Predestination

Predestination

Ubai Nov 27, 2017 @ 6:37pm
Making money?
How do you do it? Far as I can tell your only option is to tax the crap out of your people and industry until a planet's population gets up to some point where you can get positive income at a reasonable tax rate. Maybe it gets better late game but I can't afford to do much in the early game, and looking at the research screen there are barely any economic techs that will help.
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Showing 1-12 of 12 comments
ProcDrone Dec 10, 2017 @ 6:47pm 
Specialise your planets. I suggest making a food only planet, or two... and specialise the crap out of the rest. For example, mining planets for increased metal, and residential planets, to increase population, and by this, increase tax. Supply needed resources from planets that produce things, so you can build enterainment centres all around your population cities - and get the taxes higher up with people not rioting.
Troy_Costisick Dec 17, 2017 @ 11:41am 
The economy doesn't seem balanced atm. At first, it was too easy to make BC. Now, it is WAY too hard. If you have to build a fleet fast, it's nearly impossible.
ProcDrone Dec 17, 2017 @ 9:26pm 
Well, the balance aspect, is surely one of the few next steps on the EA road, and I am sure that community feedback can only help to improve it. Personally, I didn't have many issues with BC's but yeah, either you are making money selling off all metal, or while building a fleet, you are in minus. There could be some fine tuning in that aspect.
Troy_Costisick Dec 17, 2017 @ 9:37pm 
Originally posted by ProcDrone:
Well, the balance aspect, is surely one of the few next steps on the EA road, and I am sure that community feedback can only help to improve it. Personally, I didn't have many issues with BC's but yeah, either you are making money selling off all metal, or while building a fleet, you are in minus. There could be some fine tuning in that aspect.
Especially WRT to difficulty. On easier settings, economy should be easier.
Nyphur  [developer] Feb 10 @ 11:23am 
Hey guys,

I just wanted to chime in here on the topic of balance. ProcDrone is essentially correct that one of the next major steps for us is a thorough look at economy balance, game balance and difficulty scaling. We've tweaked things throughout development based on feedback, but it's difficult to do a full balance pass when features and technologies are still being added.

Now that we're in the beta phase, we'll be taking a long hard look at the following topics and soliciting focused feedback on them in the next dev update:

Upkeep Costs: Money is intended to place a limit on how quickly the player can expand. The biggest drain on income is in the upkeep costs for cities and infrastructure, and cities/infrastructure in environments that require biospheres cost extra to run. The intent is that it should be expensive to keep expanding while your current planets are still developing, but that a fully developed planet should be a net producer of tax. That's currently not always the case, so we'll have to take another look at upkeep costs.

Citizen Tax: The two main sources of money right now are Citizen Tax and Industrial Tax. The Citizen Tax is meant to be your base tax level across your empire, and is designed to offset upkeep costs. Once a planet is fully developed with the maximum number of cities and infrastructure and full population, it should be net positive in tax at around a 50% tax rate (possibly lower!).

Tax Morale Penalties: The morale penalty for citizen tax is designed to ensure players keep their tax rate at about 50%, and we then use morale technologies to improve tax capacity and morale penalties to force the player to slow down. For example, captured planets have -40% morale while the original owner is still in the game, so during a war where you are capturing planets, you'll have to compensate for the morale with 2 entertainment infrastructures or reduce your tax rate. We think this system is in a good place right now, but will take a look at it as we rebalance tax.

Industrial Tax: As was correctly identified above, Industrial Tax is intended as a way to build up a surplus of money while you're not building ships or your metal stores are very full. It provides a way to save up the money to build new ships, and will be something players modify frequently. At each stage of the game, it should be feasible to use Industrial Tax to save up for the money cost of the biggest ships you can build within relatively few turns. That isn't always the case right now, and taxing metal production can stall undeveloped planets.

Trade Routes: Trade routes currently cost just 1BC/turn per route, and they are limited in range but not in capacity. We'll be adding capacity limits (e.g. limited to 100 metal/turn for a route so you'd need 2 routes to send 200/turn) that might increase their costs, and will have to consider the effect this will have. The game also has to be balanced so that Trade Routes are useful but not essential -- If a player wants to colonise only habitable worlds and farm locally, or rush for Food Replicators and feed inhospitable planets that way, they should be able to do so without being at a significant disadvantage. Players who are good with trade routes can currently create extremely efficient empires.

