Do we really need carrying capacity? Why not use housing directly?

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Annihilat0r

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In my opinion, having a planetary carrying capacity makes things needlessly complicated and adds nothing beneficial to the whole system. For me, it is the number one reason why the new update feels bad and complicated. Seeing pop growth slowing down to a crawl, even though the planet has massive amounts of free housing and jobs, is unintuitive and frustrating.

Using only the housing capacity directly as the determing factor for the growth curve on the other hand is much more intuitive and gives the player direct agency over the system. Want more pop growth? Build more cities. Want less? Stop building cities. Pretty straight forward.

Furthermore, it would enable us to pre-plan planets such that housing slightly exceeds jobs, having a few unemplyed pops on our core worlds that gradually move away to the new colonies where jobs are available, without suffering a growth penalty. In the endgame, even an exquilibrium between jobs and housing could be achieved, if the player so desires.

The maximum number of districts is usually tied to the planet size, so this would naturally limit the max housing per planet as well. I truly don't see why a carrying capacity apart from housing is necessary at all.
 
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Yeah I have to second this question -> I like the idea of an S curve but not basing it off housing seems a bit like an odd decision.
 
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Taking account of more factors than just housing allows for increased differentiation between planet types (unspoiled Gaia worlds naturally providing more living space than relic worlds is a lovely touch for example), as well as making planetary blockers far more important.

It also adds a degree of decision making about how best to develop smaller planets in particular, as you're potentially trading off pop growth by overfocusing on resource districts at the expense of cities.

I personally like the capacity system, and it adds a lot of additional levers to the game that improve depth. There's a slight learning curve to get used to it, but once you understand the basic mechanics it's not like you're having to do advanced maths to work out which actions benefit your pop growth.
 
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Taking account of more factors than just housing allows for increased differentiation between planet types (unspoiled Gaia worlds naturally providing more living space than relic worlds is a lovely touch for example), as well as making planetary blockers far more important.
Interesting thought, but wouldn't the pops on an "unspoiled gaia world" still have to live somewhere? I can't imagine a spacefaring civilization suddenly going back to living comfortably under the trees without electricity, running water, etc. Housing should represent the bare minimum of catering to the basic needs of pops and without housing, growth should be limited imho.
 
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The original Carrying Capacity mod targeted a number slightly above a planet's capacity, and also gave more-than-full credit for undeveloped districts (10 capacity for a regular planet or habitat, more for special planets and structures with larger districts).

In my limited personal testing, that worked pretty well.

3.0 carrying capacity could be modified to be less punitive at the upper half of the curve, so you're encouraged to keep some housing open but not need to build double the housing you use.
 
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While that sounds nice, I don't think it would work. There's several non-housing sources of carrying capacity that are important. Undeveloped districts are a pretty important source, as it means you don't have to build out all of the housing on a planet in order for the carrying capacity to recognize that you're on a larger planet. A size 12 planet with two districts shouldn't behave the same as a size 25 with 2 districts in terms of carrying capacity. They could just give you housing for those undeveloped districts, but I think that would just make housing even less important. Also, rogue servitor bio trophies don't use housing at all, and there are a lot of issues with moving them back to using it.

I think the real problem is that carrying capacity starts kicking in way, way too soon. If you aren't within 80% or so of the planet's carrying capacity, it shouldn't affect your growth. That should cut down significantly on the ridiculous amount of extra housing the current strategies end up with.
 
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Also, rogue servitor bio trophies don't use housing at all, and there are a lot of issues with moving them back to using it.
I'd suggest that in 3.0 there's enough spare housing due to the meta that it wouldn't matter in this version.
 

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I'd suggest that in 3.0 there's enough spare housing due to the meta that it wouldn't matter in this version.
Isn't the point of any change to carrying capacity to remove the absurd levels of excess housing, not maintain it while being slightly less complicated, though? That change to pop housing for rogue servitors was really cool, and I've seen them use it in a few other places (like the pops who go live with the underground civilization in that colony event).

If the concern is transparency, just add the different sources to the tooltip for carrying capacity so it says how much capacity you're getting from housing, undeveloped districts, and other sources.
 
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Isn't the point of any change to carrying capacity to remove the absurd levels of excess housing, not maintain it while being slightly less complicated, though? That change to pop housing for rogue servitors was really cool, and I've seen them use it in a few other places (like the pops who go live with the underground civilization in that colony event).

If the concern is transparency, just add the different sources to the tooltip for carrying capacity so it says how much capacity you're getting from housing, undeveloped districts, and other sources.
Sure, when the game changes then my opinion about ALWAYS having too much housing will hopefully change.

