| Saturday, February 7, 2009 - 11:15 pm |
One of the central issues with quality has been the fact that it serves very little purpose beyond artificially increasing corporate profit.
There is a quite simple solution: Translate Quality to reduced consumption, require quality supplies and quality upgrades to produce equal quality product, and essentially cap quality officially at 250.
I will elaborate point by point.
1. Translate quality to reduced consumption.
When calculating supply usage, apply an adjusted modifier for quality between 100 and 250. The modifier should be on a slight curve granting greater benefit as quality increases.
For example using quality benchmarks:
Country uses 1 million widgets per month at 100 quality. Each widget cost $100, costing the country $100 million.
At 150 quality, the country would use 40% less, 600k costing $90 million at $150 each.
At 200 quality, the country would use 60% less, 400K costing $80 million at $200 each.
At 250 quality, the country would use 75% less, 250k costing $62.5 million at $250 each.
Obviously, player countries would be ordering at max quality. C3's would buy at 100.
2. Require corporations to use equal quality supplies and upgrades to produce a given quality of product, but apply the same modifier to production supply usage.
Company A Widgets is an unupgraded state corp that uses among it supplies 1000 tons of steel at quality 100 to produce 1 million widgets per month of 100 quality.
1000tons X $1000 per ton= $1,000,000
Company B Widgets is a fully upgraded state or new, unupgraded private corp that uses 600 tons at quality 150 to produce 1 million widgets at quality 150.
600tons X $1500 per ton = $900,000
Company C Widgets is a fully upgraded private corp that uses 400 tons at 200 quality to produce 1 million at widgets at quality 200.
400tons X $2000 per ton = $800,000
Company D Widgets is a fully upgraded true public corp that uses 250 tons at quality 250 to produce 1 million widgets at quality 250.
250tons X $2500 per ton = $625,000
Sale pricing would remain the same.
Company A sells 1mil. widgets at $100 each for gross sales of $100 million.
Company D sells 1mil. at $250 each for gross sales of $250 million.
3. Cap quality at 250. This would occur naturally as only a fully upgraded true public, using quality 250 supplies could produce quality 250 goods.
Trade strategies would still apply as quality goods would actually be competing for buyers and sellers. There would be an effective cap here as well, considering that at some percentage over market, one would begin overpaying, negating cost reduction from higher quality.
The markets would likely be a mess for some time if this were implemented, but it would convey the following advantages:
1. Quality would actually fulfill a useful function.
2. Contracts, Common Markets, and self-supply would become useful again to ensure a steady supply at desired prices and quality.
3. Adjustments from W3C to keep the economy functioning would be much easier to manage and less disruptive to players.
4. Profitabilty would be built into the system if mininmalist, 100 Quality corps, were set to be at "break-even" with increasing types/upgrades/supply quality increasing profitabilty.
5. Demand for top quality goods would be ensured as countries finally have a use for higher quality.
6. True publics would become attractive to maximize profits.
Weapons and Ammo are the only current exceptions, but I have further suggestions for the War Engine to utilize Quality. That is a post for another day, however.
| Saturday, February 7, 2009 - 11:24 pm |
Wow, something like this or similar to it would be great.
I applaud your effort FarmerBob, well thought out and a simple solution. Easy to understand and grasp too.
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 12:01 am |
That sounds good fb
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 12:58 am |
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 02:56 am |
before i sign on to this proposal, i'd like to see someone put it into practice. maybe the internal system would have to be changed to check it but but on the surface it doesn't sound like it would work. currently, a corp may be set to use materials at 150 and sell with a quality of say 250 with the sales price goint down say 10% a month. my assumption is that that differential between cost of materials and the cost to sell is what makes your profit, considering all the extra charges fir FMU, etc. also, with the high cost of having corps in ceo's it would seem to further reduce the possible profits for corps in ceo's.
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 03:02 am |
This does not work.
For each economy there is an optimum point. With ours, using this, ours would be so ahead, we would die in debt the same.
This would cause oversupply.
