| Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 09:32 pm |
No no -- my point is not to have a *variable* contract, but rather to be able to *set* the contract to a percentage-of-current-monthly use (as opposed to the present all-of-current-monthly use).
For example, suppose a furniture corp currently requires a monthly 10,000 units of furniture.
Now, as the game is currently set, your *only* option (at least on the all-companies page) is to go onto the market and get *all* 10,000 units (if possible) in a monthly contract. You hit "modify supply contracts", and if the contracts exist, the furniture corp signs 'em for 10,000 units of wood per month.
Now, suppose next month there's the usual production/salary/worker shifts, and that month the furniture corp produce 10% less furniture. Now it only needs 9,000 units of wood, but it still buys the contracted 10,000.
Now, I'm *not* suggesting making the contract variable -- i.e. each month buy n% of that month's use. (That certainly would be nice from the player-side end, but I can see how it doesn't make international market sense. It *would* make sense, I think, within a local market.)
But what I'm suggesting, rather, is to allow, on the modify-all-coorps page, a "modify supply contracts" that is a *percentage* of current demand, rather than *all* of it.
Thus, in the above example, if that percent is set to 80%, the furniture corp contracts for 8,000 units of wood, rather than the full 10,000.
The next month, when production drops 10%, the furniture corp *still* is contracting for those 8,000 units of wood and using 9,000. Similarly, if production went *up* 12%, it would *still* be buying only 8,000 units on contract, even though it needed 12,000 that month.
I.e. what would be nice is to be able to globally set some or all corps to contract for *some* or *most* but NOT *all* of what they need that month, so that they aren't locked into a contract which is, due to monthly fluctuations, frequently *more* than they actually need on some months.
Yeah, monthly use could still drop below the contracted quantity, but it would happen less often than now. This way a player can choose to "buffer" himself against over-contracting, in case he doesn't want to reissue contracts every month or is going away for a few days and can't log in to prevent companies from crashing into debt by suddenly purchasing 150% of what they need month after month.
Surely this is an easily coded improvement -- just add a "percentage" field (defaulting to 100) next to the two "modify supply contracts" buttons and, when the button is hit to set up the supply contracts indicated on that page, simply create each contract for a quantity (n% * current monthly use) rather than the present (100% * current momthly use).