Supreme Commander 2 patch reinvents its economy
Supreme Commander 2 was just updated to reverse a long-standing but unpopular decision about the way you pay for your units and buildings. The sequel, unlike the original, wouldn't let you queue construction of anything you couldn't afford at the time you ordered it. Now, seven months after release, Gas Powered have gone back to the Supreme Commander 1 system: you don't pay for anything until it starts building.
It's a more powerful way to manage your economy, but it can let inexperienced players get themselves in debt - the infamous economy crashes that made SupCom 1 offputting to many. SupCom 2's version of the system shouldn't be quite so harsh, though: resources are still spent as lump sums, whereas the first game bled you of your mass at a constant rate, crippling you if you overspent. And there's a smart pause key: instead of freezing construction, it just tells all your building units to complete their current project but hold off on the next one, ensuring no more resources are spent.
It seems like a really smart compromise. I hope Gas Powered aren't doing this purely because the only people still playing SupCom 2 are hardcore enough to deal with it. I'd like to see them use a system like this in their next large-scale strategy, Kings & Castles. Update: commenter Spooky refers us to this Kings & Castles dev diary, where Chris Taylor briefly outlines this system as the current plan for that game. I stopped watching those because I thought they were about Chris Taylor's horse.
We'll be playing around with the new system to see if it really is the best of both worlds: an economy that lets expert players plan their whole build order at their convenience, without letting mortal minds trap themselves in an economic deadlock that's confusing to get out of. If you're still playing too, let us know how you find it.