Author Topic: Slow but not glacial game speed  (Read 858 times)

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Offline vorpal+5 (OP)

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Slow but not glacial game speed
« on: July 31, 2020, 10:52:35 PM »
I'm gearing up for a new game. I was considering 25% research and 15% survey. I want the game to be slow, but not glacial. What is your opinion on my settings and what do you use if not 100%? What is your feeling of the 'speed' for your own settings?
 

Offline Barkhorn

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Re: Slow but not glacial game speed
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2020, 11:59:02 PM »
I find it can be useful to lower population instead of research speed.  If you just lower research and production speeds, your population will grow faster than you can possibly use it.
 

Online froggiest1982

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Re: Slow but not glacial game speed
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2020, 12:35:13 AM »
I'm gearing up for a new game. I was considering 25% research and 15% survey. I want the game to be slow, but not glacial. What is your opinion on my settings and what do you use if not 100%? What is your feeling of the 'speed' for your own settings?

I use 5% survey and 10% research, now thinking to lower Terraforming as well at least 25% (but may go for 20% instead)

I think survey 5% is a must as does not slow your game at all only the minarels search, but once you have surveyed 6/10 Systems it doesnt really matter as you still need time to organize logistic on far systems. At least you can keep ypur fleets busy and most important your officers. You may also need 10 to 20 ships to survey effectively, again boosting your officers usage.

Research at 10% it's something I ended up after many tries. So here it really makes your games go at different pace. As you will grow pop and research labs along with research tech your research capability will go up but things will cost more. The problem is that the growth is higher than the research costs increase so the end game it's still faster but the capping on labs used by scientist will ensure a slow pace.

Then back to your question: I think 50% is a good start and then I would probably change it to 25% like as soon as you have 50 labs and a couple of research tech bonuses available. This should keep a good pace without having a lighting bolt start/mid game.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2020, 12:37:48 AM by froggiest1982 »
 
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Offline Profugo Barbatus

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Re: Slow but not glacial game speed
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2020, 12:36:50 AM »
Slow research has a significant impact into the game flow. I'm running down at something near 10% research speed for the lulz, and I'm at year 120 and still chewing through the sub-10K techs in a lot of fields. Admittedly, haven't built many labs, as I've gotten locked in a decades long war of attrition. I can't tech my ships up to get a dominant advantage, best I've been able to do is wall of meat the problem.

If you can get over the mental block and go ahead and produce masses of suboptimal things because you need them now and can't wait eight years for the next engine tech upgrade, its great. If you can't get over the sense of resource wastage, then its going to be an exercise in madness :P
 
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Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Slow but not glacial game speed
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2020, 05:10:57 AM »
Research I normally start at 10-20% and gradually reduce the rate as I gain more and more labs and research speed to keep the feel in pace about constant. For survey I found that 5% works really well as others also pointed out it is not much of a hindrance but introduce some interesting logistical planning and also use more of your officer corps earlier in the game.

For terraforming I have used 50% which seem OK from my point of view.

I don't think I would be able to go back to 100% research as that is way too fast for me, I like the additional logistical headaches and usage of less than optimal ship designs you will be forced to use quite often.

Also, when you start as conventional empire then NPR will be sure to be more advanced than you for a very long time before you can catch up giving you a much higher challenge overall. With 100% tech and starting at 500m population you will usually out tech most NPR within a very short time period which take away most of the thrill of meeting new alien civilisations. Lower tech rate also means all ships in the galaxy is slower which also means that the universe will feel larger and more massive for much longer.

At 10% research rate you might not be able to keep up with population growth at the start of the game, but that will eventually change as soon as you find a reliable source of Corrundium and can start mass produce mines and factories as much as you like.
 
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Offline Cobaia

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Re: Slow but not glacial game speed
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2020, 01:12:09 PM »
I also play at 15% research speed.
Survey and Terraforming speed is at 100%.

The research is slow and extends the game play by a lot since you take ~8+ years to get a new round of tech. Even from 25% to 15% it's a massive difference.

In comparison to my 25% research speed game at 200 years in I was already pumping out middle tech Gauss, Missile tech ships, lasers and meson.
In a 15% game, 200 years in, I'm building plasma carronade ships with first tech sensors. The game is completely different.

I think it's a matter of taste actually. If you want to skip the low tech game or not. I recommend the slow tech game.
 

Offline skoormit

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Re: Slow but not glacial game speed
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2020, 03:36:09 PM »
I find it can be useful to lower population instead of research speed.  If you just lower research and production speeds, your population will grow faster than you can possibly use it.

If you have a lot of unused population, build more shipyards, and keep growing them.
 

Offline skoormit

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Re: Slow but not glacial game speed
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2020, 06:21:08 PM »
Lowering the research rate has a different effect on the game than lowering the surveying and/or or terraforming rates.

Most of the cost of your ongoing surveying and terraforming efforts are paid up front, when you build the ships.
After you build them, there is just the cost of moving them around.
For surveyors, since they are military ships, you will also pay some MSP per year, but this point holds:
A very small portion of your economy goes to support the ongoing work of the surveyors and terraformers you have already built.