For Bio-Trophies, I'd like them to have a separate Carrying Capacity based on their special buildings and on empty building slots instead of unused districts.
 

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A size 12 planet with two districts shouldn't behave the same as a size 25 with 2 districts in terms of carrying capacity.
Would you mind elaborate why not?

The size of the planet dictates the theoretical maximum, but it says nothing about it's current state.

As a simple analogy, consider the continent of America. Despite being much larger than continental Europe, when the European conquerors arrived, it had a much lower population and stayed like this for centuries. Vast lands do not equal developed living space. Pops should grow at max speed, when there is plenty of free living space, i.e. housing.
 
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I think carrying capacity is a better system than housing since it allows for undeveloped districts to be beneficial while making blockers more detrimental.

However, it should just REPLACE housing rather than supplement it. Housing is completely redundant right now because you'll always have an excess of it anyway thanks to unlocking building slots with City Districts, and the way the S-curve works.
 
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The problem here I see is that it does not matter how much housing a pop needs. So you can have situations where slaves, who only use 0.25 housing (in ME) still counting as 1 whole pop for the case of capacity, same as a pop with the extra housing trait needing 1.1 housing counting as 1 carrying capacity. This is where, calculating the carrying capacity off the housing will come in better results. So, instead of using (pop - pop^2/CC -1), just use (housing used - housing used^2/CC -1)
 
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Taking account of more factors than just housing allows for increased differentiation between planet types (unspoiled Gaia worlds naturally providing more living space than relic worlds is a lovely touch for example), as well as making planetary blockers far more important.

It also adds a degree of decision making about how best to develop smaller planets in particular, as you're potentially trading off pop growth by overfocusing on resource districts at the expense of cities.

I personally like the capacity system, and it adds a lot of additional levers to the game that improve depth. There's a slight learning curve to get used to it, but once you understand the basic mechanics it's not like you're having to do advanced maths to work out which actions benefit your pop growth.

My issue with it is that it's not intuitive. I don't think that means the system is good or bad on it's own (personally, I like the concept but hate the micromanagement involved in optimizing it without a UI that really gives you the proper information), but there's nothing in game that explains how capacity is calculated. Really, what this needs is some sort of UI tooltip. Maybe in the population section when showing growth it should say something like +2.7 due to X capacity (housing+districts).
 
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The problem here I see is that it does not matter how much housing a pop needs. So you can have situations where slaves, who only use 0.25 housing (in ME) still counting as 1 whole pop for the case of capacity, same as a pop with the extra housing trait needing 1.1 housing counting as 1 carrying capacity. This is where, calculating the carrying capacity off the housing will come in better results. So, instead of using (pop - pop^2/CC -1), just use (housing used - housing used^2/CC -1)
Just change the traits and probably pacifist pop sprawl bonus to just reduce the pop weight of pops towards growth penalties.

In theory you could also apply it to slaves but that seems a bit exploitable.
 

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I think carrying capacity is a better system than housing since it allows for undeveloped districts to be beneficial while making blockers more detrimental.

However, it should just REPLACE housing rather than supplement it. Housing is completely redundant right now because you'll always have an excess of it anyway thanks to unlocking building slots with City Districts, and the way the S-curve works.
I guess you’re right, they should do either/or. As usual, we have several systems clashing with poor or no synergy. I’m in favour of anything that makes planetary management more streamlined and intuitive, without the mumbo jumbo.

If you have space, jobs and resources - pops grow. If you don’t- they don’t.

Keep the game a game, what’s so difficult to understand? Enough of the meaningless convoluted bloat
 
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Taking account of more factors than just housing allows for increased differentiation between planet types (unspoiled Gaia worlds naturally providing more living space than relic worlds is a lovely touch for example), as well as making planetary blockers far more important.

It also adds a degree of decision making about how best to develop smaller planets in particular, as you're potentially trading off pop growth by overfocusing on resource districts at the expense of cities.

I personally like the capacity system, and it adds a lot of additional levers to the game that improve depth. There's a slight learning curve to get used to it, but once you understand the basic mechanics it's not like you're having to do advanced maths to work out which actions benefit your pop growth.

Micro is not depth. One of the sales pitches of the patch was a better ability to prebuilt planets. The new growth curve and the unintuitive nature of carrying capacity make that a bad idea, especially on resource worlds. It also leads to housing needs reduction abilites being completely ignored in the calculation.

IMO it is a bad design for these reasons. Early game it might be interesting to try and maximize housing, but having to stagger building up your 50th colony so you don't kill growth is just annoying.
 
