So, I decide to cheat. I give myself infinite money, infinite armor, and a weapon with 1 hit kill for any ship, station, or whathaveyou. I am God Emperor of Limit Theory, my whim is the wind which steers the world! (By infinite, I do not mean absolutely without limit, but with a number that is many orders of magnitude greater than what is average)
What happens now?
Were this most games, you would walk through the pre-defined story without the slightest inconvenience, blow through any side quests you felt like doing, and if its an open world, go on a rampage and kill until you are bored. However this is Limit Theory, and even gods should not grow bored, the world should respond to their actions dynamically and intelligently; God Emperor should not break the game or defeat the point, but simply be a different way of playing. Altering the capabilities of any player, human or AI ,to any given level should be something it can tolerate and respond to. Of course if you start tinkering with bounding boxes, coefficients, and under-the-surface mechanics, you might just break it. However, I also don't think Josh should have to code really anything special in for playing this way, the mechanics should otherwise respond to a player of outrageous ability in the same way they respond to any other being.
I am God Emperor, I have an Infinite bank account. The instantaneous value of the solar system I am in, is about 150 million credits (if I started buying up property slowly, the value would of course rise). To start, I have just given myself 100 Trillion credits. What happens? What should happen? Well until I spend these credits, I would think nothing should happen; no one knows I have the money. If I buy a transfer beam, it would have no more effect than if my account didn't have 100T credits.
Lets say though, that I buy all the commodities, modules, labor, and other goodies in the station's marketplace. Lets say this costs me about 1 million credits.
Bloop. I have dropped a rock in the economy, the prices locally will skyrocket, and the dynamic economy will suddenly shift many attentions to supplying the station with its high prices, no? Josh has already said that doing such a thing would in fact have such an effect. The ripple would make some lucky suppliers a small fortune. Because I only did this once though, the modal distribution is shifted right for a bit, but it would eventually return to a balance of supply and demand.
However, what this sort of behavior should also do is turn some heads. someone willing to pay well over the historical average should definitely get the attention of a wide range of people. If someone simply bought everything for sale in a department store or a mall, regardless of the price, it would make the news, and suddenly this individual would have a lot of people looking into their lives. For implementation, overpaying would gather proportional attention from certain personalities, moreso from people who sell/sold what was bought. This should be especially true if they bought enough to move historical average above various thresholds. (The reverse should I think also be true, attention should be given to those who sell well below the historical average)
Now, lets say I buy the available research modules. ALL of them. At any price. Forever. With infinite money. I have created an infinite demand, supply will never meet demand, and the prices of research modules would skyrocket to astronomical levels, to the point where producing a research module is the single most profitable thing you could do. What I would expect to happen is that slowly but surely, the entire universal economy would distort itself to the endless production of research modules to sell me at infinitely growing prices. But I have infinite money, so that's not a problem, for I am the font of power and wealth, I am the Hydraulic Despot, The Universe is my kingdom and factions are my puppets!
What this sort of behavior would reasonably lead to is in fact factions and players across the universe competing for the resources to make research modules. Factions would dedicate their resources to the ever larger production of research modules, and may even come to neglect and abandon all other projects which are in some way unrelated to the production of research modules. Planets would starve and die because their system hold the wrong materials that are now worthless and wars would break out as the universe bends over backwards to satisfy me. Oddly enough though, because the price of a RM is so outrageously high, it might be that no one can do any research, because they cant afford the modules! (Depending on what I placed an infinite demand for, I could make or break entire sections of the economy...hmm what would an infinite demand for food do?)
Now, what if after doing this for a ridiculous amount of time, to the point where dozens of systems exist entirely to supply me with research modules and hundreds are part of the growing web, I suddenly just stop buying them... now what? Before I started, the historical price might have been 50k for a RM, now, it's 150 Trillion credits... no one in the universe could have afforded that before me. Now though, I have injected quadrillions if not more into the economy; I have become hyperinflation manifest in a single individual. I suppose after a time, the economy would recover, but because so much had been shaped around supplying me with every RM in the universe, I suspect it would create a very stratified society, with those massive corporations and lucky producers who could sell me more RM's than the little guy being that much more powerful than before my shopping spree. (Perhaps an option for redenomination is necessary simply to give the math fewer digits from time to time)
I would also expect that if I did it for a long enough time, the very infrastructure of the universe would have in some ways shaped itself to the fast and efficient transport of goods to my location. This would I assume be a rather permanent effect, shaping the trade lanes and empires for centuries after I stopped, only slowly returning to the balance as dictated by the seed. The random station I did this all in may very well become the heart of the core worlds because that is simply where all roads meet, or it may be the most contested space in the universe because of its bottleneck effect.