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 03:40 am |
The current system runs on perpetual shortage to sell products. This shortage is no more real than anything else in the game. Corporations are designed to "lose" money or barely break even unless managed just right. We who know how take that for granted and do it automatically. That does not validate the system, however.
The entire "economy" is a sad, smoke and mirrors illusion. A contrived appearance of a functioning economy. Are we actually pretending that its real? That it operates on some sort of actual market principles? That is beyond absurd.
This suggestion merely attempts to introduce real supply and demand into the equation and allow for quality to actually mean something other than another propped-up facade, as well as make use of game features that are currently worse than useless.
Corporations are becoming uprofitable because W3C adjusts them to be so. They could be profitable by further adjustments and will not until such time as W3C makes them so.
I am suprised that some of you apparently operate under the presumption that you have some sort of influence on the game structure and overall profitablility. Making use of loopholes in the game is what passes for "strategy" presently. No combination of production, buying or selling, or trade strategies will make profitable what our developers decide to be unprofitable. The mins and maxes are hardwired in.
Oversupply, John? Then corporations will fail and be closed until supply and demand meet. I would, for one, immediately change strategies to meet my own supply needs completely as I did years ago at very beginning of SC. I used to run a common common market that entirely self-sufficient for both countries and ceo's, only producing services for market sale. Back then, we were free to set contract pricing and could adjust them so that every corp could survive, if not profit. W3C then slaved all pricing to their base prices, restructured corporations so that they were forced to sell at max quality to survive, and effectively killed common markets and self-sufficiency. I am suprised that you are defending the same sort of mindless devotion to a fundamentaly flawed and unsustainable process. Changes in this game to structure have always progressed to greater central(W3C) control of what works and what doesn't. Players have constantly been shoehorned into tighter and tighter molds of the way things "should" be. I advocate changing to a structure that makes some sort of sense. Buy higher quality because it is more profitable to do so. Let supply and demand work themselves out at actual prices rather than at artificially capped, set, or subsidized ones.
If W3C structures base pricing, staffing, and supply requirements to make a product profitable, it will be. If they do not, it will not.
This system would work just fine if W3C adjusted the factors of production and base pricing to guarantee profitability. Our overall success at any aspect of the game is entirely at the discretion of the management.
This is as it has always been and always will be.
end of sentence.
end of story.
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 05:21 am |
This bears further discussion as it touches upon topics mentioned throughout these forums.
The fundamental issues that keep coming up, the questions players ask each other in chat and the forums are recurring, persistent, and insiduous.
Does anyone at W3C even play the game?
That is one I have heard often since returning to SC, and it is a damned good question.
What W3C, and many vets, seem to be doing is failing to look beyond current processes to see this fundamental fact:
Most of the basic functions of this sim are fundamentally flawed.
Quality is a prime example. It is artificially boosted to levels that are required to sustain profitability even though there is no corresponding market for such high quality goods. It is a contrivance that has to be subsidized and is, despite denials to the contrary.
Base pricing is another facet that exists by W3C fiat, not market forces. It may be manipulated by a few percentage points, but remains within set parameters.
The overall focus appears to be running the world's economy, minimizing the amount of intervention required in C3's, and forcing the overall sim into predetermined, and entirely personal, preconceptions of what "should" be, not what is.
W3C has made great strides in improving ease of use features, but continued further and further down the road of taking control of our countries, enterprises, and corporations from the bottom up. Regardless of where we set levels, automatic functions kick in to save us from ourselves and shove us back on to the reservation. Vets know the parameters and accept them with another shrug. Why insist upon change?
Players do not pay for the privelege of helping this neverending beta reach some sort of happy state that will finally please its creators.
When numbers are forced into "realistic" levels and the same problems persist, what then?
Forgetting for a moment that most of these issues have immediate and easily determined "solutions", what is with this slavery to bad ideas?
Quality as it was implemented was a bad idea. I said it then, and years later, here we are. Same screwed up process.
Military levels are too high.
Geez. Don't just say "OK. Set up units to certain levels, restricting weapon quantities and requiring diversity matching real world force structures. Limit number of units per base and number of bases."
