Something we like to argue about around here is the "Slippery Slope". For those of you uninitiated, behold perhaps the most over cited article evar on the subject: http://www.sirlin.net/articles/slippery-slope-and-perpetual-comeback.html Now, today I'd like to address another point of concern. The system of Game Inertia. As many of you know, in physics inertia is a measurement of how much energy is required to create change in a moving object. Higher inertia means more energy input is required for similar results in change in velocity than that of a lower inertia object. Often this is associated quite directly with the mass of the object. Game Inertia is a similar phenomenon. For now, let's assume we have a pure slippery slope. Perfect play on both sides means that any advantage gained in the beginning will accumulate as the game goes on and eventually result in a victory for that player. Inertia then is the measurement of how fast that advantage is grown based on how far down the slope the player is. In other words, low inertia games would mean the fall-off from equilibrium is relatively slow. For a higher inertia game, the victory follows swiftly after slight changes. Many of you may cry out that this sounds quite similar to the slope of the slippery slope. Steeper slope, faster falling. However, that doesn't take into account imperfect play. Inertia is the measurement of the comeback potential. In a way, it's how easily the movement of the advantage moves with player interaction. For many games, there's always a comeback available. Sure you lost that first skirmish, but you're not beaten yet. If you can just win well enough in the next battle, you'll have recouped your losses. For a small inertia game, the balance is easily swayed by small actions. Have a big enough win and you can overcome your previous failures. For a large inertia game, you will have to win hard and fast before the opponent starts to accumulate their advantage. Now, what is Empires? Or, more accurately, what do we want in Empires? Some claim that Alamo sieges should be winnable by a decent margin. Fight to the last ticket! Others believe that eventually the advantage should become insurmountable. How important should those mid-game engagements be? How strongly do they depend on previous battles? If the comm doesn't quite place the Barracks in the optimal position, how much will that hurt the team? TL;DL: how much sway of the game advantage should each individual action have? Should the advantage be able to swing due to the result of the last battle? Or depend on all accumulating battles and then some? EDIT: Another way to look at it is how much of the advantage accumulation is from player actions or from game mechanics. More inertia, the more the game forces the slipperly slope and the less impact player actions are on the equilibrium.