Population, Economics, and Power Slider Idea

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Pohjanmaa, Sep 12, 2019.

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  1. Pohjanmaa

    Pohjanmaa Well-Known Member

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    Once upon a time we had a power template designed to keep nations in tidy boxes that prevented power gaming. (Link: http://www.europe-game.eu/index.php?threads/population-and-economy-guidelines.8031/)

    Right now I believe we have a large movement for reform because of general beliefs that the forum has moved in a direction that caters to mysterious unknown quantities of weaponry, backed up by powerful economies, and large populations. More or less, we have too many nations that have too many things that are good. Too many nations without weaknesses. It hurts RP possibilities, but also creates opinions and feelings of disdain privately. I think there are two options to take moving forward. The first one is an opinion that we should move the timeline back to the 1950s again. This limits tech power creep. Rather than discuss the merits of that approach, this is I think one of the best approaches to fixing our current modern timeline.

    I want to take the old template and add an additional category. This will have population, economy, military budget. The goal is that all nations need to pick on a ten points scale for each category. Additionally, I want to place bonuses for types government. So you have a limited amount of points you can spend, but get bonus points for certain qualities. Additionally we as a community can award superpower bonuses, which can only be awarded to a maximum of three nations at a time upon consensus, but also have some requirements, as for example a nation with a population of 15 million cannot ever be considered a superpower and in fact a superpower must be maxed out on the population slider. As a result a superpower gets an automatically maxed out military budget slider, leaving their remaining points to only put in the economy if they wish. Of course you can choose not to spend all your points. The points are only there to show a maximum if you want to play a powerful nation. Otherwise, they serve as a symbol to just show where you are at.

    I’m going to work strongly with averages. Population is measured by millions. Economy will be measured by GDP per capita because it gives a sense of what roughly your total GDP would be at, but also your rough standard of living and taxable base. The population numbers are based upon average world population of a country, which in real life is 34 million people in a country. The GDP per capita (PPP) is based on the world average of 16,000.

    In total, every nation has 15 points to spend, and you automatically start at 1 as the lowest, so your first point spent takes you to 2. As stated, superpowers get an automatically maxed military slider bonus, which I’d only assume is Kadikistan and the Anti-State.

    Population slider: (via Wiki)
    1: Less than 1 million (Luxembourg, Malta, Iceland)
    2: Less than 5 million (Ireland, Croatia, Mongolia, Estonia)
    3: Less than 10 million (Sweden, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark)
    4: Less than 15 million (Zimbabwe, Belgium, Czech Republic, Portugal)
    5: Less than 20 million (Romania, Chile, Netherlands)
    6: Less than 30 million (Yemen, Nepal, Australia, Taiwan #1)
    7: Less than 50 million (Spain, Ukraine, Poland, Canada)
    8: Less than 75 million (UK, France, Italy, South Africa, South Korea)
    9: Less than 100 million (Egypt, Vietnam, Germany, Turkey)
    10: Anything above 100 million (China, India, USA, Russia, Japan)

    Economy slider: (via IMF)
    1: Basket case (Congo DR, Somalia)
    2: Less than $3,000 (Nepal, Uganda, Ethiopia)
    3. Less than $5,000 (Ivory Coast, Kenya, Tanzania)
    4. Less than $10,000 (Jordan, Ukraine, India, Vietnam, Pakistan)
    5. Less than $15,000 (Colombia, South Africa, Albania, Georgia)
    6. Less than $25,000 (Uruguay, Bulgaria, China, Botswana, Brazil)
    7. Less than $35,000 (Lithuania, Poland, Turkey, Romania)
    8. Less than $45,000 (ex Japan, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic)
    9. Less than $55,000 (ex Sweden, Germany, France, UK)
    10. Anything above $55,000 (ex Qater, Norway, USA, Netherlands)

