As part of a group of people who are maintaining a POPI planet without the benefit of a large tax base on Ementior, I’ve gained new insight into how POPI works and the problems in system.
Now that Health and Safety have been rebalanced and the effects are able to be analyzed this is a perfect time to study what needs to be adjusted.
A fair bit of the root causes of the POPI problems is rooted inDensity, which I’ll outline in the last section.
Governments are too hard to setup
Setting up a basic government system is pretty hard and expensive, and has that chicken and egg problem-you need high tech materials to setup a government, but you need high tech POPI to get the materials to setup a government.
A basic LM-tier government with the limited tax powers we have now would be good for a frontier-style government.
Tax powers are too limited and punish new players
Tax powers are insufficient to maintain government infrastructure with governments constantly asking for donations to help maintain and build POPI infrastructure, even on highly populated planets.
Raising taxes is also highly unpopular as a high tax effects a new player who is starting out at maybe 10k/week income, and taking 1-2k of that income is huge on growth and new player retention.
More targeted taxes say by population tier would be ideal.
Large building POPI effects are too low
Considering for instance a Security Drone Post requires R-fabs(expensive at 7-15k each) and other expensive inputs just to build, and the fact maintaining it requires highly expensive inputs, the fact that the Safety it provides is only double that of a SST, makes it not worth it, unless you are just using a building for higher growth mods like a University.
I’d suggest doubling the amount of provided by “provides a large amount of POPI” buildings.
Growth of higher tier populations, even with the required buildings is slow
Looking at one of the more advanced planets, Proxion, I see Engineers only growing at 8 per week. Scientists even longer with maybe a month to get one scientist, even with a university and a library.
This is also seen at lower tiers of population as well, but is masked by the fact that new players bring in 200 pioneers with them, increasing growth and then leaving, to be repeated again and again.
A lot of problems outlined above is rooted in Density, of bases and population. POPI’s base design is rooted in real-world population shifts, but lacks the population density of Earth’s 5 billion people.
Take for example two of the most populous planets, Promitor and Montem are at 201,033 humans and 195,998 humans respectively. These populations themselves are smaller then medium-sized cities, and are nowhere near approaching the populations of large cities. To make matters worse, these populations are spread out over 500 area bases around the planet. Prom has density of
**487.9 people per base**, and Montem has a density of
528.3 people per base, barely enough for a small village. This problem gets even worse on the other planets.
These small population sizes and densities, not only mean lower tax revenue for government, but also not enough masses of population to support specialized engineers and scientists due to the pyramid nature of population growth.
Effects on the economy due to low Density
The low population density mean that PRUN’s economy is stuck in a
<agricultural> economy, with a fair bit of resources being devoted to resource extraction rather then industrialization. The economy also has this “General Store” small-town feel where everyone does everything.
This low density also means there isn’t enough demand for higher tier goods, as the population and resource demanded does not support specialization.
Solutions for low Density
One quick solution for low density would be to increase base area, or allow it to be upgraded without base permits. It wouldn’t solve the fundamental problem, and might be a bad thing for non-pro players.
The other solution would be to allow players and governments to create cities where you could “rent” area like a warehouse. The area available to rent could be expanded like a warehouse. Cities could also have a specialization bonus(which could grow at 1% per player renting that city), and governments could build more cities at a scaling cost. This would allow populations to reach a more earth like level, and allow governments to tax the richer players in cities.