Lowering the surveying rate means one of two (really three) things will happen:
1) Your surveying of the universe will progress more slowly, or
2) You will build more surveyors so that your surveying will progress at the same speed as before.
3) Or, some medium point between the two--you build more surveyors, but not so many to completely compensate for the lowered surveying rate.

In a game with 100% surveying rate, we don't really need that many surveyors. It takes some time to build the shipyard, and it takes some years to crank out the ships, but in the grand scheme things, we spend a tiny fraction of a percent of our first 20-50 years of economic output on surveying.
In a game with, say, 10% surveying rate, we can pick option number 2 and survey at the same speed as in a game with 100% surveying rate, as long as we spend ten times as much on surveyors.
But we can't really build ten times as many survey ships in the same amount of time--it takes a long time to add slipways.
So really we are paying this extra cost over a much longer time.
In the final analysis, lowering the rate only forces us to continue spending an inconsequential amount to build ships for a much longer time.
Eventually, we will probably survey at the same total speed as before. It will just take longer to reach that point, and we won't much notice the extra cost.

All of this is even more true for terraforming, since orbital terraformers are not military components, which means that your terraforming ships don't have an ongoing MSP cost.
If you are terraforming with installations, you might run out of workers if you must build a lot more, but really you would just switch to orbital terraformers at that point anyway.

Research is different, for two reasons.
For one, the long term cost of performing research is not heavily front-loaded.
When you build a survey/terraforming ship, you have just paid most of the cost of the surveying/atmosphere it will generate. (Again, except for the MSP cost for surveyors, which is about 1/16 the cost of the ship each year.)
But when you build a lab, you have just made a small down payment on the long-term cost of research.

A lab costs 2400 wealth to build.
With starting tech, and with no bonus from the scientist using it, it generates 200 research points per year, which costs us 200 wealth.
The workers using it generate 100 wealth in taxes.
But we are almost always using a scientist with a bonus, and almost always getting the 4x from the specialized field.
And one of the first things we research is Research Rate 240.
So really, we are probably averaging over 360 RP per lab per year fairly early in the game, and getting back 120 or 140 in taxes, plus any governor/sector bonus.
All told, in ten years or so we have probably paid more for the RP the lab has generated than we paid to build the lab.
Then we get Research Rate 320, and our scientists are getting better, so maybe we are averaging 700 RP per year, and the workers make 160 in taxes (plus bonuses).
Now the RP cost exceeds the build cost after 5 years or so.
As the game goes on and our scientists get better and our Research Rate tech improves, the cost of building the lab becomes trivial compared to the cost of the RP it generates. We decide how many labs to build not by how many we can afford to build with the wealth we have, but by how many we can afford to operate with the income we have.
If we play a game with a lowered research rate, we can't just build more labs to make up for it, like we can with survey ships.
We are constrained by the cost of operating the labs.

The other thing that is different with research is that a lab must have a scientist to use it, and a scientist can only operate so many labs at once.
Even if I run out of naval officers, I can still build and operate more surveying ships.
But even if I could afford to operate enough labs to compensate for the reduced research rate, at some point I will run out of scientists.
I can make more academies in order to have more scientists, but this is forcing me to
a) use scientists with lower bonuses, and
b) take longer to finish individual projects.
In other words, the per-scientist limit on lab usage means that reducing the research rate reduces the ROI we get from labs, and increases the amount of time needed to bee-line a given tech field.


TL;DR:
Lowering the research rate has a profound impact throughout the game.
Lowering the rates for surveying and/or terraforming merely extends the ramp-up time for those efforts, without significantly increasing the cost.



« Last Edit: August 01, 2020, 06:28:29 PM by skoormit »
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Slow but not glacial game speed
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2020, 11:43:56 AM »
Don't forget that survey and research both have knock on effect on each other as does the logistics to keep all the surveyors in the field.

There is a huge difference in overall running cost of running a large surveying fleet if your tech rate is at 10% and surveying is at 5%. You are not just researching 20 times slower your ships will also be much slower and cost more to up upkeep and fuel costs for a much longer time which strain your otherwise very busy industry. Distances will feel much longer and building logistical bases will be allot more difficult for a very long time, not to mention the maintenance facilities you also need to support it. I even find the MSP needs put a strain on the general economy when you operate 30-50 surveyor of different types and you are still at between 5-10k tech levels at best even after 100 years into the game. Another effect is that it takes longer to find the most optimal places to mine so you will take less optimal chances to start mining and building up colonies that might be more expensive than otherwise.

Everything have a knock on effect on everything, even terraforming have that as you probably will not afford too many orbital transformers and want manned terraformers facilities where you can have them for the reduced cost. It depends on how much surplus population you have available and the industrial production capacity for it.