    Military Budget slider: (Via SIPRI)
    1: Less than $3bn (Most of the world)
    2: Less than $10bn (Algeria, Norway, Mexico, Sweden, Switzerland, Romania)
    3: Less than $15bn (Iran, Poland, Netherlands, Singapore)
    4: Less than $20bn (Turkey, Spain, Israel)
    5: Less than $25bn (Canada)
    6: Less than $30bn (Italy, Brazil, Australia)
    7: Less than $50bn (Germany, Japan, South Korea)
    8: Less than $60bn (UK)
    9: Less than $70bn (Saudi, France, Russia)
    10: Anything above $70bn (USA, China)

    Boosts:
    Liberal Democracy or Post Delegationist: +2 economy
    Leninov-Marxist or Dictatorship: +2 military budget
    Fascist, illiberal or mixed democracy: +1 military budget, +1 economy

    Thoughts? Or is the original system easier and thus better? I can understand how this can seem game-like, but even classic RP games like D&D have stat starting points. I also have a feeling that this system will be quite frowned upon, but with so much discontent and many players sitting on their hands waiting for the time change, or even a great voiding of the recent RP, I think we ought to be a bit more proactive or expect to see activity die.
     
  2. Johnston Isle

    Johnston Isle Member

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    Just to give an Idea here, I used your little system here kinda quickly to see how I actually envision (& plan to keep playing my nation as). How I have my country setup without any system atm is a Population under 15 mill, around $37,000 GDP per capita, & a military budget of ~ $15 billion. Under the slider system (including the boosts) I only actually had to spend 10 points to get there (mixed Democracy). I do like the idea, I am also however on a split mentality of systems ( I like them as its hard for people to metagame themselves out of it, but I'm also against them as its potentially restricting towards creativity).

    What you refer to of tech-creep, no weakness, etc etc, large economies & big beefy military, I refer to as "America Syndrome". Another idea to look at, resources..... like do we really know where the Oil is coming from? Who is the bread basket? You piss of such an such nation can they potentially hurt you economically via famine/oil strangulation & all you can do is try and push back militarily?

    & Side note, the 50's, yuck. the 60's & 70's, tech was still primitive by todays standards, but some of the military tactics were finally in a form of evolutionary change.
     
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  3. Zhola

    Zhola Member

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    I think these should be more set as guidelines than hard-set rules. I think we can trust everyone to police themselves? Or at least, when that's no the case, have whoever is a moderator enforce these when strictly necessary?
     
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  4. Lars

    Lars Well-Known Member

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    It's a nice system but I wouldn't apply it with iron force. If I see how it works, Lars should be:
    "Liberal Democracy: +2 economy"
    Then:
    Population 3p
    Economy 7p + 2p Bonus = 9p
    Military Budget 5p
    Total: 15p (+2p bonus)​
     
  5. Pohjanmaa

    Pohjanmaa Well-Known Member

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    I think what is important is that we try to figure out ways to maintain balance, so while I did sort of expect this reaction I would also like other suggestions and ideas to help keep the forum from having a problem of too many chiefs, not enough indians.
     
  6. Serenierre

    Serenierre Well-Known Member

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    I believe an active war mod for each conflict whenever it arises would solve most problems. Where there is excess, a mod would curb it. In my own conflict from last year, I noted that the issues were primarily driven by differences in interpretation, which a mod would have been best to adjudicate upon.

    The system as such will always be prone to "power-wank" and no matter what style is adopted that aspect won't change. We are who we are. But the presence of a mod would tackle the issue in a pieace meal manner, that's just my view in general.
     
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  7. Pohjanmaa

    Pohjanmaa Well-Known Member

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    But there is sort of a problem in that only when wars occur, do we truly know what power is, who has it, and based entirely on a different interpretation each time? It really can mess with diplomacy in the peace-time which is frankly the vast majority of our RP. How do we deal with that?
     
  8. Johnston Isle

    Johnston Isle Member

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    Imo, it's a good first way to start the talking. Perhaps a thread with every nation posting their GDP & percent of their GDP is government budget (they could go into detail of how their budget is broke down if they wanted by departments, but primarily that with the amount of % they spend on the military).