Boom. You've got your military levels at "realistic" numbers overnight. "We can't do that. That would not work!"
Really? Why not?
Instead we remain slaved to an infantile, idiotic war engine that attempts to "duel" weapon systems and is riddled with bugs and loopholes. It is tweaked and adjusted ad nauseum and still is a bad joke.
Hmmm. Couldn't function like other wargames, could we?
Assign base combat power values for weapon systems, add them up them into unit totals, adjust for factors like training, morale, leadership, and quality arriving at a value for the unit. Units of fire, supplies for 1 combat round, would be established based on the type of unit and its components and a 30 day/round supply allocated. Combat units fight, having their values adjusted for terrain, attack, defense, and relative proportion of forces, casualties and losses assigned, units of fire deducted for a combat round, and the fight is over until the next attack.
That would be too simple.
No. Instead, we will try to fight individual tanks and planes, keeping track of every round fired, in a macro game system. That makes sense. And we wonder why nothing works.
Yet again, many will defend this farce as the only way things can work.
Please, W3C and ignorant vets. Get a clue and get serious about making this sim into something workable, not just familiar and comfortable.
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 05:52 am |
Forgive my bluntness. I am simply getting a little disgusted at seeing the wonderful potential of this sim going unrealized due to entrenched insistence on retaining obviously flawed foundations which have been around for years.
It's time to stop tweaking and start implementing new thinking on fundamentals.
Enough excuses, already.
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 05:58 am |
It's slavery to the .. Cash market. Every idea how to "improve" the game has to be reflected on or considered in the context of exchanging real cash for in-game assets, and its implications for those who invest their money into the game, those who exchange real cash for virtual assets.
That is why there are set parameters for pricing, that is why there are features for the so called "asset protection", that is why huge and unrealistic armies are not seen as negative, that is why the basic functions are fundamentally flawed.
The root of the evil is - even if only in my opinion, but without any doubt -, the concept of the Cash market which enslaves the game design and game mechanics.
Anyone playing this game should learn to live with this as trying to change it proved as futile in past.
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 08:58 am |
The less needed approach wouldn't work with weapons.
One idea I had awhile ago was to make missile systems hit better. [Quality 200 would do twice as much damage.] and weapons system would be harder to hit. [quality 300 batteries would get hit 1/3 as often]. If the quality of both defense and offense are the same then there would be no difference. A variation would be to use the square root. Then quality 200 grenades would do 1.41 times the damage.
Farmer bobs suggestion would probably work for a few items like luxury goods, jewelry, and pharmaceuticals. The terminal products that are not used by other companies.
John R's compound fragment might be right. I would call it a "demand vacuum" instead of "over supply". Whatever you call it everyone would bankrupt quickly.
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 09:42 am |
Let's consider following:
1. go to World market
2. pick random product in "green"
3. place order for everything there is available @ 100 quality
What will happen?
Oder will be fulfilled, paid for and added into stock.
Now, explain to me how is it possible that everything what was offered, ordered, paid for and added to stock was available @ 100 quality?
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 03:45 pm |
The buyer pays the 100-quality rates. The seller profits at the rate of whatever quality at which the products were produced. The game master covers the difference.
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 04:09 pm |
I thought we had already established the majority of changes that moved the game towards 'realism' were damaging to the fun?
I say we keep the game a game. If i wanted to play a realistic country game i would just buy civilisation 4, the total war series etc (which, by coincidence i have).
The main attraction of Simcountry is the community aspect. By punishing older players with financial fees, governmetn costs, limitations on how much cash they can move, you drive them from the game. Once the old, communicative players are gone, this game will die.
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 05:48 pm |
Dub. It's not a question of realism, but game mechanics and playability.
List of useles features:
True Public Corps
Non Military Contracts
Anyone wish to add to the list?
But, hey. It's obviously impossible to do any better.
Why ask or suggest alternatives?
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 06:00 pm |
And everyone knows the best way to get people thinking about alternatives is to dismiss their concerns and belittle them at every opportunity.
Way to kill your own idea, Farmer Bob.
