I haven't played the original Dawn of War, but I played a lot during the DoW2 beta and I think one thing about DoW2 was that even though your resources are unlimited, you hardly ever accumulate a lot of resources. I think this was due the pace of the game, the way their macro worked, and the fact that there was only 1 building that could produce troops barring requisition (or whatever the 3rd resource was called).
I haven't played DoW2, so I cannot comment on how their system works now.
STF is different because there aren't capture points, so your economy can grow a lot larger than your economy could in DoW and there isn't the victory point mechanic. Also a really big different from STF to DoW is that in STF you have engineers that can build things, and you can have more than 1 building that produces units. For example, if you have 8k or something, you can unload an engineer or two, start building a bunch of starports or hubs, cancel them and go back into your sweatshop or whatever. You can also just throw down a couple more hubs or queue units like mucky said. So for one the system is very easily exploitable and avoided.
Keep in mind canceling buildings does not return the full amount back to the player, and if using unfinished buildings as banks they are vulnerable to attack. Exploitation may exist, but how practical is it in actual gameplay when resources don’t run out?
It would be very easy to disable the tax feature, as its values are contained in a TXT file, but given the work involved to make it possible, and the uniqueness it adds to the mod, I don’t want to give up on it just yet. Since this is a mod, I view a lot of these experimental ideas as just that, experiments, with the prevailing question being, “Can I make this work, and work well?” I invite you to really play them out in matches before rejecting the concepts with theorycrafting.
Personally, though, while you make many valid points, I find myself really liking the tax system. It keeps me mindful of my economy and encourages me to spend my money instead of hording it and turtling. The knowledge that my income won't deplete also encourages me to attack more aggressively, since a lost unit isn't as hard of a blow, beyond time, when resources are finite. I tend to be a casual player, so a lot of my designs are mindful of how a casual player feels. Being only a mod for an aged game, I don't realistically expect it to draw in a pro-gamer scene, so targeting casual play is ideal for this project.
Also consider that in most games the tax mechanic will do absolutely nothing or very little. When I was trying out fast hub builds at one point I tried to go sweatshop+sentry and then save for a hub, which meant I had a lot of minerals stockpiled. This was when I first noticed the tax mechanic and I thought to myself, god this is going to be retarded because this stupid tax thing is going to rape my econ, and I was about to post something about it but then I did some math and I looked at the timings from my other builds and I realized that it did basically absolutely nothing. I suppose you might be able to argue that saving 200 minerals at that point between saving for a hub vs. saving for a sentry gun is 1 less cycle (you have a 32 econ, which scales down to 31 and it takes 7 cycles to save vs. having a 39 econ that takes 6 cycles to save) but then when you look at the timings
Sentry gun finished- 1:45 for hub first, :55 for sentry first
Hub finished- 1:20 for hub first, 2:15 for sentry first
Fac starts- 2:30 for hub first, 2:30 for sentry first
you realize that it doesn't change a single thing.
Basically my issue with it is that I can't really see it ever really making that much difference in a game and if it does I think I would see it more annoying than a cool gameplay mechanic. Still this is just my opinion without having played the game very extensively, and playing it only with 1 race available so who knows.
Having minimal effect on the early game is intentional. Tax is a mid/late-game mechanic when people have established an economy that earns faster than they can spend.
On top of that, I don't really feel good about a mechanic that penalizes a player for doing well.
Well, actually, we don't know if they're doing well. All we know is that they aren't spending their resources. The most expensive thing for Humans is the Airfield at $1k. Saving for that will only incur a 12% tax. What you want to ask is: In what situations would a player not be spending their resources past $1k?
Let's say I'm playing Human vs. Human, and I go Pyro tech and my opponent goes Assault tech. We both skirmish around until we get to the stage of the game where I have enough econ/army that I can safely get another hub. Since I already have pyro tech, my choices of facs are Assault and Espionage. Assault will invariably cost me at least twice as much oil as going espionage, and probably more, so therefore barring a huge lead I will be forced to go espionage. Basically, the game mechanic is limiting my choices and essentially making strategic decisions for me. On top of this, if I get a 2nd hub faster and I make a bunch of espionage units, my opponent who will probably have been trailing before since I am getting my 2nd hub before him, has even more of a gap to cover because I am inflating the cost of espionage units.
Keep in mind the Influence cost goes down over time as well. Originally it dropped 50% on the next Influence update, though I've since changed it to something like 20%. I have the increase set a bit high and the drop rate slower to test how the system can really affect the gameplay. These numbers, naturally, are easily modified to have a subtler effect, so “twice as much oil” isn’t necessarily accurate.
Also consider team games: the more players there are the more and more incentive there is NOT to pick human. Picking a diverse team should not be explicitly rewarded and picking an all human team should not be explicitly penalized; the gameplay should be doing this for itself. This doesn't always pan out (like ZZ in 2v2s) but IMO this sort of reward/penalty system is not fun or creating new dynamics to play off of, it just makes it frustrating.
The price increase is actually decreased by the amount of contributing players. When the system was first set up, the price increased by 5 for each mercenary bought, minus one for each additional contributing player. So if two players both buy Ashers, then the price will only raise by 4 for each purchase. If three players all buy, the price raises by 3 each. At five or more players, it will only go up by 1 per purchase.
1 player buys 10 units: +50 to cost.
2 players both buy 10 units each: +80 to cost.
3 players all buy 10 units each: +90 to cost.
4 players all buy 10 units each: +80 to cost.
5+ players all buy 10 units each: +50 to cost.
In the current release, I'm actually using different numbers, but you get the idea.
Another example would be since there is a lack of scouting in the early game and since you can get a fac so fast, there is a chance (1 out of 6 times if both players pick randomly) that they both go for the same fac.
DarkOmen made a similar statement about scouting, but I don’t see how different it is to use an Engineer to scout over an SCV, Drone, or Probe.
Of course the unit costs don't get updated right away, but once 1 or 2 cycles pass, the gas costs will inflate really fast and the dynamic that you talked about where people have to choose between an expensive unit that is better strategically or whatever and a less expensive one doesn't even exist because to have access to the cheap units you need a 2nd hub and a 2nd fac. So basically you force them to choose between spending a shitload of minerals to build a bunch of oil pumps, wait a long time to stockpile enough gas to make units, or wait a long time to stockpile enough minerals to get a 2nd hub/fac. It won't make the game dynamic or fun, it will make it tedious.
Firstly, the impact of the Influence cost is relative to the ability to earn Influence. The base Influence cost of mercenaries is intentionally fairly low, giving room for the prices to rise without overly straining players in the early game. Only in mid/late game are you likely to see high Influence costs, and by then you should have at least two Hubs if not three or more. Basically, cash is the limiting factor early game, while Influence is the limiter late game.