It looks like there has been a bit said about corruption on previous forum posts. From what I can tell these posts are old and mostly relate to a previous universe than the one I play in. It does seem like corruption has been softened since the earlier versions. Having said that, I still feel that corruption is still far too harsh of a limitation.
It seems to me that this game plays a lot like a 4x game. Right now the universe is still early and I think a lot of us are just trying to expand our borders. At some point we will run out of space and that will be when the war element begins. The problem is that with the way corruption in set right now, if I colonize a bunch of planets, then if anybody attacks me, I would be unable to retaliate because I would not be able to handle the corruption penalty from taking their planets. Even in this early part of the game it is posing a problem in that I have found and colonized a number of planets, and am now at a point where I have colony ships sitting idle while I build more entertainment facilities. Even then, I will probably have to stop growing for a while because building nothing but morale structures is a great way to get decimated.
My other problem deals with taking corruption to the logical extreme. If I am correct in that this is a game of domination, then the point of the game is to grow as you defeat your enemies. I did some quick math, and realized that if I built 100 level three entertainment facilities on every planet, I could only build an empire that was roughly 300 planets large. In reality, that number would be smaller because other structures have morale penalties as well. Given time and enough population, you could potentially double this, but only in a universe with one player; you will still need to build defenses and other resource structures to compete and grow.
I believe that this game has several thousand planets in it. Given the high corruption cost, I could only conquer 300 at most. That does not seem like domination to me. Beyond that, it also tells me that once a player has somehow hit 75-100 planets, they should probably quit because they won’t really be able to grow any more.
I acknowledge that getting even 50 planets is a big deal, and that attempting to conquer even 100 players would likely take a tremendous amount of time. That is not my point; my point is that if there is a limit to growth, then I have to wonder if there is a point to such a game?
I also acknowledge that free and unfettered growth in this game could pose its own problems; in particular that those who started earlier would have an unassailable advantage. So there must be some balance. In previous topics there has been offered various suggestions, and some of them I thought were fairly good. In my opinion I would begin with the following ideas:
- corruption is not universal, they apply to individual planets
- Corruption is a function of distance from your home world. The farther away, the costlier the corruption
- Distance is measured in systems. In other words, all planets in the same system would have the same corruption, and that corruption would be calculated by how many other systems rest between it and your home world.
- Corruption is calculated in units of 0.01. Not the current 0.1
- Create tech that opens up building which can directly counteract corruption. For example, the base morale boost of entertainment centers is 0.1. You could create a building (like the CIA) which would offer a base of 0.3 or more, but that morale boost could only be applied to corruption.
- The synths get a tech line for morale of the organics they conquer. The morale boosts are worse than the organic techs, but they do not suffer from corruption at all. In this fashion, they can still build structures like mines, and have to balance efficiency with the primitive idea of happiness.
Those are my best ideas so far. This line of thought could also lead to other elements in the game. For example, you could also create espionage type tech which could be used as a weapon against other players to increase their corruption. Things like information warfare, or bribery.