Farming / Food Changes

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sven
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Farming / Food Changes

Postby sven » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:38 pm

For those of you who have been keeping an eye on the evolving resource mechanics, it's worth noting that the latest stable patch includes some fairly dramatic changes to the way food production works.

Nearly all colonist types now produce 0.5 food, however, only if they're on a planet with an environment that they like. For most species, this means that Island, Garden, and Paradise worlds consume half as much food as they used to.

I've also tweaked the farm production rules. There's now a significantly larger "active" production component to farms, and farms now take 2 colonists to fully staff. The size of the active component increases with tech, and production bonuses from tech are bigger for farms on high fertility worlds than low fertility worlds.

This means that, at the start of the game, a farm on an Arid world and Garden world will produce the same amount of food (4 each), but with tier 3 farms, the arid farm will only produce 8 food, while the garden farm will produce 11.

I'm expecting most players to ignore the details of the numbers -- but, the high-level consequences should be pretty intuitive. If you colonize lots of hostile-environment worlds, food supply is more likely to be a problem. And if you tech up in farming, you can turn some of your garden/island/paradise worlds into real "bread baskets", capable of both feeding their own populations, and exporting a significant surplus.

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Re: Farming / Food Changes

Postby SilasOfBorg » Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:02 pm

Interesting -- hope you keep it like this for a while so we can get a good feel for it.

<insert feedback here, eventually>

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Re: Farming / Food Changes

Postby sven » Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:14 pm

SilasOfBorg wrote:Interesting -- hope you keep it like this for a while so we can get a good feel for it.


Well, there's one more significant change coming with the next patch. In older builds, there has been a hard cap on maximum population size of a planet. So if you moved extra population to a world that had reached it's capacity, the excess pop would die of "starvation" at the end of the turn.

With the new morale system, we retired this rule. Intentionally moving extra population to a planet now creates a significant morale penalty due to "overcrowding". But, as long as they have sufficient food, your colonists won't automatically die of starvation.

I'm not yet sure how this is going to play out in terms of mid/late game balance. Intentionally overpopulating a planet, and just accepting the morale hit in exchange for higher production, should, I think, be a viable strategy in some situations. But, hopefully it won't be "required for optimal play", or otherwise hugely OP. It's going to take us all a while to get a feel for the new numbers and mechanics; and there's a lot of dials we can adjust to try to get the balance right here.

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Re: Farming / Food Changes

Postby SirDamnALot » Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:43 pm

Are there ways to control/stop the population grow in case I want to stop at the normal pop cap?

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Re: Farming / Food Changes

Postby sven » Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:17 pm

SirDamnALot wrote:Are there ways to control/stop the population grow in case I want to stop at the normal pop cap?


Natural growth will always stop at the normal cap -- those mechanics haven't changed. What's different is what happens in the case that you intentionally move population onto a planet that's already "full".

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Re: Farming / Food Changes

Postby SirDamnALot » Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:59 pm

sven wrote:
SirDamnALot wrote:Are there ways to control/stop the population grow in case I want to stop at the normal pop cap?


Natural growth will always stop at the normal cap -- those mechanics haven't changed. What's different is what happens in the case that you intentionally move population onto a planet that's already "full".

Ah I see, that was my method to remove undesired sub populations from colonies, send them to a full one and they go poof :lol:
Now I have to deal with the buggers ;)

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Re: Farming / Food Changes

Postby sven » Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:59 pm

SirDamnALot wrote:Ah I see, that was my method to remove undesired sub populations from colonies, send them to a full one and they go poof :lol:
Now I have to deal with the buggers ;)


This is very much working as intended. One of our goals in this big set of changes is to make it possible for population types that want to cause trouble to actually be troublesome. Things like work stoppages and even revolts are now possible on sufficiently discontent planets, and if you have an uncooperative population type on a planet, they'll refuse to board transports, so you can't just send them off to somewhere else. The Gaiads and Scavengers, in particular, can now never be moved off of their original worlds.

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Re: Farming / Food Changes

Postby halftea » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:43 am

As a side effect, I noticed that this came in on a game I had in progress, where I had already moved Gaiads off planet. Mostly because I could. :) I did notice they don't want to move from whatever planet they are on. Obviously this situation will not arise in a new game now. But it initially caught me by surprise.

