Feedback on POPI in this universe

Wanted to throw out some feedback on POPI now that we’re building some of it.

  • POPI not starting until the POPR after you build it is kind of rough, sometimes it takes 2 weeks to see your any effect from what you build.
  • The fact that PIOs consume Culture and Comfort is a problem - planets with high pioneer counts require more technician related POPI to sustain a decent technician happiness level. This deters players from building POPI on very populated planets which to me feels like a very negative side effect.
  • The fact that Education effects take effect even if you do not feed the POPI building its consumables causes everyone to invest in Education buildings but not pay the consumables - this deters the use of 80% of the POPI buildings (like Art Galleries).
  • The fact that a POPI building that is fed only 3 of its 5 consumables provides 60% of its effects will incentivize us to build more building levels than required but only feed it the cheapest consumables.
  • The fact that 51% happiness at 68% happiness produce the exact same changes to workforce from migration creates critical points of pioneer efficiency that promote “bouncing back and forth” which is not ideal. What this means is that a good governor should run on 51% happiness to maintain pop, then periodically feed the POPI with consumables to have it spike to a large number for a very short time to “increase the pop” but then aim to get the happiness down to 51% again. This is not as applicable to high tier pop because education is based on happiness, and so it is simply not optimal to do high tier population on planets that are going to be running low safety/health to get cheap pioneers (the starter planets with high pop).
  • Furthermore, because growth is a function of (Happiness - 0.7), a happiness value of 74% is twice as good as a happiness value of 72%. 78% is twice as good as 74%. 86% is twice as good as 78%. If you put in all the work and land at 69%, you get nothing, but landing at 77% gets you amazing migration results. It promotes “All or nothing.”
  • The flipside to the coin above is that a 46% happiness is twice as bad as a 48% happiness, and a 42% happiness is twice as bad as a 46% happiness. You’d have to go really low in happiness to actually lose a substantial amount of your population. As it stands right now, even at 40% happiness you will only lose 2% of your population each week, which is countered by one week of 72% happiness. At 30% happiness, you will only lose 4% of your population, which is countered by 74% happiness. At 10% happiness, you will only lose 8% of your population, which is countered by 78%. If I’m analyzing the work PiBoy did correctly, Pioneers get 50% of their happiness from Life Support, so there will never be an instance where pioneers actually leave due to unhappiness. At about 50-55% health & Safety, pioneers will probably maintain growth forever. This is because 50% health and safety puts them at 70% base happiness. If unemployment exists, happiness dips 70% and there is no loss of pioneers (We don’t need any). If open jobs exist, they will increase happiness by a small amount, which will net an increase in population by 1% of the total pioneers for each 1% happiness you gain. For settlers, the magic number is 70-75% health and safety.
  • Low population and slow growth of Engineers is dull and annoying. There are 7 engineers on Promitor, and I have 6 (the 7th just refuses to work). Of those 6 engineers, 4 of them are working in a DRS and 2 of them are developers in an SE. The problem here is that my DRS run just fine without engineers but I have no way to allocate all of my engineers to the SE to triple its efficiency. I’m paying exorbitant amounts of money on an SE+HB4 just to grow the population. Yes, I’m getting a DA and an OS out of it eventually, it’s very much a project of… “I’m doing this because there is no other content in the game to do.” In other words, I don’t feel I have a choice, this is the most reasonable way to advance in the game and I’m just sweating thinking about the day someone else plants an HB4 on promitor and takes half the engineers I’ve been growing for months.
  • The above point will apply to Scientists 10 fold. I’m sure there are at least 5 players who are ready to settle Proxion and place an HB5+SL the moment Proxion gets a handful of scientists. Why wouldn’t we, someone else is paying for the rest of the upfront work to grow them… It also means that a player can’t have an SL and an AAF on the same planet. There is absolutely no way to do that effectively because the AAF will needlessly use the scientists.
  • Distribution of workforce based only on the existence of a base is unfair. I believe workforce should not be distributed round robin, but instead be weighted by the number of jobs each player has. If I have 300 tech jobs open, and Madnewmy has 60 tech jobs open, but the planet only has 175 techs, it should distribute 83.3% (300/(300+60)) of the techs to me and 16.6% of the techs to Madnewmy. I should get 145 techs, Madnewmy should get 30 techs. Right now Madnewmy will get his full 60 tech jobs and I will get 115. The round robin distribution will favor groups working together by each placing one building and it will also encourage sniping workforce because low population only effects the players with the most jobs - taking a few jobs from the pool is a guaranteed win. This is most obvious on Griffonstone right now where you can place a small colony with a few hundred settlers and snipe the settlers from the big players who are running big CHP+POL factories. Returning 25% of your workforce each week is also problematic for high tier workforce. It incentivizes sniping workforce again. Players who suffer through the initial growth period of a given high tier workforce will get to a certain amount and then they’ll never get more because of the other players who are constantly acquiring them.
  • POPI has largely yielded very little useful stuff in the universe. The safety stations and infirmaries seem to be useful for small planets like Nike (and any other non-starter planet) because players on those planets are very rich and have big bases while there are no new-players pumping up the safety/health due to their empty base sitting idle. It’s really only necessary for some Settler population to be honest. We need the POPI to grow more settlers. The lower health/safety doesn’t seem to really effect the large planets like Promitor and Montem because the average base size is so much lower that population is still stable. A handful of players are doing tech+ POPI because there is either no other content to do or they just want to be known for the players that do it. We are working on growing engineers so that we can grow scientists so that we can eventually make an SL so that we can eventually make an FTL ship. Until we actually make one FTL ship, it’s just a huge investment sink that will quite honestly never pay itself off. The Drone MMs are a nice stepping stone for us to work on something in between that we can sell, but drones only require techs, and techs don’t require any POPI to grow - you can simply use the free education system.



