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A Deeper Economic System?

Discussion in 'Civ3 - General Discussions' started by cgannon64, Oct 29, 2002.

  1. cgannon64

    cgannon64 BOB DYLAN'S ROCKIN OUT!

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    Everyone knows the economic system is civ is extremely simple: you make money on every tile you work, some of that money is taken away via corruption, and you devote a percentage of that money to science, happiness, or straight income. I think this is a simplistic version of the real economies. So, I was wondering, is it possible to deepen the economic system without making it something only economists could understand? So I had a few ideas (some are not mine, borrowed from other threads), just wondered if you like them, feel free to add some.

    - Letting the Wall Street "crash" giving you no or negative income for x turns. This was brought up in the PTW chat, I thought it was a cool idea. Civs could go into depressions, lower happiness, lower income, depressions could be resulting from wars, etc.

    - This one I thought of, but it might be too complicated. What if, instead of just having "gold", each civ has their own currency? This could have inflation /deflation and add a little depth to the trading system. Of course, this could get complicated easily.

    - Maybe, each citizen could be given a class (poverty, middle, rich) and this could alter their production/food/commerce output. For example, rich citizens would be rare, but they would produce much more shields/food/gold. Middle class citizens would be our normal citizens, and pretty common. Poor citizens would be rare, but not as rare as rich, and would have sub-average output. These numbers could change based on whether your civ is in a depression, is happy or sad, etc.

    Any other ideas? Feel free to give suggestions on how to change mine, and maybe the economic system in civ could be a little better. :)

    CG
     
  2. Sultan Bhargash

    Sultan Bhargash Trickster Reincarnated

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    The Wall street crashing would be a good idea if Wall Street had more impact on the game - plus or minus fifty gold at that time of the game is very little to consider.

    They are bringing back individual stock markets for cities in PTW, that will complexify things just a little (with the commercial dock). But I don't see too many ways the money system could be made more complicated playing at the scale of nations/empires. Railroad Tycoon has the great financial aspect with individual stocks, etc. but I don't see it for Civ3.

    Currency differences for civs wouldn't work too well IMO, and anyway the real value of a civ's economy is what goods it has to trade and the other tradeables like maps, contacts, and techs.

    In PTW the idea of the trading of cities will finally come back as we sweep aside hard wired AI nonsense.

    Here's an idea: A Great Wonder Called the IMF: it acts as a static fund of money equal to 200% of the civ who build's it's cash on hand and this money can be used instead of that civ's personal money to spend on buying the trade goods or just loaning money with interest to other civs (a good loan system between civs is definitely a missing aspect of the game).
     
  3. sabo

    sabo My Ancestors were Vikings

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    I hear all these people with these great ideas but I just wish they could come up with a smart AI
     
  4. cgannon64

    cgannon64 BOB DYLAN'S ROCKIN OUT!

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    Good idea. The current loan system is crap (has anyone even GOTTEN one???). Maybe, if you don't pay the loan back, your rep is ruined as well?

    CG
     
  5. Raijer

    Raijer The 736th Beatle

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    I agree with the Sultan concerning the slight effectiveness of Wall Street. If the small wonder had more impact, it'd be cool to see things like recessions, depressions, and boom economies.

    As far as a Civ "class" system, although it doesn't really exsist officailly in the game, I still think it's more or less implied. Maybe this is my own particular reading, but happy and contented citizens have always struck me as being upper and/or middle class, while unhappy citizens I consider as being poor (they're the ones getting the short end of the economic stick - being over-crowded etc..). Then again, maybe I'm being overly imaginative.
     
  6. cgannon64

    cgannon64 BOB DYLAN'S ROCKIN OUT!

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    Good point, although my version would have unhappy citizens producing less. However, I'm sure many people would hate this, because unhappy people are annoying already...:p

    CG
     
  7. Raijer

    Raijer The 736th Beatle

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    :lol: Spoken like a true leader SG! I do think your idea's pretty good though. Although, I'd have to say that unhappy/poor citizens ultimately effect production in a negative manner. For example, one of my main strategies for pulling conquered cities out of corruption is to try and make the citizens as happy as I can afford to. WLTKD always seems to lower the rampant corruption I get from these cities. In my mind, (cue Star Spangled Banner) my government is raising these poor huddled masses out of poverty, and introducing them to the virtues of a contented middle class exsistence!

