL the 4 SE lines?
                    That is, if you change say from FM to Planned, not only you'll be forced to stay in "Simple" Economy for a couple of years, but also your (e.g.) Demo-Wealth settings will be "nullified" for the same period?
                    Well, that would be a major impact...
                    It would indeed transform the SE in just a long-term game variable.
                    It could be more realistic, but... would it be also more fun and interesting, or would it only water down one element of this rich game?
                    As for realism, the game is set in a Sci-Fi background, and already many features make little sense in real-life (but how can you call living on Chiron "real-life"???) being only meaningul for game sake (and sometimes not even in that sense...).
                    With communities coming out of earth planetary disaster, being few thousands of "pioneers", it could be well possible that changes are far more easy and rapid than we could imagine in our old world...
                    In the game, I would just make it more expensive. Or eventually at most, I'd inflict a temporary additional -1 in Efficiency and some other key setting.

                    Much more useful would be to fix the loopholes.
                    Like, if you switch to Green and then talk to Gaian AI, you're stuck with Green for that turn.
                    If you switch away from Planned and then profit of the immediate Industry cashing/disbanding advantage (or "to" planned and hurry a unit at a cheaper cost), then you're stuck with that choice for that turn....
                    I don't exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it (Holden Caulfield)

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                    • #11
                      "Simple" is very different than what I had in mind - since you can run it whenever you like (and sometimes you are forced to). "Transittion" would only affect the column of SE choices (Politics, Economics, etc), not including other columns (Say you change Dem/FM to Dem/Green, then only the Economics line would be affected) and would be possibly a small little icon indicating that social reforms are being undertaken.

                      As you say, with only a handful of colonists, this shouldn't be as costly but if you are managing a massive empire and try to switch between, say, None to Cybernetic or Wealth to Knowledge, then a "Transittion" period would be suitable IMO.

                      And I agree with you that the EFFICIENCY rating should be more involved in this, and as the diplomat pointed out, you overall empire size.
                      ... This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality...
                      ... Pain is an illusion...

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                      • #12
                        Well, concentrating on Economics line only (for a FM>Planned switch), if you say (and I already quoted it) "you gain no benefits or penalties", then "Simple" IS THE setting which bears no SE modifiers, already present as default on the Economics SE line.
                        If the "Transition" you envision is something *different* from "Simple", then it CAN'T be a vanilla setting bringing you "no benefits or penalties".
                        It should bring some moderate penalty... maybe characterised per each line.
                        Say, switching Economics you get a -1 Eff and -1 Economy "Transition", switching the 1st line you get -1 Eff and -1 Police (or something like it).

                        If I correclty got your last post, we then agree that the moderate "transition" penalty will only impact the line being changed.
                        That is, switching from Demo/Plan to Demo/FM, you'd live for a couple of years in Demo/EconomicsTransition.

                        I STILL think that being able, say, to switch from Demo to Fundy, even for ONE single turn, to boost your probe rating before you attempt an Iterlock-break techsteal, ad probe combat or a mind control, add an interesting tactival elemnt in the game.
                        Remember that to benefit of ALL the effects (*except Industry!) you must wait for next turn, that is you must keep the changed SE for 1 turn at least.

                        Example:
                        - you are in Demo in 2150
                        - you pay 40ec and switch to Fundy
                        - the effects of the change will only take place during 2151 preliminary upkeep, and your 2151 actions
                        - you perform your boosted probing in 2151
                        - you pay 40ec *again* and revert to Demo
                        - Demo benefits will only be reinstated in 2152

                        This seems *enough* of a price to pay imho.
                        You have to pay 80 ec overall.
                        you'll have to live with Fundy effects for one turn, and above all you'll be forced to *renounce* to Demo benefits for the same turn!
                        Your booming will temporarily stop.
                        Your efficieny wil take a hit, causing more BureaucracyDrones, and penalising your labs/econ output, especially if it was unbalanced.
                        if you want you can make it cost *more ec*.

                        But forcing you to wait 2 or 3 turns before you benefit of the desired, temporary probing boost, would present you with a harsher challenge, which might tho actually result in a reduced tactial option, variety, interest...
                        Just figuring, and anyway it's mere specualtion, as we can't change the way it is.
                        I don't exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it (Holden Caulfield)

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                        • #13
                          as we can't change the way it is
                          hmm... whatever happened to FreeAC or Stella Polaris...
                          ... This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality...
                          ... Pain is an illusion...

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                          • #14
                            Stella Polaris has the best idea regarding SE changes.
                            They cannot be made instantly, but are accrued gradually.
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                            • #15
                              Yeah, that also is a very intersting and sensible approach, when you have the opportunity to design a new game of course and you have freehand on your decisions.
                              I remember that "gradual change" approach was proposed and debated in detail back at OWO in spring '99.

                              The big question will be whether that will also be interesting and fun to play, apart being realistic... or just lead to the feeling of setting big processes in motion, but then having to just watch them happen and develop, rather than having a finer tactical control on your playing options every turn.

                              For instance, if a SE change brings a 4 notches change in your Efficiency value (e.g. Planned/Green), you might decide to have that value gradually increase or decrease over a 4-8 turns period instead of taking its whole effect in one turn.
                              Well, if I'll have to make some efficiency-dependent decisions during tha period, I frankly don't envision that having to deal with a constantly shifting game parameter and adapting my tactics to it will add to the enjoyment of the decison-making part of the game.
                              I'll very likely take a decision basing on the final steady state value, or delay the decison/action altogether until my "environment" becomes stable again...

                              In that sense, even having a "temporary but stable" Transition state *could* be preferable...

                              It might be just my limited vision, but you should always keep well in mind the risk of designing a feature "just for the sake of it"....

                              (PS: I assume for implicit that Stella Polaris idea being the "best" is YOUR *opinion*... )
                              I don't exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it (Holden Caulfield)

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