Puchasing: A staple concept in 4X games that we haven't actually got in Predestination is the ability to pay money to purchase something or speed up production of something. We'll be considering the addition of this feature to parts of the game as part of the balance discussion, as it would allow us to make the economy much more generous while giving a money outlet for advanced players.

Planet Growth: Population growth is the main factor limiting planet development, along with metal production and money generation, and Citizen Tax is of course based on population. We'll be having a look at how quickly planet development progresses and the population growth algorithm (and costs for robotic races), figuring out how much of a penalty an under-developed planet is for the average empire, and figuring out how long it takes for the average planet to become fully developed. Then we may make tweaks accordingly.

Difficulty Scaling: At the moment, the difficulty setting almost exclusively affects only the AI. Because we use a complex AI that calculates optimal moves and tries to think like a player would, imposing difficulty scaling to this has been pretty tricky. As part of the balance sweep, we'll be looking at other ways difficulty can be made to affect the game directly. Should Easy mode increase tax generation, for example, or give the player additional racial stat bonuses or starting technologies? Could we add more positive random events that happen for the player more in easier difficulties?

Racial Bonuses: We haven't done any balancing whatsoever on the racial bonuses, and some of them may be underwhelming. Is 10% extra food or metal production enough to make a difference? Is the Renegades Hardy ability worth it compared to the United Colonies' Creative trait? There are lots of questions for us to explore here, and we may end up increasing some of the standard bonuses to stats like food production or morale to create more varied gameplay styles for each race beyond the obvious Race Archetype differences. Playing the Renegades should feel quite different than playing the Kazzir, if only because certain strategies work better with one race than another.

Cheers,
-- Brendan, Lead Developer
Originally posted by Nyphur:
Hey guys,

I just wanted to chime in here on the topic of balance. ProcDrone is essentially correct that one of the next major steps for us is a thorough look at economy balance, game balance and difficulty scaling. We've tweaked things throughout development based on feedback, but it's difficult to do a full balance pass when features and technologies are still being added.

Now that we're in the beta phase, we'll be taking a long hard look at the following topics and soliciting focused feedback on them in the next dev update:

Upkeep Costs: Money is intended to place a limit on how quickly the player can expand. The biggest drain on income is in the upkeep costs for cities and infrastructure, and cities/infrastructure in environments that require biospheres cost extra to run. The intent is that it should be expensive to keep expanding while your current planets are still developing, but that a fully developed planet should be a net producer of tax. That's currently not always the case, so we'll have to take another look at upkeep costs.

Citizen Tax: The two main sources of money right now are Citizen Tax and Industrial Tax. The Citizen Tax is meant to be your base tax level across your empire, and is designed to offset upkeep costs. Once a planet is fully developed with the maximum number of cities and infrastructure and full population, it should be net positive in tax at around a 50% tax rate (possibly lower!).

Tax Morale Penalties: The morale penalty for citizen tax is designed to ensure players keep their tax rate at about 50%, and we then use morale technologies to improve tax capacity and morale penalties to force the player to slow down. For example, captured planets have -40% morale while the original owner is still in the game, so during a war where you are capturing planets, you'll have to compensate for the morale with 2 entertainment infrastructures or reduce your tax rate. We think this system is in a good place right now, but will take a look at it as we rebalance tax.

Industrial Tax: As was correctly identified above, Industrial Tax is intended as a way to build up a surplus of money while you're not building ships or your metal stores are very full. It provides a way to save up the money to build new ships, and will be something players modify frequently. At each stage of the game, it should be feasible to use Industrial Tax to save up for the money cost of the biggest ships you can build within relatively few turns. That isn't always the case right now, and taxing metal production can stall undeveloped planets.

Trade Routes: Trade routes currently cost just 1BC/turn per route, and they are limited in range but not in capacity. We'll be adding capacity limits (e.g. limited to 100 metal/turn for a route so you'd need 2 routes to send 200/turn) that might increase their costs, and will have to consider the effect this will have. The game also has to be balanced so that Trade Routes are useful but not essential -- If a player wants to colonise only habitable worlds and farm locally, or rush for Food Replicators and feed inhospitable planets that way, they should be able to do so without being at a significant disadvantage. Players who are good with trade routes can currently create extremely efficient empires.

Puchasing: A staple concept in 4X games that we haven't actually got in Predestination is the ability to pay money to purchase something or speed up production of something. We'll be considering the addition of this feature to parts of the game as part of the balance discussion, as it would allow us to make the economy much more generous while giving a money outlet for advanced players.