    We were talking about Wall Street before. I do think it's overly simplified in the game. Really, the exchange system should rise and fall according to a multitude of factors (contented/happy/unhappy citizens - like consumer confidence, war and/or war weariness, the current gnp status, how much gold is in the bank, how much gold is being earned per turn, etc...), just like in real life. Then it would be possible to see things like booms or depressions. Plus, it'd be cool to click on Wall Street button to see how things are going for the trade jockeys...
     
  8. WillJ

    WillJ Coolness Connoisseur

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    Wall Street: Fluctuation is a good idea, as long as several reasonable factors could be thought of. War and war weariness are the only ones that I can think of. The amount of gold you have is already a factor, and IMO gpt shouldn't be included since the Wall Street itself increases gpt. And I don't see how some things, like "consumer confidence," as Raijer said, could be represented.

    Currency differences: Not only could these get complicated, I don't see how they could make the game more fun. Can you honestly say that you would enjoy having to compare different civs' currencies and their fluctuation? I sure can't.

    Social classes: This is a very good idea that I have pondered about myself. And to add to it, how about in the early despotic game just about everybody is lower class except for the very, very few, and then after researching Currency a middle class (of merchants) emerges, and after researching Free Artistry the middle class enlargens. And the middle class also enlargens with more free-market governments, such as republic and democracy. And there would also be more upper-class citizens in a republic or democracy. And in communism, just about all citizens would be equal.
     
  9. cgannon64

    cgannon64 BOB DYLAN'S ROCKIN OUT!

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    True, we just learned it in class today, so I tried to apply it to civ ;)

    CG
     
  10. Richard III

    Richard III Duke of Gloucester

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    As someone noted in passing above, I think the most realistic AND most useful change would be to approximate the functions of a central bank and its royal predecessors by having a more sophisticated loan system (and making it hard to tax gold to compensate).

    Most governments have funded wars and major projects with debt throughout history, and allowing a more liquid debt market would be really cool: there would be collapsing credit ratings, rescue's a'la Mexico, insurance schemes, creditor and debtor nations...

    Would add considerably to diplomacy in almost the same way having the morganites around did to SMAC.

    R.III
     
  11. Sultan Bhargash

    Sultan Bhargash Trickster Reincarnated

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    Another idea: a new improvement line: bazaar (ancient)/ shopping mall (modern). Built in a city, it adds one gold (ancient) two (modern) for each happy and content citizen, takes one gold away for each unhappy and specialist. This would sort of model "consumer confidence" along the lines of happiness. I would want to see these stay sturdy in war so that when you capture a city it becomes a financial drain until you stabilize happiness there.
     
  12. Cantankerous

    Cantankerous ...but I do know Shinola

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    Not that the ideas presented in this thread are bad, but it seems to me they come down to complexity. More specifically, would the complexity they add make the game more enjoyable? Certainly they could , but my initial impression is that the addition of such things probably wouldn't improve my overall enjoyment of the game.

    Although if added, they might increase certain degrees of frustration while playing the game, especially if depression hits me at a key time, and suddenly my currency devalues and I can no longer afford luxuries, and all my trade aggreements are broken prematurely, and all my cities suddenly go into civil disorder, and I then have to smash my closed fist into my computer keyboard in formerly referenced frustration... :)
     
  13. Sultan Bhargash

    Sultan Bhargash Trickster Reincarnated

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    Good points cantankerous!

    This think tank should be dismantled now... the game IS complicated enough for me...
     
  14. Yndy

    Yndy Emperor

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    I was just thinking the other day about something like this.
    What I'd do is add a little complexity to the trading (of resources, techs, money aso) by adding a contract breaking fine that could be negotiated based on a rating representing your reputation.

    For example: Everybody starts with a CCC reputation which climbes to CC, C, BBB, BB, B, AAA, AA, A with every deal finalised until it reaches A (that's 9 deals to get to A). A broken deal due to your fault should decrease your rep by one tick if you pay the fine on spot (discussed below), or by three ticks if you pay it in gpt, or to D if you refuse to pay it. than you could gain back your rep except if you reached D which basically means you are a bastard who refuses to pay his dues and therefore no-one would make per turn deals with you.

    The breaking fine should relate to both the value of the deal and your credit rating so that if your rate is A you should agree to a breaking fine of say 30% of the deal but if your rating is CCC the breaking fine goes up to 100% of the deal.

    In addition the actual price you pay should be influenced by your credit rating.

