elliotg -> RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? (6/17/2013 11:48:32 PM)
Thanks for your report. Resource movement in Shadows is actually dramatically improved over previous versions - it had to be to support prewarp empires.
I think what you are asking about are simply misunderstandings of how things work.
A new feature in Shadows is that you are now notified of any construction resource shortages. So seeing those messages is not a bad thing, it simply lets you know where resources haven't quite reached yet. Freighters will deliver resources to any locations with any shortages. You can see freighters enroute by selecting the location with the shortage (spaceport, construction ship, colony, etc), zooming out to the galaxy/sector-level, and turning on civilian ship vectors. Any ships travelling to the location will have their travel vectors highlighted in red.
In short, running out of resources is an expected part of the game, especially if you are establishing spaceports and colonies in new regions. Freighters will deliver needed resources, but this takes time, as with real-world distribution networks.
Further comments inline below:
ORIGINAL: Chris McMahon
Ok, so I started a new game with the latest 188.8.131.52 patch, just to be sure. It's about 24 years in, I'm the blue guy in the bottom left on the map. I've got 11 colonies, 10 (+1 building) with small star ports, each with 100 standard cargo bays and 10 docks.
I'm getting warnings about running out of steel (amongst other things). Here's what my resources look like:
As you can see, I have 11 sources of steel and almost 250k steel in storage, yet for the last 10+ years of game time, I've been getting "out of steel" messages, ie unfulfilled 97k.
You actually have 6 sources of Steel (top panel), the planets in the list at the bottom are places where you could build NEW mining stations ("Targets") - you don't have any there yet.
Building spaceports at every colony, and especially having too many cargo bays (spaceports at colonies have unlimited storage from the colony, you only need a few cargo bays as on the default design) is probably what is chewing through a lot of steel. Anyway, if you're short of steel, simply build more mining stations.
You can see that there's no bug in the game for this, because the Galaxy unfulfilled demand level for steel (far right column in top panel) is very low, i.e. freighters are successfully transporting steel around and meeting demand in all other empires in the galaxy.
If I try and build more steel mining stations, they build reallllly slowly. I've got a couple that have been building for over 10 years!
Now maybe I'm overtaxing the private sector so they can't afford ships? Well they have consistently be making 2-3x what I make every year and have almost $7M on hand to buy more freighters if they need them.
I think trying to have so many spaceports is what may be causing you issues. When a construction ship is assigned to build a new mining station or other base, it first goes to the nearest spaceport to grab the resources it needs and then goes to build. If the nearest spaceport has severe resource shortages then the construction ship will look for an alternative spaceport, but usually chooses the nearest one.
If there are not enough resources to build the station, then freighters will deliver these later to the construction ship. But this will get screwed up if you reassign the mission to the construction ship (e.g. repair).
Anyway it takes time to stock up a new spaceport with all the resources it needs, so new spaceports may often not have enough resources for a construction ship build project.
I leave the private ship design on auto-everything, so I've not screwing that up.
So as suggested earier in the thread, I've tried selecting my construction ships and retasking them to repair whatever they were building when the resources ran out. That kind of works, in that they then leave the build site and fly off to get more resources then eventually come back and start building again. If I leave the construction ships alone, they just sit there doing nothing (for 10+ years in some cases).
10 years to wait for resources is excessive - do you have a savegame showing this? I can take a look at that one.
However that's not an option when colonies run out of resources, building a star port, for example.
I do see the occasional private freighter bring the constructor ships supplies, but it's very rarely. Maybe 3 or 4 freighters are assigned to my fleet of 20 constructors at any one time.
So what are the other 150+ freighters doing? ~50% seem to be flying between my colonies with ~50 to a few hundred resources units per ship, even though they have 6,500 capacity, ie 90% empty. I can't find the other 50%. Maybe they're off selling all my previous resources to my enemies?
So where is my steel? It seems to be sitting in my star ports.
Freighters can sometimes move resources for other empires, but it's unlikely to be half of your freighters doing this. Are they all constructed yet? You can check in the Ships and Bases screen and filtering to Freighters. Scroll down to the bottom of the list and any under construction will show in orange. If you had a freighter shortage, that will certainly cause problems for you.
Note that you're also playing on a large galaxy (15 x 15 sectors), which is fine, but that extra distance is also going to make freighter trips take longer.
Along with ample amounts of all the other resources I'm constantly getting popups about, eg chromium.
Why are only 4,706 units "reserved" when I have 97.0K "unfulfilled"? Maybe the rest are reserved at my other 10 star ports? I apparently have 242.2K units of steel in "storage" around my empire.
Without having your savegame it's hard to say for sure, but probably the unfulfilled amount are spread across lots of locations throughout your empire: colonies that don't have enough steel in stock, mining stations and other bases that need to keep some steel onhand for retrofits, and any construction ships with shortages.
Looks like the majority of your steel (> 75%) is stored at your home colony. Maybe you have lots of steel mining stations in your home system? You could try spreading out your mining stations nearer some other colonies - this will shorten the travel time for freighters fulfilling demand at your outlying colonies.
So the question is - who's at fault? Is there something I'm not doing, designing, building, to sort this out?
Does my construction ship not have enough cargo bays? It never seems to totally fill the available capacity before setting off to build something.
That construction ship design is pretty impressive :) Might be a bit too much though. If you click the 'Show Construction Summary' button it will tell you how much resources it takes to build that ship - I think you'll find that's a lot of resources :)
If the rest of your designs are similar (i.e. large and take lots of resources to build), then this is probably most of your problem - you're using too many resources in your ships and bases due to over-designing them.
Use the default designs as a guide for typical size, thus having smaller ships and bases and using less resources.