People, thanks so much! Great stuff here, and so friendly. I am sorting through those guides you linked to as well, all good, all helpful. Thank you, thank you!
I'm going to risk asking a bunch of smallerish questions that are not really related to the "big" ones talked about in the guides. These are mostly follow-up questions to all the help I've been getting here so far.
First off, still using 1.706, am scared of beta. Also not sure how well saved games and version changes mix. I am computer inept.
- In general, I think I am an experienced strategy gamer, although 95% of that so far has been TBS, this is basically my first RTS (even if it is a bit different than most of those). Most of the time, I find it difficult to find a game that fits my needs, because I usually have to crank up difficulty settings so high so that I am not bored in the end-game, but not too high so that I am not crushed during the very early game. (Normally, my experience as a learning human is usually enough to outpace most complex TBS AIs in the midgame, then the endgame is yawn-yawn mopup without a feeling of closure.) DW seems to have so many settings options that I feel I can start to tweak next game. So far, I have played on a small map with everything else default, except that I chose 6 random AIs as opponents. Still in that game, still learning. Just wondering if you have any suggestions for a more "builder" type of a person (I'm not a warmonger) -- would, on a medium map, less dense colony options work well for me? Or less opponents? Or more, but less aggressive?
a) I am terribly daunted by the Expansion Planner. Still. I do not believe I am stupid, but I just can't seem to get a grip on it. What exactly should I be looking for there? I get a huge list of tons of resources and some prices, and I can sort those to see what is the most expensive, but I do not understand how I should use that tool to figure out what to do next -- I need big $$ to build construction ships to send off to mine to those locations (right??) and then those ships wont necessarily be escorted (right?)...
b) What exactly is "reserved" for? For whom exactly? I see that on some planets, I have xxx under "reserved", but none under amount! What does that mean?
c) There's a "luxury extractor" component: do I need that to get luxury items from colonies, or only on non-habitable objects?
d) what does the % next to the resource icon in the planet selelction mean exactly? Like this: %85 steel icon -- do I extract steel at 85% of my default extraction rate?
e) You tell me that it is good for growth and happiness when my colonies have access to 10 or more luxuries. What does "have access to" mean exactly? It's not like Civ, is it, where just having 1 unit of it somewhere in your empire is enough -- does it actually need to be present in the "cargo" of my colony? In what amount? Or does it need to be near? Is it transported automatically from the source or sources of this in my empire to the colonies that need it?
f) Is there a short and easy way to see "how much" of certain resources "I need"? I am putting that in quotes, because of course "need" is going to be a flexible term; I'm just not sure if I am missing an easy input/output overview tool somewhere
g) Do I need to stockpile certain resources so that the ones I really need for my state-run projects are not gobbled up by my private citizens to build freighters or get traded away (however that works, see "Trade" below)? Can I "manually" reserve them, in other words, so that my private sector does not abscond with them?
a) I do not have any "free trade" agreements with anyone, although at least one empire likes me. But I seem to have some measure of "trade" income (with the empire that likes me). I can see that on the diplomacy screen, it is something like: "We enjoy a small amount of trade (+1)". Häh?
b) The manual says that there are some independent nations out there you can "trade with". How? How can I see how much I can / should be making from trade? Is this automatic, and private sector, or do I need to do something?
c) I see there are some ship components such as Finance modules, or maybe they are called Trade modules. Where are these supposed to go? I see that the ones that I can build give a "5% trade income bonus" -- nice. But to what? The kind of trade I get "automatically" (like in question a, above) or from Free Trade agreements (of which I have none)?
a) I seem to have to wait forever to refuel. Is there a way of making that go faster?
b) Where exactly can I refuel? Only at space ports? Or any star base? Or any colony? What do I need to have in order to refuel?
c) Do you normally put like 4-5 fuel canisters in each ship?
- Design and Building
a) Why do Space Ports have research, medical, and recreational facilities by default? Maybe I am not understanding their role. Is a spaceport a multi-functional building? I know they can be used to build and to research, and have some defenses -- but in designing them, are you supposed to tweak in more research? I thought research labs were for that....
b) Can all bases refuel ships? (Research, mining, etc.)? Can I build purely refueling stations?
c) When I purchase ships via the advisor, how do I know where they will be built? The advisor seems to assign almost all of my construction to my homeworld, where I have a tremendous queue. Am I doing something wrong?
d) I can see in the Construction summary part of the design screen or the summary in the Tech Screens some basics about some items I can build or could possibly build if I research them first. For example, I can see that countermeasures will give me "+10% effectiveness". But I can't see anywhere what that means: +10% what? Similarly, I can see that there are Recreational components and Medical components, that each give me some +% bonuses, but I am not sure how much is enough, or where and how many of these things I need to put into my ships. What exactly do med and rec components do?
e) When can and should I build tourist bases? I mean, when is some heavenly body scenic "enough" to warrent a base?
f) What actually is the difference between small, medium and large space ports? I mean, obviously, besides their size and the amount of weapons and shields they can hold: Why make bigger ones? I think I am not understanding how these "work" yet.
g) If I understand the guide to "energy" correctly you linked to above, then energy collectors only work when a ship is stationary. Hence, the default AI design, which includes 1 set of energy collectors to ALL military ships, is a bit silly, right?