    It do agree that knowing how one stacks economically/military would influence peace & diplomacy (your less likely to piss off someone who has viral resources for your nation & one who can stomp you into the ground with ease). I think another thing would be a listing of what resources/products your nation primarily produces (right now it seems there's plenty of food and oil to go around without any worries but nobody can really know where it comes from). Right now do we know who is largely agricultural exports? Oil? Etc etc. I view myself as largely dependent upon imports of large quantities of natural resources (steel, coal, oil), but largely an exporter of grains, and beef, amongst other things etc.
     
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  9. Nitra

    Nitra Well-Known Member

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    We used to have threads with lists like that. Maybe we should pit them in the wiki, so that everyone can edit them easily.
     
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  10. Tiburia

    Tiburia Well-Known Member

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    Powergaming is certainly an issue, but I doubt such a system will solve it. Large nations will still be able to field large militaries under this system, and most powergamers just have huge nations. Then again, NS Europe has never been particularly realistic in a lot of ways, which we could debate for ages. I guess the issue is not a lack of realism, but how far we take our departure from reality.

    The further people take it, the furthers others will take it in return. Back in the 1950s RP, when I started out, I had something like 1 carrier. Then people started getting more so I went to 3 (cuz Pelasgia Rule(d) the WavesTM). Then we all went crazy and I took it to 12 (it was the days when Eiffelland and nations even smaller than that had aircraft carriers). Back to modern I took it down to 3 and was planning to reduce it further, because in the beginning of modern 3 carriers was still huge. Then suddenly everyone started getting carriers again making 3 look pretty modest, so I kept it at 3. Rebooted Pelasgia has copied Japan with 2 aircraft carriers and 2 helicopter carriers though I will have to adjust the classes to make them smaller than the current US behemoths. In any case the take-away from this little story of Pelasgia's naval power dreams is that the only way to kill powergaming is to kill it for everyone at once, but that doesn't prevent new players from coming in with huge armies, forcing everyone to raise their numbers again. We must find a way to deal with this, if we want to solve the issue.

    Beyond that, I also feel the lack of clarity (i.e. lack of clear pre-war OOBs) is an equal or even bigger problem. One of the reason people use such huge armies to hide behind is because if not everyone has a rough outline of how big and advanced their army is, that leaves a certain fearful 'fog of war'. If (for the sake of an example) Kadikistan had no OOB (which he does, and much better than most), it'd be understandable that Eiffelland would be horrified about what Kadikistan could pull out of thin air in case of war. So Eiffelland would go to 1.5X or even 2X or perhaps higher what it could realistically support, just to have a cushion in case war did break out, to give Eiffelland time to adjust and deal with whatever Kadikistan conjures up. Just my five cents on this.
     
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  11. Kir Chares

    Kir Chares Well-Known Member

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    Alright, so, some thoughts. I appreciated the old system, but I recognize that even then there were gross oversimplifications that missed the point. For one, population and economics are integral to each other. Military budget has nothing to do with military power; plenty of countries at war cut wages or rely on militias for fighting, yet have immense stockpiles with thousands of armored vehicles. Iran, and Algeria, for example, are not lightweights compared with a country like Saudi Arabia, which has 3x larger budget. There are reasons for this, but I don’t think budget fundamentally captures what people are trying to go for, which is power. So, I have written a writeup:

    HDI is the best indicator we are looking for that captures economic values ranging from tech, education, population size, availability of services, and wealth. We cannot, and should not, capture global powers like Russia, China, India and the US, save for the cases where we desire players to have this sort of power.

    I couldn't make a table, so here's what it should kind of look like

    HDI | Pop Cap | Military Equipment Notes | Projection Power
    > .9 = 40m = 2000s+ producer = Global
    .8-.9 = 60m = 90s producer = Continental
    .7-.8 = 80m = 80s producer, importer = Regional
    .6-.7 = 120m = 60s limited producer, importer = Local
    .5-.6 = 200m = absolute importer (dated) = Local
    < .5 = 400m = absolute importer (obsolete) = Internal

    Regional population multiplication (due to density of nations):
    Touyou x1.5 / Sarmatia x1.25 / Himyar x1.25 / Westernesse x1.25 / Thaumantic x1 / Gallia x1 / Germania x1 / Scania x.75

    As a rule of thumb, the standing military should not exceed 0.01% of the population, as the economic requirements of doing so are significant and would impact the HDI. While I don’t think these should be hard restrictions, we should definitely identify players which exceed these guidelines and treat them more strictly in moderation, as we should hold any person playing a major power to a higher standard. If players think they can accept stricter moderation, then they should be allowed to do so, within reason of course.