You then have any self imposed rules and role play reason to not do everything optimally as well, there can be many political reason why certain colonies decide to do one or the other thing which might not be optimal either, these decisions will have deeper impact for a much longer time as well.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 11:52:08 AM by Jorgen_CAB »
 

Offline skoormit

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Re: Slow but not glacial game speed
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2020, 04:32:05 PM »
...you probably will not afford too many orbital transformers and want manned terraformers facilities where you can have them for the reduced cost. It depends on how much surplus population you have available and the industrial production capacity for it.

Reduced cost?
Armorless terraforming platforms are cheaper to build and cheaper to move than terraforming installations.

Terraforming installations cost 600 each.
Terraforming modules cost 500 each.

To move a terraforming installation, you have to move 125kt of cargo.
An armorless terraforming platform with FIVE modules (and a bridge) weighs under 127kt.
It is faster and cheaper to use a tug to transport the platform with five modules, than to put the same engines and fuel on a freighter to transport a single installation.

The only advantage that installations have is that the workers will generate tax income. If you have available workers, that's great, but you are paying more up front to build installations, and you will pay more for the logistics of moving them around.

 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Slow but not glacial game speed
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2020, 11:52:07 AM »
...you probably will not afford too many orbital transformers and want manned terraformers facilities where you can have them for the reduced cost. It depends on how much surplus population you have available and the industrial production capacity for it.

Reduced cost?
Armorless terraforming platforms are cheaper to build and cheaper to move than terraforming installations.

Terraforming installations cost 600 each.
Terraforming modules cost 500 each.

To move a terraforming installation, you have to move 125kt of cargo.
An armorless terraforming platform with FIVE modules (and a bridge) weighs under 127kt.
It is faster and cheaper to use a tug to transport the platform with five modules, than to put the same engines and fuel on a freighter to transport a single installation.

The only advantage that installations have is that the workers will generate tax income. If you have available workers, that's great, but you are paying more up front to build installations, and you will pay more for the logistics of moving them around.

To be honest I just assumed that the manned version was cheaper as it always is in every other category... seems like a waste to use manned terraforming installations rather than have the populations do something else, even just financial buildings would be more useful for the population. That is a balance issue in my opinion... the fact that manned installation generate tax is not a good reason to build them at least in 9 out of 10 instances perhaps.
 

Offline skoormit

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Re: Slow but not glacial game speed
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2020, 12:30:44 PM »
To be honest I just assumed that the manned version was cheaper as it always is in every other category... seems like a waste to use manned terraforming installations rather than have the populations do something else, even just financial buildings would be more useful for the population. That is a balance issue in my opinion... the fact that manned installation generate tax is not a good reason to build them at least in 9 out of 10 instances perhaps.

I mean, the tax income isn't bad.
Even with no governor bonus and at the staring tax rate of 100 per million workers, the installation makes up the production cost difference (vs a module) in four years.
With a couple levels of research and a decent governor/sector bonus, the tax revenue starts to look pretty good.
But you are right that it's better to just build financial centres when you have workers available and need to increase income.

The only other reason I can think of to use installations instead of modules for terraforming is to make use of the terraforming bonuses from a governor and/or sector leader.
But it would have to be an extreme edge case for those bonuses to be significantly better than you can usually get from naval admin commands.
My four levels of Terraforming commands usually provide a net bonus of around 40-50%.

Anyway, sorry, we've gotten a bit off topic here.
 

Offline Profugo Barbatus

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Re: Slow but not glacial game speed
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2020, 05:32:13 PM »
Not sure the tax income from the terraformer workers is how I'd look at this here. More terraforming modules, and more easily moving them, effectively means more terraforming can be done for the same investment cost. More terraforming means more habitable worlds, which means more taxable population once they've brought the worlds to habitable, which the extra stations can achieve faster.
 

Offline skoormit

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Re: Slow but not glacial game speed
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2020, 03:40:36 PM »
Not sure the tax income from the terraformer workers is how I'd look at this here. More terraforming modules, and more easily moving them, effectively means more terraforming can be done for the same investment cost. More terraforming means more habitable worlds, which means more taxable population once they've brought the worlds to habitable, which the extra stations can achieve faster.

Absolutely. Any holistic economic analysis over any duration favors building modules.

The only reason to prefer the tax income is if you are exceedingly constrained by short-term cash flow.
But if that is the case, you are almost certainly better off building financial centres, unless you have no corbomite.
One fincen plus one module costs 620 wealth, and provides 20% more income and the same terraforming capacity as one tf installation, which costs 600 wealth.
You'll spend another ~25 wealth per module on overhead to build the station, but you will more than make up the cost difference by spending far, far less for the tugs to move the stations around than you would spend for the freighters to move the installations around.


Installations are also not as vulnerable to attack as orbital modules.
But if you don't expect the system to be secure from hostile activity, why are you spending to increase terraforming capacity there?
You should be increasing military capacity there, or spending your resources elsewhere.

So really, the only reason to build terraforming installations is if you haven't yet researched the tech for terraforming modules and tractor beams, and you just can't stand to wait for that research to be done before you start forming Luna.

« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 03:45:51 PM by skoormit »
 

 

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