No need to dance around it, I'm the player who ruined my territory when I started getting bought up. Unsportsmanlike? Certainly, but I can't help but think that it's almost always a mistake to go after a player who isn't a threat to win the game. Both times I blew up my own territory, a significant amount of my stock had been purchased by others and I was far behind in cash/swimming in debt. Because it's so easy to see the end coming in this mode, doing things like what I did makes sense to an extent; at least it made finishing the buy on me highly undesirable. With buys, the same sort of thing is possible, but much more easily reversible.
That's just part of a bigger problem in the mode, though. The ability to play kingmaker is stronger than ever, as stock purchases can create such large swings. I disagree with blackmagic's description on the game he won off my stock buy, but it is certainly true that Zuzani would likely have had a very good chance at winning in a more traditional buyout mode (5-5 stock split on Zuzani, 2-8 on blackmagic before I stepped in). I believe I had a very good chance to win that game post-buy, until Galactic Wino started buying into me. The four fewer shares that blackmagic had to buy made a huge difference, especially considering I only had two shares left to buy in him. Here's the replay: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BySpM5yAo8atN3RqVW1ZampQVTQ/view?usp=sharing
As for whether being invested in subsidiaries is rewarding enough, I'm not sure. Especially with highly successful subsidiaries, the income can be very substantial, but I worry about the cost of buying those shares and how it paints a target on your back. Because there's no real way of defending yourself once all your stock is bought, except by buying others, saving money to defend against threats seems like a superior option in many cases. Couple that with how the hacker array's profitability increases with the amount of money you have (though the risk also increases), and aggressive buying seems like a mistake, unless you're confident that it'll push others to make some mistakes.
Four more little things:
- The problem of hoarding cash and chain-buying is exacerbated by the lack of a stock delay (except when you purchase your own stock). Snapping up all of a person's shares at once seems like a much more profitable strategy, as it gives everyone less time to react.
- Right now, shares sometimes disappear into the ether when they cannot be split properly and there's no compensation. It might be better to have those shares be treated as if they were sold, and have the proceeds split according to whatever fractional shares the owners would've gotten?
- It seems as if debt/money drop significantly after a buy and resources are zeroed out? I'm not sure how I feel about that. While other modes did erase those things, I do feel that resources should be sold off, at the very least, even if the money disappears afterwards.
- A possible unintended consequence of not getting buys is that you can no longer rely on that for increasing your stock value or improving your debt situation. As a result, debt is rather more punishing in this mode, and the lack of a more significant stock price boost feels like it plays further into the whole preference for cash over stock.