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Civic funding exploit
04-16-2013, 04:38 AM (This post was last modified: 04-16-2013 05:18 AM by Diebo.)
Post: #1
Civic funding exploit
Fixing research/labs exploit (such that a player almost never needs to use people to research science, and in fact doing so was mostly a bad use of resources) highlights another exploit that should probably been looked at: civic funding.

Right now, if I can get 50 or so systems, and warp gate, and each planet gets PCM, EF2, Robotics 2, sanctioned sports... I can expect to generate 1 pop per turn on any such "breeder" planet, even if it only has 1 pop on it. In fact, growth is fastest if there is only 1 pop. So around turn 150 or so, I can take 15 planets, each with only 1 pop, and in ten turns by moving that extra pop to another planet, get 150 million more people. Which doubles most populations by that point. In 20 turns, I'll be up to 450 million. It really is quite insane.

Right now, and it isn't very logical, civic funding works better the fewer people there are on a planet. But it really should be tied to production. A Huge Gaia fully outfitted with 30 pop should be able to breed more people than one with only 1 pop. What you do with those people is a different question.

I would recommend that we figure out some sort of maximum production (700 or whatever) and tie that to some population growth max for civic funding. Say 2 million people. And take some minimum production (low gravity, no buildings, very poor) and set that to some minimum civic funding (say +20k people). And then figure out a growth curve. The more you spend on production, the more people you produce. Doesn't have to be linear (to help out those just-starting planets).

Population growth is very important - right now I am essentially getting it for free. But if I had to take a planet with 25 pop, fully loaded to get that 1 million a turn... there would be a whole different strategic feel to the choice of building a starship now, or adding to future growth potential later.
Ok I ran some numbers. I think for anything over about 50 production, for every unit production, you produce an extra 2 population. So 700 production, you produce 1400 pop. 60 production (PCM, Robotics 2, EF2, no workers) you would produce +120 pop. About like a cloning facility. And this would be on top of normal growth for the planet and cloning.

The formula falls apart for only 5 industry...
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04-16-2013, 05:20 AM
Post: #2
RE: Civic funding exploit
So if I read this right, the exploit here is that you transfer colonists between planets. Assuming they can move between the planets in one turn, then:

1) You garner higher growth rate due to civic funding and the low population total

2) I would have to review to the code to be certain, but do the contribute to production / research / farming on the destination colony that turn? If they do, then they probably should not (they were busy traveling).



If I read it right, what about just removing building production bonuses from working with civic funding? Forces workers on it to get the added production.
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04-16-2013, 05:27 AM
Post: #3
RE: Civic funding exploit
(04-16-2013 05:20 AM)rocco Wrote:  So if I read this right, the exploit here is that you transfer colonists between planets. Assuming they can move between the planets in one turn, then:

1) You garner higher growth rate due to civic funding and the low population total

2) I would have to review to the code to be certain, but do the contribute to production / research / farming on the destination colony that turn? If they do, then they probably should not (they were busy traveling).



If I read it right, what about just removing building production bonuses from working with civic funding? Forces workers on it to get the added production.

I don't really know or care if they contribute production that turn. The fact that I can take and add 15 population to a planet in a single turn is the exploit.

Yes, removing the buildings might go a long way to fixing the exploit. I would still say that the more energy you put into civic funding, the more people you should get out of it. Regardless of available population levels on a given planet.

If you removed buildings, would the production from those buildings then be stored?

Worth looking into.
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04-16-2013, 05:53 AM
Post: #4
RE: Civic funding exploit
(04-16-2013 05:27 AM)Diebo Wrote:  I don't really know or care if they contribute production that turn. The fact that I can take and add 15 population to a planet in a single turn is the exploit.

I know, but it is still a question worth answering.

Quote:I would still say that the more energy you put into civic funding, the more people you should get out of it. Regardless of available population levels on a given planet.

