Planetary Annihilation's Economy System

Discussion in 'Planetary Annihilation General Discussion' started by scathis, February 28, 2013.

  1. scathis

    scathis Arbiter of Awesome Uber Alumni

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    Hi Planetary Annihilation fans!

    Neutrino asked me to write up the plan for PA's economy system that I pitched him. PA's economy should allow for all the interesting depth of strategy you get with streaming and assisting economies but do so in such a way that will be easier to grok and get you to effectively annihilate planets much sooner.

    Details
    • We are using two resources, Metal and Energy.
    • Metal is used to build things.
    • Energy is used to run things.
    • Metal extractors/makers will stream in at a set amount of metal per second depending on the building.
    • Energy collectors/generators will stream in at a set amount of energy per second depending on the building.
    • A factory or engineer will stream out metal to build units/structures at a set rate depending on the factory or engineer.
    • A factory or engineer will drain energy while active at a set amount of energy per second depending on the factory or engineer.
    • When either resource is drained, the remainder will be evenly split between all units and structures trying to use that resource.
    • When your energy is drained, the amount of energy builders use is prorated. The metal output is also reduced via that prorated amount.
    • When your metal is drained, the amount of metal builders produce is prorated. However, energy drain is not affected. It still costs full energy to power the builder.
    • Weapons that use energy to fire will drain energy to charge up a shot. Once the charge is full, the weapon will fire. A drained energy economy prorates this charge.
    • Units and structures are priced in metal. The time to build is a function of the factory or engineer that is constructing it and the number and types of engineers assisting the build.
    • Metal and energy storage will allow you to build up reserves of resources. This allows players to have some buffer room when the resource drain exceeds the resource income.
    • This is a direct-support style. If you have the resource income to run a builder, that builder can always build until you lose a resource structure or turn on another builder.
    • Engineer assisting will apply metal at the engineer's metal production rate and drain energy at it's energy drain rate.
    • Different factories and engineers may have different balance styles. For example: A tank factory may push a lot of metal but use a little energy, but a bot factory may push less metal but required much more energy due to the complexity of bots. Thus focusing on bots or tanks may be more viable on different types of planets.

    Why are going with this economy style?
    Economies from previous games had issues with many newer players. Builders used metal and energy at variable amounts based on the unit or structure being built, the engineer or factory doing the building, and a hidden multiplier inside of the engineer or factory. This often resulted in an economy that was humming along nicely, then a builder would assist or build another structure or unit and then the economy would be be drained almost immediately. Players had to play for a long time to understand the mathematical complexity that went on behind the scenes.

    These changes should still keep the great streaming economy we've seen in past games but at the same time moving the focus to explosions, robots, and tanks over doing economy mathematics.
    crizmess, shootall and knickles like this.
  2. syox

    syox Member

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    Interessting o_O ;P


    Dont see why you where scared to show this. Its fine.
    Was expecting something way more new stuff after the other posts :D
  3. KNight

    KNight Post Master General

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    Sounds Legit, can't wait to mess around with it!

    Mike
  4. neutrino

    neutrino low mass particle Uber Employee

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    I wasn't scared to show it, it was more about getting a detailed enough explanation written as details matter.
  5. insanityoo

    insanityoo Member

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    Well I approve at least.
  6. KNight

    KNight Post Master General

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    AS they say, nothing is Final until release!

    But even then things can change!

    EDIT: Ha! Ninja'd your Ninja'd Scathis! ;p

    Mike
  7. drsinistar

    drsinistar Member

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    I'm grateful for the minimal adjustment. It's very nice to hear about this. Thanks Scathis and neutrino! :D

    EDIT: I also like how the cost of unit is going to be more intuitive. This will make strategies so much easier to formulate on the fly. Oh man, so excited for this game!!
    Last edited: February 28, 2013
  8. thapear

    thapear Member

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    That's exactly what I was hoping for. Nice!
  9. scathis

    scathis Arbiter of Awesome Uber Alumni

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    It's not really minimal. It's a fundamental shift in the underlying mechanics of the economy.

