To date, the developers have not paid much attention to the outstanding bugs in the economic model. I'm using "economic" rather broadly, to incorporate all the issues around the player's taxing, spending, manufacturing, bonuses, etc. 1.0X.009 took a few steps forward (social prodution bonuses, starbase research bonuses) but left the other issues untouched. In the hopes of drawing some attention from the devs to this part of the game, I've tried to re-verify all the known problems in 1.0X.009 and provide exact steps on how to reproduce them.
For what it's worth, as a fellow software developer, my guess is that Stardock does not have a written spec of how the economic model is supposed to work, just an in-game implementation of it. They obviously do not have systematic testing to confirm that it's working as designed in every build. What I cannot understand is why the developers are not paying more attention to these issues - for the most part, they've ignored these problem reports on the forums. I encorage others to add their known economic bugs to this thread, in the hopes of getting enough critical mass to attract the devs attention.
Bug 1: Social spending is charged when no build item is selected
The manual states on p. 30 says
Social Production, represented by hammers, is spent on projects.If you have no projects queued, the number above the hammers will be in parenthesis. In this case, the hammers are not drawing bc from your treasury.
Military production behaves as described. Social production does not. If you do not select a social project, the social production does not appear in parenthesis and is charged as spending.
Reproduce: Start a new game. Set socal rate to 100% and spending to 100%. Select nothing to build on your homeworld. The F4 screen will report total expenses of 1 maintenance + 26 social. Your homeworld will report 26 social production, and total spending of 27.
Edit3: Nastavnik pointed out this thead where Frogboy says this was by design, and was changed after the manual was completed. Apparently there is no way to avoid wasting social production.
Edit5: Frogboy confirmed later in this thread that this behavior is by design and the manual is wrong.
Bug 2: Only half of displayed research bonus is applied
A research production bonus does not supply as many bonus beakers as the equivalent production bonus does shields. It appears that 50% of the indicated bonus is being applied.
Reproduce: Start a new game choosing a 10% military production bonus, and no other production or research bonuses. Pick the technologist party for +20% research. Set military rate to 100% and spending to 100%. Select a starship to build on your homeworld. Confirm that the game shows Military +10% on the F6 statistics screen, and another +10% production on the homeworld details screen, for a total of +20% military production. Your homeworld is now producing 28 shields. 28 = Floor(24 * 1.2) so that is the expected value.
Now set research rate to 100%. Confirm that the game shows Research +20% on the F6 statistics screen. Your homeworld is now producing 26 beakers. 26 = Floor(24 * 1.1). You are only getting credit for half of the research bonus indicated by the game.
Edit5: Frogboy stated later in this thread that this behavior is by design. The empire-wide research bonus is not supposed to be applied at the displayed value.
Bug 3: Government production bonuses are not applied
Advanced government types state that they give bonuses to Economy, Production, and Research. After switching to an advanced government type, the economic bonus is observed in-game but the research and production are not observed.
Reproduce: Start a new game and play until you have researched one or more new government technologies (Interstellar Republic, Star Democracy, Star Federation). With your government set to Imperial, write down the observed Taxes, Military, Social and Research values from the F4 screen and from your homeworld. Now switch to governments to Republic, which should provide +25% economy, +25% production, +25% research. Compare the F4 and homeworld values to the ones written down previously. Taxes has received a new bonus (the +25%) but the other numbers have not changed. Repeat with Democracy and Federation, and observe that each time the economic bonus is applied, but not the production and research bonus.
Edit5: Frogboy stated later in this thread that governments are only supposed to give economic bonuses. Apparently this is a text bug in the change government screen.
Bug 4: Virtual Reality Center gives lower morale bonus than Zero G Sports Arena
A Virtual Reality Center provides +40% morale, replacing the Zero G Sports Arena which provided +55% morale, despite the expensive upgrade cost. Moreover, once the player has researched the Virtual Reality Centers technology, they are no longer able to build any of the better Zero G Sports Arena buildings on any of their planets.
Reproduce: Open \GalCiv2\Data\English\PlanetImprovements.xml. Compare lines 882 and 906.
Bug 5: Stock Market gives lower economic bonus than Banking Center
A Stock Market provides +15% economic bonus (and +10% morale, +5% influence), replacing the Banking Center which provided +24% economic bonus (and no morale or influence bonuses), despite an expensive upgrade cost. Moreover, one the player has researched the Galactic Stock Exchanges technology, they are no longer able to build the superior Banking Center buildings on any of their planets.