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Re: Farming / Food Changes

Postby Arioch » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:57 am

If population becomes discontent, you can't move them or load them up on transports (or use them as militia). The Gaiads and Scavengers are always discontent.

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Re: Farming / Food Changes

Postby Chasm » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:13 am

A bit of weirdness here. If you remove all population from a world except Scavenger, and then make a colony ship, it populates the colony ship with your race, NOT Scavenger. I will assume it does the same for Gaiads. The regular rules seems to be the HIGHEST population type gets loaded into the colony ship. Are we no longer allowed to colonize the universe with scavengers ? Note a colony ship does not reduce the core population, so this is really just about allowing me to spread a pestilence across the galaxy.

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Re: Farming / Food Changes

Postby Arioch » Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:21 am

Chasm wrote:A bit of weirdness here. If you remove all population from a world except Scavenger, and then make a colony ship, it populates the colony ship with your race, NOT Scavenger. I will assume it does the same for Gaiads. The regular rules seems to be the HIGHEST population type gets loaded into the colony ship. Are we no longer allowed to colonize the universe with scavengers ? Note a colony ship does not reduce the core population, so this is really just about allowing me to spread a pestilence across the galaxy.

Previously, it was fixed so that the minor races couldn't populate colony ships. It was easy to get into situations where you were accidentally creating colony ships with Enfi instead of Gremak colonists.

Under the new system, you won't be able to create colony ships with slaves, discontent population, or population with the Primitive trait. Scavengers and Gaiads are Unruly, which means they're always technically discontent, and so can't man colony ships or be moved. If you move all of your population off of a planet and leave only discontent population, they should promptly revolt.

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Re: Farming / Food Changes

Postby SirDamnALot » Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:30 am

What actually determines the population on a colony ship?
I've seem planets with several populations and switched ownerships (from Orthin to Ashdar to me and everyone added some pops) that I'm not sure which type I would even expect :mrgreen:

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Re: Farming / Food Changes

Postby Arioch » Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:50 pm

It's the majority population on the planet.

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Re: Farming / Food Changes

Postby Chasm » Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:32 pm

Current build I have no humans on a scavenger world, no revolt occurred. Colony ship builds, but with human colonials. I have a feeling humans have some other weirdness going on too. For example, I keep being offered slaves from pirates, but the option to buy is greyed out, and I know I have enough resources to meet their price.

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Re: Farming / Food Changes

Postby sven » Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:54 pm

Chasm wrote: For example, I keep being offered slaves from pirates, but the option to buy is greyed out, and I know I have enough resources to meet their price.


This is a bug on my "urgent to fix" list :oops:

Arioch wrote:It's the majority population on the planet.


Technically, this is not 100% true. Right now, there's a class of population that are marked with the special "don't spawn in colony ships". This class includes Gaiads, Enfi, Threshers, and Scavengers. If you have a mixed population planet, say, 3 Gremak, 1 Ashdar, and 6 Enfi, the colony ship will have the largest population of a type that's marked as allowed to spawn in colony ships. However, in the case where there is no such race; i.e., on a world with nothing but scavengers, the spawned race will be whatever the original species of your empire is.

I'm not sure if that's the best way of handling this case. I mean, from a world-building perspective, I think the reason you're getting Gremak, rather than Enfi, is that Gremak are more willing and able to serve as colonists, so it makes some sense that their population would be the one to contribute colonists, even though they're a minority. But on a pure scavenger world that somehow is functioning well enough to build colony ships, I imagine the scavenger population might well end up being used as colonists. Maybe we should have another optional boolean in the race definitions; something like "doesn't want spawn in colony ships, but can, if there's no better option" ;)

I'm thinking that that "last resort colonist" boolean would be true for Scavengers, Algorians, Lummox, and Threshers. But false for races that are truly tied to planet, like Pell or Gaiads. It's all a little overcomplicated. But, not really hard to implement, and it would let people like Chasm, who want to make a mono-race galaxy using some unusual race, do so without fighting against the core game mechanics.


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