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Would you mind elaborate why not?
Because carrying capacity is generally considering how much the biosphere of a planet can support, not how many houses you have built. You may not think that concept matters, but that's the thing they're trying to represent separate from raw housing. Using that space extra efficiently by providing more housing than the "default" expectation can then increase the carrying capacity or if you use it less efficiently with rural districts, then things decrease.

From a purely mechanical perspective, I feel like finding large planets is already meh-worthy enough without making undeveloped districts totally worthless. Having them provide some value means larger planets provide a benefit even if you aren't making full use of it, since you won't need as much infrastructure to keep carrying capacity high.

I also think it means that growth worlds don't have to build a million empty city districts just to fill up every district slot. Being able to leave some of it undeveloped, especially for a very large planet, feels more true to a planet being 100% rural.

I hope they change it so that you only need to make sure carrying capacity is 10-20% above your pop level instead of needing it to be double or whatever is ideal (I haven't played with the numbers outside rogue servitor, which ends up even wackier). Then a rural planet that only develops half the space wouldn't have to worry much about carrying capacity, as the undeveloped districts cover it pretty well (assuming no blockers). You then only need to worry about housing, since that ends up mattering again. Then, on heavily developed urban worlds, carrying capacity is mainly or entirely driven by housing, which is what you'd expect. So you'd need to maintain that lead using housing more and more until you need to maintain 10-20% more housing than you're using to maintain max growth after you've developed every district.

After that, the only other thing is to factor the housing usage traits into how population and carrying capacity are compared.
 
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If you have space, jobs and resources - pops grow. If you don’t- they don’t.

Funnily enough, that was already how it worked before the log curve was introduced - pops stopped growing if you went above 115% of your available housing.

Since they simply disabled the entire lower half of the growth curve, all we have now is an extra housing calculation that gives you up to a 100% growth boost.


Because carrying capacity is generally considering how much the biosphere of a planet can support, not how many houses you have built. You may not think that concept matters, but that's the thing they're trying to represent separate from raw housing. Using that space extra efficiently by providing more housing than the "default" expectation can then increase the carrying capacity or if you use it less efficiently with rural districts, then things decrease.

But it remains very vague just what this is simulating. How does a housing district improve a planets carrying capacity? Why does a farming district reduce it? It seems unnecessarily confusing.


From a purely mechanical perspective, I feel like finding large planets is already meh-worthy enough without making undeveloped districts totally worthless. Having them provide some value means larger planets provide a benefit even if you aren't making full use of it, since you won't need as much infrastructure to keep carrying capacity high.

I'm an advocate for significantly reducing the number of pops and jobs the average planet can support. This deals with both performance and economic problems (currently, there is an overabundance of everything - space, resources, building slots).
 
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General Retreat

Void Syndicate
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Micro is not depth. One of the sales pitches of the patch was a better ability to prebuilt planets. The new growth curve and the unintuitive nature of carrying capacity make that a bad idea, especially on resource worlds. It also leads to housing needs reduction abilites being completely ignored in the calculation.
The issue with prebuilding is one that I definitely do agree with. The capacity system isn't inherently in conflict with prebuilding a planet, but causes problems by immediately decreasing capacity as soon as a district is queued.

I can't really work out why they've set it up that way, as you're right in saying that it actually disincentivises playing in the way they intended if you want to absolutely maximise growth optimisation.

Having districts only affect capacity once they're actually built and including more detailed tooltips about how capacity is calculated should completely resolve that though.
 
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Ferrus Animus

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Sep 16, 2019
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The issue with prebuilding is one that I definitely do agree with. The capacity system isn't inherently in conflict with prebuilding a planet, but causes problems by immediately decreasing capacity as soon as a district is queued.

Not only that. The system right now also assumes a good number of resource worlds. You know what resource districts do? Provide less housing (2) than empty district capacity (3+).
So prebuilding a mining or farming world would also reduce capacity with all those tooltips and without the queue issue.
And considering the effect on growth ranges from -90% to +100% (multiplicative with other bonuses), the optimal play for resource worlds is to buld them up district by district, then add some housing, time the extra jobs per district just right and then finally replace city districts with resource ones once the optimal number of pops is reached. or skip the last step to create migrants and keep the growth.

That is so much micro, if you know what you're doing. Or you know, just have significantly less pops->resources->power->ability to do things later on.
Frankly IMO, simply adding the new pop migration would have fixed the micro issue and the new pop growth curve, planet capacity and growth penalty add more useless bloat.
 
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