    Military equipment notes: this is what your military will typically use, and can replace. Nations seeking better will need to make arrangements with a nation that produces what they want. Import can also include jointed ventures, but not licensed production.

    Projection power notes: this is the extent of your countries ability to project military power at a significant scale. Participation in conflicts outside this extent is severely limited by lack of equipment, doctrines, training, and must be offset through participation in a coalition, which even still cannot allow the full might of the military to participate in conflict.

    Thoughts?
     
  12. Zhola

    Zhola Member

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    Prompted by Nilshanks/Engellachia to post this here after I mentioned it on discord. Not a breakthrough idea, and apparently it was what supposed to be in place anyway.

    New nations, and particularly new players, should write a relatively concise application only detailing what I guess are the most importants stats to let us evaluate a nation. Population, GDP, Miltary Size and Spending (% of GDP). This would go along with the usual map details. Then whatever member of the RP Mod team approves or doesn't and suggests changes, or whatever.

    Then there would be a repository of these basic stats somewhere, which the moderation team would try to keep updated while anyone changing these stats would tell the moderators so they can update the list. This would serve the principle of both safekeeping, since information is often spread about in different topics and posts, and also for the purpose of moderation, so that someone doesn't just change something like their population without warning or justification.

    This would make moderation a lot easier than policing spread about information too. And rather than enforcing strict rules on stats, or having a point system, there just would be some guidelines, like if you're in Hymiar maybe have no more than x population and if you are in Westernesse have no more than y population, or "larger population = smaller economy". I think everyone is trusted to know that not everyone is going to be a superpower, or be on their own, because that's boring and not everyone is even interested in RPing like that.

    Just basic stuff for new applicants to take into account. Enforcement would however be more down to a case to case basis, in a, is this justifiable, is this going to be make the rp more interesting or are we just maxing up our nation's stats to the maximum that is acceptable just so we can call ourselves a superpower? The final decision would be up to the moderation team, but I think there would always be room for discussion and compromises from both the applicant and the moderation to make the rp fine for everyone without enforcing strict rules.
     
  13. Azraq

    Azraq Super Moderator

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    Well for what it's worth Azraq very much sure in the .6-.7 = 120m = 60s limited producer, importer = Local band.

    I guess that makes me the least powerful of big pop nations (which I'm fine with as military RP is not my forte).

    Also Coro I'd change your military budget bands as I think it's reasonable to assume given the lack of NATO/UN and no end of history moment people probably spend closer to Cold War levels than they do today.
     
  14. Beautancus

    Beautancus Timeout

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    Calculating by either method results in a picture of Beautancus that broadly matches my intent, a hair more robust than even. Beautancus was intended to be very close to the 1st Republic, and that was reflected in the resources and systems from which the Cussians were drawing.
     
  15. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    I’ve been looking at Pohjanmaa’s 15 points system, and I think there is something wrong in it. In theory, somebody can put the slides in the following way:

    Start: 1 point.
    Population: Less than 5 million, so 2 points.
    Economy: Less than $10000, so 4 points, but only 2 points are counted, because the country is a liberal democracy.
    Military: Anything above $70bn, so 10 points.

    This slide setting is 15 points together. Therefore, it would be allowed. However, it would mean that this country would spend more money on the armed forces than its GDP.

    Now another slide setting:

    Start: 1 point.
    Population: Less than 50 million, so 7 points.
    Economy: Less than $55000, so 9 points, but only 7 points are counted, because the country is a liberal democracy.
    Military: Points already spent so no military.

    This country has a GDP of $2.75trn. It could afford France-sized or Russia-sized armed forces without any problems, but is not allowed to have any armed forces because it spent all its points.

