Research bonus for players with no friends

Hey Guys,

I’ve been thinking about how much it sux when you don’t have anybody to trade with in game. You might be stuck in a corner of a dark galaxy, or perhaps fending off a large group of AI’s.

What do you think about some kind of general research mode where your science points are just distributed evenly on all techs, but you get twice as many.

So instead of choosing one topic like Weapons or Manufacturing you choose to research all techs at the same time?


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It’s not stupid, but the question is “is it balanced?” The thing I’d probably try to do is rush experimentation levels (maybe banking too) and then switch to that mode.

I think it has an interesting tradeoff: you will spend almost 4 times more to get a tech, but when you do, you get all 7 of them at once. Curious to see how this would change strategies in different moments of a match.

There may be good arguments for a general research mode as an option in a tech strategy. But I’m not sure it addresses the issue. You need to find a way to make it easier to trade. You can make your way through AI well enough, and in that instance the inability to trade balances the usual advantages of having an AI to feast on. So I don’t see that as an issue.

A bigger issue is a corner position, or where you are surrounded by enemies, and in that case one border is usually an edge. Edge position used to be favorable, but the trading restrictions not only balance that advantage but maybe flip it completely to disadvantage, given how much tech inflates in large games.

You may remember Jay how I was beating the drum over in G+ for so-called torusified maps with no edges. You explained that would involve a major rewrite, fair enough.

But what about worm holes? At the risk of repeating myself, the point would be to enable a carrier to travel to a very different spot on the map, and thereby introduce new trading opportunities, not to mention introducing a whole new strategic dimension.


yeah, wormholes could be fun, but would there have to be one in every corner position?

No, I think they should be randomly generated at game setup, and thus be an additional feature of the terrain. Or maybe unstable wormholes where one or both ends reappear in different spots as the game progresses.

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It would be fairly easy to code I think.

Make 2 special stars. When a carrier arrives at a special Star A just teleport it to special Star B.

You might not have scanning on star B so you might be smashing your carrier into a large armada of enemy carriers.


And I’m beating the drum for a torusfied galaxy as well.

A long, long time ago I was a developer on a web game, Star Dart, that used this kind of wormhole mechanic to address the same circumstance.

The way Star Dart used wormholes was that there was a set route between all the wormholes in the galaxy which was randomized in terms of how each wormhole linked to the other geographically but followed a consistent route between each wormhole. In other words, wormhole A and wormhole B might be completely across the galaxy from each other, and wormhole C might be relatively close to wormhole A. But regardless of the proximity of wormhole A and C in ‘real space,’ wormhole A always sent a fleet to B which always sent a fleet to C and so on.

It worked pretty well for Star Dart. Maybe it would work for Neptune’s Pride as well.

Just throwing an idea, but how about increasing research points 50% / 100% etc for those players who haven’t done any trading with anyone for the last 24-48hours game time? And the bonus could be used freely.

Wormholes sound very interesting. +1

Yeah I hate when that happens ;). There’s actually a great book premised on wormhole battle tactics entitled “Through Struggle The Stars” by John Lumpkin.

I assume you would have scanning once you made it to special star B. I’m not sure if you should be allowed to park a fleet in orbit, or force it through on the next tick. Probably the latter. I’m thinking that if you have the hyperspace range to make it to a wormhole you should make it through, although you should resolve any battles first with enemy fleets arriving on the same tick.

Expanding this idea from @Dysp, research could automatically be boosted, by say 10%, every day (10% on day 1, 20% on day 2, etc) that the player does no trading. Resetting back to normal when a tech is sent or received.

I think the wormholes would make things interesting. I do not think it should be used in mid or late game though. The point of a wormhole should be to allow players a chance to expand to other stars and empires. After the first couple of cycles, the wormhole should disappear. If wormholes exist later in the game, strong players would have a big advantage by being able to go anywhere in the galaxy just by controlling the wormholes. The point should be to let smaller players expand, not give big players a huge advantage.

Another idea for a wormhole would be the larger fleet you send through, the more ships you would lose. This will help balance things for weaker players and cause stronger players to think more about whether to send a large fleet through or not.


I don’t like the idea to stimulate too much solo-playing. After all, the game is mostly for diplomacy. People should strive for trading techs.

In one game I played with @eDave (No Place 4 New Weapons), I didn’t know anyone, I was cornered and was the smallest empire around, yet most of the game I had top level in all techs, even when my science was nearly half of the biggest empires.

Diplomacy is the heart of the game. Why should we reward players who don’t do it?


I think its in the Xeelee sequence by Stephen Baxter where they create a wormhole, drag one end out into space at close to the speed of light, and then back to earth to make a gate into the future. But when they open the gate they find out that Earth had been conquered by aliens. The aliens use the gate to invade Earth again in the past.