On this I I think I still disagree. I believe moo2 got it right in that population growth diminishes the less space is available on a planet. Throwing more money at it shouldn't change that principle.

Quote:If you removed buildings, would the production from those buildings then be stored?

That could probably be arranged.



Another fix would be to have the "traveling" population still count towards the population of the planet they left for that turn, for the purposes of civic funding / growth rate.
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04-16-2013, 06:01 AM
Post: #5
RE: Civic funding exploit
(04-16-2013 05:53 AM)rocco Wrote:  Another fix would be to have the "traveling" population still count towards the population of the planet they left for that turn, for the purposes of civic funding / growth rate.

this wouldn't greatly change anything. As it is, the hassle of moving population around when you have 50+ planets is such that I'll often move every 2 turns instead of every turn. You lose out on maybe 100k growth. Not a big deal. If the hit was large enough, I would just move pop out every turn.

I think buildings are probably the exploit - with zero people on production, you can produce 1 pop per turn, with the right buildings. And this is even for very poor, tiny planets with ACP 3 (I forgot to add that to the list of important buildings).
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04-16-2013, 06:06 AM
Post: #6
RE: Civic funding exploit
(04-16-2013 06:01 AM)Diebo Wrote:  this wouldn't greatly change anything. As it is, the hassle of moving population around when you have 50+ planets is such that I'll often move every 2 turns instead of every turn. You lose out on maybe 100k growth. Not a big deal. If the hit was large enough, I would just move pop out every turn.

Now you are confusing me. I thought the exploit you described was that by moving population around you could artificially sky-rocket population growth using civic funding (especially if this transfer took one turn for travel)?

Is that or isn't that the case?
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04-16-2013, 06:24 AM
Post: #7
RE: Civic funding exploit
(04-16-2013 06:06 AM)rocco Wrote:  
(04-16-2013 06:01 AM)Diebo Wrote:  this wouldn't greatly change anything. As it is, the hassle of moving population around when you have 50+ planets is such that I'll often move every 2 turns instead of every turn. You lose out on maybe 100k growth. Not a big deal. If the hit was large enough, I would just move pop out every turn.

Now you are confusing me. I thought the exploit you described was that by moving population around you could artificially sky-rocket population growth using civic funding (especially if this transfer took one turn for travel)?

Is that or isn't that the case?

Sorry. It isn't movement per say that causes the exploit. Warp gates makes the movement go faster, but you can ship people out slowly and still get the population explosion.

You do have to move the population every turn or two to maximize growth. 1 person grows more than 2, 2 more than 3.

The exploit is that by turning 10-20 planets into 1 population "breeder" planets, you can exponentially grow your population, as long as you ship the growth off to some other planet. It just doesn't make logical sense.

And you pointed out buildings - that is a large part of the problem. When you get robotics 2, PCM, EF2, and ACP3, you get 1 pop per turn, even if you don't have anyone on industry, and even on tiny, very poor planets.

I am calling it an exploit because I rarely see anyone do it, and because I know the loophole I can grow my population from 150 pop to 600 pop in 30-40 turns. In our recent game, around turn 150 I had 300 pop. By turn 180 I had 640 pop.

It is like research centers/orbital labs. As an industry build, I often had 2x research/turn versus a science build. You've closed that loophole up. Now I have to strategically think about research.

The other big "exploit" I know of (outside research) is population growth. If you know how to work the system, you can grow people insanely fast. Most people don't. The choice to grow people at that rate isn't strategic. It is a no-brainer. Which means that it probably is out-of-balance.

Perhaps I should be saying "out-of-balance" rather than exploit?
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04-16-2013, 06:47 AM
Post: #8
RE: Civic funding exploit
(04-16-2013 06:24 AM)Diebo Wrote:  The other big "exploit" I know of (outside research) is population growth. If you know how to work the system, you can grow people insanely fast. Most people don't. The choice to grow people at that rate isn't strategic. It is a no-brainer. Which means that it probably is out-of-balance.