Planet Growth: Population growth is the main factor limiting planet development, along with metal production and money generation, and Citizen Tax is of course based on population. We'll be having a look at how quickly planet development progresses and the population growth algorithm (and costs for robotic races), figuring out how much of a penalty an under-developed planet is for the average empire, and figuring out how long it takes for the average planet to become fully developed. Then we may make tweaks accordingly.

Difficulty Scaling: At the moment, the difficulty setting almost exclusively affects only the AI. Because we use a complex AI that calculates optimal moves and tries to think like a player would, imposing difficulty scaling to this has been pretty tricky. As part of the balance sweep, we'll be looking at other ways difficulty can be made to affect the game directly. Should Easy mode increase tax generation, for example, or give the player additional racial stat bonuses or starting technologies? Could we add more positive random events that happen for the player more in easier difficulties?

Racial Bonuses: We haven't done any balancing whatsoever on the racial bonuses, and some of them may be underwhelming. Is 10% extra food or metal production enough to make a difference? Is the Renegades Hardy ability worth it compared to the United Colonies' Creative trait? There are lots of questions for us to explore here, and we may end up increasing some of the standard bonuses to stats like food production or morale to create more varied gameplay styles for each race beyond the obvious Race Archetype differences. Playing the Renegades should feel quite different than playing the Kazzir, if only because certain strategies work better with one race than another.

Cheers,
-- Brendan, Lead Developer
Thanks for explaining all that, Brendan. I'll have to say, that I enjoyed Predestination the most when both the Citizen Tax and the Inustrial Tax were secondary income generators compared to the Markets. I found buiding energy, metal, or food markets to be a much more unique and pleaseurable experience than fiddling with tax sliders. It was something that separated Predestination from other Space 4X games that very frequently rely on taxes. I would encourage you to consider returning to that model for your game. I believe it would give you a way to differentiate yourself from the 12 or so other MoO2 successors currently on the market.
Ubai Feb 11 @ 5:09am 
That is kind of funny, I'm so used to games where I tyr to keep my tax around twenty-five to thirty percent that the idea of raising it to fifty seemed like tyranny. :P
Nyphur  [developer] Feb 22 @ 2:12pm 
Originally posted by Troy_Costisick:
Thanks for explaining all that, Brendan. I'll have to say, that I enjoyed Predestination the most when both the Citizen Tax and the Inustrial Tax were secondary income generators compared to the Markets. I found buiding energy, metal, or food markets to be a much more unique and pleaseurable experience than fiddling with tax sliders. It was something that separated Predestination from other Space 4X games that very frequently rely on taxes. I would encourage you to consider returning to that model for your game. I believe it would give you a way to differentiate yourself from the 12 or so other MoO2 successors currently on the market.
The interesting thing about that is that the markets used to be waaaaaay overpowered, to the point where a single molten planet with an energy market and geothermal power plants (connected to cities full of auxiliary geothermal pumps) was producing hundreds of BC per turn. We nerfed them when we added the tax window and overhauled the tax gameplay, but of course they'll need to be looked at again during our economy iteration.

I think it would be most interesting if we rebalanced all of the various revenue streams so that they're about equal in usefulness (including the markets), and then gave different races or branching technologies bonuses to one or the other. For example, one of the ideas we had for the Renegades was that they'd have a racial trait called "Black Market Traders" that would double all income from Market buildings and Trade Agreements with other races.

That would make it optimal to use markets as part of your economy strategy for that race, but wouldn't force you to use them. Similarly, the Kazzir might get more income from citizen tax because they'd have a huge morale bonus to work with, and robotic races of course use Bytecoin Miner infrastructure.

One question I wanted to ask about the markets and how players use them is whether it would make sense to switch them from buildings to Infrastructure. You can only build one per planet and most of the buildings that fall into this category have been moved to Infrastructure. And might it also make sense to add a Starbase spaceport module that does the same job?

Originally posted by Ubai:
That is kind of funny, I'm so used to games where I tyr to keep my tax around twenty-five to thirty percent that the idea of raising it to fifty seemed like tyranny. :P
That's actually a really good point, the high rate may be jarring to people's expectations! We could rebalance the system around an expected tax rate of 30%, we'd just have to be careful to make it so that higher tax rates aren't easy to maintain as they'd produce far too much income. Something for us to think about during the Economy iteration.

Cheers,
-- Brendan, Lead Developer
Brendan, about that tax thing. Recreation Centers could be changed to instead just generating morale, to morale AND additional money from city population.