    But on the other hand, 99% of players will probably not notice that it works differently.
    shootall and knickles like this.
  10. drsinistar

    drsinistar Member

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    Well, in terms of the basic mechanics, it seems to be essentially the same. I was thinking in terms of how there are only two resources, for example. Not to mention the learning curve has not steepened.
  11. Pawz

    Pawz Active Member

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    Very interesting.

    Subtle but pretty far reaching changes. I imagine dealing with multiple planets will come when you actually have multiple planets to playtest :).

    I really like the fact that your build queue will no longer make your economy fluctuate.

    I guess that means that build time is purely a factor of metal cost / engineer output then. And you can take energy cost out of the unit being built entirely. And a huge swarm of air cons could drain your energy a lot faster than a swarm of ground cons, even just building the same thing.. mmm.

    Prorated amount = ? I'm not sure what you're trying to say with that one. If I am correct, that means that if you have +100 metal, and -110 metal, your engineers build at roughly 90% speed?


    All in all, sound good to me, and thanks for the info!
  12. Col_Jessep

    Col_Jessep Moderator Alumni

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    Ha, that was exactly what I suggested on the GPG forum when they released the details for the abomination that turned out to be the SupCom2 economy. Can't wait to see how this works out! :p
  13. Pawz

    Pawz Active Member

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    Lol I was thinking it sounded so familiar too.. then I found this post on rethinking energy back.
  14. igncom1

    igncom1 Post Master General

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    I like it.

    So metal is spent and energy is like a type of capacity? (Anyone feel free to clarify for me).
  15. yogurt312

    yogurt312 New Member

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    So if i'm getting this right:

    Hi I'm a tank factory, i cost 15 energy a second to run, i can put up to 10 metal per second into a unit i'm building.

    I'm a bot lab, I cost 30 energy a second to run but i can only put 7 metal per second into things.

    And i'm an engineer, I only cost 10 energy per second to run but i can put 4 metal per second into anything i build or assist.

    I'm sure if anyone gets to annoyed by this some how they can always mod the game to TA. I think i can make the switch easy enough though.
  16. bobucles

    bobucles Post Master General

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    Sounds good enough for 1 planet. I guess testing is needed to see how multiple worlds will work, but it seems open enough to try a bunch of different things. The biggest overall change appears to be this one:
    So while everyone might use the same metal, they do not use the same energy. Factories with discounted energy will be poor targets for assisting, while factories that use excess energy will make assisting almost mandatory.

    Unfortunately, this suggests that assist rates can only be modified in tandem with how effective fabbers are on the field. Base building could end up very difficult if fabbers demand lots of energy to function, as that would also be necessary to make factories efficient.
    Aww, the extractors don't get any love? I guess an energy shortage is going to be pretty painful.
  17. eukanuba

    eukanuba Well-Known Member

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    The key thing I notice is that energy is not prorated when metal is stalling - meaning that the vicious power crashes of SupCom that happen when you finally get enough mass through reclaim or upgrades will be a thing of the past.

    It will still be possible to force energy stalls by bombing pgens, but you'd have to be a bit of a div to crash your own energy eco without any warning (as opposed to FA, where today I made a slight change to my initial build order and energy stalled for about five minutes each game).

    Yes, sounds great!
  18. Raevn

    Raevn Moderator Alumni

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    One possible abuse of this system - Starting construction at a factory with high energy use, getting a low energy use engineer to assist, then pausing the factory and letting the engineer finish the construction. It would seem this could save you energy if the factory would normally use a tonne of energy to build.

    To use yogurt312's example, I assist a bot factory (paused) with 2 engineers vs factory alone.

    Factory alone: -30 energy, 7 metal per second.
    Engineers with factory paused: -20 energy, 8 metal per second.

    Otherwise, sounds great, solves the problem it was aiming to without altering the core mechanic. I assume this implies a universal economy then?
  19. igncom1

    igncom1 Post Master General

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    You can do this in supcom.

    It is the equivalent from going from a factory's build power to an engineers, and so the costs will be cheaper per second, but it will also build slower.
  20. neutrino

    neutrino low mass particle Uber Employee

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    Extractors are proportional as well.

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