    That is one problem I see here.

    The second problem I see, is the following. Under this system, we will get super rich countries with 10mn inhabitants, super-poor countries with 50mn inhabitants, and everything in-between. I don’t think that a world filled with such countries and without any at least somewhat greater powers would have developed jet fighters or tanks, because at least for developing jet fighters from scratch you need a powerful economy.

    I do consider it right to limit the military power people can RP, so forcing people to RP a lower GDP per capita with increasing population is the right thing to do. The base of Pohjanmaa’s system is good. I only think that some improvements are needed, so that it is possible to RP a France, UK or Germany, and a Russia with many citizens but lower GDP per capita as well. My thought for a modification is the following.

    Every country starts with 16 points. It spends these points to obtain a population count, a GDP per capita and a percentage of the GDP spent on defence.

    Points for the population:
    1: <= 5 million (Ireland, Croatia, Mongolia, Estonia)
    2: > 5 million - <= 10 million (Sweden, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark)
    3: > 10 million - <= 15 million (Zimbabwe, Belgium, Czech Republic, Portugal)
    4: > 15 million - <= 20 million (Romania, Chile, Netherlands)
    5: > 20 million - <= 30 million (Yemen, Nepal, Australia, Taiwan #1)
    6: > 30 million - <= 50 million (Spain, Ukraine, Poland, Canada)
    7: > 50 million - <= 75 million (UK, France, Italy, South Africa, South Korea)
    8: > 75 million - <= 100 million (Egypt, Vietnam, Germany, Turkey)
    9: > 100 million - <= 150 million (Russia, Japan)

    Points for the GDP per capita:
    1: <= $3,000 (Nepal, Uganda, Ethiopia)
    2: > $3,000 - <= $5,000 (Ivory Coast, Kenya, Tanzania)
    3: > $5,000 - <= $10,000 (Jordan, Ukraine, India, Vietnam, Pakistan)
    4: > $10,000 - <= $15,000 (Colombia, South Africa, Albania, Georgia)
    5: > $15,000 - <= $25,000 (Uruguay, Bulgaria, China, Botswana, Brazil)
    6: > $25,000 - <= $35,000 (Lithuania, Poland, Turkey, Romania)
    7: > $35,000 - <= $45,000 (Japan, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic)
    8: > $45,000 - <= $55,000 (Sweden, Germany, France, UK)
    9: > $55,000 - <= $100,000 (Qater, Norway, USA, Netherlands)

    Points for the percentage of the GDP spent on defence:
    0: <= 1%.
    1: > 1% - <= 2%.
    2: > 2% - <= 3%.
    3: > 3% - <= 4%.
    4: > 4% - <= 5%.
    5: > 5% - <= 6%.
    6: > 6% - <= 7%.
    7: > 7% - <= 8%.
    8: > 8% - <= 9%.
    9: > 9% - <= 10%.

    Kir Chares">@Kir Chares , I have a question to you. You say that a country’s standing army should not exceed 0.01% of the population. Don’t you mean 1%, or 1/100 of the population? Otherwise the USA could only have a standing army of 30,000 soldiers.
    One other question is about your table. I consider it a bit strange that a country with <= 40mln inhabitants can exercise global power projection. South=Korea might get a knock on its nose when it triies to exercise global power projection.

    It is a nice idea to look at the HDI instead of the GDP per capita. Disadvantage would be that we do not really have a link between a country’s GDP and its defence budget.

    Apart from this all, I think there is a problem with using these reference ranges: Everybody will choose values that are close to upper limits of the ranges. Maybe we should apply a formula instead of ranges, because then people will choose their populations, GDP per capita and defence budget more randomly. The only problem is, that such a formula will be a complex one. I am currently thinking of a formula in which I take the root of the population with the GDP per capita as root exponent and the maximally allowed GDP percentage as end result.
     