    Is this too complicated?
    This would partly solve the rep-hit issue that sometimes your rep is ruined without your direct fault while the AI blames you. In this case you would still get to pay the fine but as you are supposedly flawless you won’t have to pay that much and you can get back you rep (rating)
     
  15. Squirrel

    Squirrel Warlord

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    Remember, folks: Economics is not only about cash (or gold, which is the Civ representation of cash). Economics is about making decisions under scarcity and uncertainty, and that is IMO a very important part of the game as it stands.

    An example: Deciding which tiles to work around a city is an economic decision. You may choose to produce less food to get more shields. This means that you produce things faster in the short run, at the sacrifice of long term growth.
     
  16. Pembroke

    Pembroke Tribune

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    There are also very simple modifications (= Firaxis more likely to do it...) that would enhance the "depth experience".

    For example:

    Instead of random disappearance of some resources, their being "used up" would be linked to your activities, e.g. an iron resource would start at some random amount and each shield that goes to building a unit requiring iron would decrease this amount until it reaches zero and disappears.

    This way owning more than one resource would have a real value instead of just being an item to trade (e.g. "why attack Iraq if there's oil in Texas?" :) ) and resources would not be the simple "use it or lose it" deals.

    Also, this consuming of resources shield by shield would allow for more elaborate trade contracts. Instead of simply having iron available through trade the deal would be "X shields of iron per turn" that the recipient could then use to build units.

    (However, although accumulating resource shields might make sense in reality terms I think it would unbalance the game too much. Unless it came with a cost or penalty.)
     
  17. Copernicus

    Copernicus Chieftain

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    I think a more sophisticated economic system would be wonderful - however, it would be important that the factors affecting the economy be transparent to the player. In other words, I don't want "random" stock market crashes. When the market crashes, I want to think, "Crap, my restrictive economic policies stifled small business growth in new technology sectors..." or something like that. I don't want to think, "A spearman beat my tank, and now this?!?!"

    I disagree with cgcannon's class breakdown though - as far as productivity goes, the lower classes should be MORE productive. They're the ones who produce all the shields.

    Finally, one easy idea to implement for the economy would be unemployment. Higher unemployment leads to unhappiness. To increase employment, you would need factories, manufacturing plants, etc etc. This would add a new caveat to the economy - do I spend money on new factories hoping that in the long run it will generate more money? (though, replace "factory" with a less intrinsically useful improvement)
     
  18. Heffalump

    Heffalump Proboscidea Heffalumpus

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    Mostly I think the resource system needs to be fleshed out.

    I would have all civs buy their improvements/units with cash, not shields. Having access to resources should merely determine how cheaply we can buy a unit/improvement dependent on it. So the cost of buying my armor should fluctuate depending on how many oil/rubber resources are at my disposal.

    And I like Pembroke's idea as it would fit nicely with my own. Trading away half of your iron supply for example would be possible, and the effect would be to increase the $$ it takes to build iron-dependent units.
     
  19. Dr. Dr. Doktor

    Dr. Dr. Doktor Emperor

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    The fact that it is on your treasury that you earn a 5% interest not your overall income means that if your economy is running at 100 percent effeciency and maximum capacity, that is your income is zero per turn and you have zero amount of money in your treasury, then the Wall Street small wonder is no longer useful. It has effectively crashed. It still produces 1 culture per turn though.

    Other than that i think there should be some improvement to boost production in the middle ages. I hate those cities with slightly less than 15 shield income. Then the player will have a real strategic choice to make other than just building in the usual cathedral which of course in its own way boosts production but in a more indirect way. There was the sawmill in CTP.

    Edit: make that 2 culture per turn for the Wall Street.
     
  20. Laser guided

    Laser guided Warlord

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    I don't see how you can create an indepth economic system for Civ. All the governments I know make money by the amount of tax they put on the peoples. There is no representation for private business, there exists no competition amongst goods, because all goods (luxuries) in Civ are good and excess you trade to other Civs.

    The main problem is that in Civ a dollar is worth the same no matter what. In other words every Civ (minus the Civ-traits influence) pay the same monies to build the same things. In the real world there is a division of labor between countries. Often time parts for some products are made in China for example, but the product may be assembled in Japan or the US.

    How could a system like this be represented in Civ? Where would we even start?

    Businesses live and die for profits and I don't see how you could reproduce that in a game like Civ.

    As far as Wall Street crashing what effect could it have? Take all the money you've saved?

    How long would the effect last?

    Way around it don't build Wall Street at all?

    Make Wall Street a major wonder then so no one can escape its effects?

    Who has the lid for this can of worms?
     

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