Hmm, because my long replies take so much time to write, I appear to have posted (May 27, 2005 8:05 am monkkonen time) after several other posts that I want to talk about.
"The Gemini" said:
I didn't say that the role-play was near Earth, my story was only background for WHY Earth has lesser priority than other planets.
I love Earth, and I doesn't like that it will be gone in EEToEE.
And since all of you want it gone, what does it matter that it DO exists, but it has been reduced to a planet like the other ones? So if you chose a planet that will be your home/capitol, why can't Earth be mine?
First, if we just skip the background of Earth entirely, that will make people more relaxed in the long run. By skipping the background of Earth, everyone can (in their mind) have different results of what happened to Earth.
Hmm, you ask for a reason why it might matter if Earth is within the new thread, and I answer with the reason that Earth will have a great deal of prestige attached to it. All of us, hopefully, live on Earth, and our living quarters now would hold some significance to us in the thread. If we just exclude Earth completely from the thread, then no one will have any reason to fight over it in the slightest.
To the more important things. I'd say the empires don't start entirely equal. I'd say everyone should pick his favoured and hated things out of this list:
These determine how a person starts, if it either be with a bigger fleet or a smaller fleet, rich or poor, big or small, with a happy population or an unhappy population. Everyone should pick 4 positive and 4 negative traits.
My answer summarized is "No, I do not agree." The list is not nearly comprehensive enough for this sort of start, and you are giving no indication that someone could simply start out balanced. Second, some of those traits are redundant and other traits are underpowered. Finally, that system uses subjective measurements, which my post afterwards already discussed in some detail. I do agree that empires should not start out identically, but I disagree with the methods you proposed.
"not very big base" Case
Well, that’s a problem. So, lets solve it with power, right?
Number of peoples.
Number of facilities and power plants.
The function of the base.
I don't think that this measure would work either because of three reasons. The first reason is the synergistic quality of the first two criteria. A base with a million people but no factories or other forms of employment is pretty much a slum or giant plantation, and a base with a hundred factories but no people (or robotics, which would count as people) is useless. But a base with ten thousand people and a dozen factories would be able to grow enough crops for its needs, train small quantities of soldiers, and produce the equipment for war. The second reason is that this system ignores differences in technology. The third and final reason is that the numbers involved are going to be quite large (not by my scale, but by most scales). The populations of even small (starting) empires are going to be in the hundreds of thousands at least, empires will start with dozens of facilities, and more than one base. We've pretty much settled that when we decided that a single character would become an (very weak) emperor character after his/her second base was obtained, because of this, a character who starts with an empire should be rewarded for knowing his goal in the beginning.
It seems clear that we can't create empires based on subjective criteria like "small".
I was thinking of suggesting having say ~100 000 tonnes worth of equipment. (this happens to be a bit over an aircraft carriers displacement for the reference) However it's far from a perfect solution because it makes it rather scientifical.
Why not just let people submit empire suggestions to the judicial board and instead of saying "I have..." they request roughly what they want with priorities, letting the board tell them what they are to write in.
So if someone wants a huge orbital station in an asteroid field with a defensive fighter fleet and laser cannons they might be allowed it, but with a big hole blown in the orbital station from a reactor failure and no more than 7 squadrons of fighters or a similar disadvantage.
Letting one person or a board/council determine the 'scale' as you put it might sort a lot of arguments. I also like the point of letting people decide strengths and weaknesses.
As EvilP himself said, one problem is that this requires a very scientific approach to empire creation. There are several additional problems, and I will start with the problem that is least important and easiest to fix, scaling. I know EvilP only said 100 kilotonnes (100,000 tonnes) as an example, but it was a poor example. Our aircraft carriers are not large enough to build an empire off of. We are talking about empires, not pirate groups. I have not seen a single post (beyond my own) that uses the scale necessary to describe an empire or nation, only pirate bases. Having people submit empire suggestions to the council will be necessary, but the council should not be the ones to fill in details. The role-play thread is to allow creativity to flow, and if the council makes every empire creativity is going to be limited to the council during the remainder of the set-up process. There is still one more suggested facet of empire creation before I apply constructive feedback.
"The Gemini" said:
Idiota is right, the empires must have negs and benes.
True, empires should have certain areas it excels at and certain areas where it lacks expertise, but we should not force empires to pick from a list, regardless of how comprehensive the list may be. We should allow people to weave such advantages and disadvantages into the empire's history and culture, rather than simply reverting to a resently finished war that left the fleet crippled. Additionally, I find it hard to accept that someone is not able to pick the disadvantage of balance between all aspects. I will not explain why balance is a disadvantage (it would be unfair to give free advice to everyone), but I will restate that balance should be a choice that empires can make when starting.
Now that I've covered everyone's post on this topic, I'm going to add my own input. If we have one person create their empire first then have it inspected and approved by the council, we will then have an example of what our empires should be like. Everyone else will then create their empire keeping the example in mind as a guideline of power level. Players then submit their empires to the council for an inspection. Players then receive one reply that might be from four types. The types of reply are about overpowered empires, empires that are too unusual, acceptable empires, acceptable but underpowered empires.
In the case of an overpowered empire, the player receives a reply detailing how overpowered the empire is, as well as some suggestions on how to bring the power level in line. The overpowered player then edits his/her empire (or makes a new one from scratch), and resubmits when he/she believes his/her empire is acceptable.
If there is an empire that is too unusual to be allowed (bogus techs might cause this to happen), the player receives a reply detailing what is too unusual, as well as a few suggestions on how to make such a thing acceptable without removing something entirely (if possible). The unusual player then edits his/her empire (or makes a new one from scratch), and resubmits when he/she believes his/her empire is acceptable.
If there is an acceptable empire that is of comparable power to the other empires, the player receives a reply welcoming him/her to the role-play thread. The player can the join the role-play thread, or edit his/her empire (or make a new on from scratch), and resubmit when he/she is satisfied and believes his/her empire is acceptable.
If there is an acceptable empire that is significantly weaker than the standard empires, the player receives a reply notifying him/her that his/her empire is acceptable but underpowered. The reply details about how underpowered the empire is, and includes several suggestions on increasing the empire's power without overpowering it. The player can then join the role-play thread, or edit his/her empire (or make a new one from scratch), and resubmit when he/she is satisfied and believes his/her empire is acceptable. An empire that is significantly weaker than the other empires is not used in comparisons for the new empire creation process.
While this is a fairly long process, it will produce balanced empires that still maintain a large amount of freedom for new ideas. Comments, criticism, and unrelenting praise are all welcome.
I still have more posts to go through, but at over two pages I think I should let you all have a break from reading this post. Please be lenient about any run-on sentences, fragments, and other grammatical errors, or, even better, you could PM me about such mistakes, and I can edit them without inflating our post counts or cluttering up this thread.