Agree to 95%, except on some minor details.

As there is literally no endgame content, the game is pretty much on a very very fast track to suddenly die out when the last challenge has been taken.

The last step, making a FTL ship will be probably hit in January. And then i have nothing left to do, until new universe with the same problems, shrug.

POPI and POPR mechanic is just a totally big pile of not working game design.
Therefore my summary is: help me invest in proxion to obsolete this universe even faster xD

I feel that PIOs consuming Culture and Comfort is actually a good thing. However, it also feels incomplete.

How do you feel about governor capabilities to restrict access (absolutely, or % reduction) to certain “happiness things” like Culture and Comfort based on population type? Perhaps if implemented such an effect could increase crime or reduce happiness in the affected population. Its a little dystopian, but could have some engaging roleplay aspects too.

I agree with this concern. How do you feel about adding more “education” buildings that, when supplied, will control the rate of education? For example, we could have a “Trades Apprenticeship Program” that would educate into settlers, a “TAFE” for educating into technicians, a “University” for educating into Engineers etc…

Do you feel that having the governor (or a delegated MP) control the education foci and allowing any population tier be educated into a higher tier would be something we could put to the devs? I imagine that educating a pop would cost substantially more when skipping an intermediary pop. Eg, PIO → SET could cost x, SET → TEC could cost y, but PIO → TEC could cost xy.

100% this. POPI fulfilment should be more like workforce consumables fulfilment where supplying n+ items has a much larger impact than supplying n items.

Building on these thoughts and the other points that you have expressed I have a rudimentary feature idea.

How do you feel about fertile worlds (or even just faction capitals) sustaining an “uneducated” population that grows by natural causes. From this “uneducated” population, PIO can be educated. Migration would therefore no longer create populations out of nothing. Rather, at some point every population would have arisen from “uneducated” stock on a fertile (or faction capital) world.

“Happiness” then becomes a completely relative measure. Populations would always seek employment first, then happiness. Populations migrate between worlds via placing adverts for transit on some “migration scheduler” thing like an LM. Employed populations would seek migration based on the difference in happiness between two planets and the distance. Perhaps faction allegiance could also play a factor.

I think the current distribution mechanism is meant to make so that people get there first can’t just monopolize the high end workforce, which seems like a good goal.

On the other hand, In the past two weeks on Montem I lost 4 techs then gained 3 and all my tech-based plans are stalled until I get more techs, except when I do, I’ll be even more vulnerable to them being sniped by a few people finally building their single tech building. I’m also super vulnerable to losing Pio on TO-392d the same way if anyone else shows up and decides to employ more than 200ish. This does not encourage capital investments.

Just a quick note that the education infrastructure providing a benefit without consumables may or may not have been patched. We’ll be able to tell this next week.

Benefit in terms of EDU or Pop-shift? EDU always needed inputs, pop-shft never did.

Thanks for the feedback! Counterpoint and I had a chance to briefly talk about this on Friday, but we’ll have to continue after he’s back from vacation.

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And? Did you guys talk?