When you thing about it, people who enjoy the perks of such centers, must also pay for them, no ? That could be the boost you look for. Instead of just making the population happy enough to make them bear even higher taxes.
Originally posted by Nyphur:
Originally posted by Troy_Costisick:
Thanks for explaining all that, Brendan. I'll have to say, that I enjoyed Predestination the most when both the Citizen Tax and the Inustrial Tax were secondary income generators compared to the Markets. I found buiding energy, metal, or food markets to be a much more unique and pleaseurable experience than fiddling with tax sliders. It was something that separated Predestination from other Space 4X games that very frequently rely on taxes. I would encourage you to consider returning to that model for your game. I believe it would give you a way to differentiate yourself from the 12 or so other MoO2 successors currently on the market.
The interesting thing about that is that the markets used to be waaaaaay overpowered, to the point where a single molten planet with an energy market and geothermal power plants (connected to cities full of auxiliary geothermal pumps) was producing hundreds of BC per turn. We nerfed them when we added the tax window and overhauled the tax gameplay, but of course they'll need to be looked at again during our economy iteration.

I think it would be most interesting if we rebalanced all of the various revenue streams so that they're about equal in usefulness (including the markets), and then gave different races or branching technologies bonuses to one or the other. For example, one of the ideas we had for the Renegades was that they'd have a racial trait called "Black Market Traders" that would double all income from Market buildings and Trade Agreements with other races.

That would make it optimal to use markets as part of your economy strategy for that race, but wouldn't force you to use them. Similarly, the Kazzir might get more income from citizen tax because they'd have a huge morale bonus to work with, and robotic races of course use Bytecoin Miner infrastructure.

One question I wanted to ask about the markets and how players use them is whether it would make sense to switch them from buildings to Infrastructure. You can only build one per planet and most of the buildings that fall into this category have been moved to Infrastructure. And might it also make sense to add a Starbase spaceport module that does the same job?

Originally posted by Ubai:
That is kind of funny, I'm so used to games where I tyr to keep my tax around twenty-five to thirty percent that the idea of raising it to fifty seemed like tyranny. :P
That's actually a really good point, the high rate may be jarring to people's expectations! We could rebalance the system around an expected tax rate of 30%, we'd just have to be careful to make it so that higher tax rates aren't easy to maintain as they'd produce far too much income. Something for us to think about during the Economy iteration.

Cheers,
-- Brendan, Lead Developer
I like the spaceport module idea, but it would have to be made clear to the player how it all works. I like markets-as-buildings second best. It works fine now and forces you to make strategic choices about how to allocate room in your cities.
Originally posted by ProcDrone:
Brendan, about that tax thing. Recreation Centers could be changed to instead just generating morale, to morale AND additional money from city population.

When you thing about it, people who enjoy the perks of such centers, must also pay for them, no ? That could be the boost you look for. Instead of just making the population happy enough to make them bear even higher taxes.
This is a good idea too.
Originally posted by Nyphur:
...
Difficulty Scaling: At the moment, the difficulty setting almost exclusively affects only the AI. Because we use a complex AI that calculates optimal moves and tries to think like a player would, imposing difficulty scaling to this has been pretty tricky. As part of the balance sweep, we'll be looking at other ways difficulty can be made to affect the game directly. Should Easy mode increase tax generation, for example, or give the player additional racial stat bonuses or starting technologies? Could we add more positive random events that happen for the player more in easier difficulties?
...
Generally, I'd say: Make AI-boni/-mali a setting/slider separate from actual AI-difficulty - I really dislike cheating AIs, but want to be able to play against an AI that uses all of the game's features as good as it can, without it cheating.


As for the difficulty, introduce artificial errors ( bad decisions ) for the lower AI-levels - if possible some that a player might do, too; or exclude them from using certain advanced features.

Another point to tune down the AI-algorithms to lower difficulty would be to reduce the amount of stuff they fine-tune, as impatient players might.



Originally posted by Troy_Costisick:
Originally posted by ProcDrone:
Brendan, about that tax thing. Recreation Centers could be changed to instead just generating morale, to morale AND additional money from city population.

When you thing about it, people who enjoy the perks of such centers, must also pay for them, no ? That could be the boost you look for. Instead of just making the population happy enough to make them bear even higher taxes.
This is a good idea too.
Indeed it is. :)
Last edited by ShadowDragon_79; Jun 25 @ 12:49am
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