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 06:08 pm |
It was dead on arrival.
Silver had it exactly right when he left.
But, you are correct, Henry. My apologies to any offended.
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 07:00 pm |
It was a good idea I thought. May have been to hard to implement.
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 07:23 pm |
To FB- in actuality i wasn't attacking your idea (it seems good, apart from the oversupply issue) it was more a criticism on the current mentality that 'realistic' is better.
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 10:46 pm |
The buyer pays the 100-quality rates. The seller profits at the rate of whatever quality at which the products were produced. The game master covers the difference. - Kevin Henry
.. and that is why any arguments about "over supply" or "demand vacuum" are in relation to "quality" irrelevant.
So for those very few who did not get it by now:
Then what is relevant?
Only quantity. The game will "cheat" its way around "quality" by default.
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 10:50 pm |
Silver ... coins :P
What happened to the terrorist anyways?
| Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 11:32 pm |
Please consider this idea W3C. Something has to be done about the uselessness of quality or the game economy will be forever FUBAR.
It's impossible to fix the economy while the game system is printing money with every world market transaction.
| Monday, February 9, 2009 - 03:22 am |
I like the idea as far as being able to supply one's own needs again through common markets and contracts. It makes no sense that in an Empire of 12 countries with 2 large CEO's that I would need to buy products on the market when I could simply build them myself.
| Monday, February 9, 2009 - 02:33 pm |
The buyer pays the 100-quality rates. The seller profits at the rate of whatever quality at which the products were produced. The game master covers the difference. - Kevin Henry
I think Kevin is a bit wrong. Quality is used in a multiplication with price. This is how it works (or at least as i have allways interpreted it):
Example-product, price $ 500,-, sellersquality 200%. sold quantity 1000. This makes totall sale $ 1.000.000,-.
Buyer, wants to buy 1000 at $ 500,- with quality 100%. The totall order will cost $ 500.000,-
What happens with the difference? It will be corrected in the ammount. The seller will get a sale of $ 500.000,- worth, since he sells at quality 200, his sold quantity will be less.
The SC-miracle is that the buyer buys 1.000 items while the seller only sells 500.
This mechanism works for as it is, because when you use products to produce goods, you need less quantity when the quality is higher. The subtle edges for making profit or not are in the calculations. In reality the calculations are not exact like the example.
| Monday, February 9, 2009 - 04:54 pm |
Thank you for the feedback.
The issue at hand is that changes are happening whether we like them or not.
Will these changes be rational and coherent that improve gameplay and the quality of SC? or will they be haphazard, arbitrary, and detract from gameplay?
The changes thus far fall into the latter category.
See above list of game features that have been made pointless by arbitrary changes.
The stated goals of W3C are to reduce all numbers to "realistic" levels, which translates to lower numbers. That is their goal.
Therefore, debating whether realism serves any purpose or not is irrelevant. It is happening.
We can pressure W3C to implement changes that serves their purposes and improves the game or let them continue on the path of screwing everything up at player expense.
This suggestion for building in a function for quality that serves both purposes is entirely workable. And at least we will have a system where we can make our own choices instead of simply have them forced upon us.
Fact: quality above 160 has no function.
Fact: quality above 296 isn't even compensated.
Why have it?
The numbers involved in the "economics" are not based upon economic principles at work, but are the assignation of values by the programmers.
Therefore, objections of oversupply or reduced demand are entirely correctable with the same sort of changes we are already experiencing. At least changes to boost demand, increasing country supply needs, reducing output, etc. would serve some greater purpose in this case, other than just stealing from the successful players.
Aggregate demand is whatever it is set to be. Levels of country ordering, supply requirements for corps, etc.
Supply, we have more influence over by what corps we build.
The intent of this suggestion was not to find a solution to "how can players make more profit off of the current game mechanics?".
I don't give a damn about that, and that has always been under W3C's control, not players. They could make every corporation and country unprofitable overnight with a few minor adjustments.
My intent is to restore a level of rationality to the game system that improves the ability of new players to learn and restores functionality to game features that have been made irrelevant by past changes.