Perhaps I should be saying "out-of-balance" rather than exploit?

Ok, that makes more sense now. Let's separate these into two distinct issues:

1) using the colonist transfer system between planets, such that the transfer length is 1 turn, such that it causes the population growth algorithm to treat the planet as the "optimal" population size, whatever that is. I propose that this is an issue if and only if the colonists produce something (on either planet) during that turn. Thus, to be optimal a player is artificially moving people around to gain growth rate while still gaining the benefits of the population. Worse, those colonists in-transit might not require food. So, I just need to verify that this does indeed do the correct thing.

2) Once you have enough "industry-per-bonus" buildings you can produce substantially high growth rates (on even the worst condition planets) through civic funding. This artificially stretches the importance of expanding to every single planet possible, as by late game you can garner +1 population per turn on even the worst planet.

I'd like to hear more opinions on #2. As you say, it could be just knowing how to play the game, with maybe a slight advantage to industry races (more colonies, more industry, more population). One might also argue that, under the new research changes, it might be more an early advantage to research races (as they could choose to get to those buildings faster).
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04-16-2013, 06:55 AM
Post: #9
RE: Civic funding exploit
(04-16-2013 06:47 AM)rocco Wrote:  1) using the colonist transfer system between planets, such that the transfer length is 1 turn, such that it causes the population growth algorithm to treat the planet as the "optimal" population size, whatever that is. I propose that this is an issue if and only if the colonists produce something (on either planet) during that turn. Thus, to be optimal a player is artificially moving people around to gain growth rate while still gaining the benefits of the population. Worse, those colonists in-transit might not require food. So, I just need to verify that this does indeed do the correct thing.

I verified this in a P-n-P test game; colonist in transit do not produce anything on either planet. You could in theory still move people around to get the optimal growth rate, but at the cost of them actually doing anything.
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04-17-2013, 04:43 PM (This post was last modified: 04-17-2013 04:48 PM by VanderLegion.)
Post: #10
RE: Civic funding exploit
(04-16-2013 06:47 AM)rocco Wrote:  1) using the colonist transfer system between planets, such that the transfer length is 1 turn, such that it causes the population growth algorithm to treat the planet as the "optimal" population size, whatever that is. I propose that this is an issue if and only if the colonists produce something (on either planet) during that turn. Thus, to be optimal a player is artificially moving people around to gain growth rate while still gaining the benefits of the population. Worse, those colonists in-transit might not require food. So, I just need to verify that this does indeed do the correct thing.

As diebo said, whether they produce anything the turn they arrive isn't all that big a deal, it's the fact that you get more population growth from a single pop planet than from any other number of population on the same planet, sometimes by a significant degree. I use the same strategy as he does, and, as I'm also lazy, will frequently only transfer colonists every couple of turns. Most planets once they have all the required buildings will build over +1000k population in a turn even with 2 population, sometimes even with 3.

I can confirm that population in transit does NOT count toward your required food. That should probably be changed (you see all kinds of weird numbers using this technique. You'll go from 0 or +1-2 food per turn to +20 when you transfer a whole bunch of colonists at once).

Quote:2) Once you have enough "industry-per-bonus" buildings you can produce substantially high growth rates (on even the worst condition planets) through civic funding. This artificially stretches the importance of expanding to every single planet possible, as by late game you can garner +1 population per turn on even the worst planet.

I'd like to hear more opinions on #2. As you say, it could be just knowing how to play the game, with maybe a slight advantage to industry races (more colonies, more industry, more population). One might also argue that, under the new research changes, it might be more an early advantage to research races (as they could choose to get to those buildings faster).

