Trade - Lag, and anti piracy policies

Trade - Lag, and anti piracy policies

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MichaelJanuary

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This is not a full-fledged suggestion yet. Its not mean to change the Trade model, but to provide a means to reduce lag regardless of any changes to the trading model.

THE ISSUE BEING ADDRESSED
My understanding is that trade (any form of it), has to contend with the following two sources of lag:
  1. Calculating and continually updating trade routes, given the route can change.
  2. Calculating and updating piracy and suppression in every system that has trade passing through it, daily, or at least several times a month, given the volume of trade, proximity to patrolling fleets, starbases, and so on.

THE PROPOSAL ADDRESS #2 ONLY
  1. Replace piracy/suppression with a flat chance for pirates to spawn in any given star system.
  2. Introduce a new Policy Decision: Anti Piracy Operations.
    1. None.
    2. Standard: +2.5% Fleet upkeep, -X% chance for pirates to spawn.
    3. Aggressive: +5% fleet upkeep, -Y% chance for pirates to spawn.
  3. In addition to the above, specific infrastructure can increase/reduce the chance of pirates to spawn.
    1. Outpost: -Z% chance per level. +1 effect range per upgrade level.
    2. Precinct: -W% chance per upgrade level.
  4. Optional: chance for pirates to spawn is increased by number of trade routes passing through the system.

EXAMPLE:
  1. Say any given star system has a base chance of 1% per month for pirates to spawn.
  2. Lets says we set this to increase by 1% for every trade route passing through the system, so a system with 3 routes passing through it, will have a 4% chance per month for pirates to spawn.
  3. If your empire policy has an anti piracy policywith a -5% chance for pirates, the chance for pirates to spawn might be 4%-5%, or 0% chance per month.
  4. If the star system had 9 routes passing through it, the base chance could be 10% per month, with -5% from policies. You would have to consider constructing a starbase in the region to reduce the chance of pirates spawning.

IMPACTS
This will significantly reduce the impact of piracy/suppression calculations, as the base chance for pirates to spawn will be static over long periods, and only change when you change policies, build infrastructure, or add new trade routes. it wouldn't have to be continually updated. Each of these events will only affect specific star systems as well (your empire, or a small number of star systems in your empire).

Empires with little or no trade, can ignore piracy, or enact the lower form of the policy, and eliminate or rarely have to worry about piracy. However, heavily trade focussed empires, can still manage it with infrastructure.

This should also not eliminate piracy. So reacting to pirates will still be a requirement. Personally, instead of setting a fleet to "Patrol" a route, I would rather attach the fleet to a starbase and set it on "Alert", so that it auto-responds to pirates within a radius, and return to base after (if it still exists).
 
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MichaelJanuary

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By the way .... there is a way to reduce the lag from route calculations (Issue #1 above), but some people may find that it reduces immersion.

PROPOSAL FOR #1 (ROUTING)
  • Do away with trades having a "route" altogether.
  • Let trade routes just have two endpoints (System A and System B), irrespective of routing.
  • Each system that generates or receives trade, will just increase the risk of piracy in the surrounding systems (by some factor).

This way, where you have a lot of systems that are generating or receiving trade in proximity to each other, will cause all surrounding systems to be at risk of piracy. (Say +x% chance for pirates to spawn).

The problems with this system are:
  1. Do you still need to check whether there is a viable route from A to B?
  2. The pirates may spawn in a system which is close by, but not "actually" on a trade route. (This is not a problem to me, as piracy will still be concentrated largely where trade originates or ends.
  3. Mathematically, the highest risk systems will STILL be those on the route. (I can draw a map for you if it helps). This is because those systems will be "close" to both the start poiint and end point, and spawn chance will be increased from each end point.


If you see my 5 year old son's drawing below .... If Planets A and B were both 'generating piracy', the route between them would be the systems with the most chance for pirates to spawn. If your empire's anti-piracy policy gave a you a blanket -4% chance for pirates, the only systems with sufficient piracy risk would be those on the route. If you had no anti-piracy policy, all the systems would be at risk.


StarMapPiracy.jpg

A and B are star systems.
Lines represent hyperlanes (obviously)
Numbers are the %chance for pirates to spawn each month.

So there is no need to maintain an actual 'trade route'.
Cumulatively, the systems on the "route" will have a higher chance to spawn pirates anyway.
EDIT: Can you see where i ...er ... my five year old ... forgot to draw in the hyperlanes?

EDIT: PROPOSAL #3 - SPAWNING PIRATES
While the calculation to spawn pirates is done once per month, if TRUE, it should trigger an EVENT: "Pirates are approaching system Glorbukon and will arrive in X days!".
This will give you a chance to get an intercept fleet in position (if possible), earn some XP, and not have to rebuild infrastructure if you were responsive enough.
 
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Koopa

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ah.. yes.. trade. i did some tests with strongly reduced pop growth (as high as 75% reduction) and found that the reduced endgame lag (meaning days per second) was not as strong as i hoped for. I forgot about trade route calculating.
 
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sillyrobot

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The simplest method for a player to handle both: build a star fortress trade collector in a gateway system at or next to your home system. Give it 6 trade modules and a hyperlane registrar. Build a few gateways around your empire such that all systems that generate trade are within 7 steps to a gateway. Avoid building other star bases in systems with colonies unless that system either has a gateway or can path a route to a gateway that is fully occupied by advanced bases.

Voila! All trade is collected, No piracy occurs. The only trade routes (from star bases in colonized systems) are short and fully protected. Calculations for trade and piracy are minimised
 
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MichaelJanuary

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The simplest method for a player to handle both: build a star fortress trade collector in a gateway system at or next to your home system. Give it 6 trade modules and a hyperlane registrar. Build a few gateways around your empire such that all systems that generate trade are within 7 steps to a gateway. Avoid building other star bases in systems with colonies unless that system either has a gateway or can path a route to a gateway that is fully occupied by advanced bases.

Voila! All trade is collected, No piracy occurs. The only trade routes (from star bases in colonized systems) are short and fully protected. Calculations for trade and piracy are minimised

Yes, this is the best way to handle trade once you get gateways. I do it myself. It just feels gamey, like kicking a puppy.

However, you remind me of one thing. I did not account for gateways in my proposals. They can contribute to both increasing or suppressing piracy. I will have to think about that.

EDIT. Maybe gateways are not that gamey. Just like railways brought law and order to the old west, gateways will bring government to the frontiers of space, and i will bring order to my new empire!
 
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