What if instead of just research modules, I spent my infinite money buying anything and everything? I suppose my reach would slowly expand through supply chains and off into distant locations as ever more of the universe becomes under my control.
However when I own every rock, every ship, every station, every planet for dozens of jumps in any direction, anyone in those regions either works for me or is unable to make a living. I don't know if they would all work for the same sub-divisions of my grand umbrella. My managers may have some idea that this is all mine, and I may order previous enemies to cooperate and pool resources or die, but here I think that there are a few possibilities.
First, my admirals and various subordinates would present a continuous serious of betrayals and revolts that would all inevitably be crushed because I have infinite resources and they do not.
Second, They all work together in relative harmony, and my property becomes one big shining empire. I let my managers do all the heavy lifting for their various responsibilities, and I am free to do as I please, but in some respects I am just a figurehead...would I want that? Could I make it interesting somehow? If after I had a big shining empire, I demanded the importation of infinite resources from outside, my empire would grow ever richer and more advanced, becoming leaps and bounds ahead of my neighbors, the poor fools.
Three, I get to a maximal expansion before everyone around me is an envious enemy, and will not sell me anything, no matter the price, and from here on out, I must fight. Perhaps there are yet more ways this could go...
One thing though which interests me, is how the underhanded would deal with me. Would they try to kill me and take all my money? Would they find a way to steal into my account and make off with huge fortunes before I could ever really change the grand economy? I suppose theft from an infinite font of money would either only slow the legitimate trade down, or would have it circulate more throughout the black markets before it integrates with society.
A question to leave this with, what would an AI do with infinite money? I suppose with the Data Editor I could give one of them some ludicrous amount just to see what happens...
I am God Emperor, my weapons can destroy any ship, fleet, or planet (or at least a station) with ease. My armor can withstand the full battery of the greatest fleets in existence continuously for eons. How do people react to me? It has generally been the trend of development that The more powerful you are, the more resistance you face. In the beginning, this would make sense, but in face of certain destruction though, it seems more realistic that at least some players would bow to my power than would try to challenge it.
My own idea is that players should have both fury and fear, If they have more fury than fear, they are inclined to attack. If they have more fear than fury, they will capitulate for minimal losses. Personally I think this is the way all fights should be, a mining ship may fight a pirate, but would surrender to a carrier or capital ship without a shot. Losing a battle or taking damage drives fear up, Winning a battle or giving damage drives fury up...
I suppose that because of personality variations, some stupid individuals would attack me regardless, but most would recognize their hopeless situation and submit, even if resentfully. This does however bring up the idea of being a locus of power. How does being a powerful protector, generous employer, or wealthy customer affect opinion? especially as compared to being a weak protector, skimpy employer, or delinquent/poor customer? Will an AI become your sycophant, tagging along for what scraps you leave them? if so, does this affect how others see them?
I have an infinite ability to take damage, and an infinite ability to give damage. Suppose I do not want to rule over everything, but be a bulldozer, bringing down pirates, fleets, governments, or whatever gets in my way. Would it be that I gain a reputation not only for destruction, but for invincibility? Would the same mechanisms that guide fear/fury work to keep strangers that have simply heard of me out of my way, and let me do as I please? Could I become a celebrity? Would I as a God Emperor be the perfect escort for a lucky freighter? Would the pirate king wilt and offer obeisances when my name appears on their scanner? You do not take on Herakles if you know it's Herakles, does an AI?
And once again, what would an AI do with infinite power? Does power corrupt in the LT universe? Does it always? Will powerful weapons and armor like mine be copied without my knowledge as I am scanned? Will my outrageous power slowly become the norm and no matter how powerful I am, I will slowly be dragged back down to average as everyone raises up to my level?
Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:06 pm
Last edited by Hyperion on Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Challenging your assumptions is good for your health, good for your business, and good for your future. Stay skeptical but never undervalue the importance of a new and unfamiliar perspective.
Beauty may not save the world, but it's the only thing that can
Beauty may not save the world, but it's the only thing that can