From: The Big Nowhere
jpwrunyan seems to think that there is some logical reason why they must be able to upgrade bases - a reason that I can't see.
jpwrunyan doesn't seem to think this. jpwrunyan does think this. I know because I am jpwrunyan.
Anyway, get yourself a cup of coffee, because I intend to say everything I have to say about this and be done with it. Or maybe not. Depends on what's on TV later.
I do not understand the difference between building something from scratch in space out of raw materials and modifying something in space with raw materials from a techinical standpoint. If anything, I think adding components to a pre-existing structure would be less challenging than building the original structure. And car anologies aren't going to do it for me on this one.
I am sympathetic to the game-play arguments against (oh yay, another feature the AI sucks at). This argument is compelling.
I am somewhat sympathetic to the colony base upgrade vs. constructor upgrade incosistency arguments against, but feel those are less compelling. Everyone does accept that constructors essentially play the same role as a planet when building in deep space, though, right? Yes? Good. I will just leave it at that.
The scientific, technical, and narrative arguments against, however, are not compelling. Saying that a constructor ship would be capable of the engineering feat of building a space station in deep space but not capable of the engineering feat of refitting a space station in space does not make sense to me. What tool or technique is missing? Is it the ability to transport necessary materials? No. Is it the ability to fabricate components? No. Is it the ability to attach components to pre-existing components? No. Is it the welding? No. Is it what to do with the crew? Well, unless you also care about how the crew got there in the first place, then no. What is it then? Disassembling a no longer needed component is all I am left with. I don't see why that should be a problem. Sorry, but my logic circuits are failing me here. So unless someone here works at Nasa and can go into the specific details of zero-gravity engineering in deep space, we just have to agree to disagree.
Of course, one of us could make the effort to read something on Wikipedia or even start a thread in a science forum and find out, but nah, that's too much work. Me? I have filled my quota of wikipedia links, already. (this is just snark, don't take offense)
Back to serious mode. In the end, the real issue here for me is a game-play issue. Everything else is just vainglorious bloviating. The game-play desire for this stems from the hassle of having to commit two distinct commands in real time if you want to replace a space station. First, you have to scrap the base. It just disappears immediately (the crew dies, btw. how do I know? because scrap a base with a scientist on it and see what happens). Then you have to tell a constructor to go to that location at some time in the future and replace it. This is annoying. First, because until the base is scrapped, I can't tell a constructor to build a new station there. Second, because it disrupts empire resource infrastructure. I do not receive those resources, tourism income, and/or research while I have to wait for the constructor to pick up resources and go to the location to replace the base. Why can't this be planned for ahead of time and streamlined? If this issue could be resolved with one command, I would be moderately happy. If it could be resolved with one command and resulted in the previous base only being scrapped immediately before the constructor arrives to build the new station, I would be ecstatic (I will make-believe whatever I want about how this is actually done and will give the astronauts involved their own special names, too). Disagree with the non-game-play related justifications for this game-play feature, but address the desire for this game-play feature. Explain what the merits and demerits are in your own mind. I believe the merits of stream-lined gameplay and uninterrupted (or less interrupted) empire economic infrastructure outweigh the demerit of an AI that *potentially* would not effectively do the same. Remember, everything other than what is in this paragraph is utterly unimportant to me.
At any rate, please no car anologies.
Oh, and finally, bump.
I agree, especially with the part I have bolded. Now realistically, you'd probably want to load all the workers off the station onto a passenger ship for safety's sake, but there is no reason an already built structure couldn't be upgraded. Of course this is DW and offloading the workers isn't necessary.
And for those that disagree, think of it this way...you don't tear down your house and rebuild it because you want to renovate your kitchen do you? Same goes for a space base (especially considering the amount of money you have invested in it already).
Distant Worlds Fan
'When in doubt...attack!'