Another thing that would help to reduce the effect of this strategy is to remove population rollover. As best I can tell, if you have over 1 mil pop on a new turn, you get the new population and the rest of the remaining "breeding stock" sticks around. So if you have +750k population per turn for instance, after 1 turn, you're at 750k. After the second turn, you're at 1.5M. You gain +1 pop and have 500k toward your next one. Turn 3 you gain another 750k, you're now at 1.25M, gain a pop, 250k toward the next one. Turn 4 puts you at 1M and you gain another pop and start over.

The reason I think this is the case is that I'll frequently end up with planets at around +980k population growth. They're just short of a pop/turn due to missing a building or whatever, but after the first turn they'll still be getting 1 every turn. I'm assuming this happens because the first turn puts you at 980k, second gives you a pop and leaves you 960, third gives a pop and leaves you at 940, etc.

If you remove the rollover, then +980k/turn will only give you 1 population every 2 turns, instead of 49 in 50 turns. That alone would make a significant difference on breeder planets before you got all the required buildings.

Removing the bonus from buildings would kill breeder planets completely since that's where all the growth comes from. On the other hand, I don't really see how your production bonuses would do that much to make your people breed faster...

I'm also with Diebo in that it seems to make more sense to me that the more population you have on a planet, the faster the population would grow. Look at the earth, it's not all that long ago that the population was pretty low. It's estimated that the world's population hit 1 billion for the first time in 1804. So it took who knows exactly how long to get to 1 billion. From there, it took 123 years to get to 2 billion in 1927, then 33 years to 3 billion in 1960. 14 more years got to 4 billion in 1974, then 13 years to 5 billion in 1987. 6 billion was in '99, so another 12 years, then 12 more years to 2011 for 7 billion.

So the population growth has consistantly accelerated throughout the history of the planet, it didn't grow up to 50% then slow down after like the non-civic growth, and it DEFINITELY wasn't fastest when it was really low like the civic funding version. Population growth exploded then just keeped going up. Which makes sense, the more people there are, the more can reproduce. And while you can argue that it'd slow down as you ran out of space, again, Earth's population just keeps on growing, regardless of how much space we have.

You could actually argue space would be LESS of an issue in a sci-fi universe, because you don't have to worry as much about the planning running out of room/resources to house and feed everyone, you can just ship resources in or ship people out to other planets.

I might argue for keeping the non-civic growth the way it is and change funding so that industry buildings doesn't affect it (industry from workers does since that simulates the time they're spending reproducing) but you gain more growth the higher the population is on the planet. Maybe add some penalties for using civic funding on a planet that's getting close to max, increase the cost of food being shipped in if they aren't farming it themselves, or maybe increase the amount of food required for the planet. Maybe introduce a moral penalty the closer you get to max while using funding, that kind of thing.

You might even be able to keep it so it scales similar to now in that if you have an ideal planet (huge gaia with acp3 so you can have 30-32 population funding) you get +1000k pop to gain a pop/turn, while if you're at 1 population you only gain incremental benefits. Doing it that way makes you have to think and plan far harder to use breeder planets than the current system.

As it is now, I just take all of my abundant or lower planets once they have the required buildings (well, I start breeding earlier, but once I have em all every abundant or lower planet that has them all built is used) and transfer all but 1 pop away and start breeding. The population produced is used to max population on all my maxed rich+ gaias as well as fill up new planets to get them up and running faster. So right now, if I have 20 breeder planets, I'm only using 20 population to run them all. Say it takes 20 population civic funding to gain 1 per turn, that would mean I'm using 20 x the population to gain 1/20th the growth from how it works now. It ALSO means that planet you're using for breeding is tying up a lot of population that could be building ships instead.
(04-16-2013 06:55 AM)rocco Wrote:  I verified this in a P-n-P test game; colonist in transit do not produce anything on either planet. You could in theory still move people around to get the optimal growth rate, but at the cost of them actually doing anything.

This really isn't a problem. You aren't trying to move population around to double production or something. You lose out on the production from the new pop for one turn to transfer them to where you want them, but that's trivial when you're gaining FAR, FAR more population then you would without breeding.

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