Although the player gets additional morale and influence bonuses from a stock market, these are much smaller than the bonuses provided from the dedicated buildings of those types. The player is better served by combining Banking Centers with morale and influence buildings, than by "upgrading" to Stock Markets.
Reproduce: Open \GalCiv2\Data\English\PlanetImprovements.xml. Compare lines 956 and 979.
Bug 6: Text description of morale improvments is incorrect
Morale bonuses, resources, buildings and trade good all state that they provide an x% morale boost (15%, 40%, etc.). Any given planet will not, in fact, improve by x% after building/acquiring the indicated bonus. If fBaseMorale = (100% - unhappiness due to population), then a planetary improvement will improve a planet's morale by fBaseMorale * x%. An empire-wide improvement will improve it by (fBaseMorale * x%) ^ 0.75.
Morale improvement text descriptions should accurately describe the amount of bonus given to the player for building the improvement. If the developers find it difficult to succinctly explain this in in-game text, perhaps they can ponder what benefits such a complicated formula for morale is providing to players.
Edit5: Frogboy stated later in this thread that this behavior is by design. There is supposed to be no straightforward relationship between the displayed +x% morale value and the actual morale improvement it will yield.
(Edit: Added the problem reported by marioflag)
Bug 7: Population Growth bonus has no effect
The population growth racial ability, trade good and bonuses have no effect in the game. Population appears to grow at a constant rate whether these bonuses are present or not.
Reproduce: Start a new game with no population bonus. Confirm that none appears on the F6 statistics screen. Leave everything else at the default settings and hit the turn button 10 times, writing down the population of your homeworld on each turn. Start a second game with a 70% racial population growth bonus. Confirm that it's shown as 70% on the F6 statistics screen. Again, click the turn button 10 times and write down the population of your homeworld on each turn. Here are the observed values in game:
| ||Turn 1||Turn 2||Turn 3 ||Turn 4||Turn 5||Turn 6||Turn 7||Turn 8||Turn 9||Turn 10|
The Population Growth bonus has no observable effect.
(Edit2: Added the problem reported by defimus below)
Bug 8: Text description of starbase research bonus is missing
On the planet detail screen, the research bonus supplied by starbases is missing. Only the prodution bonus is displayed. The research bonus from starbases appears to be calculated correctly, it is just not displayed to the player.
Reproduce: Start a new game with no research bonus. Confirm that none appears on the F6 statistics screen. Set research rate to 100% and spending to 100%. Set the research target to Basic Logistics - you do NOT want to research anything that will give you an empire-wide research bonus. Complete the following build plan:
- Turn 1: Buy Basic Lab. Buy constructor. Homeworld research = 29.
- Turn 2: Buy Basic Lab. Use constructor for economic starbase adjacent to homeworld. Buy another constructor. Homeword research = 34.
- Turn 3: Use constructor to add Starbase Factory (+3% miltary, social, research). Homeworld research = 35.
Note that research is, correctly calculated as floor((24+5+5) * 1.03) = 35. On the planet details screen, the starbase bonus reads "Production +3%". It should also say "Research +3%" to reflect the bonus being applied.
(Edit4: Added the following problems reported by skam240 below)
Bug 9: Debt is capped at -2000BC
If you buy a large ticket item or a mass upgrade, and the resultant cost would take you below -2000BC, it will be capped at -2000BC. This thread discusses the problem. It also contains a post by Frogboy stating that this behavior is by design. So it's noted here mostly as an unintuitive way to save yourself tens of thousands of BCs late in the game.
Reproduce: Play the game until you are low on cash. Purchase an item that would take your treasury below -2000BC, such as a Trade Good. After the purchase, you will have the Trade Good, but your treasury will remain at -2000BC. You will have been credited the difference between the purchase price and -2000BC for free.
Bug 10: Secret Police Center project gives lower morale improvement than Entertainment Network
The Secret Police Center super project has a cost of 600 and provides a morale boost of +20% on the planet where it is built. The Entertainment Network is available at the start of the game, and provides a bonus of +25% at a cost of 55. The Secret Police Center is also more expensive and less powerful than the Multimedia Center (+30%/100), Extreme Stadium (+45%/250), Zero G Sports Arena (+55%/400) and Virtual Reality Center (+40%/500).
The player would be better off building any standard morale improvemnt building in the game rather than Secret Police Center project.
Reproduce: Open \GalCiv2\Data\English\PlanetImprovements.xml. Compare lines 710 and 812.