  16. Johnston Isle

    Johnston Isle Member

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    Your ultimate problem when people start comparing spendit in a certain department vs GDP comes down to many nation's actually have a varying percentage of the government budget vs their GDP. Ex: US government budget is actually only somewhere around 18% of it's GDP, Cubas is closer to 70%. I think the only reason that the staticians habe things tied together via defense spending vs GDP is not all governments really let the public know the government budget.
     
  17. Kir Chares

    Kir Chares Well-Known Member

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    @Eiffelland I think that was a mistake from the draft I made that I didn't put here, I should probably recommend it to 0.5% as the maximum for countries not at war, recommending a lower number, tending towards 0.3% during peacetime. You can go higher during wartime, but with severe economic penalties (your HDI begins to drop).

    As for using HDI over budget, budgets for different countries vary widely. A petro-state like Saudi Arabia which has absolutely enormous budgets due to revenues from state corporations outpaces anything an income-tax based revenue could push. Also, defense budget has little to do with the actual size of militaries, I continue to use pre-war Syria, pre-war Iraq and Algeria as examples of absolutely massive military's when it comes to stockpiled hardware.

    A big thing I was trying to do by using less easy to measure figures like HDI is avoid encouraging the trend of spreadsheeting budgets. We're still an RP, and I don't want people that aren't interested in spreadsheeting to have to do so because someone else that was obsessed with it goes to war with them. Also, I don't think people are generally educated enough about military budgets to understand what exactly they go towards, and might say something as simple as "I buy tanks with half, I pay salaries with the other half." There would be no bigger hurdle to encouraging someone to join roleplay than asking them to discuss their military budget, in my mind.
     
  18. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    The problem that I personally have, is that I don't know what I can RP militarywise without spreadsheeting it

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    That's why I took so much time to set those spreadsheets up.

    I understand your point though that we should not impose spreadsheeting upon people who don't like to handle digits. Indeed, discussions on military budget should not discourage people to RP. On the other hand, such discussions are not completely unavoidable. Sometimes it is needed to explain why we think that somebody has too large armed forces for the type of country he or she RPs. Sometimes it is needed to give people guidance.

    I also know that it is impossible for us to understand the whole macro-economic picture, and how the military budget influences the economy. But we need a bit of a guidance. The only way to get that guidance is by making algorithms. That is what Pohjanmaa did in post 1, that is what you did in post 11, and that is what I did in post 15. Those algorithms will never take everything into account, but that is not their goal. That cannot be their goal. Their goal is to make the global picture clear, and to answer the question: Is what you want to RP in accordance with what most people on the forum consider realistic and desirable to RP, or does it make your country too strong compared with what the forum considers realistic and desirable to RP?

    I am going to make an excel sheet (sorry

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    ) in which I will test out at least the following formulas:

    F = (H / 10,000,000) + (G / 10,000) + M
    F = ( (H**0.9) / 10,000,000) + ( (G**0.9) / 10,000) + M
    F = ( (H / 10,000,000)**0.9) + ( (G / 10,000)**0.9) + M

    Where:
    F = Feasibility coefficient
    H = Population (I took the letter H to reflect "human beings"; I work in statistics, so the letter P is and remains reserved for "Probability")
    G = GDP per capita
    M = Military budget as percentage of the GDP

    Of course the ** refers to "raised to power". By raising to power 0.9, I create a root curve which slightly deviates from a straight line.

    The feasibility coefficient has to be less than or equal to 16; a feasibility coefficient higher than 16 indicates that the chosen combination of population, GDP per capita, and military budget as percentage of the GDP makes you too strong compared with what the forum considers realistic and desirable to RP.

    EDIT: Of course I can also try formulas with the HDI instead of the GDP per capita. It is also possible to make a formula modelling the HDI as a function of population, GDP per capita and military budget.
     
  19. Sylvania

    Sylvania Well-Known Member

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    fuck math
     
  20. Fiannia

    Fiannia Administrator

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    Yeah honestly I can’t imagine I’ll ever spreadsheet my economy here, bless you that you do, but that ain’t me. Cantignia was the only nation I’ve had that approached power gaming probably, but even then it was off in the middle of nowhere.

    I may try to use the power slider as a guideline, and commend all of you for trying to set a guide for new players.
     

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